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What Is The Trade Off?

tradeI do a lot for my mental health. I take Thursdays off from my job to attend a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance weekly meeting and to go to my psychiatric appointments. That is time I could be working as a barista or finishing a writing gig or reading a book for a paid review – but I do it because it is important to my mental health.

I also (and it is okay if you disagree) take psychiatric medications. Quite a few. Some I can tell help. Some I hope help. And some just aren’t cutting it and I will discuss with my psychiatrist next week.

I recently started taking a controlled substance sleeping aid. You see, ever since I was in the hospital in the beginning of April (possibly before), I have been unable to sleep through the night. So, okay, a few hours missed here or there don’t matter, but what happens when you go a week getting four hours of sleep a night. In my case, you usually go manic.

Not good.

Before I went manic, I got word to my doctor that the sleeping meds I was on just weren’t doing any good. He called in a prescription for something new, and now, on vacation with my family, I am immersing myself in another med change.


As far as the sleep goes, I believe it is helping, though I wake up at 4 in the morning and can’t really get back into a restful sleep. But, as usual, the side effects suck. Since I began (which was Wednesday night) I have woken up every morning wanting to vomit. Ginger ale helps. It subsides after a while, but for at least a good hour I am Princess Pukeface. I also suffer from a tremendous headache. It comes and goes and is strongest in the morning. I also feel especially sensitive to noise, but that could just be because I am around my boisterous family.

I believe that in my life mental health is a game of trade offs. Do I want to be skinny or have hallucinations? Do I want to have a libido or do I want to stop feeling depressed? Do I want to feel good in the morning or do I want to sleep at night? See what I mean. Nothing has an easy answer, but like I often say, that is the nature of this beast called mental illness.



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

What Is The Trade Off?

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2016). What Is The Trade Off?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 28 May 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 May 2016
Published on All rights reserved.