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Everything posted by Mirazh

  1. "You can't have ADHD, you're very intelligent and have a random learning pattern but that's not ADHD." Wut. "He's a very experienced psychiatrist with over 25 years of service." That still didn't answer my question about his experience working with ADHD specifically. "Why are you reading the side effects list for your medication, you don't need to know that information, it's not intended for patients." That's hilarious, because it was the information included with my medication by the pharmacy, and listed under "INFO YOU NEED IF YOU'RE TAKING THIS MEDICATION" not to mention the specific symptom I called about was listed directly under "CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING". "It's just PMS." That was triggered by the medication, and had lasted for over a month straight by that point. And was not my "usual" moodiness due to hormonal shifts. And would go on after this to last for several months, earning me a reputation at my job for having an explosive temper, that one day just up and vanished on me for about a year. Yes. Definitely PMS. Totally not super powerful antibiotic triggering (hypo)mania.
  2. I used to feel differently about this. Previously I would have said: I am autistic, I am ADHD... but I have bipolar disorder. I'm so much more than "an autistic" but it is pervasive in how I perceive and experience myself and the world, and it's always been there, and I encountered the term first in autistic self advocacy communities. Like it wasn't really applied to me as a kid. I've been starting to notice, now, that sometimes others will (unintentionally, unconsciously too I think) try to limit me based on that label. So I've started to become more selective in how I talk about this with others, because it's pretty frustrating to have to continuously remind counsellors and social workers that me saying "I'm autistic" is freeing and positive and always with the knowledge of my abilities and the amazing heights I am capable of reaching. Because I grew up knowing that stuff, and not knowing why I was so smart and amazing yet so unable to do so much. I am ADHD because it's also a neurodevelopmental disorder, there's a ton of blurring between the two things, and I basically can't tell the difference within myself half the time anymore. The more I learn, the less clear the distinction becomes. Bipolar is interesting. I still utilize the... "structure" of approaching my bipolar like an illness rather than an identity. But arguably I do that sorta with ADHD and autism too: treatment, therapy, structuring my environment and life in certain ways, etc. I even take medications. And then learning more about autism specifically (and more about ADHD too, just, my knowledge was most lacking in the autistic area, and now it is less so) and matching that up with stuff in my own history, asking all kinds of questions of my mother and sister and GP, and like... I've had lifelong issues with emotional regulation. This is not uncommon among neurodevelopmental disorders, I frequently can find this associated with autism however I also know that this also shows up with ADHD (think of it as a manifestation of hyperactive/impulsive, yes? lots of energy & being carried away with the tide of it.) It's part of why I'm fairly certain PDD NOS was floated as a diagnosis for me in grade school (there's other reasons too, but yeah.) In the past two years I've been learning that not all of my "potential hypomanic episodes" are even episodes, they're literally just my emotional regulation going out of whack. Maybe they'd turn into episodes, but I'm getting better at finding non medication ways to regulate myself. And that if my neurodevelopmental shit is overloaded for too long a time/by too much, it can trigger what I think of as mania. I don't doubt that I have bipolar; I'm certainly not stopping or changing my treatment. What I have works quite well for me and I hope it continues to always do so. But this... blending, this bleeding together like colours of ink, between my neurodevelopmental disorders and my bipolar disorder is. Interesting. A little confusing. But terribly interesting. I can no longer point to a place where I end and my bipolar supposedly begins, which was the whole basis for me thinking "I have bipolar" in the first place. I'll probably still phrase things the way that I do, in short form. But the way I talk about them in elaboration has definitely changed. And the way I think/feel about them has definitely changed.
