Jeremy McClain: My First Week on a Mood Stabilizer
Soooo I guess I should’ve seen this coming.
My family has a pretty insane mental health history so, like, it was bound to happen at some point. Almost everyone on my mom’s side has been diagnosed with some form of illness, ranging from paranoid schizophrenia to OCD. Both of my parents have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My uncle and grandfather committed suicide a year apart from each other when I was really young.
Given all of this, my mom has always been wary of my mental state, so I’ve been in and out of therapy and/or on and off of medication at various points in my life. None of it ever really stuck. The earliest I can remember was during my “everyone’s saying my voice sounds gay, I wanna kill myself” phase in middle school. Later, it was in high school when I changed schools three times at the beginning of my freshman year due to a last minute move for my mom’s job that I was beginning to fully realize that I liked dick. The last time was about a year after I moved to New York when I was partying a lot at night, skating by in college by day and not making enough money at my part-time Urban Outfitters job to afford any of it.
Cut to seven years later. I’m married, have a full time job in ~fashion~, have a writing/acting manager out in LA, and eat at restaurants that have cloth napkins on the regular. Sadly, I’m still fucking broke but, overall, life at this point is pretty cute. Regardless, I’ve honestly never been more fearful that I’m stupid, my life is horrible and that, at any moment, everything good about it is going to implode. I feel this way to the point that my husband has to fairly regularly reassure me that everything in my life is fine, just for me to able to go to sleep. I knooooow–poor me, right?! Trust me, I’m very aware that with everything that I have, I should wake up everyday feeling #blessed, #goals, whatever the fuck people are saying now with the current state of our planet. That, among other things, is the whole reason I decided to see someone and sort my shit out in the first place. I want to be able to get out of my own head; not just my sake, but for everyone else’s, too.
So, last week I went to see this psychiatrist who was recommended to me by my husband. We spoke for about a half hour before she told me, in between subtle eye rolls that would imply she probably hears my “millennial” problems 100 times day, that she didn’t think I was bipolar. YAY! However, based on everything I told her and my family’s record, she thought it’d be worth putting me on a low dose of Lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant also used to treat seizures.
It’s been a week so far and, tbh, I feel a little better. So far, I have had less pre-bedtime fears that I won’t succeed because I don’t have 10,000 Instagram followers, or that my husband will cheat on me with a beautiful, 18-year-old male model. I haven’t woken up immediately dreading that I’m going to be fired because I tagged someone’s name wrong on a post. I’ve been able to get past the thought that all the projects I wanna work on are shit and, instead, am just trying to simply do them. I’m supposed to up my dosage from 25mg to 50mg per day next week so, I guess time will tell. Either way, I’m glad I decided to do it.
Soooo, that’s just a little bit about me.
Images courtesy of Jeremy McClain
Stay tuned to Milk for more mental health diaries.