0

I’m a mess…oh wait, I feel okay

This mish mash of symptoms is driving me crazy. Literally I guess.

I’m dealing with so many bloody fluctuations a day I can’t cope. What one hour might seem like a good day the next seems like the utter worst.

This isn’t down to Bipolar symptoms entirely, as my Bipolar mood swings tend to last weeks or months. It’s a combination of Bipolar mood swings, psychosis, anxiety, sleep and medication side-effects.

At the moment I think my Bipolar mood is tilting towards hypomania, which means I’m antsy, bored and wanting to spend more. It also adds towards my irritability.

My psychosis leaves me on edge, but at its’ worst it can make me entirely zone out and become unresponsive or leave me too panicked and terrified to talk. I also struggle to concentrate and can get antsy because my brain’s fried and trying to do too much at once.

Anxiety obviously always makes things ten times harder, but thankfully this hasn’t been *too* much of an issue recently.

Lack of sleep leaves me in a variety of states, ranging from utterly exhausted and unable to do anything, to pissed off and hating the world, or manic. The worst thing is, because I’m so bad at sleeping, catching up on sleep takes a long time and napping is impossible.

And then we have medication side-effects. A weird out-of-touch woozy head (dissociation), often tinted with a far away rage and inability to calm myself.

Ah, joy.

All this spinning around madly inside me, fluctuating by the hour. It must be so nice to be able to react normally to things and know who you are as a person…

0

Doubling the dose

Gog spoke to the GP yesterday and the GP suggested doubling the dose.

I’ve gone from 20mg to 40mg. Back on the highest dose of Citalopram for the second time. Last time was for depression though, this time it’s for panic / anxiety.

I hope it helps alleviate some of this anxiety again, as it’s creeping higher every day…

My psychosis has been absolutely terrible coming up to a week now, and it’s really taking it out of me ūüė¶

I’m really tired of questioning everything and jumping at things nobody else sees. I hate when the world feels this scary.

This morning I woke up and couldn’t figure out which memories were real at all – alongside hallucinations and very vivid realistic dreams, I feel like I’m drowning in a reality that isn’t real…

0

Psychosis, dogs and meds

I don’t know how I’m doing at the moment.

I’m still much more stable than I was before Citalopram, and am probably still closer to stable then I have been in about four years.

But things aren’t as good as they were, and I’m struggling.

The fact I’m struggling makes me scared, because I’m terrified Citalopram will stop working again and I’ll be thrown back into a life of terror and extreme, constant mood swings.

I’ve had a few days where I’ve struggled very much with depression, and tearfulness, and hopelessness. It doesn’t seem to be a constant though, just a day or two, and the constant is a more ‘meh’ mood…irritable, exhausted, miserable, and pain.

My neck pain, headaches and migraines have been really bad for a week or so now ūüė¶

I’ve been having more visual hallucinations than had become usual and my paranoia is back. My anxiety still isn’t really visible, but I’m scared with my psychosis kicking up a notch it’s gonna come flooding back.

I am still able to enjoy things though, and I can get out the house still. I couldn’t cope with going somewhere busy, such as a supermarket, but I can enjoy brief walks around the neighbourhood – I can even walk our little foster dog on my own!

Because of our foster dog we can’t leave the house for very long at the moment – we’re building it up very slowly, today we’ll be leaving her for twenty minutes!

Anyway, that means we can’t make it to the GP appt which was supposed to be within the next week…before my mood went weird I was very confident about going to this appt and actually planning what I wanted to say, but now I’m relieved to have a reason we can’t go and when I think of an appt my heart hammers.

My partner phoned the surgery last Friday to ask for a phone appt, as my GP said we could do things that way. He’d talk to my partner about how I was doing and type up a repeat prescription, and the physical appt can be left another few weeks.

The surgery didn’t have any phone appts available though, there’s a week wait :/

I think we should have enough meds to last.

0

Two good days in a row!!!

Not only have I been doing better than I have in a long time for the past week, but the past two days have been GOOD!

I honestly don’t remember the last time we had one truly good day, I think it was last summer, but having two in a row feels amazing ūüôā

The most incredible thing was that both these good days involved me leaving the house, and not just that but going to busy places.

