I was diagnosed with depression when I was about 14; when I was about 15 I was put on my first antidepressant and so began the long journey to find a drug that worked. For people who have never been on psychiatric meds before let me tell you it is a long and frustrating process. Every human brain is different, which means every human brain will react differently to a medication. In my experience, despite being very competent medical professionals, my doctors are just shooting in the dark and hoping something sticks. It’s the old tried and true method of just trying over and over until something works. The worst part of trying different meds are the side affects! Weight gain, sweating, shakiness, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, sexual disfunction just to name a few. Sometimes I wonder if the symptom is worth the cure.
So then why put up with all madness of pill popping? For those who may believe that medications for mental illness are unnatural or that the problem can be solved with diet and exercise you clearly have never felt the feelings I have felt before. Wanting to kill yourself isn’t normal. Feeling depressed or manic is not normal. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain that has to be fixed and medication is one of the only options for those suffering from such imbalances.
I am now 20-years-old and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I still have not found the right concoction of meds that works for me. It frustrates me to know that psychiatry is not an exact science, but there is hope. The hope that there is the right medication out there and that when I find it I’ll be able to better manage my bipolar disorder. It seems absolutely crazy at times, I mean the idea that taking a pill will make you happy. But I don’t think the pills are meant to make things perfect, they are meant to make it so you have a clearer grasp on yourself and your emotions.
The human brain is a complete fucking mystery to me and I am not going to try to understand why the chemicals in my brain work the way they do. For now I’ll take my 40 milligrams of cymbalta and my 30 milligrams of lithium each day and hope that I get closer to an answer.