First I want to apologize for being away so much. My youngest son has moved back in for a few months and between that and work it has been so hectic. So I think my life has settled down to only half an anxiety pill a day pace.
So I go to see my psychiatrist yesterday. As I have mentioned things have gone from lack of energy to dozing off at very inconvenient times. My doctor had tried adderall but after a week my body built up a tolerance to it…so she put in an emergency request for me to see my psychiatrist. She decides something must be making me so tired and decides to try reducing one of my antidepressants to see if that helps. This is where society loses its understanding of bipolar disorder.
Diabetes has insulin…cancer has chemo…heart problems has heart medication. What do we have for bipolar disorder…who the f*** knows! It’s a crap shoot. Over the years I have felt like my doctor would open the book – close their eyes – point to a spot on the page – decide that is the medication to try. We are not the same with how we experience our illness so there is no predetermined treatment plan. It can be as individual as each person is.
I do not think there are many others outside the realm of mental illness that truly understand what we go through trying to find the proper balance with medications. And you do not know side effects until you take a medication that plays around with your brain. Here I am something so simple to others as reducing a medication. I can’t start this weekend because I work. Ok I have nothing planned next week so I’ll start then. Why? Because I know the withdrawal and that I am going to feel like I have the flu. She is doing my reduction in 2 stages so that means 2 weeks of feeling like crap. As if my crap meter is not high enough.
For me this has been going on for 20 years…that is how long it took to stabilize me. I do not say this in exaggeration…they came so close to causing my death. The hell we go through as they try a med which doesn’t work so they add another but that is not quite right so remove one and add two more. Each time suffering from adjusting to a new medication or suffering from withdrawal. Then we have no idea how our bodies or minds are going to react to the new drug or the combination of drugs.
The unfortunate side to all of this is we do not really have other options. I truly believe that stability involves a great deal than just medication but medication is our base. To keep us from being arrested or becoming a permanent fixture in our bed. But I have to say that when you can find the right combo…it can make all the difference. It still does not take away the memories of what I went through to get here. There was a time that I was on 8 different medications which added up to 20 something pills a day. Can we all spell S T O N E D!
So I am prepared for what I have to go through but that sure as heck does not make it any easier. Then reducing an antidepressant…will it trigger an episode? I do know my illness well and can recognize immediately if something is amiss. But what if she is right and this is what is causing me to be so tired? So I have to try. This is the major part of our illness that the rest of the world does not know much about. We just take a pill and we feel better. No such luck Charlie! When it comes to adjusting medications I have found only one solution…say a prayer!