I very recently had an appointment with a psychologist for the first time in a super long time. It is highly recommended that you engaged in some kind of psychotherapy if you are dealing with mental illness, however, this type of therapy is not covered in Ontario.. so some of us must go without.
As I’ve mentioned over my last several posts, I have been struggling a great deal with my sleeping schedule lately, and this day was no different.
By the time we got to Niagara, where my appointment was to take place, I was nearing almost 20hrs without sleep.. again. I could feel myself slurring when I spoke of symptoms, which isn’t representative of how I have been feeling lately, because truthfully, I’ve been feeling really good.
I had been planning since the beginning of this blog to have a complete med history, going back since my first appointment in Toronto about 8yrs ago, but I have yet to acquire those records. Until then, I do feel comfortable discussing medications from my most recent history.
My most recent medication is Saphris (asenapine), which is a sublingual tablet that you take under the tongue. It is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is supposed to help you think more clearly and take part in everyday life. It may also help to decrease hallucinations and prevent severe mood swings. It is considered an atypical antipsychotic, which works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain called neurotransmitters.
I have found the Saphris to be extremely helpful for me. When I first started taking it, I was going to my office nearly everyday and spending no less than 4 hours there, nearly 7 days/week, which is huge compared to what I had been doing before.
Now that I no longer have my office due to financial considerations, I am not as active as I had been when I first started taking the drug, but certain positive behaviours have continued. I have been preparing my meals everyday, I have been spending a lot of effort cleaning my home, and I have been blogging on a regular basis to three separate blogs.. which is quite an undertaking, believe me.
I have plans to start pulling myself out of the house again to walk my dogs and enjoy the spring, as the Saphris has also started contributing to my gaining a fair bit of weight (nearly 10lbs) since I started taking it about a month ago. This is often the case with antipsychotics, although my psychologist suggested that my Epival may be more of the culprit than the Saphris.
Even if the Saphris is contributing to my weight gain, I am so pleased with how it has been positively affecting my life that I don’t have plans to stop taking it.
When I begin my rTMS therapy in the late spring, there is a pretty good chance that I will be able to reduce my Epival after some time. One of my doctors feels confident that I should be able to go down a fair bit from my current 1250mg dosage, while another was very clear that any reduction was an impossibility. I will probably attempt some trial and error once I have been on a regular rTMS schedule for some time.
If you have found that you have difficult to treat bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, then certainly recommend that you mention Saphris to your doctor. Be prepared for some physical activity to keep the weight off though.