It gets worse before it gets better?

I envy those who have options.  I’m of course talking about anti depressants, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), TCAs (tri-cyclic antidepressants), the works.  There’s a small group of those with bipolar disorder who have an adverse reaction to antidepressants, in my case suicidal thoughts.  I went through prozac, celexa, lexapro, anafranil, (partly also to try and treat my OCD), and every single one of them resulted in me pacing in bizarre places outside in the middle of the night (and I’m talking 4-5am) with racing thoughts about how no one in my life loved me, or ever really did love me, amongst other thoughts.  This of course led to suicidal thoughts, but thankfully I never acted on those thoughts.  This was a large part of my diagnosis with bipolar, amongst my actions mentioned in my previous post.

I found myself in this unique situation for me.  Everything I had read or heard said, “Give it time, it will get worse before it gets better.”  And I believed it, to an extreme point, until finally taking the initiative to call my doctor about it.  That being said, I believe the statement to be true.  Starting a new medication, we experience side effects, it’s unavoidable.  Most side effects take place immediately, whereas the beneficial side to many medications can take upwards to a month to take effect.

But what frame of reference do you have, when you’re already struggling with mood swings, that a medication isn’t making you just slightly worse off than you were.  All you really have is blind faith.

Now, I 100% avoid any and all antidepressants.  I’ve tried those within their own class such as wellbutrin and had little success, so I simply explain to my doctor that it simply isn’t an option.  I’m lucky to have found a cocktail that works for me so far, but it would be nice to have that extra ingredient to add to the mix.

For those reading who are living with bipolar, how about yourselves?  Have you had any similar experiences?  I’d love to hear your input in the comments.

3 thoughts on “It gets worse before it gets better?

  1. Once in a great while, one has to give up and live with a symptom. 🙁 There are ways of riding out a depression, but that doesn’t change the fact that the road is long and the end may weeks, months, or years away. My sympathies are with you, my friend.

  2. I have struggled with my medications also. For me, pscyhosis is my primary symptom. So, antidepressants with stimulants present a risk factor. Then again, my antipsychotic makes me depressed and lethargic. Fortunately, I have a brilliant and flexible psychiatrist who works with me. We’re still in the tweaking process. But things are looking up–no psychotic breaks for eight months!

    Wishing you all the best with your own recipe;-)

  3. I am fortunate that my doctor found a good combination of Lamotrigine and Abilify that stabilized me from the beginning of my treatment. I still have some lingering symptoms (heightened sexuality, ADD, irritability ), but they are minor compared to what I was before. And the side affects are minimal as well. I’ve lost some of my creativity, and my ability to do tasks quickly, both of which are needed in my work as a chef. But all in all I am blessed that things are going as well as they are. I will be truthful and tell you that I am concerned that I will one day wake up and find that it is all gone, and I will have to find something else that won’t work as well. But for now, life is good.

Comments are closed.