Bipolar Disorder and the Med-Go-Round

Starting with when I was in hospital in February of this year, these are all of the medication changes I have had in the last seven months. First up, Lamictal, Klonopin, and Ambien boom, gone. Zyprexa added, one dose in the morning and then one at night. Zyprexa doses adjusted twice in hospital. Was given Ativan while in hospital to try and help me sleep. Seroquel decreased twice and started on Moclobemide. When I left hospital I was taking Seroquel, Zyprexa, Lithium and Moclobemide.

Back in the real world. Was given back my Klonopin (thank god) and Lithium levels checked. Levels were good, are good. After several weeks of no improvement with depression Moclobemide was increased. Moclobemide was increased a second time. Then I got manic and was taken off of Moclobemide. After a month Moclobemide was reintroduced at minimal dosage. Zyprexa levels were checked and were too high so I lost my morning dose of Zyprexa. Klonopin was switched out with Valium as anxiety was increasing. Started to have severe anxiety attacks which sometimes even the Valium couldn’t control so started back on a second Seroquel, Seroquel XR, also Moclobemide was increased again, tripled.

I keep careful track of my meds, I have every days meds written down in a diary. Every med change, adjustment. I keep track. I started doing that during my last hospital stay because my meds were getting changed so much, I wanted to keep track. It gave me a sense of control too.

It really feels like one gigantic med-go-round. And that’s not even all of the meds I’ve been on. I’ve been on, I think it was, 29 different medications at last count. It’s so easy to get disheartened going through so many different meds. But every so often they find a combination that works and I feel a little less shitty for a while. I’ve been told by doctors that I’m med sensitive, treatment resistant, and fragile. I see my doctor every single week just so that he can see how I’m doing and check on my meds. He’s very attentive, I wouldn’t trade him for anything. My case worker too, I see here every single Monday. Wouldn’t trade her for anything either, she’s fabulous.

I know that I’m not the only one here, I know that I’m not the only bipolar person that has this trouble. We’re just so dang hard to medicate! Bipolar is such a tricky disease to treat and everyone responds so differently to medication. All I can say is keep on trying. No matter how hopeless it seems, keep on trying. I feel utterly hopeless right now, I feel broken, like nothing can fix me, but I’m hanging in there and I’m keeping on trying. Something has to give sooner or later, right?


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2 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder and the Med-Go-Round

  1. Wow, you deserve a medal just for NOT quitting.
    I am also med resistant so I understand your struggle.
    I have had to rely on strategies to get me through. Managing this bipolar is my full time job. Not managing it is not an option.
    Like you, I get discouraged. One of rough parts of this illness is the fluctuating moods. Even if you do find a med that is helpful to some extent, you will still have bad days. On those bad days it is easy to think the meds are not working, but if you can endure the bad days without changes, you may discover that a med that works at least some of the time is better than nothing?
    I have only one med now, after trying, well I am not sure how many. I take lamictal. It just slightly takes the edge off of flat out depression which is why I cling to it. Even though it is supposed to be a mood stabilizer, I’m not convinced it is doing that.
    Don’t give up, I’m praying for you.

  2. i understand. just last week I took a look at my pill tray and felt dizzy. I recently went back to a four times a day pill tray from a two and realized my meds and changes have gotten out of hand comparably, to my usual. It can get really depressing and clearly, you have a legitimate, rough hand. Wishing you strength. Sometimes I feel I have it relatively “easy” and then I look down at my bag of med bottles and don’t know what happened and when. I’m on three new ones and phasing out two of my “summer meds” b/c of SAD. All the changes can really throw you and I understand. Your sensitivity sounds particularly rough. I don’t know if you feel this way but lately I’ve been feeling trapped by my meds. This is new. I also, at times, have these tiny moments where I feel I can’t keep up with the changes (though I am). Maybe it’s time for an anti-anxiety!! Anyway, I think we do the best we can. Well, I’m thinking of you and passing on what extra strength I have today, which as it turns out, isn’t much. (Just diagnosed with lyme…it sucks the living daylights out of me, most days.) Be well, stay strong, you have a lot of followers who will give you positive energy when you need it and it sounds like you have a top team, always a plus! We can’t do it without them, right?