If there's one thing that has helped keep my moods at bay, it's medications. When you think of it, all the brain is is one big vat of chemicals, passing through neurons and synapses; so many chemical combinations are possible. It really is an amazing thing.
It all started when I was about 25, and I noticed that my moods started to swing from my usually upbeat tone to anxious or down, all for no apparent reason. Mind you, I've always struggled with anxiety, but this seemed different. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I remember being at work, which was ironically enough the first mental health agency I worked at, and not feeling myself. I would call my mom and explain to her how I was feeling.
Coupled with friendship-related stressors that were going on in my life at the time (which I later learned were also due to mental health issues and not the fault of anyone), things came to a head. I finally decided it was time to seek help. Armed with my brother for emotional support, I went to my doctor's office. As soon as I started to explain my situation to the nurse practitioner, tears starts flowing. She expressed understanding, and wrote me a prescription for the little pill that would lead me down the right path: Zoloft.
I seemed to notice a difference almost instantly. Granted, the full effects don't kick in until about two weeks after starting a medication, however within the first few days, I started to feel better. I had this stability about me; a feeling of calm.
It was around this time that I also sought answers for my suspicions of ADHD. I had had the last straw of being forgetful, sidetracked, and getting tasks mixed up at work. I went for an evaluation and it turned out I was right (I know I've touched on this in my earlier blogs)! I was prescribed Concerta, which did little more than give me a whopper of a headache when I would start to come off it at night, so I switched to Adderall, which has been a godsend for me. I am able to stay focused and in the zone at work.
Later came Wellbutrin when I started to notice feeling down in the wintertime about 5 years ago. This was a two-fer, as it also acts as a stimulant! Finally after changing psychiatrists after the whole Asperger's dispute, my new psychiatrist prescribed Abilify after I told her I still struggle with anxiety at times and was a compulsive skin-picker. I noticed a much calmer feeling after starting that as well, and a year later, I hardly pick at all anymore! :)
I know this is getting rather lengthy, so I'll cut it short. In a nutshell, medications have been very helpful to me. I understand that not everyone has the same experience, and this is just a snapshot of my experience. Luckily, I've had no side effects!