I am famous for pushing psych meds. I take mine, I love them, I’d never ever be okay if I stopped taking them. They are expensive. They are a pain in the butt to pick up from the pharmacy. One of my least favorite chores is to sort them in to the giant pill box.
But when I take them, my mind is freed up from evil fantasies. It doesn’t race and I don’t get those intrusive thoughts like I used to. I don’t get nightmares, which used to plague me nightly.
Vitamins help too. Especially the B 100 I started taking a few weeks ago. It’s a large pill and I don’t like taking it, but it helps me deal with stress and mostly turns off the tremors I get from Lithium.
But there are side effects. Like I said before, the Lithium causes tremors when I take it. I took Geodon and I had rabbit syndrome, which is exactly what it sounds like. (Except for the super fertility thing. And long ears. It just means my lips moved like a rabbit, involuntarily.) Seroquel and hot fudge sundaes made me gain a lot of weight. Topamax made me stupid and I lost all of my word recall. There is another drug that I’m taking now that messes with my spoken word recall and memory, but I’m not sure which one is doing that to me. Cogenten helps a lot with that pancake face I had for too long, the ones that made me look and feel totally stoned. It takes a lot of time and a lot of experimenting to get things right. It feels like too much work for a sick person to go and do. But, those of us that believe in medicine are willing to go through it. I have this fantasy that I will find the right cocktail and I will be able to be happy or sad. Not absolutely elated or completely miserable.
So what does that have to do with you? If you’ve got one of those major psychiatric illnesses, there is no question in my mind that you belong on medication. Your brain is broken. Some of it works fine but a lot of it does not. A lot of folks resolve to deal with it themselves and then die by suicide. It’s dangerous, and in my opinion, irresponsible to not be taking medication.
As for the rest of you, I have no advice or opinions. I know that many people want to “work through it (their selves).” I have been in that position before, too. I wish I had realized I wasn’t just depressed, but I could have done so much better if I was willing to get some help. I was ignorant. I thought I would be strong enough that I didn’t need pills to get me through. Although I was and am a pretty tough cookie, no amount of resolve is enough to challenge bipolar, and win. Some of you have “situational” depression and I think that’s a whole other slice of cake. Of course all of these are personal issues and I am not a doctor, nurse or psychologist. I am just a thirty-something woman who knows too much about bipolar through personal experiences. Ultimately all of this is your own business (even though it might seem that I am being bossy.)
Other things I think you need, no matter the origin of your hurt. You need a therapist. I need a psychologist but maybe you don’t. Don’t forget you don’t be come married to him or her, you can leave at any time you want and find another.
You need outside support. This is a very difficult thing to do for a lot of depressed people. We just don’t want to get out of bed. We perceive that no one likes us, or will ever love us every again. We don’t even know what we need. Food? Not hungry or only eating Ben and Jerry’s. We don’t think we deserve help any way. We are a burden in every day.
I’ve used this verse before and I’ll use it again. I think it’s one of those difficult things for a struggling person to believe.
2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Jesus wants us to carry each other’s burdens. It’s a way of not only obeying the law, but even fulfilling his law. Your burden, no matter what it be, is a blessing. You probably like helping people, right? If you do, you might be able to participate in the bearing of other’s burdens. Like Jesus says, “My yoke is easy and burden light.” If you take over this burden, it becomes light and easy in Christ. The same is true for those honored to help you.
Well, this started about medicine and now it’s about burdens. I know that I would not have survived had I not had the support staff and community that I do. I pray for you the same kind of support and love.