Tag Archives: medications

Medications and Weight Loss

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How is my new eating plan going, you ask? Please don’t ask right now.

My doc changed then increased my antidepressant med a few weeks ago. I’ve been dealing with sleepiness during the day. I’ve tried taking this drug (generic Effexor) at night instead but to no avail – I still get daytime sleepiness.

I figure it will pass. It almost did – until the doc increased the dosage a few days ago.

Having Bipolar means I’m on an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, both. They work together to make me feel much better and more “normal.”

It hasn’t been good for my weight loss, though. I gained back what I’d lost and gained about 6 more pounds. Ugh!!

I’ll chalk it up to meds change and not beat myself up about it.

I’ve been eating well, however. I love veggies, fruits, and lean meats. I made brown rice last night with roasted carrots and a small, lean cut of beef. I still find myself hungry much more often than usual. It’s infuriating. I’ve learned to grab grapes for a quick snack or other fruit.

Do you take meds that mess with your weight or that may cause other health issues for you? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

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I need to go and exercise but am so freaking sleepy I wonder if I can raise my head from this couch pillow. I will push myself . . . see where it gets me. It will either give me energy or I’ll be ready for burial. LOL!

Love y’all!

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10 Reasons People Stop Taking Medication

 

The following article was copied in its entirety and is authored by Sarah, at her blog called bipolarcurious (www.bipolarcurious.wordpress.com)

10 of the Most Common Reasons People Stop Taking Medication

The most common emails I get are from concerned parents, upset that their recently diagnosed teen/young adult has stopped taking the medications that were clearly helping improve their situation (from an outsider’s perspective). When something has proved to seem helpful to someone in the past,

Why would [anyone] stop taking their medication?!?

I realize that for a lot of people, this is an extremely baffling situation -and it isn’t limited to the young, the newly diagnosed, or the “unruly” patient. As someone who has gone through the process of trying different medications, it can be difficult for me to understand why this notion seems so foreign to people.

So, I wanted to take some time today to address some of the main reasons people stop taking their medications. People might think this sort of behavior is completely spontaneous or unjustified, but you’d be surprised at how much logic actually goes into the process of “quitting” whatever medication, for a lot of people.

1. Side Effects side effects are easily the number one reason people stop taking their medications. The side effects for psychiatric medications cover a huge spectrum of different areas (both psychological and physical), some of which can be quite unpleasant. If side effects are unpleasant enough for someone to consider stopping their medication, I would highly suggest speaking with the prescribing doctor as soon as possible. Stopping a medication abruptly due to side effects can potentially make matters worse if a high enough dosage is being taken to cause withdrawal effects, and trust me. You don’t want that to happen.

2. Fear of Dependance – a lot of people go through one (or several) period(s) where the idea of taking a medication for the rest of their lives sparks fear around the idea of dependance. What if I reach a point where I can’t afford them anymore? What if something catastrophic happens an I no longer have access to the medications I need? What if I want to travel? The idea of having something that is not only helpful, but now seemingly essential to your well-being can be terrifying, because what if it is suddenly taken away?

3. Fear of Losing the Self – this is another extremely common fear, especially for people who are just starting to take medications or are teens/young adults. Will psychiatric drugs alter or diminish my creativity? My intelligence? My personality? Most adolescents are just beginning to to discover who they are and  in that time it can be terrifying to imagine discovering that person (let alone building a life for oneself) with these things dampened or altered. I began taking medications around age 16, and this was a really big fear for me. It is important to consider that the right medication(s) will not damage this “self”, but for many adolescents trying to wade through however many medications it takes to find the “right one”, this can seem like a waste of important, younger years.

4. Cost – it is also extremely common (unfortunately) for people to quit taking their medications because they simply can no longer afford them. There are things you can do to get the medications needed, for more information I would check out Best Kept Secrets For Getting Affordable Treatment for Mental Illness.

5. Not Feeling Included – I would say this is also fairly common for teens or young adults who are in the care of their parents. If someone is not included in the decision-making regarding their own care, I would definitely expect some backlash. Many parents give their child a pill and that is the extent of their involvement in the process, and I am constantly reminding parents that that pill alone will not solve everything. Try to take the time to talk openly with your child about what they are experiencing, try to include therapy or group therapy if you can. If your child is not included in their own medical care (and decisions regarding medications as well), can you ever expect them to continue care on their own after they’ve left the nest?

