My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

Bipolar Treatment Fatigue | Bipolar Burble


Bipolar Treatment Fatigue

If you haven’t spent the last decade-and-a-half fighting bipolar disorder, let me clue you in: for many of us, fighting bipolar disorder is an every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life kind-of-a-thing. Dealing with bipolar disorder is not something that stops when you leave your doctor’s office or when you take your pills. Truly treating bipolar disorder means using coping skills and being on guard for the problems of bipolar disorder every moment of forever.

I have recently come back around to being sick of taking pills.  I get this way from time to time, although this time I didn’t stop taking them, which is new.  I take pills 3x a day.  I have alarms set for each time.  That’s a lot of thinking about taking pills.  I can’t leave the house for any significant length of time without worrying about pills.  On top of the three pills I take for BD, I also have a couple of other rx drugs, along with several vitamins & supplements.  When I go away overnight I have to pack an extra bag just for all my pills. >_<

That’s just one aspect of dealing with Bipolar Disorder.  I’ve mentioned here before I get tired of having to think about how I’m feeling all the time.  I can’t even be happy without having to worry if I’m feeling too happy & where that might lead.  What sort of world is it when even happiness can’t be taken for granted?  (Really, you should never take happiness for granted.  A lot of people don’t get that.)

It’s one area in which I don’t think we are alone.  Off the top of my head I imagine diabetes to be much same.  Constantly having to think about how you feel, what & when you eat, checking your sugars, & worrying about whatever pills & shots you take.  Plus, you have to poke yourself.  At least I’m spared that.  I’m not diabetic, but I have many family members who are.

From my experience working with people living with HIV/AIDS, I know they experience fatigue from all the meds they have to take as well.  Some of the pills at the time, 2003-2006, had to be taken 4x a day.  That is a lot of worrying about pills.  Not to mention worrying about every little sniffle & anyone who even coughs around you.  When they were stable, sometimes they took what was known as a drug holiday for a bit.

What about elite athletes, or not-so-elite athletes working hard to get there?  I have no idea what that’s like, ahem, but I imagine it would be something similar when you’re training.  And, you’re probably always training.  Again you have to be aware of what you’re eating & how it makes you feel.  Are you training enough? hard enough? the right way?  Are you stretching?  Are you cross-training?  Do you have the right equipment?  Maybe you worry about fees & sponsors.  I’m sure there is plenty to worry about.  Like I said, I don’t know.  Just guessing from what I’ve read.

My point is, there are lots of things we deal with that aren’t optional if you want to live a healthy productive life.  Okay, running you can drop, unlike BD or diabetes, but for some people it isn’t an option they can live with.  Plus, I do try to make things relevant to both my topics when I can.  We have to find ways to recharge ourselves that don’t involve just letting it all go.  Sometimes, when I’m pill fatigued I just take the BD drugs, The Big 3 as I like to call them, & my birth control pill.  That’s not the sort of thing you can just take willy-nilly.

I spend a lot of down time alone, because it lets me relax & not worry about how I’m acting or what other people think.  When I’m actually exercising (which I am now, yay), I give myself a day off if I need it.  Not pressuring myself is also something I’ve talked about.  It’s important to me to make working out another reason to feel like a failure, so I get discouraged & give up.  I have found things I enjoy doing, & spend time on them.  It’s really important we take time for ourselves, & not just spend all of our time & energy on the disease.


Author: despitemyself

A person in flux.

8 thoughts on “Bipolar Treatment Fatigue | Bipolar Burble

  1. Hello! It’s nice to meet you. I have schizophrenia and I have had it for 16 years, probably longer, but didn’t know it…I take a whole pharmacy. I am now 40 years old and not only do I take psych meds, but I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and seasonal allergies. I take like 13 different medications and am also on anxiety medications.

    I recently, about a year ago, after being in an institution over 12 years, (I got out slowly, by living in group homes), but I’ve finally arrived at the point where I am in my own apartment, have a cat, and I attend the mental health facility here 2 or 3 times a week.

    Because of my past psychotic episodes, I know I will never be off drugs completely. It wasn’t easy to accept at first, but now that I’m taking more meds than both my parents combined, I’ve simply learned to accept it. Yes, I’m over-weight. Yes, I hate to exercise. Yes, I smoke cigarettes. And Yes, I don’t need anyone telling me how to live my life. Had enough of that as a child living with my parents and then as an adult living in a mental institution.

    It’s great to meet you and look forward to reading more!

    • Thank you 🙂

      Wow, what an experience you’ve had. It’s great to hear you are doing so well now! It can be hard to accept our circumstances sometimes, but when we’ve been down the rabbit hole, we learn it’s better to be compliant than go back. Eventually we learn it anyway. :/

      I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

  2. Having recently been diagnosed, I am so nervous about this! In fact, staring down a lifetime of pills is what’s precluded me from starting them so far. I just don’t want to be trapped in that merry-go-round! The running merry-go-round is much less daunting, and I really think it helps keep my moods in check.

    • That has been a problem for me, but having been on & off meds, in & out of care, I can tell you taking the pills & being in care, & taking care of yourself, are far superior to trying to do it on your own until you can’t anymore. The can’t anymore part is usually realized when things have gone very, very wrong.

      However, everyone Bipolar is different & some people claim to manage very well without the meds. I did for a long time, until I ended up severely depressed & had a psychotic break. That’s when I realized I had to admit I’m Bipolar & need the meds.

      Bipolar Disorder is a merry-go-round whatever you choose to do. Put the meds off if you want, & just keep checking in with yourself to see how your doing. Hopefully, whatever you choose is right for you.

  3. I chuckled, only because this sounds like something i’d write. Great post.

  4. Omg I love that cartoon 🙂

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