I've hinted at this in a couple of other threads, but here is the big announcement:
I am trying to go off meds. Relax for a minute and let me explain! SO and I have briefly discussed baby #2, and being on meds while pregnant is a big problem. To find out if baby #2 is a possibility, I need to find out if I can be stable on meds for long enough to conceive (anywhere from 5 days to a few months) plus 3 months.
So I am finding out if I can be stable. I am finally taking the advice I've been hearing for so long. Diet, exercise, sleep, schedule.
I am on a high-fat, low-carb, no-sugar, no-MSG, no-aspartame, no caffiene diet. (I've lost 12.2 pounds!) I am taking vitamins that have scientific and anecdotal evidence that they improve bipolar symptoms:
Folate 1200 mcg
Selenium 200 mcg
D3 2000 IU
Zinc 50 mg
5-HTP 100 mg
I started lifting weights every other day and have been trying to squeeze in other exercise as well. I walked 2 miles yesterday! I copied down "play" exercises to do with my son every day. And I bought a pair of zills yesterday to motivate me to bellydance - great exercise! O yeah - sex. that is always part of the workout plan since I like being on top. (sorry for the TMI)
My sleep schedule is fairly set. I kicked my service dog out of the bedroom and have been varying my wake-up times a little bit since being stable on meds. I need to get back to my old routine of strict sleep schedule. I always get up by 8:00 to take my meds. I *should* be getting up at 7 so I have some free time before my son wakes up. I have started to be more strict about going to bed at 9:00. I was getting to relaxed about bedtime and after sex it would often be 11:00. I've started being better about sleep schedule, but I'm not at a bad spot. On the dose I am on, I get a tiny bit of hypomania sometimes at night, but I force myself to stay in bed so I don't screw up the next day.
My schedule has had a few blocks of time that are set, but I also have had less structured time - I generally sit down at the computer, check email and 3 forums, and then sit there feeling lonely and blah. It can ruin a day. So I penciled out a schedule that adds in a set time for weight lifting, arts&crafts with my son, exercise with my son, and time exclusively for me. This should get rid of the times during the day that my mood tends to slip. Today will be the first day of trying it. It takes me a couple weeks to adjust to a new schedule, but I'm hoping this will be an easy change because it is similar to what I am used to.
I started at 200 mg Lamictal. I am at 100 mg Lamictal now - which is a dose that stabilizes me if I am not stressed out.
On Saturday, I go down to 75 mg. I am so impatient for this, but I keep telling myself that I really need to wait to make sure my body has had time to start using the vitamins, and to get my exercise level up (consistently).
I'm noticing a change in my attitude. This morning I wanted to sleep in - which sets me up for an awful depressed feeling day. This morning, I thought "I can't count on my medication to keep me stable" and I got out of bed. :)
I know this is probably stupid, but I'm 100% willing to start increasing my dose if I start having symptoms. Now that I've had a few months of stability, I never want to go back!
Wish me luck! Any other self-care items I need to think about? What helps you?
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder