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Is it me, or the medication? [TW - Attpt Suicide]

What are your triggers? People, places, smells, or sounds? Have you learned how to set your boundaries? Or do you know what your boundaries are?

by Leah » Mon May 01, 2017 5:04 am

It's a strange thing, navigating ones way through the trials and errors of medication, as well as the ups and downs that are bipolar.

After being diagnosed in 2014 at the age of 19, I refused to accept the idea and that I needed medication to balance things out.

I only accepted my diagnosis a year later, when I entered into a relationship with a gentle, and very stable loveling. My ups and downs began negatively effect our relationship, until I eventually concluded that I should accept my diagnosis and seek help.

Since then, I have been trying to find a medication that works, and am currently taking Trazodone, Prohexal and Lamotrigine (300mg).

Sometimes things seem fine, and when they are that way, I can't imagine ever being sad or manic, and truely believe that I am okay. But I still flick from there into being suicidal, then back into to full blown mania. When I'm depressed, I've been depressed the whole time, when I'm manic, I'm fascinated by the state I'm in, but act very recklessly. On top of all that, I have extreme social anxiety- if someone so much as gives me a funny look, or won't let me get a word into the conversation, I spiral down... I smoke weed often, which strangely has a peaceful effect on me, and helps me to relax in social situations. Yes- I know it's not advised to mix weed and medication, but it's the only thing that can occasionally stop my mental self harm.

The problem is that I feel as thought my medication makes me worse... but when I decided that, I made the mistake of simply not talking anything for a week... as soon as I stopped, I hit a total manic episode that lasted for the duration of the time I wasn't taking my medication.

During my episode, I tried to kiss some girl when I went out with some friends, and when I got home, I declared to my boyfriend that I was in love with her and that she was the most gorgeous thing in the world. During my episode, I almost ruined our entire relationship, which, considering the fact that we live together, share a car and 3 cats, and are very much a part of one another's families, would have been an extremely difficult thing to go through.

When I started taking the medication again (yesterday), with Ross being as upset with me as he was, I crashed completely. I did my best, but ended up in the bathroom where I was about to make an attempt, when Ross walked in and asked what was in my hand...

He told me to come have some tea, and asked me how I could do that to him... he said that he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life alone, so now I really can't do anything, but I feel so so sad, and I'm struggling to find any other motivation to stick around aside from the thought of how it would ruin Ross and my family....

I asked my mum if I could check myself into rehab for all of it... does that seem like a logical step? I need to get myself together, but nothing seems to be working, and these damn bruises are making me so anxious!!!

I feel as though my medication is making me feel worse, but when I don't take it, I destroy everything around me. I plan to go back to the psychiatrist to talk about it, and to go to the doctor about my bruises, but through all of this, I have felt so... misunderstood. I don't even understand my own actions, and then they destroy the world I've found where I am safe. I live in fear of my own mind, which runs in loops, repeating everything I've ever done wrong. It builds until my mind is engaged in a full on battle, where one side is screaming at me to stop, telling me that isn't me, while the other half is telling me to do it, and I sit still shaking, wishing nn I could turn it all off. Surely the medication is meant to help with that? Help the side of you that screams, "STOP!" To win the battle..?...

I don't know what to do anymore... I've read online that bipolar is progressive, so perhaps my symptoms are merely worsening while the medication counteracts that? I was diagnosed at 19, and am only 22 now.. it's almost taken my life a few times now, and has lead me into some really stupid situations that I can't even begin to understand... could it be that the medication simply isn't working?

When I do well, I do fantastically- top marks at university, have animated music videos that I've made playing on two national TV stations, I sing and play guitar, I do all sorts of things, and yet I almost always feel totally useless and socially rejected (despite having a wide variety of friends from all over Cape Town, and an amazing partner and family)...

No high ever lasts, because that manic confidence only puts me in a worse position...... is that normal? I feel like I just keep getting worse..... does anyone else have this problem?... I have never found anyone who truely understands it :(
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by AvantGarde » Mon May 01, 2017 5:15 am

The identity issue is common in all of us, whether we're more 'we' unstable or on meds, so that's perfectly natural to feel and you're definitely not alone.

