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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

Can anyone relate?



New member
Mar 15, 2010
New Jersey
This my first post on a forum, so Im still getting used to how this whole thing works. Well, I guess Im just going to put it all out there, and apologize in advance for rambling or getting off track (which i tend to do).

I am 21 years old and have been diagnosed with a slur of disorders by different doctors. No particular disease seems to accurately fit my problems, but the closest would be Bipolar Disorder/ Generalized Anxiety disorder. To make a long story much shorter, Ive been through the mill and back as a kid, having a very traumatic, abnormal childhood. Around the age of 8, I was put on ritalin for ADHD. Around 12ish, diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and put on medicines that didnt agree well with my body. Risperidal calmed me down and numbed me out. But, I gained 50 lbs in about 4 months of being on this medication, making me a 170 lb 13yr old. Over the next few years, I put on another 30lbs and had absolutely no energy. Not only did this medicine affect my weight, but it also dramatically affected my sleeping, causing me not to be able to fall asleep, but when falling asleep, sleep for dramatic periods like 20 hours at a time. I got put on a combination of medication trying to fix this problem. They added an anxiety medicine along with another depression med. I had no problem falling asleep at this point, but it still knocked me out for a very long time. If I would try to get up, I would be so lethargic I would literally fall right down. So around the age of 19, my doctor put me in for a sleep study, yielding no results. He then began giving me samples of a narcolepsy medicine to wake me up. I can tell you it worked, but I felt like I was on speed. I took all these medicines to knock me out, then taking this to wake me up. Seemed not right to me. After a month or so, I crashed and had a very bad panic attack. This is when I was done following the doctors advice (and my moms). For my whole teenage life I was put on these medicines that always had side effects worse than the thing they were trying to make better. A year and half ago, I weened myself off of everything and seemed to get my life in order. I was falling asleep fine, waking up alright and able to obtain a normal job. This past summer, the anxiety and depression started settling in. My mind was plagued with pessimistic thoughts and constant worries. The last thing I wanted to do was get back on the medicine that seemed to ruin my life, but correct one thing. I feel like I cant win. I have an appt with a new doctor this week to try and explore my options. I wouldnt be completely opposed to trying a very mild medication with little side effects, but I feel as though its useless, that nothing will help me at this point. Ive had therapists in the past that said my problems were a result of all id been through and I could eventually live medicine free. Now that I am having regular panic attacks, anxiety and depression up the wazoo, I am the least bit optimistic. I cant get back on that stuff. I know the person I want to be, I know the person I can be. I just need to get rid of these problems that trouble me and this is my standstill. I would love to get some posts from people who can relate and leave me with some optimism and hope. Maybe another remedy you use to help cope with your disorder? Thanks for reading =)


Mar 15, 2010
Hey mander :)

I can relate. I'm 30, but my childhood was far from normal. So much so that I was so uncontrollable (and they hadnt started handing out Ritalin yet) that I moved out at 14.

The medication wringer is something I have been through. I have severely adverse reactions to 99% of anti-depressants, everything from being hospitalized due to loosing all feeling in my skin (think whole body novacaine) to developing dystopia that still hasnt gone quite away. less life threatening were the ones that made me gain 60lbs in 4 months, the ones that made me not sleep for 2 weeks, and the typical nausea, headaches and shakes.

It took me forever to find a combo that works and I still go off it when I start feeling too stifled. When I'm not constantly medicated, I find what helps is a good short term effect anti-anxiety med (obviously not for every day but if you can trust yourself to only take it when needed then its a godsend).

Also, dont look at meds as being the result. Because I, like you, can live med free when I'm sorted, I see meds as... imagine you are building a sandcastle. But the wind is blowing really hard and keeps blowing sand where you dont want it, and blowing away the sand that you do want. The meds take the wind away, and as long as you keep building and dont just sit and enjoy the stillness, eventually the wind can come back but your sand castle will be big and strong enough to withstand it, maybe not permanently, but if you keep shoring it up, the wind wont do as much damage. Dont be afraid to go back on them. They have their disadvantages, but use them as a tool, not a crutch and use the respite they give to build the foundations that will keep you strong when you can wean off them again.
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