  3. Personally, I'd tell my doc, because my own motto is "if I'm not sure, detail everything to my doctor and let her decide". I've learned a lot that way. These days I go to her much less often with needs like that. For me it's like... disrupted sleep, not sleeping well, can lead to added stress and insomnia, also if my sleep is disrupted it's likely there's other stress going on, from heat keeping me awake at night to everything in my life metaphorically exploding in my face, and that stuff will also try to push me towards an episode. Conversely, if heading toward an episode, I may start having more trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, possibly because of the anxiety spike I tend to get with hypo/mania. I'm able to manage this at home these days, myself. Disrupted sleep, stress, insomnia, paranoia, etc. may be leading me to an episode, may be an indication of an incoming episode, or just may be disrupted sleep and stress kinda snowballing. The answer is always the same: I try to get my sleep back under control, in a regular pattern. If it's disrupted sleep in danger of triggering hypo/mania, then medicating myself to sleep for a couple nights will usually set me right again. Same thing for stress or anything else contributing to my inability to sleep or at least sleep very much. If I'm not going down, if I am in fact moving into an episode (maybe the disrupted sleep was an early sign, or maybe I just noticed things too late, or maybe it's all coincidental, who knows), it's pretty obvious because other symptoms start showing up, and possibly my attempts to medicate myself to sleep were ineffective, so by that point I move into full on "manic episode treatment mode" which involves stopping some of my meds (like Dexedrine) and taking much larger doses of Seroquel (still within my daily prescribed limit) for sleep and daytime management than I would've been taking to just try resetting my sleep schedule. YMMV of course. I hope taking Ambien works/worked for you!
  4. This is pretty much my experience too. There are the occasional times I get a bit... weird with my fears. Mostly when I was younger, like obsessing over the possibility of thought broadcasting even though I knew it was impossible and basically compulsively "playing music" in my head when out in public all the time. Very exhausting. And very OCD. But largely, and especially as an adult with all these years of therapy and treatment behind me, it's exaggeration of things that are normal concerns or irritations in my life already.
  5. Upset and disappointed is completely understandable. I know the likelihood of my being able to stay on Depakote for the rest of my life is... rather low. It's helpful that I find such a low dose of it so effective, but you never know. I still hope I never ever have to get off the stuff. I too hope the process for you won't take years again, and I hope you won't land on something really expensive. It will be okay. I think you're moving in the right direction with this, at least. You know you're emotional right now and not strategic, that's great. I'm sure you know it's okay to be emotional too. This is most definitely upsetting and disappointing. I'd be anxious and frustrated. But it will still be okay. It may suck for a while, maybe a long while, but it will still be okay. And it may not take much time at all. One potential upside of it being so long since you did the med go 'round thing is the advances in the medical community's understanding of bipolar disorder. Granted that depends a lot on your medical professional(s) and where you are, etc. but still.
  6. I totally agree with taking better care of myself since my diagnosis, and being very motivated to prioritize my health in general. I wouldn't have gotten my pdoc without that, actually. I still obviously struggled with executive dysfunction and the throes of my illness, but I was obviously trying desperately hard to overcome these issues, in the immediate aftermath of the episode that led to my diagnosis (and the diagnosis itself). My GP stopped charging me fees for missed appointments. And she asked her personal friend, a psychiatrist, to take me on as a patient even though she really had no more space to take on another patient. However I do it with all of my health. I have years of therapy to help me with the knowing myself parts, thanks to lifelong problems with emotional regulation; but the therapy I did around the time of my diagnosis helped cement a lot of that. This is also, like, all me.
  7. I can get into some pretty weird wake/sleep things, including "stay up for two days, sleep one night, stay up for two days, sleep one night" kinda routine. That's been present since I was a kid though, I've always had problems self regulating certain things and sleep has always been one of them. This can make it difficult to tell if I've got hypo/mania coming up, of course. I've had to rely on my psychiatrist telling me if I should be worried or not, in the past. These days I'm much better at telling what's going on with me. I'm also a lot better at sleeping though. I totally agree that personally, I'd make sleep a priority. So much about my life has changed since I did that, since I've been able to do that. I don't really get the productive thing with hypo/mania, though. Like sometimes I get creative because I have all this jittery energy and I am so incredibly frustrated and angry and RRRRAAAAUUUGGGHHH if I don't have some kind of outlet for it, and sometimes I can channel it toward something creative, like making myself a blanket fort instead of running away to the mountains, or scribbling with pastels, or pouring my heart and soul into nonsense babbling shitposts on a private blog somewhere. But I do those things while I'm getting the episode treated (/treating it myself, mostly, these days.) So like. There's that. Prioritizing sleep is so important though. And yeah the crash is coming, most like. I don't get those either? My crash happens with the episode (yay mixed features!) it almost feels like, and then a lot of cognitive hell afterwards that I figure is as much post anti manic medication strategy shit as it is post mania shit. However I am much more capable of actually being productive. I haven't had to sacrifice my creativity or energy. It is good that you are an educated and experienced consumer of mental health professionals and have a well established history of compliance, that should help you when it comes to advocating for your specific health needs. I can't imagine how extra complex the VA stuff makes your situation; I hope your new (but not so new) doc is better able to help you with this stuff. My pdoc goes to bat for me in some really important ways and I'm certain my treatment path would've gone in a vastly different (and incorrect) direction without her by my side to help advocate for my needs. My most recent episode was largely euphoric; I think this is connected to a new medication I started, perhaps. But basically, I know exactly what you mean. Subjectively I felt pretty damn great, but my insight was also still great and I knew I wasn't right.
