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Anyone diagnosed Bipolar?

Discussion in 'Wellness: Wrecked & Bonkers' started by jiveman, Aug 27, 2010.

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  1. son et lumiere

    son et lumiere Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    Earth
    If a med is not working for you just be honest with you doctor and tell them that this med is not working for me.
     
  2. jiveman

    jiveman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 22, 2010
    usa
    damn, my former hospital flooded a while back during a bad storm, so i had to find a dif doc to go to. this one kept telling me to go on effexor for now...no way jose. brain tremours again? uh no. i reluctantly convinced him to give some wellbutrin instead, even though it'll probably send me into mania if i'm just on an antidepressant, but something is better than nothing. he was hesitant to try anything else. they tell me to contact a psychiatrist myself through my insurance, and after trying every one in the area, the earliest i can get in to get meds is january. damn. what a joke today turned out to be, i'm gonna have to ride it out for a while it seems. maybe i'll go harrass the hospital a bit more until they hook me up with someone, doesn't seem right that they'd be so incompetent as to not help me find someone. i got transferred back and forth between mental health clinics for like an hour on the phone. getting help is making things worse, so i guess i should just calm down and try to manage on my own.


    i hate how they force you to go to therapy and counseling in order to get your meds too. i don't have the time or money for that, that's kind of why i just gave up on meds before.

    ehh. who knows.

    /end rant. lol
     
  3. Xanax

    Xanax Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    East Coast
    Dude I know. 40 dollar co-pay for med replenishing appts and another 40 for group meetings once every week? Sucks. I'm on Suboxone for addiction right now and that's the only medication I'm on (besides phenergan for nausea) and maybe that has something to do with me doing so well. Hmm

    Those brain shivers though... those were the WORST. God, most uncomfortable unnatural thing that could possibly happen to the human body. Mine at least. I hope I never get those again. It's the weirdest thing.
     
  4. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 4, 2010
    Southeast Texas
    Good for you Lisa! So glad you are where you are today! (((hugs)))
     
  5. Automaton

    Automaton Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    US
    Very good point. I think that for me, that pressure was a HUGE part of what made me so ill in the first place.

    son et lumiere - Point taken, and I'm sorry if I was defensive. You're right, a person should never feel weak or shamed for what they have to do to stay well. For me to stay well, I have to be very strict about my diet. I can't drink (or if I do, no more than one drink), I have to take Omega-3, my sleep schedule has to be such a way, etc etc etc. I need those things. Those things are healthy for any person anyway, but in my case, I NEED them.

    I also need to be in a safe environment to express my unusual feelings. I need to have safe, understanding people. They are hard to come by. I simply can't be close to people who won't accept the oddities about me. I can't "pretend" to be normal, because pretending to be normal makes me unwell (which is what Lisa B was getting at). I need to be able to express in a safe way.

    That's not any different from a person who finds they need meds as part of their approach to wellness.

    I suppose I am defensive because this is always what people tell me about meds:
    1. If you're bipolar, you can't function without them. If you think you can, you're fooling yourself.
    2. If you're diagnosed bipolar and CAN function without meds, you must not really be bipolar, and you were never sick in the first place.

    It is very diminishing of the hard work I have put in to be well, and I suppose it makes me sensitive.
     
  6. Xanax

    Xanax Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    East Coast
    Lol. What do ya know. I post in this thread and a couple days later I'm having one of my manic "high" days. It's so weird. It comes on so quick. I was just sitting here and a rush of euphoria comes over me. Good thing is it will last for the whole day. Bad thing is I will have a few days of "crashing" and coming down after this. I don't get impulsive and crazy during my highs but I do get extremely happy and talkative. It's nice while it lasts but the after effects are not fun as I'm sure a lot of you in this thread know.
     
  7. uba egar320

    uba egar320 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 9, 2009
    WV
    I still don't really understand what being bi polar does to a person. A buddy of mines girlfriend was diagnosed bp, and I never had a clue until I saw her having a bout of depression. So it just comes and goes? That has to get old. So you have super high's and lows just mixed together?
     
  8. Xanax

    Xanax Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    East Coast
    If you dissect the word: bi polar means two opposites. Two polar opposites (correct me if I'm wrong here).
    In MY case this would be extremely happy and extremely depressed. A bi polar person may have spots of feeling "normal" (a word I hate) or just balanced, but unlike most people who tend to stay balanced with emotions, a bipolar person will usually be one or the other very irratically. It's almost always the case that a bipolar person will be at one end of the spectrum or the other hardly ever in the middle. You could be on a happy high or in a "manic" state for weeks and then bam, depressed for months. Sorry I can't explain it more than that. Every bipolar person is different. Some have angry highs, crazy hyperactive highs, I mean it all comes in different shapes and forms from one bipolar to the next as I've been taught. Some can manage without medication (like me) and some can't. Some cases are so severe that the person will need supervision in everyday activities and be watched. Though I've never met anyone like that really.

    For me, like I stated above, my bouts of mania come on pretty randomly. There is no schedule for it. Just a few hours ago I was sitting watchig TV and a rush of euphoria came over me. The "happiness" is like EXTREME happiness. Not just like "what a pretty day" happy. And when I'm down I'm out for a few days sleeping it off until I'm able to push through it for the rest of the week. I have great friends who know to be sensitive with me during those times.

