Bi-Polar

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that I wish it were passed on throughout the nursing profession as compulsory reading in replacement of the many outdated 'tablets of stone' currently addressing the treatment of so-called mental patients.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