I had a wobble earlier this week when I had feelings of wanting to die. I think the news was upsetting me and made me think of a dark future. I have started using an app that limits my use of reading the news (it blocks UK news sites) and stops me using social media. At the moment I have a curfew on social media and UK news between 2pm and 6pm and 9pm and 12 pm. As well as an additional block on UK news from 7pm to 9pm.

The block has been helpful as well as challenging. Stopping me reading the news so much has helped. It’s been surprising how many times I would load the social media app or BBC News app unconsciously when there is no real reason to. I guess to some extent I’m addicted but also seeking connection. Although I have difficulty being around people I still feel isolated. I do better with people I am familiar with but as people have died I have become more alone.

The block has helped me become more comfortable in my isolation. It’s usually the darkness descending across the world that affects me. So if I can learn to better manage my own isolation and world I may do better. It’s a difficult one as I think the bipolar nature of my condition means I am going to have ups and downs. The last meeting I had with the psychiatrist suggested to increase my lithium dose which I declined. I declined to increase the dose because it makes me very lethargic, tired and dehydrated. The side effects can get me down too. The side effects I have now are just about tolerable. I would rather just get through the low periods as they will eventually pass.

I find my on my present medication dosages I am not able to do as much. Most of my energy is taken up in maintaining my home and my own personal care. 4 years ago I ran several marathons but now just cleaning the bathroom can tire me out. I think the biggest win with these medications is I have less agitation though the running helped with that too. Whether I will end up in a psychiatric hospital again is too early to say. I hope not but I have usually end up there at least once a year. I left hospital in July 2022 so I’m hopeful things will be different this time.