Keep The Faith 

Ruby

There’s things I’ve done I can’t erase

Every night we fall from grace

It’s hard, with the world in your face

Try to hold on, try to hold on. . . 

~ Bon Jovi, ‘Keep the Faith’

 

I believe in the Holy Trinity, and I believe in the Blessed Virgin.

I believe in God, and I believe in science. Continue reading

No Refills

Click to read Jennifer's bio

Click to read Jennifer’s bio

Does anxiety make us do stupid things? Or do our stupid actions cause anxiety?

As I roll around this spastic hamster wheel of my own creation, I realize it probably doesn’t matter. The result is the same. Utter and complete exasperation. Heart-pounding worry. Multiple imagined scenarios of worst cases.

I forgot to order my meds. Again.

Every few months, I find myself staring down the empty bottle neck of my meds.

It shouldn’t sneak up on me like this. My physician, insurance company, and I have a nice, little arrangement for ourselves. She writes the script, they fill it, I retrieve it from the mailbox. Couldn’t be any less painless. Continue reading

Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

Soul Survivor new

Click to read Laura’s bio

In a perfect world, all doctors would know that people with psychiatric issues are regular humans, just like everybody else.  They would not look at our diagnosis, our health history, our med list, and automatically assume that we are drug seekers.  They would not automatically write off our symptoms as being “psychosomatic.”  I use quotes there, because the word “psychosomatic” means that the mind is causing a disorder that is expressed by the body.  I happen to be of the school of medicine that believes that virtually all physical illness is caused, ultimately, by imbalances of body chemistry that are initiated in the brain; therefore, all illnesses are “psychosomatic.”  And guess what, folks: they’re real illnesses. Continue reading

The Perfect (Medication) Cocktail

click to read DeeDee's bio

click to read DeeDee’s bio

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 medicated sinus rinses, nasal spray, a slew of vitamins and supplements, and a couple of prescriptions.

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

Miss Diagnoses

DeeDee newAnyone 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.

Continue reading

Mental Illness By Way of Hormones

DeeDee newThat 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

This Is My Brain On Pain

RubyAs 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

Preparations

RubyI have to go see my psychiatrist today.

Which means I have to do some work, prepare myself like I haven’t in a long time, not since I ended things with my last doctor almost two years ago.

Back then it was pulling myself together, checking the anger and rage I felt towards him for the ECT thing, ending the relationship cordially, making my exit like a lady. Continue reading