Suffering Through Bipolar Medication Side Effects
I am suffering through a long bout of bipolar medication side effects. Side effects, withdrawal effects, call them what you like, they are caused by the use of medication. And I am white-knuckling it. I know that, in my case, there are no options better than this very sucky one. But I tell you, I hate suffering through bipolar medication side effects.
Suffering with New Bipolar Medication Side Effects
My psychiatrist and I added a new medication to my cocktail a few weeks ago and I’m still in the throes of its side effects. As most people know, when you start a new medication side effects are expected, but they are also expected to wean over time. Not all will, of course, but many do. The thing about this is that “over time” is very vague and “over time” can mean months. Really. (This is why I beg people not to give up on medications too soon.)
In my case, when I started the new medication it was actually okay but as time passed and the dose increased, the side effects became debilitating. Now I really do feel like I’m hanging from a cliff for dear life barely making it through each day.
In my case, the drug took time to build up in my system and that’s why the side effects were not prompt. It is also the case that I’m taking another medication that potentiates (increases) the effects of this new medication. I didn’t realize this until my psychiatrist’s appointment last week.
Combatting Bipolar Medication Side Effects – With More Medication
And so now, in the worst of all worlds, I’ve had to get off an original medication and add another to try and handle the bipolar medication side effects I’m suffering through. No part of this is ideal. But this is a reality for many. It’s why medication cocktails suck so much. They are so complicated, you never know what will happen when you add and subtract. Everyone is just left guessing.
Continuing to Suffer from Bipolar Medication Side Effects
Some might argue that weeks of suffering is probably a bit much and the initially-added medication should go. I could see why you would say that, but it’s complicated. See, that originally-added medication is making me not want to kill myself and most would consider that quite a win.
So white-knuckle I must. I have to suffer. Bipolar treatment is about suffering – until it isn’t. I must suffer until something works. Yes, I realize this is why people don’t like treatment, but it’s also why it’s worth keeping at it. I’ve had miracle drugs/cocktails come into my life and change everything. Those effects haven’t lasted forever, but they do happen.
And while removing medication might remove side effects, it also allows the suffering of the illness to take hold with no hope of it letting up. (This isn’t true for all people. Some, maybe most, experience times of euthymia [symptom-free times] but I don’t.) So at least while I’m suffering on medication there’s hope. It’s a bleak thing, but it’s real.
I will keep on suffering through bipolar medication side effects until we find the right combination. It's worth it.
Tracy, N. (2017, July 18). Suffering Through Bipolar Medication Side Effects, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2017/07/suffering-through-bipolar-medication-side-effects
Author: Natasha Tracy
Perhaps you should take your own advice... I noticed you conveniently didn't tag your "Suffering Through Bipolar Medication Side Effects" article with the one you wrote earlier in March of this year, "Side Effects Of Bipolar Medication Side Effects And How To Treat Them"
I guess you'd rather complain and have people feel sorry for you...
Creating your own healthy self soothing kit by focusing on the 5 senses (taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing). Learning how to engage each one in a healthy way is another coping tool for the toolbox. I found the Internet full of ideas. It sounds a bit gimmicky and it won't solve all your problems but it's a start. It certainly can't hurt
Therein lies your answer...
I'm so sick and tired of people on these blogs also complaining about how people with mental illness are treated differently than people with a physical illness. I totally get it but that is no reason to continue to wallow in your pain
I have bipolar 1 which is a more severe form of the disorder. But complaining about how unfair it is to have a mental illness is not helpful. My experience has been the more you focus on the problem the bigger it gets. So what can you do instead right this moment to try to help yourself and improve your quality life. Try to make THAT your focus, take baby steps if you have to.
If you still think you've got it bad then read this article. While this guy's obvious primary issues are physical his not so obvious yet highly likely issues are also with depression. At least one would think so. I found his story very inspiring and easily applicable to anyone suffering from depression or simply someone just trying to cope with a difficult situation
My opinion is as valid as any other's sweetie! I speak my truth and you speak yours. I feel no need to apologize, nor will I.
The highs and lows of bipolar 1 ARE indeed more severe than those of bipolar 2. Ask any mental health professional. Equally true, is that there will always be people worse off than me, you or whoever in this world. You can sit there acting pitiful and feel sorry for yourself if that's your thing. Become a magnet for all the other co-depends out there. Personally that's not my style
If you want to take medication with intolerable side effects that's your business. It's no wonder you're miserable. I guess misery loves company. If you want to give all your personal power away to some doctor and feel like a guinea pig for the rest of your life that's also your business. It's all a crap shoot anyway. An educated guess at best. One thing I know for sure is that you are never gonna find the answers to ALL your problems in a little pill. It takes a number of different things, and a concerted effort on your part to change and NO it's not gonna be easy. Nothing ever worthwhile in life is. That much is true.
And since YOU brought it up... Why do you think you lose friends, alienate people you work with and sometimes even family, hmmm? And don't tell me it's because you have an illness. That's a load of crap. Give your head a shake.
Do you truly want to get well or do you like the way you are living right now? If you simply keep doing the same thing over and over again, you are gonna get the same results...
Of course you can always marinate in negativity (a hallmark of depression) and sink deeper and deep into it like quicksand. That is your choice, but it's certainly not mine. I'm more pragmatic than that
You are the author of you life. You are the consumer. You have free will (unless you are involuntarily committed) so why not use it more wisely.
All those medications are designed to change you brain chemistry. The more you and your doctor keep experimenting with the different types the more messed up your brain is gonna be and the longer you keep it up the greater the potential for brain damage. But hey, it's your life
Reality bites, doesn't it?
If I tell you I have a brain tumour and you tell me you have a headache. (One is obviously sick enough to be in hospital, the other is not). Of course these 2 people are both suffering, I'm not saying that they aren't and yes their suffering is valid. But realistically who do you think is suffering more. That's a no brainer to most people in the world, including doctors. How tolerant or compassionate do you think the one with the brain tumour is going to be of the one with the headache. Not very! Do they both understand what it feels like for their head to hurt, of course they do is all I'm saying
Do yourself a favour while you're sitting in the crowded emergency room of life waiting for someone to help you, try to be pro active. Pick up a good book to read, if it's too difficult to read then try listening to a recorded version of it, listen to uplifting music or even a meditation tape. Do something, anything that keeps you less focused on the pain.
Sure complaining about whatever is bothering you can be cathartic. I'm not saying that it's not. But a steady stream of that is not going to help you in the long run