Have you considered taking on therapy? We usually say around here that it takes both meds and therapy to tackle this illness. For me and many others it's the only way. There are several unhealthy coping mechanisms we develop during our lifetimes that only therapy can help. Also in recognizing triggers, the beginnings of ups and downs, etc. In order for us to be more alert and self-aware of our disorders and selves.

About the medication making you worse, I highly doubt that. Since you say you had an episode right after quitting them, I think you already know the answer to that question.

But don't feel bad, for most of us it takes some time to trully stabilize, and even then there are good days and bad days, it takes a while to realize what is a symptom what are our true selves. If you roam a bit through the other threads here you'll see that everyone struggles with that.

I'm glad you've got your bf to take care of you, but consider therapy. It's a huge burden to take care of a person with a mental illness, he's not professionally trained and probably not emotionally equipped to deal with all the ups and downs. It would do your relationship, and yourself, a good lot of betters if you went to therapy and relied more on your doctors and yourself.

Suicidal ideation is no joke, as much as people around us like to glamorize it. Take it as seriously as it is, prevent more harm to yourself and treat yourself with the kindness and compassion you would treat a friend.

A hug :)
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by Karen79 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:56 am

Sometimes it takes a while to stabilize. And even though it may seem like the meds are making you worse it's just til they start to take effect. We've all been there. When you're like this it isn't your true self. It's just the BP lying to us. If you really are suicidal maybe you should check yourself in somewhere til you get stable again. There is nothing wrong with that. And I agree it takes therapy and meds to deal with this illness. You'll learn to start recognizing when you are moving in one direction or another and you can adjust your meds before it gets really bad. Good luck to you
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by Pancake » Mon May 01, 2017 12:47 pm

Hi Leah, welcome.

As you probably realise now, you can't just stop and start your meds like that. Many of the medications we can be prescribed should be tapered off rather than stopping cold turkey, and tapered up again too. Always best to discuss with your psychiatrist what is going on with your meds if adjustments are needed. Do you see one regularly? Is this the first combination you were prescribed, or has some work gone into it? It can take time to find a good working combination of meds.

And as others have said, therapy is important too.

Curious, why would rehab be relevant? If you are feeling suicidal, call your pdoc or head to the ED where you can be assessed.
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by Leah » Mon May 01, 2017 11:48 pm

Thanks for all the support, everyone.

I go to therapy, but haven't been in a while due to finances. The medication: started on Cilift aka Zoloft in 2014, it made me worse, and I totaled my car and tried to kill myself on multiple occasions. I tried epitec aka Lamictal, but I had a bad reaction the first time around.

In 2015 I went back on medication, starting on Epitec aka Lamictal, then trazodone to help with insomnia, and prohexal aka Prozac only 3 months ago.

I know that one can't simply stop medications- I just wasn't thinking straight. I still experience both manic and suicidal episodes despite my medication. When I stopped, I was not okay, and being in an irrational state, I made that mistake with the medication , which I know is not the right way to go about it.

Again, thanks for the support. Time to pick up therapy more often, and find ways to keep myself on this planet :)
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by AvantGarde » Mon May 01, 2017 11:54 pm

You seem to be circling antidepressants, maybe talk to your pdoc about a mood stabilizer?
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by Blake's Poisontree » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:47 pm

You shouldn't think the medication is not working because you are still having episodes, it can take a while to find the right combination and then there are psychosocial and other triggers to consider. For many of us anti-depressants are poison, not saying it's the case with you but maybe ask for a second opinion if it concerns you. I've had doctors in both SA and NZ misdiagnose and drive me completely nuts with anti-depressants. It was like I went into bipolar overdrive at a psychotic speed, it made my BP cycles faster and more intense. It did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do.

Depression is known to be a long term side-effect from smoking too much weed, I know, I've been there. Be careful.
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