Psychiatrist Appt II & Lexapro

Given how I felt last appointment with Dr T, my expectations of today’s appointment were not high. Fortunately, it went better than I anticipated. I’ve decided she isn’t quite as awful and insensitive as I initially thought she was. This time, I didn’t leave my appointment in tears, feeling worse than when I went in, which is definitely an improvement!

I agreed to trialing medication and am now in possession of my new meds. An antidepressant. An SSRI. Lexapro, to be exact. Or escitalopram if you prefer the generic name. I was given a starter pack and I have twenty-one tablets, 10mg each. I was given the instruction to take half a tablet, 5mg initially for one week, then increase the dosage to a whole tablet, 10mg daily.

In my previous post, when I wrote that the psychologist I am being referred to, G, is yet to call me back, I neglected to mention she practices in the same location as Dr T, they share the same consulting rooms. I let Dr T know I have in fact called up G to make an appointment and have not yet received a response. She says she will follow it up with G when she sees her tomorrow.

Dr T brought up the possibility of her writing a letter to the Uni and advising them of my depression, saying that it has affected my studies. Quite strange really, I was under the impression she didn’t think much of me studying pharmacy with my history of overdosing on pills. In saying that, she also asks whether that would be fair to the other students, and if I’m honest with myself, do I really think I deserve to get a reprieve. Would it be fair? Of course it wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be fair on the other students who have had to sit exams, for better or worse, regardless of what is going on in their life. I’ve been in that position myself, when a friend with depression in Year 12 was exempt from sitting the final school exams, yet still obtained a ridiculously high score and was accepted into Uni, while I struggled through them. So no, it wouldn’t be fair. Do I really think I deserve to get a concession? Of course I don’t. I feel as though whatever failings I may have academically is just a consequence of my lack of motivation and general laziness. I’m not looking for the easy way out. If I fail, I will just have to deal with it, and that is that.

She suggested there are alternatives to consider, if I do end up being terminated from pharmacy. Goodness, are there really? Suggestions such as focusing on work more, or taking the time to work on my issues before attempting Uni again. Basically what my ex-psychologist had suggested to me before, about a year ago. Ah, I love how they make it sound so neat and simple. It’s not.

The cost of this one hour appointment today was $295, however, Medicare subsidy means I only had to pay $150 out of my own pocket. I say only, but $150 is still rather a lot, considering I earn about $20 per hour working as a pharmacy assistant. *Sighs* The costs of private mental health care…

So that’s that, still waiting on a phone call from the psychologist and about to start taking the Lexapro from tomorrow morning. A bit nervous as to how I will feel and the potential side effects that may occur. Dr T says they are mostly gut effects, such as nausea, vomitting…sounds fun…

That plus the delights of studying for my exams in less than a week which I’m more than likely to fail…these upcoming few days are bound to be bundles of joy…!

12 thoughts on “Psychiatrist Appt II & Lexapro

  1. Hopefully you will be ok for side effects – Escitalopram probably has less side effects than any other anti depressant for most people.

    I am really glad the appointment was better than last time. I often find the first appointment is the most awkward, and the more you see the person the easier it gets. When are you next seeing her?

    Personally I have no problem with special consideration etc for exams or uni or whatever. If you are having problems, then I think there is nothing wrong with that being taken into account. Perhaps it isn’t fair on other people, in that they can’t get it too, but since the marks you get won’t actually affect anyone apart from you, it isn’t like it will actually be a problem for them. With one of my A level subjects I missed 2 of the exams as I was in hospital following a suicide attempt. I just assumed that meant I would fail, and didn’t think of applying for special consideration or anything, but my college actually did it themselves, and so the exam board somehow worked out a mark for me for those exams based on the 4 other exams that I had sat, and so they gave me Cs for the papers I had missed (I had got high As on the other 4 – between 95 and 100%) and so overall I got an A for the subject. I was quite uncomfortable at first, because I felt like I didn’t deserve it as I hadn’t sat 2 of the papers, and other people had worked really hard and got lower marks, but then when I thought about it I realised that my mark wouldn’t actually have any effect on their marks – it wasn’t like me getting an A meant that they couldn’t. So I think that if your psych is happy to do that, and you want to keep doing your course etc, then maybe you should let her. It would probably put less pressure on you course wise, and that might make you feel less stressed and mean that you actually do better, and feel better. You are not lazy though, you are ill at the moment, and struggling, and if someone had a physical illness that meant they couldn’t do their exams, or needed special consideration or whatever, then I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it, and things shouldn’t be any different for mental health problems. Just my 2 cents!

