Sunday, January 31, 2010

BBC documentary: My Child Won't Speak

Tuesday, 2nd February 2010, BBC One, 10:35pm My Child Won't Speak follows three young girls with a rare emotional disorder, known as selective mutism, as they struggle to overcome their phobia and speak to people other than their parents for the first time in years.

Eight-year-old Red has a set of rules about who she can and can't talk to, while ten-year-old Megan will talk freely at home, but never utters a word at school, and 15-year old Danielle started speaking in public for the first time 12 months ago.

To talk freely like other children, the three girls must confront the personal fears and anxieties they have about using their voices. My Child Won't Speak joins them on their individual journeys as they start to find a way forward.

For more information on tackling behavioural issues and finding organisatiosn that can help, download our parental advice factsheet (1.08, Mb).

more hours in the day

It is so nice having more hours in the day! My flat is reasonably tidy, I rearranged some furniture yesterday, I took my car to the garage to get the brakes checked, I have caught up on my laundry and I still have more time.  I am just getting ready to go to the gym.

For months, or even years, I have struggled to do half this much on a weekend. I would stay up until about 11pm, sleep to 2pm or 3pm and rush around to do the housework which had been neglected all week before taking the tablets about 8 pm to 9pm to give me some chance of getting up for work the next day.

I think only having a small tv with very few channels is also a great help.  When tired there is nothing better than sleeping on the sofa in front of the tv all day.

I have loads and loads of social activities planned for the next month or so.  I'm feeling much more confident about going out and meeting a bunch of strangers for a chat, a film or trying something new.

I'm off to the gym now as I have eaten 12 chocalate cakes in less than 48 hours!  I went shopping hungry :o( and my defences were low.  They were buy 6 get 6 free and once I have chocolate in the flat there is no hope!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Words Are Windows
(or They're Walls)

I feel so sentenced by your words,
I feel so judged and sent away,
Before I go I've got to know,
Is that what you mean to say?

Before I rise to my defense,
Before I speak in hurt or fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?

Words are windows or their walls,
They sentence us or set us free,
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.

There are things I need to say,
Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don't make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?

If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn't care,
Try to listen through my words,
To the feelings that we share.

                                                               Ruth Behermeyer.

Just started reading a book on Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg.  It opens with this poem which has already made me start to think.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Aripiprazole - day three

A few small headaches and a little light headed but overall feeling ok!  I am hoping these minor things will sort themselves out as my body adjusts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Pretty Brain Cell!

Aripiprazole - day two

No problems at all last night and today. I took the aripiprazole a few hours before bed and the quetiapine at bedtime. I watched a film and went to bed about 1am. I was awake by 10:30am. In the past if I have stayed up and watched a film in the early hours I would not wake until 2pm or even later :o).

I am very happy today and thinking the new meds might workout :o).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aripiprazole - day one

I took 5mg of Aripiprarzole last night with 100mg of quetiapine. It took me a few hours to get off to sleep and I had dry eyes and itchy legs and could not lie still for a while. I think I will take the next dose tomorrow morning as I do not need to go out tomorrow and if it is going to make me restless I guess it is better to take it while I want to be up and about instead of when I want to sleep.

I'm not giving up yet! I only slept for just over 8 hours and I stirred in the night :o). When I sleep so soundly on quetiapine I do not always feel rested as the night goes past in the blink of an eye.

I went out again last night with the local film club. I enjoyed it very much and I am making lots of new friends! I am out again tonight too but I have to do some laundry and house work first.

The following website for anyone who wants further details about aripiprazole (or any other drug), this site is from the european medicines agency which regulates drugs in Europe, similar to the FDA in the US. There is a summary for the public in 22 languages as well as more in depth scientific information.

European Medicines Agency - Aripiprazole (Abilify)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I am going to try aripiprazole/ abilify. As all the side effects are reversible if you stop taking it I guess I have nothing to loose. If I can get the prescription and get to the chemist my first dose will be tomorrow evening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A very social weekend!

I have had a lovely weekend. Last night I went out for dinner and then on to see Avatar in 3D. It was the first cinema 3D film I have seen. I was sitting right on the front row and it was a bit close, still it was a great film.

Today I went out for sunday lunch at the social club followed by a French film, "the grocer's son". Tomorrow I plan to go to the pub for a lecture on "Global Shipping". These lectures are very popular and they have a very good reputation. I'm looking forward to it.

My television broke down about two weeks ago and I think it is doing me some good. I may notfix it or replace it ;o).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

About Me

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after a psychotic episode in the summer of 2005. I think I had a mixed episode with psychosis and anxiety. It was really frightening and I believed I was dying but no one would tell me. I did not sleep for over a week but I did not feel tired and would pace and walk around rather than sitting still! My mind was racing and my beliefs got more and more terrifying.

