I am now appreciating more and more how and why the psychiatrists like to have you in the hospital while adjusting your meds and why the hospital staff like to have a care plan for you once you get out, where you get some sort of full-time treatment, help and monitoring. Kinda like how Dr Drew was harping on Sober Living Facilities on Celebrity Rehab. I'm SO frustrated by my medication right now and my (probably very overworked) psychiatrist has had to reschedule my last two appointments so I haven't gotten to talk to him about it. When I was in the hospital, I had wanted to go into a night treatment program close to my house but my insurance wouldn't cover it at all. So we opted for me going to my therapist a bunch. But I didn't make appointments and got dumped by my therapist. (My fault that I didn't go, though he didn't say that it was because of that, but that he was cutting back, so maybe not.)
But at least I can get in to see my psychiatrist within a month (unless he cancels), which is better than when I didn't have any health insurance and went to the county mental health facilities. To see a prescribing doctor or nurse practitioner there, one had to wait three months. How can one manage med changes that way? Plus, if one is going there, they most likely don't have health insurance, or not one with mental health coverage, are probably lower-income and less education, which all makes it more likely that they have no other treatment choices in situations were no treatment could lead to unemployment and homelessness. Maybe that sounds extreme but I'm realizing more and more that my parents are the only ones who stand between me and the street. Seriously.
Another things that I had never really thought about until recently was non-compliance with a psychiatric medicine regime. When I was just on anti-depressants, the only thing in my mind that would have lead to active non-compliance would have been my inability to purchase the meds because I didn't have the money. But there were no bad side effects and I knew, especially after my doctor and I tried to switch me to a different anti-depressant, that I would be constantly and consistantly suicidial if I was not on the anti-depressant I was on. So very little cons and a huge pro for compliance. But the lithium is different. There are a great many side effects. And, while I do honestly believe that when I first got on the lithium, especially right after BT ended things and I was really bad, it helped to dull everything enough and take away enough of my energy and passion to stop me from hurting myself, I don't think that it is doing what it is supposed to be doing at this point. I'm still having WILD mood swings (just ask TyRoy) and the desire to self-harm is not dampened. So if there is a great deal of con but seemingly little pro, do I want to stay on it?
When I brought this up to MP today, he suggested that this was just a common delusion that people who are mentally ill and on psychiatric drugs have. I'm well aware of this. I know that, especially for those who are very ill, medicine compliance is a HUGE issue. I'm not saying I'm better and I don't need drugs. I am saying that why I haven't self-harmed is because of myself, mostly because of my own fears about the consequences of it not self-control, BUT that I don't think it is because of the lithium. And, with all the shitty side effects, I don't know if the shit is worth what I get, especially when I don't think I'm getting anything good. Then again, I'm not really contemplating medicine non-compliance. I won't just stop taking something or attempt to step myself off of it. What I am talking about is talking to my doctor to either get off mood stabilizers completely or to switch to something else. *Sigh* I have no idea what to do.
Oh, and to add to yesterdays laundry list of shitty side effects, my hair got dry and started falling out, my skin is dry, and I've developed back and neck acne. Lovely. Sure I"m going to find another mate now.