I have drugs now!

(Christina here…)

No, not the illegal kind. The anti-depressant kind.

Last time we talked about mental illness at length, I was visiting the local mental health center and leaving empty-handed. I expected to get help immediately, and that didn’t happen. (Quick recap: I have depersonalization/derealization disorder and attention-deficit disorder.)

The next day, I made an appointment with the psychiatrist the mental health center recommended, but she couldn’t see me for 3.5 weeks. It pained me to watch the weeks tick by, knowing if the psychiatrist did prescribe me some kind of meds, I’d have to wait even longer for them to kick in and start helping, should they help at all. However, at least I had some help to look forward to, instead of a bleak nothingness with no help in sight.

Today, I drove to my appointment. Unlike last time, when I was scared and nervous out of my mind, this time I wasn’t. It helped that I scheduled my appointment at a specific time, forcing me to go despite any reservations I might have.

Of course, I drove to the wrong place. My fault. When I booked the original appointment, the psychiatrist gave me her address and explained that she had recently moved offices. Then, she called me a few days ago and asked if I needed directions – I didn’t, because I had written them down. So I thought. This morning, I googled directions, headed out early, and arrived at an empty office. Piss.

After calling, getting proper directions, and heading to the correct place, I found myself entering a waiting room (I was still early, so there!). A large, besuited man sat on a blue and green loveseat, reading a newspaper. As I entered, he asked in a loud, commanding voice if I was there to see Dr. B.


“Have a seat, she’ll come out shortly.”

I sat on a matching couch. Around the corner, a coffee machine percolated, filling the room with the smell of roasted beans. Across from us, a desk bearing a slip of yellow paper inserted into a plastic stand read (I changed the names, obviously):

Office of:

John Doe, Attorney

John Doe II

Dr. B

John Doe III, Your Diamond Source

I thought it odd that such a ragtag group of people shared this tiny office. Other than this bizarro yellow paper, the waiting room had sparse fixtures. An end table. A lamp. A mini fridge. The “Your Diamond Source” thing set my consumer skeptic sense tingling. I naturally assumed that the large, loud, besuited man must be John Doe III. I was wrong. A few minutes later, a lady entered, asking for John Doe III. The man said he wasn’t in today. I busied myself reading “The Magic of Reality” by Richard Dawkins on my iPad.

Eventually, Dr. B came out of her office. She’s quite beautiful, prettier than in the picture I found of her on her website, with long brown hair. She had me fill out some forms, including the Beck Depression Inventory, which I can’t help but overanalyze.

In her office, the sun shone in through closed miniblinds behind her, making it hard for me to see. This bothered me more and more as we talk – it maked me feel like we’re in a hazy dream. I considered telling her she should re-orient her office space, but that might mean she’d end up with the sun in her eyes.

Our visit passed simply enough: she asked some questions about medical history, family history, drug or alcohol use, stuff about suicide, and then more or less opened the floor for me to tell her why I had come to see her.

I think blogging has given me the advantage of being able to articulate my problems more effectively. I explain to her everything I’ve explained in my previous posts. She’s definitely an evidence-based psychiatrist – we have lots of words to say to each other about dopamine, serotonin, etc. We talk about ADD, depersonalization, and anxiety/depression. I suppose what I hoped would happen, happens. She’s easy to talk to and we speak the same language of science and rationality.

Things take an interesting aside when we bring up my parents.

In a way, I don’t want to write about my parents. I don’t want to write about them because I fear they will read what I write and take offense. So, I’ll try to put this delicately.

I think my parents did the best job they knew how to do. All parents make mistakes, and I know if I ever become a parent, I will make mistakes. To fault them for making mistakes would be akin to god faulting humans for sinning when he designed them to sin in the first place.

Photo of Christina at 5 years old.

Here, have a random pic of me at 5.

As a child, whenever I displayed an emotional reaction, my emotions went un-validated. If I said, “parent, you just did a thing which hurt my feelings.” instead of apologizing or working through that problem, I got this response, “Oh yeah? Well when you did X, that hurt my feelings.” If I cried, I needed to “grow up”. I cannot think of a single instance in which, “my feelings are hurt by a thing you did” was met with any degree of comfort whatsoever. Talking to my parents about something they did that upset me always made things worse, whether I approached them in a screaming fit or in a shell of diplomacy. They told me, “you think everyone’s out to get you” more times than I can count. Eventually, I learned that not having feelings hurt less. Or hiding them hurt less.