  8. That is fantastic, confused. I'm so glad you've found something that is working well for you. I've never done sobriety programs myself, but I agree with you that spreading awareness of other options is important. Sorry to hear it ended with you feeling pressured to reveal more about yourself & situation than you wanted. That was not okay and none of their business. It is definitely okay to be in recovery, it means you're working hard at trying to take care of yourself and do better. Agreed there's no need to mention it again.
  9. My rate of use has definitely gone way down. I suspect part of my high rate of use at first was the stress from quitting smoking, and other things going on in my life too. Which snowballed, as these things do, and that in turn had me using more as well in order to cope. But things have been quieting down a lot in my life and my head, and I definitely find myself purchasing less. Previously I would guesstimate my average daily consumption at over 2g per day (some days not as much, some days not at all, but overall yeah that was it.) Now I seem to mostly sit at 1g per day, or just under. I'm using my vaporizer pen, which by the way helps a lot with my anxiety about smoking my medication in public. I've thought about discussing getting on with a secondary dispensary, less for supply now and more for the possibility of options like edibles, that could be a pretty good way to do longer term anxiety and overload management out in public, especially if I'm trying to attend something at a space that allows no smoking whatsoever/no re entry if you leave the building during intermission/etc. This would have the added advantage of not forcing funky weed scent on everyone in my vicinity, something that is unavoidable even when I am with my vaporizer (although at least that is way less likely to cling to me in the way actual smoke would). The vaporizer is also better for my lungs. I'm still using glass pipes part of the time, especially at home, but I make sure to use my vaporizer too. I'm just trying to not wear out my new thing. However I'm finally starting to feel the benefits of quitting smoking, that I remember, like a returning sense of smell (this has its downsides LOL curse my sensory processing disorder) and my singing voice is stabilizing once more. So yay.
  10. @Gearhead At least half of that time was the chicken breasts thawing in my fridge, because I'd been storing them frozen. I just knew the clock was ticking down on them going off! Though I did not see this before I baked them in the oven, I can assure you I double checked, and I really appreciate you checking in with me on that anyway. My sense of smell is usually quite sensitive, but I didn't rely on a quick whiff I can assure you. I made it halfway through my chicken pasta salad, which included the important part of roasting the chicken in the oven, before I had to leave the house last night. So it all went into the fridge. Today I need to finish it! ADHD be awesome like... last night even though tired & socially anxious, I was able to carry on conversations no problem in a group full of mostly strangers (a local meetup group I went to with the housemate). Because I can just keep talking and talking and talking... it's actually really handy, I love being able to reach out and interact with new folks, it's how I make new friends despite being, shall we say, not the most socially graceful of folks. Sure plenty of people can't stand me and think I'm obnoxious, but I'm liked by many others for these same unique traits that may cause others to shun me. *shrug*
  11. ADHD be awesome like... I've been trying to make chicken pasta salad for three days. Three. Days. Been trying today since this morning. I think I might manage to do it today. I've got my stuff out for it right now. I came here to turn Spotify on my laptop so I can have music while I cook (it helps keep me from getting distracted by, I don't know, air molecules I think based on how much I'll go staring off into space). I think it's time to reintroduce an afternoon dose of my stimulant, LOL.
