A recurring theme with taking medication for mental illness is that I’m constantly having to worry whether I’m thinking straight. Quite literally, I’m taking chemicals to alter my brain chemistry. Habituating to drugs, detoxing, and everything in between carries their own risks.
Right now, I’d like to mention that this isn’t a criticism of mental health drugs in general. Think of it like the hassle of having to renew your driver’s license or paying your taxes or going to a dental appointment. The potential reward is worth the struggle. But the struggle still exists.
I’ve had too many examples this week of impulsive behavior. It’s not the mania from Wellbutrin detox. Anxiety’s wreaking havoc with my mind. On top of that, I’ve been detoxing from my anti-depressant. That also affects my anxiety levels.
Every decision I make is met with a thousand questions. The most insistent: am I thinking clearly enough to make this decision? I can’t always answer that question in the affirmative. All I can do is take a deep breath and say I’m doing the best I can with what I have.
What hurts the most is that although I thought I was done with the effects of when I was on Wellbutrin, the manic episode is a gift that is still giving me stress. The stress hits the anxiety. The anxiety triggers bad decisions. More anxiety. Depression to shut it all down.
I desperately want to isolate myself and shut my mind down. But I can’t, because there is a sensible part of me that knows it will make things worse. All I can do ride out the waves, and hope I can weather the neurochemical storm.