rTMS Update

I am still having a hard time making regular updates. Things have been kind of nutty for me lately. I don’t recall if I blogged about it or not, but I reduced my dosage of Epival from 1500mg to 1000mg about a month ago. It was extremely hard going for the following week or so, but with some patience and a lot of mindfulness, I was able to struggle through it.

I was supposed to start my rTMS treatments last Wednesday. I was laying in the treatment chair with my shoes off, all ready to go, when the doctor asked me to recap what meds I was taking. I gave him my list and he seemed a little troubled. He excused himself from the room and then reemerged to tell me that there would be an issue if I continued taking the Epival during treatment.

I am not sure if this is always the case or if it is just because I am receiving treatment as part of a CAMH study, but he said the Epival would interfere with the efficacy of the treatment. In order for me to proceed, I am having to come off of my Epival completely.

If you’ve been reading the blog for some time, you may recall my mentioning my desire to be on less medication and so I am completely open to coming off the Epival. Where I am struggling is the doctor’s intent to have me at 0mg in 15 days. I don’t know how I will manage.

So far, he has me taking 250mg in the morning and 500mg in the evenings. I am to do that for two weeks and then 250mg in the morning and 250mg in the evening. Then 250mg in the evening until I am done.

I was a little late making it to the pharmacy because I was out of town at my parent’s house over the weekend so I am already 4 days behind schedule.

Aside from disrupted sleep, which had been one of the first symptoms the last time I reduced, I have been doing very well. There have been no mood symptoms and I haven’t been experiencing racing thoughts or anything else typical of bipolar. We are only at day 2 or 3 and so it is still very early days.

As I’ve discussed with my social worker, Melinda, I have to be prepared for some discomfort and be patient with myself and whatever symptoms may present themselves. Anything that comes up will only be on the short term and I know that I can calmly walk through it.

I will try to check in here more often to give you updates throughout my withdrawal process and as I start my rTMS treatments.

Have any of you gone through the process of coming off of psychiatric medications? What was the experience like for you? What were your biggest struggles?

 

Lost

You may have noticed that I have been away from the blog for a short time. While I have been away, I have been recycling posts from tickety blog and reposting them on my other site, She Zine Mag.

There may come a time in the future when I integrate these two blogs completed and shift all of my attention over to She Zine, as I have found it increasingly difficult to manage multiple projects at once.

Read more

Saphris

I very recently had an appointment with a psychologist for the first time in a super long time. It is highly recommended that you engaged in some kind of psychotherapy if you are dealing with mental illness, however, this type of therapy is not covered in Ontario.. so some of us must go without.

As I’ve mentioned over my last several posts, I have been struggling a great deal with my sleeping schedule lately, and this day was no different.

By the time we got to Niagara, where my appointment was to take place, I was nearing almost 20hrs without sleep.. again. I could feel myself slurring when I spoke of symptoms, which isn’t representative of how I have been feeling lately, because truthfully, I’ve been feeling really good.

Read more

Continued Trials & Errors and my time on lithium

If you revisit my last post, we were discussing the various medications that I had been prescribed, up to my taking the CAMH IMPACT study DNA test.

It is at this time that I was taken off most of the drugs that had been prescribed by the first doctor to diagnose me as bipolar and start a process that would span years trying to find another cocktail that would work.

I was still very early on in my journey at this point and I was unaware of what the “success” of one drug or another really looked like. Read more

Trial & Error

Bipolar disorder, regardless of what type you may be dealing with, is historically very difficult to treat. If you are dealing with bipolar yourself, you have probably already know what I mean. It isn’t as easy as going to the doctor and getting a prescription for some secret pill that will take away all your problems.

Why would they make anything easy on us, right?

For those of you who may be at the beginning of your mental health journey, you deserve to know what lays ahead. You will likely have to experiment with many different drugs, different dosages, and different cocktails before you find what works for you.

Even then, you will likely be dealing with a host of side effects that can range from weight gain, tardive dyskinesia (tremor), issues with body temperature regulation, issues with taste and dry mouth, and many, many more. Read more