Blog Elle, Mental Health

Self Medicating (Elle)

Mind Palaver

As my consultant said recently, medication has its role, but it’s not the be all and end all. I really respect her for this view – it’s close to my own opinion.

So this had me wondering how else I ‘medicate’ myself aside from the meds I take.

My first risky run in with self-medication was with alcohol, in my early days of doing psychiatry. I hadn’t been diagnosed bipolar as yet, and was cycling out of control between hypomania and depression. When my father killed himself the stress and claustrophobia of that weekend in hospital were colossal, and when the life support was switched off my mood soared (stress has often made me go very high). I remember the train journey home with my sister feeling elated, superhuman, able to take on the universe. The sky was ethereal, the clouds whitest white and fluffy. I was staring down the…

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Blog John, Mental Health

Not Indestructible. John.

Mind Palaver

It expresses perfectly for me why I find ‘things’ so difficult – because I’m continually having to react to right myself, responding to internal change the whole time to keep myself upright and stable, dealing with placing my feet on a constantly shifting surface, and coping with the sickening feeling that the small challenge up ahead may just be beyond me. (Elle. What’s it Really Like)

Elle’s post yesterday on finding the correct language to describe what living with these conditions is like, has got me thinking on how others perceive what’s going on with people like us. The analogy she used about the elderly lady having to take a walk on perilous icey grounds describes perfectly what I went through for two years prior to responding well to a treatment.

I can’t hit the years exactly but I reckon around 2007 to 2009 I experienced my worst problems with…

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Blog John, Mental Health, Uncategorized

On World Mental Health Day Think of Elle.

A Facebook friend Ruth just posted this on her page.  "World Mental Health Day... the govt has appointed a suicide prevention minister. The very same govt overseeing and ensuring the absolute suffering of millions, including children, 4.5 million of whom are living in poverty in Britain. How is a counsellor in every school (an aim… Continue reading On World Mental Health Day Think of Elle.

Blog Elle, Mental Health

Getting the ‘Label.’ Elle

As Elle is unfortunately still in hospital and I have a writing deadline to meet. I’m going to reblog over the next couple of weeks some of our favourite posts. So here we are…

Mind Palaver

Both John and I experienced misdiagnosis before we were finally diagnosed with Bipolar 1. This I believe is a pretty common experience. The figure often quoted is that it takes on average 10 years from the onset of symptoms to the point where the diagnosis is made. There are a number of reasons for this as I see it – (a) Hypomania is usually seen by the patient as an entirely positive state of affairs, and is often not reported as a problem. This leaves a bipolar person reporting more on the depressive episodes, leading to a diagnosis of major depression. (b) As I said previously people may try to cope with the worsening symptoms on their own out of fear, shame or degrees of denial (I’ll talk about medicating with alcohol later). (c) Psychosis (as in John’s case) or intense paranoia can lead to false assumption that the person…

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Blog John, Mental Health

When Comedy Becomes Inhospitable. (John)

As a comedian I have my dream job. Of that I am never in doubt. However, as many can imagine there are times when my job can become a nightmare. I found myself at one such night this weekend and it made me reflect on a period when I was at my most unhappy and… Continue reading When Comedy Becomes Inhospitable. (John)

Blog John, Mental Health

Triggered (Well…nearly) (John)

We talk a lot about triggers these days. So I thought I'd write a blog about my own triggers in the hope it will help better people understand how they affect people with my condition.  The American Psychiatric Association describes triggers as this... What are triggers? We generally know the word trigger to mean an… Continue reading Triggered (Well…nearly) (John)

Blog John, Mental Health

A Quick Interview and Plug (John)

I'm doing my Delusions Stand up show at The Live Theatre Newcastle on July 26 9.00pm.  Here's a little interview thing I did to promote it.  Please do come along. I promise it is a very funny show.    https://www.facebook.com/NewcastleCityCouncil/videos/10155798292078790/UzpfSTc2MDg3MTIzOTozMDYwNjExMjk0OTk0MTQ6MTA6MDoxNTMzMTA2Nzk5OjI2MTk0ODM0NzcxOTYzMDky

Blog John, Mental Health

Who We Are.

I've had an acute mental health diagnosis for 24 years. Initially misdiagnosed with schizophrenia aged 24, then changed to Bipolar One around the age of 30. One element I recall, from those early encounters with chronic mental health, is that the condition and the words associated with it really messed with the core identity of… Continue reading Who We Are.

Blog John, Mental Health

No Kanye, Bipolar Ain’t No Superpower.

My Kanye West can at best be described as a bit of a muddle of a man. One day espousing the plight of the African American, the next being a very public advocate of Donald Trump, the later being a man who shows little fear of being openly racist about the same community. So when… Continue reading No Kanye, Bipolar Ain’t No Superpower.