Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lamictal Day 34: Mood Instability and Depression Due to Variance in Lamotrigine Generics?

Last Friday, day 28, was my first bad day since I started lamictal.  Saturday was my first day at 75 mgs, but I filled my scrip at a different pharmacy, and that meant a different generic manufacturer.  I'd been taking lamotrigine made by Teva for the first four weeks, and now I'm taking NorthStar.  Since then, I feel like I've had many more bad days than good. 

This really feels like a different, less effective medication.  My mood, cognition, and motivation are all suffering.  There have been some days where I've bee unable to get important things done, like cooking dinner or getting scrips filled.  Looking back over the last several days, I'm clearly much less stable than I had been (and I'm not remembering this accurately, which makes me glad I'm keeping this damn blog).  I'm back to my 4 pm crash.

Today, I feel better than I have most days since starting at 75 mgs, but I still feel way lower than I did last week, or any day of the previous 4 weeks.  This sucks incredibly.  I'm trying to just sit with it, let it be what it is, and not get caught up in depressive thoughts. 
The thoughts are there nonetheless.  I'm never ever going to get better.  My illness is just too complicated.  Too many factors are required for me to function at even a minimal level: I need to get enough sunlight, and eat well, and exercise enough, and get enough sleep, and not have caffeine or alcohol, and finely calibrate my medications to the point of ridiculousness.  If I miss even one of these factors, including ones that are beyond my control (I'm not in charge of the weather, dammit!), it all goes to hell.

In my MCBT class, we've been talking about what it means to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.  Thoughts are not facts.  The feeling that I'm stuck in this netherworldly hellhole of a mood disorder is simply a thought, and not a truth engraved in stone.  Instead of fighting the suffering caused by the netherworldy hellhole, I can simply recognize it and ... and what?  Move on? Decide consciously how to respond?  

It's hard to articulate, but having this in my toolbox does make me feel better.  I still feel depressed.  I'm frustrated and even angry about the turn things have taken this week.  However, by deciding to accept that, I feel like I've gained some distance from it.  I'm living with it, not in it.  Hopefully that will keep me going until I can get my pharmaceuticals straightened out.

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