Early in the life of this blog I wrote about the medications I was taking and that I felt that the Geodon (used to deal with hallucinations) was smothering my creativity and locking down my cognitive abilities. (Better Living Through Chemistry)
Since writing about how Geodon affected me (almost all hallucinations eliminated) I have worked to bring my cognitive skills closer to pre-Geodon levels. It has been quite a struggle and if I’m honest with myself it’s a battle I cannot win. The chemistry in my brain can’t be overcome through external stimuli; at least none that I’ve tried.
About two weeks ago I was also prescribed Benztropine which is given to people with Parkinson’s to quiet any tremors they might have. I was given this medication to stop tremors in my right hand, left foot and clenching of teeth and lip smacking. It has helped in all areas. Unfortunately, it was too late for my teeth clenching as my upper and lower teeth no longer mesh properly and so chewing is a bit of a challenge.
It’s amazing to me that a medication can work overnight yet that’s how it was with the benztropine.
But there’s been another impact as well; and that’s to reduce even further my creative abilities and to strangle even more my basic cognitive skills.
For example: I read a lot of books but if you were to ask me about the book I’m now reading, or have just read, I would be hard pressed to recall the primary character’s name or even the plot of the book. Consequently, I have to reread a lot to keep up with what’s happening in the book.
In my attempt to sit down and write this posting I had to rewrite it three times because I had jumbled things around such that there was no cohesiveness and one thing did not follow a previous point nor did it fit with what followed.
It’s pretty darn frustrating to have to deal with writing something well below my expectations. I’m also sure some of you feel these same frustrations when reading these most recent postings.
I once wrote that mental illness is type of prison and for many, myself included, the key to getting out is effective counseling as well as a regimen of medications. In actuality, it really just moves you to a new prison: one where you struggle to think coherently and to utilize the creativity innate to everyone. I know I now feel ‘dumb’ when around those I consider intelligent and creative.
When I walk the track I often walk with Peter. Peter and I met not long after I came to this institution. He says that one of the things that brought us together was my sense of humor. This past week he said, “What happened to your sense of humor? It used to have an edge but you no longer joke in that way.” So, the changes in me are apparent to others as well.
It is good not having the hallucinations anymore, but I often wonder if the sacrifice of cognitive abilities and creativity is worth it.
I’d love to hear from others who are taking medications like this to see if they are experiencing the same effects.
Am I alone or in good company?