Monday, 29 July 2013

A Bipolar update x

Thank you all so much for the kind good wishes for my volunteer adventure on Saturday, I had a wonderful time. More on that a bit later. I know I created a separate page for Bipolar but I have decided to do a little update for you in recognition of the work Time to Change does in encouraging people to talk about mental health. So I'm going to talk to guys about what's been happening for me over the last 8 months.

So basically I have been sick again for the past 8 months, it seems strange to say that but sadly occasionally I do get that ill. The last time was about 11 years ago before I got diagnosed and was far worse, but this time several things have happened at once. In January I began feeling depressed again and this was a really hard depression. I got to the point where I was having panic attacks again and finding it very difficult to look after myself properly. I couldn't even go out without having someone with me at times. My parents are counted as my carers now so alot of the supportive stuff fell to them. Of course my sister is equally as supportive and also my amazing friends, but ultimately mum and dad are closest. I began taking more Lithium again and this seems to have gradually worked. I have a very good psychiatrist and Community psychiatric nurse and also a good GP. Between them all I have been seeing several people alot over the past few months. Add in the odd blood test and that is alot of visits. Gradually I began to feel better for a few days at a time and now I am beginning to get good weeks.

Obviously there are some things which have been more affected than others. My self-confidence took a major nosedive and I couldn't cope with being in confined or busy spaces. Even after a few months when my friend and I went to London I nearly lost it on the underground.


At the moment, I have been coming off the antidepressant I have been on for 12 years. Apparently it can make you more depressed with longtime usage. I came off it completely a few weeks ago but started getting some withdrawal symptoms which were unpleasant, so went back on with a lower reducing dose. Last week I started feeling like I had vertigo again and at the time I also had an ear infection so just put it down to that. I was feeling very sick and dizzy on Saturday during my volunteer adventure so didn't go in on Sunday. Instead I went to the local hospital where the doctor diagnosed Citalopram withdrawal. I felt too ill to even drive. Thankfully my upstairs neighbour kindly drove me. So today I saw my psychiatric team and I have started a new antidepressant called Sertraline which does a similar thing to Citalopram so hopefully the side effects will dissipate and I'll begin to feel better.

I also have a new CPN who is very nice, I had to swap to a different team cos I've been ill too long for the other team. I am in the process of being referred for some more intensive therapy because my psychiatrist feels I also have something called Emotionally unstable personality disorder. I don't know much about this yet but I fit all the boxes and it does explain alot about my emotional issues and how why I do find some aspects of my life more challenging. Apparently it is common to have more than one diagnosis.

This me, this is my life and to be honest even though it is tough and challenging and upsetting I wouldn't have it any other way because it means I can share my experiences and hopefully help other people who feel a bit like me.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that you have been struggling for so long Jo, your blog posts are always upbeat and interesting, it isn't obvious how poorly you are. I really hope that the new medication does the trick and helps you to feel better. Withdrawal symptoms can be awful and I really hope that they soon disappear. You are so open with your diagnosis, I am sure you are an inspiration to many people. Take good care of yourself Jo x

  2. Like Deb....I really hope the new medication really does help.

  3. Brilliant post Jo and thanks for sharing. Mental health issues have affected me and various family members over the years, not to the extent you have suffered (am I allowed to say 'thankfully'??) and anything that can be done to highlight the problems that exist can only be a good thing.

    You are definitely an inspiration x x x x

  4. Hey Jo! I have had mild depression on & off for a few years & I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy so knowing that you must be feeling sooo much worse than me is quite humbling. I'm glad you have a circle of family & friends to be there for you :-) I also was prescribed Sertraline for my last period of 'gloom' and as far as I can remember (it was 12 - 18 months ago) I found it to be very effective without too many side-effects! Stay strong Jo .... we love you for it xx

  5. Jo,
    You are an amazing woman in so many ways! Thanks for sharing your story of depression/treatment. Also, I am amazed that you are able to keep up with your blogging in the midst of all this. But I'm really glad you are.
    Hugs to you,

  6. Hoping that the care and support you need continues to be forthcoming and the new medication is helpful to you - physical symptoms on top of everything else is very hard. Wishing you well ...


Hello and thank you so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to read the comments I receive and to meet new friends. I try and reply to comments on friend's blogs as much as possible. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and look forward to seeing you here again soon. Love Jo xxx