But of course, it is me so it isn’t as simple as that. Mine is bilateral, which is not all that uncommon. But what I hear on one ear is not the same as what I hear on the other. The tones are different and so are the volumes. Which effectively makes it two tinnitusses (tinniti?). Continue reading
I wasn’t expecting it from this source. Actually I had seen this particular health professional about five times and had decided that she knew her stuff. What’s more, I had decided that she was responding to what I was saying to the extent that I felt comfortable with her. A big thing.
But I admit I had forgotten a brief moment in my first appointment with her when she responded to something I said with “you haven’t got a mental illness“. Continue reading
It seems like almost everyone who has been under long-term psychiatric care has embarked on a quest for the Holy Grail: the perfect medication cocktail. And it also seems like a lot of people never find it.
But I’m pleased to discover–my therapist and psych nurse both concur–that I’ve finally found mine. It treats a biological failure to produce enough of a couple critical substances: dopamine and progesterone.
My perfect cocktail includes sinus treatments, a slew of vitamins and supplements, a couple of psychoactive drugs, low-dose naltrexone, and progesterone (not pictured).
I’ve known for years that dopamine was to blame for my mood and attention issues because only dopaminergic drugs ever helped. But there’s no “dopamine deficiency disorder” in the DSM, so they’ve labeled me with ADHD and Major Depressive Disorder. Although Wellbutrin XL and Adderall XR is a bad combo for most people–it makes them anxious, wired, and twitchy–it’s exactly what I need. Continue reading
Anyone who has ever looked up a “serious mental illness” like bipolar disorder has been smacked in the face with dire warnings and frightening statistics about misdiagnosis. If you google my lifelong companion ADD, you’ll see lots and lots of dire warnings and hand-wringing about overdiagnosis. But you won’t run into are dire warnings, frightening statistics, and hand-wringing about repeated, compounded misdiagnoses.
That I have a mood disorder goes unquestioned; the true nature and biological aspects of cause are up in the air. Besides the usual childhood traumas and genetic influences, it looks like hormones are in part to blame. Don’t start any hating about stigmatizing women’s normal, natural cycle, because I’m not talking about a normal experience.
I’m talking about a set of oversensitive physiological responses to and/or chronic imbalances of basic hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The kind of sensitivity to adrenaline, for example, that means I can’t have medications containing epinephrine (aka adrenaline, often found in injectable local anesthetics, to reduce bleeding) because it immediately sends me into shock. Continue reading
As you likely know if you read my posts here regularly, I am no longer taking any real mood-stabilizers for my bipolar disorder. It isn’t an anti-medication stance, it’s actually just a place I ultimately came to through very little choice of my own (you can read a bit more about it here).
Now, being Bipolar I with psychotic features, unmedicated is a pretty daunting place to be, and I’m learning all the angles I need to cover. Some I already knew and had accounted for: exercise, sleep, stress, and situations I knew were very high on the potential trigger list. Others I knew, but didn’t really think about planning for, because they just didn’t come to mind when thinking of the day-to-day and what I needed to be vigilant about. Continue reading