    Sorry for the essay length comment!
    xxx

    • I’m seeing her again on June 29.
      Yeah, what you said makes sense. I still feel guilty though and I feel like I’m using mental illness as an excuse. Repeating for the third time really doesn’t appeal to me anyway…
      That’s okay about the long comment, I don’t mind! In fact, your comments are always appreciated 🙂
      Take care,
      x

      • Well maybe it is an excuse, in as much as any illness etc is, but it is a perfectly valid one, and neither will it affect anyone other than you anyway, so although you may think of it as ‘unfair’, it won’t actually make any difference to anyone else. I can see why repeating it again isn’t appealing, but that is almost irrelevant – at least you would have the option. Maybe you should take time out from uni anyway and decide what you really want to do? It doesn’t really ever seem like your heart is in pharmacy? But I am side tracking rather. xxx

  2. Hey Cassie
    Find out if your uni offers supplementary examations. These exams are if you fail a course, you can then do another exam at a set time period, usually just before semester two starts and you can bring a failing grade to a pass. With medical certificates or a letter would be better, you could show why you failed if you did fail and possibly be granted this. There is also the withdrawal without academic penalty you could think about. This means you would withdraw from your courses and you would receive a grade of W for that semester for your courses, which would not effect your GPA. I work in a faculty in a uni in brisbane and I do these all the time. If you want to chat about possible options, you can email me at sairs@netspace.net.au. Please don’t beat yourself up, being depressed IS medical condition as you know and you aren’t any different in that if you need help, you should receive it.
    *hugs*
    Sarah

    • Thanks for telling me about the options for Uni.
      Yeah, my Uni does offer supp exams. I was offered the supp exams when I failed my exams last time…and ended up failing them too. But yeah, it is at least a second chance at passing.
      Take care,
      BtF x

  3. There is nothing wrong with special consideration. It’s because there is this misconception that physical illnesses are more valid than mental illnesses. This is rubbish because both can affect your performance, and both warrant extra support. I asked for special consideration for two of my Masters units given that I was in treatment at the time. It was the hardest and most uncomfortable thing when I did it, but now I’m glad I did, because my problems are worth something, and so are yours.

    Don’t buy into the belief that having mental health issues makes you lazy or rubbish, because it doesn’t. It’s not an excuse, but a valid reason for struggling, and everyone who has difficulties of ANY kind should be entitled to support in education and in life in general.

    You matter. And so do your problems. Remember that. You deserve to have your struggles acknowledged.

    Sarah x

  4. BtF – wanted to say that I was glad to read that your p-doc appointment went better than last time.
    How are the meds going thus far? Any glaring side effects? Has the psychologist called you yet?

    • Thanks!
      The meds are going okay I think…it’s day 3 of taking the Lexapro and am not feeling too bad, just feeling a little ill.
      Nope, the psychologist hasn’t called back yet. 😐

  5. Glad your appointment went well. Why shouldn’t you get special consideration, any one else on your course in your situation could apply for it too; so you are not getting anything they would not. Hopefully all will go well. I was on escitaolpram for a while and have to say the side effects for me were not bad so hoping the same for you. It did knock my appetite for a couple of weeks though, which is never a bad thing. Good luck with getting the appointment with G.

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