Managing Bipolar I

I was diagnosed with bipolar I after an acute psychotic break in 1998. The psychotic break, I believe, caused the brain imbalance that resulted in my life, personality and memory to be forever altered. It is what it is and often simply adequately and accurately understanding and interpreting reality can be challenging. I didn’t say impossible or even unable to. I said challenging.

The reason I bring this up is that since starting medication therapy for my bipolar, which I did in 1998, I have sometimes struggled to find the right combination to stay balanced. Indeed, sometimes I believe that swallowing everything the shrink prescribes is a huge pill to swallow in itself. Lithium made me vomit the first time I tried it. I tried it a second time 20 years later and although I didn’t vomit, my symptoms worsened terribly on it. My main antipsychotic has been Abilify. I’ve been on it for at least a decade. I remember my first antipsychotic pill from the psychotic break required a benedryl be taken with it because of side effects. The fog was thick and my thinking almost non-existent. I’ll just stick with Abilify, thank you. Although I’ve developed tardive dyskinesia as a side effect, it still is the most helpful antipsychotic I’ve had. So there’s the thinking part.

Now onto the mood symptoms. Abilify helps some because thinking is related to mood. As with most bipolar people, I experience severe depression and anxiety. I was taking Lexapro which works great for depression and okay for anxiety. I recently switched to Remeron due to insomnia effects of Lexapro. We’ll see how it goes. So far, so good.

What I’m getting at is, there’s no one fix for bipolar. It takes mood tracking, psychiatric management, therapy, sleep hygiene, exercise, healthy eating, tons of water and loads of support from those closest to you.

It takes time to altar bad habits, change priorities and align with the highest, best version of you. You can do it through patience, practice and devotion.

I believe in you and I believe in me. I believe in us.

%d bloggers like this: