Monday, July 14, 2014

Am I Psychotic?

I have shared some very intimate details of my life. What I have to say may scare people away. I was not even sure if I wanted to share this information publicly, but since I have been honest about the experiences that I have written in all my other blogs, I may as well be consistent. Besides, I have always known that this subject would come up sooner or later. It is time to share one of my "scary secrets".

I am on antipsychotics. I am on it for the second time. Almost a year ago my doctor changed my medication from a mood stabilizer to an antipsychotic because he felt that I needed something stronger. I was scared. I thought that needing the drug meant that I was psychotic. He explained to me that the medicine would help me focus. It would remove the distractions around me so I could concentrate on the important things. One drawback was that the medication caused me to have anxiety so I needed a prescription to counteract the side effect. 

After a few months, I asked my psychiatrist if I could change medications. I did not like the way the antipsychotics made me feel. I felt as if I was walking through a fog. It was like being in a depression phase while I was on it. He told me that other drugs classified within the same category would have similar results but include more risks and side effects. I asked him if I could discontinue using the antipsychotic and return to using the mood stabilizer. Although, I didn't feel like my original medication helped much, I preferred using it because I didn't like how I felt on the antipsychotic. After some discussion he agreed. 

To my surprise, at a recent appointment I told my psychiatrist that I missed the effects of the antipsychotic. It helped me sleep and focus my thoughts. After a short discussion we decided that I would take the mood stabilizer, antipsychotic, and anti-anxiety medications at the same time. In my experience, the combination of taking all of the drugs together were more effective than taking them individually. 

It may sound counterproductive when you consider the reasons why each medication is used. One drug keeps me from feeling too low while the other keeps me from feeling too high. It seems like I am basically on an antidepressant and depressant at the same time. In my opinion, I feel that the doses I am currently taking counteracts with one another at the right levels. It helps keep my moods within the "normal" range.

During my first experience with antipsychotics the racing, overwhelming thoughts went away. When I stopped taking them, they returned. Now that I am on them again, my mind is quiet once more. When something that you were used to having in your life is no longer there, comes back, and leaves makes it blatantly obvious that it was always there. As cliché as it may sound, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
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