Abilify and Bipolar, which is worse?

The bipolar is getting to me a bit. I’m fairly stable, except for the intense mood dysregulation I’m experiencing (hourly moderate mood swings). But I’m normal, not happy or sad just normal. I think that is good.

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What gets to me are the sideeffects of Abilify. So the Akathisia is probably the worst part of it. I can’t sit still, nothing can keep my attention and I’m always itching inside. Sometimes I wish I can pull off my skin and yell at the top of my voice, yep that’s how bad it gets. The irritation and frustration it causes leads to the amplification of any negativity in my mind, even the thoughts of leaving this planet.

So not too long ago the FDA released a statement saying that Abilify can cause impulsive behaviour. Funny thing is before I found that out, I had already complained to both my psychiatrist and psychologist that I’m extremely impulsive and that it is causing damage. Knowing that the Abilify contributes to this behaviour does help a bit with the guilt feelings but it doesn’t curb the impulsivity. That is where the inner strength comes in… I need a lot of it. The list of do’s and don’ts is too much for me and I regularly drop a ball (or forget to pick one up…) The temptations I face are overwhelming. Just a normal trip to the shops have become a battle. I’m constantly having this inner conflict; “I want this bunny, No you can’t have the bunny!”, “Your budget is 200 bucks, But I need 300 bucks to buy what I always buy, what on earth must I leave out huh?” It’s almost like there are two sides of me. The one just wants to give up and do the wrong things and screw the good things and then there is the other side who wants to get better so badly, she is fighting and clawing her way into every conversation in this tumble dryer of a mind I have.

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I pray for inner strength. I ask God to intervene and convince me of the benefits of doing the right thing in each situation. But it doesn’t get easier. My impulses are like zombies, I kill them and 5 minutes later they’re alive again coming for me with fresh vigour. I wish I could just behead them once and for all but it doesn’t work that way. Not for me.

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So sorry no positive note or message today, just me being honest about the real struggles I face for the sake of sanity.

 

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31 thoughts on “Abilify and Bipolar, which is worse?

  1. Stephen says:

    Thank you for sharing this and giving such a clear voice to articulate how I feel day in and day out. I shared it on my Facebook page so that others who don’t know what it’s like can get a glimpse of what it is we go through.

    I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to connect with how you feel and in doing so feel less alone or less of a weird freak. Thank you!

    • Charlotte Wessels says:

      Wow I’m really glad I’m not the only one going through this special hell. Thanks for the share. Thing is where do you draw the line with side effects? When is it too much and not worth the stability of brings.?

      • Stephen says:

        You’re welcome. And you’re not the only one. There are so many times I want to just crawl out of my skin and take a vacation from being me. Just to be able to scream or shout out or feel something other than the jitters and anxiousness.

        I’ve been questioning my medications lately. Thankfully I’ll see my doctor tomorrow and he’s very good about working through it with me. I know I need something else to keep me feeling a little more balanced and sane. But it seems like every combination I try just results in bring me right back to this place. It’s horrid. I long to feel normal.

      • Charlotte Wessels says:

        I saw my psychiatrist today and we’re sticking to the plan. I don’t feel like the pill merry go round just yet. I don’t think normal is within our grasp 😦

      • Stephen says:

        Yeah, the pill merry go round is brutal. And you never know where it will land. I was on Prozac at one point and for me, unfortunately, it elevated suicidal thoughts and ideations. I had a few attempts and came close to ending it on that drug. And for a long time I held onto the guilt. But my therapist reminds me that it was the actions of the drugs that put me in that place. Now, on this new cocktail I at least don’t feel that way and can’t associate with those thoughts any longer. But it’s still not relieving the mania and the low lows, and it’s not really balancing me. It’s just sort of keeping some things at bay a little here and there. I want to try something else, but I’m always weary of going on another drug that could take me back to that darkness.

        And yeah, I agree, I don’t think normal exists in our case!

      • Charlotte Wessels says:

        Effexor drove me to my suicide attempt. I am also weary of meds now. I hate popping pills each night. Every morning and bed time I get slightly more irritated with this whole setup.

      • Stephen says:

        Preach! That is exactly how I feel. The whole routine is just irritating. And knowing that it’s a requirement for me to even attempt to execute daily living in a somewhat manageable way just makes me even more irritated. To think that I need drugs to be able to cope and manage what most people can do on the norm feels so awful. And even though I know people don’t necessarily think it, I keep thinking that people must think “how can he not do that. It really doesn’t require much effort” and in my mind they think that I’m just weak or something. Sometimes just being inside my own head is insanity.

      • Charlotte Wessels says:

        I do get the part about having to take pills to be slightly less fucked and hating it. I sometimes compare my life with those of my friends who seem to have everything together and I just wanna smash their heads in. But we must remember the are a lot of people walking around undiagnosed or don’t have the money to pay for meds.

        Still sucks though.

