Thursday, March 7, 2013
I have, and always have, had trouble falling asleep. I guess that kind of goes hand in hand with bipolar, or so I'm told. When I lie down, close my eyes and try to sleep is typically when I have the racing thoughts that plague so many people with the disorder. My mind won't calm, and therefore I can't sleep.
I saw my psych today and we tried to come up with a solution. I don't like all I have to take to be able to do what so many take for granted. Every night, when I take the vast array of medications, I fear I may make the Heath Ledger exit. I don't like the thought and I don't like having to take the meds.
When I brought it up to him, he talked about various options, searched his vast collection of research on the topic, and then came up with an idea, as long as weight gain isn't a side effect, I'm game.
He's had several patients that had previously described the very things I am experiencing. He put them on a quick release dose of methylphenidate, which is generic Ritalin, which is a stimulant. They reported back to him that it worked, it quelled the bouncing thoughts and allowed them to sleep.
The theory being that Ritalin helps release dopamine, which acts to calm the over active thoughts and actions caused by low levels of the chemical in some brains. Whatever, I don't really understand the whole thing, I just have trust in my doctor.
Tonight will be my first night taking it, and if all goes according to theory, my thoughts will calm and I'll be able to sleep.
He also asked how my general mood had been since we stopped one of my medications that helps control mania. The side effects I was experiencing were concerning to say the least. But I've done well, I think, and Jeff said he's been noticing I'm more level than he's seen me in years. Plus, I'm still on a half dose of another mood stabilizer that has no side effects, so all's cool.
But, isn't there always a "but?" But, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm on the outer edge of the beginning of hypo-mania. That can be a very good thing though. My mood is great, my creativity is more prevalent, and I seem more like myself, I feel good, the sun shines and all is right with the world.
The bad thing, the thing I need to watch for, is the urge to spend. That's a huge signal for me, but I recognize it as a symptom and can work to avoid places I shouldn't be, like Nordstrom, or Free People's website, or any place with lingerie or shoes. I guess that leaves me with going to the grocery store where I can search for exotic stuffed olives and weird things I'd never before bought.
Now I'm rambling, so I guess it's time for the first dose of the, hopefully, miracle drug.
Here goes. Wish me well!