Thanks for visiting my little blog, Please note that this is my online diary, thoughts & feelings expressed on this blog are mine & mine alone. I hope that you will take the time to comment & tell me what you think about the things that I write. If you do not wish to know what I am thinking in my tiny little head then please do not read on, but I will not apoloize for my spelling (although I'm trying to be better!) or my posts!

Thanks for stopping by,
Princess Steph

Monday, December 6, 2010

For the first time: A desire not to take my meds

I have read about and often hear about people who suffer from "Bipolar Disorder" and other mental illnesses (primarily schizophrenia) not wanting to take their meds and the problems that it causes.  Until yesterday, not one day of the last 10+ years that I have taken drugs to help with mental illness, be it depression or bipolar disorder, have i ever contemplated not taking my meds religiously.  Yesterday was different and it was terrifying....

I take a ton of meds.  9 pills daily just to make it through the day and deal with proactive care of migraines and dealing with depression/bipolar disorder/social anxiety.  I also have 10+ prescriptions for reactive treatments for migraines and anxiety/panic attacks.  I feel on most days when I look in my medicine bags (I keep them in large freezer size Ziploc) that I am an 80 year old grandmother dealing with heart disease!

For some reason, yesterday, as I stared at the pile of pills that I had to take in the morning, I just did not want to.  I did not want to pull one pill out of all of the containers, each one reminding me of how un-normal I am, how fucked up my brain is, how sick I am  I did not want to take the 10 minutes it takes to swallow all of the pills in the morning so that I don't throw up.  I did not want to deal with the side effects.  I just for one day, DID NOT WANT TO.

I have come to hate the side effects on one level and accept them on another.  The side effects range from my needing to sleep 12 hours a night, being incredibly slow (both physically and mentally), housing a dumb blond in my head that makes me very stupid, craving carbs 24 hours a day, losing confidence in all that i do, gaining weight ......  I understand that I need to take the drugs so I accept them, but I can still not like the "side effect me".  I know on a very basic level that the "side effect me" disappears when I don't take my drugs.  Wouldn't it be nice to just get rid of all of those things, even for a day?

From the research that I have done, and the understanding that I have of mental illness, the other reason that so many people go off of their meds is that they "feel well" and believe that they don't need their meds anymore to be well.  This is not me.  I firmly believe that I will always need drugs to function.  As someone who has a mental illness, I know that as someone with bipolar disorder I have a chemical imbalance in my head and I need the drugs to help balance that out.  I also know that they are not the "golden ticket" of feeling better, but are the most important tool in my treasure chest of leading a well adjusted, healthy life.

Yesterday, I did not take my meds.  Instead, this morning I woke up and I had to have a very stern talk with myself about what I needed to do to be a healthy person.  That healthy person needs to take all of her drugs, not just the ones she wants, or when she wants to.  I took them all this morning and I will take them all tomorrow, and the day after that.  I sense that this is going to be an ongoing battle of my rational self versus the mentally ill voice in my head, who just does not want to be stupid, slow, fat and hindered by side effects anymore, but would prefer to be manic, funny, witty, quick and her old self again....the one with out all the drugs.


Parin Stormlaughter said...

These are utterly profound thoughts, Steph.

Everybody with any chronic illness should read this blog post.

You SO GOT RIGHT the internal dialog we all have with ourselves, and how it becomes crucial when we're chronically ill.

Hugs for you, sweetie!

alisha said...

I have often thought about going off of my meds for the same reasons. I did once, but only under acute supervision from my psych and I also went to congnitive therapy EVERY week instead of once or twice a month. The constant support from them plus keeping a structured routine helped me stay off of them for about 2 years.

I hope though that you continue to make healthy choices and the ones that are right for you.

Jamie said...

It's so hard. There's always that dream that we can be okay without the meds - that we can live a life without side effects, or having to take something everyday for the rest of our lives.


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