Long time, no update. What gives?!
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Perhaps I just want to forget that I have a mental illness sometimes. I mean, wouldn’t everyone want to if possible? If it’s constantly on your mind, then you likely aren’t doing very well – unless you’re e.g. an advocate – which can be a great thing.
Personally I just don’t want to constantly be reminded that I’m “sick” or something is wrong with me — I get that twice a month as it is now between seeing my therapist and psychiatrist (yes, I’m still doing both!), and I also tweet about (my) mental health when it suits me. But there is another part of me that really wants to fight the stigma against mental illness, educate people about it and how to help themselves & others.
With that said, here’s an update of what’s been going on with me lately.
Let’s play catch-up
So over the past months, a few things have changed.
- I’ve moved into a new apartment. It’s smaller, but very nice with everything I need. The only annoying thing is that my bed is 60 inches off the ground and I have to be careful getting up & down it; the reason for that is so I could fit my dresser and storage underneath it.
- My sister moved in where I used to be in the larger apartment. This was to be closer to family. She’s pregnant and due in about a month! Exciting…
- I gained some weight (oh no!) as a side effect from a med – which I’ll get to. Hoping to resolve that.
- And I also did some amazing top secret things that I can’t tell you about. Okay, maybe not, but it sounds better than leaving it at that. 🙂
Aside from those things, I’ve been doing okay most of the time. I’m trying to rid of some bad habits with my lifestyle – get out more, be more social, exercise etc…
I still have breakthrough symptoms of my bipolar/schizoaffective. Lately my symptoms have mainly been hallucinations and some cognitive problems. My mood seems rather stable most of the time. By stable, I’m not implying that I don’t get “up” or “down” at all – because I do, but that’s normal when it’s only to a certain extent.
As I mentioned, I’m still seeing my psychiatrist and therapist. My therapist is starting to help me focus on taking small steps to improve my life and eventually reach my bigger goals. And my psychiatrist recently changed one of my medications.
Out with the risperidone, in with Latuda. That about sums it up.
I requested this change due to weight gain caused by risperidone, in addition to that fact that I was/am still having hallucinations. I also read quite a few good things about Latuda. Initially, I was worried that my insurance wouldn’t cover Latuda or that the co-pay would be very high, but it turned out to be very affordable for me luckily.
I started taking Latuda 4-5 days ago now, and slowly decreased off the risperidone.
I’ve been feeling what I almost want to call “normal” (that word has to be used carefully), with the exception of some new side effects. I’m not sure if I’m having risperidone withdrawal, or if the Latuda is causing it, but I’m having body tingles, random “shivers” down my spine and some occasional shaking.
I mentioned still having hallucinations. If you’re interested, here are some examples of what I’ve experienced over the past months.
- Having a shadow figure grab my arm and saying my name creepily twice in a row as I woke up; then going outside to see myself, enlarged, dead with bloody eyes on the cross of the church I live across from.
- Hearing voices (multiple, arguing) telling me to crash the car I’m driving, or to jump out of it at high speed. This one’s rather dangerous — thankfully, I haven’t listened.
- A deep male voice telling me not to tell my psychiatrist about my symptoms
- Being startled while outside smoking (cigarettes) thinking that a creature was “going inside me”
- Feeling that bugs are inside or on my body, to the point where I scratched hard enough to make myself bleed.
I’d like to note that this is probably where my newer schizoaffective disorder diagnosis comes into play. Because I experience these things while I’m not manic or in any other noticeable “episode” of bipolar.
As far as updates go, that’s about it…
Unfortunately I don’t have much more to update you on right now. But I am planning to start writing more again, so expect to see some new articles soon. I may also go and revise some of my existing posts, but I’m undecided thus far.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness, I hope that you’re coping with it well and getting the right treatment that you deserve.
Also, don’t feel ashamed. It’s helped me tremendously to open up about it, so I would recommend trying to do the same yourself.
Help fight the stigma against mental illness; we’re humans just like everyone else and not “crazy”!
Be strong and keep fighting…