If I was physically hurt, my mom went to great lengths to inspect and clean every cut, to the point where the cuts and scrapes hurt more when I went to her for help – so I stopped going to her and took care of the cuts myself or hid them. A few times, she tried to insist we only play in the woods wearing glasses or safety glasses, because she feared we’d poke our eyes out like my great grandpa did in the war.

My mom obsessed with making sure my siblings and I did not harm our bodies, except for spanking/paddling. My dad once made a paddle out of inch-thick Lucite and drilled holes in it, then told my siblings and I that the holes reduced air resistance and made the paddle strike harder. The science of hurting.

I love my parents. We have a decent, adult relationships with each other now. They gave my siblings and I the gift of a secular upbringing, and sowed early seeds of skepticism by buying me “Zillions” a consumer skepticism magazine for kids. I’ve made countless mistakes in my life, so I don’t expect perfection, nor do I fault people for decades-old mistakes. Parenting looks hard.

Dr. B said the same thing that the counselor a few years ago and other people have said: the way I react emotionally might relate to the treatment of emotion in my house as a child. I don’t know if I want to admit that yet. She also suggested I check out the American Psychoanalytic Association, which I balked at (Way to much personal bias seeps into psychoanalysis).

I left the office with: A script for 20mg Lexapro 1x/day (for depression/anxiety) and 150mg Wellbutrin for ADD. Dr. B also wants me to get a comprehensive metabolic panel completed to test for any metabolic abnormalities.

If I want to try a stimulant for ADD (like Ritalin) I need to complete more testing, as the FDA has tightened up restrictions on the dispensing of those drugs. She also suggested I think about personality testing for other personality issues (like the MMPI and Milion) and maybe revisiting counseling.

I feel this experience is a step in the right direction, though I also get a sense of a long, twisting road ahead of me. I’m going to keep writing about this, because I want other people out there in Crazyville to know you can find hope and help in evidence-based medicine. I want to demystify the process of getting help, so you don’t have to feel like you’re rounding a blind corner. I want you to know you are not alone. For those of you who don’t live in Crazyville – you know someone who does. This matters to all of us.

Now, time to go fill some prescriptions and see what they do for me.

P.S. Did you know that Target, Wal-mart, and local chain grocery stores have “Four dollar drug lists” or “prescription programs” in which those stores offer certain generic prescription drugs for super cheap? NPR convinced me to always buy generic, even (and especially if) I have a coupon for the brand name drug, and several (but not nearly all) pharmacies offer certain drugs for dirt cheap. You can save a LOT of money by checking out prescription programs at your local stores. Here are the ones for Wal-mart, Target, Kroger, and Schnucks (local to St. Louis). A lot of them also have free antibiotics.

TL:DR: I went to a psychiatrist and got meds.

Learn more about Christina and follow her @Ziztur.

About christinastephens
  • anthonyallen

    As a child, whenever I displayed an emotional reaction, my emotions went un-validated. If I said, “parent, you just did a thing which hurt my feelings.” instead of apologizing or working through that problem, I got this response, “Oh yeah? Well when you did X, that hurt my feelings.”

    I never thought of this before now, but now that you mention it, that is almost a mirror of my own experience.

    What’s worse, I remember doing that very same thing to my own children. Thanks, Christina for pointing that out, it will not happen again.

  • Laura

    CVS has a pretty good one too. I don’t know the particulars, but I’m always told to peddle it whenever I can.

  • http://rant5k.blogspot.com Grikmeer

    Yeah, I got the “yeah, but” response fairly frequently…

  • DrB

    Gotta be careful with anybody by the name Dr. B

    Sketchy folk.

  • Zinc Avenger

    Same parental response to hurt feelings here. It taught me that if someone says they’re hurt by something, nobody has a right to tell them otherwise – you can’t rule anyone unhurt by fiat.

  • nother doc

    Hi Christina,

    I came across your blog while browsing through FTB. Glad to see that you finally got some help and I wish you the best with your treatment.

    I’m a child psychiatrist and I encounter lots of stories similar to yours (re: your parents). My personal opinion is that our culture often tends to parent in this way, i.e. not listening to kids. Clearly children need to be guided, but it always helps to listen even if you don’t end up agreeing with your kid. My wife came across a book called “How to Talk So your Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and I’ve found it quite enlightening.

