A few tips to curb the side effects of those nasty meds you already hate.
Psychotropic medications are supposed to help, heal, and provide balance to the imbalances in your head. Unfortunately, they come with a beautiful list of side effects.
Here are some for lamotrigine (Lamictal):
- loss of coordination
- double vision
- blurred vision
- stomach pain
- dry mouth
- changes in menstrual periods
- back pain
- sore throat
- runny nose
- sleep problems (insomnia).
And my personal favorite: dysphasia & spoonerism. I can’t communicate very well, and I usually get words mixed up. Sometimes I’ll mean to say “I’ll take out the trash” but I’ll end up saying “I’ll take out the couch.” I replace words with words that have NOTHING to do with the sentence. Spoonerism is marked by switching the consonants of two words, such as “cirthday bake” instead of “birthday cake”.
Here are some of my tips and tricks to medicate your medicine:
- Do not be afraid to ask your doctor for Zofran. If you’re not eating, you’re not getting better. If you’re nauseous all the time, you can’t concentrate. Don’t “toughen up”. It’s okay to ask for 4mg of the good stuff. It’ll come in handy.
- Always have a nightly ritual. Try and be as consistent as you can. Get home. Wash your face. Take a shower. Put on pajamas. Read, or troll Facebook for 30 mins. Listen to music. THEN go to bed. This will teach your brain how to shut down for the night so you can get a good 8 hours.
- Always have a morning ritual. Get up. Stretch. Wash your face (self care and feeling refreshed is so important). Maybe watch some TV before you actually have to get dressed. Get dressed. Do whatever hair/makeup routine you need to do. Be on time for whatever you’re doing that morning.
- Find alternative means of medicating. Try acupuncture (I know. NEEDLES. But it actually does help with anxiety). Try getting a yoga membership, and if you’re poor like me try and get a yoga video to do at home.
- Try and eat healthier. If your body isn’t strong, it can’t heal.
- Take extra precautions during flu season. I’m serious. Stay away. I don’t care if your BFF has it: put on a mask and hand them that soup with caution. Lots of psych meds are immunosuppressants, so you’re more than likely to catch EVERYTHING.
- Talk to your doctor about B-12 deficiency. I didn’t know I was a pernicious anemic until I had a blood panel drawn. B-12 deficiency can cause depression, loss of sleep, lethargy, and confusion. You can take an oral supplement or you can get a weekly/monthly B-12 injection.
- Be open with your friends about how you’re feeling. Hiding your symptoms won’t do you any good, and suffering alone isn’t good for the mind and the body. Let them in. Maybe they’ll bring you coffee if they know you’re going to be a zombie that day.
- SELF. CARE. Make sure you’re taking time to just be. still. Block out the people, the tasks, the homework for just a little while. Get a coloring book. Pick up painting. Meditate. Buy a new book. Go to LUSH and buy the most amazing bath bomb and just treat yo self.
- Come to terms with the fact that you might not be able to do as much as other people. I know that my speech problems get in the way, and I’m always embarrassed, sometimes to the point of crying. Sometimes you can’t go out on a Friday night if you’re not feeling good. Don’t feed the beast. Your body will build resilience with time, or it may not. Don’t get frustrated waiting for the day you’ll wake up “normal” again.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
-Francis of Assisi