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4 Side Effects I Experienced Due to Bipolar Medication

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Has a professional recommended you take a psychiatric pills for your mental illness? Or you are researching side effects of the drug before you’ll start taking it? Well, you are on the right article! I’ve been taking psychiatric drugs for my bipolar disorder for almost four months. These are the things I’ve noticed in my mood, body, eating habits and sleep:

• What is Bipolar disorder?

1. Constant hunger.

I am hungry every single hour of the day. No matter how hard I try to resist, I can’t. About 20 to 30 minutes after a meal, I am hungry again and I want to eat another full meal. If you experience this too, you might gain weight because of your medication.

From what I’ve read, the cravings stay around as long as you’re on the medicine. I don’t know if this is true from my own personal experience, as I’m still taking my meds.

Advice: Talk to your doctor about managing cravings and weight gain. Adding in 30 minutes of exercise may help offset weight gain.

2. Feeling sluggish and sleepy everyday.

I feel sluggish every day even if I get eight hours of sleep. Sometimes, it is more than eight hours and I still feel tired.

Advice: Talk to your doctor about your sleep problems, they may be able to help.

3. Insomnia or sleeping too much.

The first time I took antidepressants, I was not able to sleep for two to three days. I was worried a hypomanic episode might be triggered. However, as my doctor adjusted my medication, and I was able to sleep fairly well. Unfortunately these days, I cannot sleep very well.

Advice: Download a meditation application on your phone and meditate in the morning or before bedtime. It will definitely help you. It helps me relax.

4. Having bouts of mild depression and hypomania.

My mood will never have a straight or plateau phases. Instead, I have bouts of mild depression and hypomania in the process. Typically medicine will not “cure” you, but it can help lessen the severe phases of your illness.

Advice: Go to a counseling session or therapy. By going, you will be able to enhance your coping skills and understand your illness. You will be able to learn how to manage it and even train your brain in diverting itself from unhelpful thoughts. It is helping me and I know it can help you too.

These are the things I noticed in my own life when I started taking psychiatric medication. If you can relate, you’re not alone. Please feel free to leave a comment or additional side effects you felt while on medication in the comment section below.

Unsplash photo via Paweł Czerwiński

Originally published: July 5, 2019
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