I’m off meds now for about two weeks. Things are getting scary. I wake up at 3:30 AM. I itch all over. I am having serious withdrawal. Today I had to take just 1/3 of a dose, just to sort of make it stop.

I talked to my regular doc about this. He tried to give me Cipralex. No fucking way. That is “1000x more serotonin selective” which means it would make Sara feel dead, or deader than the ones that were already too bad. He is trying to keep me off lithium, I think because it makes him nervous, and because he doesn’t want to have “bipolar” on my file, because of aforementioned career reasons. I am considering seeing the last shrink I saw a few years ago, who was only semi-evil, just to get more input. But I’m always disappointed by shrinks and their unhelpfulness.

I read a lot of Akiskal’s articles this week. One paragraph in one of them that I liked (Journal of Affective Disorders 62:17-31, 2001) was that the use of mood stabilizers has to be balanced against the benefits of instability, and another article by him said that it is important to find a psychiatrist who understands that perfect control might not be desirable to the patient, that the patient’s identity and understanding of who they are is a person with these kind of swings, and that it is ok to not have a “full response.” Thank the goddess there are some thinking psychiatrists out there. I also found the concept of using the traits and mixing of them to determine personality type or disorder type (like, high fear and anger vs high fear with low anger) . Someone out there gets it.

I was also glad to see that Night Falls Fast has been translated to my native language.

That said, I’m kind of a mess. I’m happy, sad, crazy, lazy. One thing that is harder than I remember is how physically bad I feel off the med. Every peripheral nerve in my body is going a little crazy. Stomach pain, can’t move, keep dropping everything. I hope that is just the withdrawal and not how bad I can be on my own, which I suspect it might be.

And I’m terrified of how bad it can get, how bad I will end up. I want to know how long I need to wait before deciding that I’ve stabilized.

Anyway, I have to entertain company and stuff, so I can’t keep writing. But I’ll try to be back tomorrow.

Oh, and I talked to Jake. I think I am glad I did. More on this later.


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