In something of a continuation from the last post, here is my theory of med management: Whatever works.
Once upon a time I had many pre-conceived ideas about how many and what types of meds I would take. That barrier broke 3 ways. First, I agreed to take antidepressants when I was 21 (11 years ago) and agreed to take them again when I needed them when I was 24. Second, I agreed to take Lithium. That was hard. Even though my doctor was careful to tell me it wasn't necessarily for bipolar it was a step towards acknowledging my depression wasn't situational. The final step was accepting an antipsychotic. I just never thought I'd get that far. And then there I was on 3 mood stabilizers, having not benefitted from a 4th mood stabilizer, and in desperate need of something to stop raging depression/mixed symptoms. I didn't even have a very emotional reaction to swallowing my first Geodon.
Over time I've learned that I have no ability to decide in advance what I prefer. Ideally I want to be on few meds and low doses to minimize side effects. But that's not how it works for me. I remember when I started depakote and gained weight that I read that usually when weight gain becomes an issue the dose can be leveled off. For me that's untrue, because my levels aren't even close to therapeutic when they should be. I cannot have preconceived notions about meds because I'm going to need them all.
If you look at a list of what I'm taking and the doses you'd think my doctor was abusing me. You'd think I was sedated out of my head. The thing is, I'm not. I just have different med requirements than most people. I look and feel really good at this level of sedation. The only complaint I have is being more sleepy than ideal, but that's improving.
So that's my med motto: whatever works.