As the New Year gets underway, an underlying question remains.
The Bipolar Writer Looks at the Possibilities
My story, the one where my mental illness became Bipolar One, begins with so much pain. That, of course, is a story for another time.
What I want to talk about today is medication. Day one there were a handful of medications that, in the psychiatric ward, I was told I had no choice but to take if I ever wanted to leave. To be fair, I was quite suicidal at the time. There is a real need for medication throughout the last eleven years. I would not be here without the medication that I have been on, and I know this is the truth. That doesn’t mean that change is good.
Over the last few months, a consistent theme has been coming into fruition in my mind–could I live this Bipolar life without medication?
In the last few months, I have worked to get myself of antidepressants with a lot of success. My depression is down without medication (side note my other medications help with depression prevention as well.) Still, I can say with certainty I am better off without the antidepressants.
Things have been different. I usually go through some severe depression, and last year around this time I was going through a small but destructive depression cycle. It put me back quite a bit, and the only thing that got me through was this blog. From March to May, I also suffered a significant setback in my depression with a prolonged depression cycle. I made it through, but I knew things had to change.
I must say this, any medication change should be consulted with a psychiatrist or whomever you seek your medication from!
The changes that I made was under the care of my psychiatrist and we planned out the stepping down of medication.
With the success, I am wondering about two medications that I wish I could live without–Seroquel and Ativan. The issue I have with Ativan is that I have been taking this (benzo) for a long time. With the Seroquel, I wonder if it is a contributing factor to my social anxiety.
The worst part of Seroquel is how it makes you feel throughout the day. It makes it hard to wake up in the morning, and while it used to help me sleep right away, it sometimes takes hours before I get to sleep when I take my dosage.
This coming Friday I have my first psychiatrist visit of the New Year. This will be a topic of discussion. I really believe it is possible to live this life without the mountain of medication. Anything is possible, and worst case I have to get back on the medication. I can imagine a life without it, even if it has been my life every day for over eleven years.
Always have hope in the future. Continuously evolve in this mental illness life. I will most likely be Bipolar for life, but that doesn’t mean it has to control me. I will be updating my progress (and if my psychiatrist agrees) in future posts. Stay tuned.
Always Keep Fighting (AKF)