It’s been six months now since I started taking an anti psychotic /antimanic medication for my bipolar disorder. In that time I have become more peaceful, less anxious,less obsessive. I feel as normal as I’ve ever felt. I’m still dealing with some agoraphobia,  and some anxiety, but so much less than in the past. I’ve even managed to go back to church twice in the last month after almost seven years of missing out on worship. I’ve also been going to therapy for the past four months, and it has made a difference as well in my wellbeing. I’m so thankful for this turn of events, and I give all credit to God. I’m actually taking two antipsychotics, Saphris, and Geodon. Even after the first dose of Saphris I felt an emense sense of  relief of symptoms. The Geodon was added to further the effect and length of relief as I had maxed out the amount of Saphris I could take in a day. One unfortunate side effect was edema, which my doctor countered with hctz, another side effect was restless leg syndrome and psychomotor agitation,  which was countered with Requip,  and Amantadine. The side effects where worth dealing with considering the amount of mental/emotional relief. The restless leg and psychomotor agitation are under control, as well as the edema, so all is well. I’m working on exposure to reduce my agoraphobia, as well as some techniques my therapist has taught me, and it’s helping. Hoping for even better news in the near future. Wish me luck.  DAK

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Update

For the first time in my life I feel consistently calm and at peace. The emotional roller coaster is gone, mood swings are absent for the past three weeks. I’m having to reevaluate how I respond and react to situations because I’m almost too calm. Therapy and medication has brought me to this point over a long five years of struggles to get my mental health under control. I keep expecting mood swings to happen……and they are not. This is completely unknown territory for me. Goals and plans seem more attainable now. I still feel some irritability at times in the last few weeks, but it’s minor compared to what I’m used to dealing with. The self critical thinking has abated, along with what if scenarios and anxiety, and being critical of others. Obsessions are mostly gone as well. I’d be dancing in the streets……except I feel soooo calm,lol. I’ve been seeing a therapist every week for the past five months, and that coupled with my new medications has made all the difference. Still dealing with some agoraphobia, but I’m hoping that it to will subside. Wish me luck. Peace

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DAK

Holidaze

Christmas is almost here, and like many nerds I still haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie,  and I am avoiding all the spoilers. Shopping is almost finished, holidaze plans are set, just have to buy the food Wednesday, and do some 11th hour wrapping. Thinking I might buy some eggnog this year and get a few boxes of Pepperidge Farms cookies to take to the dinner I’m going to. Should be a relatively peaceful week, minus the day spent shopping, and looking for parking. Being a guy rocks. Make a plan, and stick to it. In and out of the mall like a well trained pit crew in a Nascar race. I already know what the last items are that I need to buy so I’m all set. I’ve been putting off going because I hate crowded malls, and looking for parking,  but taking a bus is worse, so I’ll drive thank you very much. Supposed to rain quite a bit this week and stay in the 40’s and 50’s so no white Christmas here in Ohio unfortunately. It might snow on the 28th according to the Weather Channel…..I hope so at least,probably won’t stick though. Things are going okay, still get a little nervous leaving the house, but not like I used to, and I praise God for that. Merry Christmas

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DAK

Checking in

Haven’t posted in a bit. I guess I just didn’t have much to say or share. I’ve been taking Saphris for two months now, finally taking 10mg at bedtime and 10mg at noon. It has made life much better. I don’t have pressured speech at the moment, I am much less anxious and obsessive, and I am more motivated, albeit a little drowsy at times. Called my psychiatrist today and asked to be put on Contrave. It’s a combination Wellbutrin/Naltrexone medication for controlling appetite. I’m hoping it will help, along with exercise to lose this weight I’ve gained since being on antipsychotics for my mania. I’ve gained over 100 pounds in two and a half years even with a restricted diet and no added sugar, along with giving up soda. Things are otherwise going well, just hoping the drowsiness becomes less and less. I did finally settle on a name for my black kitten. His name is Licorice.

