Sunday, October 4, 2009

MEDICATION discussion & then some #bipolar #mentalillness

I do not like discussing medications because of several reasons, the main one is I do not want to give any sufferer any ideas of self-medications because that is inappropriate. And then, I do not want to be told by someone who is NOT a clinician or my physicians the delicate balance I am in while taking these serious medications. Moreover, I see these type of medications just like other chronic disease medications, i.e. diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, etc--psychotropic medications work for me because I have found what works and I will need them for the rest of my life. I was born with the misfortune of having this biochemical imbalance in my head and I am struggling to regain that balance. Off medications, and the imbalance immediately comes back and hits me like a ton of bricks.

So, my diagnosis is bipolar. Initially, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, no medications were available at the time. Then by the time I saw a psychiatrist, I was in a major depressive episode where I had attempted suicide. So I was put on anti-depressants that did zero for me except sending my moods to mania. Over time, I taught myself the science of bipolar. I have a PhD in molecular genetics so I pretty much am very familiar of the biochemistry, protein chemistry, molecular interactions, genetic influences, to make an informed decision. Like I said before, it was an very astute psychiatrist that diagnoses me with having bipolar and when I looked at all the symptoms in total, I agreed. The drug I was prescribed was Lithium. The symptoms of mania subsided in 3 weeks. My mind did not race, I didn't spend money like I had some, and I did not pick fights with the one's I love.

Mood disorder drugs do that. Then, the side effects hit me: dry scaly skin, shakiness in the morning and my favorite: my menstrual cycle dictates my moods a lot, so, close to my menstruation and right after my menstrual cycle, my mood drops to depression. Because of that issue, I have to take a small amount of anti-depressant to keep the mood safe. This drug is lamotragine. Well with most anti-depressants suddenly have a side effect on me--it makes me dizzy, so I must be slow to stand up, watch for my peaked manic moods, and eat a normal diet. But one side effect that just cropped up is I cannot remember simple things, until I exercise.

I am confused more than usual. I am forgetful that usual. I think is all the foul moods I sustained caused me brain damage that cannot be measured by normal methods, like X-ray. My problem may need fMRI or PET imaging. But my insurance will not give that to me because I've had 2-3 MRI's also with no complicating factors. Then I am not sitting in the MRI again, I cannot stand it!

When I'm not on my anti-depressants, I remember all the bad memories, as well as the great ones... But with bipolar, the bad is that old cobweb easy stinkin' thinkin' vs. unable to remember any memory. I don't know which is better.

I am NOT going to run down the street rather cuckoo. Neither, do I want forget the great memories. Exercise sort of helps, but I am not there.