I take 6 pills every day for my bipolar disorder. That may sound like a lot to some of you and for some of you it may sound next to nothing. I have friends who take well over a dozen pills each day. What meds do they take? I’m not going to tell you. What meds do I take? I’m not going to tell you that either. You see, I try to keep this blog a med free topic zone.
Looking back, I found a couple of posts where I mentioned what meds I’m taking, but that has been far more the exception rather than the rule. I’ll talk generally about meds, but avoid calling them by name and I do that for a good reason. I don’t want to influence someone to try or not try a specific med, because what may work for me may not work for you, and vice versa.
I first learned this good rule by attending a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) meeting in my area. Each meeting begins with a list covering what the meetings are and are not. One of the rules is,
Group participants do not seek to diagnose, and support groups do not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatment or medication.
There’s a very good reason for this rule. One evening, at my support group, a participant brought his mother along. During that meeting I made the mistake of saying that my doctor put me on drug XYZ and it made me violent. That’s right, I became violent and attacked Maurice. Fortunately, I did not hurt him. The mother that was there wrote the name of the drug down and told me she is going to make sure to tell her son’s doctor that he absolutely is not to prescribe that medication. Despite my protests, she refused to back down and said, “ What are these meetings about if we don’t discuss things like this?” I tried to explain to her that we meet to share what we’re feeling and what’s going on in our life, and non-medicinal ways to cope, but we don’t meet give medical advice. I got nowhere. She wouldn’t back down.
Why did I find it necessary to argue with the woman regarding the med that I named? Because the XYZ drug I referred to is one that is used by thousands, hell, maybe millions of people every day. It helps people to live better lives. Works for some, but not others, is the funny thing about meds…it’s the frustrating thing too. We all must go through the trial and error method to make the determination. It took my doctor and I about three years to find the right cocktail that works for me. It was a difficult three years, but based on my life today, it was worth it.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance