My wife is bipolar and I have sat next to her on the rollercoaster ride of going on & off meds for several years now. It's driven BOTH of us to the brink of insanity and I try to tell myself that she doesn't enjoy being this way. She was on Carbatrol for awhile and that was effective, but my wife got pregnant and since that drug isn't safe for pregnancy, they put her on Lamictal.
You say you've been on the meds for one week and that you're on Lamictal. My wife says that there's this rare but serious disorder that can happen when you go on Lamictal & don't gradually increase up to a full dose. Usually they start you on the little tiny pills and gradually increase you week by week. My understanding is that the meds often take weeks to really start to work. So either you react strongly to a very small amount of Lamictal, or [I don't mean to get confrontational] it could just be the placebo effect--not the actual effect of the drug.
My wife goes on & off her meds for several reasons. Her therapist was the one who raped her, so it is like pulling teeth getting her to go to the psychiatrist. She won't go if someone isn't in the room with her, and she keeps the appointment down to 5 minutes or less. She just gets the right meds & goes home. so I think that has something to do with why she struggles w/ staying on the meds, but also because they affect her work habits.
She doesn't have extreme manic episodes or anything like that, but there are times when she's very chatty, her mind is racing with 10000 different thoughts and she can't calm herself down at night. I catch her up at 4am on her laptop doing a writing project for her job. She says some her best writing is from those sleepless, manic nights. At the same time, when she comes down, she has no energy, she sleeps until noon & skips work. She cuts herself, she doesn't eat, all these things are bad for her well-being.
When she's on her meds, the highs & lows aren't as pronounced. She still has creative bursts of energy that keep her up late sometimes, and she also has days where she is too depressed/triggered/etc to go to work... But they don't last for as long. They aren't as severe. In the end, she is a better wife, a better mom, a better employee, when she is on her meds. Even if she has to sacrifice some of her best writing in order to function, it is worth it to have a healthy marriage and stability in her career.
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”
- Saint John of the Cross