Allergies and Depression

For more than a week now, I have had allergies off and on that are extremely annoying. I don’t remember having allergies when I was growing up, but then again, I don’t remember much of anything anymore. My symptoms tend to come and go. I’ve been really tired too. I took a two hour nap this evening, and I’m still tired. The allergies on top of the depression is making life even more difficult. I worry about taking OTC allergy meds, I’m not sure if they will react with the meds I’m already on.

Speaking of medication, I have been tapering off of a couple of my meds. I’m already off the Inositol. I finish taking the Mirapex Monday night, and I finish taking the Donepezil Friday night. I’m hoping that I don’t have any bad reactions by coming off these meds.

Another Rough Day

Another Rough Day

Today is another rough, gloomy day. I keep beating myself up for many things. Some of these things I have no control over. For some reason, I’m being rough on myself because I’m bipolar. I know I have no control over that at all, but I’m still being hard on myself. I don’t really know why.

I’m thinking about asking my doctor to change meds, but I have a feeling that if I do I’ll slip into an even worse depression or possibly even a manic episode. I’m not going to make any changes for now, but I keep thinking about it.

My suicidal ideations are back. They weren’t really gone, but they were much less for the past couple weeks. I didn’t really realize that they lessened until they started up again with full force.

Blood Work Updates

Blood Work Updates

Since the beginning of April, I have had to get my blood work done every week due to the Clozapine that I take. However, that won’t last much longer. Starting in October, which will be after completing six months of weekly blood work, I finally get to switch to doing my blood work every other week for the following six months. After that, I get to do my blood work on a monthly basis.

This will make my life much easier going forward. I know I should be excited about this, it is an exciting thing, but I just don’t feel excited. Probably because I’ve been numb to most things lately.

Physical and Mental Health

Physical and Mental Health

As if I didn’t have enough issues already, I went to my primary care doctor yesterday because my cholesterol is high. Now I have to add a new medication to my current large list of meds. I was told that one of my meds is most likely causing my cholesterol to rise, but no one told me which medication is causing this problem. I think it might be the Clozapine, but that’s just a guess.

It’s getting difficult managing both my mental health and my physical health at the same time. I have also developed some myoclonic jerks, most likely from the Lithium that I take. They’re manageable right now, as long as it doesn’t get worse.

So Many Meds

So Many Meds

Sometimes I feel like I take too much medication. I take Lithium, Tegretol, Clozapine, Cytomel, Mirapex, and Valium for my bipolar disorder and anxiety. I take Zofran, Cogentin, and Metformin because of side effects from my bipolar medication. I have to take hormone replacement therapy because of my hysterectomy. I also take Percocet and Elmiron for my bladder disorder. It’s a long list of medication.

One of the meds has to be taken on an empty stomach twice a day, but some of my other meds have to be taken with food. I take medication about 6 times a day, sometimes more, depending on when I eat. It feels like all I’m doing is taking medication. I hate the fact that so many of my medications are treating side effects of other meds, but I guess that’s how it goes.

I’ve been hoping that one day I won’t have to take medication, but realistically, I know that won’t happen. This is just something that I have to deal with. I think I wouldn’t care about it as much if the meds actually worked. My depression has improved, but my suicidal ideations are still there. In the end, I know that I’m a lot better off taking these meds than I am without them.

Psych Appointment

Psych Appointment

Yesterday was my appointment with my psychiatrist. It went really well. I brought a list of everything I wanted to talk to him about, so I wouldn’t forget anything. It was very helpful. He listened to everything I said as well as all of my requests.

I am now off Deplin, because I don’t feel that it has helped at all. He increased my Cogentin at night for the dystonia, just like I asked. He also said I could get off of the Inositol since it wasn’t working either.

I talked to him about the twitches I’m having in my hands that cause me to drop things. He said there was a name for it, but the only solution would be to go off some other meds, such as Lithium and Tegretol. I don’t want to do that at this time. I told him about the extreme nausea that’s been happening this past week, but we both agreed that it’s most likely from Elmiron, which I take for my bladder disorder. The Clozapine is causing the drowsiness during the day.

He is also going to check my thyroid level, Lithium level, Tegretol level, blood sugar level, and cholesterol. I’m very pleased with this appointment.

When I got home, I took a nap that lasted about 6 hours. I don’t know why that happened, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I feel better so far today.

Expressing Anger

Expressing Anger

I generally hide certain emotions, especially anger, even though I know it’s not helping me. I used to get drink and get high when I couldn’t handle my anger. Over the years, I’ve taught myself to downplay my anger so it didn’t have as big of an effect on me as it used to. I thought this was working, but I now know that I was just avoiding problems instead of dealing with them. All problems need to be dealt with at some point.