    For those of you who were parented in the manner Christina describes (me too, by the way- and it drives me nuts to see this repeating itself with my parents and my kids) I think the book could prove useful if you’re trying to parent in a more supportive way. You don’t even have to read the whole thing; you’ll get the idea quickly enough.

    Hope that helps.


  • http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/ peicurmudgeon

    Being the parent of a child with any sort of ‘disorder’ (by this I mean outside the norm) when you have no experience with it can be very challenging. The writers on this blog have discussed the difficulties of the caregivers of those of us with mental illness, and many of us have seen the end of relationships or friendships over this. We recognize (after we recover from the initial pain) that this person did everything THEY could, and probably moved on to protect their own mental and emotional health.

    It is an extreme option for parents to abandon their children if they don’t understand what they are going through. I wasn’t really impacted by my illness as a child, so issues with my parents were not serious. However, my oldest son has Tourette’s syndrome with tics, OCD, and ADHD, not something I had muc h understaning of 25 years ago. I can say that I was the best parent I could be. What that means I struggled sometimes with providing support while sometimes being incredibly frustrated.

    back to the topic of waiting to see a psychiatrist for anti-deprressants. In my case, many years ago when I was first diagnosed, my GP prescribed drugs while I was on the waiting list. The p-doc made many changes to find the ebst combination for me, but at least I had something while waiting.

  • http://haunphilly.wordpress.coms Shaun

    I’m not sure if you are familiar with this new blog yet (I don’t remember seeing a post about it here, but I may have missed it) but given the talk about MH issues here, I thought it would be interesting to both readers and contributors here.


    (Its not my blog)


  • geocatherder

    Regarding the drugs: Both Lexapro and Wellbutrin act fairly quickly. If they’re going to help, it’ll be a few days, not a few weeks like it used to be with earlier meds.

    Also, don’t give up if the first selection of meds doesn’t work. I was deeply depressed when I finally gave in and went for treatment; while the first medication helped greatly (that is, I went from completely non-functional to reasonably functional), it took years of playing around with different drug combinations before my depression was completely controlled.

    Finally, talk therapy (NOT psychoanalysis, but from a psychologist or licensed social worker) can really help you develop self-talk and behaviors that enable you to cope with how your brain functions in the here-and-now. My talk-therapist (a licensed social worker) is worth her weight in gold; she helped me with my initial depression treatment years ago, and occasionally I go back to her for a few sessions when my life changes significantly and I find myself at loose ends as to how to deal with it.

  • ash

    It’s changing for the better though. The signs and symptoms Mental illness/differece are SO much more on the radar than in the generation I grew up and those before that. Parents are able to catch things earlier with less of a stigma attached I got diagnosed with ADD 2 years ago, at 45 years old. Wish I’d known at 20 so maybe I could have done something with my life. As it goes. I get by, and that’s about it. The doc put me on the highest dosage of Adderall the prescribe for folks my age. It’s too late to start anew, but the meds have done wonders for my attendant depression/ anxiety issues…which were huge.

  • Cunning Pam

    Christina, I’m glad you’re getting the help you feel you need. Having suffered through chronic depression that went undiagnosed and untreated for many years, I empathize with your situation. When I moved to St. Louis, I was amazed at how hard it was to find and get an appointment with a psychiatrist here…going through a very rough patch which I knew would lead to a need to be hospitalized two years ago, I couldn’t find anyone who would agree to see me within two months! Luckily I found a wonderful therapist who saw me the next day, and she called in a favor with a psychiatrist for a quick appointment for me, so I could get some help and avoid crashing and burning too badly.

    I know it’s unsolicited advice, but the thing I try to tell people when I find out they’re newly diagnosed and/or starting treatment for any mental health issue is to be gentle and patient with yourself. And for you, being the intelligent skeptic you are, I’d add a caution to not overanalyze! It’s difficult to sit across from a therapist or fill out an inventory of some kind and try to not outthink the questions, I know. Trust your professionals, but more importantly, trust yourself.

    Perhaps I’ll screw up my courage enough to get to a local meetup soon and be able to say hello in person. Failing that, I do hope your treatment goes well for you, and I hope you keep blogging about it all. It’s so important that people who need help know that they’re not alone, and that help IS out there. It’s also important to inform those who don’t “live in Crazyville” that in all probability they know someone who does; the issue of mental health is too often swept under the proverbial rug. Thank you for speaking up!

