I want to talk about my recent medication issues, for anyone who cares. I hear a lot from people who tell me to stop taking meds because they are “poison”. Bipolar disorder is a genuine illness with physical AND emotional symptoms that OFTEN requires medication (depending on their severity). I would never tell someone with epilepsy that they should stop taking their meds, so why would anyone tell me to?
Anyway, I’ve been working with my doctor to stop taking my antidepressant. I’ve been taking it for ten years and it has started making my moods unstable. Before I lost any weight I was taking 120mg of Cymbalta per day. As my weight decreased my dosage had to as well. That was the case with all of my meds. I was down to 40mg/day, when we decided to take me off completely. It’s a slow process of stepping down incrementally. At 10mg/day I began having dramatically increased irritability. Losing my patience over every little thing. Overwhelmed to the point of crying in the bathroom at work, several times per day, only to be absolutely fine ten minutes later. This went on for a week, and I tried deep breathing, meditation, calming music, CBD oil, and aromatherapy to manage the symptoms. Three days ago I decided to return to 20mg/day. This small tweak has made all of the difference. My moods have stabilized, and I can function again.
I realize that there are reasons that people choose not to take medication for mental illness. When the symptoms are less severe, a person can choose to manage them themselves. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I envy those who have the choice, because I do not. I have spent time in a mental hospital due to being inadequately medicated. I do not want to ever have to do that again. I was raised by a woman who was unmedicated for most of my childhood, and I never want my son to be exposed to that. Back then, bipolar meds were experimental and she had few options. Had she had the medications available to her that I do now, my childhood would have been far different. She did the best she could because she loves me with all of her heart. I do the same for my son. I take my meds for the people who love and depend on me, and I refuse to apologize for that.