Borderline Personality Disorder

Medication issues when therapy is the answer

Is it just me or do you sometimes feel like you want to go medication free, because you think all the tablets combined are having a negative impact?

I remember taking the pill around 13 due to heavy periods, (I was later diagnosed with endometriosis). I first started taking antidepressants at 16 years old. There were various issues at this point & my journey began here with Prozac & have been on varying amounts ever since. I never know if had I have been offered something different, like talking therapy or counselling then, whether I’d be in this position now.

I now take daily:

  • 3 antidepressants
  • 5 diazepam
  • HRT
  • Allergy tablet
  • A tablet to stop wheezing in the evening
  • Steroid inhaler

I’m 35 years old & I often feel about 90!

This is my medication today, but over the last few months it’s changed on many occasions. Different tablets, different dosages, steroids for chest infections, it just becomes too much & I find it difficult to focus on which tablets to take at what time of day & how many. My husband had now had to take full control of all my medication at the request of my GP. It is the right thing, but he must feel more like a carer than a husband most of the time.

So I’m doing fine, then one day, whether it’s the dosage, the change or the combined effect they just wipe you out. You can’t stop sleeping, you can’t concentrate & your head pounds with pain that you know painkillers will just add to the toxic cocktail your already taking. In the last 18 months I’ve put on 3 & 1/2 stone. Two of those in the last 6 months. Not all based on medication of course, but ill health has taken priority over how I feel & therefore eating a healthy diet & exercise. I understand the irony, these would both in so mentally & physically if I could find the motivation to exercise regularly & eat healthily.

I feel like no-one monitors whether any of these tablets react with each other or should even be taken together. I even sometimes feel that I’m taking some of the tablets because of some of the other tablets, if that makes sense. It’s a viscous cycle which can be so draining. There are conflicting messages from all different care providers, from the prescribing nurse, the GP, the Clinical Psychiatric Nurse, the hospital & even amongst psychiatrists. Having all this going on when you have a personality disorder & so I struggle with trust, at best it’s difficult, at times it’s debilitating.

On my “cloudy days” they come out of the blue, like today. I slept for 4 hours when I got home from work yesterday afternoon, followed by 8.5 hours in the night & another 1.5 hour nap during the day. And I know any minute I’m going to drop off again.

And theres no solution. If I stop some of the medication, it can cause withdrawal symptoms, so at times I find it so frustrating.

The long term answer is to go medicine free (apart from HRT until I’m in my 50s due to osteoporosis). But they can’t reduce my medications until I get therapy. And the DBT therapy is a waiting list of 18 months – 2 years.

I certainly don’t have all the answers & I don’t blame anyone, I’m aware our NHS is overstretched. But rather than the costs of all the medication I’m taking, the resource & costs of a CPN visiting me weekly, the bi-weekly GP appointments, the hospital visits when things go wrong & the psychiatrist appointments at least quarterly, why not look at training some of those already trained in CBT, to add DBT to their skill set. I’m not saying it’s easy, it can’t be or someone with a much higher IQ & research statistics would have thought of it, but something needs to be done. I can’t stay on this cocktail of drugs for 2 years.

At some point I want to drink actual cocktails again!

5 thoughts on “Medication issues when therapy is the answer”

  1. It’s a struggle, isn’t it? I’ve often felt a bit like a walking drug store, as I take Sertraline and Quetiapine for my depression and anxiety, along with Zopiclone for my insomnia when I really can’t sleep. Add to that Clenil as a preventer for my asthma and Ventolin/Salbutomol as a reliever if it gets to much, and a variety of eczema-treating ointments and creams, it can be difficult enough without adding the mental health struggles on top. The waiting lists for therapy are ridiculously long, you’re right, and they need to be changed. Unfortunately, doesn’t seem like it will change any time soon. Keep hanging in there, you’re doing a good job with the blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi ya. Just come accross your blog.
    I also have a emotionally unstable personality disorder diagnosis and have been on what feels like every psych med for it. Nothing worked. I actually ended up stopping all medications and treatment (I was having DBT) and have been well since. Sometimes I think the meds and therapy can mask the actual issues making you unable to deal with them. Anyway just a positive that it can and does get better. I’m now back at work and enjoying life.

    Liked by 1 person

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