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Yep, I have it. The test was the CPT II, where white letters flash at you on a black screen, and you’re supposed to make a mouseclick or press the spacebar for every letter except X. I couldn’t help clicking on the stupid X way too many times, and I was even getting frustrated with the task because I couldn’t get it “right” – pretty typical.

They actually didn’t specify whether there’s any hyperactivity. All of those symptoms really could have been due to hypomania, so it’s hard to say. And it doesn’t really matter anyway, because the treatment is pretty much the same. So I’m currently waiting on my insurance to issue prior authorization so the pharmacy will fill a new prescription of Concerta.

And boy, what a trade-off I’m making. I like smoking pot. A lot. I know I’ve been self-medicating with it, but. Anyway, I have to quit if I want the ADD meds. So I said I’d try. And they said they’re going to have me do random urine tests to verify that I’m actually staying sober. Which is, quite frankly, rather embarrassing.

I understand why they’re doing it. I like my substances, and it’s been hard to keep consumption under control as I’ve been struggling with mood swings and attention problems. I know pot is supposed to make you more distracted, but it genuinely seems to have the opposite effect for me much of the time. I’m going to try, but I’m a little sad about having to give up both alcohol and pot. It feels like I’m a teenager who is being grounded, while everyone else gets to go out and have a good time. But I really want to get my dissertation done, so if this will help…

So I’m adding in Concerta. And also adjusting the Wellbutrin further down, from 300mg to 150mg. And then increasing the Lamictal up from 50mg to 75mg. The idea is to treat the primary issue (bipolar) with the Lamictal and reduce the treatment for the secondary issue (depression) accordingly. I begin to see why so many people with bipolar have a hard time managing meds; this is confusing stuff. I had to write it down, even though it’s on the prescription bottles.

And then I did as my therapist recommended, and talked with her about anxiety. I felt like she was looking at me like a bug at that point, but I explained that I never really thought it was that bad, until I realized that it really is. And that I’ve tried someone else’s Valium. I think that’s the part she didn’t like. In any case, the fourth prescription of the day is hydroxyzine hcl, which is actually an antihistamine. If it knocks me out, and it seems like most people get pretty sedated on it, then it’s not going to be helpful to me. But it’s a good idea to start with a non-addictive option before moving on to benzos. Especially if they think I have an addictive personality, which may well be the case.

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