Disclaimer: I have bipolar, I receive public assistance, I’m married to a bipolar man, we have one son who also has mental health issues, and we homeschool him.
I have bipolar with psychosis. I was diagnosed 10 years ago. This blog is my attempt to stay medication compliant for a whole year. I will try to be as honest as I can. I usually skip meds 1-2x a week and completely stop meds if I don’t see my psychiatrist monthly. In my current clinic the average time between psychiatrist appointments are 3 months. The average wait time for an initial appointment is around 6 months. However both my son and I got a new psychiatrist this past week and I plan to give him a chance. I have a therapist but I don’t see her often.
Backstory: So when I take meds usually I’m really good at first. Then it goes to missing a dose or two. Then I miss every other day but as the time my psychiatrist appointment comes up I’m taking it every day again. I was taking my meds like every other day or so and I slowly just stop. My psych nurse wasn’t going to see me for 6 weeks and I was done like always. I was going to go in and tell her I’m off meds and I just want therapy. I was still on my mood stabilizer because “Skin fall-y off-y” disease (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) does not sound fun. So here I am not on my anti-psychotic because it tastes bad and I gag it up and on a baby dose of my mood stabilizer.
My voices are back. Have you ever walked into a crowded room and all you hear is all the people talking but can’t understand what they’re saying? Yes? Well that’s my head all the time. The bugs never left, if feels like bugs are crawling all over biting me. I don’t see them but I feel them and no I don’t have scabies or lice I check regularly. Then there’s the confusion, that’s back too. Have you ever heard someone talking and feel like I should know what they’re saying then realize they’re talking a foreign language? Yeah, it’s like that just they aren’t talking a foreign language it’s just me. All these are signs I can ignore/hide. No one realizes.Then my psych nurse cancels and I get transferred to a new psychiatrist.
I forget all about the appointment and go on vacation to see my sister. I start sleeping less but there’s always someone up to talk to so I don’t realize. I’m talking more but I’m with family why wouldn’t I, so I missed that too. Then my leg started shaking and noises were too loud. I should have caught that one but no I was too busy having fun. All of these things my family didn’t catch.
Then my thoughts got dark. I don’t see it as dark, carving a tree in my arm would look pretty but I catch that thought and I know it’s wrong but do I take my anti-psychotic? Nope, I just tell myself not to do it because it’ll ruin my tattoo if I do each time that thought comes. Do I worry about the thought? Nope it’s me, I’d never actually do that because it would leave a scar.
By the time I got home I was having thoughts of self harm but I didn’t stop there, instantly I became paranoid. I hadn’t seen my husband or son in 4 days. They were happy without me. Whenever I walked into the room they’d stop laughing and joking. So I isolated, I looked at moving out but didn’t qualify for homeless shelters. It hurt so much that they didn’t want me and were teasing me by inviting me places. I knew my thinking was off but no one wanted me and I couldn’t move out, suicide became an option.
Then my therapist appointment came up. So here’s this girl, hasn’t really slept, wants to self harm (because it’s pretty), is suicidal (but has no intent), shaking like crazy, talking fast, is paranoid, hallucinating, skipped her psychiatrist appointment and not on her meds. My therapist tried to convince me to go to an intensive outpatient program, that was not going to happen. So she convinced me to tell my husband and a least talk to the psychiatrist. I told my husband and my therapist got me in to see the psychiatrist 5 days from then.
As the day went on my thoughts grew darker. My only way out was suicide or meds. So the day after seeing my therapist I took my anti-psychotic. It was that or the hospital. Now I have to point out that the only outward sign all this is going on is that I’m sleeping less and my leg is shaking. So I took the meds until I saw the psychiatrist.
I told the psychiatrist everything like I do my therapist and we made a plan. My husband is in charge of my meds. If I don’t take them my husband is to admit me to the hospital, I hate the hospital. My psychiatrist is going to try to get a home health aid to come and give me an injection of my anti-psychotic so I don’t have to choke down a pill and I’m not to be left home alone. He also mentioned possible schizoaffective disorder. I see him again in two weeks.
I want to give this psychiatrist a chance to help me. So I’m giving him a year of being completely med compliant and taking his recommendations seriously. So today is day 9 of being on both meds as prescribed.