Gabrielle's blog

Struggling as I am currently with recovering some sort of physical balance whilst playing with various dosages of my medication (Carbamazepine, aka Tegretol) something suddenly occurred to me: was I ill or was I sick? And if I could answer that question, what was the difference between illness and sickness?

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I have just returned from what SHOULD have been a two week holiday in France visiting my elderly parents. It turned out to be a three week stay with ten days of illness in the middle. What happened?

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I am used to taking to myself - in fact I have elevated it to an art form. I wrote a whole book based on that premise and very useful too it was in my recovery. Conversations with Batty is an exercise in unbridled self-talk and, much to my surprise, I found there was a lot of wisdom locked in that internal dialogue.

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I recently stopped my evening medication because it was playing havoc with my gut - of all things. That plus the violent headaches, the awful nightmares (sorry 'vivid dreams') and the massive weight gain that moved me up the list of candidates for hip and knee replacement.

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I am very proud to publish on my blog this article on a brief history of psychiatry throughout the ages written by Shannon Wills. It gives an interesting account of how attitudes and treatments for mental illness have evolved - not always in the straight line of progress but rather at the mercy of the societal culture prevalent at the time. The way a society treats the mentally ill speaks volumes about that society.

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For a few days now I have had the feeling that my brain is swimming inside my head, as if my head was suddenly huge and there was too much room inside for my brain to 'fit' properly. I jokingly refer to this swimming sensation as Cerebral Aquatics!

Although it does not hurt, it is both unpleasant and unsettling:

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A lot has been written about Bi-Polar Disorder (BPD) I and II already so I shan't go through all that medical diagnosis stuff. As much as I am not keen on putting human beings into boxes and reducing them to just their symptoms, I do find the distinction between BPD I & II useful.

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I am now totally off my evening medication and, to my surprise, I feel a little lost as well as immensely relieved. I have lost the evening ritual that has punctuated my life for the past two-and-a-half years.

I did not expect to feel this AT ALL and yet, when I put the leftover boxes of medication away, I felt a little sad - as if I were saying goodbye to a good friend.

I suppose that my evening tablet (Mirtazapine) has been a good friend. It has:

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I have had an interesting few days - weeks actually. Ever since I came to the realisation that I had probably arrived at the point in my recovery when I needed to change my medication, I have been on a nerve-racking little journey and I am watching myself like a hawk ....

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There are many days when the frustration I feel about my unreliable level of energy spills into my dreams - more specifically my morning 'vivid' dream (see my description of them in Medication: Friend or Foe?).

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