Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why You Don't Want To Go Off Your Meds > Bipolar's...

I have been following the story of the flight attendant who went off her bipolar meds. I worry that her actions may have potentially caused post-traumatic stress in passengers some if who may have been afraid to get on an airplane in the first place…I feel for these people.

As you know I too have bipolar disorder. Unfortunately it took my doctors till I was 28 to get this diagnosis confirmed. Incidents of psychosis for me started at 20 years of age. At that time I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. This was accurate at the time but the docs failed to realize that I was not coping because of bipolar and PTSD and other anxiety disorders. I think most people have attempted to get off their meds. We have a love hate relationship with this things right? I have tried, once, in an attempt to get manic. I am depressed mostly on my meds the only think it does is keep me from getting loopy. I wanted the happy part of mania. So, I took a friends antidepressant. Instead I ended up in the ER, brilliant right? That was the only time I tried that, lol. I did not hurt anyone. I just had a racing heart it scared me. I was living in a group home.

I have talked to multiple people who have stopped bipolar meds because they feel ‘fine’ or ‘better’. But does it ever occur to people that they feel better because of the meds? If someone with bipolar disorder wants to be weaned of their meds they talk to their doctor who will do so s-l-o-w-l-y and safely…

I worry this story makes people with bipolar disorder look like demons. That’s what I thought when I heard the scream on the video. I use to think I had a demon in my head to when I was 14. I didn’t want to say anything because I felt that mental illness was a weakness and I know some people still feel this way. Stresses often set off an episode or psychosis. We are more sensitive perhaps but on our meds we fit right into society and its genetic, its not our fault we have this...some of us are highly intelligent and able to work...I can't see this lady ever being in the air as a profession again but it will be interesting to see...

I definitely want to get to the underlying issue of why I am ‘this’ way. I am aware of the signs that I might be getting sick from my bipolar particularly the upswing/psychosis: I don't sleep, I am fidgety, can't sit still, can't stop talking, talking to myself, feeling I am one with 'God,' hearing things, feeling high and other stuff. You probably get the idea > loopy. How could the staff have missed this on the pre-flight?

Luckily I have an anti-psychotic Zyprexa that I can take as an extra med if I feel the 'signs'. This is the med the doctors always gave me in the ER when I would go when I was manic/psychotic so its great I don’t have to worry about going in again and I love it! I haven't been to the ER for any med related issue in 5 years.

I really hope this flight attendant is OK.

People its just really important to take your meds if you need them. Don’t ruin your life. Live the live you are given. Its really ok to have a mental illness but you have to take care of yourself as do we all…

What do you think?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

When Numbness Isn't A Choice

I was chatting with my mental health worker Jenn yesterday about how I feel numb all the time and that this had been going on as long as I can remember. Jenn said it is normal because I have had trauma starting at birth. So this numbness is not really a choice. It's like being on a really scary roller-coaster where your hands are so tight on the bar you can't unclench them without it hurting. The last thing you want is to hurt. I can function. This numbness helps me feel safe. But it’s also frustrating because sometimes I want to ‘wake-up’ and I feel I need to hide out of fear of panic attacks and anxiety I guess.

‘Hiding’ for me has been quite common these last couple of years. As I think back to what I did to get so agoraphobic for instance, I think of how a few years back I was doing yoga daily and practicing stills to self soothe on a regular basis. It was pretty ritualized and obsessive-like unfortunately. My goal was to cure myself of mental illness, to be ‘normal’ and go far in life. This plan hasn’t panned out, yet.

I ended up stopping all the ritualized self-care rather abruptly because I started having panic attacks during my at home yoga DVD sessions. I was even having attacks during bubble baths. As I think back I wonder if maybe I ‘should’ have pushed through and embraced this shift as stuff coming out the way it was supposed to. Maybe this would have been a way of empowering me and helping my self-confidence eventually. Or maybe I needed to stop and go inside myself a bit.

I have been having vivid dreams in the last few weeks. These dreams are of having grand mal seizures over and over again or having committed a violent act and having the cops after me. I have woken up after dreams of hearing screaming then fearing I am going to end up in the loony bin! It’s been eight years since I’ve been in-patient and I really want to keep it that way!  When I told Jenn about the dreams she told me it was the Bowen therapy, the body work I have been doing. That’s what I had been thinking.

I have missed the last two weeks of Bowen because two weeks ago my Bowen Practitioner Casey had the flu and then I had a really bad cold this week…But we will get back on track. I am also wondering if my 3 colds since February are Bowen’s doing since I had successfully outwitted (very proud too grinning from ear to ear) my mom’s flu and cold and my step-dad’s two colds between November and January. Yet when starting Bowen I have been sick most of the time since. Maybe I jinxed myself through my overconfidence, LOL…we all need to be humbled sometimes, no?

It was at this time and with my Homeopath Terrance that things were shifting inside of my mind. I had lost the rage I had carried with me all of my life. Unfortunately now I didn’t feel like doing anything except watching television and staying around the house.  Terrance seemed to think this was just a normal state of the process that would pass but here I am 2 ½ years later and I’m still sitting at home, nesting. The cats love it though…

I’ll start again, slowly, to try to figure out what I can do that is doable. I have started a second twitter paper on paper li. Called “Learning Self-Love Daily.” Here is the link:  There are tons of articles on the subject. I choose the search settings but don’t write the articles. I love this topic because so many people who are excellent at taking care of others are not as good at taking care of their own mind/body (myself included, of course)….but it’s a process. I fell off the wagon but I can get back on again. It won’t be quick. I still hold a lot of fear in my body/mind but I will figure out a workable goal in time…