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I have eczema. I have had it ever since I can remember. I had always had a plethora of creams and shampoos around my house. I use soaps and detergents made for sensitive skin and all that jazz.

I could do more. For instance, my deodorant is known to be very harsh on skin and I have an almost constant spot of very itchy and painful eczema in both of my armpits. Why do I do this? Well, I have an obsession with how I smell. I need to smell good, or at least not bad. I also sweat a lot, and the deodorant I use works very well in this regard. So I deal with it.

The worse part for me is my scalp. It isn’t how you might think, it is actually the least itchy, the least painful, the most easy to forget I have. But it is also the most embarrassing.

I am constantly fighting dandruff. I am constantly pulling little scales off the back of my neck (above my hairline). I always have to be cognizant of what I need to do and when and what I am wearing.

For instance: haircuts.

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Just thought I would share a quick mini post from my phone. I know I didn’t post at all this week, it has been a bad week, bad month really. 

So this is the news. I just took a trazadone, lithium, and klonopin. The same concoction I was on before I quit the meds. 

I have been tracking my mood for three weeks on a couple and it is showing a steady low mood witha some serious swings the last couple days. 

I hope to stay on top of this and manage it before it becomes an issue. 

I’ll get into the specifics in another post, but for now, it is 10pm, I took all my pills, that is where I’m at. 

Have a good night!

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I took my sleeping pill, Trazadone, for the first time in months yesterday.

The decision came before Jocelyn had her several meltdowns I mentioned in the last blog. I was actually planning on taking one on the night of her first meltdown. It was one of the first things I told my wife when I got home from work. But alas, Jocelyn had other plans.

The great part: I slept through the night.

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There is a building ideology within the mental health community that the approach of life-long medication is outdated. Medications are better utilized in crisis or times of visible active disease. Thankfully, bipolar often expresses itself within cycles, one of those cycles being something like ‘remission’, in other words, where I am right now. However I should note that this ideology is currently not being applied to Bipolar or Schizophrenia. Although with the emergence of non-medication medical treatments like the new forms of ECT, or TMS and even newer technologies about to roll onto the market, we might soon see a dramatic shift away from daily pills as an effective method for treating Bipolar Disorder.

[I should note here that use of a term like ‘remission’ is extremely controversial. There has been a lot of softening on the idea that various mental illnesses are genetic or derived from a chemical imbalance and all that jazz everyone believed was 100% true just 10 years ago. But remission is going the opposite way. 10 years ago you could find several articles pointing to bipolar remission and today virtually none. I can only tell you my experience. I am virtually symptom free, and have been for months. I have days that are up or down similar to a normal cycle but they are very short lived, even if severe. So I understand this is not complete ‘remission’ in the normal sense of the word, but I have no other words to use.]

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I wake up four to five times a night. And that is with taking a sleeping pill, Trazadone and sometimes Ambien and Klonopin.

Usually it is to take a piss or grab a drink, my Lithium gives me drymouth and makes me have to pee. Isn’t that a fun game.

But some nights I’m simply uncomfortable in bed. I go lay on the couch and that helps sometimes, but I really desperately crave a space where I am truly comfortable for eight hours a night, without interruption. My snoring doesn’t help. Numerous times my wife rolls me over so I stop.

I guess I crave comfort in everything I do. Who doesn’t? But one of the odd things about this calm that I crave is that it often comes at the expense of my family, my ambitions, and my creativity. In fact, it almost always does. I’m calmer relaxing on the couch than working on something that might get me somewhere. I go to bed early enough that I don’t have to put my daughter down to sleep. I push off all chores and responsibilities until I am too anxious to actually accomplish them. And none of that seems too abnormal, until you talk to me about my fears of leading a meaningless life, of being stuck where I am at forever.

When my daughter was first born I stopped taking my sleeping pill so I could be up with her and feed her during the night. About three months in I talked it over with my wife and went back on my sleeping pill and have been a nighttime zombie since then, leaving her to do all the work. She never complains, just like with just about everything in our lives.

I wish I was more available for my family, instead of the guy who wakes up occasionally go grab a sip of water and take a leak.