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bookgirl

Feeling bad about myself because of how many meds I'm on

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Does anyone else ever internalize the societal stigma about being "heavily medicated?" I'm up to seven psych meds now (my record was eight at once), and I seem to have hit a tipping point where I feel shitty and really, really batshit...like if anyone knew how many meds it takes to make me functional, they would head for the hills. 

 

I'm not tempted to go off meds - I'd be dead otherwise. It's just I feel so damn crazy whenever I take out my meds at night. There are so many that I actually have to count to make sure I have all seven of them spread out in front of me. Things were much easier when I just had to pop a Prozac (with awful manic results, but that's another story). 

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Sometimes I get tripped out about it. Not my first time on a huge cocktail - I was on an even bigger one for neuralgia in the past - but a first for being nuts. Most of the time I'm fine, but every now and then I look at the giant collection of pill bottles on my desk and think "wait, I'm that crazy?"

 

I've gotten better about it since I've found a couple people in RL I can talk to about it candidly. I certainly wouldn't recommend it as an ice-breaker or anything, but I was already on good terms with them (hell, one talked me down from suicide), and knowing they don't reject me or even look askance at me for being so medicated helps me keep perspective on it.

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if you are stable then try and accept it

for now, at some point with your doctor's help you might be able to reduce

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I know I am on a large cocktail, but don't see myself as over-medicated ... I used to be, when I was in the hospital years ago and on so many meds I couldn't form a sentence.  I am glad that I have a cocktail that works for me now, no matter how many meds I am on, that allows me to function enough to meet my needs.

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I felt bad about being "over-medicated". It didn't help that I had a bf who constantly put me down "do you really think you need all those pills?!" "those pills make a zombie out of you" and "you should go to a naturopathic doctor" and yet he wanted the pills to "cure" me so I wouldn't have to take pills anymore!

 

Oh well, this was a guy who insisted on coming to see the pdoc with me once "to better understand my illness and its symptoms" and spent the hour whining about how much my symptoms inconvenienced HIM. Now that I've dumped him it's easier to believe that there's nothing wrong with taking pills if you need them. Do people look down on someone with a chronic physical illness like diabetes or heart problems, for taking meds and treatments? 

 

I am resistant to meds anyway, it seems. I have been on many things and no cocktail seems to have stabilized me so far. Pdoc just adds another drug each time I see him... unless something causes a major side effect like a rash. He says he has almost run out of ideas. Meanwhile I was at the point where I was taking 8 pills in the morning, which would knock me out all day with dizziness, nausea and sleepiness, and 2 more at night to allow me to sleep at night. I was sleeping all the time. So I came up with an idea of my own which I brought to him last time I saw him - how about stopping everything and starting from scratch, one med at a time? We settled on tapering off my antidepressant, stopping the lithium (which has helped with the daytime sleepiness) and keeping the quetiapine and the sleeping drug for now. So far not much of a change, I am still deeply depressed, but slowly getting better. 

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I definitely hear you on this one. Honestly, even being on meds to begin with is hard sometimes. Internalized stigma or whatever. I don't look down on others who have lengthy cocktails, but I feel ridiculous when I wake up in the morning and take so many and then have to take another batch at work.

 

But it makes me functional. Functional's good.

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Yes. Big time.

 

I have fought a lot of meds.  When they produced, say, twice-a-day naps, or dyskinesias, I think that was warranted.  When, as now, I am raging against the last little bit of Tegretol, I think I should probably just get over it.

 

My son has seen the pills and said "I wish you didn't have to do that." And I have been able to say, "Yes, but aren't things good now?"

 

And that's the bottom line. :cool:

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i've definitely been like...everything about me is medicated.  i take this to do ___ i take that to get rid of ___ and then ___ to ___ and then ___ to combat the side effects of ___ and then and then and then....etc.

 

i ahve defo felt badly about self but more just like...rather recently i was on eight as well.  and it felt like i was just funneling pills and capsules all of the time. like, good thing i'm on disability because taking my meds is roughly a full time job.

 

and when it feels like i have to take a pill for every single thing. take one to not be psychotic. take one to not be a slug. take one to make the others work better. take one to not be a spaz. take one to go to sleep. etc. it's like...when i got to the point ofneedng to take a pill to take a crap...i once again  just said fuck it and chucked it all.

 

unwise, yeah, sure.

 

but...i will say that i switched to depot injections andsimply not having to take sooo many pills/caps to get the same ...or not as helpful...results...defo buoyed me.

 

it sounds like you're doing well on your medications and i can understand the sheer irritation of taking so many...but glad to hear things are working nonetheless :-)

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At one time, I took 7 different medications each day. It was a lot, but it was working. Then various things happened and I got a little more stable, and I started weaning off some of my pills. My diagnosis changed, possibly not for the better. Now I really only take 1, with 2 PRNs for special occasions. It's not working so well at the moment and my diagnosis might change again and I might have to start taking more pills again. Time will tell, and if I'm very lucky it won't get back up to 7.

