My life

Lurching from one disaster to another...just a suburban princess trying to get by!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Side effects

Warning: This post contains details regarding mental health and suicide.
If you are unable to cope with these concepts or would rather not proceed then please don't read on.

The information supplied is from my personal experience and should not replace professional medical advice.
It's a sad fact that the medications used to treat mental illness, as well as most other illnesses I guess but I can't speak from personal experience about those, are riddled with horrible side effects.

Now some people handle medication beautifully, but my observation is that mental illness of any kind generally involves lots of tweaking and experimentation to get to a dosage that is acceptable.

Since I crashed and burned earlier this year I have gone through most of the medications available for Bipolar Disorder.  It turns out that I am particularly sensitive to medication and some of the side-effects are worse than the illness.

I have variously experienced over the last few months nausea, diarrhoea/constipation (TMI I know), dizziness, sleeplessness, grogginess, mania/crushing depression/suicidal tendencies/mixed episodes (a bit of each), rashes, blurred vision, sensitive eyes, sensitive skin, high blood pressure and changes to my liver function tests necessitating a 4 month wait to see a gastroenterologist. 

I have also had fevers, cold like symptoms and my hair is falling out by the handful.  Most worryingly is the crippling joint pain,  all my joints burn and swell, some days it is all I can do to get out of bed.  I feel absolutely exhausted all the time, bone tired.  And then there is the weight gain...I won't even go there!

I should have shares in my local chemist, seemingly every time I see my Psychiatrist there is a new medication, or a new dosage required.  They know me by name.

The blood tests seem endless, tests to see if the medication is at the right level, tests to see what damage it's doing, tests to see why I have been so ill...they think it was my old medication but the symptoms have not subsided after it was changed.

I live in hope that things settle down.  In the meantime I will persevere, continue with medication, doctor visits, therapy, meditation and mindfulness.

It is an exhausting and expensive process, I can only imagine what it is like for people who have lived with this illness for years...

If you are suffering a mental illness or considering suicide,
please talk to someone, your GP, call Lifeline on 13 11 44
or go to your local hospital emergency department.

If you are in physical danger please call 000 (Australia only).

Love Jo xxx

1 comment:

  1. How incredibly frustrating. I hope they find the right dose/chemical for you soon, so you can get on with living.


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