• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Seeking insight

S

Snoozansarandon

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
3
Okay.
I know this is going to seem like a lot, but I'd really like some guidance:

I'm a 29 year old female therapist. I started depression meds in college, then my symptoms of mood shifts got worse, highs and lows (hypomanic and depressive symptoms but not consecutive enough to constitute a hypomanic or depressive episode), then when my menstrual cycle comes, my depressive symptoms amplify so much so that I feel like a completely different person that dissociates, lacks all sense of responsibility and motivation and is tearful and overreactive.

Long story short, one year ago I decided to share my thoughts about my unspecified bipolar-ish symptoms. We decided it was likely a mood disorder. Started lamictal, felt wonderful (literally so fucking happy ) and for months I thought it was all a dream because it was nothing I had felt before.
After some increases in my lamictal and antidepressant, things kind of plateaued and I felt like I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and work was a nightmare.
I'm sitting with people dealing with real life situations, sharing very private things with me, and I can't seem to remained engaged (even though I actually care a lot about what they say and I want to help).
Being disengaged and daydreaming have always been a thing, but as an adult I haven't been employed as someone who spends a lengthy amount of one-on-one time multiple times a day listening to people.

After speaking with my doctor, we kind of brought up ADHD as a possibility.
I had never considered this because I have always been extremely mellow as a kid. I could just never comprehend anything that was taught to me and I slid by. College was the hardest thing in the entire world, forcing me for once in my life to rely on myself to get good grades.

I started thinking about the kids I see with ADHD and some of them aren't bouncing off the walls.

What I'm getting at is, my family has a history of drug abuse with amphetamines. After filling out a questionnaire, it said I had all the symptoms. I got an Adderall prescription. I tried it with caution. I have been very productive, focused, motivated, but calm. My anxiety symptoms have decreased, my mood has been consistent.

Perhaps this is an anxious thought, but I feel like I'm doing something wrong by taking the medication because it makes me into this version of myself I've never seen. It's a better version, sure, but is it me? Does that mean I'm "high" when I'm focused? I'm not sure how it EXACTLY is supposed to feel.
Does ADHD make sense in this situation considering my mood disorder?
What is the likelihood that I do not actually have a mood disorder, but have ADHD?
I don't know why I have guilt about it at all. Perhaps because of my negative associations with the drug. Regardless, it's been a wonderful change in my life and in my job, I'm just concerned about being artificial or taking something not meant for me because I overanalyze everything.
Idk what I want, just insight I guess.


Thanks for reading.
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,748
Location
Europe
Well, with your long history of taking multiple psychiatric medications I feel it’s probably hard to see the forest for the trees. It’s difficult to even know exactly how the “baseline” you really feels, you’re taking one set of medications to fix one problem, then another problem comes along which may be a side effect or not, you patch that up with a second medication and so on.

In your situation I’d be really tempted to go all-natural, and see how much of the depression, bipolar and adhd really exist naturally. A hundred years ago none of these fancy pills used to exist, and people still coped. But then that’s just my opinion.

I think the real downsides of all these medications show up as your body gets used to them after a certain number of years, or when you travel and you consider spending a year abroad. It gets tricky.

Wishing you all the best :) :hug:
 
embleton

embleton

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
293
Location
Plymouth
It's really difficult for anyone to diagnose the conditions of the mind, little is understood about it. The diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM) has crossing points with all the mental illnesses merging into one, and with the same medication prescribed it is nonsense. Saying that I understand that ADHD is sometimes a prerequisite and leads when further down the line to bipolar, but who knows!

One thing I've learnt is that you really don't need a label, the DSM is rubbish and chemical imbalances in the brain for those living with mental illnesses is absolute nonsense, and completely disproved long ago.

Take care.
 
Seachad

Seachad

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2018
Messages
516
Location
Central Florida
From what I'm reading here, you're concerned about being artificial, and (as you put it,) taking something "not meant for [you]."

I think you are over-analyzing, here. You seem to be caught-up in questions of what might be your 'true self' and what's 'the drugs,' no? But that's a bit of a false dichotomy. Your 'self' is being influenced by the drugs you're consuming as part of your therapy, true. But your 'self' is being influenced by all manner of things: Your blood sugar level resulting from the foods you eat. Caffeine, if you drink coffee or tea. Hormones, from wherever you are in your menstrual cycle at present. The psych meds are simply another set of influences added among many which are already present. So, the question, IMO, isn't whether the meds are making you 'artificial,' or the result of something which 'isn't meant for you,' but rather it's whether this set of influences (or the influence of each drug, individually,) are desirable influences, which you wish to keep in your life, and affecting your present personality. If the answer is yes, they're doing more good than harm, and you wish to keep them, there's no problem with continuing to take them (assuming there are no long term effects which preclude doing so.) If the answer is no, the effect is causing (in your opinion) a detrimental or undesirable effect which outweighs their usefulness or desirability, then it would likely be best to stop taking them.

In short, I honestly don't think the question is one of artifice, here. The drugs are simply one set of influences among many which are affecting your chemical and psychological makeup. They influence, true, but are instruments in a symphony, rather than the entire orchestra itself. The question is, do they add to the performance in ways that are desirable to keep, or do they cause more harm than benefit? You are, after all, going to have other chemical and hormonal factors (both environmental and produced by your own body) affecting you with or without the addition of these drugs, no matter what you do. They don't exist, nor do you exist, in a vacuum.

