Welcome to the first monthly Mental Health Moments link up. Do you suffer from mental health problems, live with some one who does? Recovered from mental health problems? Let’s write about it, talk about it, connect and support. That’s the aimed of this link up at least. Add your blog post to the linky below and check out some of the other blog posts. Add the code to your own blog post too.
Here is my post for the month:
So bit by bit I’ve been coming off my Tegretol. I started in September by going down from 800mg to 600mg, went down to 400mg in November and have been on that since. With Christmas and New Years I decided to just level out for a little while as I struggle with the holidays a little, and work was busy and I went to Coventry (I never did mention that did I?) so it was better than coming down another 200mg.
But I’ve had this box of 200mg sitting on my dinner table for a few weeks (I was taking just one 400mg tablet a day to use them up so not to waste them). I finished the last of these a couple of weeks ago and opened up the fresh box of Tegretol.
That was two weeks ago.
Okay, no, not nothing. At first glance it seems like nothing is different, because nothing really is different. I mean, life continues on much as it ever does – in complete chaos and I carry managing as I ever do – relatively well.
The headaches haven’t been too bad, I had my period and didn’t get my usual three day headache and have only had a couple of tiny headaches over the past couple of weeks. I think those were because I need my eyes testing – I’ve had a reminder about it but not actually been and now I’m feeling it, the extra strain, not quite being able to see everything as well as I did. They get tired quicker than usual. Well they get tired more often I should say. It used to take much more use to cause any strain.
So no more headaches than I was expecting anyway.
No actual full blown panic attacks but I’ve been waking up shaking again. It happens from time to time anyway, but it’s been pretty regular over the last couple of weeks. And while those weeks have involved some anxiety, no more or less than usual. But I wake, shaking, right through to the very core of my body. It’s not as bad as when I wake up already in the middle of a panic attack – that hasn’t happened for a while – but it’s not nice. It’s hard to get up when you start the day like that, I just want to bury myself further into the bed and wait until it goes away, until the shaking stops, until it all stops and I can get up.
A few years ago I would’ve done just that. Crawled further into my duvet and gone back to sleep. Now I fight it and get up, shake it off.
Now I can shake it off.
My sleep in general has been a bit messed up. I feel more tired than usual, not sleeping as well, had a bit of insomnia again the other night and I’m not entirely convinced I am really resting when I am sleeping.
The nightmares haven’t been much fun though. I have weird dreams regularly, and on occasions have nightmares, but they’ve been more frequent
It will pass though.
Already my body has started to acclimatise to the new lower dose already. And everything will settle and soon I’ll have to go back to the doctor to get 100mg tablets. Not for a little while though, lots going on at work, at home, so I’ll let everything calm down before I lower it again.
My only worry is something that occurred to me recently – I hadn’t even considered it before. I worry about my mania. It’s not really something I suffer from any more, little bouts of hyperactivity and/or mania that can last anything from an hour to a day. Nothing serious, never too out of control, it’s part of BPD though, but enough that I worry about it coming back.
I started taking the Tegretol after begging for something to help control my mood – specifically my anger. Part of my way of dealing with my anger was to self harm, but I would have the occasional outburst – directed at whoever upset at breaking point, rather than who was really making me angry. Plus I just had no control over how I felt, how my mood worked and I was desperate. So I was offered Tegretol and I took it because the Seroxat wasn’t enough.
If I stop it completely, is it a risk. I still feel the edges of it sometimes. What if the Tegretol is the only thing stopping me from being manic?
I think, I hope, that if it were going to happen I would’ve noticed by now. I’ve gone down from 800mg to 200mg. It’s quite a lot, when you think about it, but so far I remain the same person I have been over the past few years. Happy, hopeful, honest.
I’m not worried enough to stop reducing I suppose. I worry. I am a worrier. I am anxious, regardless of how much therapy I’ve had and how many meds I take. But I manage well enough, I struggle rather than suffer and I think that makes all the difference.
I think that makes all this possible.
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