I’ve mentioned before that I am on lithium (mood stabiliser) and seroquel (antipsychotic). I went on medication because of my mixed moods and my delusional paranoia. Both medications were increased due to my worsening mixed moods but mainly to combat my hallucinations. I don’t remember when exactly the hallucinations started. I hallucinate during the day, at night, at work and at home. I hear people talking and singing or I hear my name being called. I see things, people that aren’t there for example. I know this scares people. I know that people can’t understand this and I can’t explain it. The seroquel makes me drowsy. I take 200mg at night and since the hallucinations are still happening I had to take 50mg twice throughout the day. I hate this!
I hate seroquel so much! It makes me so drowsy. I can’t work if I take it during the day. I am so sleepy and my head is so foggy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself staring blankly at my computer screen. I can’t read in the morning anymore because I am too drowsy. Recently I stopped taking my day time doses of seroquel because I can’t handle not being able to work properly. I love my job but lately it feels like I haven’t the drive anymore but in actual fact I am a zombie on seroquel.
Lithium is just as bad if not worse. I have to take 750mg twice a day after food. Since going on lithium I have felt so much brain fog. I can’t write as much as I used to anymore, I’m down to one new post every week or so. I have writer’s block. It took me 4 hours to decide what I was going to write about today. I can’t think properly anymore. I can’t even think of themes for my posts anymore. I can’t even describe to you how much of my creativity lithium has taken away. My mind is just blank most of the time. Lithium has also affected my memory as I may or may not have mentioned before… see what I did there? I can’t remember anything anymore which has caused some problems for me lately. I may have written something like this before?
I don’t want to be on medication anymore to be honest with you but twice in the past week I had hallucinations. That means I have to stay on seroquel and I may have to go back to taking it during the day too. I’ve gotten used to the increased appetite but if the doses increase then I have to learn to get used to it again. I wish I could be off the medication but I’ve learned that if I am going to maintain this high functionality I have then I should take my medication.
Lately I’ve started watching Homeland in which the main character, Carrie, suffers from Bipolar, takes her medication wrong, abuses alcohol, is impulsive and obsessive. She doesn’t take care of herself and by the end of the season she has a psychotic break and is clearly in desperate need of medical care. Watching her spiral out of control I was reminded of myself. I have been there before. I have been manic and psychotic. I am psychotic now. I watched with frustration as I yelled at the television telling Carrie to just take her meds and take proper care of herself! I thought if you know that you’re sick just look after yourself!
When I look back at my lows it saddens me deeply. I used to self medicate and abuse alcohol. I was impulsive and indulged in self destructive behaviour. I was psychotic more times than I care to count. One time I was convinced I was a goddess given the job to dish out karma on everyone – crazy, I know! Another time I became obsessed with the JFK assassination and conspiracy theories and became paranoid the FBI and CIA were going to take me away for learning too much. This was also insane. I also recall the time I thought one of my closest friends was out to get me. I thought every move of hers was to undermine me and bring me down. Oh, how about the time a few months ago I thought a relative had deliberately left me off her invite list to taunt me and cause problems for me. Honestly, how did I not know then that I needed help.
In hindsight it’s very clear that I needed help at least now I am recovering. Maybe one day my bipolar will be in remission as they say but even if it’s not that’s ok. I will continue taking my medication, sleeping regularly and eating well. I will try to stay off the alcohol because it’s terrible to mix medication with alcohol. I will keep seeing my psychiatrist as well as my psychologist. I may not get better for a while but what matters is that I am working at it.