Just like insulin…

10 Aug 2023

Lamotrigine and Pristiq in the morning, Lamotrigine and Latuda at night. First there was Lithium, then some Zoloft, Tegretol, Cipramil, Zyprexa… it’s a balance and my psychiatrist and I are doing everything we can to get it right. 

It’s been twenty years now and I think I’m still one of those Bipolar patients at risk of having a good few years and thinking stopping my meds would be the right idea, because I’m not REALLY bipolar and I don’t REALLY need them, it’s all just a big mistake. I like to think that I won’t though, that I finally accept this diagnosis that came after a drug-induced psychosis at the age of 19. 

I railed against the medication for a long time, stopping for a good two years at 20 to semi-disastrous results at 22. The wrong meds, or not taking them right while travelling, led to another episode at 38 and since then we’ve been fiddling with anti-psychotics which I’ve come to accept I need alongside the mood stabiliser and anti-depressant. We’ve come a long way from the Epilem stupor I found myself in initially, and the Saphris which turned me into a hungry and sleepy zombie. Zyprexa was better but not ideal, and Latuda’s side effects include weight gain which is never great. Going off it too quickly is dangerous but staying on it for too long is a punishment.

To end this with some hope, I have faith in my psychiatrist and my own ability to recognise and stabilise my moods, should they become too elevated (or depressed, but elevation is the danger). I am thankful that I’ve been able to manage this condition for over twenty years, with the help of “Team Monica” (my GP, psychiatrist, psychologist, parents and friends). I am even grateful for social media, my behaviour on which is able to alert certain friends if my mood is becoming more erratic. And I’m grateful for my grandfather, who lived as an insulin-dependent diabetic for almost 65 years, and has taught me that there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to taking medication to manage my condition.


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