Bipolar Medication Side Effects

This has always been a hot topic for discussion. How we react to medications we take for bipolar disorder.
About 4-years ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and psychosis. Since then I’ve cycled through several different medications for my disorder.

As most of you, I’ve been on or currently take antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and other pills to counteract side effects.

These pills I’ve taken in combination to balance my symptoms.

Over the last 4-years I’ve experienced:

  • Tremors
  • Night sweats
  • Bad dreams
  • Fear of the dark
  • Claustrophobia
  • Vomiting
  • High anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Severe sleepiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Nervousness
  • Bladder issues

Just to name a few. Though most of us have heard, “just give it time, and the side effects will lessen and go away.”

These words are sometimes hard to swallow. Some side effects are difficult to live with on a day-to-day basis. Not to mention, some can take up to a year to surpass.

Although, the latter side is the positive effects on managing our disorder. Without these medications it would be damn near impossible to find management, must less stability.

I take my medication as prescribed. I do on occasion miss a dose, but try diligently to stay on top of it.

The question remains”how does one manage the side effects?”

There frankly are a number of way to combat them.

You should always talk to your doctor first to report all unpleasant side effects. Your doctor may have a medication he/she can prescribe to assist, or offer suggestions on how to manage it.

You could wait it out. Given enough time, most of these bothersome side effects do in-fact subside.

As odd as it sounds, I’ve found that exercise is a true help! Nothing more than a simple 30-minute stroll on a consistent basis.

It’s also possible that the medication isn’t right for you. That’s one reason to always communicate with your doctor.

Side effects differ per person. What effects me, won’t necessarily effect you.

Things that play a part in aggravating side effects:

  • A poor diet
  • Alcohol
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Tobacco use
  • Drugs
  • Caffeine

It’s important to help yourself, by staying away from these irritants.

How do you handle side effects? What is your experience?

bipolar medication



Living with type 1 bipolar disorder, PTSD (due to childhood trauma), Rapid Cycling, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Writing about my life experiences.

0 thoughts on “Bipolar Medication Side Effects

  • Avatar
    August 17, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I take Mirtazapine, Lithium, Depakote and Lamotrigine. I have the following side effects:
    Tremors (worse with caffeine)
    High anxiety (worse with caffeine)
    Visual hallucinations (worse the longer I go without sleep or when I drink alcohol)
    Difficulty waking up (also worse when I drink alcohol the night before)
    Tiredness (also worse when I drink alcohol the night before)
    Increased thirst (also worse when I drink alcohol the night before)
    Short periods of time (a few seconds or so) when I feel disconnected from what is going on around me, as if I am in a dream, and what is around me is unreal, and people’s voices and movements seem to be moving in a tunnel rushing towards me and their voice echos and startles me.
    And there is the look I get/got from my girlfriends or ex-wife when I swallow a handful of pills every morning and every night while we are brushing our teeth


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