Tag Archives: Brain

MEDS 2


1mednation1

Written previously, but freshly revised.

MEDS 1

So maybe I don’t need fixing?  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except for a few bipolar episodes a month.  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except that relationships are hard to manage under the waves of my high and low bipolar episodes.  Unfortunately these episodes can last throughout the days, weeks, months and years.  These episodes are rapid, can appear without sudden warning and sometimes when I’m outside looking in, I wonder about the duality of everything, the possibility of borderline personality disorder and about the strife everywhere in life.

As a result six months later after ongoing therapy I told the psychiatrist I would finally be ready to give medication a try and to my surprise she wasn’t super elated about it.  I wonder if that meant anything aside from her not caring about making a difference in her position.  The first medication she prescribed was called Lamictal.  The interesting or unnerving thing about this medication is it’s actually considered an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) drug, if you can believe it.

This nutty psychiatrist prescribed Lamictal to me based on my bipolar disorder (to delay the episodes) and because she believed I could use additional assistance for weight loss.  In any case, I was determined to give this a shot, so I took it with dedication for 3 months.  Naturally, during the course, I went through many side effects and even if they lasted a mere day I wrote them all down.  It was 2 decades almost exactly since I’ve taken any medication.  Here’s how my brain and body reacted:

General sensation of always being sick
General weakness
Fatigue (Extreme)
Sluggishness
Flu like symptoms
Unbalanced (Clumsiness, loss of balance control)
Forgetfulness (like experiencing memory loss)
Emotional Lability
Body Aches
Tender Breasts
Back pain
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Headaches
Stomach pain (Cramps)
Extra menstrual pain
Indigestion/Heartburn
Taste alteration (Either food taste better or disgusting)
Sweat increase
Sneezing
Nosebleeds
Ringing of ears
Itchiness
Insomnia
Body sacs (like Folliculitis)
Frequent urination
Diarrhea
Constipation/Bloody Stool
Can’t remember dreams

At first all the side effects above were consistent for the first 2 weeks.  Then after the 2 weeks were up many of the side effects began to taper off as my body started to adjust without flu-like symptoms.  However, these are the side effects that remained on a regular basis:  An overwhelming desire to eat more Carbs than usual, extra Perspiration (even if I sat/stood still) and Headaches, Headaches, Headaches.  But WAIT!  There’s more.

In the beginning the one side effect that bothered me the most was the drowsiness; the feeling of perpetual sleepiness and overall weakness.  Every day I was completely exhausted.  During this sensible time, I was fighting with myself and wondering once again where my workout motivation disappeared to?  Lamictal exhausted my entire system where for an entire month I couldn’t even get a single workout in.

The most prominent side effect (for me) that I can’t even explain, (but I’m sure somewhere there’s a terminology for it) tampered with who I am as a person.  I’m not stupid enough to NOT believe changing or altering your brain/body’s chemistry wouldn’t affect your personality because it most certainly does.  To me, this is one of the scariest things about taking a psychiatric pill, aside from consciously knowing you’re putting something extremely foreign in your body.

Lamictal affected one of the most personal parts of who I am – I could no longer write.  I had zero desire for it.  I felt like an entirely different person because of this.   All my life I’ve written for school, tried my hand at screenplays, poetry, short stories and as you know blogging.  So I’m like how could this be?  No desire to write.

This was changing me in ways I wasn’t even ready for and I was doing my best to be objective about it.  I would try sitting down at the table, hand caressing pen to paper, so I can come up with a single sentence and nothing would come out.  It’s like the thought process couldn’t process a single thought.  It’s like words meant nothing to me anymore and neither did the desire to express myself.

I felt severely inept and like I didn’t have any emotional response when it came to writing which blew my fucking mind!  What kind of sorcery was this?  This was when I decided I didn’t want to be on Lamictal anymore.  It was a shock to my system that my brain and body reacted rather extreme.

So when I expressed to the nutty psychiatrist that Lamictal has changed me to the point where I don’t feel like myself anymore and I can’t even write anymore which is something I love doing, she says nonchalantly, “I never heard of this.  This doesn’t seem possible.  Let’s try something else.”

To be continued.

-Pennington

Advertisements

Appearances Lead To Narrow Thinking


brain

I sit here drinking my Psyllium Husk and my mind comes to life as any old night bird does with the usual nocturnal attention and I’m coming out to say don’t we all own stupid thoughts?  There are many moments where I’m not proud, more so, than I am when it comes to views particularly of the narrow-minded kind.

Looks are very deceiving and we aren’t supposed to judge the covers of books.  But this doesn’t mean we do what’s practical on a regular basis either.  I see it everyday working in the gym, people buying personal training sessions with the trainer who’s displaying the best body and with the trainer who exudes the most confidence and strength of mind.  And everyone’s guilty of it, sadly including me.  I know better but I’m not immune to being stupid or tragically impractical or human.

I put people with muscles on a high pedestal.  I know one reason is because it’s a reflection upon me.  So I work day in and day out for muscle gains and within the process many ask why I lift?  There have been times where I’ve even changed doctors because they were too busy trying to convince me that cardio wouldn’t continue to injure or inflame my tendons like lifting does.  When in reality I lift because it’s a state of mind.  I lift because it empowers me.  It builds me.  It’s therapy.  It’s love.  It’s home sweet home.  It’s bliss.  It’s being in the present moment.  Lifting involves many different aspects to and for me.  But the main significance of lifting means it’s here to perpetually keep me strong mentally and emotionally.

Now when I see other people with hard-earned muscles or working towards blood, sweat, diet and tears to get those sculpted high-end muscles, I think to myself, “Man they must be really strong mentally and emotionally.”  But many times to my vast disappointment many human beings aren’t either.  Or maybe they’re strong mentally but not emotionally or vice versa.  Yet the truth is everyone has their own personal reasons as to why they lift and are doing anything in their power to increase muscle.

It’s almost as if I want to believe these people are carved from the same mind as me just because lifting is our familiar source.  I make the fatal mistake (and in the process deceive myself) that they’re able to separate feelings from practical thoughts, able to comprehend emotional intelligence and know how to apply it to everyday life and the list unfortunately can go on and on.  See, I strongly want to believe we have this and more in common.

But I’m disillusioned because appearances are misleading, because I live in a superficial culture, because I’m part of that superficial culture, because I’m part narcissistic, because I’m tricking myself, because it’s a reflection upon me and I’m speaking and looking from my perspective because for a thousand and one reasons I have a small brain every so often like tonight.

-Pennington