My Psychopharmacologist and I

Here’s the thing– I believe in psychiatric medication. I know because it has changed my life. It took about 5 years to find the right cocktail, and I’ve gone on and off a few times, and now I have a new mixture, but I am more of “me” on medication than off. I understand why people are against it, but many of those people have never experienced what it’s like to feel the difference between better and not. But, to be fair, it took a while for me to find the right mixture. The majority of this took place between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. I can’t remember quite everything I took, but here is what I recall– with the way I remembered it as a kid.

Depakote (“the pink one”) – Anticonvulsant
When I was on Depakote, I had to get my blood drawn and tested every month. I remember disliking it, of course, but I also remember that my mom would get me a little something each time– a truffle, or a mini teddy bear, or something else. To be taken care of like that was really nice.
Oh, plus the pill was pink and didn’t taste disgusting.

Valproic acid is used alone or with other medications to treat certain types of seizures. Valproic acid is also used to treat mania (episodes of frenzied, abnormally excited mood) in people with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods)
— From the US National Library of Medicine

Paxil (“the yellow one I hated”) – SSRI
My most powerful memory of Paxil was hiding it in a potted plant. My mother found the evil yellow pills, eventually, and was furious. I took paxil for a long time, but I don’t ever remember it working.

Paroxetine tablets … are used to treat depression, panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks),  social anxiety disorder (extreme fear of interacting with others or performing in front of others that interferes with normal life)…, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won’t go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; excessive worrying that is difficult to control), and posttraumatic stress disorder (disturbing psychological symptoms that develop after a frightening experience).
From the US National Library of Medicine

Neurontin (“the very early one”) – Anticonvulsant
I took Neurontin pretty early on. I’m not sure what exactly it did for me, particularly reading the description of what it actually is prescribed for (I never had seizures… or anything that description mentioned).

Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are used to help control certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy… [and] to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) are used to treat restless legs syndrome.
— From the US National Library of Medicine

Risperdal (“the white one that kept changing”) – Atypical Antipsychotic
This was the one they put me on after I heard voices coming from one of my home’s fire alarms. Cute, I know. I was on it for a long time, as I recall, and they kept changing the dosage. I remember finally getting off it was very exciting to me.

Risperidone is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) in adults and teenagers 13 years of age and older. It is also used to treat episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited, or irritated mood) or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that happen together) in adults and in teenagers and children 10 years of age and older with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods).
— From the US National Library of Medicine

Trazodone (“the sleep aid one”) – Serotonin Modulator
I took trazodone for a long time. I believe it was first prescribed to cover a number of symptoms, but eventually I only used it for sleep. A couple of years ago, it stopped working, and in a moment I am so very proud of, I approached my psychiatrist and asked if I could change to a more traditional sleep aid. Now I take Ambien, and I love it.

Trazodone is used to treat depression… Trazodone is also sometimes used to treat insomnia and schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions); anxiety (excessive worry).
From the US National Library of Medicine

Zoloft (“the one that made the difference”) – SSRI
When I started taking Zoloft, things changed distinctly. My mom called this the “miracle.” I don’t like to talk in those terms, but Zoloft was the medication that finally made the difference to me. I started taking it at 14, and it was amazing how good I felt, and how consistently. There were ups and downs, but it was normal, not manic. I stopped taking Zoloft for a while (this was when the ED crept in), but now I’m back on it and pleased. I feel like Zoloft is an old friend.

Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won’t go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks), posttraumatic stress disorder (disturbing psychological symptoms that develop after a frightening experience), and social anxiety disorder (extreme fear of interacting with others or performing in front of others that interferes with normal life).
From the US National Library of Medicine

Wellbutrin (“the ED one”) – Antidepressant
I started taking this one at my psychiatrist’s suggestions pretty recently. I was having a lot of trouble quieting my mind, and I felt overwhelmed much of the time. I like Wellbutrin a lot, even though I sometimes still feel like it’s easier just to stay in bed. This med really made a difference in my recovery post-ED and my depression during that time (and now, obviously).

Bupropion (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL) is used to treat depression. Bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) is also used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD; episodes of depression that occur in the fall and winter each year). Bupropion (Zyban) is used to help people stop smoking.
– From the US National Library of Medicine

 

And that’s it, as far as I can recall! What meds do you guys take/have taken? What are your thoughts on psychotropic medications (you can disagree with me, if you like)?

Happy Tuesday!

B.

Have you guys heard of/seen Next to Normal? I saw it twice on Broadway and sobbed like a child. So did literally EVERYONE in the audience. I recommend listening to all the music, but this song in particular is exactly what this post is. Enjoy.


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s