Most bipolars want to ditch their meds when they feel well. The logic goes a little something like: “Hey, I feel just fine! That diagnosis was a total mistake, and in the future, I will always feel just fine. I don’t really need this stuff, what was I thinking?”
Not me. I want to ditch them when I feel bad. My thinking goes a little more like: “I can’t stand this anymore. I take all these drugs and I still feel horrible. I think they’re poisoning me. Maybe there’s nothing really wrong with me and I just need to stop taking the meds and I’ll be fine.”
Well. Be that as it may, what with my diagnoses more or less in the air. My logic seems backwards from the “usual” illogical conclusions about medications. And yet, it’s so obviously the correct logic from my point of view. The side effects from Pristiq and Zoloft sure as hell felt like I was being poisoned, certainly to the extent that the distress of it cancelled out any potential therapeutic benefit. Still, it’s hard to make those judgment calls with drugs that take weeks and weeks to start to make a difference.
It’s easy to tell what I get out of the short-acting drugs. Having Ativan to lean on when I’m over-whatevered really helps. And I know exactly what happens if I don’t take my Adderall: I piss off Mr. Chickadee and make myself anxious and ashamed because I can’t control my inattention.
My lamotrigine was reduced to 150mg from 200mg earlier this week. So far, so good. It makes me wonder if my backwards logic is actually correct. If all continues to go well, I’ll further reduce the dosage. Probably no faster than 50mg/month, given the interference of the monthly hormonal cycle with all things mood-related.
It’s my birthday this coming week, and at 35, I’m officially over the next demographic age group line. My birthday presents this year include a mammogram and a new oral contraceptive. Isn’t being a woman grand?