  12. I wasn't stepping in to correct anyone, just to be clear. I am personally not able to dedicate as much time as I would like to this place, as I have many things in my life right now that I'm busy with, and this means I'm not as able to keep up with what my fellow CBers have been like lately. (Basically: I know that you know better than me on this point.) My intentions were to supplement, not contradict. Saying the same thing in a different way. That's all. I have felt myself in agreement with the other responses to the thread as well, and I apologize for not making that clear enough.
  13. I may have been using the term in a different way, @notloki. I can't speak for @redfox though. I understand redfox to mean not having to rely on depot injections. I know many folks who can do their T shots at home, and one local friend is on the gel instead which he does at home, and this is what I was thinking of when I read and used the term self regulation. If you're pointing out instead that, folks have to still be under supervision of an endocrinologist (or someone who fills the equivalent role), who helps with determining what the T dose range is for you, then you're very correct. I'm not entirely sure how it works out in various parts of the world, but most systems seem to operate on that as far as I am aware. I do agree in working in partnership with my medical professionals, most certainly. That's exactly what they're there for. They did all that education, have access to all that science equipment, and can do all the hard work of keeping track of data and considerations I can't possibly keep track of on my own.
  14. I agree with notloki in that you're exercising a lot more control than you're currently feeling like. If you were still able to skip meds a lot, or if you were able to fall prey to your urges to overdose your T and inject harmful substances, you would be in far less control of everything than you are now. You would be a lot more under the influence of your symptoms, as well as the effects of medications not being stable in your system, or some combination of the above. I don't think self regulation of T has to be this "never" thing, in fact it may do you good to have that as a goal to work towards, to help you have some direction/be less easily bored/have it feel more like you're in control (or at least working toward it.) Recognizing that you have desires which could prove dangerous and spiral out of control fast/easy is an important first step. Trying to rationalize those urges sounds like illness talking to me, that boredom whispering to your brain, saying "oh of course we can handle this, and it will let us feel in control again, come on you know you can..." no. That is not truth, that is illness distorting thinking. It's the same thing that tells you submitting to your symptoms is "actually" being in control. Maybe you can't ever self regulate your T. But maybe you can, and maybe you can work out a plan with a therapist, on how you could become able to self regulate your T, how you would know that you could do it safely, safety measures in place for when your illness flares up and you temporarily lose the ability to be safe with it again (and how to tell when you're able to get back on to doing it yourself once more, when the illness flare up has passed). And maybe working toward this stuff could also help you feel more in control, regardless of when you're able to reach the destination. If your symptoms, even with all that you've put in place to help control them (the doctors, the depot injections, etc.), are still breaking through enough to distort your thinking this way, it definitely sounds like your symptoms would be able to get a better grip on control of your thinking and choices, if you were to give them that space. I know this is really hard. Adjusting to stability is really hard. There are still times that I rail against my stability. It can be quite boring indeed. I may not always be able to tell what reality is like. I may always have to rely on other people to help me know what that is. And that may always feel less in control of my life than I would like. But I can choose to reality check with others, and I can choose to trust them, and I can choose to have help. And that way, I am able to take back control of my life from my symptoms and illness.
  15. There's two ways to interpret the thread title. Literally, and sarcastically. Posts to the thread are on topic whichever way they interpret the title. Why? Because it's good to be reminded of how awesome ADHD can be, and it is also good to be able to have a place to come and laugh at how frustratingly silly ADHD can be. I will start us off: When I'm at my most ADHD that I can be, kids freaking LOVE me and think I'm the best thing ever. I turn into a genius at children's entertainment. I have a shitload of fun and laugh myself silly and end my day feeling exhausted but like I made a huge and positive difference in the world. I can't structure an activity worth a damn but kids don't care, we tear off and have a blast with whatever's on hand and anything else we come across on the way. ADHD is fucking. awesome.
