Home > bipolar, meds, side-effects > Status Report (and a bit about meds)

Status Report (and a bit about meds)

It turns out I’m really terrible at knowing my own condition. Last week I said I was on the low side of normal. Today I suffered from mildly racing thoughts (more like jogging thoughts). I couldn’t concentrate on anything, and I was just thinking of stuff at random. I just had to wait for it to be over and luckily it didn’t last long. Racing thoughts is a sign of being high. Another high symptom I have to watch out for (although not recently) is grandiose thinking. I keep thinking (unrealistically) that I’m going to save people.

I’m always getting these breakthrough minor symptoms. Luckily the meds control the really bad stuff. You may have noticed that I really like my meds. They have made a 99% improvement in my life. I do suffer from side-effects, but it’s well worth the trade off.

At first, the meds made me feel really weird (that’s the best way to describe it) but then I got used to it, and then the feeling went away. The meds made me feel tired, and that too went away. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to drink alcohol again, because the combination of meds and alcohol makes me violently ill. One med gave me severe stomach cramps for about a month-and-a-half. Then the cramps stopped. One med took away my sex-drive, and my ability to ejaculate. I’m not on that med any more, and I’ve mostly recovered (although since I’m never manic anymore, it’s not the same as it was either). My hands shake noticeably, and I think I’m more clumsy (but I’m not sure because I was clumsy to begin with). One time I even tried a med (Lamictal) that had a very rare fatal side effect. I was worried (I have bad luck) but I only stopped taking it because I lost my drug plan and I couldn’t afford it any more.

Never once did I avoid taking my meds. The symptoms of bipolar are so much worse than the side effects of the meds. What I need to do, I guess, is a post where I just lay it all out. This is what being bipolar is like for me: all the symptoms; and this is what the meds have fixed. It’s definitely going to have spoilers in it. Not tonight, though.

UPDATE: Today I had a real lack of motivation. At one point it took me ten minutes to get going when I had stopped. For the past six months, I have not been like that at all. This, of course, is a symptom of being down. Who knows where I am anymore.

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Categories: bipolar, meds, side-effects
  1. May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Hi,

    interested to read your blog!

    Do you have things which would enable more sufficient (or actually, personally satisfying) path of actions during the day?

    I’m very interested in bipolar disorder as both theoretical construct but also as a condition that can be amended with creativity. Using things, rearranging, taking alternate courses to goals, self-motivation, and generally – this is very central – managing the chaos.

    I’ve got also a blog, I’ve got type I.

    • May 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Jukka,

      I wish I could say I was much of an expert at handling being bipolar, but I’m not. I’ve always been someone who reacts to situations rather than someone who plans things out (although I’ve gotten to be very efficient at reacting to problems–for example, I’m a very good technical support rep).

      As far as self-motivation and creativity go, I treat everything as a procedure towards a goal. I may not know all the steps before hand, but as long as I can picture the next step, that’s what I work towards. If at some point I found I’ve taken the wrong path, then more problem solving comes into play (new paths, backtracking, etc). When I’m high, the inspiration for these steps is easy, the steps can be very large, and I can execute them quickly; when I’m low, the inspiration for each step is very laboured, the steps are very small, and the execution takes a lot longer.

      As far as managing the chaos, I treat it the same way as everything else: by reacting to situations as they arise. It’s not a strategy that I chose, and I certainly don’t think it’s the best strategy, but it’s what I have. Throughout my life I have always found it virtually impossible to make plans. It wasn’t even until I was in my middle 20s that I thought I had a viable future. So all my coping skills are very short-term ones.

      One thing that has helped me a lot since I was in my earlier 20s is self-observation. Be aware of what your mind is doing and try to see it from as an objective perspective as possible. That can be hard, because our minds are disabled, and it doesn’t always work. However, there have been times when I’ve suddenly realized that I was deluded because I’m always questioning myself. Occasionally the discovery of a small delusion will even reveal a much larger one.

      I wish I had better insight to share, but I don’t.

      • June 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

        The proceduralism sounds very familiar and especially when you described the barriers of entry, the energy required to step from rock to rock. 🙂

        Believe me it _was_ a good insight indeed.

        Be talking to!
        best wishes.

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