Like the Internet needs another goddamned bipolar blog
If you have questions about your psychiatrist I strongly, strongly recommend getting to the best psychiatrist you can find. This can often be done by going to the biggest, most famous hospital near you. For me this is a 2 hour drive each way every month and it means hospitalizations are far from home (which is fine with me), but it is totally worth it. It seems the best places to go are those with Mood disorders clinics, although I'm not entirely sure the place I go has one now. I was able to go from a horrible psychiatrist to one of the top in the world through a clinical trial many years ago and then that led to my current doctor who has treated me for the last 9 years. It really sounds like you need a doctor who is actually listening to you and helping you sleep without self-medicating. (The bipolar nightmare circle). Somewhere I wrote a post about finding a doctor; I can find it if you want. I wrote it when I was shocked at how many people were suffering with doctors they hated.
Thank you so much. If you're able to find the post about finding a doctor, I'd love to read it. I love your unflinching approach on your blog. I feel like I'm just now getting to the point of "coming out" about being bipolar and this blog is a baby step in that direction. You're inspiring.
URgh, my computer ate my comment. Which probably means too much information at once.I'll find that post for you. Tonight if the insomnia is it's usual joy, tomorrow if not.It's generally pretty well accepted that lamictal can be agitating. It acts very similarly to an antidepressant and any and all of those can agitate us. In fact, at least a while back when I was newly diagnosed (but not newly bipolar) the Guru (I saw a world famous expert b/c I was in a Lamictal clinical trial) basically said no antidepressants for people not on effective mood stabilizers. He thought I shouldn't even be on one again because misdiagnosis had me on so many that it made my brain worse than it might have been. After several years we had to try and with mood stabilizers I've handled them well although it took a while to learn how to balance them. Now I have a patch so I just adjust how long it is on and that seems to work pretty well.Blogging has really helped me. When I started writing I really had no intention of letting myself go about what I lived with. Then it happened and I often use the blog to figure out what I'm going to say to the doctors. I also love the support I've gotten, very often from people who aren't bipolar. Years ago I was more in the bipolar zone of the internet but never fit in that well so I stopped. I probably should try that again. And as time passed I realized that when I write I can say things that I can't even put into words. I have done a total about-face though; I used to not want anyone to know and no I'm trying to make sure I am ok with putting it on facebook. I kind of figure if people don't like it there they can leave, and it would be nice to not have people wondering what is keeping me from working. But I'm not that brave quite yet.Thanks for saying I'm inspiring. Not so much, just well-practiced. Just Me Jen
Thank you so much for the post about finding a doctor. I got a recommendation for another one who seems like she'll be a better fit for me, but for some reason I'm nervous about calling. I don't doubt that the doctor I'm seeing now is very competent in his field, but he doesn't seem willing to listen, and the fact that he shot me down when I asked if the lamictil could be causing my inability to sit still and sleep makes me think this is really just a bad fit. Shopping for psychiatric care is about as much fun as sitting in a dentist chair having plaque scraped off a sensitive tooth. I'm glad to hear blogging has helped you too. I used to write a blog about a hundred years ago when blogging was the new thing, but I got tired of it after a while. I started this one to try to keep track of my mood mess and have a record of it to look over, since I'm bad at seeing long-term patterns in my life. I still admire your courage for being up front about living with a mental illness. I get so angry at the stigma attached to it, like this is all my fault.