It’s odd- I thought maybe my life would be very different when I stopped taking the Lamictal. In the past, whenever I went “off my meds” I would usually find myself feeling manic within a few weeks or months. It’s been almost eight months off the medication and I actually feel very slow. I feel as if I’m underwater. I feel less creative (which isn’t a good thing in my business) and very tired. One indicator is, I used to post here frequently. They were almost always personal blogs but not so much anymore. I’m afraid to post anything of my own in fear it will not make sense. and to put it bluntly, the words aren’t there anymore. They are in my head but I can’t get them out. It’s very frustrating. I have noticed a lot of blogs have a two year life span- and maybe that’s where I’m at. I’m still trying to figure it out. I admire those that are able to write so honestly and eloquently every day. Like Stephany and Gianna. I desperately miss that release.
I must admit it’s been a relief- not getting to that manic phase (knock on wood!)
Anyone who’s ever been medicated for a mental illness, in particular bipolar, can relate. It’s a scary place sometimes and a place I really don’t want to visit again, at least not long term. And when I say long term, I mean more than one day.
Most doctors will tell you, it’s not a smart move choosing a life without meds. I, however, beg to differ. I’ve said all along, I’m not anti-meds. I have witnessed first hand the wonders of western medicine. My sister would not be alive today without it. My two nieces (both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis) would not be alive without medication and their brilliant doctors. I’m simply against meds that don’t work! Period. And those medications just happen to be 90% of the antidepressants and antipsychotics for those living with a mental illness. I’ve seen them work. I’ve seen them help my friends during a bad period in their life. But for those of us born with a mental illness it’s altogether a different story. We rarely recover. We rarely get better. We just learn to live with it. And that’s sad considering the pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars advertising and so little on research.
For years 20+ I gave it my best shot. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars. Saw the best therapists and psychiatrists with the same result every time. I tried Prozac, Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil and the list goes on…Talk therapy, group therapy, mental hospital, in patient and out patient. They all worked temporarily. And some really made me sick. Dare I say, sicker?
We should not be forced into learning to live with our mental illness. We deserve better.