Saturday, July 07, 2007

..and then everything clicked

I've been pretty angry lately. Now, I'm not talking about flying into a screaming rage and destroying things; that's not my style. And I know that I'm pretty good at hiding feelings, so people may not have even noticed the extent of my situation. Not that I've ever lied when asked directly about how I was doing; I'm a horrible liar. But I've definitely had a general feeling of daily unspecified anger, annoyance, and agitation that has gotten worse and worse. Today I could not function until well into the afternoon. My head felt like it was going to explode with frustration and I eventually had to take a Valium to calm the hell down.

Today I sat down and started trying to recall examples of the symptoms I've been having:

  • The neighbor kids are fucking irritating. Well, they've always been annoying, but I feel like screaming out the window like a crazy person and telling them to shut the hell up, when it is in their right to play outdoors. I also shouldn't be avoiding eye contact and conversation with the most annoying one (well, he is), if only because it is rude. Last night I slammed down the book I was reading and shut myself up in my office with a loud video game because they were so annoying.
  • I had to keep myself from violently kicking Misha off the bed this morning when he started hacking up a hairball. And when the cats walk over me when I'm in bed or on the couch, I feel like screaming and throwing them across the room. No, I haven't actually done it. But I have lately entertained the thought of getting rid of them both, Misha because he has a nasty habit of peeing on furniture when he's upset (my futon couch is now covered in pee-proof vinyl), and Missy has a sensitive stomach and just throws up a lot, leaving a mess. I know that getting rid of them would be bad for all three of us, so it isn't going to happen, but it is still troubling that I'm even thinking about it.
  • I am increasingly annoyed at instructors, for either being "bad teachers" or for teaching something that I find boring or trite, rolling my eyes and mumbling under my breath.
  • I'm falling asleep while reading in bed at night. This is very, very unlike me! I usually have to make myself go to sleep when I'm caught up in a good book. Okay, this doesn't really fit with the anger, anxiety, or agitation, but I think it's related.
  • Continuously worried to the point of distraction and sleeplessness at little things like whether I should have said something a different way or if I've done something wrong and now people won't like me any more.
  • Interrupting people.
  • Unable to concentrate for very long. Partly the reason for my incomplete classes.
  • An increase in panic attacks (minor ones, not the full-blown emergency room type).
  • Unreasonably irritated when I have to wait in line or when people are being slow at serving me at a restaurant or the concession stand at the theater or are in my way when I'm trying to walk somewhere. And my usual level of "road rage" is getting worse.
This is not my normal mode of operation. I've always been a pretty laid back person, if somewhat prone to tears when I'm upset. But I've never felt so full of rage, not over stuff like this. Anxious, yes. Angry, no.

Now it just so happens that I had seen my doctor Friday morning about a medication adjustment. I told him about the general anxiety that I've been having, but I didn't mention the anger, because I didn't put the pieces together until now. He prescribed some anti-anxiety medication, in addition to what I am currently taking. Being proactive (and worried), I decided to look up some information about this new combination of meds. Wanting to be an informed consumer plus being a librarian equals researching everything. And guess what I found out?

The medication I am on has been known to cause anxiety, agitation, and anger. Ah. **seethe**

The symptoms have been going on for a few months now, but it is just in the past two weeks that I've really noticed them and just the past three days that I've had such strong reactions. Why? I think that it was because I was finally remembering to take my evening meds and the effects of the stuff in my system reached a level of potency and consistency so that I could actually notice what was going on.

From what I researched, the anti-anxiety medication which I was prescribed may actually help alleviate the anger and agitation side-effects of the other med. But I'll still be talking to the doctor again, very soon.

Apologies are due to anyone who I may have upset lately. I'm sure I'll be feeling better shortly.

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