The pill count is continually fluctuating;
much like my mood, it would appear.
It all started with one at 14 years of age. Xanax.
My madness worsened, and I was in a somewhat zombie like state when I was on my one drug.
Then came my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, two years later.
I was just 16 then and I am 24 now, and let me tell you – I have lost count of how many drugs I have been on since being given my multiple diagnoses.
At one point, I was on 13 pills a night.
And it’s a feeling like no other to look down into the palm of your hand and see a multitude of drugs, sitting there waiting to be consumed.
Years later, and I’m on 8 pills per day now.
And it still fucking hurts to look at the amount that is there.
What is your opinion on medication used to treat mental illness(es)?
I’ve made my stance on this quite clear before. I strongly believe medication is a helpful part of recovering from mental illness, as well as managing it. Although I believe this – I think it is only part of treatment for mental illness. You could not rely solely on medication forever, therapy is also necessary – but I believe that is another question in my challenge so I’ll leave it at that!
I’ve decided to expand on one thought from the 30 Day Mental Illness Awareness Challenge – Day 18.
Something I wish people would understand and accept when it comes to me, is that I do need medication. I know some people can breeze through life without needing to be medicated – but you need to understand I am severely ill. Bipolar is no joke. It ravages my life in the worst ways possible when I am unmedicated. It physically and mentally breaks me down. It causes me immense pain that I am forced to live with for the rest of my life. Oh, and you wouldn’t believe how often I think of suicide when I don’t have medication. More than food. More than anything in the world, I would think about and plot my own demise. I would not be here without medication.
I know it makes me look odd in public, taking pills in front of people who have no idea what they’re for. I know it makes me less exciting as a person.
I can’t drink and I’m not that crazy, outspoken, social butterfly I used to be.
But I don’t care.
If I didn’t have my medication, I would be the person I hate the most in the world.
Just because some people can go without medication doesn’t mean everyone can. Every single person is different and with Bipolar, a lot of the time medication is necessary. Also, when you take medication it is monitored by your psychiatrist and GP, and you generally undergo therapy too.
It’s not just jamming pills down your throat that numb your life. It’s medicating a very real illness.
So don’t ever tell someone they don’t need medication, because you don’t know anything about what’s going on inside their head.
I have a pill drawer.
Much like myself, it isn’t organised. It’s messy with leftover pills and old packets, scripts, receipts and paper bags. It’s basically a history of my illnesses, jammed into a drawer tightly.
Anyway, last night for a change I brought my Valium and Abilify to my bedroom to take, as I was already laying around in there and didn’t want to get up again.
But I realised something when getting to the Abilify.. I have been taking 5mg less of my usual 15mg dosage all week. I have been so irritable and waking up furious, and now I have an explanation. I feel like such an idiot. Who makes that sort of mistake so many times in a row?
Argh. Guess it’s time to get some organisation into my pill drawer.
With new medication, comes new side effects.
I’m currently experience a dry mouth, constant nausea and a bit of confusion.
Starting medications is a very difficult thing. The adjusting period is usually quite unpleasant and can go for weeks.
I’ve been through pretty much constant adjustment periods for the past year, and had a couple before that too.
It can make you feel helpless, like a slave to the medication. The physical effects on your body seem awful.
But it’s all about thinking about the long run.
There is a nasty period where you can have any number of damaging and quite frankly, annoying, side effects; but that is natural. You have to remember that your brain and your body are adjusting to a new substance which is foreign to it. The only thing to do is keep that in mind and stay positive for the future.
The symptoms do reside eventually, and it could end up being the perfect medication for you!
If they don’t reside or do worry you, definitely mention them to your doctors. It’s important that they know, as they will be able to help with these symptoms, or change the medication if need be.
It’s like my brain doesn’t want to sleep.
I cannot get natural sleep. No concoction of medication can seem to do the trick either.
My new psychiatrist has been communicating with my previous psychiatrist and they were betting on Seroquel. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. Today I got told to triple my dosage of diazepam (15mg) and take my usual oxazepam (30mg) for sleep.
You’d think this would knock someone out, but I’m very much awake.
I’m yawning and feel tired, but cannot get to sleep.
I’ve been trying for hours now.
There’s just too many thoughts.
I have tried breathing exercising and relaxation techniques, but they also don’t work.
I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do. And the awful thing is that nobody else does either.
Since being in Brisbane, I’ve had a lot more clarity within my mind.
It’s lead me to reflect upon the amount of medication that I am on and the reality of the situation.
I met with my new GP just over a week ago now, and when I told her all of my medication that I’m currently taking, all I saw was a look of horror. She was shocked that I was on so much. I have since told my mother the amount of medication I am on as well, who has expressed her concerns as well.
I am a 52kg, quite small female, and I am on 7 medications. My body has quite frankly, copped a lot of shit. I fought endometriosis from when I was 15, but it took an extreme toll on my body. Not only is my immune system very weak, but I have an extremely high tolerance to a lot of drugs due to years of pain killers, psychiatric medication and what could possibly be hundreds of scripts of antibiotics.
I have no objection to taking a lot of medication, as long as it works.
However, I am having effects that are harder to deal with by the day.
There’s migraines. I often get them in the late afternoons when my Ziprasidone has worn off.
Then there’s the memory loss. Since going through the many trials of medications I have been on, I’ve noticed a deterioration in my memory. Forgetting little things is totally normal for me, however lately, I am forgetting major things. For example, when put on the spot, I have to take the time to think of which is left and which is right.
I am and always have been an intelligent person, so forgetting these things is not normal. When it happens, I become very upset.
This has all lead me to believe that maybe I am on too much medication, that isn’t doing as well as it should be, considering the amount and strength.
I am hoping to see another psychiatrist in Brisbane, as there is a lot more here and I’ve heard some good things so far.
Until then, I do feel stable enough to go on. Perhaps my ego is just a little damaged from what is going on. Perhaps I do have the right to be worried.
Who knows, but I will find out.