bipolar momWell I went to see my psychiatrist again, with a great deal of hesitation.  I didn’t want to go see her again and I was a little anxious.  I took an ativan and went ahead and tried to give her another chance.  I was impressed with her approach this time.  It was much better than last time.

I have always loved my psychiatrist because she’s always been willing to work with me to find a medication that works well, but she is equally concerned with the side effects of various medications as she is concerned with my mental health.  I sat down and gave her a very serious rundown of all the reasons as to why these medications are not good for me.  I basically broke everything down to her so that she could see that my medication dilemma is not as she sees it – me refusing meds.

I don’t like the mood swings and it doesn’t matter how mild they may be.  I don’t like the way I feel from one day to the next.  If I could find a medication that would keep me from swinging around I would be happy, and I told her this.  She was genuinely concerned for my state of mind during my last visit with her, and she was somewhat lost as to how she was going to help me.  She too is grasping at straws in an effort to help me find stability.  I think we are both stumped now.

After we went over my diagnoses of diabetes and determined that anything that could raise sugar or cause weight gain were now off the table, she decided we are going to resort to some older medications.  The newer ones don’t seem to be working too well for me, so she feels comfortable going with some older ones.

She also told me that she thinks the “normal” doses of some of these medications may in fact be too high for me.  I am very sensitive to all medications I have taken, and I may just need to be on a lower dose.  We revisited lithium but she does not want me gaining any weight because of the diabetes.  She is now taking as much care and consideration for my physical health as my mental health.

I attribute some of this to me standing up for myself and saying what was on my mind, clearly and calmly.  She heard me, thank goodness.  I’ve been seeing my doctor for almost a year and a half.  She knows what I’ve tried, knows my history, and knows what I can’t take.  I just wish she wouldn’t have bullied me the way she did.  I also explained to her that when things get very tough I do have hard time coping with things.  She told me next time to just start taking the ativan again as much as I need to, to keep calm until I can see her.  She was right and I hated to admit that I knew she was right.

It is my responsibility to do what I can to keep calm and collected when things get hard on me.  Sometimes though, I get so lost in my emotions that it gets really difficult to remember that I can up my meds on my own until I can see her.

We are going to start trying other meds again at a lower dose, rather than the normal theraputic levels.  Every person is different and I think we both agreed that I may not need the normal dose.  So we will start small and take baby steps.

The one thing I do know for a fact is, she was very worried that I was on the brink of a manic episode (not hypo-manic) and she was genuinely concerned for me.  The problem I had though, was that in her concern, she sort of badgered me.

Next time, and I’m pretty sure there will be a next time, if she exhibits the same behavior as she did before I will have no choice but to move on and find a new doctor.  I believe after this visit she deserves a second chance.

Photo by Ralph Paglia, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.