    Best wishes!


    • a miasma of incandescent plasma

      Alright, now I need to know, where in STL are the meet-ups happening? I searched (using my terrible n00b computer skillz) awhile ago and couldn’t really find anything in the STL area for humanist/secular/atheist meetings or groups.
      I was going to mention the local Schnucks doing FREE generics but the post already covered that at the end, and then a commenter from STL… yay! Community!…
      So uh… “where’d you go to highschool?!” ;)

      • http://www.ziztur.com Flimsyman

        Wait, St. Louis, MO?! Really, you couldn’t find anything?! Christina and I are both in St. Louis!



      • Cunning Pam

        Yep, Flimsyman beat me to it. I’m trying to work up the courage to haul my West County butt into the city proper to meet some folks!

        And I chuckle at that question every time I hear it. My high school was far away, in the wilds of New England, so when people in the STL ask me, it doesn’t let them suss me out much at all. ;)

        • a miasma of incandescent plasma

          Fantastic! Thank you both!

  • Roving Rockhound, collector of dirt

    Awesome! I looooooove Wellbutrin. It’s seriously the best thing BigPharma has ever created. It worked within a week, and had zero side effects (if you don’t count a super sense of smell – my poor dog got several baths those first few weeks! Sadly it eventually went away).

    Be warned, though. At least for me the side effects of Wellbutrin increase dramatically when I take something else. Mild insomnia and tremors with otc cold meds, and two nights of zero sleep with the flu shot. I’ll take those over depression any day, but it would have been nice to be warned. I wouldn’t have gotten the flu shot the day before I had to teach – I’m not sure I made much sense.

  • teh_faust

    I suppose that continuously having out feelings invalidated and that having the emotional problems that follow invalidated can have quite an impact. And I understand how that invalidating emotions is difficult to detect in ourselves and a difficult habit to break. It’s sad that we do that so often but I guess you can have good intentions and still do that totally wrong.

    What I find hard to comprehend is how blatantly obvious physical abuse – with a tool (!) – can fall under that interpretation. Why would you call the purposeful infliction of pain upon another human being a “mistake”? There must have been intent and method to that. Also, you were born in the eighties and you describe these people as educated and secular – they should and could have known and done better. I see no way of making excuses for that.

    Forgiveness, of course is a personal choice as are the conditions under which we want to maintain relationships.
    But I do wonder if this sort of whitewashing – I’m sorry, it just looks that way to me- may be indeed invalidating to people who’ve been through similar and who are not so prepared to be understanding and quiet for the sake of peace.

    • http://www.ziztur.com Christina

      What I find hard to comprehend is how blatantly obvious physical abuse – with a tool (!) – can fall under that interpretation. Why would you call the purposeful infliction of pain upon another human being a “mistake”? There must have been intent and method to that. Also, you were born in the eighties and you describe these people as educated and secular – they should and could have known and done better. I see no way of making excuses for that.

      Yeah, I realized as I was writing this that I don’t want to deal with the backlash of being totally honest, should my parents read the blog. This would fall right under the category of, “bringing it up makes it worse”.

      Forgiveness, of course is a personal choice as are the conditions under which we want to maintain relationships.
      But I do wonder if this sort of whitewashing – I’m sorry, it just looks that way to me- may be indeed invalidating to people who’ve been through similar and who are not so prepared to be understanding and quiet for the sake of peace.

      A very good point. I think I’m probably invalidating my own feelings about it. Oh, irony.

      • teh_faust

        My pereception (which of course doesn’t count for much) is that many people downplay childhood experiences or invalidate their own feelings. Like there is a taboo and family always deserves special loyalty.
        And then not standing up for yourself looks like a virtue and since they see noone else do it, people may beging to wonder if they are just being overly sensitive… I’m not sure about this, but is there a culture of victim-silencing that makes it harder both to cope with these experiences in an appropriate manner and not to pass on the baton to the next generation?

