Should I See a New Psychiatrist for Medication?

As I wrote before, I’ve been suffering a bad spell of depression. I spend most of my day sleeping or watching TV. I only work about 3-4 hours at most. I’ve started eating junk food as a way to feel better and pass the time. I have no motivation to improve my life, my business, or myself. Oh, I should mention that I have no social life other than occasional phone calls from friends. There’s no excuse for that either. Feeling lousy doesn’t get me out of the house: if anything, it keeps me in and locks me down.

I saw a sleep doctor and completed a sleep study in July to rule out any somatic problems that might be interfering with my mental health. Among many other things, the doctor concluded that I should get to bed earlier than 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM. Additionally, he suggested seeing a local psychiatrist for a cross-consultation about my current medication regimen of Effexor, Welbutrin, Zyprexa, and Clonezapam.

So far, I have been able to walk back my bedtime. Now I aim for 1:00 AM or 1:30 AM. Going to bed earlier might see easy for some people. My problem is that my body, mood, and mind seem to perk up about 7:00 PM lasting until the early morning hours. That means when I do try to sleep, my mind is running in 100 different directions and is screaming for stimulation. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this blog at 12:15 AM. It’s hard to make a day out of feeling “good” between 7:00 PM and 1:00 AM, but that’s what my situation is right now.

At the moment I’m also getting low on Clonezapam. This medication helps me relax and sleep uninterrupted. My prescription for this medication is in USA. Therefore, my insurance only allows me a 30 day allocation per month. My parents mail the medicine to me. Unfortunately, due to their busy schedules and mail processing delays I sometimes go for 3-4 days without it. That means 3-4 nights without sleep, frequent nocturnal polyuria, and altered moods. Any time spent beyond this initial withdrawal period creates further problems: it becomes impossible to sit behind the computer, I become agitated easily, and I ultimately just lie in bed listlessly and only get up for meals.

So, instead of trying to tough out Clonezapam withdrawal, I’m thinking of seeing this new psychiatrist and getting a prescription I can use at a local pharmacy here in Costa Rica. It makes sense as a good contingency plan in the event my Clonezapam shipment doesn’t arrive on time. Unfortunately, my medical insurance does not cover any sort of medical examination outside of the USA. As a result I would have to pay cash for each visit to this new doctor plus cash for any medication he prescribes.

On one hand, I’m curious to see what he’ll say. Will he prescribe a totally new set of meds, or keep me on the current four that I take? On the other hand I’m loathe to visiting another psychiatrist because it means I’ll have to dredge up my entire mental health history again, recounting all of the lowest moments and desperate acts Borderline Personality Disorder created in my life. What if the doctor requires multiple visits before writing a prescription? Will he just use me as quick cash or will he take a genuine interest in my well being?

Finally, I’m simply just shy about putting myself in a new social situation. I get nervous any time I have to call a new doctor and coordinate a first appointment. I realize this sounds crazy: who is so shy that he/she can’t even speak up for the benefit of his/her own health? Well, that’s me. Now you know why I’m 32 years old with no wife, no kids, and no significant other.

I suppose I have two choices. One, I see the doctor and try something completely new; or two, I wait for a reprieve from my current rut of depression. Part of me can’t wait any longer for this depression to lift. It’s really bringing me down. I should be exercising more and eating less, but the exact opposite is happening because I have little motivation for self improvement.

Maybe that doctor visit is in order after all. What do I have to lose other than a few bucks and an hour of my time? Nothing really, I suppose…