Randomosity: Drugs are Good

I don’t know how I’m going to manage to write this blog if I can’t be random. However, I’m also a non-practicing certified secondary English teacher whose brain wants to enforce order to her entries. It’s just not going to happen so I’ll just accept it, create a category for my randomosities, and move on.

I wanted to take a second to touch on the drugs that make my life possible. Seriously, I’m not so sure I would be here if it weren’t for science and my psychiatrist, and that is no exaggeration. (I do tend to overstate things to a ridiculous extent so I find I need to point out when I am not, in fact, exaggerating. This will be important to note for later entries, I’m sure.) I’ve had to up and add medications recently as the divorce has wrecked havoc on my brain and body but I’m fairly stable right now, thank God.

Here’s my current regimen:

  1. Lamictal – This an anticonvulsant typically used to treat epilepsy; however, I take it as a mood stabilizer.  I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder roughly ten years ago, and the Lamictal helps immensely with the brain spinning I experience when I get worked up, something that used to happen entirely too often. (My former psychiatrist had me on 600 mgs A DAY for depression and my eyes kept whacking out with double vision. It was terrifying and led me to fire her. I now take 200 mgs and am looking to cut down even more someday.)
  2. Prozac – This was my first miracle drug; I started taking it in 1998 just before I got married and it literally changed my life. I have suffered from depression for, well, forever. Again, not an exaggeration; I do not remember a time before I was 27 that I did not have the constant, smothering feeling of an intense weight on my chest. I had to stop taking it for a time as my former psychiatrist felt it was causing my manic state. It very well may have but when paired with the Lamictal it works better than any other anti-depressant I’ve tried. I spent over a year in a horrible depression that made me feel like someone had a gun to my head at all times. I have no idea how I got through it but I am grateful that I’m able to take Prozac again to keep it at bay. I usually take 20 mgs/day but I’m currently at 60 mgs/day due to divorce stress.
  3. BuSpar – This is a recent addition and another life changer. I never realized how much stress I was under until the BuSpar kicked in. And when I say stress, I mean constant, throughout-my-life, always-there stress. I have also been diagnosed with C-PTSD, something that has kept me in a state of chronic fight-or-flight. I was constantly on guard for something to happen and therefore hypersensitive to all that happened around me. It’s an awful way to live and a relief to be out from under of much of that incredible and overwhelming anxiety.BuSpar apparently has a side-effect that I was completely not expecting: increased libido. This is likely why I’m so intensely obsessed with C right now as he would be the only person I would trust myself to be with right now. Obviously that isn’t going to happen now (and possibly not ever) so I’m looking for other options to use on a more solitary basis. 

I’d also like to do a shout-out to propranolol, a drug I also used for anxiety but had to stop when it caused to to gain over ten pounds in two weeks. (Weight gain is not supposed to be a well known side affect but a survey of patients who have actually taken propranolol shows that it is quite common. I’m still trying to shift the weight off but have had to accept it for now while I deal with more important things.) I mention it as many people are not aware that it is well-suited for the treatment of PTSD and C-PTSD. It didn’t help me quite as much as the BuSpar but it did relieve the panic and constant vigilance to a large extent. I highly recommend it.

I don’t think I could have gotten up the strength to end my marriage had it not been for these drugs. Once I stabilized I was able to get myself into therapy, something that is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself if you are in a relationship with some who has a personality disorder. It is, however, a process, and not a quick one. It took about two years for me to prepare myself to ask for a divorce but there were a considerable number of years prior to this when I knew something had to change but did not succeed at actually making a change. I’ve had to learn to treat myself kindly and remember that, for lack of a better way to say this, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I know now, though, and that’s what matters.

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