My Experience with Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Medications

*I am working with BetterHelp to bring you this post*

Disclaimer: Please see your psychiatrist or doctor to change/start any medications. Also the medications that haven’t worked for me may work for you and the medications that have worked for me may not for you. Each person will have different experiences with medications.

I first started seeing someone for my mental health about a year and a half ago. I see a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) almost monthly. I see my psychiatrist only if I go into the hospital so I don’t see him often anymore (its been 8 months since I’ve been in the hospital-I am proud it has been so long). I have had good experiences with both. They both have listened to my concerns and have treated me with respect. I am lucky to have found the right treatment team on the first go (well at least on the side of psychiatry-I haven’t found the right therapist yet). They both worked together to find the right treatment for me.

I was assigned my PNP and psychiatrist by random essentially. They were either on call or had appointments open at the same time I was free. They were both found through a local behavioral health hospital.

So my diagnosis is Bipolar 1. I didn’t get this diagnosis until almost an entire year and a half of seeing my PNP. This means I have tried countless psychiatric medications; Anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications.

I first had Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. So I was put on Ativan and Prozac. The Prozac stopped helping after a while and the Ativan made me so tired I couldn’t stay awake on it. Then I was put on Lexapro and Xanax. And after receiving a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder with Psychosis and Panic Disorder, I was also put on Risperdal. It wasn’t the right combination for me either. However, I stayed on Lexapro and Xanax at an increased dosage and changed to Abilify. Abilify did nothing to help my personal symptoms. My psychosis wasn’t managed.

My diagnosis then changed to Schizoaffective Disorder, depressive type. Then Bipolar type. I was put on Cymbalta in the morning and Lexapro at night to help wean me off of one and put me on another. During this time is when they found out I actually had Bipolar Disorder because my mood was rapid cycling between each dose of the anti-depressants. Then my current diagnosis Bipolar 1 with psychosis.

During all that time I was put on Latuda, Geodon, Haldol, and Invega before finding the right anti-psychotic medication for me, Vraylar. I was also switched to Klonopin which helps me with my anxiety much more than any other anti-anxiety medication has. The Vraylar has so many less side effects than the other medications I have tried.

Thankfully I have found the right medications for me. They help stabilize me and help me manage my Bipolar Disorder and anxiety.

There is a right combination out there for you too. You just have to stick with it and find the psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner that works with you to do so.




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