Saturday, February 27, 2010
I have been on psychiatric medication for about 16 years now. I take antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Of some of these, I take massive amounts. The reason that I started taking these pills is that I had one enormous, completely full blown, nervous break down in the complete sense of the word and that it wasn't pretty and that it took me a long time to get over it. In the course of this, a diagnosis was made of my symptoms, as a diagnosis is made of everyone who enters into psychiatric care and is observed for any length of time. My diagnosis is Bipolar Disorder Type II, complicated with Borderline Personality Characteristics. That's what's written down in my electronic file and that's what I'm labeled as.
The first years I started taking the medication a lot of it didn't work, so it was always a trial and error of trying to find the right medication in the right doses and the right combinations until we finally found the ones that seemed to work the best. Now, it would be nice to assume that these medications brought me back to my former self before I had that huge breakdown,but that is not the case. The medications made me less depressed and less suicidal and less morbidly preoccupied with obsessive thoughts and less anxious and nervous, but they never returned me to the person I used to be who had been fun and adventurous and outgoing and extroverted and socially adapt. I never regained that person.
I mourned over that woman and it took me a long time to come to accept the person I had become instead and for a long time I didn't. Over time I thought, well this is the best I am going to be and that's what I'm stuck with, so I may as well accept it and at least to some point I have a certain amount of peace and quiet. Of course, in reality I don't, because I'm still the victim of depressions and mood swings and I never know from one day to the next what my day is going to look like.
I live a very precarious life that constantly needs to be fine tuned with medication. I suffer from anxieties and agoraphobia and unnamed fears and terrors and sheer nerves. I have an untold amount of suffering and every day seems to be a battle, even on my good days. I suffer from highs that are too high and lows that are too low. I never seem to be in balance.
Instead of being the great solution to the problems I had and returning me to my former glory, the medications seem to prolong my suffering and add to it and never allow me a normal day. Therefor lately, I have lost my faith in them and I am very seriously considering getting off them and once again becoming the woman I was before all of this got started. I will just be older and wiser now.
My recent statement, that I wanted my life to end, was based for a large part on the fact that I could not see myself grow old on the medication and envision a quality of life that I have now with the medication until I die of old age. I thought, there have to be better ways to grow old. I think my quality of life is so low now that I can't accept it as a standard of living.
I talked to my daughter yesterday, from whom I have become practically estranged these past years and she told me that she felt that she had lost me to the medication. That the real me that she knew to be her mom was no longer there and that I had become someone else that she felt no bond with and that she could not get close to. I was unreachable to her and off somewhere in another reality away from the real life one. She wanted me back, but she felt it was impossible under the circumstances and I know what she means, because I feel the detachment too and I feel that about a lot of people.
I somehow have to get myself back. I have to get the joy and the life back into me and not be this drug induced person. My daughter talked of a detox program, but I don't know if something like that is available for me. She wants to get in touch with my psychiatrist and voice her concerns and be my advocate. She rues the fact that she lives so far away from me, because she wants to help me become me again. I want me to become me again.
I'm seriously going to discuss this with my SPN and psychiatrist and see what we can do. It's a possible way for me not to have to end my life. There may be light at the end of the tunnel.