      • Stephen says:

        Yeah the comparison game is a challenge. It’s hard not to. I think that’s part of the reason we sometimes isolate ourselves during lows.

        I do feel for people who haven’t been diagnosed. I only got diagnosed 6 months ago and got treatment and it makes me life so much easier even though I’m still not balanced. At least now I know what’s going on with me and I can tend to myself better.

      • Charlotte Wessels says:

        I was properly diagnosed 5 years and 8 months ago. I’m only stable now and it’s only been for about 6 months. So medicinal treasure hunt only hit gold a while ago. So my bd has been treating especially shit over the years. I struggle to relate to mentally healthy people, I always feel judged but that’s the bd paranoia reading its head I guess. At the age of 4 I realized I don’t fit in, sadly I still feel that way, I’m not your typical bipolar so I don’t even fit into that community. Maybe I should just settle for my own company.

      • Stephen says:

        Wow. I can’t believe it’s taken that long to get the right medicinal cocktail. I still haven’t got mine sorted out and I was hoping it wouldn’t be too long more until I do but you never know I guess.

        Every drug they’ve tried me on I fall into that nominal category of people who could suffer worsened side effects. I guess my brain chemistry is unique.

        The bipolar paranoia is the worst. You can easily make a mountain out of a molehill. I hate that aspect. It’s truly damaging.

        And for what it’s worth, following along with you and these little chats help me feel a little better. So I don’t think you don’t fit into the Bipolar community and I am glad that you are sharing your experience and company with us.

      • Charlotte Wessels says:

        Yeah I was in hospital around 2 to 3 times a year, I’ve been hospital free for 15 months now 🙂 and oh my word, you won’t believe it but I’m the side effect queen! I’m that awful 1 in a 1000 that suffers from the side effect mentioned, except the weight loss side effect of course… Thanks for the kind words, and yes I appreciate these chats a lot. Ps getting anxious now cos I dread having nothing to do but too lazy to do anything…

      • Stephen says:

        Yeah I’m that 1 in 1000 too. So we can be unique together in that lol

        My first batch of drugs gave me so much energy and I lost a ton of weight and got into yoga. It was great. But eventually they caused the suicidal thoughts, which isn’t so great. So then I got on new drugs and every drug since has made me lazier. It sucks not having the energy. Makes me miss the mania a little bit. Though I have been having ups and downs through that as well.

        I hate the anxiety. The other day it turned into full panic. And all I was doing was sitting home alone drinking tea. And suddenly it just came over me. Ugh. Bipolar life I suppose.

        Hopefully today I get out and do something. If it wasn’t for picking up photography as a hobby I wouldn’t do a thing.

  2. justaswellfella says:

    Thank you for sharing this and giving such a clear voice to articulate how I feel day in and day out. I shared it on my Facebook page so that others who don’t know what it’s like can get a glimpse of what it is we go through.

    I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to connect with how you feel and in doing so feel less alone or less of a weird freak. Thank you!

  3. Pieces of Bipolar says:

    Akathisia is new to me. I thought I was just really badly controlled and lacked focus. That ‘crawl out your skin’ thing you mentioned… uh huh! I hear you there! I really hopes it settles down a bit for you. And there is no rule that all posts have to be positive. This is real life stuff and I think its brave and wonderful you trust us with your most vulnerable moments. There’s not much that separates us. When you are down, we will support you, as we know you will do the same. Sending you lots of love Charlotte ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Charlotte Wessels says:

      Thank you for such encouragement! It’s hard for me to not end things with hope. But sharing the reality and making others feel that they’re not alone is a way of bringing hope I guess

      • Pieces of Bipolar says:

        It certainly is. We can all relate to the highs and lows. It is after all the nature of our illness. So never feel you have to excuse or justify and post written when down. It’s not negative – its simply sharing 🙂

  4. Stephen says:

    Reblogged this on MCMLXXXII and commented:
    This is such an eloquent way of describing what it is to live with Bipolar Disorder day in and day out. Your own mind is at odds with you and most of the time against you. To do ordinary things that people take for granted takes immeasurable energy to complete and it’s very taxing and exhausting on you. And just when you think you’ve won an uphill battle, a new one arises moments later to take its place.

    It’s very challenging to live within your own mind like this when everything feels like a contradiction. I can relate so much to the needing to crawl out of your own skin and scream at the top of your lungs but having the inability to do so (except when the mania presents itself). It’s like constantly wanting a reprieve from your life. To step out of your body and your surroundings to breathe before you can step back in. Though obviously that type of vacation for the mind doesn’t exist.

    Charlotte really gave me words that I haven’t quite articulated myself and her struggles are very real. I feel her pain. And even as I feel it and can’t control it myself I wish that I could help her not to feel it. And I don’t even know her personally. I wouldn’t wish this disorder upon my worst enemy. It’s so hard to get ahead.
    Reminding yourself daily to take it minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour if you have to. It’s survival. And it’s tough.

    Thank you Charlotte for speaking with such a clear voice on this topic. It really connected with me today!

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