I was put on lamotrigine in February 2017. The goal was 200mg/day so I was initially put on 25mg/day and then increased the dose with 25mg every other week.
I didn’t notice any changes at first. It’s only now after being on it for so long that I realise how fortunate I am to have these meds.
At the time I was managing the bar at this restaurant in my hometown which was a lot of fun. It’s, of course, a lot to keep track on and there were many times I thought “hey, I got this!” but my colleagues were confused, haha. They said it was a clear difference in my behaviour after being medicated. And like I said I’m only realising now what it actually does for me, and subsequently how bad I had it pre-meds. Or, well, not bad - but just how much I must have struggled.
One part of being bipolar is having what they call “rushing thoughts”. I’ve described it to friends and family like this: imagine that you walk past a house. You might think “oh, that’s a nice house, I wonder who lives there?”. In pretty much the same time you have thought that I’ve also wondered what they do for work, if they have a dog, what that dog’s name might be, what kind of furniture they have, how many rooms are in the house, do they have kids, do I know the kids, what’s their family history like… You get it. It’s uncontrollable and it just goes on, and on, and on.
Being on my medication helps with that. It makes it a little quieter in my mind which helps me to focus on what’s actually important.
Naturally, it also helps with the mood swings - which in broad terms is what bipolar disorder is. I used to have really bad depressive episodes and really bad manic ones but I don’t anymore. It has levelled out a little as lamotrigine acts as a mood stabiliser. My episodes are now few and far between and they don’t last as long, which of course has been the best result of my medication.
The first few weeks of my treatment it was really hard. It was difficult coming to terms with the fact that I now had to take these pills every single day for probably the rest of my life. But I don’t have those feelings anymore, I’m not even embarrassed to take them in public. They’re my life partner, and that’s just how it is.
I recognise that I’ve been very fortunate to have such terrific results from the first medication I was put on. I know a lot of people that have a real struggle finding something that fits them. But I’m very grateful that I’ve found something that works for me. Some days I do forget to take my two pills though, haha, and then that day is just no good (usually). My thoughts go crazy, in every direction.
That’s when I think “did I used to live like this, every day?” How in the hell did I survive even one day?”. So thanks lamo, for being a true friend.