Every once in a while, Prozac Monologues reaches into my Roman Catholic childhood's fascination with saints, especially the ones who today might be assigned a diagnostic code in the DSM. Twice, Lent Madness has introduced me to new ones that I share with you.
Today it's Margaret of Cortona. If you're a Lent Madness regular, you'd expect Margaret to be a shoe in for the first round of voting, where her competition is a stuffy old bishop/theologian, because Margaret became a Franciscan and, more significantly, her story features a dog. Lent Madness voters are suckers for dogs.
Mood chart is one of the top search terms that bring people to Prozac Monologues. I wrote about mood charts in July, 2010, first as a recovery tool and later as a way to illustrate the differences between various mood disorders. Both posts promised sequels, promises that remained unfulfillable until now that I have spent several months doing cognitive remediation at Lumosity.com. Maybe cognitive remediation is worth another post -- later.
Following last week's tale of misdiagnosis and mistreatment, this week's long delayed return to mood charts seems timely.
You can find a larger and clearer image here. It was inspired by the one my mental health insurance provider sent me when I began taking mood stabilizers. Last week I described how their chart works and how people with mood disorders benefit from using any of the great variety out there.
Cigna's chart primarily tracks mood. Using theirs, I learned that lamotrigine made a difference to the course of my symptoms. After years of inappropriate prescriptions of antidepressants, I had moved to rapid cycling. No, rapid cycling means several cycles in a year. More like, I was spinning, from the depths of depression to raging agitation within each week, week after week. Lamotrigine did modify that pattern. It stretched the cycles, down from four to two a month. By recording the pattern, eventually I concluded, and I had the evidence to support it to my doctor, that the costs of the medication (dizziness, fourteen hours of sleep and grogginess a …