The medication situation is constantly evolving. A “cocktail” that works well is a sort of Holy Grail for people with serious mental illness. Sometimes we find one, sometimes we don’t.
Even when we find that magic combination, it doesn’t always last. Extra meds have to be added in for a limited time only when psychosis, mania, or depression get out of control, or as-needed for anxiety or sleep (PRN). It’s a fact of life and a complicated detail to manage – probably why so many mental health blogs include a page devoted to medications and treatments!
In November 2011, when I began treatment for bipolar disorder, my cocktail looked like this:
Lamotrigine and Bupropion
At the start, I just took one of the diamonds (25mg lamotrigine) and two of the circles (150mg each bupropion). Simple. Then I did a little more research and learned about vitamins and supplements. I had an ADD test, which I “aced” (after a fashion…) and that changed things too. Toward the end of December 2011, my morning dose looked like this:
Supplements, bupropion, methylphenidate, and lamotrigine.
That handful included: fish oil, B complex with folic acid, Vitamin C, methylphenidate (18mg), bupropion (150mg), and lamotrigine (75mg). But the assortment just kept growing in both variety and dosage, particularly as I learned more about vitamins and supplements in the process of researching my previous post on the topic. By the middle of March of 2012, the morning cocktail looked like this:
Supplements plus bupropion, lamotrigine, and methylphenidate.
I like the color scheme (and the way the light plays on the shiny softgels), but let’s be honest, that wasn’t really intentional. This handful includes: fish oil (6x more), Vitamin C, Balanced B (4x more), Folic acid (2x more), and Vitamin D3 (6x more), plus bupropion (300mg), lamotrigine (150mg), and methylphenidate (36mg). It literally fills up my extra-large pill minder, and I have to stack the pills in just so in order to even close it. In between December and March, there were also changes that included Adderall XR, Adderall IR, and Strattera, but I went back to Concerta for ADD because it was what I had left of my hoarded meds, and now I’m using up someone else’s Concerta hoard. I really need to get in to a new psychiatrist but there has been delay after delay.
Who knows what will come next? Will a new psych mess with the regimen? Will he put me back on Adderall and mess up my color scheme? Only time will tell how the meds cocktail will evolve…