The Right Mental Health Medication

It’s a crap shoot at best, from beginning to end.  How can we find the right mental health medication to treat bipolar and other mental disorders? After a lot of trial and error one may find a medication or a combination of it that can be very effective in treating symptoms.

When I was first committed to a psychiatric hospital, the first drug I received was an injection of Haldol, a strong anti-psychotic drug. This was to bring me out of a catatonic state or state of unresponsiveness. My psychotic break was severe and untreated for a week before I was finally admitted.

After they captured me back,  they concluded that I was bipolar and I was started on Lithium. Shortly after that I was put on Prozac to pull me out of depression.

Not long after that the dose of Prozac they had given me, I became agitated and I couldn’t sleep. I believe I went manic. I don’t remember all the reasons and symptoms and reactions, but I know I was tried on Depakote (mood stabilizer) and that was ineffective, so back on Lithium. Then the amount of Lithium I was making me toxic and I was nauseous and throwing up. They realized that a lower dose was more therapeutic for me. Then after time on Lithium, my thyroid was affected.

Over the years the doctors tried numerous drugs, from anti-depressants, to mood stabilizers, meds for side effects, anti-psychotics, and even meds for ADD. Finally years later I was put on yet another mood stabilizer, an anxiety med, and Zyprexa, for the schizophrenic traits.

My diagnosis changed with the different medications and hospitalizations. They finally came up with a new category, called schizoaffective disorder or bipolar with manic tendencies. This stands today.

I learned not to complain about insignificant symptoms, as then the psychiatrist would suggest new meds and back to the hospital I would go. Not good.

It took twelve years of changes, before I was put on this last regiment.  The medication has worked. The only change was to change my Zyprexa from pills to tablets that would dissolve and get the med in my blood system quicker.

Even when I went back to the hospital over the years, they deemed that they would keep me on the same meds until my mania subsided. I have been on the same regimen for ten years.

I feel for the psychiatrist and the person taking meds, because the med doctor generally see the patient for 15 minutes and then they prescribe a mind altering drug. Like I said each case is different. So, the doctors don’t know how one will respond. It’s an educated guess.

My wife researched the drugs and bought a pill book. The best way to go about it is to try to be aware of your symptoms and the side affects from the drugs and to be educated. You are your most important advocate.

How many times have you changed meds? Have you finally found the right combination? Has your experience been like mine?



New Job, New Beginning

So, I have dusted myself up and picked myself up. Now I have reentered the work force. I was down and out, divorced and displaced, but now I am blessed with a new beginning.

So with this new beginning , my disability got cut back, and the government has taken away my insurance benefits. The same month that I got my job and thought I was going to get ahead of the game, paying off bills, and saving for a car, I got the letter.  So, with that said, I am looking like I will only bread even with part-time work.

I could get discouraged, and to be truthful, that was my first reaction. But, I feel like I am strong enough to try my hand at full time work. I know this is taking a big risk, to leave all by benefits behind, but when God closes a door, He opens a window. To use a cliché, (which I love doing), when the student is ready the teacher shows up.

I love it that we have a government that does provide for those who are disabled.  I have benefited for years. But, they have made some major changes, even without giving notice. I don’t know what I would have done without getting my part-time job this month. Next month, without a job,I would have not had the money to live on or pay my bills.

I know it is hard to get disability and there are some who really need it and they get denied. But, there is no shame in accepting care when it is needed. The years I had benefits, I wasn’t strong enough to keep a full time job. I struggled greatly with just keeping a part-time job. With the paranoia and anxiety, not being able to handle change or stress, I really needed assistance.

Like the title of this article says, this change is a new beginning. I will not fear. Of course I will be anxious, but that is the way my brain is wired. But, I will trust in God.

Where are you at? We all go through different stages and struggles. Every person is different from the next. This is evident in the effects of medication reacting differently with each individual.

Take care of yourself. You are worth more than gold. Accept that when people fail you, God will not. He has enough love for us that it is unimaginable. Seek people who are supportive and surround yourself with positivity. Good luck and God bless.

How has your disability affected your work performance?


Long Suffering and Mental Illnesss

Does anyone like to suffer? Even for all of my suffering, I have found value in going through the battles with bipolar and mental illness. I have been beating by police when I walked away from a mental hospital. The police had no reason to arrest … [Continue reading]

Opinions for the Mentally Handicapped

Opinions are like arm pits. We all have them and some times they stink. Since I have been diagnosed mentally handicapped, I have been barraged with opinions from everyone and their brother. I know people mean well, but I am responsible for making my … [Continue reading]

More about Risk and Mental Health

When you get out of bed each day, you risk. But, there are definitely greater risks than getting out of bed. Not that getting out of bed isn't impressive for some people, however I try to reduce greater risk and choose the best I can what other risks … [Continue reading]

Doors, Windows, and Risk

Have you ever stood in front of a door or window of opportunity and had the insight to recognize it for what it was? I know I have been in that place many times in my life. Each time I had to decide if I wanted to take a risk and if going ahead was a … [Continue reading]