Tag Archives: SSRI

Manic Bluetooth Etiquette Sucks

Etiquette’ is a really screwy word to spell by the way.

It’s 7:17 p.m. and I’m on break at work. Sitting in a van listening to whatever music a coworker is playing over the bluetooth stereo I bring into work. This allows us to listen to music streamed from our phones without the hassle of using a physical aux cord. Before he started playing music, I was playing some Beach House. I hopped out of the van to use the bathroom and when I came back he was camped on the bluetooth, dictating our music for the next hour. The only issue I have with the music currently playing is that it doesn’t fit the vibe of the day. It’s cloudy, chilly, and the wind is howling outside. The van slightly rocks around from the breeze. And he’s playing some hardcore music that is semi-upbeat and angsty, a far cry from the Beach House vibe that I think is more accurate for the night. But maybe this is just my current mood and no one else thinks the vibe is as Beach Housey as I do.

I’ve been on antidepressants for 2 days now. They told me it’d take two weeks for me to notice any changes, and I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I definitely don’t feel like I usually do. I drove to work in a kinda sleepy and dreamy haze, going through the motions in a perfectly blah mood. This is typical but I was surprised to see this mood continue even at work. My job assignment this week is operating the k-loader: a large multi-ton machine that physically raises and lowers the containers the fifty or so feet to the airplane’s cargo deck. Usually this job requires a ton of attention and keeps me on my toes and mentally engaged. Nope, not tonight. I was up there operating it with the usual professional skill that I always have, but in a sleepy and detached haze. It’s like I wasn’t really there or engaged with the equipment, but somehow I was also more aware of what I was doing. Like I was in someone else’s head as they were operating it. But damn were they doing a great job at it.

It’s disorienting in a way. I feel like I’ve taken a handful of Benadryls without the complete sleepiness that they have. I’m laid back and don’t care to talk or to interact, and I’m perfectly okay with that. When I do think of something to say I’ll say it in a totally detached way, like I’m just saying something because I want to say it without any of the anxiety I’m used to. No thought how it’ll be received or anything. It was also disorienting looking at myself in the bathroom mirror; I looked perfectly normal. I thought I’d look totally dead and expressionless but there I was. The typical everyday Jeremy with a vague smile on his face like usual.

And I’m also equally…jittery I guess? It’s hard to explain. A half-hour ago I was sitting in the van having a good discussion with my friends and I noticed my hands and legs were shaking. Jittery, antsy, but still tired, detached, out of it, but very aware of everything. Was it the nicotine? Had I been hitting my vape too hard? Or was it the meds? Or was it neither of those?

Many of these things were listed as side effects, but they’re easy enough to deal with so far. I don’t feel like the jitteriness is turning into a full fledged anxiety attack and the sleepiness isn’t so crippling that I can’t do my job safely. So I think it’s normal. It’s enough to deal with and I don’t think I should jump ship just yet.

To further prove my point, listen to what my coworker is now playing. This is not the vibe for today. And now this one. Maybe the jitteriness will manifest into an anxiety attack?

The social laws involved with sharing a bluetooth stereo device at work are strange. Yes, it’s mine — I physically own the damn thing — so you’d assume I should be in charge of the music all the time. No, no fucking way. Despite owning the bluetooth thingy, bringing it into work primarily for my own enjoyment on break, I don’t think this gives me free reign to force a van full of people to listen to my music the entire shift. Depending on what I play, it could be seen as an extreme form of torture. I also bring it in as a favor for my coworkers so we don’t have to listen to the shitty radio; it’s like a community favor and the joy of the community overrides my physical ownership of the device. I think that’s why I put the vibe of the music over anything else. Like if someone is playing music and you want to recommend a song, request something with the same general vibe of the current music. Don’t upend the flow by demanding songs that have nothing to do with the current mood. Don’t try to force your musical tastes upon everyone else. But also be courteous and mindful of everyone else’s requests and needs. If you’re the one playing music, accommodate them to a degree even if they do break the vague social etiquette of van bluetooth music usage. Never sync up without being invited to do so. Once invited, you can sync up anytime in the future. If no one else is synced up for a period of five or ten minutes, feel free to do so, but only if you’ve been allowed to sync up before! And so on.

Sometimes I wonder if these pills have put me in a manic state. I think I’m in a manic state but maybe me thinking this is what’s putting me in the state to begin with? This post does seem rather…unhinged though, doesn’t it? Either way, I’m writing and I’m going to post it and to hell with how it turns out. Maybe it’ll be a good reference to compare what happens before and after you start taking SSRI antidepressants. You lose your goddamn mind. You write endless rambling things. You stop caring if what your writing is good and has a point. Maybe that’s a good thing after all?

