I wanted to take a minute to write about the process of finding the right medication. Two days ago I added another medication, Wellbutrin, because of my persistent fatigue and lingering depression. To treat my Bipolar 2 disorder, I’ve been taking a mood stabilizer (Lamictal), an anti-depressant (Zoloft), and an anti-psychotic (Abilify). It’s been quite a process, finding the right medication mix, but I do feel like things are moving in the right direction. Amazing to think that over the past two years I’ve tried at least eight different medications (Paxil and Seroquel, as well). I’m learning that finding the medication that works best for a person is part science, but there is an artistic component to the process as well. It’s a fluid dance that includes assessing and responding to multiple data points. There’s my mood over the course of several weeks or months, my appetite, weight gain or loss, my level of fatigue or hypo-mania, and the quality of my sleep, to mention just a few. Through self-observation, introspection, and conversations with my wife, therapist, and psychiatrist, I believe I’m zeroing in on a medication combination that is suited to my particular psychology and body chemistry. We’ll see.
The addition of Wellbutrin came as a result of speaking with my therapist about my level of fatigue and possible remedies. We spoke about rest, exercise, and all the usual suspects. I asked him about medications and whether a change might be in order. As always, he encouraged me to speak with my psychiatrist about my medications. My therapist explained how Zoloft was focused primarily on increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, while drugs like Wellbutrin are focused primarily on increasing dopamine levels. Since I had primarily been on serotonin re-uptake inhibitors like Paxil and Zoloft and was still experiencing depression, I thought it might worth trying a drug focused on increasing dopamine levels. So, I’m on my second day of taking Wellbutrin and hoping for the best.
This post is primarily aimed at documenting the course of this new drug. I just have a feeling this is the right drug. As always, time will tell.
Peace to you…
The Bellowing Angels