Sunday, 16 March 2014

I can't keep still!

The last few days have been getting more and more difficult. My Mum is in hospital and I'm really worried about her. I know that the stress is not helping my mood. I've only been back on the Lithium for a few days so I doubt it's doing anything yet. At times I feel exhausted yet I seem to have so much nervous energy. I feel restless and I'm finding it hard to keep still. If I try to keep still it's worse. I find myself jumping out of the chair or kicking my legs about.  It's like I just can't relax. I find myself grinding my teeth. I'm swearing a lot too. I feel like I want to scream. I just don't really know what to do with myself. I have bursts of energy where I get stuff done but I'm not very organised and get distracted. I'm not really doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. Sleep is getting less and less. I'm flitting from one thing to another. My mind is just crammed with "stuff" at the moment. I've been writing and drawing a bit, which channels some of it but that's pretty sporadic. I've got so many thoughts and ideas I can't keep up with myself. When I'm on my own at the moment I feel pretty stir crazy.  This is when I miss having someone around.  I want to talk and I crave physical contact.
I've spoken to a few people about it and I'm thinking of getting a dog. I need something to love and look after. I know I'm always having mad ideas but I think a dog might just help me settle a bit. I know it's a huge responsibility but it could be just what I need. I have so much time on my hands and it certainly won't be short of attention. I'm sure having something that depends on me will help me to get back into some routine. I've read countless stories of how having a pet can help with mental health. 
 When I first got ill I developed a "twitch" in my right thigh. The muscle was almost continually contracting and I had no control over it. I saw a movement disorder specialist in London and she diagnosed idiopathic myoclonus. Basically she couldn't say for definite why I'd developed it but it was most likely psychogenic ....originates from the mind. I find that really hard to get my head round. How can something that is so obviously physical be caused by what goes on in my mind? I convinced myself that it was yet another side effect of medication or that I'd developed some awful neurological condition. I tried my hardest to stop it but that just made it worse. The more I was conscious of it the more intense it became. I became so self conscious about it. It was noticeable to other people, especially my husband at night. He used to get really cross because I couldn't keep still. He often ended up sleeping in the other room. Sometimes my leg was twitching so hard it was painful. No amount of trying to consciously control it made any difference. Unless I was concentrating hard or fully engrossed in something it was there. I couldn't keep still and I felt restless and agitated.  It was always there and always worse at night. I was given a Botox injection in the muscle every few months, which really helped. It almost immediately eased the severity of the muscle jerking. Eventually it disappeared and the treatment stopped. If I think back it was at its worst when my bipolar wasn't under control. Now it's come back with a vengeance and if I'm honest it has to be because I'm not really well at the moment. I don't know if it's a side effect of coming off meds.  I don't know if it's very common for people with bipolar to develop movement disorders. There doesn't seem to be much information about it. I know psychomotor agitation is a symptom of hypomania or mania. What I also know is it's embarrassing and it's starting to get me down. I was at a friends last night and it was so hard to settle. I felt like I'd got ants in my pants! I'm just hoping things will settle as the meds get back into my system.

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