On Heady Things

TL;DR; – Mental health can sometimes be fragile and stability can be suddenly lost through unexpected events. Friends and family of those with mental health issues please understand that sometimes things happen beyond our control.

For many years I lived with undiagnosed Bipolar disorder. I’d had an idea, in my early twenties that I might be Bipolar, but for a number of reasons, though mainly pride, I didn’t seek any help with it. Fast forward to my thirties, and I finally reached the point where I sought help. I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and ADD. The ADD meds caused serious depression, so they were quickly discontinued. I started taking a medication for Bipolar disorder and it took a while and a lot of work to get stable – several years, in fact. And things got worse before they got better. But I’d been stable for many years – still took work, but still stable. Still had times where I would be a bit hyper, but not as high, and nowhere near as low.

And then, this past August, I received a generic prescription from another manufacturer. And I wasn’t able to absorb it as well as I did the prescription from the previous manufacturer. I started having reactions as if I had missed a dose. Even taking it earlier and earlier in the day didn’t help. My head stopped working properly, like thinking through cotton. Dizziness and nausea. Memory issues. Moodiness and mood swings. Stuttering. Numbness on one side of the face and nasty almost seizure symptoms. I went to the hospital, had lots of tests and spent the night. I was able to get, after much drama, a filled prescription from the previous manufacturer.

I started getting better. It’s been two months. I’m still having weird symptoms – numbness on left side of the face and serious memory issues for over a month. Memory’s still not quite right, but I’ve been working on coping mechanisms. Not to mention impulse control issues. A tremor, too – my dexterity has been affected. Still having issues with words – a lot like I had when I first started taking the medication. And struggles with depression – I know what’s going on – it makes perfect sense what’s happening – and have been doing cognitive therapy techniques, so it’s not as bad as it might be. I’ve been going to work, but not much else has gotten done, nor have I had the energy (or inclination) to interact with people. This means I’ve seriously dropped the ball on Steam Kitty Games over the past two months.

Beyond physical issues, I’ve been frustrated that I’m having to start working toward stability as if from scratch again. I know what’s happening, and I can rationalize it; that helps, but it doesn’t address the underlying frustration and anger. I know where I should be and I’m not there. I worked really hard to get there and I had it all pulled out from under me. It’s depressing. And there’s guilt, too – recognizing I’ve dropped the ball and failed people. I don’t like being perceived as a flake, even if I have behaved as such.

Long and short of it is that mental stability can be a very fragile thing. Friends and family of those with mental health issues, please be understanding when life throws a loop and someone who appears to be stable and/or functioning “normally” stops. Sometimes it’s chemical. Other times it could be a trigger which is totally new and unexpected. Either way, it can seriously throw life for a loop.