So The Doctor decided what he wanted to give me. Zoloft, which is, as he described it 'a garden variety anti-depressant.' I queried that at first, because people with Bipolar are usually adversely affected by anti-depressants, well that's what I'd read anyway, and the internet always knows better than the doctor. It makes them manic, and encourages cycling - supposedly. So I put this to the doctor, as humbly as I could manage and he said yes indeed, that is true, but everyone is different, and there are different types of Bipolar, and you need, at the moment, something for your depression and anxiety, and that is what this is for.
Zoloft is Sertraline, a serotonin uptake inhibitor - which increases the levels of serotonin in your brain. Because I'm a nerd, and I can never stumble across a subject without learning everything about it instantly, I researched it, and every other anti-depressant, mood stabilizer, anti-psychotic and psycho-active drug on the market. The most interesting thing I discerned was that MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy) has the same basic effect as Sertraline. In fact, when discussing the side effects of the meds, The Doctor warned me that a sure sign the Bipolar was going to mess the sertraline was if I felt an ecstasy-like high, or any sort of mania.
Sertraline in a restricted drug in Australia, it can only be prescribed by people with a specific license to prescribe it - mainly shrinks, this combined with the fact that my health care card reduced the price of 30 x 100mg pills to $5.30 makes me feel very inclined to do unethical things with my meds.
Speaking of side-effects, there's a massive long list of them, the most common being nausea, headaches, dizziness and tremors. It also tends to cause either drowsiness or insomnia, the latter particularly in those pre-disposed to mania. The side-effects are supposed to settle down after 2 weeks, and the meds take full effect within 4 weeks.
I started taking the starting dose 3 days ago and I haven't slept since.
The nausea is like car-sickness and it's unpleasant but not unbearable. The shakes haven't been too bad either, but the headaches are pretty annoying. Everything else seems to be fine except for the fact that I HAVEN'T SLEPT IN 54 HOURS.
I used to get insomnia as a young teenager and I had completely forgotten how much it really really sucks huge fucking hairy balls.
I'm definitely in some weird low level of mania, I cleaned madly on the first day, talked four times the comprehensible speed for humans and did not feel the slightest bit tired until well into the wee hours of the morning. I'm alert, but my body is pissed off.
I think people have the false perception that insomnia means you're not tired. Makes sense. But you still get tired, you just cant rest. All I want to do is sleep, so I lie down......and sleep never comes. I close my eyes, and I just don't sleep. I'm exhausted, but my thoughts are still racing.
I've spoken to a few other people that can't sleep on their meds and who have to take sleeping pills on top of them to get any rest, that thought is not appealing, but at this rate I might have to do something. I'm kind of curious to see the effect of not sleeping for more than 3 days.
rabble rabble rabble.