Medication, an Ongoing Struggle

Well, here we are again. I thought I had learned my lesson, but somehow I’m finding myself skipping doses. It’s different this time though.

The last time I stopped medication, it was a very conscious decision. I just decided I didn’t need them. I hadn’t had a major manic episode, I hadn’t felt depressed in a long time. Perhaps my bipolar disorder was something I created in my mind? For most of 2016, I believed it was the case. Then I had a psychosis filled mania that lasted for two months, leading to electroconvulsive therapy, etc. etc.

During that long recovery period, I was on lithium. My body tolerated it pretty well for about two years. Then, it seemed suddenly, my stomach began rejecting it. I found myself running to the bathroom after every dose I took, waking up in the middle of the night with painful cramps. It became intolerable.

So, my psychiatrist switched me to Latuda. I was completely consistent with my doses for awhile; I dutifully took my pills every night with dinner. My side effects weren’t too bad, although if I didn’t eat a full meal I would end up with similarly bad cramps. The worst part is how it makes me sleepy. This is why I began skipping.

Let me be clear–I am not proud of myself for this. In fact, I feel extremely ashamed and terrible about it. Coming clean to my psychiatrist, boyfriend, family, and friends has been extremely difficult. After that appointment with my psychiatrist, I cried in the car for half an hour. I don’t want to be in this position, I know it only ends badly.

But something about how Latuda makes me groggy makes it so difficult to keep taking. Since it has to be taken with a full meal, I end up getting sleepy at 8 pm or 9 pm. This affects my ability to join friends later in the day or even just the ability to watch a movie in the evening.

It wouldn’t be so bad except for the way it makes me sleepy. I can’t explain except that it reminds me of being put under with anesthesia. Whenever I take it, I start feeling that sleepiness (it doesn’t feel like the word, but it’s the best I have right now) and I regret taking it. It feels like a no-win situation.

I’m trying to be better about it. I’ve been taking Latuda again more consistently, but let me tell you, it’s really not easy. I’m also scared it might be too little too late. I (obviously) don’t want another long hospital stay, but for some reason that doesn’t seem reason enough to make me take this medication.

Let me reiterate how stupid I feel for putting myself in this position. I wish I could tell you I won’t ever do this again, but I’m not confident I’ll even be able to stay consistent for the next week.

That’s all I have for now, hopefully next time things are a bit more positive.


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