For a 38-year old man with no outward symptoms of a physical ailment, my daily drug/supplement regimen is one that would leave many of my peers stunned.
The problem is, that like most people who are bipolar, I take a cocktail to try and balance out the variety and multitude of symptoms and effects I undergo. The current melange, as prescribed is:
- 1800mg of Trileptal (900mg twice daily)
- 300mg of Bupropion/Wellbutrin (150mg twice daily)
- 20mg of paroxetine/Seroxat/Paxil (10mg twice daily)
It’s the last one that causes me the greatest concern. Paxil/Seroxat/paroxetine is prescribed much less freely now than it was when I was first given it in 1999. The side-effects can be stunning and as dangerous as the condition they are supposed to assist with.
I have tried multiple times to take paroxetine out of my “diet”. Unfortunately, I immediately slip into SSRI discontinuation syndrome — aggressive behaviour, irritability, and a host of other issues. In the final calculation, paroxetine will likely be a part of my “diet” until I have 6 months in a Tibetan hermitage to wean myself off of it.
It’s interesting to note that, when we are mostly aware of what’s going on, Bipolars are the best ones to play with and adjust their own treatment regimen. Most high-functioning Bipolars seem to enjoy tweaking and turning the knobs in most things anyway, so why not in our medications.
[The reference in the title is from a Star Trek, Original Series episode. You know how to use Google; you find out what it means.]