A month ago¬†I couldn’t walk through our village or go to our local supermarket, because I would get so anxious.

I’d hear voices whispering that people were plotting against me, that everybody was spying on me – and I *knew* it was true. People were acting very suspiciously; people followed me and everybody watched me.

In the past few weeks I have met up with a friend and my parents several times (something I wasn’t able to do previously due to panic).

I have gone shopping, spoken to a few strangers even, and gone to busy places – an agricultural show, a kite festival etc. I definitely wasn’t able to do this a month ago, I couldn’t even leave the house!

My mood has been more stable, probably because the terror and panic has gone, and although I’m still experiencing hallucinations they’re of a different nature and I find they don’t make me so scared.

I’m dissociating A LOT, at least once a day for several hours, but even in that state I’m not anxious, or scared, whereas before I’d get very panicky and think it meant the world wasn’t real or I was being controlled.

Some days are entirely positive, and every day I have long chunks of time where I’m happy, content and enjoying myself.

I have energy, I’m sleeping okay, I’m extremely loving to my partner and pets.

I’m doing better than I have in years and years ūüôā

0

I feel like shit

I think it’s around two weeks I’ve been on Citalopram now.

Most the side effects have gone, or at least the nausea has. I still get full after just a few bites of food, I hardly ever feel hungry, and thinking about food (to plan meals) makes me feel ill.

I haven’t had an episode of panic since I started, I think the past four or five days I’ve had virtually no anxiety, and my energy levels have been good…maybe bordering on hypomanic a few times, but nothing major at all.

Psychosis is still the same, which at least means it hasn’t gotten any worse.

Today though I feel like absolute shit. I didn’t take my Citalopram last night because my chest felt tight and I had a big argument with Gog because he won’t let me cook for myself but none of the meals he prepares are in any way healthy, so I said if he wasn’t gonna let me eat healthy I wasn’t gonna take my med, in case it was doing anything to my heart.

Yesterday I was a little irritable or short tempered, but today I feel pretty damn low, and am really pissed off at the world and frustrated with everything.  I just want to sit and scream and cry, and tear my hair out.

I doubt all this was caused by missing one dose.

Fucking furious. Especially because I had been coping so well with so many things, and then the one day I lose it is the day we have a friend coming over…

0

Caffeine sensitivity

Gog here. Recently we thought Anon was accidentally addicted to Codeine, after she had to take it a fair bit due to migraines.

She experienced a weird swimmy head when she hadn’t taken it, so we thought her body had become dependent on it. It was close to a week before the head went away.

Now is seems it wasn’t the Codeine causing issues after all (which makes sense, as she only needed one pill a day, and you can take up to 6 pills a day for 3 days in a row I think) – we think it’s the caffeine!

For the past few weeks we haven’t had Anon take Codeine when she has been in pain, instead we have used Ibuprofen or, when she started Citalopram, Paracetamol – Ibus shouldn’t be taken with Citalopram.

Today she took some extra strong Paracetamol, and about half an hour after taking two pills she was off her face.

Jittery, ‘numbly’ anxious, but with a ‘swimmy head’ – she says it feels kind of like being very drunk, or like her vision is lagging. Alongside this she can’t feel things properly, she feels sort of numb, her heart is faster than normal, and she can’t control what she is doing.

The only thing it could be is the caffeine, and it would make sense because the Codeine had added caffeine too!

Holy shit, I did not know people could be *this* sensitive to caffeine!!

Good job she doesn’t drink coffee, tea, energy drinks or pop! She does eat chocolate fine though. Here are a few articles I found on caffeine sensitivity:

Mental Illness or Caffeine Allergy?

http://www.doctoryourself.com/caffeine_allergy.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/20/varying-effects-of-caffeine_n_6671788.html

 

0

Day 6 of Citalopram

Gog here.

I think today is day 6 of Anon taking Citalopram to try help her panic. I can’t say I’ve noticed any improvement in her mood or her anxiety, BUT we haven’t had a day of entire panic since. Hmm, coincidence?

It’s probably too early to tell still, but we can hope.

Side effects include weird sleep (struggling even more than usual to get to or remain asleep, although maybe this was happening before she started the drug and we didn’t notice properly) and nausea. Lots of nausea. And weird having no appetite, then getting instantly ravenous (which she has always done) but then filling and feeling sick after just a few bites of food.