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DAK

No fun

I had to refill my seven day pill minder this morning and it occurred to me that I take an awful lot of medications, thirteen to be exact. Four of them for my bipolar and ocd, and five of them to treat the side effects of my medications for bipolar and ocd, then one for allergies, one for acid reflux,one for blood pressure, and one for blood sugar levels. I take these medications at morning, noon, and night. When I stopped to think about this I felt a little depressed, then I consoled myself with thinking how much better my life is now, or at least more tolerable. I no longer feel hopeless, and my depression has eased up. I have two great doctors, and I trust my therapist. I’m still dealing with manic symptoms, but I feel that my psychiatrist and I are close to having significant symptom relief. Still, I can’t help wishing that finding the right medications, and dosages had been easier, and with fewer side effects. I’m bipolar 1, along with being obsessive compulsive,  and occasionally suffering from agoraphobia,  so finding the right medications was difficult. My OCD symptoms are significantly reduced, along with my depression. It’s the mania, and irritability that is still persistent in plaguing me. I see my psychiatrist later today. I’m hoping for a dosage increase. I forgot to mention one of the worst side effects is psychomotor agitation. It is the worst feeling I’ve ever dealt with.

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DAK

Lately I have been having difficulty sitting still. Seem to be suffering from psychomotor agitation. My psychiatrist prescribed Amantadine which worked for several days, unfortunately my twitching, hand rubbing, squirming in my seat came back with a vengeance. He upped the dose two three times a day of 100mg. No improvement. He then added Cogentin, and while Cogentin works, it dried my mouth out severally. I bought Biotene mouth spray , but it only worked for twenty minutes tops, and eating became difficult,  it was hard to swallow food because my mouth and throat were so dry. Going to try Requip today. I’m hopeful this will alleviate the psychomotor agitation,  and that my saliva goes back to normal. It can be so frustrating dealing with finding the right medications, and dosages to alleviate symptoms. Being bipolar, and dealing mostly with manic symptoms has definitely stretched my ability to be patient. I feel that we are getting closer to symptom relief,  but I’m not truly there yet. Wish me luck.

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DAK

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Lately I have been waking up to this furry little creature staring at me. I thought I had a name for him, but nothing seems to stick so far. He’s only four months old so I’ve got time,lol. I believe my psychiatrist and I have found the combination of medications to manage my bipolar symptoms,  or at least lessen there impact in my life. I have also started seeing a therapist again, and I have to say I’m impressed so far by them. It feels good to be able to trust and have a rapport with those who manage my care. Back to the kitten, he acts like a small child at times. What I mean is that he periodically throughout the day climbs up onto my shoulder and snuggles. His purring is very loud,lol. He and my other cat Izzie are now playing together. They both have brought to me moments of pure joy. My moods seem to be stabilizing, and I’m not tired all the time which is a definite plus…….however, in order to achieve this state I have to take nine different psych meds. If so, they I can deal with it, I’m just so grateful to have an semblance of normal life. Working on small goals with my therapist,  and since my tablet has calendar functions I can schedule goal achievements. If I still don’t follow through, I’ll just keep trying, eventually it will be achieved. If you have read this far, any suggestions on what to name my kitten would be appreciated.  So far I tried Jinx, and Riddick. Neither one seems to fit.

DAK

Frustrated

I thought I had settled on a name for my new kitten. Riddick sounded cool. The kitten is playful, but also fierce. It just doesn’t quite fit. Me being me, I’m obsessing about what to call him. I hate not having a name for him…..not that he cares at this moment, but still. Favorites so far are Spooky, Jinx, Boo, Ghost…..he’s a black kitten after all. I know there are tons of names out there, and I’ve been looking, just can’t decide. Any serious, non vulgar suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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DAK

So I have this new kitten, who I’ve named Riddick. He’s very playful, still skittish though. In any case,  he and Izzie are beginning to get used to one another. I’m glad I rescued him. In some ways I think most cat “owners” feel that their pets rescued them though. All they ask for is time, attention, and of course food and water,lol. In return we get these wonderful creatures that for some reason like to be around us, never think our jokes are stupid, think sleeping in boxes is the height of luxury, and things that roll or make noise are highly entertaining. Once I pick up Riddick he turns into a rag doll. He stretches out and starts purring……loudly. Catching him is still a challenge, but once caught he seems happy enough about it. While Izzie still hisses at Riddick, she didn’t bat at him yesterday, which is progress. I’m finally getting sleepy. Haven’t been up this late/early in almost a month. Better get some sleep soon.

DAK