Why I Take Meds for My Bipolar Disorder

Julie A. Fast holding lithium!


Today isn’t the best day for my brain. The OCD is raging and I can feel the paranoia that I often experience when my mood is rapid cycling.  I manage the majority of my symptoms by using the ideas in my books, but on some days, the bipolar is just too strong.

Today is one of those days.

Bipolar is an illness triggered by outside events. I am often the cause of the trigger:

Working too much.

Waking up too early and not making myself go back to sleep.

Using way too much social media and getting involved with discussions that I need to leave alone.

Just life in general!

Bipolar is a life triggered illness which is one reason it can be so hard to manage.

I take a medication daily for my depression. I’m able to use it without too many side effects. If I miss it for even a few days, I go into a messy, suicidal depression within a week. It’s amazing how well it works. It also shows me that my depression is completely chemical. If you don’t have a medication yet for suicidal depression, please keep going.  We need to avoid SSRI anti depressants, but there are other meds we can use safely.

It’s the same with psychosis. I manage my paranoia and hallucinations by avoiding substances that make me psychotic like cannabis marijuana and keeping myself away from difficult work situations as best I can. (I can tolerate cannabis hemp, but don’t find it helps my symptoms very much!)  Anti psychotic medications can be life savers for many people, but I can’t tolerate the side effects at all.  I know some people who can take them with NO weight gain and some that gain about 30 pounds. I gain and gain with no stop. For this reason, I have to make sure I am really careful regarding psychosis triggers. I have lost too many relationships from paranoia to ever let it take over my life again.

What about Mania and Meds? 

I manage mania by paying very careful attention to my sleep and removing myself from situations that can increase my mania such as staying out partying when I feel good! Not easy! But I am committed to managing my mania as much as my depression.  For the majority of the time I can do this on my own, but on some days like today, I simply have to take my lithium. I wish I could take lithium every day. Many people can. I can’t. So I use it like gold. It really does help me that much. If I take it every day, I’m not able to manage my weight at all, nor can I handle the apathy that I get from long term use. I am more of an exception than the norm, so please know I am sharing this story to show how we are all different, but overall, I want to encourage all of us to use medications when possible. I use lithium orotate when the mania is just getting a bit too intense.

Please keep an open mind about meds. I am all for treating bipolar disorder as naturally as possible.  All of my books, especially Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder can be used with or without mediations, but as a person with bipolar and a psychotic disorder, I have to say that I can’t do this completely naturally.  The illness is too strong.

If you need meds, take them. Keep the dose low enough to help your symptoms without causing too many side effects. We are strong and we can make good decisions around meds. Saying NO to meds completely doesn’t feel balanced to me. I want to keep is natural and clean, but it’s not always possible.

So I take my meds.






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