The nausea and the sleep sucks, and what makes it suck more is she has taken Citalopram three different times prior to this, if I remember correctly, and it’s never once given her side effects before.

We have had an immensely stressful week, so I am relieved we are doing as ‘well’ as we are, in that Anon’s mood hasn’t hit crisis levels in either direction and, although she has cried a lot, she is managing better than I could have ever expected.

To cut a long story short we have had several completely unexpected pet deaths, and then the new kitten we adopted less than two weeks ago, well…he has a congenital health issue that is very serious.

We could put him through surgery, but it is immensely high risk. There’s an extremely high chance he would die, recovery would take months and months, and even if he recovered (because what he has is so rare) vets can’t be sure the operation would even help, or be sure the condition wouldn’t just return.

The condition is so rare our vet has never seen it, and none of the vets at our surgery are equipped to treat it, he would have to go to a specialist.

So our options were an operation that would cost around £3000 and could result in our kitten dying or not being at all improved, or return him to where we adopted him from and they would almost definitely have him put to sleep.

This was horrible. Devastating.

After talking with our vet and a friend who is a long-term cat owner, we have decided we will keep our kitten, and just love him and dote on him for as long as we have him.

He is the best cat in the world, and as long as he is happy, we will love him. If his symptoms worsen, or he becomes seriously ill, we will help him cross to rainbow bridge.

 

2

A&E, sectioning & medication

What an experience the past 24 hours have been!!!

I phoned the GP yesterday as Anon’s panic is unreal. The GP that called back was the bloody Doctor who said “what do you want me to do about it?” one of the other times.

He basically said there was no way to prescribe Anon medications at all without seeing her. When I again said the reason we can’t see anyone is because Anon is so scared, and so we need something to get her to the point where she can attend an appointment, he said there was nothing he could do.

I asked about a home visit, because GP’s (unlike the psychiatrists or social workers in this area) WILL do home visits. He said he could do that, and someone would let us know within the next few days when the home visit would be.

I then asked if we could have a female Doctor come – he said we would get what we were given unfortunately. Bullshit!

As soon as I got off the phone, Anon had a panic attack and said she couldn’t do a home visit. She already had a day of immense panic and terror yesterday, and as ever appointments made it all worse.

I did my best to calm her down and said we’d find another way around it.

I called 111 early afternoon and spoke with someone who was very helpful. He said there should be a way that a Doctor can prescribe medications without seeing Anon, and where we can wait to see if the medication helps, and at that point we should be able to attend appointments again. He advised me to call 111 after 6.30pm, as there would be more GPs working who could give accurate advice.

I called 111 at about 730pm, and spoke with the first initial assessor (not a GP, not a nurse)

When I answered the questions and tried to explain the situation – which took about 25 minutes – she wanted to send an ambulance out to bring Anon to A&E. WHAT?!

Apparently her panic counted as an ‘immediate emergency’ (despite the fact Anon has struggled with this for months and months, and every GP / social worker / Crisis Team we have spoken to haven’t cared!) and because Anon’s heart was racing (due to her anxiety about the phone call!!!) she needed to go to A&E!!

I very calmly but firmly argued her down, re-explaining that going to appointments and medical facilities¬†terrifies¬†Anon, because of our last experience at A&E.¬†Forcibly taking her to A&E when she’s incredibly anxious and you’ve¬†already mentioned sectioning her¬†is a absolutely stupid idea!

This went round and round a few times, and eventually she sighed and said a nurse would call me back. Ten minutes later I got the call, and the nurse¬†was a little¬†better. She understood that it¬†wasn’t an emergency situation with the need of hospital/sectioning, but she didn’t really understand that I was phoning for advice, and NOT for immediate help.

I was then told a GP would call me back within a few hours. It was already 10pm by this point, and we were tired.

We waited for half an hour, and I talked to Anon about it, and we decided they clearly weren’t going to understand the situation. They weren’t going to offer advice, and they were going to continue as if it was an urgent situation – the threat of sectioning is always in their power.

I called 111 to say I wanted to end my interaction with the service. I had to answer the assessment questions about Anon yet again (third time in three hours) and the person then spent fifteen minutes telling me over and over (and getting increasingly aggressive) that I should get a phone back from a Doctor in case I needed urgent help, Doctors know best etc.

