The United States is over-medicated, that’s a fact. We are probably too much of everything, that’s an opinion. The medications I am on are as follows:
- Synthroid; synthetic thyroid hormone used when you are either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid and need your thyroid removed. I was hyper (mix that with mania and I was a mess to say the least!).
- Lithium; used as a mood-stabilizer among other things. Toxic if given too high of a dosage or not enough water intake.
- Depokene; also known as Depakote, Valproic Acid, etc. Used in combination with my Lithium to balance me out.
- Amilioride; diuretic so that the Lithium salts don’t build up in my kidneys causing me dialysis later in life. My pdoc swears I would be bored to death waiting in the office reading 5 year old fishing magazines. His words, not mine.
- Lamictal; I’m sure this is a common one among fellow Bipolars. For me, it’s used to keep the depression at bay. Pdoc says its studies at relieving depressive symptoms in Bipolar Disorder are far greater than some of the other meds that can be used. I trust my pdoc. More on him either in this post or a later one.
- Seroquel (oh how I love thee so); anti-psychotic that in the therapeutic dose is to bring one out of psychosis, has a hypnotic effect to induce sleep. Sleep is VERY important to people who have Bipolar Disorder. We don’t like to sleep causing our brains to never rest and reach a true REM state. I now use a low dose just for sleep because if given Ambien or any of the Benzodiazepines, I’d abuse them.
It may look like a lot, but if it keeps me out of the hospital where they hit you with high doses of everything then I have no problem. I feel like me, sound like me, look like me and that’s important. But in the same sense, I know some of my friends who have Bipolar Disorder that go along without medication. They function just fine and I would be lying my ass off if I didn’t say I wasn’t a little envious.
Statements in the graphic above irritate me, though. I get that drug companies are making a fortune off marketing and advertising, mark ups, enticing doctors to prescribe a new expensive medication over the well known one that’s been on the market for over a decade and cost way less. I also understand the importance of diet and exercise and that alternative/natural medicine can have better lasting results and may even cure altogether.
That doesn’t mean western medicine has to be degraded to the point that some people are dangerously weening themselves off important medications without consulting their doctors. Maybe I should have prefaced with the fact I was a Pharmacy Technician for the last 8 years.
If you can get off certain medications by exchanging bad habits for good habits, then do it. Just consult your physician first. They aren’t going to bite your head off or force you to continue with it. If you have an unwilling physician (maybe he drives a Ferrari–haha) who refuses to help you, get a second opinion.