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Thread: Self-medicating

  1. #1

    Self-medicating

    I haven't been taking my meds lately. It's almost been a week since I've taken them. I'm on depakote and seroquel. I take the depakote sometimes to level out my moods. The seroquel just makes me fall asleep and once I take it I'm usually out for 15 hours. I smoke some weed and drink booze at times. I use weed to chill out, calm me down when I'm manic, and to enhance creativity. I use booze when I'm depressed because it makes me feel happy and I also use that to enhance creativity as well. I take it there are probably others with bi-polar that self-medicate themselves as well. If anyone has a profession in psychology on here could you tell me if you think that self-medicating is the wrong way to deal with problems. I don't always use substance to self-medicate, I use creativity as well, such as playing guitar and writing songs/poems.

  2. #2

    self-medicating

    Alcohol and drugs are DEFINITELY the wrong way to try to manage bipolar disorder. They will over time make things worse, not better.

    I don't mean they MIGHT make it worse, by the way. I mean they most definitely WILL make it worse.

  3. #3
    The seroquel just makes me fall asleep and once I take it I'm usually out for 15 hours.
    My relative had the same problem with Seroquel. Have you asked your psychiatrist (again) for a possible change in dose or a medication change? You may have less problems with a different drug.
    Last edited by Daniel; December 2nd, 2008 at 11:51 PM.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4

    self-medicating

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    My brother had the same problem with Seroquel. Have you asked your psychiatrist (again) for a possible change in dose or a medication change? You may have less problems with a different drug.
    I was on respiradal for a while. I think that's another anti-psychotic pill, but I'm not sure. My doc took me off it because I wasn't sleeping that well. While I was on it I would usually stay up for a couple days then sleep for a good while when I finally got tired. It seems like it takes forever to find the right meds. I do think that depakote helps out at times. I don't know if it's just me, but sometimes I feel like the meds take away my feelings/emotions. I'd say that's the reason I take myself off them at times. It's a bad mistake that I seem to keep repeating, which I realize is a problem. I play music and write as a way of releasing destructive fantasies, although I don't know if others would say that's the best way to handle problems.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    self-medicating

    Hi Joker,

    Welcome to the forum. It's nice to have you.

    I'm not part of the psychology profession but I do have some experience with substance abuse. I drink too much. I've been sober for 24 days now and I'm finding it difficult but I'm learning something about myself. I think I used alcohol to avoid life, to hide from things that were bothering me. It took up my time, not just being drunk but dealing with the hangovers and the lies, it became a fulltime job and then it became my life. It just postpones the inevitable, my depression. I'm unhappy and when I drank I didn't have to think about it, I didn't have to do anything about it. I'm still unhappy but maybe I can start changing things, instead of wasting away.

    My advice is to stop drinking and using drugs, it truly does not help.

    Take care and good luck.

  6. #6

    self-medicating

    I think playing music and writing are certainly healthy ways of dealing with difficult emotions, and I personally find the act of playing the piano very therapeutic. I once had a job where I played dinner music on the piano for four hours each night, with fifteen minute breaks every forty-five minutes. At the end of the four hours, I was always distinctly more relaxed than I had been before I began.

    I also use writing as a release. Although I find writing to be "addictive," I do not think it is a destructive kind of addiction. When I write daily, I am always happier, and more "released."

    However, I don't believe that to alter the mind chemically, especially without prescription or under the direction of a trained professional, is a healthy way of dealing with difficult emotions. The alcohol and the drugs only mask the reality, temporarily covering it up with something more pleasant. Inevitably, the uncomfortable reality, and all the uneasy feelings that accompany it, will return to haunt you--and hound you--until you decide to deal with them more directly.

    If you want to work through these feelings without the use of drugs or alcohol, I have found fast stream-of-consciousness writing to be very helpful. Also, improvisation on a musical instrument, for an extended period of time, works wonders. In so doing, you allow your thoughts to run their natural course while you are occupied with a task you enjoy.

    Good luck to you.

  7. #7

    self-medicating

    I too have self medicated with alcohol and pot for a very long time. I still slip up. I found after a while the alcohol made me more depressed. It provides a state of euphoria for a while then the depression kicks in. I still think it can be a good escape but it doesn't last. As far as the pot goes there are some benefits as compared to alcohol for me. No hangovers and less depression. The problem with me when I smoke pot is that I become absorbed in deep thoughts which lead me into trouble. I smoked pot for most of my life and it definitiely makes me paranoid. I gave it up. I still tend to drink but not so much.

    It took me years to find the right medication and it helps to stabalize my moods. I try not to drink when I'm on medication but it's hard.

    I think it is good you have interests in music to keep you busy. Keeping busy is the key to life for me. My problem is I become bored easily.

    I think it may be wise to talk to your doctor about your medications I cant imagine how a medication that makes you sleep for 15 hours can be good for you. There are so many medications out there and maybe they havent found the right one yet. I'm on resperdil and lamictal and it seems to be a good mix. Dont get me wrong I still have mood wings and bouts of depression and mania but not as severe. I have yet to find a drug that is a complete cure all but am happier than I've been in a long time. I'm still searching out new projects to keep my mind busy and prevent me from obsessiving negatively. Is there any one else who can relate???

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