  16. Bipolar disorder was my launchpad into CrazyBoards, mental health treatment, and learning how to be my own advocate in a society that insists on playing power games between professional (doctor, social worker, therapist, etc.) or service, and patient. I do not regret the years of my life before my bipolar became unignorable. I do not see them as wasted. I also do not regret that my bipolar exists and became unignorable. I wish it could have happened differently, a feeling I use as motivation to serve others, such as the peer support I engage in on here or other parts of the Internet. But without my bipolar flaring up and pushing me toward my psychiatrist, my amazing wonderful psychiatrist, it is unlikely I would have my ADHD recognized and treated, it is unlikely my autism would have been recognized, it is very unlikely I'd be on disability now, newly on and still feeling the wonderment of it. In lieu of that? I would have eventually lost a job that I loved and was very good at, and had managed to hold down for longer than any job ever before. Possibly future jobs would not have worked quite as well, because that last job I had was a rare fortunate combination of circumstances for me to perform so well, like how I worked in the field of one of my oldest Special Interests. I'm pretty sure I'd have figured it out on my own, most of it. Eventually. But it would have taken me longer, and I would not have been receiving treatment. And my bipolar disorder would still be running rampant. And I'd be contending with all the additional stuff about why did I find working so hard, what's wrong with me that I can't do this "normal adult thing" even with all kinds of help, blah blah blah the usual spiral blah. I have also learned that the only constant is change. Now I am passionate about arranging my life so I can live my life by that, in this society of strict timetables and schedules. And trying to work with my professionals and programs to change them for the better too. Programs that are supposed to help people like me shouldn't be so difficult to get onto and remain with, especially when I am ill and need the support more than ever.
  17. My life has so completely fallen into atrophy that I can say this with absolute certainty: constructing a plan that you're capable of following through on is not easy, not simple, and not straightforward at all. The only way, literally the only way I am even capable of constructing routines and plans that I'm capable of doing right now is in teeny tiny small pieces. Changing the way you eat, the way you shop, the way you cook, the way you live your daily life, is a massive fucking undertaking. I kept trying to build these plans and schedules that would "fix my life" once and for all. Just gotta shower every second day, grocery shop every week so I have fresh produce, cook my own meals and not buy microwave dinners or fast food, do the dishes every night, clean the catboxes every day, keep up with my laundry, wash my face twice a day, eat three meals a day, make sure I drink enough water all day... Well, alarms are one of the ways I do this. But setting alarms for everything does not work for me, I can easily just turn them off without noticing. Borrowing inertia from others is another help, but that only goes so far. I try to set really small achievable goals that are still along the road to my bigger goal. Changing what I eat means changing the way I am eating. Which means changing the way I shop, and changing the way I prepare my food. "Stop buying junk" is not something that worked for me, because sometimes I am incapable of cooking even when I have everything I need to do it, so things like a few microwaveable dinners in the freezer for those kinda days are still something I do. And I didn't just jump straight to this point, although maybe you could do so just fine (I'm not only cooking for myself but also a room mate who can't cook for himself very well at all.) Anyway, my point is, that's a lot of stuff to change, especially all at once. Even if you've previously had much better habits/lifestyle along these lines your skills have atrophied now, and it's going to take time and effort to grow them back into and around inside your life.
  18. Yeah, @Southern Discomfort, that's exactly why I can relate it to autism too. All of what you just detailed. And I can get the mood and creativity lifts while I do it. But it's not mania. For me, anyway, it can certainly become mania. Usually if I keep losing sleep. If I'm managing to get some sleep, even if it's not very much of it, I'm probably okay. But not sleeping for too many days in a row is when I start crying mania and downing my Seroquel. But the combination of "drive to do a specific project," creativity, spending surrounding this project, burst of energy and mood, intense focus on this specific creative project... well yeah, that's some classic mania description right there. Honestly the question of whether or not it is bipolar should, in my humble crazy opinion, hinge largely on if use of that label/diagnosis is helpful in some way. If necessary in order to access certain medications or treatments, or for doctors to respond/treat you properly, then yes. Can also be useful for one's self, to understand one's self through the concept of "I have bipolar disorder". Just, with neurodevelopmental stuff like autism, some of us can have these issues when it comes to dealing with intense emotions, and parts of our neurology just going... high or low or whatever and taking forever to get back on their own. I still think of myself as having bipolar, and I still talk about manic episodes, and I hope I never have to stop taking Depakote because that shit is amazing for my depression. But I no longer panic and think that every "manic like" neurostorm I have is actually mania. Some have calmed down just fine on their own with no Seroquel intervention required, or at least fairly minimal. Bipolar as a label and concept was really useful and necessary to me for a while but I can't say I quite think of myself in that way anymore, even though my treatment hasn't actually changed (and I don't want it to).
