Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Don't want it but can't live without it. Since I had a heart attack I have to take five different medications to keep my heart healthy. I don't have a problem with that, so why has it been so difficult coming to terms with taking psychiatric medication. Yet again there's a real stigma attached to taking these kinds of drugs. What people don't realise is that it can make the difference between having a life and having no life. I'd even go as far as saying taking the medication could be a matter of life or death. My dad would die if he didn't use his insulin. No one has ever questioned that. Why would they ? So why have countless people questioned why I need to take medication to help keep my bipolar under control ? 
I'm not saying its right to pump people full of drugs . Medication is not the only way to control bipolar, but for me it certainly helps. It's a combination of things that keep me well.
The road to finding the right medication was certainly a long and bumpy one for me. I think it's the same for most people. It took nearly four years to get the right combination . I take Lithium and an antipsychotic called Quetiapine. That's another thing. I'm not psychotic and never have been yet I take something that suggests otherwise. 
I mentioned before that the first thing I was given was an antidepressant , which made me hypomanic. From then on I must have been on at least ten if not more different drugs in different combinations before getting to where I am today. They either didn't work or they over sedated me or had other side effects like restlessness, twitchy muscles, fliud retention, weight gain.....bloody list is endless. Sometimes I just stopped taking them. Mostly because I read stuff on the Internet and frightened the life out of myself or because I thought I didn't need it anymore or because I couldn't stand the side effects. 
Most medications have some side effects. For me it's a case of weighing up the benefits against the negatives. 
If I could give anyone any advice I'd say be informed about what you're taking. Do your research but don't get too worried by what you read. For every person who has a horror story , there's another with a positive story. 

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