drugs.

it’s been awhile. let me explain why.

i’ve been adjusting my meds. medications are like fingerprints; the affects of meds are unique to the individual, just as a fingerprint is. this sounds counterintuitive, but i promise it makes sense.

every body reacts to medications differently. some people get severe side effects, some get none. tylenol works for some people and does nothing for others. drugs for mental illness are even more complicated. add to that fact that there are thousands of dosage combinations, and you’ve got yourself a real shit show.

adjusting medications is hard work.

first of all, it takes a few weeks just to be able to tell if your medication is working. if things are going well, you have to determine whether or not its the right dosage. are they making you happy? could you be happier? you can’t just increase a dosage willy-nilly, either. it takes careful planning and research. the dosage isn’t working? alter it and wait another 4 weeks to determine whether or not its working. if things aren’t going so well, it’s on to a brand new drug and trial period, praying it sticks. it’s a long, grueling process. weeks of feeling mediocre, praying you’ll find the perfect combination.

second of all, medications interact with each other – this can cause problems too. it’s important to have a doctor that is able to understand the affects of multiple medications at once. let me tell you a story.

i was on two medications, we’ll call them drug a and drug b (it’s easier this). i was tolerating the medications well and my side effects were manageable. i was doing well, but i knew i could be doing better. so my doctor and i decided to increase my dosage of drug b. sounds simple, right? wrong. 24 hours later i felt like my skin was falling off of my bones, i was beat red, hyperventilating, heart racing, sweating bullets, and panicking. i immediately went to the doctor to figure out what was going on. after a little research, we realized what had happened. i’ll skip the complicated chemistry stuff; long story short, increasing the dosage of drug b caused the absorption of drug a to skyrocket, leaving me with serotonin sickness. not my best day.

third, side effects suck. i have yet to start a medication without experiencing some sort of uncomfortable side effect. since i promised to be honest with you, i’ll tell you what’s happened. my resting heart rate is somewhere around 120, which if you didn’t know, is ridiculously high for someone just sitting. i also sweat a lot. and i mean out of every pore of my body. this leaves me in a constant state of dehydration because water leaves my body as fast as it possibly can. its gross. finally, if i take my meds later than 10 am, i can guarantee i won’t sleep. at all. yesterday i took my meds at 2 pm, and woke up at 3 am completely exhausted but fully awake.

getting medicated for mental illness isn’t as simple as just getting a prescription. it’s about finding the right drugs, correct dosages, and most manageable side effects. through a painstaking 15 months of trial and (lots of) error, i was finally able to find the combination of drugs that worked for me.

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