This is the first time in a couple weeks where a therapy appointment didn’t (for some unknown reason) lead into an afternoon of tears and anxiety. Today, I’m still feeling good – yes, the sun is out, and that doubtless helps. Maybe the hypomania isn’t entirely gone, but I’m not irritable, for the moment. Everything is moment-by-moment, however, because my moods are cycling so rapidly it’s ridiculous. Every medication change – and there have been several in recent history – really feels like a kick in the brains. But I think it’s starting to get better.
Anyway, today my therapist and I talked about standing up for myself and being my own advocate with respect to prescriptions, and asking why they’re prescribing Concerta when I know Adderall works a lot better for me. He suggested following my own idea by using up my stashed Adderall to get the work done in the meantime; I think that’s what I’ll do. And the part where the anxiety meds aren’t really cutting it – actually asking for benzos might be in order. I’m feeling a little less urgent on that because my mood has been a bit better, and with that, the anxiety has also been better. We’ll see how long any of that lasts…
I think the reason that I am feeling like I like my therapist is that he complimented me along with that advice to stick up for the meds I want. He said that I “report well” in terms of associating symptoms or changes with the meds, so what I’d classify as being hypervigilant and obsessive about mood symptoms and tracking stuff is apparently paying off. I ought to try using the iPhone app I bought for that, since it’ll let me do multiple data points per day. I’m not used to having strong mood swings in a single day, but that’s what I’m getting some days, so I should probably keep an eye on that. For example, I notice that the “highs” start kicking in about 90 minutes after taking Lamictal, each time I make a dosage increase, so it’s likely that there’s a causal relationship.
It seems that being trained in scientific observation has its benefits – it makes me a good patient, since I can report more thoroughly than most people. I’m really trying to manage my symptoms and behave myself, as much as I can tolerate, anyway. But it was just nice to hear a compliment – I report well, am articulate, etc. I don’t get many compliments that don’t make me feel panicked because they insinuate some expectation that I don’t feel I can meet. I can agree, however, that I am articulate and have been carefully observing my condition, so it feels nice to have that recognized.
One take-away from the rollercoaster ride of late is that I’m rapid cycling, which seems to be much more difficult to handle than the long mood episodes I’ve had before. My mental state is so unpredictable lately, with my moods changing so fast that hardly can I get myself standing up again before I’m knocked down by the next mood swing. I know that a lot of it is just adjusting to the meds, but the suddenness and intensity is just so different than what I was experiencing before.
After therapy, I went and got a haircut, and then on a whim, I stopped in the new Hobby Lobby nearby. I picked up materials to make magnets for gifts for next Christmas. So I guess maybe I’m still a little bit hypomanic (increase in goal-directed behaviors, anyone?) but it should be a fun little thing to do while sitting around on dark winter evenings.