The Medication Dance 2 (Progress Check)

 

I must say that my new medication, Wellbutrin, appears to be having a good effect. I’ve been taking it for just over a week and increased to a full dose (300mg) today. I don’t necessarily feel better, but I find myself doing more throughout the day. This has been my experience with medications that work. After several days to a few weeks, while I still feel depressed, I engage more with day to day life. I begin exercising, am a bit more social, and become more productive at work and home. After a bit more time, I notice the change in my behavior and realize that I must be feeling better. It’s kind of a backward process.

While I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, I feel very optimistic about this medication. I’ve already tried Paxil and Zoloft, two serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, both of which helped, but left me feeling slow and foggy. I like that Wellbutrin, while it does increase serotonin levels in the brain, also increases dopamine. Hopefully, this added increase of dopamine will push me up and out of depression.

I am so grateful for the help I receive from my family, therapist, and psychiatrist as I work to get the right medication balance. I’m so grateful that I have access to these amazing medications and people.

Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with those suffering alone with mental illness without the means to get the medications and support they need. It isn’t a stretch to say that without my support system and medications, I would be unable to function and face even the most mundane challenges of daily life.

I didn’t mean to get here when I began this post, but I’m struck by the idea that many people in our prisons or living on the street, might not be there if they had access to the very resources I do.

Think I’ll do some research on mental illness in our homeless and prison populations as well the current state of access to mental health resources for all. The idea of withholding insulin from a diabetic, or chemotherapy from a cancer patient is unthinkable. It should be the same for those living with a mental illness. Medication for the mentally ill needs to be a non-negotiable within our medical and social service system.

Okay, the rant is over…for now.

The short of it is that my new medication, Wellbutrin appears to be lifting my mood and decreasing my depression. Woo. Hoo.

(But do stand by for a social justice piece about access to mental health resources. Excited for this one.)

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