Saturday, June 18, 2011

The cRaZiEs, often misunderstood

On my blog, and in real life, I openly talk about being on my happy pills. Sometimes I make light of it, I guess in an  attempt to eliminate the stigma that surrounds 'being medicated' for anxiety or depression - in my case, it is anxiety, of the 'crazy brain' variety.

The best way to describe my non-medicated brain (and body) is this:  

Imagine everything in your brain... your thoughts, your emotions, and everything visual that you see... swirling like a tornado in one direction, with no way to stop the swirling or no way to filter what is in the tornado. Then comes the physical reaction to that, which is something that seems like a physical swirling in the opposite direction. Opposing tornadoes. From there, you should be able to figure that a body would react either by shutting down, or in my case, by going completely out of control, mentally, physically, and verbally.

Completely irrationalOut of control. And, completely out of my control. There is no way to just stop it.

As I look back, I think my crazies may have started to roll in late college/early marriage. After I gave birth to Ian, our third child, which was almost 6 years ago, the crazies definitely peaked, and I knew something had to be done.

I was a mere 20mg of happy medication away from being chill. Under control. Rational. Just 20 mg "off".

While the same triggers may prompt a response today, as I am medicated, my response is under my control.

The reason I write about this today is because of something I read this week on a blog that I follow. Motherlode posted an article written by a woman who grew up afraid of her father's rage. In response to that article, a father asked for advice for his family, as they were dealing with the rage of the mother in the family.

I am disheartened by some of the comments written in an attempt to help that father and his family. Ten years ago, my husband probably would have described me the same exact way this father described his wife. ( I don't know that he would have labeled me as verbally abusive, but I can tell you that it is a period of my life that I hope my children, especially our middle one, never remember. )

20mg of a drug "off". That's all I was.

Through this Motherlode article and its comments, this mother and wife has now been labeled as a bad, non-loving, abusive parent who should have her children taken away from her. I just keep thinking, what if the husband internalizes all of these 'suggestions' and takes an extreme action? I am not sure that she deserves that.

I do not ever want to make light of an abusive situation, and I know there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, out there who have been the victim of verbally or physically abusive parents or significant others.  And, there is a distinct difference between someone who is abusive out of control issues versus someone who is unstable because of a chemical imbalance. Both could cause harm, physical or emotional. I know that.

However, in my non-medical-degreed opinion, it would seem to be wise to always remember that there could be opposing tornadoes in a brain and body, and as horrible as it is to be on the receiving end of uncontrollable behavior, it is just as scary to be the one out of control with the 'crazy' brain.

If you are someone or knows someone who sounds like me, or the wife in the blog article, visit your doctor or recommend they visit theirs. Forget about the stigma. I cannot believe I did not call my doctor sooner.

When I called my doctor's office, I recall thinking, um... when they ask for the reason for the visit, what do I say? Would you rather say, "My hemorrhoids are acting up." or "I need to talk to the doctor about my anxiety."? Yeah. I vote for anxiety. It may not be anxiety,  but that's a nice term that the office scheduler can write down.

I have to tell you that when I got to the doctor, who is a gorgeous, chill Mom in her 40s, all I had to say was, "The only way to describe was is going on is crazy brain."  Do you know that my hot doctor also has crazy brain and knew just what I was talking about? True. I didn't have to say another word.

20mg a day later and crazy brain gone. Completely.

One last point before I put this topic to bed for the day: If you do not understand crazy brain or understand why someone cannot just 'will' it away or get things under control, that merely means you do not understand it.

It does not mean that medication or medical/psychological intervention isn't needed. I am not saying in all cases it is, but it may be.

You can't will away grey hair, high cholesterol, low bone density, low thyroid hormone, or a seasonal allergy... the list could go on and on.

While some things are mind over matter, I have not found crazy brain to be one of them.


  1. Yes and in most cases a pill combined with some therapy are the best combination.

  2. It is truly amazing how it is possible to correct the 'problem' so quickly for some.

  3. It is truly amazing how it is possible to correct the 'problem' so quickly for some.