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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Trouble focusing and remembering at work

 mathair4 - Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:48 pm

I was diagnosed with depression as a teenager, and am 37 years old now. I also was diagnosed at various times with PTSD, OCD and impulse control disorders. Until last fall I took 20 mg/day fluoxetine(generic prozac). Then a psychiatrist increased my dose to 40 mg/day and added Depakote to try to improve the impulse control disorders. For the last few months, I have been making an increasing number of errors at work. I work in a finance office and most of the errors are what an average person would just call sloppy mistakes or forgetfulness. Unfotunately, many of them would be "write ups" on an audit, so I put my office manager at risk. Also quite frequently I forget to perform tasks that are required of me. When questioned about it, I will swear up and down that I completed the task, but when my boss and I review my work, we find that I indeed did not. As a result, I have been given disciplinary notice twice and now my job is at risk. I just don't understand; I have been at my job for twelve years, have a college degree, a 142 IQ and no matter how many notes I write myself to remember things I just keep making mistakes and forgetting things of importance. I'll note too that this happens in my personal life. For example, my husband will tell me something and twenty minutes later I have no recollection of it. What could be wrong with me? After the first couple months of having memory problems I stopped taking the Depakote. I have thought my problem could be too much medication, too little, the wrong kind, or something unrelated to my known problems such as too little sleep (I have a baby who wakes me up at night). I had a car accident four years ago but an MRI showed no brain injury. I've even had the fear that it's a brain tumor! I have mitral valve prolapse but no other known physical problems. PLEASE, please, please give me some advice. What does this sound like and would visiting a doctor help?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:25 pm

Hello mathair4,

Your symptoms appear to be the exact opposite of and OCD and impulse disorder diagnosis. However, altered thought process is a known side-effect of Depakote. Please see your physician as soon as you can to adjust the dosage or replace the Depakote (which would be best since you appear to be sensitive to it). If that is not the cause, please discuss with your physician a referral to a psychologist for testing. Further, I recommend discussing your diagnosis with your physician in regard to the American Disabilities Act. Involvement with that organization can help you negotiate accommodations at work and potentially avoid disciplinary action.

Good luck to you.

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