My thoughts on my first week on Bipolar medication

Last Tuesday I started taking medication (Lamotrigine) for my bipolar disorder. This was after finally having my appointment with my assigned psychiatrist (who is also my care co-ordinator, whilst the actual term psychiatrist is mostly shortened to the word Pdoc on things like bipolar forums. I’m learning all this as I go along). Anyway, I’ll talk more about that appointment in another post, needless to say that yes, I got ‘official’ confirmation that I have bipolar (which wasn’t exactly a surprise) and that she was lovely, which somewhat allayed my fears at the time about medication.

Now onto my experiences in the first week and a bit –

  • At first I got high, like I mean really high, like I’m talking about I didn’t so much shoot up the bipolar mood scale as blast off into the stratosphere. I was positively away with the bipolar fairies. It was only when I’d calmed down a bit that I realised that what I was experiencing was something I hadn’t experienced in years – a straight up, one mood bipolar episode. It hadn’t even really, like really consciously registered to me that a) the depressive part had become a huge part of my life, or rather it had but this experience just hammered it home, and b) how recently – although I can’t put a proper time frame on recent – my ‘high’ periods had actually become mixed episodes, with usually really fucking rapid changes as well. Back in the day it was always just one predominant mood at a time. No wonder the suicidal thoughts had got worse over time. A lot of these realisations also came up in my assessment with the psychiatrist too.
  • After the initial high, which totally superseded anything else that was going on in my brain, I got really, seriously cranky. It was like this tidal wave of wants, desires and lusts hit me and swept me away. I just wanted to get smashed, spend all the money in the world and fuck. Luckily (although at the time it didn’t feel that way) I have no access to money right now, like I really don’t, and I quit drinking nearly six months ago and luckily everybody knows what’s going on so I can’t secretly and self-destructively indulge. But it was a good warning sign, you know, to keep me on my toes, and to stay vigilant when I get back on my feet and get a job etc. I have to stay sharp and on top of things. I can’t walk out on any jobs in the future or – and this is really important – rack up any more debts.
  • The most amazing aspect so far, the most amazing, scintillatingly brilliant thing I can say about the last week and a bit, are these real lucid moments I’ve been getting, which have increased day by day, where I can see, really see, a bright future; not like a false, delusional future, characteristic of a brief lull in the storm bipolar sometimes offers up as a means with which to torture you, in a kind of ‘this is what you could’ve won’ type thing, but a genuine snapshot of what could await in the future. When it comes to the depressive thoughts, for the first time ever, I have had some measure of control over them. In fact, I haven’t had a suicidal thought in the last few days (which I can’t remember happening in a very, very long time. We’re talking years here). My mind has tried to go in that direction a couple of times but I’ve been able to steer it away.
  • Granted, I haven’t got much control over the more manic phase yet – my brain has felt on fire on some occasions it has been racing so much, and I’ve been averaging like 3-4 hours of proper sleep – but I’m on the lowest dose (25mg,) and the real, therapeutic dose is way up at between 100-200mg (my first dose increase starts next Tuesday). plus in my, extensive, reading on Lamotrigine I’ve come across quite a few people experiencing the same things as me at this dose, i.e. no real control over the manic stuff.
  • My concentration has been all over the place, hence this taking me way longer than I intended to finish, I had planned to have it up exactly one week after starting the meds. But the concentration thing has been improving too.
  • I’ve sure been having some vivid dreams and nightmares.
  • Oh yeah and I experienced a new part of bipolar that I’d only ever read about (and I can’t find the exact link now) but one day for about 10-15 minutes I was both crying but really, stupidly happy at the same time, which was a total headfuck. But yeah it went away pretty quickly.
  • One of the days I heard this burst of music in my head for literally a second. It was loud, clear as day and really disorienting. But that never happened again either.
  • Oh and finally, I get really anxious at night, owing to still having worries about medication plus deep-rooted fears over side effects and something terribly wrong happening as I sleep, which no doubt has also affected my sleep but again, same with everyone else, this has been getting better with time.

And, that’s about it.



  1. Welcome back, friend.
    Sounds like it has been quite a ride so far!
    Your descriptive words remind me of the Kay Redfield Jamison memoir A Unquiet Mind. A lucid recounting of her own struggles with manic depression. Good book.
    Nice to hear from you!

    • Yep, it has been a pretty hectic few weeks; I doubled the dose of the medication last week and I’m starting to feel like I did pre-bipolar. It is absolutely mind-blowing to recognise myself again after ten years.

      It has genuinely been breathtaking to experience life as I remember it being; I told my friend it was like being born again it’s that much of a drastic re-awakening. There are still things I’m getting used too and adjustments to be made with the meds but for the first time in a long time I am positively looking forward to the future and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

      I checked that book out, it is differently one I’m going to get, want to see her account of the illness.

      I have a lot of catching up to do on here, looking forward to getting up to speed with your and everyone else’s posts.

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