First of all, happy September, everyone! What a great month! We get the Fall Equinox this month, which is always fun. I'm quite fond of the Equinoxes.
Anyway, I was thinking about the kelp, and the lithium, and all that--plus, I got four books out of the library yesterday that talk about bipolar/manic-depressive illness/disorder. I will list them here now, and then as I read them, report how useful they are:
Guyol, Gracelyn (2006). Healing depression & bipolar disorder without drugs: inspiring stories of restoring mental health through natural remedies.
Castle, Lana R. (2006). Finding your bipolar muse: how to master depressive droughts and manic floods and access your creative power.
Corrington, Robert S. (2003). Riding the windhorse:manic-depressive disorder and the quest for wholeness.
Jamison, Kay Redfield (1993). Touched with fire: manic-depressive illness and the artistic temperament.
So, I started with Guyol's Healing Depression (and I have heard this same thing in other places), and she describes her mother's experience with lithium (and why she refused to take lithium, when diagnosed as bipolar): "Lithium made her look puffy, like the Pillsbury Doughboy, and she complained of 'cotton mouth,' lost her quick chuckle in a flattening of emotions, and developed Parkinson's disease, which ultimately killed her."
I started taking Kelp on Tuesday, 8/18/09; my friends who recommended it (because straight Iodine made me crazy, and Kelp might be a gentler form of Iodine for my thyroid) said they noticed a difference about six days after taking it. Six days after that Tuesday was Sunday, 8/23/09. I was transitioning into manic that day and the next. Sunday night was the first really obviously manic period. I was laughing a lot, and talking loudly, and I felt like everyone was staring at me, and my friend said afterward that I didn't pause when I was speaking. I felt like I was controlling the conversation, like I was steering it. It wasn't until Monday when I was hostile and aggressive that I thought I might have hit manic.
Monday was when I got ill, and ever since then, I have woken up every morning with an exceedingly dry mouth that doesn't ever quite go away, no matter much water I drink. I've also been feeling blunted. I remember the first couple days of my manic phase, and this is nothing like it was. I can get into that social place, where I'm laughing a lot and talking a lot, and all of that, but I don't feel like I have to. I guess that's a good thing, only I don't feel wholly real anymore.
(Slight side note: what with the hypothyroidism, the manic-depression, and other shit, I really feel like I have no clue who the hell I am. This kind of worries me. Another side note, on the topic of being worried: I've been experiencing serious "poor memory recall". It worries me.)
Anyway, I've been thinking about stopping the Kelp. I want to just stop it long enough to see if the regular manic comes back, to see if I feel real again when it does. I just want to stop it long enough to test my theory. I don't know what I'll do then. Well, clearly, if my theory is not correct, and it doesn't change my emotions, but does change thyroid-brain-things for the worse, then I'll start taking it again. If things change for the better, then I might keep the Kelp until I hit depression again, and start taking it again, just to see what kind of effect it has on the depression.
Thanks to everyone who is paying attention to my adventures. I love you.