Under this section I do not want to give a detailed description of all bipolar medications as firstly I am not qualified and secondly it is incredibly tedious. That said, since I have experienced most of them, you will be hearing about it ! You will have tried an array of tablets and be familiar with the names, perhaps even hit the tablet jack pot early on, but, from talking to others, I think this is unlikely. So I will talk about the tablets that I have used and their corresponding side effects and the names I will refer to are the names written on the side of my tablet box.
Finding the right medication is, of course, a joint collaboration with your therapist and with the greatest respect, remember that doctors are not infallible. They make mistakes just like everyone else so do not be afraid to challenge them if you disagree with their advice. A common story is when doctors imply ‘’it’s better to be fat than crazy’’. Well actually NO, it’s not! It is incredibly distressing to be fighting bipolar and weight at the same time and exceptionally difficult not to gain weight. So together with your doctor you will need to go through the painful experience of trying different tablets and hopefully find a tablet that does not have weight gain as a side effect (ha ha, good luck with that!)
It can be a tortuous journey to find the right tablet, dosage, and combination of tablets. In my experience this has been worse than the actual disease. I have been so ill trying the various medications that at many points I thought that I simply would not get through it….and at this juncture I must applaud my psychiatrist who has been/is immensely generous with her time and patience in securing my own tablet stabilisation. My current regime is outlined in my book and includes 4 different tablets a day, Lambipol, Seroquel, Depakine and Xanax. I find this rather horrifying and have thought of trying another clinic in another country as I need to find out conclusively if this is as good as it gets. That said my healthcare providers are wonderfully supportive and I do not want to disrespect their expertise in this area. This is a dilemma we can discuss on the blog.
I discuss in detail the following tablets I have tried and tested with pretty horrific side effects in most cases :
Temesta, Tranxene, and Xanax:
Despite the frustrating and debilitating length of time it took to diagnose bipolar my doctor and pyschiatrist are fantastic at their jobs and have been diligent and forever supportive in helping me manage this illness. Please do not take any decisions about medication without approval from your medical supervisor.