If I were to recount all of the times I was forced to actually deal with OCD (Obsessive-compulsive Disorder) without my medication prior to 2018, I probably would place the estimate somewhere in the two-dozen range. Which really does not seem to be that big of a deal when you think about it from a distance. When you are intimately dealing with OCD/anxiety and are faced with dealing without medication, you would think the world was coming to an end. Really? Yes, really. It is that bad if you do not have the tools to cope. Tools? What tools you might ask? Well, if you are anything like I was, my “tools” were... my friends at the time, Xanax and Prozac.
They were held under lock-and-key and RIGHTLY so. These chemicals are not something anyone should be experiementing with. These medications require full supervision from a qualified physician. I was seeing a certified physician who fully understood my condition. So why was it I had to play phone-tag gymnastics to get my medications refilled? I was attending my appointments, doing things by the book. I would request refills early, as early as allowed by law. I would call the pharmacy, then the doctor, then the pharmacy. Sounds simple enough when I can write it down in one sentence. When lived out, it involves an absorbent amount of time, energy, and frustration to get a regular refill. So every 30 days this phone-tag gymnastics would occur.
Without these tools of mine, I could not cope. I did not even know where to begin. I had heard some people mention something called CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am not a therapist or a subject matter expert, so my words about CBT/OCD/medication are a part of my story, and should not be considered advice or a recommendation. I was told this CBT might be helpful. I was told it had been proven helpful for “people like you” or “people with your condition.” The last thing I wanted to do was to go to another psychologist.
The last time I had sat on the proverbial coach, I was verbally poked and prodded like a laboratory animal. The only difference was that the psychologist I visited used words instead of scientific equipment. My experience with psychologists had been a poor one and a really expensive one. One with zero benefits other than getting out of the house. I could have gone to the ice cream shop and got a mental boost from the mention of ice cream. So, as with other mentions of possible therapies, I was not real keen on investigating this one. As with anything dealing with mental health, everything is up to the patient to pursue. Do not count on any office personnel giving you the encouragement to get certain things done.
Without my tools, I was a royal mess. I am sure my crankiness was at an all-time high. My fear would skyrocket. I imagine it is not that different from a drug addict running out of their drug of choice, except He/She can easily go down to their supplier to pick up some more. I was at the mercy of the two different players, the pharmacy and the doctor’s office. If either of them failed to return calls, which occurred OFTEN, then I was left without my only way to cope. The other factor which I have yet to mention was the way the OCD/anxiety makes social interaction increasingly more difficult. So combine fighting off the strange withdrawal symptoms that comes from being without your medications, plus the weird way I suddenly did not want to interact with anyone. It was no wonder all I wanted to do was sleep!
So here we have a situation. I am beholden to the pharmacy and the physician’s office. Every 30 days or so, I am put through the wringer. Hopefully I can get a refill so I can try to lead a “normal” life.