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

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Gathering up the ocean in my arms

WeeGeeWhen Ruby asked me if I’d like to contribute to Canvas I was excited. As in really excited. As in ‘I’m a bit bouncy and excited’ excited. I bounced around for a bit, being all excited and then it started to dawn on me that if I wanted to write something for Canvas I’d actually have to sit down and write something. If I’m honest I sat down to try and write something quite a few times. I’ve always been a perfectionist. And I’ve always been struck by the irony that when you’re a perfectionist there is no such thing as perfection. Continue reading

If I Never Had To Eat Again

TRIGGER WARNING: Eating Disorders

CateIf I never had to eat again, I’m sure that my life would be simpler and without quite so many struggles for my mental health.  Take an addiction of another kind.  I was addicted to alcohol and have the choice of whether or not I will drink now that I am in recovery.  For a drug addict they can (and hopefully will) choose to not touch drugs again.  But when you’re addicted to issues of food and weight, regardless of your means of recovery you have to keep pumping 2,000 odd calories into your body each day. Continue reading

EVER the Twain Shall Meet

JenniferFor a long time, it was as if I lived two lives.

Parallel, and at times, intersecting, but to all those save a close few – totally distinct.  One hidden from the other; one nonexistent except for the shadow it cast on my life.

When I could get out from under it, it was much easier for even me to pretend that shadow life didn’t exist. I wasn’t suffering.  I wasn’t having trouble coping.  I didn’t need help.  Certainly, no one needed to know about it. Continue reading

The Whole World Smiles Without Me

GravatarLouis Armstrong and many others have sung the words, “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”

I believe in those words … I do. Smiles are contagious!

But I have not been able to smile for around 12 years now. A gift from my experience with Bell’s Palsy. Continue reading

Every (Wo)man Can Be an Island

AngelForgive the kitschiness of my title.

I am aware that, technically, there’s no such thing as a person who is an island. Even the most disconnected person has a sliver of contact with the outside world. One has to buy food and so forth.

If you pay attention to my blog, though, you’ll notice I haven’t been around much. For months, posting only sporadically. I have been isolating, you see.

I have spent as much time as possible holing up with myself. Oftentimes I feel irritable when people are around me; I just want them to leave me alone. Continue reading

Hide and Seek

CateThis feels a little like my first day of school when I was five, which I loved.  I was so happy to finally be with the bigger kids.  I had wanted to start school a year before, when my brother started, but of course I wasn’t allowed.  But finally I got there.

This is of course, my first post for Canvas, and that is equally exciting.  I’m not 100 per cent sure quite what to expect but I know some of the ‘kids’, and am very happy to be here.  This has been something I have wanted to do for a while, but the time wasn’t quite right.  Now it is, and so I’m here.

I do something a little different from most bloggers.  I use my own name. 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