Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

forgetting what I'm like without meds

Hello all,
I'm new to this forum so I guess I'll introduce myself a bit. I have been living with bipolar disorder for 6 years now. I've had my rough years and my easy ones, and my fair share of medication changes. I have been stable for about 3 years now.
As of late, I have been having a bit of a personal crisis, and I was wondering if anyone else felt this way. Sometimes I don't feel like me, or even know who me is anymore. It's a struggle with duality. Am I not me if I need to be suppressed with medication? Who would we be if we didn't take our meds? I am currently on Trileptol and Zoloft and have been through lithium, effexor, and depakote. No matter when medication is on, I always feel dampened...like my creativity is gone, all my ideas are dull... in a sort of way I miss the art I made when I had manic attacks. Yes I know the dangers of being off my meds and that really scares me. I'm not thinking about stopping the dosage. If I stopped taking my meds for more than a month I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with anything in my life. I just wondered if anyone else out there felt this way and how they cope with these feelings. These are my number one thoughts that make me break down into a tiff... and over the past year or two I haven't been able to get over it.

Thanks in advance
Diana
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replied February 14th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I do not have bipolar disorder but my son does. Recently, he started hearing 2 voices, one evil and one good. This required another med. change. He is no longer hearing the voices but misses hearing the good voice because of the positive, affirming things the voice told him. He is dampened a bit. This seems to be a common problem when on the meds. I don't have any great suggestions for you. Perhaps your doctor could offer a suggestion.
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replied February 14th, 2008
Experienced User
Nods...

I know exactly how you feel. When I'm properly medicated, I tend to not even feel like looking at my electronic-keyboard...let alone try and compose something (I do this as a hobby, nothing serious).

I also a LOT of times feel like i am at a loss as to who I am, where I am going and where I want to be. Granted, I think of suicide wether on med's or not but I know that if I were to go off of them, my depressive mood might sink sooo low that I might just act on it (which I haven't done as of yet...touch wood).

Some days I just feel like running far...far...far...away and just disappear. Go and live on some secluded island where I can just "be"...if that makes sense...It feels like I won't be able to be me, so lang as I am "chained down" by other people's expectations?

At any rate, the most I can do is sympathise with your situation as I my self have a daily struggle at keep head above water. On the outside it might seem as if tho I am cool calm and collected and haven't a care in the world and that everything in my life is going according to plan...but deep down...there is a storm of epic preportions breweing all the time, just waiting to erupt...

I wish you all of the best...and if you need to, my shoulders don't mind getting wet...
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replied February 14th, 2008
thanks Seraph
It's nice knowing I'm not alone with this feeling. I, too, at times wish I could go somewhere and live my life without medication... I guess I have been thinking about it more because I was assigned to write a manifesto about my artwork... and it turned out to be about duality and my struggle with myself.
Perhaps I'll post it when I finish writing. It's really choosing between the lesser of two evils, and I truly hate living that way... I miss my heightened senses and actually FEELING things... but at the same time I want to function as a member of society.... and it is sad that even though I am NOT suicidal, it still is a thought occasionally. Who knows, maybe if we never took medication, we could have made history... of course like the others our lives would probably be shorter.
Sometimes I think that by understanding ourselves in a pure state, we can become who we are supposed to be. I don't know... sometimes it seems that either way we live, we are going to drive ourselves crazy with questions.
Do you also sometimes miss your manic episodes? Do you think the shortage of present musical/artistic geniuses is due to the overflow of medication?
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replied February 14th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I don't think the decline in artist genius is due to over medication. It is a result of the medication, for sure. The meds work on the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for mood regulation. This directly effects one's artistic tendencies. As a neuro RN I had patients that had surgery and the prefrontal cortex was effected. Sometimes it was short term and others it was more permanent. These people had flattened emotional responses frequently and reported some changes in creativity.

Interestingly, my son is very talented and draws and paints like a pro. Some of his work rivals what I have seen in galleries. I hope this does not become extinguished for him. I think it is a gift and hate to have meds dampen it.
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replied February 15th, 2008
Experienced User
On the one hand, the mania gives me more creativity...

On the other hand, it's kinda debilletating...A lot of times I would be stuck. My thaughts would be racing so much that I can't stick to one thing at a time making it very difficult to concentrate. At times, I would also feel dispreportionate elation and frustration which basically just bogs down my whole thaught process.

The most dangerous is usually when I do things "without thinking". I hate it when it happens because when I have to deal with the consequences, I feel like it wasn't me that did it...and I can't see how it could be my fault...

So I guess, in the end...the negative side out-ways the positive side 90% of the time.

At work, it can be a bother too...I would feel unneccissary need to work more "goal-orientated" and go over board...I would end up trying to plan out every finite item which really frustrates others and in the end...when the mood had passed, it all goes to waste...
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replied February 16th, 2008
Take me with you to the secluded island!
Hah, i've joked about that before. All bipolars should be able to live on some island far away from the rest of society.
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replied February 18th, 2008
Experienced User
Anytime!

I agree. Society just always want to shove us into a box...makes us get anxious over suffocating, then manic about not being alowed out and then ultimately depressed over being stuck in the box Wink
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