Not a doctor just my stories
Five Years Ago: First diagnosis of bipolar disorder age 45. Previous bouts of depression, severe anxiety these I recognized. Hypomania I did not, even though looking back I can see the symptons.
Dr. C and I discuss Lamotrogine–a mood stabilizer. There can be a rash. (I got it) Let’s start on the smallest dose 25 mg and if it helps dose up slowly. He also puts me on Clonazapam for anxiety and it has a mild anti-depressant. He told me meds were a process and we would be tweaking for months. We ended up tweaking for years.
My general opinion about meds previously. I had two very severe depressions in my twenties. I believe I was on Paxil or a mild anti-depressant at the time but I was very resistant and I blocked a lot out. My take was I felt so bad and so frightened and had pulled in so deep that if meds made me feel better it would be “fake” I would not really be better.
With mild meds, therapy and time I pulled out of the depressions. I stayed in therapy and never stopped because to this day I am scared about how fast you can slide in to your own hell. At 45 I had had some trauma, the death of my father, two miscarriages, plus review of my past and how I was symptomatic my whole life. Ready for meds.
Now: I am at 225 mg of Lamotrogine (mood stabilizer) 1.5 mg of Clonazepam (anxiety) .5 of Lexapro (phobia anti-depressant) Claritin and I just started Latuda 40mg. The Latuda works with the Lamotrogine as a balancer, I call it my fistful of drugs. I resisted the idea that these kind of meds are forever because we dosed up for six years. I did harbor the idea that eventually I could stop but these drugs are for my brain, no different than a drug for any other organ or health issue.
As I said previously these are not happy pills, they don’t blow away the scaries, they also don’t zone me out. I work every day to manage my fears and anxieties. I laugh, feel high, feel low, every day. The meds have brought me out of my shell and calmed me down.
When I am manic, however, I can get exasperated and I look at my husband and declare, “Do I seem stable to you?” The trick is to remember how I would be if not taking the meds.
Some Humor: I am 51, middle aged, no issues about aging. I have gray hair, pee in the middle of the night, wear reading glasses, have small aches and pains, heartburn, and forgetfulness. In one fairly recent session with Dr. C. I mentioned being forgetful and he tells me that the way the meds work is they rewire the brain and a side effect can be forgetfulness. I remember thinking, I love you man but you couldn’t have mentioned this oh I don’t know years ago? Doofus. Sigh, love doctors.
Until next time