I do not like to be “should” on. 

If you say “you should” or “you should not” I will seriously consider – maybe even do – the opposite. Maybe it is a symptom of alcoholism or bipolar. Maybe I am just a jerk. I don’t know.

The only thing worse than being “should on” is a “Do NOT”.  If you throw down that verbal gauntlet I will raise an eyebrow and give you that Oh-Really”  look. Except my nurse-practitioner. Her “do NOTS” are holy, like a “Thou Shalt Not.” 

But I, my friends, am a sinner. For some stupid reason I tinkered with my meds and I am still doing penance. It happened at the end of January. My nurse practitioner told me I could stop taking a medication she had prescribed to help get me through the holidays.

“You should stay on the other medications,” she said. Well, Dr. Christine thought it would be okay to drop the dosage of another med she had upped during the holidays. Hey, the holidays are over. Why not just return to my pre-holiday dosages? So, I did it.

Of course I did not tell my nurse practitioner or my therapist or anyone, for that matter. I kept it a secret. About two weeks later I hopped on the roller coaster. Up, up, up I climbed, then dove to the bottom. Up, up, up I climbed, then down to the bottom. 

My therapist saw the mania and said I SHOULD call my nurse practitioner. Did I? Of course not. Two weeks later she asked if I had called my nurse practitioner. Of course not. Two weeks later she asked if I had called my nurse practitioner. Of course not. Finally, to get my therapist off my back, I called my nurse practitioner – after hours. I left a message.

My nurse practitioner called back and I confessed. She gently, but firmly told me “DO NOT mess around with your medications!” I realized she was right. I was manic. She told me she had patients who had done what I had done and she was never able to stabilize them again. Bipolar is serious. We love the bipolar-high. “But what goes up WILL come down,” she said. 

She upped my medications. The mania is leveling. I learned my lesson. I am as sick as my secrets.  I need to listen and take directions. Now and forever. Amen.



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    Last reviewed: 3 Apr 2009

APA Reference
Stapleton, C. (2009). Don't Should-On Me!. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 1, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/depression/2009/04/dont-should-on-me/


Hoping for a Happy Ending
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Christine Stapleton

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