Bipolar Tangents

Writing seems like how I function in many aspects of my life: my intentions begin at one point, then my thoughts get carried away and I have to change the subject of my work.

Yesterday I started taking 5HTP time-released (for mood and stress). I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of getting back on “meds”. The thought of side effects, and stopping the medication at any given point, and subsequent withdrawals frightened me. I had made a vow to manage my bipolar without medications. These medications may be well-tolerated by others, but for me, it is something I do not want.

The 5HTP seems to have helped me all day with my moods. My lowest mood of the day was still very regulated- I was not feeling gloomy very much. Calm, energetic, assured, temperate, and able to concentrate a little more- all the good things I have missed out much of my life.

The SSRI antidepressants of my past made me into a head-case. At night, I’d lie awake having an “inner dialog” in my mind. One of the drugs made me have disturbing nightmares, very vivid and dark nightmares. When I stopped taking the drug, I experienced withdrawals and mood swings.

With 5HTP, I do not experience the side effects of psychotropic medications. I do not have to question everything about myself and wonder, “Is the medication causing this, or is it me?”

It feels a little strange, nevertheless, because I have never felt so “normal” for this amount of time. I started to wonder about my mood disorder. How long did it exist, was it the way I was created or was it environmental factors that caused my issues. Will the mood disorder rear its ugly head again? Do psychiatrists always ask weird questions to their patients? Do the doctors working at the facilities take any medication? These questions are not meant to be cynical. My mood is very reflective now and I am pondering many nuanced elements of life.

My depression lasted over 2 weeks. In that time, I had nothing to give towards my writing. It seems like I have to “start” all over again with my mind and with my work. I think I can enjoy life a little better. The best thing of all would be to have more quality time with my family. I feel the 5HTP may help me overcome some of the anxiety that hindered my relationships. Being of sober mind most certainly couldn’t hurt. My bipolar tangent- is that I am discovering an irony in all this chaos. Miracles aren’t found in a bottle, do not lean too heavily on them to help with mood disorders. A bad day is still to be expected, God made good days and bad days. He also made each one of us- do not try too hard to change how you were made (if you have a disorder that can be managed without medication).  People without mood disorders also have problems- with relationships, work, money, etc. My disorder is not the cause of everything wrong with me or the world.

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