Medication Talk

What is it about psychiatric medications that make people resist them?  I hear, time and again, people say, “Well, it’s fine for so and so,” or, “it’s fine for you, it’s just that they scare me,” for this and this and this reason.

I know for my own resistance, before I was in treatment, I didn’t want something to change my personality.  I was convinced that if I took something that would affect my brain chemistry, it would change who I am.

I am here to say now that I am on a heavy regimen of medications and that my personality is every bit what it was before I started taking my meds…except, I believe I am a nicer person for it.

Two primary things have happened to me since I started on my current regimen:  my temper is under control and I am able to sleep.  There are other benefits, of course, but that’s what I actually feel on a daily basis.

I am currently on 40 mg of Viibryd, 15 mg of Abilify, and 900 mg of Trileptal.  I also take Deplin, a prescription folic acid supplement, which is also prescribed by my psychiatrist.

I don’t feel any negative side effects that I could attribute to any of my medications.  My bloodwork when I have physicals always comes back looking “beautiful,” as one clinician said, so it doesn’t seem to be affecting any of my systems negatively.

This is not to say that I feel completely 100% all the time.  I mean, I am at least 30 pounds overweight and I can feel the difference.  I do not exercise as much as I should and my diet is not what it should be, either.  These are things on my to-do list that I can actively do something about.  I acknowledge that.  So, until I try hard for a couple of months at a good diet and a steady, good exercise routine, I will assume that it’s my sedentary lifestyle that’s caused the weight gain.

It has taken me nearly 4 years to get to this stable point on my medications, though.  One thing I can say about medications is never give up!  There’s always hope.  Because of my positive relationship with my psychiatrist and because of the way I feel on my current medications, I firmly believe that there is always something to be tweaked to get someone feeling better.

Among the medications I have tried, in varying doses and combinations, within the last 4 years:

Lamictal

Geodon

Trazodone

Pristiq

Effexor

Haldol

Vistaril

Klonopin

Trileptal

Abilify

Risperdal

Deplin

Remeron

Viibryd

That’s 14 medicines in 4 years.  14 very powerful medicines, many of which I felt with powerful effects.  I worked an entire year in a stupor because of one of them.  Each of them served their purpose, though, and I do feel like the benefit of trying each of them was worth it.  And some of them I would go back to should my psychiatrist tell me I need it.

Because that’s the thing about my particular illness.  I have my self-checks I can do, but with my bipolar disorder, I have to rely on feedback from other people to tell me how well I am, how well my medications are working.

Feedback in bipolar illness is another topic, though.


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