In any case, I wish you well, and hope you find a workable answer to your questioning. Take care, eh?
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

Well-known member
Staff Member on Leave
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
2,423
A hundred years ago none of these fancy pills used to exist, and people still coped. But then that’s just my opinion.
Hmm 100 years ago large numbers of people were locked up in mental hospitals for life too, at least in part because there were no effective treatments.

I also think you are over thinking things. I have seen my husband struggle for so many years and then finally since being on medication he's been able to achieve the things in life he wants to for the first time. If you were diabetic would you feel bad for taking insulin? In my book it's the same thing. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss theories about chemical imbalances in the brain, when we know that medication that alter this work and reduce symptoms. As with any medication it's a case of weighing up the risks and the benefits, if the benefits outweigh the negatives then that's great.
 
embleton

embleton

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
293
Location
Plymouth
Hmm 100 years ago large numbers of people were locked up in mental hospitals for life too, at least in part because there were no effective treatments.

I also think you are over thinking things. I have seen my husband struggle for so many years and then finally since being on medication he's been able to achieve the things in life he wants to for the first time. If you were diabetic would you feel bad for taking insulin? In my book it's the same thing. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss theories about chemical imbalances in the brain, when we know that medication that alter this work and reduce symptoms. As with any medication it's a case of weighing up the risks and the benefits, if the benefits outweigh the negatives then that's great.
I'm not disputing that the drugs kind of manage the condition, but you're having a laugh telling me there is a cure and imbalances in brain chemicals is the reason for correcting them. What a load of nonsense, respectfully.

I ask you this, why do individuals spend so long in hospital when on the drugs if they're a cure?
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,748
Location
Europe
If you were diabetic would you feel bad for taking insulin? In my book it's the same thing.
That’s not quite the same thing. Diabetes is a life-threatening disease. With psych drugs you could keep layering drugs on top of drugs looking for the ideal you, the most productive you, or the most empathic you, whatever you are looking for. But perhaps you might lose your own unique self in the process. I can totally understand the OPs point.

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss theories about chemical imbalances in the brain, when we know that medication that alter this work and reduce symptoms. As with any medication it's a case of weighing up the risks and the benefits, if the benefits outweigh the negatives then that's great.
The chemical imbalance theory has been thoroughly researched and disproven. There’s enough documentation on that if you go looking.

All I can suggest is trying to keep the total number of meds you take down to something sensible. There’s medication toxicity to worry about if nothing else.
 
S

Snoozansarandon

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
3
From what I'm reading here, you're concerned about being artificial, and (as you put it,) taking something "not meant for [you]."

I think you are over-analyzing, here. You seem to be caught-up in questions of what might be your 'true self' and what's 'the drugs,' no? But that's a bit of a false dichotomy. Your 'self' is being influenced by the drugs you're consuming as part of your therapy, true. But your 'self' is being influenced by all manner of things: Your blood sugar level resulting from the foods you eat. Caffeine, if you drink coffee or tea. Hormones, from wherever you are in your menstrual cycle at present. The psych meds are simply another set of influences added among many which are already present. So, the question, IMO, isn't whether the meds are making you 'artificial,' or the result of something which 'isn't meant for you,' but rather it's whether this set of influences (or the influence of each drug, individually,) are desirable influences, which you wish to keep in your life, and affecting your present personality. If the answer is yes, they're doing more good than harm, and you wish to keep them, there's no problem with continuing to take them (assuming there are no long term effects which preclude doing so.) If the answer is no, the effect is causing (in your opinion) a detrimental or undesirable effect which outweighs their usefulness or desirability, then it would likely be best to stop taking them.

In short, I honestly don't think the question is one of artifice, here. The drugs are simply one set of influences among many which are affecting your chemical and psychological makeup. They influence, true, but are instruments in a symphony, rather than the entire orchestra itself. The question is, do they add to the performance in ways that are desirable to keep, or do they cause more harm than benefit? You are, after all, going to have other chemical and hormonal factors (both environmental and produced by your own body) affecting you with or without the addition of these drugs, no matter what you do. They don't exist, nor do you exist, in a vacuum.

In any case, I wish you well, and hope you find a workable answer to your questioning. Take care, eh?



This is exactly what I needed. As a mental health professional, I am pro medication (not as the only intervention), but having mental illness while diagnosing others leads me to easily over analyze and apply things to myself subconsciously. Thank you for your understanding, this is the validation I was hoping to receive.
 
embleton

embleton

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
293
Location
Plymouth
This is exactly what I needed. As a mental health professional, I am pro medication (not as the only intervention), but having mental illness while diagnosing others leads me to easily over analyze and apply things to myself subconsciously. Thank you for your understanding, this is the validation I was hoping to receive.
A meta-analysis of outcomes with first-time psychosis shows that those who came off the medication quickly after the episode and those who didn't take the stuff in the first place had a better outcome after 10 years for functioning related to living skills, job, etc.. then those on maintenance treatment. See Mad in America site for confimation of this finding. Once the damage has been done, it's too late and the drugs usually need to be taken to stop rebound psychosis.
 
Top