I would like to share my experiences with medicine and the psychiatric illusion that governs a great majority of Americans’ minds today. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar type I. I’ve tried many different medicines, combinations of medicines, and I remember just what was going through my head on all of them too. It’s scary trusting yourself to pull through being on this pill or that…being that the pharmaceutical industry wants you to be dependent on drugs, so they can depend on your money. I found a happy balance on one antidepressant and took it for two and a half years, before becoming pregnant, and immediately stopping it. It was my goal before that, though, to get off it and just be me again, flaws and all. Currently, I am un-medicated, taking multi-vitamins, and searching out natural cures anytime anything ails me and my family. It’s working out way better than ever before.
I was given Lexapro, starter dosage, 7 years ago, to help with depression. They weaned me upwards to about 40 mg a day, and I noticed a numbing sensation, concerning my emotions. I wasn’t happier with my situation in life, I just cared about it less. It was suddenly ok for my life to be bland and boring and not what I wanted at all. I took this for about six months, before coming to the realization that I didn’t want medicine to make me ok with where I was in life. I was unhappy for a reason, and I wanted to seek out that reason and address it. I stopped the Lexapro, made some life changes, and went all natural for a couple years after.
About two years later, I found myself in a down disposition once again, but this time with very flighty mood swings, like a roller coaster ride. I started seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist (for the first time) and after the first visit, was given Depakote. Now, I remember my little brother, who has Downsyndrome, ADHD, ODD, and alot of other stuff I can’t remember, being on it sometime in middle school. Previously, he was on Concerta, and it made him lose so much weight he became skeletal, so they switched to Depakote and be blew up like a BLIMP. He became large for the first time ever, and is still currently that way, fifty million medicines later. I remembered this when they prescribed the Depakote, and went home and threw them in the trash. I care more about my waistline than being mentally stable.
About one year later, I signed up for beauty school, and when it came time to fix actual people’s hair(not mannequinns), I found the social aspects of every interaction to be overwhelming, to say the least. I had MAJOR self confidence issues, and had too high of expectations. I found myself at the psychiatrist’s office once more, complaining of social phobia and a telltale rash I break out in when I’m trying to play it cool(so the person sitting in my chair doesn’t run away). I was put on a new medicine(at the time) Pristiq. It gave me the synthetic confidence I needed to make it through the rest of school. I still felt like myself, and all that anxiety was there, internally, and not on my chest. I could overthink my way out of any situation, and the person next to me would never know it. This was before my bipolar diagnosis, though, and it wasn’t long before I was self medicating with natural herbs, anxiety medications, and booze. I was losing it, going crazy, doing alot of things I don’t like to think about and I hope everyone else involved forgets about me back then too. They switched the medicine to Effexor, and sent me on my way. It wasn’t much different than Pristiq. Too much confidence, and I was making a fool of myself. Those natural nervous feelings(that kept me from doing so much) were there for a reason. To keep my ass in line. The antidepressants were overriding them, and I was over at alot of people’s houses, riding THEM. You ever see that movie, Black Snake Moan with Samuel Jackson? I was comparable to her. It wasn’t pretty.
It got so bad, after about four months, I was sent to a mental hospital day program, you attend like a job. They immediately gave me the diagnosis, and took me off the Effexor, and put me on a Lithium starter dose. I had some really crazy trippy dreams, and I started to hear the voice of God, and my deceased grandfather, having conversations with me, in my head. I began to think I was a prophet, and they were telling me the Rapture was near. This is very embarrassing to me, but looking back, it was the damn Lithium + coming off a high dose of Effexor cold turkey. Not me. I became so looney they put me in the mental hospital part where you DON’T go home at night, you stay there till they release you. There, they started giving me Zyprexa, ALOT more Lithium, and Ambien at night. I did alot more damage to my pathetic excuse of a life at the time, calling people from the hospital I did/did not care about and talking alot more shit, still feeling like a prophet sent from God. I was prophessing loads of bullshit and was a true character you’d laugh at in “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” I lost alot of friends and people I cared about during this time. My dad drove about 14 hours to get me out of there. After that I was just on the Lithium for a while.
Lithium. Nirvana wrote a song about it, a song I feel sums it up well. After I leveled out mentally, and realized I wasn’t a holy person sent from God to tell everyone the Rapture is tomorrow, I became a zombie. My thoughts were reduced to pretty much nothing. I thought about eating, sleeping (ALOT), and eating some more. When I was around others I had nothing to say. I just ate and slept over and over…and I missed myself. This was not me. This was a zombie I had turned into. Not to mention a bad folliculitis outbreak on my legs, which was three strikes for the Lithium, (You don’t mess with the way I LOOK), and I demanded to be taken off it. The psychiatrist switched me to Lamictal+Pristiq (because I was unhappy, imagine that!?), which is for seizures, but somehow helps stabilize moods. Which, I don’t know why he put me on that, because I HAD NO MOODS anymore! I gave Lamictal a month, I was still a zombie with no thoughts, and you can tell by my facebook posts (next to none). I was some dull boring person, so I told him I didn’t want to take mood stabilizers anymore. Ever.
So he prescribed Wellbutrin 150 XL. That was my magical drug for the two and half years after that. I became myself almost immediately, started working in a salon, with moderate mood swings (this was who I am, I realized) and confidence. Enough to take control of my life again. It numbed out my low self esteem just enough to make me feel I could do what I wanted if I persisted. So I stuck with it, and turned my life completely around to someone I could be proud to be. I still did other drugs that were not prescribed, but purchased in a convenience store for the first year of that, and managed just fine.
Drawing nearer to the pregnancy I felt that I didn’t know myself, the REAL me, anymore, so I tried stepping down off the Wellbutrin. I’d take a pill every other day for a while, then every two days, and it worked out finally when I completely stopped the day the pregnancy test was positive. I was almost the same, just MORE. MORE moods, mainly sadness, cynicism, and anger, and I had to learn to address controlling these. I did it naturally, just learning to hold my tongue, and not freak out. Life as I know it is a perception of feelings and emotions, normally way more amplified than reality would call for. I have to constantly remind myself of this as I resist the urge to REACT to EVERYTHING that REMOTELY rocks the boat.
Every little ailment, discomfort, or thing that seems un-normal in your head does not need to warrant a doctor visit. It’s your subconscious mind trying to convey a message to your conscious mind, usually requiring an action of some sort. It’s your inner mechanisms trying to repair themselves. You can chose whether you want to override it with medicine, and allow the problem to worsen without you even knowing about it, or work through it and get over it. The latter is more difficult, and SUCKS most of the time, but it comes with a sense of pride that you overcame. Taking medicine every single day is not overcoming your mental problems. It’s just saving them for later. You have to face the music one of these days, or sort through a million pills in a pill organizer, one. Your choice.