        • LeftSidePositive

          I think there’s a lot of truth to this. “Invalidate their own feelings” is a great way to put it. Kids are taught from a very early age that feeling wronged or being upset by spanking or indeed any type of mistreatment means weakness and is worthy of scorn, and when they grow up and internalize that they (subconsciously) believe something along the lines of, “Mature, strong people know that spanking is the responsible way to raise kids, and since I’m mature and responsible I’m in favor of spanking. It’s character-building, so my character must have been built. My conception of my family is that we’re loving, so my parents can’t have hurt me unnecessarily, so spanking must be necessary. Only pathetic people are affected by spanking, and I can’t be a pathetic person, so of course I have no problems about the fact I was spanked.”

          Of course, this reasoning is exactly backwards, and understanding one’s emotions and knowing one’s own self-worth are signs of strength, not weakness. But it does seem to make it a difficult cycle to break.

          On a smaller scale, I think the same process is at play in women who defend harassment and insist “it doesn’t bother me!” They’ve internalized the message that only shrill, hysterical, undesirable women get upset with harassment and their self-worth is tied up into not being that way, so they insist harassment is normal and unobjectionable by any “worthwhile” woman.

          In both cases I think the victim-silencing you mention means that anyone who deviates from this way of resolving their cognitive dissonance feels alienated from “reasonable people,” which strongly encourages people to resolve their cognitive dissonance via the invalidate-their-feelings route.

    • LeftSidePositive

      Yeah, I was brought up in an absolutely no-spanking household, and the very idea of intentionally inflicting pain on a child just horrifies me. I can’t imagine what goes through a person’s mind when they’re intentionally creating a tool with which to hurt their child, and goes to extra effort to make it hurt their child more, and then brags about it. I know there are a lot of cultural biases, false beliefs about necessity, etc., to shake…but man, that’s just plain disgusting and I can’t get over the fact that I feel viscerally ill just thinking about this situation.

      Here’s a really good post about the effects of spanking on children, and how it can be a way to deny communication and stifle emotions:


      The other thing is, it seems to me that children have a much different perspective on pain than we do. (I don’t actually remember experiencing any pain as a child, so I can’t speak for myself. I’m sure I got my fair share of skinned knees, but I’ll bet the emotional component of that pain is different) I’ve seen children get just terrified of a shot, and start sobbing at even the sight of a white coat, and shots are a lot less painful than spanking. I just can’t imagine how the child experiences the spanking, especially when they’re too young to rationalize it.

      And, since we’re good skeptics here, I should actually cite some data instead of just the anecdotes above:


      “Controlling for sociodemographic factors and physical abuse, our findings indicate a positive association between the frequency of corporal punishment and both psychological distress and depression. Although distress is greatest at higher frequencies of punishment, the association is also present at low and moderate levels of corporal punishment.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1583067300 alisonmeyer

    Christina, when it comes to psychiatric medications, generics can be incredibly different from name brands. Generics can be incredibly different from one another. I’m right now looking for Sandoz alprazolam, because it works better for me than Xanax, and the new generic my pharmacy started carrying is like sugar pills. The same dose of mirtazapine in three different brands was like taking three completely different medications. I’ve had allergic reactions to certain generics (probably a binder or other inactive ingredient). I take Adderall XR because all the generics and even Adderall IR give me paralyzing panic attacks.

    Keep a log of what you’re experiencing, note what time you take your meds and what time you notice something good or bad. Enlist people around you, because you might feel fine, but they’re noticing behaviors that indicate you’re not – or you don’t notice any improvement, but they do. It’s very much trial and error, but the more you know and the more you pay attention, the sooner you’ll get to something that works.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      I just read this http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/generic-drugs-are-they-equivalent/ – I’m still up in the air about generic vs name brand, but I assumed they were safe and basically identical. Will read more.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1583067300 alisonmeyer

        Generally accepted as safe and basically identical as far as the primary active ingredients. However, YMMV, and with psychiatric meds you can really notice the difference. Just be aware that you have options, and just because one medication of a certain type or based on a specific chemical doesn’t do what you want, that doesn’t rule out all the meds in that category.

  • Cynthia

    So good to hear you had a nice experience with the doctor. It’s so incredibly hard the first time with a new one, isn’t it?

    Please don’t be too quick to reject talk therapy, please? I know psychoanalysis has a bad rap (deserved), but talk therapy isn’t the same thing. It’s more like talking to a friend who points out the stuff you’ve gotten so used to that you don’t notice it anymore. Of course, a good therapist often tells you things you don’t want to hear. But good friends do that too.