I kept saying ‘no, you’re not understanding, this isn’t an urgent situation – I only called for advice!’ Eventually they said I was off the system, and they ended the call.

Today I called the GP surgery and cancelled the home visit, asking for a call from a GP.

Talking to the GP I explained very clearly what was wrong, what was happening, what could be done to fix it, and how I’d spoken to someone via 111 who said it should be possible.

I said we could bring in written consent from Anon, and she could check her blood pressure on the machine the public can use in the waiting room, if those were things that could prevent Anon getting medication with no physical appointment.

The GP was actually very good this time, and said he could see where we were coming from but it would be hard to get medications with no appointment. I said he had seen Anon several times when she could make it to appointments, so he HAD seen her before, and he had seen her when she was very much struggling too.

He then said he would prescribe something but wasn’t sure what. He said he would prescribe¬†benzodiazepines, but wasn’t comfortable about their addictive quality and they were only short term.

I said I understood that, but from what I had read on the NHS website, SSRIs are usually used to treat GAD / panic disorder, and they are prescribed for long term use. Anon had been on Citalopram many times in the past for long periods of time, so could we not try that?

He said that was a good idea. He was happy to do that, apart from the danger of a manic episode.¬†I said I’m with her 24/7, she’s been on Citalopram before and never went manic, and if I saw any symptoms of mania I would get in touch.

After all that, we have a prescription for Citalopram ūüėÄ

The GP asked that I book an appointment to see him in¬†a months’ time, but that if Anon is still struggling at the time, we can cancel and push it further back.

It was a lot of stress and a lot of effort, but I am so relieved to be where we are, and I really hope this medication can help reduce the panic just a little.

WOW, sorry that was so long!

1

When everything goes wrong…

…take Valium!!

This week has been rough as hell.

For a while we have been trying our hardest to work with the rescue puppy that we found tied to a tree over a month ago. We have overcome a lot with her…she started off terrified of the world, and now she is confident with almost everything.

We trained her sit, touch, leave it, lie down, paw, and her name / recall. We taught her to be calm with body handling, and to wait patiently with food. We socialised her with as much as possible. We paid for vet treatment (from the usual puppy costs to medication for her neck and —>), we took her to the vets when it was thought she had broken her leg, we fed her high quality food and treated a UTI.

Throughout all this we were crate training her, and the further in we got, the more signs of separation anxiety we were met with…it wasn’t until the past week we began filming her every time we left, and neither of us were prepared for how panicked she was when left alone.

She loved her crate when we were home, but when we left she lost it completely…frozen Kongs, pigs ears, and calming music did nothing. She *screamed* the entire time, and was panting, lip licking, and just entirely stressed.

To make this shorter, earlier this week we took her to a training facility connected to the rescue we’ve volunteered at since I was 19, and met with a trainer for hours.

The end result was she has extreme separation anxiety, most likely because before being dumped she had only every lived with dogs, and had little human interaction. We found at the facility that she can be left with no issues as long as there is another dog she can physically sleep with (her head has to be on the other dog’s back).

We can’t offer that, we can’t take things slower and not leave her alone…so we had to hand her over to foster. She’s doing well, and is in a home with another young dog, a Collie cross.

That was extremely, extremely stressful and very hard to deal with.

Throughout all that my relationship seriously deteriorated with Gog (all my fault, not his at all) and I was ready to break up with him. I tried to, several times. Lots of arguments on my part, hurtful things said, and tears.

My mood was in the pits and I was actively suicidal, and everything had just gone to shit.

At the end of last week I began sleeping a lot less (from 10 hours to 5 hours) and went manic, but not in any way nice mania, mania filled with psychosis and terror. Constant anxiety.

By yesterday that had eased somewhat, my mood was more low than manic, then today I happened to go on facebook and saw post after post about how the UK was ruined after leaving the EU, disabled people and benefits would be fucked etc.

I had a huge panic attack.

I couldn’t breathe, my heart was racing, and I was crying. I curled into a ball and just shuddered with terror.

Gog came in about 20 minutes later (he’d been asleep in the other room) and I couldn’t even talk to him because I was so scared. I managed to ask for a Valium, and I took 5mg…that’s a lot for me, 2.5mg is usually more than enough.

