Friday, January 7, 2011

The challenge of exposures and medication

Well, there's good news and bad news.  I'm on 75 mgs of Zoloft and for the first time am experiencing some relief from the consistent OCD thoughts and related depression.  It was like a weight was lifted off of me, at least for the first few days.  The challenge, of course, is that with the Zoloft come some pretty nasty side effects.  Tension headaches, heartburn, insomnia. 

Everyone's body is different and I've learned pretty quickly that asking around about medications is not helpful and neither is my desperate searching for reassurance on the Internet.  This is pretty common -- I'll catch myself after 45 minutes go by, then an hour, googling and then googling again.  And I'll realize that the search is not for "credible information."  The search is for that magic reassurance - that one website that will tell me, "yes, what you're thinking is exactly right and you are in total control of this situation."  The problem is that even if I find that the feeling is fleeting.  And a medication that works great for someone else might be a bad combination for me. 

I'm trying right now to stop being so hyper-sensitive about my body and its rumblings.  Since my hope is not to be on medication indefinitely, I'm still planning on engaging in cognitive behavioral therapy.  Here's the problem -- the thoughts that I have are not causing me the usual anxiety that I have!  Great, right?  Sure, except that to do the exposures you need the anxiety.  My therapist has recommended that I move higher up on my "ladder" (the list of thoughts or actions which provoke anxiety, listed progressively by how much anxiety they create).  I'll try this, but I'm realizing that part of my challenge is that I may need to reevaluate my goals and expectations.  Oy.  Am I actually worrying about feeling better?? 


  1. I'd LOVE to find a website that guarenteed that I was on the right medication for me and the right dose - except that I wouldn't believe it because my other research indicates that not even my psychiatrist nor myself knows if I'm on the best meds. Welcome to the world of OCD blogs. :)

  2. I wonder if I can go through CBT while I'm on my meds, too. I'm taking 10 mgs of Paxil per day. Maybe I shouldn't worry about this, since I'm on a low dose. I used to take 20 mgs when my symptoms were at their worst.


  3. hey, 
    I am an OCD sufferer, have been since I was a kid. I really need all the help I can get. I found myself saying outloud today "if there was just one person I had that could understand what I was dealing with." I also have started a blog, a little bit hesitantly as a fellow OCD sufferer you can imagine why, for this specific purpose of getting help and helping. Let me know and I hope to hear from you soon...

    pray for Taiwan