At the age of 25 when I first became seriously ill with Bipolar I didn't sleep for three days. This all happened over Christmas Eve into boxing day. It was a brutal experience. My mind just wouldn't switch off and incoherent thoughts just kept bubbling and turning in my head, constantly, without respite. Eventually an… Continue reading Fractured Sleep. (John)
It took me a long time of 'doing' psychiatry before I truly understood that I'm surrounded by a 'support network'. As my best friend told me a long time ago, I'm a bit of an island of one. My default position when I'm troubled or ill is to take myself off and be alone with… Continue reading Support Networks (Elle)
Just checking back in after a long time away from the blog. Sorry for being so absent – I went up and over again….. I have so much going through my head just now that it seems impossible to figure out what to pick out to write on….. some time and some processing will need… Continue reading I Went Up and Over (Elle)
I've been thinking about 'psychiatric time' – it works differently to 'normal' time, and if you have a mental illness you have to come to some accommodation with it. Patience is required. Psychiatric time just runs slower than normal time. We're dealing with human beings – not blood tests. We get brought up short the… Continue reading Patience (Elle)
I struggle a bit with the term self medicating. To me the term suggests taking a substance for (percieved) beneficial or calming results. (John) Over the past couple of blogs Elle and myself have discussed the ideas and the term of self medicating. The quote above is from my last post. The problem is I… Continue reading Self Medicating (ii) John.
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… Continue reading Self Medicating (Elle)
(contains a small amount of difficult material) John has described some examples of treatment that was poor - that failed to help. It put me in mind to write about trust between psychiatrist and patient - how it comes into being and how it doesn't. And it struck me that you can only best do… Continue reading Trust and Two Psychiatrists. Elle
Some people feel as if a diagnosis somehow labels them, diminishes them and leaves them open to prejudice. I couldn’t be further from this position. I think that owning a diagnosis and not skirting around it is ultimately empowering, allowing you to take steps to deal with what needs dealt with. I really did enjoy… Continue reading Treatment and Stigma.
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… Continue reading Getting the ‘Label.’ Elle
In Elle's last response she spoke about a psychiatrists response to finding out some new information on an attack of psychosis she'd had... I remember his response – part indignant (as if a great party had happened and he hadn’t been invited), part shocked – ‘Well I didn’t know about this!’ This made me think of… Continue reading Treatment (The poor version)