6. Mania Addiction – this is something I am planning on going more in-depth about a bit further down the road, but addiction to mania or hypomania is a very real problem for a lot of people. If you can imagine, let’s say your body suddenly produces a natural high that lasts for days (often for no apparent reason) for a week every month. Now, you’re given medication that keeps this high from happening. Sure, it may alleviate the bad symptoms you were having, but it also keeps you from feeling that natural high. Do you keep taking the medication? It is a lot easier said than done, and in a culture where addiction is already prevalent (cigarettes, for example) this is something that acts as a stumbling block for a lot of people.

7. A Sense of Shame – there are a lot of ignorant people out there (sorry to burst your bubble about that) that have no grasp whatsoever on the concept of mental illness. Some people face bullies that make them feel ashamed to be taking psychiatric medications, and these people can be peers, co-workers, bosses, family, even parents. Anyone who has sought help for anything in regard to mental health deserves to be praised for overcoming fear, but unfortunately feeling a sense of shame (ingrained by whomever) is quite common.

8. Misinformation/Misdiagnosis – now, more often than you think, people are given misinformation by their doctor or a misdiagnosis (or a series of them, if you’re particularly unlucky). Being told, for example, that an episode that someone experiences is singular is definitely more likely for someone to shrug off medications more quickly (yep, this happened to me). This can’t be skipped over as a real threat to people’s willingness to be treated, and a misstep by one doctor can lead to a mistrust of many down the road.

9. Fear Around Performance at Work – in regard to what I mentioned with mania addiction, there people who rely heavily on this “natural high” to produce a lot at work in small periods of time. There are industries that have come to expect this kind of output from their employees (and rely heavily on it), so there is certainly a genuine fear by a lot of people that taking medications will hinder their abilities to perform as intensely as they have in the past.

10. No Noticeable Improvement – finally, when people don’t actively see any benefit from a drug they are taking, the are much more likely to stop taking it. To come full circle, this is something that should be discussed with the prescribing doctor as they are probably more than willing to try something else instead.

If someone close to you has recently stopped taking their medication without a doctor’s authorization, try having a conversation with them about why. Chances are, there could be some very real physical discomfort they are feeling, or that they have been experiencing some very intense fear around the idea of committing to taking medications.

I just want to note that people have a choice in the matter, so whenever there is a choice, people will choose whatever route makes sense to them at the time. The best thing you can do is be open and willing to have a discussion about where those choices are coming from.

I Left My Bed ~

 

Ladies and Gents,

If you follow this blog at all (which almost 300 of you did yesterday), you are aware that I am in the midst of meds change because my Psych says I have Bipolar 2. I’ve never been a pill popper, so I dislike thinking I have to take medications every day. The difference must be in the mood stabilizer I was given. Never had that before. Yesterday was a tragedy of mood. Today, I LEFT MY BED!  I know, it’s next to nothing in the scheme of life, but I was completely non-functioning for quite a while.

My morning:

I found my Jeep parked where I’d left it two days ago, I slipped in, and started her up. The outside air blew on me from the vents. What a nice day. Since the storms that passed through, the air is cooler. It didn’t strike me to lower my car windows, though. I was busy thinking about mailing two cards and getting some lunch (and marveling that I was OUT).

After my errands, I left the burger joint with my window down. A cool breeze combined with warm sunshine on my arm. I grabbed a clippee from the cup holder and pinned my long hair to the back of my head. Let the wind blow! I had not been outside of my home in days, and it felt like weeks. I’d found no joy in anything for a very long time. Now, I was loving the feeling of the wind and sun. Simple things mean so much to me right now. I had a huge smile on my face the entire ride home. I remembered being on a carvinal ride. It was that good.

I wanted to cry – not as usual, with tears of misery, but tears of thankfulness that perhaps this med is actually working for me. I hate counting my chickens before they are hatched, though. So, I’ll enjoy today and the hope it brings.

Oh, and I deep-cleaned my kitchen. Don’t faint, Mama. Poor Jerry has been cleaning the house for over a month AFTER he gets home from a long day at work.

I think I’ll go vacuum. 😀  (who IS this woman in my body?)