Another Year – Another ECT Treatment Regime

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

It’s been a while and I’ve been stable for quite some time. Living with medication resistant depression is like living with a time bomb inside. Never knowing when it will go off and disrupt your entire life.

That’s exactly how it happened this time. A few weeks ago things were chugging along as normal as could be and …..wham!! Right into a depressive hole. Very deep and with slippery slopes. Bad voices occurred. Suicide thoughts and ideation were high on the list almost instantly. I knew I had to do something quickly. I talked to my psychiatrist about TMS but after we explored the option with our insurance company and studied it further, I ruled it out. First, our insurance company wouldn’t cover it, which my husband said wasn’t an issue, but the final issue was that it took 6-8 weeks for effects to take effect. I couldn’t wait that long.

I had ECT treatment before, so I knew what I was getting into, so I asked my doctor if we could go in that direction. He agreed, and I made the call. I had to wait for my insurance to approve the sessions and once they did, things moved rather quickly. I was on the schedule and in the hospital in a matter of days. I’ve had three treatments so far and I have three more to go before the end of the year. I’m a quick absorber of the treatment, however this time I seem to be having some memory issues, where last time I had none.

I don’t know if they’re using a higher dosage to treat me, or if I’m less tolerant of the current dosage. I have to try and remember to tell them tomorrow that I’m having some cognitive issues so that they are aware.

I do still have the same headache afterward, but Fioricet does help a little, if I remember to take it in time.

Something that is different and a “nice” different, is that I get to keep my cell phone while I’m back in the neuropathies area, and they only take it right before my treatment and give it back after I wake from the anesthesia. This way I can stay in contact with my husband and I don’t feel so alone.

I’m getting to be quite the expert on ECT treatments, so if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

It’s been 2 years 5 months and 22 days since I attempted suicide and begged God to explain my purpose on Earth. He answered and told me that I was to help others lheal with journal writing. It’s been a while , but in June of this year, WRITECOVERY was born and Words Heal, our first product left the gate.

Words Heal can be found as a stand alone PDF from the website at http://www.writecovery.com or in print form at Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Words-Heal-Self-Guided-Expressive-WRITECOVERY/dp/1500763187

Without the support of my loved ones, my business associates, and my doctors, none of this would have been possible. We are looking forward to more books, more services, a private forum on the website and lots of workshops.

Have a blessed day. And, if you find yourself alone today with dark dreary thoughts, and you are looking for someone to talk to, God takes prayer mail. Or, you can reach me. Wordsheal@writecovery.com. If you need a quicker response dial 911 or go to your nearest ER. If that doesn’t feel comfortable walk into your closest church and ask for help.

Just ask, please.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

May is Mental Health Month

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

May is Mental Health Month and has provided an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health issues for more than 50 years.

Mental Health America launched Mental Health Week, which eventually became May is Mental Health Month, in 1949. Each May, Americans recognize Mental Health Month with events and activities in communities across the country. The theme for Mental Health Month this year is “Get Connected” to emphasize the important role of social relationships in protecting and improving mental health and building resiliency. Many organizations, including NAMI, engage in efforts to promote Mental Health Month.

There are now designated times in May for groups to raise awareness and advocate for improvements in research, prevention and treatment on specific mental health issues. The first week in May, for example, has been designated as Children’s Mental Health Week. But the specific times are not as important as educating about all mental illnesses any time of the year.

Mental Health Ministries is featuring several downloadable resources that may be helpful in your planning. Many of our free print resources are available in Spanish. In addition, these resources are available on the NAMI FaithNet Web site, www.nami.org/faithnet in the resources section.

I believe that anyone and everyone who has mental health issues should be vocal about them and share their stories with others. It’s important to raise awareness for this sometimes silent illness. We need to educate everyone that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of and hide away from others as if you are contagious.

People with mental illness need love and support. Support is so important in healing and maintaining a healthy balance. No one should suffer alone.

I have a mental illness, it’s called Bipolar Disorder. Along with it I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am being treated by a psychiatrist and a therapist. I’ve shared this information with family, friends, and my church family. I have a great support system.