  19. I never ever ever ever EVER wanted kids. Some portion of that is my version of dysphoria. I know some trans guys do the pregnancy and kids thing, but I know I never could, I'm pretty certain I would panic and try to do something desperate if I found out I was pregnant, I've always been super paranoid about it happening to me, not paranoid enough to never have sex with other men but I did become the world's biggest sex educator geek by the time I was halfway through high school. (Although, having sex education as a special interest helped with that too.) Anyway, as an adult I'm even more secure in my decision. I have many reasons for this. Loads of people in my age group have their first, second, or even third kid by now, I've had plenty of experience being an uncle, I'm even really close to my sister's kids, like almost as close as a co parent except not quite because I can't handle that level of involvement. I get overloaded. If I get too overloaded I'm gonna unleash my crazy on them before I can manage to get away. I'm not even talking about my mania, though it could happen more easily then. But emotional regulation and overload are lifelong problems of mine and just. Ugh. No. I know many autistics make great parents, for me just no. I really like kids. And I'd never try to say that those with MI shouldn't have kids, or not certain types of MI, or whatever. I watch my sister take our horrible background and turn it into something beautiful with her family, trying to learn from our parents' mistakes. I know everybody is human. But my parents were abusive, and also mentally ill and in denial about that and how to treat it. They still are. That factored into their abuse. In my sister this has manifested into a massive amount of willpower to do anything for her children, including getting herself help and into better situations, treating herself better for their sake. In myself this manifested as certainty that I'd never have children, and a massive amount of willpower to do anything to make my life better for myself, including getting myself help and into better situations, treating myself better for my own sake.
  20. I started on methylphenidate IR, the doc and I quickly realized this was not going to work for me, I went to generic Concerta, then Concerta, then Dexedrine. When I am able, I take my psychostimulant daily with no breaks. However the nature of my crazy means manic episodes so about twice a year I need to stop taking my stimulant and go into my anti mania routine (which involves plenty of Seroquel). When I come out of it, I go back onto my stimulant. It was immediately apparent that methylphenidate IR was not going to work for me. My pdoc started me with a prescription that was more "take as little as two pills, as many as six, per day" and see her again in a month. Literally, experiment and come back with your results. My results were that with that med and within those limitations, I was taking all six per day, twice at a time, every four hours, just to function. Obviously extended release was next on the table! However, it would take us many months to get me up to my eventual 99mg/day dose of Concerta that I did. In fact, we went a bit higher than that, but I figured out after a week or so that 105mg was too much per day so back down to 99mg I went. Partially it took us that long because we were playing with stuff like dosing me once or twice per day, if the second dose should be IR or also Concerta, and then the actual size of each of those doses. Some side effects really do go away after the first week or two, or even earlier than that. I do know that some of why that is for me, is my adjusting to the effects of the med. It's less like that effect goes away and more like I learn how to adjust to the med and then that side effect doesn't crop up nearly so much as a result. Like headaches: mine seem to stem from my body requiring more frequent hydration than I need when not on stimulants, and jaw clenching. Partially. After my first few days/first week, I am much better at actively not clenching my jaw, I have upped my hydration habits to the required frequency, etc. The side effects I hate the most are how it feels when the medication is wearing off, but again I think part of this is me just growing used to/getting better at anticipating this and finding other ways to cover. Knowing what time of day my stimulant is gonna be wearing off helps me develop routines around that. I also, by the way, experience the "jittery" stuff when I'm first back on a stimulant. This definitely goes away after the first week or two. I may get touches of it when I bump up a dose. I definitely get it when I unintentionally bump up my stimulant dose by forgetting that caffeine is a stimulant and deciding to enjoy a tea or coffee or whatever. Usually pay for that one later with anxiety I keep reminding myself is medication induced and not actually anxiety. Stimulants, like any medication approaches to treatment, are rarely if ever going to be clear cut and dry choices. There will be pros and cons to each one, and things you will probably end up choosing to deal with because of the benefits that you gain. PS: fighting through side effects while at a high dose of stimulant just seems horribly frustrating to me. While your eventual dose may end up needing to be 50mg, 99mg, or whatever, a lot of those initial side effects are honestly way easier to get through if you start up on a lower dose. Even with stimulants. I started with 18mg/day of Concerta. We moved up pretty quickly, like within two or three days, but that is literally where we started when I began on Concerta. It's true you can still experience side effects showing up again or increasing intensity when you bump up a dose, but I find it way easier. Just like it's way easier to step back up onto my stimulant dose after a manic episode, instead of diving straight back on to my full dose (like I used to do).
