ANNA GRACE YOUNG'S book has come out! It's called I Hate Myself And I Want To Die. It's available from the publishers now; from Barnes and Noble and Amazon next week.
I've found a website that shows the stroke-order of Chinese characters. The one we see here says mouse, rat or rodent.
Japanese writing link.
Prescription Heroin in the UK: an addict's success story. (Erin O'Mara, editor of Black Poppy magazine.) Annie read this: the first heroin script she mentions came from the Chelsea and Westminster where they had the 210mg limit.
With British heroin having a supposed 40% average purity, that would be about half a gram a day: the very bare minimum I was ever able to get away with when I really had a habit.
(I've still got a habit now; a methadone habit!)
Last night I slept "only" 10 hours; I remember thinking, as I realized Iceland have terminated their £1.50 sweet chili chicken pizzas (grrr!) "that's good" only to find myself dozing to oblivion in front of Midsomer Murders, crawling to bed and sleeping flat out from 4:30 to 11:30pm, making 15 hours in the last 24, which is not at all good.
Last time I started sleeping a lot less I went a bit manic. That was about 2 weeks ago. I scored 17 on the Young Mania Rating Scale, using it very conservatively a fortnight after the fact. Really I should probably have scored more. Example: uproarious laughter gives you a 3 or a 4, depending on whether it is or is not "appropriate" (how am I meant to know that?) but I only scored myself a 2, because my mood was definitely higher than the bassline. In fact if I hadn't done so much laughing I think I'd probably not have noticed the other "symptoms" and would have considered myself an insomniac not a maniac. I still find it very odd that there can be a supposed "mental illness" where you're TOO happy and TOO excited. (And TOO IRRITABLE: that's the downside.) ... I have just pondered whether or not my laughter was appropriate and at the peak it was not. I ended up walking the streets at 2 or 3 in the morning laughing my head off for no particular reason. And feeling uncomfortably paranoid whenever anybody passed me by. I never noticed them till they were right there which made me jump out of my skin.
I did some pondering on "what situation am I meant to be in? I don't know" because I'm meant to have schizoaffective disorder and yet I've gone mostly sane. Well I think I'm sane. I know I still have experiences that are considered symptoms eg I woke up only yesterday with words surrounding me in the air, which is the lightest version I know of "hearing voices". But none of this really bothers me. But the upshot is even if I prove to the doctors and the world that I'm sane and "normal" I cannot wriggle out of a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, because I had one full-blown manic episode. That alone is enough to saddle me with a lifelong diagnosis of bipolar, whether or not I ever go full-on manic ever again. (I wouldn't mind being a bit manic though.) Then there's the uncomfortable fact that whether or not I would be miserable enough to get granted access to a Victorian lunatic asylum, I most definitely do get depressed quite a lot and have been depressed to a greater or lesser extent for years and years. Even my Mum said to me "I know why you took heroin: it's because the antidepressants didn't work".
This is Emil Kraepelin's description of "delusional mania". I was never delusional, apart from when I became convinced people were coming round to kidnap me (it was then that I decided to walk to France). I didn't walk anywhere but thought if I posted online that I'd gone outside that would be enough to put the fearsome kidnappers off! Though I was only raving mad for about 5 days, the mania took weeks and weeks to wear off. And I still get low grade hallucinations.
His surroundings appear to the
patient to be changed ; he sees St Augustine, Joseph with the
shepherd's crook, the angel Gabriel, apostles, the Kaiser,
spirits, God, the Virgin Mary. Statues salute him by
nodding ; the moon falls down from the sky ; the trumpets
of the day of judgment are sounding. He hears the voice of
Jesus, speaks with God and the poor souls, is called by God
dear son. There are voices in his ears ; the creaking of the
floor, the sound of the bells take on the form of words. The
patient has telepathic connection with an aristocratic fiancee,
feels the electric current in the walls, feels himself
hypnotized ; transference of thought takes place.
This is "delirious mania", where you go at the very peak of the attack. It becomes very hard to make sense. People complained about how difficult I was to understand, seemingly unaware THEY were talking more crap than I ever did!
utterances alternate between inarticulate sounds, praying,
abusing, entreating, stammering, disconnected talk, in which
clang-associations, senseless rhyming, diversion by external
impressions, persistence of individual phrases, are recognised.
Other patients only display a slight restlessness, whisper
flights of ideas to themselves, when addressed look up
astonished and without comprehension, obey simple requests,
give irrelevant answers, smile, weep, cling to people, suddenly
begin to sing a song or scream. A female patient called
"I am justice ; do not touch me ; I am
omniscient ; away from me !"
Waxy flexibihty, echolalia,
or echopraxis can be demonstrated frequently.
These extracts are from Manic-Depressive Insanity and Paranoia by Emil Kraepelin. It's by far the best book on bipolar disorder and recurrent depression I've ever come across. The modern resources tend to use one another as references, so they all write the same thing, referring back constantly to the DSM IV diagnostic criteria which never were meant to be a description of the condition, merely a device by which all psychiatrists might diagnose the same conditions in the same patients. Grrr.