I want others to have what I have. Be open with those you can trust. It’s important to maintain a healthy support system. If you have a down day you’ll need someone to talk to and give you a much needed boost of confidence. A positive influence is so important during your down times. Even if you need someone to listen or sit quietly with you.

Mental Health America is using May’s Mental Health Month to promote Pathways to Wellness.

Don’t let another day go by without sharing your story with another person. It could be your best friend, a family member, someone at your church, or even me. I’ll listen.

Sharing is the first step to healthy mental health.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Update on Latest Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

I’ve become medication resistant. What that means is I can take medication for only so long before it loses its effectiveness and I have to take stronger doses until eventually the medication stops working and my psychiatrist has to try a different medication. I’ve run through all the medications there are for treating Bipolar Disorder. I was on almost twenty different kinds of medications at one point. It was ridiculous.

Then, my psychiatrist told me it was time to try ECT treatments. Electroconvulsive Therapy. Yikes! I didn’t realize I had run out of options, but I had. It was time.

So, I checked into the hospital in March and spent over two weeks there getting the first set of treatments. I had an ECT treatment three times a week. Then after two weeks, I was released from the hospital and had to have the treatments twice a week. Then eventually I was dropped to once a week and then once every two weeks. May first was my last ECT treatment.

I am no longer depressed. I have a great outlook on life. I’m very positive and upbeat. I did have some night terror issues with under the anesthesia. I didn’t like the lingering effects of that. Also, I have an increased anxiety and panic attacks. Not sure exactly why, but my psychiatrist is treating me for them and we are anticipating that they’ll dissipate now that I am no longer having ECT treatments.

For a lot of people who get ECT treatments, they have memory loss issues. For me, that didn’t happen. I’m so happy about that. Before the treatments started I was freaking out that I’d forget my children or grandchildren. Thank God none of that occurred.

I had amazing results with the ECT treatments. I became mentally healthy much quicker than most people. My doctors were amazed. (I always was an over achiever!)

I’m also grateful for the treatments because my psychiatrist has been able to take me off a number of medications. I’m down to one Bipolar medication and my anxiety and panic attack medication. The rest are vitamins and supplements. Oh, and something for my thyroid. It’s so much easier to fill my medication tray for the week.

Would I do it again? Yes, probably. Especially knowing the results.

If you have questions about ECT treatments I’d be happy to answer what I can and direct you to the right resources.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

It’s that Time of Year

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

This is the time of year that we become reflective and think about all the reasons why we have become thankful.

I know I do it.  I see it all over the Internet on Facebook and Twitter.  People posting why they are thankful.  The Internet by-ways are practically flooded and clogged with people cramming in a couple of day’s worth of “I’m thankful….” That they think will cover them the rest of the year.

Why?

What have they been doing the rest of the year?

Oh, right.  They’ve been busy living.

Well, let’s see them living with a chronic illness or mental illness and try not to think every day how thankful they are.

I can’t do it? Can you?

I can’t go a single solitary day without being thankful I am alive.  That I have a reason for living.  That I have the best support team in the world: my husband, my therapist, my psychiatrist, and my doctor.  I am thankful for each person in my life that cares enough to speak up when I’m not taking care of myself the way I should.

I am thankful for a merciful and patient God who watches over me and loves me despite how broken I think I am at times.

I’m thankful for a well rounded and complete Wellness Recovery Action Plan that my husband and I use as our daily “bible” to keep us on track and nip any Bipolar issues in the bud before they blow up into uncontrollable episodes.

I love my family and am thankful I can talk to them about my illnesses and they understand or at least are sympathetic.  I’m thankful for friends who understand my moods and can adapt to any circumstance.

I’m thankful I have such a positive and productive outlet such as writing to help me process and heal in good times and bad.

So, being thankful the whole year, I wonder what we can teach those who only “practice” a few days rather than “live” thankfulness the entire year? Life is precious. Living is the most important part of life.  Don’t just “exist” for the sake of getting by.

How thankful are you?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS