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It's Worth a Try

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm always up for all things new, as my credit card will attest, but this time I'm a little anxious.

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!



MarkD60 March 8, 2013 at 4:13 AM  

It worries me the way you think you need to take medicine for everything.
I think you should wean off everything and see what happens.

Barfly March 8, 2013 at 5:23 AM  

Hey Diva,
I have terrible insomnia too and have tried all sorts of things over the many years of suffering. Currently I have a "cocktail" that seems to work for 7 hours (new record). 100 mg of Trazodone and 1 full ambien....

I feel ya girl.

Outcast March 8, 2013 at 8:40 AM  

To me I believe sleep to be the base that we start happiness on so I hope that it gets sorted for you soon, sorting the sleeping issues could fix so much, you never know, keep the faith Diva.

The Bipolar Diva March 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM  

Unfortunately Mark, I have no choice.

The Bipolar Diva March 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM  

Barfly, I've tried trazedone. The entire next day for me is a fog with it.

The Bipolar Diva March 8, 2013 at 11:56 AM  

It is Yeamie, sleep patterns are so closely tied to bipolar.

Unknown March 10, 2013 at 6:57 AM  

Please don't do what Mark says - you need medication! People who haven't experienced this can never understand, but you know that. : )

I know exactly what you mean by lying down and your brain racing. I was taken off of Seroquel and Geoden because of weight gain over two years ago (my insistence and a lot of arguing) and it was hell for a very long time. I suffered through little sleep for what seemed like forever, but eventually my brain adjusted, I stress *eventually*. I now take 4 over the counter sleeping pills and one klonipin and fall asleep right away, but wake up once during the night. I've tried Ambien - it doesn't work any better than over the counter for me.

I think it's worth a try - to get off of all of those sleeping pills! I definitely feel much better because of it!

Furry Bottoms March 11, 2013 at 8:39 AM  

So, did it work? I hope it did. I have the exact same fear about doing a Heath Ledger too! So sad how his name became associated with this fear.

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