I have so much going on in my life right now. I became so overwhelmed yesterday and I finally admitted that I was angry; I said it out loud. It felt really good to say it out loud and express my emotions; it actually lessened my anger. I should have done it a long time ago. I’m hoping that I learned something from this experience.

I started another medication yesterday for my bladder disorder. It seems that my medication list is going to keep getting bigger. I was told that I have to take this medication on an empty stomach and I take it twice a day. I already have a medication that I take with food twice a day. I think that the new medication is what pushed me over the edge yesterday. Nothing ever seems to be simple. Hopefully the new medication will work, but it will take time.

New Medication

New Medication

Today, I started another new medication, Metformin. My psychiatrist prescribed it to help with weight loss since the Inositol wasn’t helping. The new medication, Metformin, is actually a diabetes medication, and I don’t have diabetes. I’m taking 500 mg twice a day with food. I still have to do more research on this medication because I know nothing about it. I was told it should help me lose weight in about two weeks. I’m really hoping that this helps me lose some weight. If this works, then that would mean less medication changes. If it doesn’t work, well, I don’t really want to think about that. I’m trying to stay positive.

Tips for Medication Management

Tips for Medication Management

 

Medications are one of the more difficult things to manage that comes along with a bipolar diagnosis. The medications work together to help decrease the symptoms caused by bipolar disorder. Every person takes a different combination of medications to treat their individual symptoms and needs. I have been on multiple medications since my diagnosis, just like most individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I take a combination of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety medications. My medications need to be taken three times a day, and it’s important to take them regularly. Some of the medications I take treat side effects caused by my bipolar medication, and some of my meds treat separate physical conditions. It’s a lot of medication to take and keep organized. It’s important to take the right medication at the right time. It’s also important to make sure I don’t run out of any of my medications.

Keeping our psychiatric medications organized is a difficult job to handle, but it is a vital task. Medications can do a lot to treat bipolar disorder, as well as other psychiatric disorders, as long as they are taken on a regular basis. Each medication has its own specific instructions that need to be followed. Keeping track of everything is not easy, but our psychiatrists prescribe these medications to us with detailed instructions for a good reason. I never make any changes to my medications without first clearing it with my psychiatrist.

At times, I have been unable to manage all of my medications properly, even when using a weekly pill organizer. In the past, I have used a free online service called MyMedSchedule.com. This website has helped me to keep track of all my medications, how often I taken each medication, it sends me reminders to take my meds, and it sends me reminders to refill my meds. I can also print off a list of my medications that is wallet size so I have it with me in case I ever need it; when my doctors asks me what medications I’m on, all I have to do is pull out my list and hand it to them. Hopefully, this website can help some people organize and manage their medications with greater ease.

Keeping track of side effects is also important to medication management. It is critical to report all side effects to your psychiatrist so he/she can properly treat them. Some side effects, such as nausea or drowsiness, can be easily treated.

The following suggestions helpful for people who take multiple medications:

  1. Use a pill organizer: I fill mine up weekly to make sure that I take my morning and evening medications.
  2. Count your meds: Every week, when I fill up my pill organizer, I count the pills I have left. I put the bottles away as long as I have at least one full week worth of medication left in the bottle after filling up the pill organizer.
  3. Refill meds as needed: If I have less than one full week in the pill bottle, then I leave it on the counter so I remember to refill that prescription that week. I have never run out of medication using this method.
  4. Use alarms: I also set an alarm on my phone, which goes off every afternoon, to remind me to take my afternoon medication.
  5. Keeping some meds on me at all times: Some of my medications only need to be taken “as needed”, such as anti-anxiety medication and those that treat specific side effects. I keep these medications in my purse so I have them with me at all times.
  6. Use the free online services: The website mymedschedule.com can be used to keep track of all your medications, when to take your meds, and when to refill them.
  7. Talk to your psychiatrist and pharmacist: You can ask your psychiatrist about side effects, but your pharmacist will generally know more about all medication side effects and medication interactions.
  8. Don’t change your meds on your own: Despite side effects, it’s still essential not to make changes to your medications without first speaking with your psychiatrist about it.

Medications must be taken as prescribed in order for them to work to the best of their ability. This means that it is necessary to keep track of when to take meds and when to refill meds. Keeping track of side effects also helps to treat any medical issues that arise. Communicating with your psychiatrist is very important for medication management, which helps to ensure the best outcome.