I take two handfuls of pills per day – one in the morning, and one at night. Seven different drugs. Twelve pills. Plus two more that I take as needed. It’s a lot of medication.
I know that there are people that have to take more. And I feel like because of that, I shouldn’t complain. Besides, these pills help me stay well. I need to keep swallowing them. But I don’t want to do it any more. A handful of drugs twice a day is wearing, especially when I’m not sure that some of them are doing anything at all.
I know that the lamotrigine is important. It stops me having seizures, whether they’re manifesting as staring through people, or whether they make me see and hear things that just aren’t there.
I know the aripiprazole is working. It took less than 48 hours on it to be better, to be up off the couch. I went from utterly non-functional to being up and about. I’m still not well, but I’m better, and that happened when I started taking aripiprazole.
The melatonin works most of the time. I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour, wake up at a reasonable hour, and don’t have many periods of waking in the night for several hours.
I know the propranolol works. I take it and I shake far less. I can hold hot drinks without being too afraid of shaking them out of their mug. And I can sew without too much trouble.
But then there’s the lithium, and the bupropion. These two never seemed to have any effect on my mood, and I don’t really understand why I’m taking them. Lithium stops me being a blood donor, something which is really important to me. Those two feel worthless, at least to my not-psychiatrists’ mind. I hate taking drugs whose purpose I don’t understand.
Finally, there’s olanzapine. My most hated drug at this time. It makes me hungry, so hungry. But it might be important, because when I came off it I got very unwell. So I’m stuck with it for the moment. Stuck with it making me feel woozy, making me unreasonably hungry. On top of all that, it’s an orodispersible pill, and it tastes awful.
Dropping the drugs I don’t understand or don’t like would drop my handfuls down to one in the morning and six at night (maybe even less if they can prescribe a bigger pill for lamotrigine). That’s almost half.
Even with less pills, there still remains the problem of not wanting to do this any more. I just want to be normal. I don’t want to have to be medicated into some semblance of normality.