The Right Dose

"All substances are poisons: there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." Paracelsus (1493-1541)

I was depressed for the month between my last appointment with my psychiatrist and my most recent one. I didn't reach the lowest depths of depression, but it was interfering with my daily activities. I was the happiest when I was at work, but I wasn't socializing as much as usual, and I was having trouble unpacking after closing a storage space I had rented when my boyfriend (now my ex-boyfriend) moved in with me.

When I was describing my depression to my psychiatrist, I didn't use the word depression, I told her that I thought I had a more realistic view of life after switching out Seroquel for Saphris in my bipolar cocktail. I am now taking Saphris, lithium, Lamictal, and temazepam as needed. There were problems I hadn't noticed, when I was taking Seroquel, that were worrying me, but I thought I would be able to keep moving forward.

About a week later, I called my psychiatrist and asked for another appointment. I told her that I don't like to use the word depression because it is the last state I like to be in, but I was worried that Saphris was causing me to be depressed, and I wanted to quit taking it. I had quit taking it many months before, because I felt like it had caused depression.

My psychiatrist said that she thinks Saphris is probably the best antipsychotic for me because it is less likely to cause weight gain than other atypical antipsychotics. She said, "I was probably blocking too much dopamine," and changed my dose from 5 mg., morning and night, to 5mg. at night only. I was skeptical that this change would help, but it did.

I felt good the next day and have felt good ever since. I really wanted to quit taking Saphris, but during the discussion with my psychiatrist, about the dose, I was reminded of the quote above, something I was exposed to in a college biology class, and it gave me the will to try a new dose. I'm really glad I did. Maybe Saphris will turn out to be the wonder drug for me that it has been for some others. I'm going to keep giving it a try.


  1. Glad it's working for you. It's so hard to get things good, the most important thing is to have a compliant physician.

    1. That's funny, I have thought about being a compliant patient, but I'm not sure what it means for a physician to be compliant. I do believe that my psychiatrist and I have respect for one another, and that makes our relationship easier.