How paradoxical that a book last published in 1921 should bring to life the experience of bipolar mood swings so very much more vividly than anything written since!
Extraordinary Distractibility of Attention certainly
plays an essential part in defective perception. The
patients gradually lose the capacity for the choice and
arrangement of impressions ; each striking sense-stimulus
obtrudes itself on them with a certain force, so that they
usually attend to it at once. Accordingly, if their attention
can for the most part be quickly attracted by the exhibition
of objects or by the calling out of words, yet it digresses
again with uncommon case to any fresh stimulus. The
picture of their surroundings and of events remains, therefore,
for them more disconnected and more incomplete than it
would be, if it suffered merely from encroachment on the
process of perception.
The outside world appears slowed down while the thought process speeds up. So that life becomes a series of disconnected impressions, like a mixed-up slide show.
I want to take drug addiction and write a text as groundbreaking as Emil Kraepelin's. That's quite a high ambition. I don't know how successful I'll be; but I will try...
I've just discovered a celebratory methadone bottle. One I forgot to drink. Which explains why I felt so ILL yesterday: dur! Well I drank it about 20 hours too late and I feel perfect now. The sweats have gone.
If I can stomach it, I'm thinking of posting something on the benefits of prescription heroin for addicts. I won't go on, but will clear up a few myths here and now:
1. if you give addicts heroin they'll just use more and more of it, not less and less not true. providing the dose is high enough, you don't WANT more once you've had a certain amount ~ If this were true then methadone users would want more and more, people on opiate bachache tablets would take them more and more and cancer patients couldn't be trusted with their own morphine (which they are: they take it home in a massive bottle of linctus)
2. people on a prescription heroin programme will just go on and on using street heroin on top and you won't be able to test for this (because it's all heroin). Pharmaceutical heroin comes in freeze-dried ampoules containing 100% pure diamorphine hydrochloride; street heroin always contains other opium alkaloids: thebaine, codeine, narcotine etc. Testing for these will reveal whether somebody has used "on top" of their script. In official trials conducted in the UK just under 80% of patients managed to stop using ANY drugs on top of their script ~ not just heroin
3. prescription heroin will just get "diverted" to the illicit market. This happend in the 1960s, when a small number of private drs prescribed heroin over-liberally to anybody claiming to be an addict. Most schemes today insist that the empty ampoules are handed back to the clinic, thus limiting the chances of "diversion".
OK those are the 3 main points covered. If only I'd been given a script that WORKED FOR ME I might have cleaned myself up years ago. Until very recently I just couldn't handle the depressed mood methadone left me in. I was a raging needle freak, so drinking a bottle of gloop just didn't satisfy me. I only managed to stick to methadone for weeks on end because I was in a manic state of elevated mood and thought heroin would bring this down. In fact I can only tolerate methadone now because something seems to have changed in me. I still feel depressed, but heroin seems not to make the difference it once did...
... I don't believe prescribed heroin would be a solution for everyone, I just believe it should be an option for everyone. Subutex is an amazing drug ~ far more appropriate for most people intent on detoxing. As I said I WOULD have wanted prescription diamorphine, if only it had been available. Now I'm more intent on getting myself CLEAN. I find taking methadone very depressing because on methadone I'm dirtier than I am on heroin! (Methadone is more toxic than heroin by a long way.) If anything has changed for me, it's probably more that heroin has stopped working than methadone has started working. When I stuck to methadone for weeks on end I was in no way more "together" than I'd been on heroin ~ probably a lot less so. My clothes were dirty and I couldn't face the procedure of washing them because I was hallucinating in the laundrette. I ate the same food for days on end and just did not engage with life the way you're seemingly supposed miraculously to do as soon as you stick to your methadone. I've heard that when you do clean up off opiates the feelings you've damped down leap up vividly. My ex said she used to watch nature programmes and cry. She was a lot less whimsical over furry animals than I. Lots of people at NA say in the first year off heroin you feel shit. The rehab I emailed told me the methadone I'm on may well be acting as a mood stabilizer. So the best result I can expect from going Clean would be a really Elevated Mood. I feel I've been depressed enough On Opiates (even though I was using them as antidepressants) so I'm hoping going clean might kick some life into me.
My big project while I'm still on methadone has to be to write this book about drug addiction. Strangely my motivation has changed from making loads of money (I probably won't make anything) to Explaining Myself. It's not what I did I want to tell the world, it's WHY. Now that might be helpful.
Is this post really badly written. Probably. Am I gonna post it? Definitely.
HAMMY GOES FISHING
I just love the way he can't resist nibbling his fishing rod, the furry swine!
THE WORLD'S GONE MAD
This has been on my random blog for some time. Listen closely to what Peter is saying. He makes about as much sense as YOU all did when I was supposedly "mad"!!!
Anna said this is what some of my comments sounded like at the time. You wonder why I have the troubles I do? My mind somehow got really addled! I don't know how, but it most certainly did....
QUIZ: SICILIAN PROVERBS - 22 - A little light relief is needed and it's ages since we had a proverbs quiz, so why not have a go at matching these seasonal proverbs in dialect to their me...
20 hours ago