Meds and Hypomania Problems

Went back up to my regular dose of resperidal just a few day after cutting it down because I wasn’t sleeping well since cutting it down. I think I’m titrated back up to my full dose of topamax again, but I’m still having trouble sleeping at night. Falling asleep and sleeping sound. 

I’ve also been more project oriented and socially focused, enjoying sex more frequently, have a renewed interest in my religion practices.  Ha!  Now that I wrote all that out I just realized I’m probably a little hypomanic. 

This is why I write. I never would have put these symptoms together if I didn’t journal like this. Now, what to do about it?  Nothing.  I never do. My medication is such that my moods don’t go too far in one direction or another anymore. Just moderate fluctuations, which are bothersome, don’t get me wrong, but manageable, nonetheless.

Today, I feel run down. Meloncholy even. I DID get a good night’s sleep for once last night and it’s left me feeling groggy and lethargic and some what depressed. It doesn’t help that this is the third day my kids have been out of town with their grandparents and are still going to be gone for two more days. I miss them.

My youngest was just diagnosed with scoliosis and that is very worrisome. We will find out more as far as a plan goes when we go see the Ortho this week. I hate that she has to go through this. The curvatures are pretty bad in her spine. 

The noisy kids in church, the heat outside, the bright sun and hot wind all really bothered me today. It feels like I can’t block out extraneous stimuli. My husband is going shopping to buy new items for our house and I want to go with him, but I can’t stand the thought of going out into the world with all of that input today. 

I hate this disorder. All I want to do is lay in bed in my dark quiet room and rest. I can find peace in that. And even though I’d rather it not be that way, I have to honor my body and mind and what they can handle right now or I’ll just make myself sick. I know from experience. I used to force myself to do things I was too anxious to deal with and I regretted it later.  Sick with migraines, fatigue, anger, resentment, panic attacks, etc.

Not today.

An End to Hypomania and Meds

I’ve been sleeping well for almost a week now, through the night and some during the day – a sure sign my hypomania has passed. I am even dreading the Stitch Fix box I have coming that I was ready and willing to buy all of even though I bought the whole thing last month, which is a lot of money. 

I am not as silly or flighty or agitated. I’m more tired than I’d like to be and hope I don’t start getting depressed, especially when summer break starts and I have no more alone time like I do now with the kids in school all day.

My youngest one makes a lot of demands on me and it wears me out fast. Then I get irritated at her.  Then I feel guilty for getting irritated at her.  Then I feel trapped in this cycle and the depression sets in.  I’ll have to pray about this and ponder a way out of this pattern that seems to occur each summer.

I have to take it easy and slow throughout the day with lots of breaks, but she wants to be on the go, go, go. I feel guilty that I can’t be one of those moms. Guilty enough that I’ll push myself and try to be sometimes, only to end up sick and in tears from being overwhelmed, and worst of all full of self-hate because I have failed.

Maybe she can help me problem solve some ways to do stuff without me being the one who has to do it all with her. The problem is most, if not all, of her friends parents work and I don’t, so I end up being the activity driver and supervisor.

She is old enough to go to the neighborhood pool alone with friends this year, so that will help. However, if she’s anything like my other ones, once they became old enough to go without an adult, they were no longer really interested in going. Sigh.

I am down to one topamax a day. After Wednesday I will be off of it totally. So far, I haven’t noticed anything different about my migraines or mood from coming off of it. I am thankful for that.  I am so excited to be able to cut out one of my medicines since I am on so many. 

It makes me want to try to wean off of another one. Maybe the propranolol, which I may do if I get the Botox for migraines and that works. I’ll need my nuerologist’s help to wean off that because I only have 80mg capsules (can’t cut them into smaller doses.)

The other one I may try because I am not sure if I need it any more is the resperidal. Is anyone else on this?  At what dose and what are you on it for?  

I’ve been on it for so long that I forget why my doctor started me on it. I want to say bedtime anxiety since I take it several hours before bed so it can kick in by bedtime and help me fall asleep, but I can’t be sure. Since starting the resperidal, two other medications have been added that knock me out at night, so I am hoping I can get by without the resperidal.

