Medication and cognitive functions

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/18/2005 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
I am new to the forum. I had my first bi-polar experience 14 years ago and I've never had dialog with anyone that has had bi-polar experiences. My support structure has been quite limited and its time I made some contacts and expanded my horizons.
My question today is regarding medications. I have not been on anything for quite some time and have always been apprehesive about medications and what effects they might have on me.
Mood stabilizires concern me. What kind of impact will they have on my personality. Abstract thought, focus, creative thinking, intuition etc..
My bi-polar episodes in the past, although debilitating and devistating, at times it was an extremely insightfull experience. Lead me to philosophy, meditation and a better understanding of myself and the world around me.
about 7 years ago I went through a difficult time that lead to a relationship break up. Had to leave work on dissability for a number of months. During that time I focused all my energy inward. I would meditate every day for long periods. Cleaned and organized my apartment to clear my head. Each day I would meditate, go outdoors, practise patience, and focused all the energy I could on my recovery.
I did this for about a month or so and recovered. Regained a healthy sense of self, was no longer depressed, or manic. In hindsight, with all the things I had learned from reading and the meditation (which I had never done before) I had grown and was much more stable then I had been before falling ill.
I know that my recovery during that time was in part due to my drive and determination at that time. Also going hand in hand with the reading and meditation. It was a time in my life where these things fell together beautifully and I am a changed person and greatful for it.
However, life goes on and it is easy to fall back into old habbits, old thinking patterns etc...
But this is where my concern comes from. Through drive, determination, patience meditation etc, I was essentially able to become more grounded, raze my level of consciousness etc... and reap the rewards in my every day life. My fear is that taking mood stabilizers and the like (mind altering chemicals on a neurological level) may impair in some way this conscious and spiritual awareness (that is essentually 'you')
It is common knowledge that people suffering from bi-polar illness often dont want to take medication for fear of loosing the 'highs' I strongly believe this is distinctly different from what I am talking about. The awareness I am refering too is very calm, quite, with very little internal dialog. Its a quite 'knowing' with the absence of fear or worry. Peace of mind.
If anyone would like to share any insights they have on this, it would be appreciated. Thanks

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 10/18/2005 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Palefire,
Welcome to healingWell. You've come to the right place to connect.
As for medications, I'm not sure how much help I can be. Like you, I have been unmedicated for most of my life. I was on Abilify a few months ago. Its an atypical antipsychotic that I believe has mood stablizing properties. I had a little "fuzziness" of thought for the first few days that faded away quickly. I was on lithium years and years ago but all I remember about that was the weight gain. I've currently been pulled off all meds due to pregnancy.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you. I'm sure someone will be on later thats more knowledgeable on meds and their side effects.
Take care

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 10/18/2005 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Palefire, look for psychnurse, she can answer your med questions. She's amazing.


BP brings new meaning to Life's Little Ups and Downs

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/19/2005 4:34 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Palefire

I was exactly where you are, TM was a huge part of my life as was anything spiritual, atral projection, etc.   I also felt the "knowing" feeling, among other things.  I also thought I had it under control.

The medication won't change your personality, it will make you calmer, nicer, with no irritability, easier to concentrate, etc.  There is defo a period of adjustment, tho, and oftentimes it is not pleasant, I won't lie to you.  But when you find the cocktail that works for you, you will see even more than you do now.   It totally depends on your body chemistry as to how you will react to certain meds.  Some will be a miracle, some may be a nightmare.  It's trial and error.   There are several choices now besides lithium and depakote, neither are a favorite with me or most people for the weight gain issue.  There is also Trileptal, which IMO is wonderful, clean, helps you sleep soundly at night and works for most.  But most docs either don't know what it is or just stick with conventional meds.  (It's an anticonvulsant, used in treating BP).   Then there are the atypical antipsychotics like Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel.  Seroquel is the favorite because not only does it REALLY help you sleep soundly it works on stabilization and psychotic episodes.  It's wonderful stuff.  The other two work the same way basically but are guilty of massive, quick weight gain and possible diabetes.    Then there is Abilify, a new one that is an atypical, but doens't really sedate.  I take that with several others and my mood has never been more level, it's amazing.  Others here have had great success with it too.  

If you feel you aren't really controlled (and you can't control BP with just meditation, positive thinking and fish oil) you should ask your doc about some of these, start slow and add as/if you need others.

I hope this helps; if you need any further help don't hesitate to ask!

Shannon :-)

Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key

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