On Wednesday morning, I had an appointment to see my psychiatrist Dr. Ricardo Peralta at Vita Healthcare in Mount Eliza. Even though it’s been two months since I last saw my psych, I still get myself nervous in anticipation to see him. And of course I remind myself that I’m spending  $200 for this appointment (less Medicare rebate) so I need to make the most of it and not waste my time. He could be charging up to $500 so in that sense it’s really bugger all.

Ironically, it has come at a good time for me with my mood and energy levels at an all time low. My current medication of 20mg Escitalopram (Lexapro) tablets hasn’t been as effective as when I first started taking them over six months ago. Part of me is scared of changing medications due to the side effects yet the other part is desperate to try something else. I haven’t been truly happy in myself for weeks. I spent more time in my bed due to feeling exhausted. I haven’t been motivated to go to the gym as often. And my confidence has also plummeted.

Ricardo suggested that I slowly come off the Lexapro and start taking Duloxetine at 3omg. He also recommended trying out Zopiclone 7.5mg to help with my sleep problems. I don’t know anything about either of these medications besides doing some Google searches online so I’m pretty much placing my trust in Dr. Ricardo with this. I feel confident that he knows what he’s talking about and isn’t simply giving me a quick fix solution to my problems. He’s a “no bullshit” doctor, he gets straight to the point which I appreciate and it’s the reason why I keep seeing him.

Recently, I’ve been having episodes of snacking on junk food such as Tim Tams, Arnott’s family assorted biscuits, Cadbury dairy milk chocolate, chips, lollies and crackers. The fact that I know that consuming these foods will increase my weight hasn’t seemed to stop me. Of course I still try to keep eating healthy foods like rolled oats, yoghurt, nuts, fruit, vegetables and lean meats. I just need to be more consistent with what I eat. It hasn’t been easy.

I think my shift in mood, onset of depression symptoms, hibernation inside my bedroom and the cold, wind and rainy weather conditions have contributed to my poor eating habits and lack of motivation to go out of the house. Somehow I managed to go to YMCA Casey RACE and do a half hour session on the exercise bike. I always feel better after I’ve been to the gym, it’s just getting there that’s the hard part!

On Friday afternoon, I had my second appointment with new speech pathologist Natasha from Everyday Independence. Thankfully today’s session was less rocky than last time even though I was anxious in anticipating her arrival. I always am when it comes to inviting people into the house plus the social awkwardness at the dining table. But it was a very production session.

We worked with ways to feel more confident in stressful situations, verbal vs. non-verbal communication, what to say when answering the phone, how to prepare myself for phone calls. Writing things out on the whiteboard and getting me to brainstorm ideas proved to be a helpful strategy for me. Plus we had a few laughs which eased the awkward tension a bit. I’m still getting to know her after all.

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