Worst of all, two weeks? Really? Part of me thinks this is all some awful placebo effect and nothing has really changed. Maybe I’ve always been this way and taking pills for a few days is leading me to think I’m sleepy, out of it, and totally rambling on a blog post not because I’m naturally this way but because I can blame it on the meds. What if it’s all in my head tricking me for some reason? And if this is the case, what the fuck is going to happen when the meds really do kick in?

Streak Day #8 Sucks (and some stuff about tracking your mood)

I picked up my first supply of SSRI antidepressants yesterday and was surprised that the pharmacist actually talked to me about what I was picking up. I’m use to showing up and grabbing a bag of mild pain pills (like the 600 mg ibuprofens) or antibiotics and giving a firm “no” to the question of if I had any questions. No, no questions from me, thanks though. They’re antibiotics: take them until they’re all gone, diarrhea is a possible side effect, and whatever else. The same is true for those pointless 600 mg ibuprofens. Sure, I need a subscription to get them, but at the same time I could easily buy some of the 200 mg over-the-counter ibuprofens and take three instead of the recommended two. Oh what a dangerous rebel I am.

Yesterday I picked up some serious shit: meds that alter your brain chemistry and can fuck with all sorts of things. Apparently serotonin is in charge of numerous bodily and brain functions, so toying with its level can have some serious consequences. I don’t even recall all the possible side effects, they’re frightening though. Let me try. Sleeplessness, sleepiness, restlessness, nausea, dizziness, depression, possible suicidal thoughts (yikes!), among others. It doesn’t sound like a fun drug and I’m having a ton of anxiety about it.

Stupid thing that I’ve alluded to before: they take “at least a week” to have an effect. This is what I read somewhere on the internet at least and noted this to the pharmacist in an attempt to show him I wasn’t some ignorant fucker picking up pills. The pharmacist told me it would most likely take two weeks for me to notice anything, and four to six weeks for my body to really stabilize on the drug to where I would notice improvements. Even scarier is around the two week mark I should, might, possibly, go into a funk where “things might seem worse and you might think the drug isn’t working for you; this is normal so try to get through it.” What the fuck? You take an antidepressant and in two weeks your mood takes a total nose dive? Damn.

It feels like I have a ticking time bomb in my mind, and more so than usual. I’m always terrified about the next random crisis that will cause my mood to spiral downward, but this time I get a timeframe to expect it in! I don’t know how I feel about that — it’s nice to know I guess — but now I’m anxious about it. Maybe I’ll put it on my Google Calendar: “Crisis Starts? March 18, 2020”. The day after St. Patrick’s Day. Well, I’ve always hated that “holiday” anyways…

Let me digress for a bit. I’m a guy who loves his data, check this out:

I can also accurately see the price of fuel in the past, the number of miles each vehicle is driven in a month/year, and the total operating cost of each vehicle is. It’s useful as fuck.

I track our vehicles’ fuel mileage on a monthly basis. I also track a bunch of other random data that I think will be interesting/useful. Weekly bank/credit card balances, my weight, bike riding times/running times, and for some reason The Walking Dead viewers. Hell, I’ll post that below because it’s an interesting chart! Not that all of this data is inherently useful. It’s nice (and useful) to know our Dodge Caravan costs about 15 cents per mile to operate while our electric car costs a paltry 4 cents per mile, but besides the vehicle data it doesn’t really provide much insight. It’s still nice to have though.

The season 7 premiere is where we all found out who Negan killed. It was Glenn and this pissed nearly everyone off, Glenn being an all around good-guy with a loving wiafu and a baby on the way. As you can see the series really died after this.

That’s was quite the tangent, but it did have a purpose. A few years ago I thought it would be fun to attempt to quantify my mood. As multifaceted and complex as your mood is, I thought it would be interesting and perhaps insightful if I could plop a number to it twice a day. You know, a 1-10 scale of how I felt in general with 1 being borderline suicidal and 10 being like the happiest I had ever been.

One thing I learned from this not-very-good experiment was that actually writing your mood down twice a day and assigning it a number made me much more mindful of how I felt. After a week I think my mood even improved because I was aware of how I was feeling, and hence could change it. I guess I’m saying if you know your mood is a 2/10 you’re aware of it and not just feeling shitty in a passive manner. After a few weeks I was on a consistent streak of 7s and 8s.

On these drugs and struggling with the fact that my mood might crater in the next two week, I think I’ll start this process again so I can see how these things actually affect me. It’s such a pain in the ass trying to be objective about your mood over a few days, let alone months, and it seems a disservice to the doctor if I stroll on in there in a month and give vague answers about how the drug is affecting me. By keeping a spreadsheet with daily “mood values” I can look back as objectively as possible and give accurate answers. I also think I can objectively identify this impending two-week crisis and maybe stay mindful that it’s an expected thing and I shouldn’t let my mood drag my mood down. Or something like that.

Give it a shot if you want, I highly recommend tracking your mood and think even once daily would help you see your trends. Maybe you can pull yourself out of a funk if you notice it happening.