Bipolar, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, migraine headaches

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Looking back over my last entries I already feel distant from the terror of finding Charles in a coma Sunday morning. And the following uncertainty: would Charles recover, was I going to be alone? The morning Charles almost died wasn’t as terrifying. The EMS people revived him a few minutes after he stopped breathing. My imagination wasn’t afforded the time to catalog the possible horrors.

Both times Charles had successive nights of bipolar highs that kept him from sleeping. And he was indulging in dangerous self-medication. His memory fumbled and he took his ‘medicine’ once too often. There’s the old cliché about the lawyer who is his own client. Someone who tries to be his or her own physician is an even bigger fool.

This must cease. I can’t cope with such terrifying accidents. I’d leave Charles. I pray he’s not merely learned how deadly foolish he’s been, that he’s finally too terrified to ever come so close to being his own accidental murderer.

Charles’ doesn’t have an easy path. Bipolar disorder, panic attacks, generalized anxiety make for an unsteady inner life. Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, migraine headaches tear at his body as well as his mind.

I’ve made his life easier, a little happier. I’d hoped I could more directly strengthen him. I’ve rarely tried to stop Charles from doing anything aside from telling him I thought it was foolish or wasteful. Perhaps the time has come for me to be stern. To intervene in his actions for both our sakes.

Comments

I have been going through something strang since Jan 18,2003 and I have the Dr.’s at a loss for words,Perhaps some might be able to help me with trying to find out why I’m having these and what could I do to get better.**I was diagnosed as bipolar and I have been taking Zoloft 50 mg , and I’m 41 yrs.female, I dont drink nor smoke nor do drugs. Ihave always seem to be relatively healthy on ocassion i would have fainting spells for no reason. but they would lasts for 2 seconds and im ok.but like I said since jan 18th 2003 I been experiencing severe headaches, dizziness,drop in blood pressure, severe pain in left arm and tightness in chest , shortness of breath.have had several things to rule these out but still am having the problems.I have had the ct scan of the brain with contrast,(they were normal) had ink ran through veins of the chest ( they are normal) had a neuclear drug induced scan (normal) cardiac cathe( normal) mri done (normal) several lab test and they have all came back normal. i dont seem to have these symptoms unless i amd up and active walking, doing dishes ,etc. this has limited me on going and doing the things i enjoy. can you help ??

I have been dealing with anxiety problems all of my life. In 2000, I experienced major depression. The drugs they gave me (I still take some) made me sluggish and unable to function. I am now just on an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. The anxiety has not left me. I continue to have trouble sleeping, working, and simply enjoying life. I am gay and have completely dropped out from friends, relationships, or any other social life. I am not feeling lonely but feel as if life doesn’t even matter at all. I’m looking for a job but have found that task too daunting. In the meantime I read books about other cultures and have been reasonably happy just doing that. The problem is that I know that I’m not living. It’s when I admit this that the anxiety becomes overwhelming. I really need help but do not know what to do. I am uninsured and have found that between the cost of medication ($350 per month) and the lack of health care for the uninsured that the situation seems impossible. I need some advice about how to proceed.

Charles eventually quit both Zoloft and Neurontin. Quitting the SSIR was painful: two months of sheer Hell. He’s none the worse for the lack of it. His incidence of headaches dropped sharply one his Zoloft withdrawal ended.

Pharmacological psychiatry is hit or miss guesswork. The pretensions to science are often nothing but pretensions.

You might see if your doctor can find older, cheaper drugs. Charles responded very well to Lithium but proved allergic to it: made him break out in a rash. Anafranil is helping some. Responses to psychiatric medications are idiosyncratic.

Charles also stopped smoking marijuana (not something I object to) and his bipolar swings moderated amazingly.

I don’t have any wisdom to impart. My years with Charles have convinced me that no medication will ‘cure’ him of his ills. He needs to change his responses to events. I’ve been encouraging him to try dialectical behavior therapy one of the few psychiatric treatments that strike me as sensible.

And since I don’t know you I’d be a fool to offer advice.

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Please share your feelings about Bipolar, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, migraine headaches.
Thanks,
Richard

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