Psychiatric Medication AKA Drugs That Keep Other People Sane

Clonazepam tablets Klonopin 1mg.

Clonazepam tablets Klonopin 1mg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have no idea what is going to come out in this post as I am at once both pro and con on the medication front of bipolar illness. I do know I do not like some of the side effects of the medications, but by the same token, having tried to go off the medications, I can see where they are necessary to keep everybody else around me “sane.” If I go off them, I become overly moody, paranoid, delusional, yah da yah da yah. I think they (the doctors) like to neatly categorize these effects as “episodes.” They like things in neat little diagnostic boxes. This is not to say that all the psych doctors and people in the mental health profession are bad. There are some who are quite good at what they do. What I question is why do I have to be on these medications for the rest of my life? 

I recently ran out of one of my medications and could not get it for about four days. Apparently, my HMO decided to play doctor as they have in so many other cases, most being much more serious than mine. At any rate, my HMO deemed it “too early” for a refill. I was fairly okay the first day off the medication thanks to it’s long half-life, day 2 was a little worse as I was developing extremely high anxiety, a feeling like nothing around was real, and just generally feeling strange, but I managed to hide this mini-trip into psychosis. I was out with my Mom looking for apartments, and that meant I had to deal with people real or not. Mostly, it meant I had to act “normal” which if are in a semi-psychotic state is very hard to do. So, due to physical addiction to this drug and my HMO paying God with my meds, I got to experience a mild psychosis for about 3 days.

I have also experimented with stopping Seroquel (quetiapine), and that caused a lot of agitation. and I could not sleep properly which is essential in managing manic- depression illness. No one told me any of this or about any side effects from the drug itself. Stopping Abilify did not seem to produce any side effects, but having to stop Klonopin “cold turkey” was quite another experience altogether. Thank you to my HMO for playing doctor, you nearly killed me (insert sarcasm here). There is nothing to be said about that other than I slowly slipped into severe paranoia and psychosis. It was like going down the Rabbit Hole but slippery as if coated with butter or something. Usually, I can feel it happening and try to stop it. It is not the case when you have suddenly quit a long term, high dosage “habit.”

These drugs, I am convinced, are more for other people’s sanity than for mine. Basically, they keep me in check so other people won’t be bothered by me. That’s my opinion anyway. Maybe I am becoming cynical and jaded, but my brain is addicted to these chemicals that I take dutifully every morning. I was a great lab rat. Knowing that I am very “med compliant”, the dutiful doctors tried regular anti-psychotic like Haldol, they tried anti-epileptic drugs like Tegretol (huge headache, loss of balance, etc.) and Lamictal. Patients should really be aware of Lamictal’s side effects which the “rash” is the most common side effect. What they do not tell you is that you can develop Steven-Johnson‘s Disease (a rare but fatal skin disease). That you can find on your own on the Internet.

In fact, if you are curious, you can find that pamphlet that used to come with the medication that list all side effects from least severe to rare. I have often wondered why they stopping including those with one’s medication(s). Conspiracy: pharmacies are the “girl friday” of the major drug companies and the drug companies do not want the consumer to know the big picture of a particular medication. I take 2 medications that if I were not getting low income help from Medicare, I wouldn’t be taking. The combined cost for one month of these two is about $2,000. That’s twice what I receive in Disability per month. But they have been deemed necessary so medicare covers them. I only wonder how these atypical anti-psychotics are affecting my brain chemistry. That I find of more concern than the physical side effects. I already know of one effect of long time use: physical and mental addiction. But, then, I have been addicted to some substance or another for most of my life. What’s another going to do? So, I’ll go to my grave addicted. Pleasant thought. I hope everyone who is in close contact with me is appreciative of the fact that I am so compliant in taking my medications so you can be sane, and I can be a semblance of sanity.

About songtothesirens

First off, I am not very funny. Secondly, I am a full-blown geek; I like chess (it is my favorite game), I enjoyed writing research papers in college, I enjoyed statistics and any other kind of math. But, in my old age (43), I have learned to own my geekdom, it is uniquely mine. Third, I have manic-depressive illness which can make life a bit rocky sometimes, like when the medications are not strong enough to treat the illness, then it bites me in the ass…..hard. Most of the time, though, I ride the sine wave that are normal moods. It is an interesting disease to have though. You do a lot of self reflecting and exploration which can be rough, but you can see where you have made mistakes and you can take action to prevent that behavior in the future. Fourth, I have learned how not to settle for anything; bad medical care, toxic and angry people, bad food, bad relationships. I just will not settle anymore. I have already been there and done that. Fifth, I have learned over the years it is not cool to puke through your nose because you drank too much at a party or a bar. Sixth, I love to read everything from fiction to non-fiction to school textbooks. I do not remember learning to read. My mom says when I was about 3 or 4 years old, I picked up National Geographic and began to read it. Who knew? Seventh, and possibly last, I love music of all types except Rap. My favorite music to relax to is classical preferably of the Baroque period like Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven. I love going to the movies by myself. If you go on a Monday afternoon matinée, there is usually no one there so it is like having your own private theater. I am also a Nichiren Buddhist by way of spiritual belief. I am basically just weird. .
This entry was posted in Addiction, Atypical Antipsychotics, damage control, doing the best for the common good, frustration, management, medication compliant, mood disorders, paranoia, psychosis, substance abuse, the med-go-round, The Rabbit Hole and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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