Gabrielle's blog

After a second relapse and a stint of home hospitalisation, I am finally feeling better. It appears the new drugs regime is working. What I mean by 'working' is that it is giving me sufficient biological/physiological stability for me to access the sum total of my resources and experience. To me that's what drugs are for: they give me back ME.

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Whenever I have the opportunity to spend time with people who operate in the 'real' world, I have noticed that I always feel a strange mix of emotions afterwards. Following yesterday's BBQ organised by my hubby's work colleagues (a splendid bunch of people) today is no exception.

Here is my attempt at identifying those various emotions so that I am not left 'holding' a slightly painful and nauseating brew inside myself.  I feel:

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I have this urge to write. The trouble is, I haven't a clue what I want to write about. It feels like an itch I can't scratch! When this crazy situation occurs, the best way I have found to deal with it is to let Batty speak. Batty is my very own BPD - see her above? I do this by continuing to type and seeing what happens.. 

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When we think 'Bi-Polar Disorder sufferers' we usually think of ourselves, those of us who Live in Bi-Polar Land (whether it is in the Mountains of BPD I or the High Plateaux of BPD II). We must never forget that our family (and close friends) suffer our illness too.

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We speak, and we speak some more. Some of us even listen. We use English to communicate so it is reasonable to assume that we understand each other. In 'normal' circumstances we don't anyway but Bi-Polar Land goes one step further: it turns some part of what we say into a foreign language that requires translation.

Here are some of the most common examples:

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As I was sitting in bed, waiting for my brain and my body to get used to the higher dose of medication my psychiatrist and I agreed I should go on, a thought struck me. I am pretty sure it's not brilliant nor is it original but it fills a gap for me in the way I think of my Bi-Polar Disorder (BPD II).

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I am very proud to feature a new guest writer this month, Kitty Holman who writes extensively on nursing issues and nurse training.

Kitty's article contains so much wisdom that I wish it were passed on throughout the nursing profession as compulsory reading in replacement of the many outdated 'tablets of stone' currently addressing the treatment of so-called mental patients. Thank you Kitty.

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Karen Tyrrell is an author, who has recovered from Bi-Polar Disorder after developing her own Wellness Plan. She now understands and avoids her triggers, and works hard to maintain her health.

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It is now two months since I started my new medication (Carbamazepine - aka Tegretol). In a bid to find some sort of bearable balance, I have played with increased dosages and decreased dosages. I have taken the medication in higher dose in the evening and lower dose in the morning. I have stopped taking it altogether in the morning and taken the whole daily dose at night. I am so all over the place that I am not even sure whether I am going up and down any more!

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