But, I can’t come off two medicines at the same time. So, I’ll have to decide after I’m off the topamax for a little bit. I’m leaning toward the resperidal since I can do it on my own, although with summer coming, and its potential stresses as I described above, maybe that is not a good idea. Ugh!  I can’t decide. 

Guess I should talk to my psychiatrist about it. She’s so resistant to decreasing my meds though, because I still have a lot of anxiety and my moods still cycle.  So, yes, I kind of want to do it behind her back and then say, “Hey, look, I got off of a med and I am fine.” I feel like it would be disrespectful to do it without her collaboration, though.  She’s been my doctor for ten years and we are really close. 

I guess that’s about all. I did the dishes and folded some laundry today.  The bathrooms need to be cleaned, but I just can’t gather the motivation to do them. Maybe tomorrow.

Current Mood and Botox for Migraine

Waking up between 4 and 5am every morning is not fun. I’m averaging 3 hours less sleep than normal a day. Still quite agitated throughout the day. Extra energy, racing thoughts, hard to relax, spending too much money.  Hypomania, I guess.

I’m tapering off the topamax starting tonight per my nuerologist’s instructions. Not sure if it really helps anyway and figure it isn’t the best for my kidneys. Hoping it doesn’t increase migraine frequency or negatively affect my mood. 

He wants me to try Botox for migraine treatment prevenitive.  I only get a few migraines a month now and everything I am reading says Botox is for people who get 15 or more migraines a month. 

Have you had Botox for migraine treatment?  Did it help?

Hypomania Arrives

Each spring a bit of hypomania hits me. Not sure if it’s the warmer temps, the histamines, the increased sunlight, daytime hours, or what, but it happens.  It’s there. 

It’s not a problem per se.  Except in some small ways, like:

– I feel agitated often
– I become obsessed with creative projects and ignore my family, and become extremely irritated if they interrupt me
– I wake up after five hours of sleep, which greatly increases my risk of getting migraines
– I have racing thoughts
– I can’t take my afternoon nap and meditation is next to impossible, which makes me feel tense
– I over spend
– I have no impulse control when it comes to my mouth (jokes, giving opinions, inappropriate laughing, etc.)

Maybe these are not such small things.

This usually lasts until the kids get out of school for summer break.  Then I either

1) return to baseline/stable or 2) become depressed, because like the old saying goes: “What goes up must come down.”

Mental and Physical Chaos

I saw my psychiatrist today and shared with her how I cycled recently through some hypomania (irritability, agitation, losing temper, grandiosity, excessive spending) and then dipped into some depressive symptoms (loss of interests in hobbies, crying for no reason, feeling overwhelmed with everyday things, excessive worrying about friends and family problems.)

She is not changing any medications, probably because I am still functional. I’m “suffering on the inside, but still able to function,” as she put it.

For how many of you is this true?  You struggle to make it through each day because of your mental illness symptoms, wondering if it will ever NOT be so challenging to live. 

I suppose those with physical disabilities feel the same way. A paraplegic can’t have an easy time getting up and ready each day, but he does it just the same. As do we. We are not unique. 

I found out today that I have something wrong with my kidneys. An ultrasound shows they are “thinning.” Being an otherwise physically healthy middle-aged adult  (minus the chronic migraine), I am not happy about this. The next step will be to see a Nephrologist to find out more.

In the meantime, my GP told me not to take allieve which is part of what I take for migraine relief.  WTF!  Ugh!

I Will Do the Best That I Can

There’s a lot of confusion in my brain when it comes to my behaviors, because depending on my mood state my behaviors change considerably.  For example, right now, and for the last four days or so, I have been rather hyper and talkative and gossipy, opinionated, controlling, passive aggressive, and argumentative.  I’m normally somewhat controlling and I gossip sometimes, but not to this extreme.

I am working on Step 6 with one of my AA sponsees, and I thought maybe I should probably work it myself on some of the aforementioned character defects.  But, are they true character defects or are they symptoms of some hypomania?