Twenty minutes later I was lost to the world, but feeling MUCH better.

I couldn’t really talk or focus on anything haha, but I was way calmer. The panic was gone, and that’s all I cared about. The calmness lasted most the day; I took 2.5mg a while back because I was getting anxious again, and today has gone far better than how it started.

My parents are coming up tonight, and I feel anxious about seeing them. For no¬†real reason, just because it’s hard to put on a happy face and act normal when you feel like crap and are very anxious.

Long post, sorry for the ramble.

8

I’m not Bipolar

I always accepted my Bipolar diagnosis, because I fit all the criteria.

Before 2014¬†I was diagnosed with MDD, but when that didn’t explain the manic symptoms, they tried BPD…but I missed the key symptoms there, like fear of abandonment and black and white thinking.

Even so that damn label stuck for several years before they slapped me with Bipolar, and after looking it up online, I agreed.

In fact it felt reassuring to finally know what was ‘wrong’ with me, and not have to repeatedly explain why I didn’t feel like BPD was right…with Bipolar I had the symptoms, the pattern; everything made sense.

Now, some six years after first presenting Bipolar symptoms, I don’t fit the diagnosis anymore.

My mood is all over the place – at some points in the day I am wildly energetic and speeding, at others I am suicidal and tearful.

My mood doesn’t¬†respond to triggers – one second I’ll be happy, the next suicidal. Or sometimes tiny triggers cause huge shifts in mood. Sleep makes no difference in my mood, for example after sleeping so much last night¬†I spent the first half of today¬†speeding.

Earlier in the day I cut all my hair off – not in my¬†usual manic ¬†way (I have a habit of shaving my hair really short when manic), oh no, this time I used a strimmer to get it as short as possible, then used Gog’s shaving foam and a razor to get all my hair off.

I was anxious and racing and energetic. I cut my hair because I was bored, because I was sure it was a great idea, and also so that if I became ill and lost my hair…well, it would already be gone!

Now, five hours later, I am incredibly catastrophically low. I can’t talk or answer questions with anything other than a shrug, a ‘yes’, or a ‘no’.

I’m feeling destroyed about things that happened in the past; some happened months ago, some years. I’ve always sucked at letting go of the past, things I did at primary school still mortify me…it’s always been a downfall of mine.

I’m still having psychotic symptoms 24/7. You don’t get that with Bipolar.

My sleep habits (try to) change all the time; not just the amount I sleep but when, too. For no reason sometimes my body tries to be¬†nocturnal – when I let it, I’d go from sleeping 11pm-9am to 6am-4pm overnight, and it would last for months before changing back.

My personal hygeine is shot to shit, no matter the mood…either I don’t care, I’m too busy, or I don’t have the strength to shower and brush my teeth. At least I don’t have hair to bother with anymore…

Everyday it feels like things change and get a little worse.

I honestly don’t think I have Bipolar anymore, I don’t think my symptoms can / should be classed as that. I do think anti-psychotic medication or possibly a mood stabiliser would help, but that’s not a possibility.

After continuously fighting for a psychiatric evaluation since November 2015 and not getting one (but repeatedly been promised one in a few weeks’ time), I don’t have the strength to continue that battle anymore. Besides, the ball’s in their court, they’re the ones who’re supposed to be ringing us!

I won’t go to any mental health appts anyway. These days they freak me out too much. At this point I feel like some of the worst appts have traumatised me…I bruise easily.

I honestly don’t believe getting professional help does anything positive. I’ve spent¬†years doing everything they wanted me to; taking every medication, going to crappy accupuncture that I hated but did to shut my bullying SW up, going to pointless meetings with social workers every few weeks and sitting in silence as they either offered bland advice or drove me to tears…those years of jumping through hoops left me just as ill as I am now, in different ways.

I don’t need to be told to ‘keep fighting’ or ‘just try one more appt’ or¬†‘just phone the service up and ask what’s happening’…we did all that for months, and now I am past the point of being able to cope with any of it.

If I get any comments that advise me to phone someone / keep trying to get professional help, they’ll either be deleted, ignored, or given a nasty response…I apologise, but that is not needed right now.