Everyone in the Mental Health Community has their own opinion about medications. Some swear by a “no medication” lifestyle, and use diet to control their Bipolar symptoms. Others will tell you the only way to go is Lithium. And still you have patients that have had great success with ECT or a mix of antidepressants with a mood stabilizer. No one can tell you what’s right for you. Only you can judge your reaction to a med or procedure.
My aunt constantly goes on and on about Lithium and how great it is. She has been on it for many years. All I remember is never wanting to be around her. She was always loud and sounded like she was a little drunk. This is what formed my opinion of Lithium. I also have existing problems with my liver and kidneys so why take the chance? I have given up repeating myself so now I just say “yeah” when she starts in or I don’t answer the phone. This is cruel to do because I now know people do it to me. But she also likes to go on about my mother’s death and that I can not do.
There is too much judging within the Mental Health community over who takes what or who works and who is on disability. I have seen arguments about marijuana use versus meds and alcohol, it’s all detrimental to the cause as a whole. If we stigmatize each other how can we expect our peers not to? I take Adderrall with an antidepressant, a mood stabilizer, and an anti-anxiety med (as needed) and boy to hear it from people. What’s the Adderrall for? It’s constant. The pharmacy is the worse. It is actually used quite a bit in psychiatry. For some reason it helps my stutter and I don’t cry as much. I can function a little bit. When I tried going down on the dosage to see what would happen it was horrible. Within a few days I was waking up crying and my stutter was at a point I couldn’t talk at all. I forgot to mention I have tremors in my hands too that it helps with that came back. I also couldn’t stop falling asleep. I would wake up suddenly with drool running down my face. So I’ll be keeping that for now.
As far as the antidepressant goes I have noticed a change. I am cycling often. My depressive episodes are more often and last longer. I have read that this can happen if you have been on them for a long period of time. I have been on some kind of SSRI since I was 17. I am 42 now and was not diagnosed with Bipolar until 37. I have been sober for a little over 5 and 1/2 years. I have had 1 round of ECT and did not find it pleasant. Plus it shot me into an extremely manic state. I thought it was funny the Dr. was worried. I have also been on the ones that begin with a M. MAOI or something like that. They were a no go too.
What I am saying is we are all wired differently. Scientists admit they will never know all there is to know about the brain. My own father, my hero, thinks I need to just tell myself it’s ok and I’ll be happy. That alone rips my heart out. No matter what I give him to read or what I tell him he still thinks it’s a matter of will. Who would ever chose to live this lonely awful aching existence? To feel worthless most of your life. To always be a watcher in life and never really living it yourself? This isn’t what I chose and when I try to take part everything in me is fighting, telling me I can’t, but I keep trying. I have to or there’s nothing left.
So say what you have to. I’m going to do what feels right for me. And I’ll fight for anyone else that wants to do the same.