Monday, June 9, 2014

Age of Anxiety

CBC News aired a documentary last night called 'The Age of Anxiety.' I did not watch the whole thing although I was pleasantly surprised to note that it was not what I thought it was going to be. My son actually brought it to our attention and it was his friend that brought it to his attention. My first thought was great. A show giving my son more ammunition to support his theory that his anxiety levels are through the roof.

On Saturday my son had returned from a three night sleep over at his friend's place. His friend is not currently residing across the hall with his father but with his mother across town. With these sleepovers comes some marijuana use and with this one, less medications. Each night my son did not take the prescribed amounts of Clozapine. He did however take at least half, which I am impressed with. Yesterday my son asked if we can go for a drive as he is stressed. I guess I don't always react to his liking when he says things like this as I asked with some surprise: Stressed about what?

My son: Stressed about life. I have been stressed for 4 years.

Me: I know you won't like this but how much weed did you smoke?

My son: Why do you have to put me down like that? I only smoked one puff.

Me: Do I have stupid written on my forehead? I know better then that.

My son: It was only one but it was from a bong and I got pretty stoned.

Me: How many pills did you miss?

Yes, he has been struggling with psychosis for going on 4 years. When he isn't smoking pot or drinking alcohol then he has some insight. Add marijuana and that insight quickly goes out the window. He is not experiencing symptoms but is being more spiritual. He is not going through withdrawal but has anxiety. He is not being moody, I'm being ignorant... I already knew that he would return with medications that he should have taken as he had called me and talked to me about wanting to dream therefor not take his medications as prescribed. Luckily he does not hide from me that he doesn't take them as I don't get mad about it. I can't make him and I stopped trying to a long time ago. I will however point out that his moods are altered when he doesn't take them or that he is experiencing withdrawal (what he calls anxiety) after using. For me the cause and affect is fairly obvious. He breaks the rules more. He makes more messes. He is more irritable. He doesn't sleep right as he is up and down all night and seems to have more night sweats. He starts asking questions about what I think happens to us after we die or where or what our souls are. He starts talking about things that two weeks ago he had decided that he was done thinking about as he has already wasted 3 years thinking about it.

Back to the CBC documentary. It discussed the DSM IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders). As I said, I didn't watch the whole thing however I did see them discussing the fact that anxiety disorders are being over-diagnosed. I have said it so many times and I tell my son that anxiety is a normal part of the human experience. We do not want to get rid of anxiety. It helps us to prepare for tough situations. Don't get me wrong. I do believe in anxiety disorders as my husband has GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Every day situations cause him anxiety then he can not cope with and this has been going on for years. Why is anxiety being over-diagnosed? I have my own theories however I would recommend watching the documentary and forming your own opinion. My son didn't watch it to much past where they stated that anxiety disorders are being over-diagnosed... I stopped watching shortly after they were discussing Paxil and how it was being used to treat or get rid of shyness. Shyness is not a condition about myself that I particularly like however it is something about my personality that other's throughout my life have found very endearing about me and still do.

We seem to be back on track today. Two nights of being back on prescribed doses and minimal amount of coaching to get my son out the door for his GED class today, on time. Another good indicator is when he is able to take me being mom without turning it into me disrespecting him. I should be able to tell him that his alarm going off for the past 45 minutes is getting on my nerves without it being turned into how I'm being moody or PMS'ing...


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