The Medication Penny Drop

“Suddenly I wanted to get better. Mania wasn’t fun anymore. It wasn’t creative or visionary. It was mean parody at best, a cheap chemical trick. I needed to stop and get better. I’d take whatever they gave me, I pledged silently. I’d take Trilafon or Thorazine or whatever. I just wanted to sleep.”
― David Lovelace, Scattershot: My Bipolar Family

My CPN visited today, she has been off sick since I was reassigned to the team so this is the first time I’ve met her, having been getting support from one of her colleagues while she was off.

We had a frank, honest conversation, about my depression, about my highs, my suicide attempts, my self harm, and everything in between. She asked me something I’ve never been asked before. Something that, having been getting some form of mental health treatment for 25 years, it now seems odd not to have been asked before.

Do you see yourself getting well and staying well forever, at any point?

What I wanted to say was “Yes, absolutely, just get me over this hurdle and all will be alright with the world.” In reality though, I know this is never going away, I know. I can get well that I can get well enough to function in normal society for anything from a few months to a few years, but at some point I will crash…I always do, and there isn’t always a reason for it.

I proceeded to tell her how I couldn’t hold down a job, how companies always found a way to let me go or forced me to hand my notice in, once they realised I was the “crazy girl”. Let’s be honest, most people can kind of get their heads around the depression, and in most cases. I’ve had pretty good support from employers on this side of things.

Employers and co-workers however do not get the mania…that moment where your brain flips you into happy, fast, excited, obsessed mode. However it comes out you end up looking completely and utterly crazy to anyone who doesn’t truly understand. The first thing to go with me when this happens is my speech, I talk louder and faster…and oh yes….non-stop!

I explained to my CPN that this was why I had started working freelance, because I felt safer and more in control working for myself, being at home. Having control over when I worked, what hours I work and who I work for. Granted, I didn’t quite plan it out properly and right now (combined with my other health issues) I’m far too sick to work.

Then we spoke about my medication, and I told her I was on an anti-depressant with diazepam when I need it for anxiety.

No mood stabilisers?

Nope.

Never?

Well…I was put on one once ten years ago, had a bad reaction to it in the first month and was never out on any others.

Suddenly, I could see the penny drop, and I suddenly realised why, even when I was OK, as in not depressed, I was never really OK. I’ve not been on the correct medications.

My brain is waging a war against me which I’ve been fighting for 25 years with half the tools. No wonder I’m failing so miserably.

So, I will be meeting with a psychiatrist ASAP, to have my diagnosis reassessed and to start finding the right medications so that I can actually try and live a semi-normal life.

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8 thoughts on “The Medication Penny Drop

  1. Good luck on this journey. I have depression, and it honestly makes working at a place hard for me. There are no allowances made for crying in the bathroom, or just the exhaustion of talking to people. I've enjoyed working freelance, I just wish I could earn enough to support myself doing it.

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  2. I feel for you. I don't wish depression on anybody. Yes, freelancing is wonderful but I do very much miss my nice salary each month…although that isn't enough to make me go back.

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  3. “My brain is waging a war against me which I’ve been fighting for 25 years with half the tools.” That is such a powerful statement. I'm glad you are finally getting to discuss/explore more medication options. I wish you much success and healing on this leg of your journey. Karen

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  4. first-time visitor … I hope the mood stabilizers work well for you. Back in 2004-2005 I was incorrectly diagnosed with depression and given two different anti-depressants; I think they made my bipolar much worse. I finally got the correct meds and it has made the bipolar tolerable. I don't believe I will ever be “well”, meaning without the illness or its symptoms, but for now I can manage the bipolar so it doesn't rule my life all the time.

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