Friday, August 6, 2010

Meds are NOT One Size Fits All

In a discussion on a post at The Dreamin' Demon, we bantered about medications and why people quit taking them.

Nobigwhoopdawg says:

Not to mention that the body eventually builds a tolerance to the medications, and they have to be adjusted frequently. And even if by chance you do start feeling weird/crazy, getting in to see a shrink for an adjustment can be a hassle. I know where I live, there's one mental health center, and the last time I was in crisis mode, the wait was nine months to see a prescribing doctor, and a month and a half just to get a talk therapist. I ended up going to my regular doctor to get something to take the edge off.

Er, excuse my oversharing. I'll get a towel and clean that up.
Here is my response:
I have type II bipolar disorder. Normally I'm nowhere close to psychotic, but guess what--antidepressants make me psychotic. Not dangerously so, but I scared the bejeezus out of my son when he was thirteen and the doctor had put me on Effexor and I jumped up on the counter and started preaching. I had been misdiagnosed as having depression/anxiety until I was 38 years old because type II is sneaky--we don't get full manias. I tend to go into severe depressions so people tell me I need an antidepressant, but, no thanks. You hear my account of what Effexor did. Zoloft was like an acid trip. I literally "felt" my brain trying to claw its way out of my head. All I'm able to take is Lithium, which takes the edge off the irritability and paranoia that tends to happen during hypomanias and mixed episodes.
There used to be a wonderful fellow who lived in my town whose mission was to keep the town clean. You could see him at all hours picking up trash around the town. He was paranoid schizophrenic, but he so hated the side effects of his meds that he simply learned to live with his symptoms. Unfortunately, he was hit by a car (driven by a woman with Alzheimer's, of all things, whose meds had made her drowsy) and died. This was a couple of years back. He is missed.