Diagnosis and Starting Medication
I could barely remember to take my birth control, and then I could barely remember to take my prenatal vitamins! (See what I did there?) I was terrible at taking medication, and the thought of being on a medicine the rest of my life terrified me.
I thought back on the time a previous doctor had prescribed me Chantix (an antidepressant) to quit smoking. I had a terrible reaction to it. The third day I was on it I woke my husband at 1 a.m. screaming that there were 20 men outside my window trying to kill me. The idea of taking any psychological drug was frightening to me.
I decided to take my doctors’ advice, and after a few tries with other medications I found Lamictal, which helped me the most. It certainly had the least side effects compared to the others that I had tried. For a while I was OK. My medication had me pretty stable, and it did a great job of staving off my manic episodes.
Not Feeling Like Myself
But after a while, I started realizing that I wasn’t fun anymore. My creativity was gone. I didn’t feel like a zombie, but I certainly didn’t feel like myself. I went through a period of not knowing what to do. I was scared to stop my medication, but I was also scared of being dull and boring. It wasn’t long after that I went off my meds.
It was about three weeks in before I hit the lowest of lows; a depression that cannot be put into words. I was hopeless. I remember feeling like I was underwater. Not like I was suffocating, but that everything I heard was muffled. I couldn’t concentrate. I would stare off into space and lose hours of my life in a daydream. I neglected myself and my responsibilities. The couch was my home.
My husband begged me to get back on my medication. It took him a few days of begging, but I eventually caved. A few weeks later and I felt better but my energy and excitement went away again.
Fast forward a couple more months, and I started a new job out of the house. I had been a recluse and a stay at home mom for years. I was very excited. After about a week of working, I decided that I was very happy and I didn’t need my meds. My explanation was “maybe I am a victim of circumstance.” I mean, I had been in the house for years with very little human interaction. Maybe I was just lonely, and not bipolar.