Side Effect Hell, part 13: Are They Really Side Effects, part 3: Irritability

Drug: Olanzapine

It took me a long time to learn to be even-tempered. As a teen, I was very prone to bouts of anger and irritability, and those around me often suffered. When I had my first child, I decided that I needed to change. I learned to take a deep breath before saying or doing anything hasty. And it worked. I learned to control myself much better.

Since starting Olanzapine, I’ve become grumpy and irritable much more easily than I used to be. Small things rub me the wrong way, and I snap for no reason. I’m grumpy so much more of the time, and things that I wouldn’t react to before, suddenly drive me nuts.

I can’t cope with repetitive noises, with repeated questions, with not getting the answer I was looking for quickly. I’m snapping at little things. And I hate it.

I try to control my reactions, but more and more I find I need to take myself out of situations because I can’t deal with them in an acceptable way. I zone out so I don’t hurt people around me, but it doesn’t always work.

When I told my psych about this, he said that it probably wasn’t a side effect, that it was just the way I was when I wasn’t so badly depressed. I don’t know. I don’t think that this is just the way I am. Maybe it is. But if it is, I don’t want to be this person. This person is not anything like what I want to be, and not anything like what I was for the year and a half prior to starting back on meds.

This person is not at all what I want to be. It makes suicidal thoughts harder, because they whisper to me that a person with such a short temper shouldn’t be around.

Am I this impatient, snappish, horrible person? Is that who I really am inside? I don’t want it to be. I want to be better than that.


One thought on “Side Effect Hell, part 13: Are They Really Side Effects, part 3: Irritability

  1. Alison Fursdon

    Having lived with you for a year after I had my stroke, you are most definitely not this angry person you are describing. When I was not in a great place due to the side effects of my stroke, and prone to irritability, you were the voice of peace and reason. Your children responded well to the way you spoke to them and pretty much peace reigned in our home together. This description of the ‘new you’ is not whom I was living with a year ago.
    I also found that when I felt “flat” like my get up and go had got up and left, that the inclusion of multivitamins and sometimes specifically Vitamin B6 and B12 would make a difference too.
    Love always


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