Friday, 30 December 2011

The Seven Of Diamonds

I've recently discovered that playing Snap with yourself just doesn't work. 

This year the majority of my friends have left London for good to play grown ups - move to the country, raise kids etc - and I'm finally starting to feel that blanket of isolation. When my mobile used to ring I'd ignore it - my handbag being at least a foot away - now I have it taped to my ear and wait for it to ring. I refuse to skype, I will not put my make up on just to have a conversation.

One of my new years resolutions will be to spend more time with other people, even if they irritate me, be in a philanthropic or misanthropic day.

Other new years resolutions include..

Lots of CBT, big fan of.
Laugh more, even if I have to hold a gun to my own head
Don't pretend to forget to take lithium
Drink less
Read more
Delete all online shopping accounts
Listen to more music, does not include playing the same song on repeat for hours on end
No more guinea pigs, people already need a ticket to come round the flat

There's already loads of what I call "CBT typos" in that list which are gun, don't, delete, no.
Right, back to the card deck. Unfortunately the only pack available in the rather dodgy tobacconist in the Canary Islands where I purchased them was a pornographic deck. Every time I flip the seven of diamonds I get a bit excited.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

CBT Expert Anna Albright Answers Questions On Depression.

I met the author of this article - Anna Albright - at the MoS Christmas party last week sipping a Martini as I was guzzling shandy. She's a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) expert and lovely lady.

Here she answers popular questions on depression.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sertraline and Alcohol

As much as I like to keep this blog entertaining, it's also important that I keep it factual as I know other people who read this have or care for other people that are affected by mental health. So here is the most important thing I have learnt this month.

Sertraline and alcohol do NOT mix well together.

After three isolated incidents this month where I have..

a) Thrown up on somebody else (repetitively)
b) Spoken to a film crew who do not exist
c) Chose the worst thing you can possibly say to somebody and then say it

.. I did a bit of digging. Firstly, alcohol consumed on top of any SSRI (Citalipran, Venofaxin, Fluoxitine, Seroxat etc) will get you drunk much quicker. This sounds like a good thing because you will spend less, but you will also be picking sick out of your hair and crying to Chas n Dave whilst people are still arriving. Secondly, SSRI's can increase the want to drink alcohol. I also think that because SSRI's make you dehydrated, you drink more and quicker. 

I spoke to a couple of people, one on Citalipran the other on Fluoxitine who both concluded that when they drink on these they "went mad" and did things they wouldn't usually do or behave in a way that isn't them.

Luckily for me I still think it's cool to drink Shandies between mouth fulls of pork scratchings so hopefully from now on I can save my Chas n Dave moment for much later on. 

Manic Episodes Are Cleaner Than Cocaine

Now the festive chaos is running dry, with all it's family  feuds, board game strops and remote control murders,  New Years Eve approaches. 

Not that the majority of people who live in London know where to go for NYE, it suddenly dawns on you at 5.30pm when you're ironing your glad rags that you've no idea what you're doing, so you ring round your mates to see what their plans are but they're all engaged doing the same thing.

NYE is, I find, rather over-rated, it's the same as any other night except you have to pay to get in, queue at the bar for longer, you can't sit down, and everyone holds hands and sings a song together. You can do that in church for free.

And many people spend most of the day (and night) darting across London on a mission to get some cocaine to find that it's not in fact cocaine. 

Fact: The average amount of cocaine in cocaine in London is less than 10%

Unfortunately many people believe they can't have a good night without (what they think is) cocaine, I once used to think the same, but the way I see it now is.. I already talk at people about complete rubbish at full speed and have episodes where I think I'm bloody amazing, I don't NEED cocaine to do that for me.

It makes me wonder if I should be bottling up my manic episodes and selling them for NYE but less than 10% of course.

Another fact: People with bipolar are much more likely to take cocaine or other substances as a form of self medicating or mood matching.

Pic: Snowball I made from clay and cotton. In fact I made them in bulk if anyone's interested.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

My Letter To Take A Break Magazine

Dear Top Tips editor

Every Christmas I am disappointed beyond belief with the crap (you can print "unsatisfactory") present in my Christmas Cracker. I wait all year for a miniature comb or shoe horn that I can't even use.

So this year I have crafted my own Christmas Crackers, consisting of my own rubbish jokes and oversized hats, but "useful" gifts, such as razors, condoms, cocodamol, oxo cubes, laxatives, cotton buds, lip balm, lemsips, wind tablets, plant food, a roll up, chewing gum, and, I get to slip in my business card for networking opportunities.

Yours hopefully

Kerry of Hackney

(PS If you make this fabulous tip Tip Of The Month I will let you advertise on my blog for free.)

Friday, 16 December 2011

Anita Dobson V Miss World

I'm chuffed to bits with the huge (positive) response I had from my last article (The Mail On Sunday one) and what I've really enjoyed are the emails from complete strangers who themselves or partners suffer from bipolar, thanking me for the honesty, insights and humour (although I am often not aware of this, in blog life or real life).

I carry a copy in my handbag, because being episodal manic I have tendencies to make things up. Not for showing off like doing the splits or knowing all the words to Any One Can Fall In Love (which I nearly do), but because it's sometimes easy to get carried away with grandiose thoughts and believe I've done something when I haven't (or to the extent). Therefore when I get that knowing look and I can whip it out and show them.

My next unrealistic goal I aim to achieve.. Miss World.

Pic.. Emma Pyne and me when we took a comedy show to Edinburgh Festival 2006.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Daily Stresses Of Living With Bipolar Disorder - Mail On Sunday 11/12/11

Fair play to the editor for using my guinea pigs in the title, when I proudly showed it to them they ate it.

Meeting Brian Cox

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Brian Cox. This was because I am going to be researching high energy particle physics for his next book.

As often happens, I'm getting confused with someone else,  this was actually a book signing. Unfortunately I had to spend £20 on a book I won't understand and queue for an hour in the rain to have my fifteen seconds with Brian, during which time I couldn't really strike a conversation with him because I wouldn't be able to talk him about physics' patterns just as he wouldn't (I'm assuming) be able to talk to me about knitting patterns.

I saw my psychiatrist in the queue but couldn't get his attention, but managed to get a photo of him talking to Brian, and later told my partner I'll print it out and give it to him (psych) in a Christmas card next week, to which he replied "Don't be so ridiculous, he'll discharge you". Following a failed attempt to bake a cake for him a few weeks back he's probably right.