This year has been exceptional in that the spike of mania that comes in the Fall/Winter for me has not come! I’ve been having minor ups and downs, mostly downs, but the major spike that I have experienced every Fall/Winter since 1986 did not happen. This involved severe mood upheaval, including anger, depression, off the charts anxiety, major weight loss (that one I miss haha) sleeplessness, total dysfunction, not being able to go to work, school, outside the house for at least a month. This year it didn’t happen! My 900 mg of Lithium Carbonate, and (now) 100 mg of Seroquel saved me this year. Yes I have side effects, tremor in my right hand, weight gain due to water retention because of Lithium, muscle weakness and tendonitis due to Seroquel. But I can live with these. The most bothersome to me is the 4 lb weight gain. I do live in our weight obsessed culture don’t I? But I am so lucky that these side effects are nothing compared to some other drugs called antipsychotics, used for schizophrenia. In fact over Thanksgiving weekend, in NYC, my sister and I went to visit a friend I’d made in 2009, in Columbia Presbyterian, when we were both hospitalized there. He has schizophrenia, he is in his twenties and smart as a whip. Last week, we visited him in his home, it was difficult for me to sit with him because of the uncontrolled movements due to tardive dyskinesia (a side effect of antipsychotics) he had. God I am so incredibly thankful I am not on Risperdal! I could not tolerate it! My friend is having his doctor wean him off the Risperdal and put him on Clozaril, which apparently, at least in his case, doesn’t cause tardive dyskinesia.that is so severe.
Anyway, I digress.. I wish my friend the best in his life and with his treatment of course. But this post is about how amazing it is that I stayed pretty much normal throughout the Fall and Winter this year. How the evil beasts called mania and psychosis (being out of touch with reality) did not visit me. And believe me, I didn’t miss them, not one iota! I am thrilled beyond belief, and if 900 mg of Lithium is what it takes to stay pretty much in the normal mood range, then 900 mg it is.
Hello NORMAL, productive, happy life!