The Bipolar Brain on Pills

brain2It’s quite the challenge to stay busy – busy enough to not have to think. I don’t like to think. It reminds me of how miserable my life is now. I am not able to work in this condition, with these challenges. But it would be nice to have some sort of routine that I can settle in to. Something that I can build from. You can’t think outside the box if the box doesn’t exist. And my box disintegrated over a decade ago.

I listen to music. And try to write. And do research. But I am bored. It is driving me crazy. I posted a few weeks ago about this very thing: not having a hobby – or – something to pursue. A couple of you helped out with suggestions and ideas and I thank you. But I am still here with the same dilemma. If I don’t stay busy, I’ll contemplate the future I have to look forward to. And, it is a dreary future. One of some suffering. But there is no getting around it. I have to live with this mental illness for the rest of my life. Unless, some genius comes up with a cure, which is highly unlikely being that we haven’t even got a handle on how the brain talks to itself and creates thought, and memories, and dreams.

The future does look grim. These pills that I have to take to stay sane make me feel like an idiot. I can’t make sentences like I used to. That part of the brain has been altered, whether by the illness or by the pills or both together. And it is only going to get worse. They tell me it will be like having a frontal lobotomy. I haven’t looked up what exactly that entails and I am not sure I want to know but what I have heard said is that the frontal lobe, well, let me just share with you what I found on google….

“The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls

important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional

expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment,

and sexual behavior. It is, in essence, the “control panel”

of our personality and our ability to communicate.”

So my future looks pretty bleak. All of those elements on the “control panel” are deteriorating and will continue to do so as long as I take these pills. These pills are meant to suppress the emotional apsect but they bleed over to affect all other aspects of the frontal lobe as well.

No one has said how long it will take for the degradation to be devastating but it is understood that the change will be significant. In the ten years that I’ve been on these meds I have noticed a bothersome decline in my language skills, my memory (particularly the short-term memory), my problem-solving skills and my sense of judgement about certain things that have, or could have, far-reaching consequences. It’s all deteriorating and I can’t tell anymore how much it is changing. I’m not that sensitive to the details. But I sure do know when something has triggered my emotions (anger).

The good news is that I am not in jail. My anger issues have been quelled, for the most part, and I haven’t gone off on anyone in a bad way since I started taking the meds. So that is good news.

I have to try and remind my self of this success when I am at my worst or when the anger bug bites me. I have to remember that life is a gift. Even in this condition, I am blessed.

8 thoughts on “The Bipolar Brain on Pills

  1. This sounds like a huge struggle. I find it’s helpful to have people in my life, through family or my writing group, or friends thru my daughter. Isolation is not good for mental illnesses don’t you think? You sound understandably concerned about new medications. Wishing you the best outcome.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I am fortunate to have my ex and my son close by. They are the only ones who understand what I’m going through on a daily basis. It is a huge struggle, but moreso because I keep looking to the past and whining about how good it was and looking to the future and knowing how crtazy it will get.

      Isolation can be good, in tiny increments. Like a day or two here and there. I find that I have been a loner most of my life and being surrounded by folks just means that I have to entertain them all in one way or another. It’s a conundrum – I like people but they are in many ways too needy.

      Thanks for the well wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This blog could be talking about me! I live alone and I am finding myself becoming bored because my brain can’t function at the level it used to. I try to write, I try to paint, I do some adult colouring in. I have a guitar I can play, but I forgot all the music and have to learn everything from scratch again and that puts me off. I play music all day to keep me calm and peaceful. Mostly new age ambient but sometimes rock!

    I agree; I think the cure or even proper recovery treatment for mental illness is many decades away yet, if ever. Perhaps the brain is so complex we humans may never be able to fully understand and manipulate to cure all the brain disorders and injuries.

    It is good news that your anger issues have calmed down. My one episode never repeated itself; I still have a short fuse, but that leads to anxiety or distress more than anger.


    • Guess we’re floating down the stream in the same boat, Shirley. It’s cool you listen to new age ambient music. We do too. We like Steven Halperm, David Arkenstone, Liquid Mind, Dean Evenson, Kelly Howell, Kitaro, Amethystium and a bunch of others. It is very soothing. And, we found some ASMR stuff on YouTube recently that has been quite exciting: these are recordings with fireplaces mostly in different settings and let me tell you the crackling of the fire with perhaps a howling wind or a babbling brook in the background is quite satisfying. I highly recommend this sfuff. We now have about 15 dvds with this stuff on them.

      I am so happy that you don’t have the anger problem I do, but, anxiety and distress are in many ways worse because you don’t get the response from people, they just look at you funny and leave you suffering until the episode is over, which could take a while.

      Rock music? I used to love it! I still listen every now and again, but since I can’t crank it up loud like in the old days, it’s not as fun for me. I also listen to Adult Standards (Easy Listening) 70s and 80s pop, 50s and 60s pop, and even Country. I’ve been this way all my life. HEY!, maybe there’s a connection with music and Bipolar! Hahaha. We listen to too much. Ya think?! Naw, it was a thought anyway.

      And you are a nature girl. That’s awesome! We have that in common as well. I love the mountains and the oceans and the lakes and the trees. We are fortunate to live within 15 minutes of a Wilderness Reserve/Recreation Area – whatever they call it. We don’t get out there enough anymore. Cindee doesn’t have the health she used to. So we spend a lot of time looking at pictures on the Internet of the great outdoors. Haha. You take what you can get, know what I mean?

      Hey, Shirley, if you ever want to chat, email me. Would love to share stories with you. Okay, I’ve talked your ear off. I’ll let you go and listen to your relaxing music as I do the same. Have a great day. 🙂


      • Liquid Mind, Kitaro, and Amethystium are in my collection too! My all time favourite is Medwyn Goodall; I have about 30 of his albums. I will look up the others you mentioned as I am always looking for fresh music to add to the collection.

        I think you might have hit on something with a possible connection between bipolar and music! Music stirs emotion and feeling and us bipolar crew feel too deeply, so we maybe feel the music at a deeper and more emotional level than those unfortunate people who do not have the illness, lol. Maybe we are able to make a more abstract connection with the music – an idea for a blog, I think!

        Thanks for your email address, I will send you an email so we can chat offline.

        Liked by 1 person

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