My Love/Hate Relationship With Medication

By: Natalia Beiser 

I have been on medications for bipolar disorder my entire adult life. The prescriptions and I have an avid love/hate relationship. 

I need medications to function with the most amount of mental clarity. I resent my medications and am treatment resistant.  Medication has allowed me to live a fulfilling life.  Psychiatric drugs are slowly killing me in other ways.     

When I do not take medication for bipolar disorder, I experience the clinical symptoms of the illness, such as depression, shopping sprees, pressured speech, mania, and lack of sleep. Prior to taking medication, I experienced treatment resistant suicidal thoughts.

Medications for bipolar disorder have caused me to have high blood pressure, diabetes insipitus, weight gain, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, and thyroid disease. 

Then I knew that I was having life robbed from me when my doctor told me that I was losing kidney function, largely from taking a drug for over twenty years for bipolar disorder. The medication that benefits me the most causes toxic harm to my kidneys. I am now in stage 4 chronic kidney disease.

At some point I may have to consent to taking dialysis to continue to live. However, I know that it is a must to continue on the psychopharmacological “cocktail” that I am on to experience mental clarity, as no other alternate medication combination has worked for my treatment resistant bipolar disorder. 

I know that continuing to take medication is critical.  I can live with the physical deficits that the medications are causing. Or I can go down an even rockier road because a medication that keeps me well grounded is removed. 

I love having a full life where my thoughts are clear and I am not experiencing active bipolar stressors. I am not in love with being on medication that is harmful to many other bodily organs. However, at this time my only option is to be me and take medication for bipolar disorder. 

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