In November 2007 (so so long ago) I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I have since been rediagnosed with all manner of things under the sun including depression, borderline personality disorder, schizo-affective disorder and ADHD (quickly retracted as I had no childhood symptoms).  My diagnosis is back at bipolar.

I live by the sea in Sussex with my husband and parents (because jobs are hard to come), a cat, one ancient gerbils and two (subject to change, according to levels of fox activity) chickens.  I’m not working right now; after I got better after the depression in December I started looking for jobs again.  I haven’t found one yet (currently June 2017). I suspect this is mostly to do with the fact that I’m looking for jobs I don’t have experience in, i.e. not marketing.

When my mood is normal or high I draw and craft things.  At the moment (June 2017) I’m not doing much, despite my stable mood, as the tremors from the meds are preventing me from doing things like linocut and drawing straight lines. It is frustrating.

In April 2013, I came off my meds  (olanzapine) (on the orders of my psychiatrist) without any sort of supervision (also on the orders of my psychiatrist, which is why he is often referred to as Dr Arseface).  It was an unmitigated disaster, a train wreck, took several months out of my life.  Between the mania and the depression I have not been able to do basic things like remembering to wash, reading books, cooking (I burn things, or forget to cook them), eating, drinking, and so on.

I am now on some different medication: aripiprazole (30mg), and lamotrigine(200mg) and things are improving. I’ve been stable now for five weeks, which after this last 12 months of hell (May 2016 to May 2017) is really refreshing. I had a three month long manic episode from May, which led to me being off work from June until September. In late August I crashed and ended up in the worst depression of my life. I won’t go into details, but I only just about lived through it. They put me on duloxetine again, but around February I came out of the depression and launched straight into another bad manic episode. Fortunately this time I saw a psychiatrist and was under the care of a CPN (J), so I was closely monitored and heavily medicated. It still took two months – I can’t really remember March or April, but by early May I was starting to come back down (see the post A Second Appointment for discussion on this last episode).

J, my CPN, is leaving this week, so I’ve already had my last appointment with him. He’s meeting with his replacement today and I may or may not be taken in by her. It’s possible I’ll be left with no support again. I’m sort of okay with that. I’ve kept myself sane before, I can do it again.

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