Today, I considered going off my Lamictal that I take for Bipolar depression; I have been on it for nearly 5 years now. In that time, I’ve gained 40 lbs and lost a lot of hair. This makes me…sad.
However, I do not have the wild mental imagery that I once had-imagery that I once tapped into in order to write with nuance and layers and rhythm. My writing became weak and one-dimensional after beginning Lamictal. It feels like I’m in a body cast and trying to write my name.
My daughter who is an artist says that her imagination is like a bottle with a cork in it-and all her imagination is inside the bottle. I liked that image and told her that psychosis is what happens when the cork springs off…
I can’t control the imagery; it stole years from me in terms of poor mental health. Some of the imagery is terrifying. Lamictal is an anticonvulsant and I think it inhibits my brain’s ability to use my temporal lobe the way it was once used. Seizures are often found in the temporal lobe-seizures that can produce imagery.
Euphoria can lead to terror and terror can lead to horrifying thoughts and internal situations.
Learning to write again is an option. I can force myself to learn how to write in an altered state that is close to my original pattern but that is successful while on medication-rather than discontinuing it so that I can write.
As for passions, once I am recovered from my depression and am on track, I want to study languages and syntax and symbolism. I also want to study story-telling.
Dr. Phil says that a person who is 40 now can potentially live 64 more years. I find that prospect somewhat terrifying…
I may not have the life I wanted, but I can build a life of hobbies that challenge me and that help me grow mentally.
I can use the plasticity of my brain to accomplish what I sometimes feel is impossible now.
I taught myself how to read again after psychosis; I can do this.