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Compulsive

Looking back on my behavior over the past couple of months, and my bank account, I’ve come to realize I’m a compulsive shopper.

I have urges. And even though I can’t afford to go shopping, I have to. I need to go. I need to buy things. I need things, even if I don’t really need them. Even if I literally have no money for them. My bank account can be at $20 and I’ll go buy something for $50, putting us in trouble. And I simply can’t stop myself. Because even after I’ve done that, I still need to shop.

I don’t know if it’s being used as stress relief, you know how people say shopping is cheaper than therapy… I have been stressed lately, struggling with my depression and mania. I know I went shopping when I was manic and spent quite a bit of money. There was a time before that where I spent hundreds of dollars, I can’t even tell you what I bought… I’m a compulsive shopper.

Noticing I have a problem is the first step. I’ve admitted that I have this issue. I’ve told my husband what I’ve done and that I’ve got a problem. That we need to figure out a way for me to stop doing it, to recognize the signs.

I also think that I need therapy. I’m currently trying to find a counselor in my area that will help me, with everything actually.

Do you have a problem with impulsivity it compulsions?

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Manic

Who needs sleep? Not me. I’ve had a few hours maybe. But I’m not tired.

Let’s go shopping! Let’s go spend money that we don’t have! Who cares that we have bills to pay? Not me. I want to shop.

Let’s go do something. I’m bored. I need to move and do something fun.

I’m on top of the world! Nothing can bring me down.

Don’t fuck with me.

Let’s go to the shelter and adopt a dog or a cat or a kitten. It’ll be fun and it helps save an animal.

Yes, I’m smoking. No, I don’t need your opinion on how bad it is for me.

I want things! Let’s go to the mall.

I don’t want to take my meds.

I don’t need to sleep.

I’m Not Following

It’s been two months since I’ve seen my doctor. I didn’t think it was that bad until I got in there this morning and started talking, then I realized that a lot has happened in the last two months. 

I’m on my second job since the hospital, I left due to my hours being unsteady, but I’m supposed to be prn. The first job I got after, was an hour away from my home, starting at 6 am. Meaning I had to leave before 5 to get there on time to work twelve hours to drive an hour home. So this new one that I started, I’m working the night shift. And I haven’t worked night shift in four years. To he honest, I like it. It’s just taking some time to adjust. Like today, I haven’t slept but an hour, maybe two. But I’m feeling ok. 

I’m having intrusive thoughts about my legal mother and fears of people breaking into my home and raping me. Like this morning, I couldn’t differentiate the dogs scratching on the door, I thought someone was trying to break in. And then the cat scared me and sent me over the edge. All I could see were two men coming to take me away with me screaming and Marcus being asleep. So I woke him up and we talked, we played “real or not real” until I felt better. And then we left for the appointment.

We got there and she asked how I was doing. I told her that I was better than I had been. I’ve been up and down. I’ve been anxious. I’ve been spending a lot of money. Which, then she had to ask how much I spent, i said like $200. Marcus said it was more than that. And she asked if we were able to pay our bills, to which I had to say no. 

We talked about Marcus going into the hospital and how traumatizing that was for me. And she said she wasn’t following me. “Didn’t you want him to get help?” Of course I did. I’m the one who took him to the er, but I wanted to take him to the facility. And I don’t like being alone, he’s part of my routine, he’s my rock. I need him. I told her that they took him away from me and it felt like he died. She didn’t understand why I was so upset. 

We talked about donna and the nightmares that she’s in. The intrusive thoughts about her. 

We talked about my anxiety which is at  a higher level than it should be. Increasing panic attacks. 

We’re testing my blood for my thyroid and prolactin, and my annual labs. 

So we’re increasing my Zoloft. She wants me to see a counselor. Im not sure how I feel about seeing a counselor. 

And that’s the latest. 

Medications

Some people have a hard time taking medications, some people take them no problems, some people have opinions on what other people should be doing with their medications – and I don’t mean doctors.

I believe that, along with the stigma of mental health, there is a medication stigma. It’s like, God forbid you need to take meds to keep your moods in check or something. 

Here’s a picture of my mental health medications… the first one is my emergency pills, which I had to rely on heavily over the last two weeks. The next two are mood stabilizers, they also help control my appetite. Next, is the new one I got last week, an antidepressant that’s supposed to help with the anxiety. I’m only taking half of the full dose right now, but I’m already feeling better. Then, we have an anti-psychotic, for the bipolar disorder. And finally, a sleeping pill, because I just wasn’t sleeping. I’ve been on that one about a month now and can finally say that I’m getting used to it and getting the sleep that I need. 

— Now, this list would be a little different. When I first started this post, this was a list of my medications. But they’ve changed, and I’m not ashamed. I am now taking Lorazepam (for emergencies), Topiramate 100 & 50 mg (have to be two separate prescriptions because they don’t make just one pill), Zoloft 100 mg, Rexolti 2 mg, Lunesta 3 mg, and Trazadone 50 mg.  All of these help me stay stable. I don’t like the amount of pills that I’m taking. But if it keeps me sane, it’s a good thing. It keeps me going. It keeps me able to go to work and live my hectic life and not break down like I should have done by now. 

I’ve heard several people’s opinion about what I should be doing about my meds. I need to get off of them. I need to not take so many. Why don’t I try something holistic? Try meditation. Try prayer. Try just being happy. You know, the usual, your mental health doesn’t require medication. And I can understand some of it. Because I want to have a baby. And I know that to have a baby I can’t be on all of these medications, or that I seriously need to talk to my doctor. I’ve already talked to one doctor, and he said that he’s delivered healthy babies to bipolar mothers who were on medications, but I need to talk to my psych doctor to see what we can do about the medications and what the risks are.

I don’t want you to be ashamed of taking your meds, no matter how many you have to take. As long as they keep you functioning, you need them. And maybe you won’t need them forever, but that’s a conversation for you and your doctor. 

What about you? How many medications do you take? Do you have a hard time with them? What do you do when people have opinions about what you should be taking.