Dear Medicine, thanks for stabilizing me…

When I was first diagnosed, my doctors did not have to go through the entire pharmacy to find what medication worked for me. I am taking the same medicine I took when I was diagnosed in 2011.

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. It’s characterized by extreme moods. People with bipolar disorder have mania up top, and depression down below. Those losers who don’t have this awesome illness have mood thresholds as well, but you could describe theirs as happy and sad. (I am simplifying things for the sake of brevity.)

The point of medication for people with bipolar disorder is to bring their extreme mood thresholds into a normal range. Even on medication, there will be mood swings, sometimes drastic swings, but if someone is on the right medicine, and takes that medicine diligently, the chances of hitting the extremes of mania and depression are lowered significantly.

Some people with this illness cannot stand to take medicine because it makes them feel like a zombie. After experiencing the thrills of mania, it’s no wonder people who feel like zombies on medicine eventually stop taking it.

I do not have this problem. I love the medicine I take. So, what “crazy” pills am I on?

The brand name of the first is Geodon, it is an anti-psychotic. It’s job is to keep me from flying into a manic whirlwind. This medicine also helps me sleep (not sleeping is a symptom and cause of mania). I take it every night with dinner, and depending on what I eat, this medicine can knock me on my butt. It is not uncommon for me to go to bed at 7:00 if I eat certain things. Geodon was originally used for schizophrenic patients.

The brand name of my other medication is Lamictal, it is a mood lifter. This medicine keeps me from falling to the abyss of depression. It has done its job well; I have never experienced a debilitating depression. I have probably felt depression a little more acutely than your average Joe, but I have nothing to complain about. This medicine was originally used for epileptic patients.

There are a ton of other medications of which I know nothing, which is fine by me. I cannot find any faults with the medicine I take. It took some experimenting to figure out the right dosage, but in the grand scheme of things, my medication experience has been grand.

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