Maybe I should have suspected yesterday that when I was feeling so good, it might be me slipping into hypomania a bit. As the evening wore on, I could tell that the good mood was going a little bit off the rails. I started feeling extremely antsy and a bit hyper. I may have started driving my husband a bit nuts by constantly asking him silly questions and yelling across the house to him.
Suddenly, I found myself with too many thoughts and plans in my head to concentrate on any of them. I felt pressure to get lots of stuff done, even though there was really no need to do them all right now. By the time bedtime rolled around, I really didn’t want to take my medicine (Seroquel) because I knew it would make me go to sleep and I didn’t feel like sleeping, I felt like staying up all night to clean out and reorganize the spare bedroom.
Fortunately, I listened to the little voice of warning in my head that told me that if I didn’t take the medicine, it might feel good to stay up all night right now, but that this could easily spin out of control again like it has in the past when I have gone days without sleep and even ended up hospitalized. So I DID take the medicine and went to sleep. However, even today I can feel the traces of hypomania hanging around, trying to convince me to just throw caution to the wind and enjoy the high.
It seems that there is this stereotype about Bipolar patients not wanting to take their medicine or stopping medicine without consulting a doctor. However, like most stereotypes, perhaps there is some truth to it. I personally have Bipolar type 2 and often find myself wondering, “Do I really need these medications?” or “Are these medications actually helping or hurting me?”. Why do I wonder this? Mostly due to negative side effects. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if the cure isn’t worse than the disease at times. Weight gain, acne, digestive problems, being pushed further into depression or hypomania, anxiety, jitters, uncontrollable muscle spasms, irritability, crying spells, etc. Sometimes I really do wonder if I wasn’t better off before.
And about consulting a doctor before stopping meds, in my case at least, my psychiatrist is only able to see patients once every few months due to the shortage of psychiatrists in the area. He is EXTREMELY busy. It is unlikely I will hear from him in the interim, even if I have a question. Of course I can speak to his office staff, but that isn’t the same as actually speaking to a doctor. And even if I were to call and tell the office staff I wanted to stop taking the medicine, likely they would just request I wait until my next appointment, which may be months away. If the medicine is truly causing side effects I can’t stand or making me feel worse, why would I want to endure that for months before making a change?
I am not writing this post to encourage anyone to go off their meds or anything like that. I believe strongly in listening to medical advice, but I wanted to explain to those who are outside of the Bipolar loop why this can often become a legitimate issue. And no, right now I am not stopping my own meds, but I have been tempted many times, which makes me sympathetic to those who have.
I wrote the following while I was pretty hypomanic. Thought I would share more as a glimpse into my life and hopefully educational about bipolar 2:
I AM bipolar, I’m officially crazy. I can’t seem to control myself, but on the medicine I feel SO much better, who cares if I’m hypomanic? Not sure I wanna tell the doctor the truth. Thank God I have my husband to keep me in check. I AM perpetuating the cycle. Thank God I never had kids. My muscles twitch and I can’t control them. I feel like I have Parkinson’s, but I’m good with that. I am stressed the fuck out, but I don’t care. I don’t want to sleep, but I have a magic bullet called Seroquel. I just worry I’ll get fat, but how fat can I get when I can’t sit still? Every dance in creation I think I’ve done today, even if it was spazzy. Some might look at me and say I’m a danger. I look at me and say I’m alive.
I think the title is pretty self-explanatory as to what the video below is about. Just wanted to share. It is a part of my life, a part of who I am.