Posted by Cynthia on August 8, 1999, at 16:41:48
In reply to Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers, posted by Andrew on August 8, 1999, at 11:15:37
> Thank you so much for your responses, they were so informative.
> It makes sense to get to sleep, as well as do other things, on a strict schedule. Are there any tricks you use to get to sleep when your on the up cycle?
> Concerning mood swings and artists, I read a study recently on that very subject. The subject of the study were 47 eminent British poets, playwrights, novelists, biograhers, painters and sculptors. The study found that about a third of the artists suffered severe mood swings, and 25 percent underwent long periods of elation. Intensely creative periods, reported by all except biographers, usually coincided with hypomanic (midly manic) episodes. Ninety percent said that moods and feelings of sustained elation were either necessary or very important to their work. Writers and artists who had been treated for mood disorders produced the least at the highest point of their cycles. For them, peaks of productivity usually preceded and followed the mood peaks by three or four months. Both groups tended to be at the height of their cycles in summer.
> (Source: The Harvard Mental Health Letter, December 1989)
> Mood swings are certainly a mixed blessing.
My 'high' days are now just good days - thanks to lithium. But before lithium the tricks I used to keep my sleep regular were, on my 'high' days just a little bit of Ativan one hour before bed, and on both cycles getting up at the same time every single day regardless of how much or how little sleep I had. Even if I was exhausted because I didn't sleep one night or got very little sleep, at least the next night I'd be more likely to get to sleep.
Of course Andrew, this was my theory. Mental illness seems to have a way of imposing itself on every aspect of your life, theories or no theories.
I forgot to mention, I did have one side affect with lithium, nauseau. I take it with Gingerroot which works like a dream.
Thus far, I'm still creative without my mood swings, and I get much more work done. I'm not sure if I'll be pumping out any more poetry though - poetry kind of exploded from me, and I was lucky if a pen was nearby and I could catch this explosion. I certainly can understand someone learning to live with their swings if they are not in too much pain. I don't know why but it always seems like depression wins in the cycles game.
Take care andrew,
the best of luck