I finally had my long meeting with my practitioner about my medication experience. I covered my last five years of symptoms that are either in regression or at least euthymic. I had been inclined to first stop the Prozac, as that seemed the medication I was least in need of. My down cycles were never terribly profound, and never rose to meet all the diagnostic criteria. I was mostly given it for generalized anxiety disorder, which was what led to my first encounter with psychopharmacology: the benzo Klonopin.
I kicked the Klonopin almost five years ago after taking 4-6 mg a day for almost eight years, and my anxiety is manageable. And I’m allowed 30 Klonopin if it really kicks in, which lasts about six months, so I consider that well under control.
To my surprise, she instead recommended I first discontinue Rispiredone, because of its much larger foot print of side effects. I’m thirty pounds heavier than when I started Rispiredone, which is not unusual. I had been inclined to start by discontinuing Prozac because my Bipolar II expression was much more severe than anxiety or mood-disorder associated depression. As we discussed my symptoms and history, I described how I had not had an incidence of hypomania in years. So it’s the little brown pills that go first.
I started out on Risperidone about five years ago, and my dose has been reduced over that time down to 0.25 mg. Still, the weight stays on. The impairment of my creative output, what started this entire discussion, remains. And I worry as well about what seems to be increasing cognitive issues with word recall and other memory functions. So starting last night, I took a pill cutter and divided one of my last two pills. By Monday, I should wake up free of Risperidone and its active agents.
I’m putting my practitioners name and phone number up on the fridge, as I had done several years ago at my partner’s house. Just in case. But I think I can handle this. Only time will tell.
I mentioned to my practitioner and in prior posts how I had read James Joyce Ulysses almost every June for decades. I ever restarted Bloomsday readings in New Orleans a few years ago. My current trade paperback it tattered and full of little yellow sticky tabs. But found a few years ago I couldn’t get through it. Then I stopped trying. That is one of the symptoms of what I believe are the effects of my medication on my higher executive function. In a few months, I will find out if that has changed.