Awhile ago I shared with all of you my need to remove myself from my only medication, a mood stabilizer. I was having headaches and for me that usually is caused by the medication. I have had to change medications more times than I care to remember...because of headaches.
Going off of any medication can be a miserable chore. At first I usually don't mind going off of the medication because my headache is so bad all I can think about is getting relief. This time I did not mind because I had become convinced that the medication really wasn't helping me that much. I had actually started to believe that some of my negative symptoms were caused by the medication and not helped by it. I would dream about going off of it and being free for awhile. I even imagine that I would probably feel a lot better if it weren't for this stupid old med.
This is the dream of many of us who live with depression. Bipolar people in particular are inclined to stop taking medication as soon as they feel better. In my case, I wasn't feeling much better anyways and so saying goodbye to that med did not seem risky to me.
Well, I was wrong. I have been off of this med for awhile now and the symptoms I was blaming on the med are still there! So much for that theory. The amount of support I was getting with that medication was small, but now that I am off of it I realize that it was definitely a bit of help.
As it is, I am managing without it for now, but when I get a bad day or two or three, it hits me like an oncoming vehicle hitting me in my blindspot.... I don't see it coming. So, what was that med doing for me? It was stabilizing me, not much, but it was.
And guess what? For the first time the headache did not seem to be caused by the medication (because I still have it) and so I am faced with the decision of whether to go back on it or not. I am waiting on that one. I am hoping to tame this headache before I do anything.
Why am I sharing this boring information with you? Because what I am going through may help you to figure out some things that you have been struggling with. Maybe you struggle with your medication. Maybe the side effects are horrible. Maybe you do not think your med is making much difference because you still experience some depression.
I can't tell you what to do. But I can say this - keep a journal! Make notes about everything! Record all of the side effects of every medication. Record how you felt before taking it and how you feel taking it. When you hit a low mood you will not be rational enough to make a good decision, but if you have notes to rely on, you will be able to figure things out more rationally.
Depression is hard. Medication can help. But medication isn't the total answer. What is the moral of my little rant today? Have strategies in place in case, like me, you are forced to go off of your medication for awhile.
What about you? Is your medication making a difference? Are the side effects managable?
Next time I am going to talk about 'small talk' so I guess that means it should be a small post?
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May Dipsy Doodling Around Depression
be better than a therapy session!
Don't give up, I'm praying for you!