I can’t count the number of times I’ve ran into Bipolars and Depressives who do not have an organized approach to finding their wellness. I’ve dealt with a lot of different people since I started living openly with being Bipolar and putting up my website. “Mental illness” is a perfectly suitable name for what we deal with. It’s an illness. It has symptoms, predictable patterns (though our actions during a pattern may not be), and a method of treatment.
But how many of us have slacked when it comes to our medication? It’s easy to do if you let yourself get mired down into morbid depression. You just keep chucking pills down your throat and hope it goes away as the weeks and months tick by. The problem is that we are sabotaging our own wellness efforts by letting the depression rule us. That’s why we need an orderly, organized approach.
Quite a few psych medications should be working by 4-6 weeks after you start taking them (check your prescriptions for specifics). There’s no reason to stay on the same dosage or medication after the maximum time has passed for the medication to be doing it’s job. If it’s not, call your doctor and get that shit either changed or increased. Chances are very good it’s not going to magically start working a month later.
One person I spoke with was taking an incorrect dosage for six fucking months! She could have tried as many as three varying dosages in addition to the original in that time. But she didn’t because she let her depression and mental illness drive her decision making processes.
If you want to be well, you have to push through the bullshit that you normally deal with to get it. An established course of action takes all the mental turmoil out of your decision making process. If it doesn’t work in 6 weeks (or a time appropriate to your prescription); get it changed. You’re only punishing yourself and the people around you by letting it go.
A similarly important point is to have some kind of idea on what “correct” medication should do for you. Everyone has different tolerances and desires. So you have to understand what you need out of your medication so you can define it as successful or a failure. Functionality, the ability to meet your basic needs as a human, and not have your mental illness destroying your relationships serves as a pretty good baseline.
It’s a bitch to get there, but you can make it. You just have to keep pushing and avoid the pitfalls your mental illness will inevitably throw in front of you.
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