    And, while I get that you don’t want to hurt your parents, getting well may mean …you hurt them. I’m sorry for it, but it may be the only way. They didn’t mean to, I’ll bet, but they damaged you. And you may find the only way to heal that damage is…by letting it out. And I cringe as I write that, because I know how much it hurts to do it.

    Really, I just want to see you feeling better, because you’re an awesome writer with great ideas and feelings. And reading your words helps open my mind in new directions, makes me feel less alone, pushes me to see new things. Thanks for all of it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ziztur Christina

      Honestly, I don’t know if it would be productive for me to let it out to them.

      Example: Once my mom decided she didn’t want me to ride my boyfriend’s motorcycle, so she stole and hid my helmet. I couldn’t find it, and after a few days asked her if she had seen it. She reproduced the helmet and explained that she didn’t want me to ride the bike. Somehow, for some reason, when I was trying to talk to her, she misheard me and thought I said, “you’re devious” to her.

      I didn’t, and I wouldn’t. I wasn’t even thinking that, and even if I were, I knew better than to say something like that. She flipped out and yelled at me. I tried to tell her she must have misheard me. My dad got involved, and they ended up screaming, “YOU SAID IT, I KNOW YOU SAID IT!” while I denied that I did. I ended up a crying mess, hiding in my room with my boyfriend.

      Like three years later, I brought it up again in a related conversation, thinking that a good length of time might soften them a little. I was totally calm about it, explaining that they misheard me. We had a fight about it all over again, them them still insisting I had called my mom devious.

      Maybe it was my approach, I don’t know. I learned to deflect by making jokes, just walking away, or sitting there stone-faced while “going away” in my own head.

      • geocatherder

        But she was being devious. Perhaps she objects because she knows it’s true?

        My parents were relatively good ones — especially my dad — but as an adult there were certain hurts and misunderstandings that I just didn’t bring up with them. There was too much baggage there, it would have prompted big fights, to no useful end. Sometimes, to continue to love your parents, you have to love the people they are, not the people they were when you were growing up.

      • Cynthia

        Wow. Ok, I’m gonna have to agree with you – there probably isn’t a way for you to have any sort of productive conversation with your parents. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge what happened to you and work through it. I hate the tendency to call everything bad a parent did ‘abuse’, but this may actually qualify. The example you give shows a woman who is devious, manipulative and…hateful(southerness coming out). She may love you (I’m going with that notion) but she’s not healthy about it. Really, hiding your possesions and denying it is not the actions of a mature, healthy person, hmm? So I guess you’re going to have to decide how much to reveal to your readers.

        And ‘going away’ inside your head is a good strategy for survival. It’s just not all that good for long term contentment. Believe me, I have a little experience with it. I still use the tactic in high stress times.

        I guess my real concern lies in you not being able to work out the issues that lead to you feeling so detached if you ignore that some of that detachment comes from your parents’ behavior. That’s not criticism, I swear. Everyone gets to work out their stuff as they decide to, it’s not my place or intention to tell you how to do that. But I’ve been in similar circumstances and learned that if you don’t deal with the root, the weed comes back. Sometimes it comes back even if you do deal with it!

        Ok, let me see if I can put this another way. The parents you describe are not people who seem overly concerned with your feelings. Perhaps, in your pursuit of mental health, you should not be too concerned about their feelings?

        Or, you could start a whole new blog (because I always need new great writers to follow) and detail your mental health search there? And we just won’t mention that one to your parents, so they won’t be hurt and you can become healthier. It’s not a great solution, but it’s workable.

  • LadyBlack

    I don’t know how to discuss with my father how bad he was at parenting. There are people in this world who are simply not cut out to be parents, and as I am like my father in some respects, I will not be having children, or bringing any up at all. My father once watched me choking to death, and when I managed to save my own life, remarked, “Perhaps that will teach you to take smaller bites”. Things like that have made me so angry, I don’t want him in my life. And at the same time, I do, I care about him and want to have a ‘normal’ relationship with him. I want to tell him, I want to end 3 years of non-communication but everytime I try and write a letter, it ends up saying such terrible things, I don’t see the point. I just don’t see how to mend bridges without burning them first.

    My mum is great though.

    Good luck, Christina, and like others have said – they might not be the right pills first time around. Keep trying.