Being Open to Change

Two days ago I called my psychiatrist’s office and set up an appointment for yesterday.  I went to her office and told her about how I’ve been struggling lately. It was so hard to put into words, but I did my best.  Over the last 12 weeks I have been in the process of coming off of my medications; I’ve been off all but one for a couple months now.  I knew it was coming, but when my psychiatrist suggested I start an additional medication I was hesitant, especially because my family is pretty against it.  They’re not against medication in general, they’re just against me being on medication because they saw how much I improved when I stopped most of my medications a couple months ago.  Personally, I wasn’t averse to the idea of starting a new medication, because I felt so horrible that I was willing to try anything that might help.  My doctor reminded me that when you stop medications it can take 8-12 weeks for everything to get out of your system.  I stopped most of my medications in May.  What’s 12 weeks after May?  August.  That’s right.  It’s possible that me feeling so terrible is a result of most medications finally being out of my system.  So starting medication again seems perfectly reasonable when I look at it that way!  My doctor wanted to put me on a mood stabilizer, because everything seems to be really up and down lately, and I suggested that we try a new med instead of going back to what I was on before.  So now I’m on a new mood stabilizer, Tegretol 200mg, twice a day, in addition to my Abilify.  I know it can take weeks or even months for a new medication to start working, so I’m hoping for a placebo effect or something, to be honest.  I just want to feel better now.  I know it doesn’t really work that way, so I’m going to try to be patient.  My psychiatrist is seeing me back in a week.

One of the most important things to do when you start a new medication is to read the informational packets they give you that describe the potential side effects.  I did that right away and I encourage everyone else who is starting a new medication to do the same.  It is so important to be aware of what could happen and what is going on with your body.  And remember, if something doesn’t feel right, contact your pharmacist or doctor immediately!

Still hanging in there…

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