I was first diagnosed with depression in 2000 when I was 23 and I had three severe episodes of depression before I was diagnosed with bipolar. The summer of 2005 was the first time I was psychotic and I would rather die than go through that again. I thought I was dying and no one would tell me. I also thought my mother was dying at one time. I played out some of my most deepest fantasies. All my life, up to my diagnosis, my view of the world had been darkened by depression, this had made fantasies a large part of my life and they had also become very dark.

I remember feeling very anxious since I was extremely young, my first memories of school when I was 4 years old were about anxiety, of course I did not understand what it was at the time. I would not speak to the teachers, I was frightened and I was getting told off for being rude because I would not answer the teachers. I was always in trouble but I never said a word. I now believe I had selective mutism which is an anxiety disorder which was only recognised as an illness a few years before I suffered. I was just seen as rude and naughty.

At the moment I am well, I take 50mg Sertraline (also known as Lustral or Zoloft) for my anxiety and I take 2.5mg od Aripiprzole (also known as Abilify) as a mood stabiliser. These provide few side effects but I am trying to reduce these as much as possible to try for a family.

Since my diagnosis in 2005 I have been relatively well, I have had a few episodes of depression, some deeper than others.  I have also had a couple of periods where I have needed to work reduced hours.  Mostly because of an extremely stressful job.  I have also had a couple of periods where I have got a bit carried away with things and felt far more confident than usual, I usually look back at these times with shame and regret.

In the summer of this year (2013) I married my man (Mr. R).  I am very happy and along with all the love, he also supports me, lets me talk, lets me hide under the duvet and provides stability.

Life was very dark before I was diagnosed, I always knew I was different and did not fit in but did not know why. Getting the correct diagnosis has been the best thing that has happened in my life however, I had to get extremely sick before I managed to get the help I needed.

I first wanted to kill myself when I was about 12; to everyone else I was just a moody teenager who spent all my time in my room (nobody ever came to see what I was doing) I thought nobody cared. I was an easy target for bullies and I would hang around with all the other kids who were bullied. Some of whom are still good friends. But I was not happy, I planned my suicide, I put the suicide note under my mattress and planned to take an overdose about a mile from my house down a farm track called green lane. I just never went through with it; I clinged to the hope that life would get better.

Please read on, come back and visit again or leave a comment and introduce yourself. I like to know who is reading my blog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trip to the Psychiatrist

Yesterday I had my 6 month check up with my psychiatrist. He has suggested that I change my seroquel medication to abilify. This may help me loose weight and is not such a strong sedative. There is a possibility of a side effect of stiffness or jerky movements which sounds very scary. I am sleeping so much I am struggling to put my hours in at work so I have to change something. My weight is also bordering on obese. I am waiting for his written letter and advise before I mke my final decision.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year

Resolutions for 2010

1. to get up, get dressed and make the bed before switching on the computer or television.
I have bought myself some nice new bedding, a digital radio and a fan heater to help me here.

2. to post on my blog at least once a month.
I have had requests from a few bipolar and counselling sites about using my blog as a source of information for their readers. At this point in time I am not comfortable with this. However, this is in line with my motivation for starting the site and I like to think it could be used in the future.

The old favourites

3. loose weight.
My current weight is 11st and 7lbs, before the medication it was 10st and 0lbs and for several years after starting the medication it was 11st and 0lbs. My weight is now at a stage where I am bordering on obese and it is starting to worry me more and more :o(. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow and this will be at the top of the list!

4. keep a work life balance.

Easier said than done but essential for my health and also a broader perspective will help me decide if I want to continue working for the same company or expand my horizons.

In 2008 I made the following resolutions
1. Watch less television, listen to more music and be more active. I currently spend too many days in front of the televison.
- this didn't really work out for me, I have some evenings now where I don't put the tv on but overall I am still a couch potato. My first resolution for 2010 is suppose to be a smaller and more manageable step in this direction.

2. Have my own flat and be moved in by next Christmas!
- done!

3. Continue to try and expand my social life.
- done!

In 2007 I made the following resolutions
1. lots more friends, some friends I can ring and say, hey, do you want to go to the pub tonight!!
I have found a social meetup group in my own town and the last few months I have been out with them quite a few times. Most of the people are quite a lot older than I am but nevertheless I enjoy their company, I get out and try new things and I am making new friends! There is definitely much improvement in the last two years!

2. loose weight, my medication made me put on a stone so I am going to have another attempt at shifting it!
Still no progress here, unfortunately I have put on even more weight and I am considering discussing alternative medications with my psychiatrist.

3. be happier
Well, I'm doing ok but bipolar is for life :o(.