Hi. It's been a while since I've been on here, but I'm at my wit's end and having some SERIOUS issues. I don't know who to talk to and I'm driving my family crazy. I might blather but I'm hoping someone can or will talk. I just... need some help.
I've got Panic/Anxiety Disorder with a side helping of Major Depression. Translation: without good medications, I am prone to absolutely insane freak-outs of terror that grip me and don't let go and can last for weeks or, in one case, months. I've never felt suicidal because of it, thankfully, but I have had ONE bad occasion where I wanted to die. Not kill myself, just... die.
Suffice it to say, I don't like not having the extra help. I've been bad my whole life, but I didn't get diagnosed until around 2006 or 2007 (I had this irrational fear of psychiatrists and therapists). I think around 2007 the doctor put me on Wellbutrin and it worked great. I had good insurance because I worked at the local Kroger's (a union-run grocery store chain here in Texas - goodness, I use a lot of parenthesis!) and my meds were well covered until I left there in June 2008.
June 2008 I got a good job working for an oil company that had great benefits. I went off the Wellbutrin for a bit because I didn't have insurance yet - I was a temp-to-hire and then had a follow-up 90-day period before I could get benefits. I was able to get insurance around late November or early December 2008, went back on the meds, and was quite happy.
Then we had a mass lay-off.
That was in March 2009, and I couldn't afford the Wellbutrin out-of-pocket, so again, I went off of it. I didn't have too many issues during that time but I was generally not the blithe spirit I felt like when I had been taking the meds.
I got a new job August 2009, again temp-to-hire. I was hired on permanently in November 2009 and had to wait another initial 90-day period before getting insurance. In January 2010, I got sick with the flu and made the mistake of taking some over-the-counter meds to help. Apparently whatever OTC thing I took was a BIG mistake because it lead to one massive panic attack that left me in a depressive funk for the better part of January, and I was having issues dealing with the loss of a neighbor who lived across the street. Between his death and my anxiety, I was in a funk that started affecting my work performance.
At the end of February/beginning of March 2010 I finally had insurance, went to the doctor, and got him to prescribe my meds, which I desperately wanted. And one week after that doctor's visit I got laid off.
(The story was that my boss had gone on maternity leave and so they moved my department under another manager, who was trying to save money and decided that one person could do my job, not two, and that they could use interns during the busy times to make up the slack. I have a feeling that my breakdown contributed to it, though.)
In desperation, my doc wanted to put me on Lexapro because I could actually AFFORD the stuff out-of-pocket. Now, I'd tried Lexapro ONCE. That stuff worked for exactly two days and then it put me in such a massive tail-spin that I swore I'd never go back to it again. He agreed yeah, that would be a bad thing, so he put me instead on Effexor.
Effexor works really differently from Wellbutrin, going after different parts of the brain in different ways, but I had to admit it seemed to work okay. I wasn't a total freak and I was feeling a lot better. Also, despite being laid off, I could afford it because it was only $80 to $100 out-of-pocket, compared to the $220 to $315 I was quoted for Wellbutrin.
Why does this stuff have to be so darn expensive?
Anyway, I've been on Effexor since about March 2010. I really needed to stay on something because my father, who'd had colon cancer, had it come back and was dying. We had a lot of issues, but I was able to cope and get through them okay, and be there for my dad when he needed me. I spent all of 2010 working temporary positions only, which was good - I had money to cover bills, I could afford my meds, AND I could leave my last post a little early when he went back into the hospital and we found out he was actively dying.
Mom got time off, I was unemployed, and my best friend was on disability because she'd had a bad car wreck and couldn't work. So we were all at home with Daddy his last few days, and he didn't die in a hospital. He didn't want to. I was happy he was home.
So, I got a temp-to-hire job in February 2011 but wasn't feeling quite up to the task. May 13 (I remember this because it was Friday the 13th, and I've got a nose for irony) I was let go, never got insurance, couldn't get back on the Wellbutrin. By now the Effexor was getting expensive out-of-pocket, too, so I was really looking forward to getting a job that had benefits. I was out of work until November 2011, when I got hired the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. NOT Temp-to-hire - direct hire!
Continuing below - sorry this is so darn long! I just need to talk...