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Thread: All about me ... with the very best intentions

  1. #1
    Jolly Advisor
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    All about me ... with the very best intentions

    There will be one person who reads this post and the lights will come on for them to.

    This post is dedicated to two people. The first is that person who upon digesting the information within will find it is of some help.

    I am diagnosed with SAD. Seasonal affective Disorder is a mental illness. You may know it better as Bipolar I or sometimes it can be called manic depression. The latter term is probably not correct when discussing my own symptoms.

    I have shown symptoms of my condition since about the age of 13. However, and much to my regret I was not diagnosed until I was 38. The 25 years in between weren't a great time for me. I had difficulty holding down jobs and relationships and I suffered huge mood swings. I had turned into the same person my father was. Irritable, short tempered with strange sleeping patterns.

    I'm sure you would all like to think that when I was eventually diagnosed that I got the help I needed.

    I didn't

    In January of this year I could not cope with the low mood I was in. I went to see my GP. The first two GP's I saw were totally oblivious to my requests for help. By April I saw the third and last GP available in my practice. I was polite but firm and demanded I was referred to a sleep clinic.

    In early May I saw a neurologist. I paid for a private referral. The neurologist informed me that my referral to him had come rather late in the day. Indeed it was. I was diagnosed with SAD in May 2000. That diagnosis was at my own insistence, following a diagnosis of clinical depression in February 2000.

    The neurologist prescribed me with a new anti-depressant, mirtazapine, a sedating medication. Within a week I was feeling a little better. Within a month I was a different person. I was waking up feeling refreshed and I was not needing any sleep during the day.

    Maybe my story should end there. It doesn't. It starts there.

    I had a follow up consultation in July with the neurologist. He asked me to have a blood test before I left him. He was looking for the level of vitamin D in my blood. Four weeks later I received a phone call confirming my vitamin d levels were slightly low. I was given a course of tablets to take over 12 weeks. I take one tablet every two weeks. I'm half way through

    And ...

    Boom ... the lights are on in Nuttymut's life.

    What I am about to say is the truth ... it's not an exaggeration ... I cannot remember ever feeling as good as I do now. Never.

    My life story would be kicked out by script writers at Coronation Street as being "far fetched". I know I have yet to face the next winter, but I tend to feel the neurologist I am with actually gets it and he'll keep me well

    I hope for many this post is nothing more than the musings of an old fossil I also hope that it may encourage some of you who are in a dark place to seek help and to raise the question of vitamin D with your GP.

    I pointed out at the beginning of my post that I wanted to dedicate it to two people. Those of you whom I have already referred to will I hope be motivated to see your GP and assert yourself.

    The second person I want to dedicate this post to passed away in 1990. My Dad was never diagnosed as I have been. In one sense I am sad about this. In another I am able to understand him, albeit after he has passed.

    I wish you all good health and happiness.

    Best
    Nuttymut

  2. #2
    Pathfinder
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    Sandycove
    Glad you are feeling a lot better Nuttymut, I have a SAD light beside my computer which I use, Have never been diagnosed but since it makes me feel better I will continue to use it.

  3. #3
    Jolly Advisor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clair334 View Post
    Glad you are feeling a lot better Nuttymut, I have a SAD light beside my computer which I use, Have never been diagnosed but since it makes me feel better I will continue to use it.
    Hi Claire,

    May I offer some advice please. I hope I don't sound to patronising. It's an old wound and I find it almost impossible not to.

    One of the things I have done for the last 13 years since I realised I was ill, was stick my face in a light box. I've had mixed results. When I found out that I was low in vitamin d I was quite surprised becuase I knew I had sat for so long in front of what can only be described as a flood light :-) lol.

    I've done a little reading on the internet and have managed to ascertain that the production of vitamin d is indeed made through light coming in contact with the skin. The actual light in question is UVB. And straight away I knew that the light box I use filters out UVB and UVA. It's also worth noting that standard sun tan beds use UVA rays and not UVB. So they are of no help.

    Research from Florida of all places has shown something quite interesting. Many people in Florida when tested showed low levels of vitamin d. It was initially assumed that this was due to them taking precautions against the sun. The health services in florida suggest that locals take a walk in the morning or afternoon to get their direct sunlight to maintain healthy levels of vitamin d. It's recently been discovered that the body doesn't actually make vitamin d at these times. It makes vitamin d between 10am and 3pm.

    In addition to this if used correctly even lower factored suncream can block up to 95% of UVB.

    My advice Claire, is to speak to your GP and ask directly for a blood test to ascertain the levels of vitamin d in your bloodstream. If they are low you can ask for the medication I am on called colecalciferol 20,000. This will raise your vitamin d levels. At the end of this course a second blood test will see how much your vitamin d has raised and a maintenance regime can be implemented.

    It's impossible to raise your vitamin do through diet to a point of any benefit.

    I have also found one of the strongest weapons in my fight against my condition to be my dawn simulator. I would suggest you try using one Claire. They really do help.

    If I can be of any assistance please don't hesitate to ask.

    Best
    Nuttymut :-)

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