help me help me

I have a terrible suspicion that my crazy pills are not working any more. I’d like to increase my dosage to see if that helps, or talk to a doctor about changing things up. Unfortunately, I have no doctor – I have a guy I go to whenever I need my prescription renewed, and I just used my allotted 75 seconds for this quarter.

I’ve been on Effexor for 7 years, and all the research I’ve done tells me that it’s not unusual to be loved by anyone for people to experience their medication sleeping on the job after being on it for years without issue. This frightens me, because I’ve had an excellent relationship with my crazy pills until now and I don’t want to experiment with a bunch of other drugs to see if something might work. I was really lucky when I went crazy; the first thing we tried worked on my brain like a charm and I’m afraid of the reported side effects of everything else.

I also want to tell my boss. I feel like I’m noticeably losing it at work and not performing with my usual amount of energy or productivity, and sooner or later someone’s going to notice that it took me 17 hours to write two paragraphs on Substance Abuse. I don’t know how to have that conversation, though – how do you tell your boss that you’re nuts and you know it’s negatively affecting your work? I am not good with awkward conversations. Someone do this for me, please.

I would love and think I need to take a few days off and arrange to visit my doctor by force to discuss my brain. Logically, I know I should do this. I’m struggling with it, though – I have deadlines to meet, company events to plan, and getting to my doctor is an enormous hassle. I don’t want anyone at work to find out that I’m not just quirky insane, but clinically as well. I don’t want to let my boss or my team down. Why bother getting a professional opinion that will likely not be to my satisfaction when I can just tinker with my dosage on my own? That would be so much easier than, you know, dealing with all this shit. I don’t NEED this right now. I am busy.

This is not the right way to think. I owe it to myself to do the right thing here, but I don’t WANNA.

I also don’t want to revert to the stage where bus wheels have an irresistible and dreadful fascination.

Internet, tell me what to do. At the very least, I can go the chicken shit route and just send this link to my boss. It’d be pathetic of me, but at least I could get the words out without having to verbalize anything.

Is it too late to exchange my brain for a new one? I think I still have the receipt around here somewhere.

11 thoughts on “help me help me

  1. Kimli, can you see a nurse practitioner or someone at a walk-in clinic? Maybe they can refer you to a clinical psychiatrist who can prescribe meds. Remember, this is a medical issue and deserves to be treated with as much respect by your workplace as an illness like cancer or diabetes would be.

    I hug.

  2. 1) Take a mental health day (call in sick) and go see a doctor. Go see 75 second man, go to a clinic or find a new one, but go see someone
    2) Your work should not and does not have any right to know what you are/are feeling like. If you are behind schedule, and they ask, you can then decide whether you want to tell them or not. But until *they* bring it up, it’s not their business. And even then, mental health issues, or any health issues, are not their business. According to the laws, they should also reasonably make allowances for the time you may need off (do you have short term disability – this or a full blown nervous breakdown might fall under that). It really depends on your relationship with your boss. personally, this is something I’d never tell my bosses, but I personally also believe that although I work for them, as long as they are happy with my progress, they don’t need to know what’s going on
    3) Look forward to your bday – you have some awesome things planned with some awesome people
    4) Go hug a kitten and get out in the sunlight :)

  3. I’d consider it pretty proactive to go talk to your boss before you actually go bonkers and start attacking workmates with staplers. I mean, at that point it’s already obvious. Telling your boss now means that you’re well enough to be aware that it’s a physical/chemical problem and you are taking steps to remedy it. Plus, if you’re still showing up to work and getting (some) shit done, you have no reason to feel even slightly guilty. Hell, a good youtube video can make me useless for a day.

    The one time I had that conversation with a manager about this I was offered some time off without asking. I didn’t take it, but I did take advantage of flexible hours to get used to new drugz (you know how some of them can screw with your sleep at first). Your employer has an incentive to help you deal with your health problem right away so that it doesn’t become something where you’re gone for weeks or months. Let your boss do what she’s supposed to do.

  4. I agree with Gillian on telling your boss. But getting a family doctor is important. Crazy-pills do have less efficacy the longer you use them, so an adjustment may very well be in order.

  5. Tell your boss. You don’t have to be specific at all, other then you’re taking a medication and it’s affecting you differently than it was before. Then let him know you need time off for the appointment. Maybe your boss is on happy pills too! You never know! I just got off Zoloft after 5 years of being on it!
    (You could always call it “mood enhancers”)

  6. Do you even need to get that specific with your boss? “I’m having medical woes and need to get checked out by my doctor – it’s nothing too serious, but I’ll need to take a few days off.”

    Remember that part of the chemical crazies is that it makes everything feel like a huge hurdle. A slight tinkering with dosage could be all you need to find yourself coping like a champ again.

    • I want to tell my boss what’s going on simply because I’m worried about taking sick time without explaining why. My sick time was one of the only negative things on my last performance review, and even though this is a valid reason for needing some, I’d worry that my boss was thinking I was just being a flake. I know I don’t have to tell her anything beyond “I’m not here”, but I would worry myself into a panic attack if I thought my job was in danger because I’m away.

  7. I can appreciate what you are experiencing at the moment. Over the years I’ve been diagnosed with 4 or 5 different flavours of crazy and been prescribed even more varieties of meds during that time. Seems the professionals couldn’t make up my mind.

    In terms of upping your dosage or switching medications, it’s always better to get some professional advice. There are outpatient programs that a walk-in doctor should be able to give you a referral for.

    You might try some other methods of boosting your mood. Physical activity is always helpful. Just getting out for a walk can help. Also, I have found that practicing mindfulness has worked wonders for me. It has allowed me to distance myself from the thoughts that run through my head and realize they have no basis in reality. They are just habitual patterns of thinking. They are still there, but it’s easier not to listen to them.

    It’ll get better, it always does … eventually.

  8. Oh, and as a boss I’ve dealt with this very thing with employees. I humbly offer the following:

    If you have sick days, take them.

    A right to privacy regarding the reason is covered by BC and Federal Law.

    Your employment should not (legally) be impacted by taking benefits offered to you, e.g. sick days.

    If you will exhaust your sick days, you are likely covered by LTD or other options detailed in the personnel handbook.

    Only in that circumstance would you likely need a note from your Dr. and even then, no reason need be stated. I know, I’ve see them.

    IF YOU DECIDE TO SHARE INFO you can also ask that this be kept confidential between you and your boss. Disclosure to him/her is not a waiver of your right to health info privacy to anyone else in the company.

    And as a boss, I will offer that IF YOU CHOSE TO SHARE, I would be VERY satisfied with “I’m on some medication and it’s either: a) not working; or b) I’m having a reaction to it. I’m concerned and I need to see a Dr. I’ll let you know what the Dr. says.”

    That’s it. Fill out any needed paperwork, stay in touch so your boss knows if you’re in or out and for how long, and your GOLDEN.

    Contact me any time.

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