Thursday, 16 February 2017

Something else to deal with

In recent months, myself and my psychiatrist have been talking about my long battle with panic attacks. After educating myself through university and CBT classes, it seems that not only do I have bipolar disorder, but I also have a panic disorder.

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder. It is different from 'anxiety disorder', in that it is not a persistent anxious feeling but instead bouts of intense panic. These panics come and go, and can happen at any time. After a panic attack, I spend a long time worrying about the next one and can sometimes go to extremes to avoid a situation or stimulus, knowing that I will escape an attack because of it.

Initially these attacks felt like they started from my toes, soon consuming my entire body and most usually ending in a dry heave or vomit.

Recently I feel these attacks starting within my mind. I'm not sure if it is because I am more aware of them and potentially more conscious of how they play out. Either way, they end the same. Cold sweaty palms, body trembles, tight chest and then vomit.

It is very common for psychological disorders to go hand in hand with one another. Comorbidity. I just can't believe it has taken so long to realise that they are two separate things. I always presumed my panic attacks were part of the bipolar. An interesting detail however is that my manic and hypomanic episodes completely counteract the symptoms of the panic disorder.

 I NEVER panic when I am manic.

Although I wasn't entirely happy about another diagnoses, the label is allowing me to look at the illness categorically and find ways to manage it.

 I hope that with further coaching I can combat this thing completely. It seems possible and I am excited. My thinking is that if I fully deal with one of these illnesses it will partially alleviate the other.

Love xo

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Missed Meds; The Come Down of a Lifetime

I've noticed something, and it's not a good something.

Sometimes - not often - but sometimes, I miss my meds. It really can't be helped on occasion. Well actually, it most probably can. I now carry a little box of 1 nights worth of medication on me, just incase. On these sporadic occasions, I start to feel a change within my body. A come down of all come downs. First it starts with a cold, hollow feeling throughout my bones, followed by shakes, cold sweats and dry heaves. I see start to see things out of the corner of my eye that aren't there, shapes and lights. My head has a slight buzzing inside of it. I feel utterly ghastly.

I mentioned to my room mate the last time this happened, that I felt like I was coming down off of hard drugs. Her retort was that I was, and true that. When I miss my meds, I am coming down off of hard drugs and my body doesn't know which way is up in these instances.

I guess the moral of the story here is not to miss my meds.

It got me thinking, what if I was in a position where I couldn't access my meds, such as financial restraints, travelling etc etc What in craps name would I do.

Given that I have been doing extremely well for the past 6 weeks, I couldn't imagine running sans meds at all. In fact a this point I am so proud and happy with my p.doc, he really has gotten the right combo. Finally, eventually. After a few years of trying and retrying, dosage change after dosage change, I am here and I'm all the better for it.

In my last post I mentioned that I was doing 'just OK'. On reflection, I am doing fantastically well. I have gotten over the fear of my good mood snapping. If it happens, it happens right? What will be, will be and all that. For now I am riding out the good vibes and enjoying it as much as I can.

What's more, I gone got myself my first freaking A at university. That proves to me alone that I am doing more than 'just OK'. I've got my head in the game and there's no stopping me this semester!

Well... That's me for now.

Love xo