Oh the Hu-Mania…

Here it comes. The mania. Woke up this morning and it was like the last 2 days of the uncontrollable anxiety and depression never happened. Now, mind you, this is the 3rd day of taking the Rexulti while I wait for my Abilify and the “mania” is not a “let’s grab the bull by the horns YEEE HAW” kind of mania. But still, a little unsettling.

Which makes me want to talk to today about medication. I know some of you have tried way more things than I have. I sympathize and empathize with those that are still looking for the right meds or combination of meds. The amount of options and options within options is downright scary. But do not stop in your search. And DO NOT underestimate the power of a therapist. If you ever want to come off the meds (which is completely possible), you MUST have a good mental health support system.

First off: THERE IS NO SHAME IN NEEDING TO TAKE A PILL TO HELP OUT. Many of our disorders are NO DIFFERENT than someone who has a broken leg. You cannot heal properly without crutches. I fought the idea of taking a pill everyday to “make me happy” or keep me stable. Mostly because I have run the gamut of reactions to medications. The first one I was ever on was Paxil which made me completely numb. You could have killed the dog and I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said “oh well….”. I recognized that I was not me, so I changed. I’ve been on Lexapro. I’ve been on Zoloft. Those worked for about a week or so and then…

I was diagnosed with bipolar symptoms for 1 reason: the anti-depressants had the opposite effects on me from what they should. Instead of calming me down, the Hulk-ed out rage monster would show up about 2 weeks in…on steroids. All of my symptoms would go away for about a week and then the needle would peg the other way. In a very bad way.

So I tried the therapy route and did a few group therapy sessions. I met some great people along the way who I now consider good friends. We did a few different groups together, which helped the healing as we became more comfortable with each other. We started out with the Ten Days to Self-Esteem (Dr. Burns) and then moved on to the S.O.S. Help for Emotions by Dr. Lynn Clark. We also looked at a lot of lessons by Dr. Daniel Amen.

I cannot give enough credit to that group and those sessions to help get me through, but in the end, I could just not do it on my own. My therapist finally sent me to a psychiatrist and that was the first time the term “bipolar” was used to describe my symptoms. I (reluctantly) agreed to try the anti-psychotic Abilify. It seems to work. I can still feel but that little snowball gets only a few feet down the hill before I can stop it. It does not turn into an avalanche that helps destroy my life. The biggest thing is the paranoia has subsided, which means the “anticipatory anxiety” is not so bad.

So, I will try and get my mood further stabilized today and be productive at work. And with that, I hope you have a wonderful day and KEEP FIGHTING!!



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