January 20, 2007

Green Prozac

I recently posted a question on Bipolar 4 All about marijuana use as a treatment option. My response was more negative than positive. Honestly, I was surprised. I thought for sure there would be more support.

One member sent me a link to several articles focusing on the pros and cons of pot as it relates to mental illness. One article in particular did give a positive nod to cannabis as an option for both depression and bipolar disorder.

Mental Marijuana


Wearing me out

I was reading through email sent to me by various organizations informing readers about development in the treatment of bipolar disorder. While there was no earth shattering news to get excited about, I did run across an interesting clothing line.

These garments are known as "BiPolar Wear." Judging from the models on their website, it looks like they cater to skateboarders and underground rock groupies in their late teens or early twenties. Most of the shirts have "bipolar wear" splashed across the front with a pair of antonyms on the sleeves, for example "love" on the right arm and "hate" on the left.

Interesting concept. . . . use an incurable illness as the theme for a line of clothing.

Gotta go . . . . I need to get to work on "Psoriasis Wear."

January 19, 2007

Pot is your friend

I smoke pot. And, if I have a lot of it, I smoke a lot of it.

I truly believe that marijuana possesses properties capable of calming some of the emotional storms always present in a bipolar mind. Well, at least it does for me anyway.

What a shame that such a kind plant would be made illegal. For me, as an alcoholic, it is simply nonsensical that alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. Pot never came close to obliterating my life like rum and coke did. If anything, it served as a deterrent from wanting to drink.

I tried to get my doctor to prescribe legal marijuana it to me. But, I guess I was not convincing enough presenting my case.

I would love to know if other bipolars feel the same way about weed.

Drug Dealing

Interested in my current mix of mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, sleeping pills, etc? No problem. Here's my list of daily dosing and a few comments for each prescription.

Risperdal is the latest addition to my fistful of "happy pills." As I explained in an earlier post, it was my savior against an onset of extreme anxiety, and most likely, a manic episode. But, this time, other than playing doctor and medicating myself with a bottle of vodka, I called my doc. I have only this one experience using Risperdal. So, I'll blog about my next need to use it. But, so far, it has performed it's job with flying colors.

Buspar was my first prescribed remedy for anxiety. I know this drug works wonders for me. How, you ask? Well, recently I suggested to my doc that I was on an inordinate amount of meds. He agreed and we began the tweaking process. We revised the dosage from 20mgs twice a day to "as needed." Within 4-5 days I was a basket case. It didn't take long to welcome Buspar back into my personal family of pills.

This anti-depressant was a life saver for me about a year ago during an extremely stressful time. I noticed depression creeping its way into my behavior despite the mood stabilizers I was taking. After seeking help from my doctor, Cymbalta came through as my knight in shining amour. I went from not being able to get out of bed to tackling my situation head on. It did the job, and after a year has gone by, I am still downing this little pill.

Ambien has been in the news lately because reports of people sleep walking/eating/driving have been flooding in. I have not experienced anything like this using the sleeping pill, only wonderful restful nights. I don't take Ambien every night, just when I need it. And definitely need it when I take Adderall.

Trileptal is not approved for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It's purpose is trained towards epilepsy and the prevention of seizures. For whatever reason, I serves as a great mood stabilizer as well. I have been on trileptal longer than any of my other meds and it has served me well. Recently, we reduced my dosage in half from 1200 mgs per day to 600 mgs. I noticed no change. But, I also began taking up lithium which is most likely picking up the slack. I also use Trileptal as a sleeping aid occasionally.

Ah, the tried and true salve for all bipolar woes. When I was first diagnosed as bipolar, they immediately suggested lithium as a course of treatment. Then, I refused to believe that I could be mentally ill and flatly denied the prescription. After a horrific manic episode landing me 20 days in a mental ward, it now makes my list. I was prescribed Zyprexa at the same time lithium was added on. So, I am not sure which drug is most effective or if it is the combination of the two. All I know is that I am pleased with my current mental state. So, I guess you could say I like it. What a difference 10 years makes.

Okay, okay, I'll admit it. The only reason I have this ADHD medicine is because I tried one of my teenage daughter's and fell in love with it. I went to my doctor and explained that I felt it was a miracle drug for me. My doc is pretty cool and gave me a script. I take it about every other day, fully aware how addictive it is. But, I believe the effects of the medicine are worth tempting my addictive soul. So far, so good.

Last, and certainly not least is Zyprexa. Zyprexa was my first experience with an atypical anti psychotic. Used for the treatment of bipolar maintenance and schizophrenia, it joined my army of meds after a disastrous manic episode that propelled me into psychosis. At first, I hated it. I felt flat lined, dead, boring. I didn't think I would be able to deal with it for long. But, finally I got used to it and now I really like "being calm." I can think more clearly and insignificant happenings in life don't send me through the roof like they used to. I am very thankful for Zyprexa.

Does this seem like a lot of pills? Well, you are correct, it is . . . even my psychiatrist agrees. But, it is the result of not being able to get a grip on this tumultuous illness. And, if it keeps me out of crazy land, I'll keep popping.

January 17, 2007

Respirdal rocks!

Biting raw anxiety domineered my thoughts and feelings over the last few days. Unease, apprehension over nothing clung to me like the steam in a sauna. Choosing to call my doctor, as opposed to picking up the bottle, I begged him for help.

Deep down in my evil self somewhere, I was hoping that he might prescribe some Ativan or Klonopin. Thankfully, he is smarter than that. After seeing me through a 28 day stint at Father Martin's Ashley, he knows better than to offer me something addictive.

Instead, he prescribes Respirdal. Respirdal is used for the treatment of Schizophrenia and for BiPolar mania. Whatever it's for, it took only two pills to bring me back to a safer earth.

Now that I am calm and content, I look back and wonder what was happening. Was I about to launch into another manic episode? If I had drank, most certainly, my day would have ended up differently, like in a hospital. But instead, I'm blogging about my successful treatment.

I guess it also helps to have gulped a few Adderall this afternoon as well.