 

But I'm not a better person on only 1 pill than I was on 7. I'm just managing symptoms and side effects differently.

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I usually put my medication on top of the dishwasher in the kitchen and whenever my father sees them, his eyes widen and makes some sort of negative comment.  After that, he goes straight to the cupoard where our supplements are and takes several with a glass of wine - he then proceeds to drink two or more bottles of red wine that evening and continues every night after that.  Like I would listen to medical advice from an alcoholic in denial.

 

My point is is that people wouldn't bat an eye when a HIV-positive person or a cancer patient admits to all the meds they take just to stay alive and be health and we crazies are not so different from them.  I know the stigma associated with mental illness but if a cocktail keeps you out of a coffin and stable there is no need to feel bad or justify your treatment to others.  Besides, that is private information and that is up to you whom you confide that info in.  A person who really cares for or loves you would probably be concerned but they certainly wouldn't run for the hills.  There are millions of people on psych meds and while some are candid about it, others prefer to keep it private.

 

Don't feel bad and don't give yourself excuses as to why you are attempting to live a life that is worth living.  If anyone tells you otherwise, fuck them.  It's your health, not theirs.

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I feel this way too but at 3.5(I count the PRN as a .5 becuse its a prn) I felt fine with myself and the amount of psycotropics. But add the 4th one brining it to 4.5 I started to feel shame re the psycotropics. That and the Sythroid, metformin, and vitiman d it looks like i'm a small pharmacy. I think I got this way when I typed out the new regimine becuse it was easyer to hand that then to write them all down.  But I am trying my best to undestand its like insuline for diabities and eating less sugar and such. I hope that in a month or two i'll feel ok with 4.5 psycotropics.

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I take 7 a day for psych meds. Plus multi vitamin, calcium, a blood pressure med, a birth control med, and an iron supplement (for anemia).

I really can't cut any meds out right now but in the future I would consider it if I get more stable.

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Taking a lot of medication can be hard. I know I rebelled when I first started taking my medication. However, that being said, I do feel a lot better on the current cocktail.

 

I try and focus on the fact that it's helping and not how many medications I'm on. My philosophy is - fuck stigma. It's more important that I'm feeling better. I'm not worried about how many pills I take, as long as I can remember to take them all (and afford them all!) 

 

Besides, it's between me and my doc how many pills I take...nobody else has to know. Just my two cents.

Edited by writeandshiny

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I have those moments when I feel frustrated that I take so many meds. I have had friends and family say that they think i am taking too many. My Mom even talked to the medical director at her clinic (and gave him my med list) and HE said it sounded like too many. So, I saw a different pdoc to get a second opinion and we tapered me off 1 (Celexa) and had plans to taper me off another. That didn't work out so well. Long story short, I am only seeing my original pdoc and I readded an SSRI I have taken successfully in the past (Wellbutrin) to combat the depression that hit me after going off the Celexa. I realize that I need all of these meds b/c i have a few different MIs, I have a good mix that works for me right now, and I am going to keep them all. It is wicked annoying to have to take so many but I'd prefer it to being depressed, manic, crazy anxious, etc.

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I take 8 meds total, two of which are prn for migraine. The rest are for the crazy. We just took our prescriptions into the new place we are using as our drug store, and we had 14 scripts between the two of us. DH had paper scripts, but mine had to all be entered by hand(??), and it took for-fucking-ever. Plus, over an hour to fill them (this is to point out how many there were, not to criticize the pharmacist). It made me feel so self-conscious, and I am already worried about what my new pdoc (once found) is going to think about my cocktail. I already have plans to come off the Wellbutrin, so maybe that will placate him or her.

 

I actually had been pretty oblivious to how many meds I was on until my pain Dr. said something.

 

P.S. I wouldn't be shocked if I miscounted, I can't see my signature, but I filled 8 scripts for me Weds.

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I really struggle with taking a cocktail and those struggles continually get me into trouble. I decide that I am being weak or just not trying hard enough to be well, and next thing you know I have talked myself right out of taking my meds. I have been hospitalized twice as a result of these adventures. It isn't fair to say that it is the same as taking blood pressure meds or diabetic drugs. People can openly talk about that without scrutiny. This is a very complicated issue. I think it is a matter if accepting your MI and wanting to stay healthy no matter what that looks like. Something I haven't really figured out how to do yet.

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My point is is that people wouldn't bat an eye when a HIV-positive person or a cancer patient admits to all the meds they take just to stay alive and be health and we crazies are not so different from them.

 

^^ This.  Don't feel bad or embarrassed because it takes a lot of meds to manage your chronic medical condition.

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