My frequent posts this week indicate that I am on the up side of my bipolar cycle.
Though not clinically bipolar, I have many tendencies in this direction. If you read many of my posts, you’ll notice that I tend to swing from thinking that there are no consequences for my actions (the up side) to feeling that there is no hope.
I took a small dose of lithium for about seven years (prescribed 600 mg a day, I sometimes took this much and just as often skipped it completely as the side effects of weight gain, etc were too much). I also took small daily doses of clonidine and clonazepam.
A few weeks into my Alexander Technique teacher training, I talked to one Alexander teacher about quitting my meds entirely. I realize that many perhaps most Alexander teachers will not opine on such matters. This particular teacher said that quitting might be a good idea but he/she was not a doctor and could not give medical advice. This teacher said that few if any Alexander teachers took psycho-tropic (is that the right term for mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics and the like?) meds. The teacher said that many people who take regular Alexander lessons find they can do without such meds. That these meds tend to dull your kinaesthetic sense (though some people should take them as prescribed).
After about two months of my daily Alexander teacher training, I tapered off all my meds. I did not bother consulting my psychiatrist or any doctor about this. I’m way too arrogant for that.
Though I’ve never been asked to be on a poster for mental health, I’ve yet to dance naked in public either (perhaps I just haven’t heard yet the right music).
I feel like I’m doing fine though everything I’ve done to get myself in trouble over the past three years would likely not have happened if I’d stayed on my lithium (I tend to get arrogant and out-spoken when feeling good and write anti-Patrick McDonald screeds without factual foundation and this destroys many of my relationships). On the other hand, there’s probably a lot of good writing I’ve done that would not have happened if I had stayed on my meds (just don’t ask me to name any).
Does anyone have any thoughts on Alexander Technique superceding the need to take your psycho meds?