I joined two bipolar support groups on the ol’ Facebook recently. I was kicked out for sharing information about my blog, in both groups. How ironic is that? But, while I was still in them, I noticed something that just got under my skin. There was not much support other than asking for information on medicine. That was the biggest question, over and over. “What meds are you on, why those, what do they do for you, should I do this,” on and on and on. It made me feel so lucky to have a personal pharmacist as well as two psychiatrists that are amazing (finally found them after much trial and error). My personal pharmacist is invaluable to me in countless ways, but with my diagnosis, she just added another reason.
So, with this being said, I’m going to be all out there and talk about my medication for those people that are curious as to what has worked for me. I’ve been through a bunch of changes, and these few finally have me relatively stable. What did look like an earthquake seismogram now looks more like the aftershocks. Calm with small blips every once in a while. MUCH better than the hell my brain has gone through for years.
I am currently on Abilify 2mg, Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg and then Zanaflex 4mg (for sleep) for my bipolar. I have more medication as well, but those are all for my back and don’t really count for this information. I have Propranolol (it’s a beta blocker) in case I’m feeling anxious and have the heart palpitations. I haven’t used it in a long time though, I haven’t needed to (thank goodness!). Now, I’ve been on a lot of other things, but they just didn’t work for me in the long term. I remember the first few days after I got put on a mood stabilizer though. It was as if the clouds and heavy wool blanket over my days and nights were suddenly lifted. I could see the sun again. I could see hope and love and gratitude. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It didn’t last long, as that particular medicine (Seroquel) made me over sleep and eat like I was famished (I gained 20 lbs in about 2 weeks). I will always remember how it felt to have those clouds lifted though.
I’ve tried so many medications throughout the years, when my doctors all just assumed I had anxiety and depression. None of them worked of course, I needed a bit more umph. And these mood stabilizers in this combination finally provide it. I do still go up and down, but not NEAR what I was before. It’s night and day. I can smile and laugh and cry now. I couldn’t do those things before. I feel like a new child learning how to feel for the first time. One of my psychiatrists after not seeing me in a while said it looked like I was just lighter and floating. I feel that way now sometimes. It’s scary and exciting all at once.