Chronicles of a Drug-Abuser
TW: Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety, Mental Illness,
That’s right. I said it. I’m a drug-abuser.
My understanding of a “drug-abuser” is someone who uses drugs recreationally or for a purpose other than what they were prescribed for.
While I do enjoy some marijuana and DXM, that’s not what I’m going to talk about here. A couple of days ago, I possibly traded my future for my present, and began abusing Zoloft.
As many of my readers know, I’m Bipolar. However, before this fact came to light, it was thought that I had Depression and Anxiety. As such, I have a stash of pills that I used to take, that didn’t work for me. I have a lot of left-over Zoloft.
Anti-depressants are not for Bipolar people. When a Bipolar person takes an anti-depressant, they often feel the “flipped switch effect”; they instantly feel better, when anti-depressants shouldn’t start to cure depression/anxiety for a good four to six weeks. What this really is is an induced manic episode.
When I was diagnosed as Bipolar, I began taking Lamictal. But it didn’t work for me. I continued cycling, as usual. My other options were bleak. Bipolar is not well understood, and the other medications for it have a significant chance of causing long term thyroid/kidney/liver damage. It’s so significant that frequent monitoring of organs via testing is often required.
Or, I could pop a Zoloft to induce a manic episode every time I start to feel depressed.
There is no easy solution. I’m frail physically. I could probably handle thyroid failure. That’s pretty treatable. But the liver and kidneys… eugh. And they’d probably go fast for me, knowing how weak I am. On the other hand, long-term misuse of anti-depressants can drastically alter your brain-chemistry, resulting in long-term development of other mental disorders.
I’ve already experienced significant memory loss, not as a result of the Zoloft abuse, but probably from a combination of all of the drugs combined. I’m thinking Lamictal really played a role. It wasn’t so bad before the last drug.
In any event, I’m forced to choose here. My last depressive episode lasted over a week, and showed no signs of slowing down. I was in bed almost all day, and lost all will to live, but lacked motivation to, er… do anything about it. I felt so weak and tired. But then I popped a Zoloft, and I was happy, exuberant, and productive. I cleaned most of the apartment, cut my bangs, and did my nails, all in the same day.
Do I suffer the loss of hours, days, or weeks to this void, or do I soak up all the happiness I can now, and hope I’m not reduced to a neurotic shell of myself in the future?
For now, I’ve chosen my present. As my best friend says, “There can be no future without the present.”
Mental illness isn’t just about being sad or having bad days. My entire quality of life, and even my physical well-being, is at stake. I can only hope I’m making the least wrong decision, because there isn’t a right one.