It fucking drives me crazy trying to distinguish between the two.  I keep trying to tell myself to stop doing these things and then a minute later I am compelled to do them again.  It is like I can’t stop myself by sheer will power.

How can I improve my character if my character isn’t even the problem.  But, then again, what if it is?  Or is it my bipolar?  How do I know?

Just to be on the safe side, I’ve decided to reread a book I have, called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  It has some awesome communication tips that I think will make me feel a whole lot better if I am able to follow them.  (See #1 below.)

four-aggreements

I just got to get out of this mouth-running, ego trip, complaining, controlling, perfectionist, high and mighty state of mind.  It makes me feel guilty for talking about people in a negative manner.  It makes me feel shameful in front of the people with whom I am gossiping.  I beat myself up over it, often berating myself with negative internal dialogue, which I am not supposed to do.  My doctor warned it can trigger depression in me.  I feel remorse after I do it, too.  Guilt, shame, and remorse – not fun.

I’ve been having a hard time communicating properly with my family as well, being passive-aggressive or yelling aggressively.  Always apologizing, and again beating myself over it afterwards.  I think Agreement #3 will help me a lot in dealing with my family from here on out.

This all stops now.  If not the behaviors totally then the negative internally dialogue for sure.  I can use Agreement #4 as my mantra to combat the times I start to beat myself up for slipping.

Wish me luck.

 

Bipolar Anxiety Confusion

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It is amazing how much medication affects our brains.  What I thought was part of a hypomanic episode this past month turned out to be a side effect from a migraine preventative medicine.  I was seeing all of these vibrant, deep, rich colors in everything, almost like everything was super saturated and outlined in black.  Turns out this is a side effect of propranolol, of which my dose was doubled in the beginning of September.

As to the project oriented, high energy behavior and lack of sleep – well, I am now more apt to chalk that up to anxiety versus hypomania.  This is all important because if my doctor is to consider medication changes, she would change a different one for the anxiety than she would for the mood fluctuations.  Having both bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders is so complicated.

All in all, I think my mood is back to normal, so I am not too worried about that.  My anxiety, on the other hand, is always an issue.  No matter what we do with the medication, it seems like nothing really helps.

I am not anxious about anything in particular.  I just never seem to feel all the way relaxed.  I am always worried about gaining weight or not losing it, about when I am going to get my next migraine, about having to leave the house, about not leaving the house, about my husband’s weight, my daughter’s weight, my daughter’s mental health.  Ha!  I guess there are particular things I am worried about after all.

I am still not sleeping well and am experiencing cognitive deficits.  I am usually very good about planning ahead and making sure I have my prescriptions called into the pharmacy or requested from the doctor well before I run out.  This week I realized I didn’t do that with one of the them, so I may miss a dose or two.  Last week I completely forgot to put a medicine in my pill-box and missed its dose.  These things are just not like me.

I can’t seem to focus on what people are saying and I forget what they say, thereby embarrassing myself asking the same question over and over again.  I’ve checked and these symptoms are not side effects of the medication increase I talked about above.  I see my psychiatrist this week so I will talk to her about it then.

Mostly, I am just sick of not liking the person I am.  I have tried so hard to combat the negative judgements I have about myself this month, but sometimes I just breakdown in frustration at the fact that pretending to like myself is just that – pretending.  It is a freaking lie, and lying about it feels worse than the actual negative thoughts themselves.

I am also sick of merging some of the dichotomies of life.  I suppose this marks progress for me because I used to be such a black and white thinker which was not healthy or helpful at all.  But wanting to do something at the same time as not wanting to do it because of my anxiety is confusing.  Liking someone at the same time as not liking them sounds crazy, right?  Well, it feels crazy, too.  Wanting to be at home, but not wanting to be at home makes me want to pull my hair out.

Now I just feel like I am complaining and I hate that.  I will end by saying I am grateful for many things in my life.  I have a good life with good friends and a good family.  I need for nothing, except for better health, and I’ll keep working for that as best as I can, day by day.

Photo credit: j.rozek via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND