Psychiatric Meds Helped Me Become a Better Person

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xoJane.com, Jane Pratt's lifestyle site for women, is not about changing yourself to fit any mold of what others think you should be. It is about celebrating who you are. Like Sassy and Jane before it, xoJane.com is written by a group of women (and some token males) with strong voices, identities and opinions, many in direct opposition to each other, who are living what they are writing about.

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  1. Thank goodness I discovered my bipolar disorder early on then. I know most people don’t because when they’re manic, they often think nothing is wrong and only seek help during depressive episodes. However, I knew something was wrong when one day I woke up intensely irritable and tired from not having slept well, and then suddenly at school as I was napping, my thoughts sped up, grandiose ideas entered my mind, and I had intense amounts of energy from nowhere and had the incessant urge to giggle. This episode lasted only a day, but my next week, a week later, lasted nearly two and was more intense because then I had psychomotor agitation and nearly blew my entire bank account. So I went to my primary caregiver who sent in a psychiatric referral and told me it was either bipolar or depression with anxiety. She didn’t want to start me on a medication because if I did have bipolar, an antidepressant could worsen it. Then I couldn’t see how, but after my first hospitalization, I totally understand what she meant.

    I hospitalized myself because my depressive episode was getting worse with constant suicidal ideation. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and put on Remeron. A few days in, I didn’t even realize I was hypomanic. I guess because the environment was so controlled and I was so eager to please (it was like freaking Kindergarten!), I was controlling the hypomania. But then something was wrong when I was getting irritable for no reason. I mean, the irritability felt situational, but it was extreme for me. Then when I got home and had been there a few days, I blew up on a rage over my fiance and nearly broke my glasses and cracked the keyboard of my iPad. We knew something was wrong, and I suddenly realized the Remeron had made me manic. Before I just had hypomania, but for two straight weeks, I was in an awful mixed episode. I could be depressed with all the energy of mania. Or I could be catatonic on the bed with various emotions warring for possession of my mind. I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling. Or I’d be hopefully depressed one minute and the next loopy and beyond energetic.

    So I had to get hospitalized again and was started on Trileptal. My depression is still severe, as I still feel suicidal (but I don’t necessarily feel in danger of doing anything. I just probably need another med), but my hypomanic episodes have steadily been dying down; thus, I could be a rapid cycler.

    It’s just great to know you got your life under control because it gives me some hope that I can get to a stable place too and re-claim who I was even before fibromyalgia struck me. But I know fibromyalgia triggered everything–and that and stress and anxiety because my fibromyalgia symptoms worsened during a time that I absolutely did not need them to.

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