  21. Autistic and bipolar here as well. Sounds bipolarish to me too. I've had experiences/interests/passions that were more like what HopelesslyBroken described, and then a few times more like what you described, and stuff that seems... blurry, in between. Basically, I can see why you thought this kinda stuff was the autism. My personal advantage in differentiating is that I so rarely get euphoric and productive when manic. Like I'm pretty sure the only way that happens is with some kinds of drugs already in my system when I go manic. So for me the distinction has been quite obvious and it is only now that I notice a blurring or gradient where before I thought there to be a clear boundary.
  22. Making doctor appointments. Because phones. And talking. And people. Augh. And the appointments themselves! More people! More talking! PUBLIC TRANSIT. I've been catching up on these but it's difficult. I'm starting to think that I really need to get a new music player and headphones. Also prescription sunglasses. Because public transit would not be the utter fucking nightmare that it currently is for me, if I could bloody well have some of my usual ways to manage sensory/social overload. So really, I've been putting off getting prescription sunglasses, a new portable music player, and new headphones. Because talking, people, and public transit.
  23. I take Depakote (Epival in Canada). Another med notoriously hard on your liver. I also have (had?) a phobia of needles. But I get my bloodwork done, every six months. I hope i never have to go off my Depakote, I love it. I know it's supposed to be this great anti manic, but I find it activating (although not in an energetic kind of way) and it utterly wipes out my bipolar depression. Still need a stimulant to help me do things like focus and the executive functioning ability to do basic tasks of daily living. Which my gdoc ain't happy about for my kidneys, but there ya go. I also take comfort in the regular routine of bloodwork, knowing that we are keeping an eye on things. I get more extensive panels done after my physicals. I know it can be kinda scary. But all medications, drugs, and even the very foods we put into our bodies carry potential risks and side effects. I just happen to be very informed about those statistics for my medications. And yes, as has been said above: the course of the illness itself can damage your brain, especially if left to run unchecked. I always like to say: "what sucks less?" This potential risk, that you'll be monitored for, or this side effect that may either go away in the first few weeks/months or actually be really mild and easy to live with... or the effects of your illness? Granted, there's much more to my treatment than my medications. And I'm able to be on an extremely low dose of Depakote, which lowers my side effects and risk of long term stuff quite dramatically. My docs are pretty pleased with that, as am I.
  24. (more post editing; second one now almost reads like a flow of thought blog post... still long but more coherant and less rambling; third post done too) It helps with my sensory processing disorder/managing my sensory overload This is one of the reasons I wanted to try it as an adjunct therapy, and one of the reasons I smoke it during the day. Between my Epival, my Dexedrine, and my marijuana, not to mention all this free time I have and freedom from the stress of needing to secure a steady income... I'm actually starting to "get my shit together". I think. The regular sleep and eat patterns help a lot. Even when I mess up on those, it's easy to go back. Like I said above. But also during the day, it can help me do things like: shower! clean the catbox! tidy & organize my living areas right after I get up and right before I go to bed (woah I've never done that one of my own volition before). Granted, most of that is me and the hard work I've been doing! And the awesome support I've arranged around me. But basically for a while after I smoke it, everything in general just gets easier. Going out in public. Cleaning. Watching a show on TV. Talking with people. And I don't wear out or overload nearly as quickly or easily. This was something I thought I noticed when looking at past experience, did a bit of digging on the Internet for to see if maybe others thought they were noticing the same kinda thing (I did find some folks asking about it on forums), and then I asked my pdoc about it and she'd definitely heard of folks doing marijuana for SPD/managing sensory overload/etc. in autistic and ADHD patients.
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