So, I turn up at the psychiatrists office and I blurt out my prepared blurb. Remember I am mentally ill, have no self esteem an find conflict traumatic. Planning is everything. "I don't want to take the quetiapine anymore". He says, "Ok then." To say it was an anti-climax is an understatement. I was expecting some resistance, a fight, and a sharing of words or opinions. He then says, "well what would you like to take?". I am temporarily stumped as all of this is totally unexpected - I have to hand the power back to him as I have no idea what to take. He's the shrink and I've been politely put back in my place.
The list is slightly boggling and everything seems to do something nasty to you. Fat, anorexic, fits, jerks, nausea, skin problems, confusion, blackouts, disorientation. Sounds like alcoholism and food addiction to me but hey, I'm not a chemist. The up side (Yes there is one) is that my mood may actually stabilize, the hyper mania will stop and thoughts of hanging myself or dying in a hole with twigs in the woods may disappear. I'll pick one - Its worth a shot eh?
We choose Valporate semi-sodium, or what is commonly know as Depakote. Depakote can be injected into your backside, but they trust me to take it regularly so I get to take it as a tablet, thank goodness. It's actually an anti convulsant, not an anti psychotic. In lay mans terms, the different medications work on different types of places in my brain cells, altering the mixture of neuro-hormones to create happiness, wellness and lack of madness hopefully - so maybe it'll do something else more positive to my mood too. I imagine this microcosm of mini brain universes all banging around together in my head, squirting neuro-hormone guns at each other, then changing tactics to try and win the war. At the present time we haven't found the correct WMD - weapon of madness destruction!
So I'm off on another chemical journey - Its really hard to keep being hopeful when after 15 months of struggling to be well you're just not getting there. People often don't remember you're ill either, forget to ask you how you are, or assume that everything is ok because to manage to turn up and do things sometimes. Its like putting on your morning mask - if people can see the true face underlying it they'd be afraid to make eye contact. Its not contagious, but people fear mental illness still. Sometimes its easier just to shut up shop for a few hours to get through what ever it is you are doing. Going to bed sometimes is nice as you can pretend its like dying, just to give you a break from the doom and fatigue. But its great as you can actually wake up, and despairingly force yourself through yet another nightmare day. Remember, thinking about dying isn't about killing yourself necessarily. Its about being so damn fed up of fighting 24 hours a day to remain in the game that you want a day off.
So now I'm at the point where I have to risk all again to swap medication over. Its scary as I may come off this old one, start a new one and feel worse; or the same; or better. Or go completely mad.
Stand on the edge of the cliff and jump.....