Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Started my mao inhibitor anti-depressant today. It is a clear plastic patch that you stick on your skin. I put it in a dumb place. Just lifted up my shirt and pressed it on my belly. I never realized how much the belly flexes as you move! Next time I will place it on my upper arm.

Usually with mao inhibitors there are dietary restrictions. You can't eat aged cheese like cheddar cheese, aged meat like peperoni and sausage, some soy products, and tap beer. These are my limitations if I stay on Emsam at a higher dosage. The beginning dosage there are no dietary restrictions. I'm optimistic because since I've been off the Prozac I've had no depression. On different types of mao inhibitors the food restriction can grow, to no eating nuts, chocolate, aged wine, and more.

Although I've had no depression off of Prozac my behavior has suffered. Twice now I've had to leave my Tuesday evening writer's workshop early because of anxiety.

When I started Prozac, 17 years ago, I sat in a McDonald's and made a sudden realization. I was having no thoughts about needing to leave a public place because of anxiety. I calmly sat and ate feeling like I had all the time in the world. And I could go into a store in the mall and idly browse, while prior to Prozac I couldn't stand being in one store for very long.

What has happened with my writing group is that I arrive feeling fine but then anxiety builds. There is nothing bothering me, no worries in my mind. I write without anxiety, but then after the writing sessions we meet in a group to read our work out loud. It is at this point, where we are gathered together in close proxcimity, that I become very uncomfortable.

The loss of Prozac may turn me into a more fragile person socially. I will be able to make limited social contact in a group setting before having to give in to an overwhelming desire to flee to home and safety. I think about how schizophrenics are a hidden minority in society. The disease definitely influences social skills. I can talk sanely and sensibly to other people but now I see there is a clock ticking on our encounter. When I think about the approach I take toward other schizophrenics I always get the notion that I am dealing with a wild animal. Trust is fragile, time is fleeting, conversation is more unpredictable than normal and in essence, you simply can't get too close. I deeply enjoy writer's group and the people in it right up to the moment when I feel I must bolt. I don't like my behavior, I don't like seeming odd. But I have to keep my weaknesses in perspective. Lack of Prozac doesn't impact my relationship with my husband or my ability to create artwork. I can still work hard and love hard. Probably in the future I will be less inclined to go to public activities, but then, I was never a fan of public events. A good book at home is my favorite form of entertainment.

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