To Be Normal

My posting schedule has become rather erratic over the last few weeks. It is mainly due to my reduced Epival dosage that I wrote about recently. It’s been about a month and a half since the reduction and I feel that.. hopefully.. I am finally starting to balance out.

I think that I may have said that I was returning to normal in my last post, but there were many hard times that occurred between that post on April 23rd until today. I even came to the edge of psychosis the other day and nearly had to admit myself to CAMH in the middle of the night. It’s been a difficult few weeks.

I normally would have immediately upped my medication when faced with these issues, as has been the advice of my GP and psychiatrist, but I have been waiting to see if I was accepted into the rTMS study. They don’t allow for a medication increase within 4 weeks of the beginning of the study so that they can ensure that any improvements are because of the rTMS vs medication.

I found out on Monday that I have been accepted into the study. I have gotten no word yet as to when I will be receiving my first treatment, but I can only assume that the process will move quickly from this point forward.

Evidence suggests that if I am going to get any benefit from treatment, it will take 2 solid weeks of sessions before I see any gains. I am confident that I will be able to maintain my sanity until the beginning of treatment and then make it 2 weeks in. If at that point I find that I am still struggling, I may have to pull out of the study and up my medication.

I would hate to have to take that step. It has been my goal for many years to lower, or perhaps even eliminate my medications and so I will do everything I can to at least stay at my current dosage.

Mindfulness has been extremely helpful. So have my weekly meetings with my social worker, Melinda. She is a mindfulness facilitator and we discuss whatever troubles I have been having during the week and then how I could address those problems with mindfulness before we practicing together for about 10 – 20 mins.

It seems amazing that I still have so many questions about my practice each week. There are so many layers to understanding mindfulness and how the practice can address different types of problems. In the end, it is all fairly simplistic, but it helps to have her around to guide my practice.

Now that I have made the commitment to go on a lower dose of medication for at least the next month or so and begin rTMS treatments, I have made the decision to dedicate myself more completely to mindfulness. It has proven to be an essential tool that bridges the gaps left by my reduced dosage.

I have a number of books that I am preparing to read and that I will review on the blog once I’ve completed them. Some are specific to bipolar and mindfulness and so I expect them to be very helpful to me.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with rTMS with you. I am preparing for the worst, but expecting the best. This could completely change my life or it could have zero effect whatsoever.

I know many of you can relate to how I am feeling right now.

To be at the beginning of a new treatment that has the potential to completely change your way of life. There is no magic pill or super cure. This I know in spades. But it could be the start of a new way of life. One that I have been praying for for the past decade.

Wish me luck!

 

Brain Stimulation Therapies

There are times when medication alone is not effective in the treatment of mental illness. That is why throughout this blog you will hear me talking a great deal about the benefits of mindfulness, CBT, DBT & etc.

There are still times for many individuals when these conventional therapies, matched with medications does not completely ease the symptoms of mental illness. Read more