    I know my explanation may not be very accurate or scientific. It's just my own experience being bipolar and also how I was taught by my psychiatrists who briefed me on it before throwing pills at me heeheh.
     
  9. uba egar320

    uba egar320 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 9, 2009
    WV
    Thanks, that really does explain a lot about my buddies x girl.
     
  10. jiveman

    jiveman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 22, 2010
    usa
    it's like a physical reaction in the body/psychological state, which fluctuates. when the depression is there it's fatigue, disinterest in activities, very low feelings, agitation.

    the mania, or highs, can be "hypomanic" which is a slight increase in energy, mood, sense of wellbeing, or feeling great about yourself and your abilities.

    full blown mania can involve very impulsive behaviors, loud fast talking, extreme energy which could keep a person awake for days without feeling fatigued, a greater interest in whatever they are doing, or alternatively an inability to stay concentrated on one specific task. the feeling that they can take on anything or any number of responsibilities (which is sometimes true until things settle down and they're left feeling drowned in responsibilities).

    everyone is different though. some people are more prone to depression, others mania. some have symptoms more severe, others less.

    there are two classifications of bipolar disorder...I and II.

    To be diagnosed Bipolar I you need to have had one or more instances of Manic Episodes or Mixed States that were not caused by drugs or medication.


    Bipolar II is one or more instances of Hypomania, and one or more instance of Major Depressive episode.

    There is also such a thing as Rapid Cycling in which an individual may fluctuate even throughout the day.

    Mixed states are a combination of the two and sometimes the most dangerous. More people commit suicide or harm themselves/others during these states than any of the others. It's like being majorly depressed but having so much energy that you become completely agitated and prone to very impulsive and unhealthy behaviors. Imagine not being able to sit still, loads of energy, but not wanting to do anything/having very negative thoughts about yourself and everything around you. Not a good feeling.


    The easiest way to understand it is to imagine your own moods amplified a few times over, and changing on their own with little reason/relation to actual events.
    It's a confusing and frustrating disorder, of which not a whole lot is known, at the moment, but treatment is available that does seem to work and keep some people stable.
     
  11. uba egar320

    uba egar320 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 9, 2009
    WV
    So how does someone handle this? Is it all done strictly through meds? Sounds like a very tough thing to deal with.
     
  12. Automaton

    Automaton Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    US
    Bipolar is usually characterized by mood episodes consisting of mania (too high) and depression (too low). But there are a lot of subtypes and other factors, which is where the confusion comes in.

    For example, some people with bipolar only become manic when they are put on anti-depressants. This is how they find out they're bipolar - by a reaction they have to a treatment for depression. The same thing can happen when a bipolar person takes St. John's Wort (a supplement known to help with mild to moderate depression). I've never been on meds, but I did try St. John's Wort once and within a day I felt like I was going nuts.

    Also, not all depressed people have "super" highs or lows. With Bipolar 2, the person may have very bad depression, but milder manias known as "hypomania." Hypomania is not always disruptive to ones life - and often times people with Bipolar 2 don't realize that their periods of "super-flow, high motivation, scattered projects everywhere" is a symptom.

    And people with cyclothemia (the mildest varient of bipolar) have mild depression and hypomania. Many of them don't require meds or other significant treatment/management. They do typically benefit from some general lifestyle maintenance and therapy, though. And some of them are on meds.

    And some people with Bipolar 1 (most severe) or Bipolar NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) experience mixed episodes - a combination of mania and depression at the same time. I've had this - for me it feels like wanting to claw out of my body. It's terrible.

    And, the course of bipolar is completely unpredictable. Some people get worse over time, some stay the same, and now there is evidence that nearly half get better regardless of what, if any, treatment they receive (before anyone yells at me about this, read this: Young Adults May Outgrow Bipolar Disorder).

    In my case, I was diagnosed at 19, but have had distinct mood episodes since I was 11 or 12.

    Now I'm 21. And I haven't had a distinct mood episode in probably a year and a half. I do sometimes get the physical symptoms of mood episodes (lethargy with depression, sleeplessness with mania), but emotionally I don't experience the episode as much.

    Is my care regime just very effective, or am I part of that 50%? Nobody knows.

    And if you really look at the whole umbrella of what we call bipolar, it becomes clear we are probably talking about several distinct disorders.
     
  13. BiffRocko

    BiffRocko Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    Have you tried Abilify? It's a relatively new med and was the only one my wife could take without either nasty side effects or zombification. She does say from time to time that she misses her mania, as most bipolars on meds do, but she knows she couldn't function without them.

    Also, for those with a significant other with bipolar disorder, I can't recommend Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder enough. I didn't truly understand her condition until I read it. Our relationship has been much better since I've been able to distinguish between her and her bipolar disorder.
     
  14. guitardedmark

    guitardedmark Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    I was incorrectly diagnosed with bi-polar. What I really had was a drug addiction o_O

    I got sober and BAM! I FEEL AMAZING!!!! :)
     
  15. jiveman

    jiveman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 22, 2010
    usa
    It can be a frustrating and agitating thing for someone to deal with, considering very often it never goes away and is present throughout their lives, daily.

    Mood stabilizers like lithium, seroquel, and a number of other medications can help keep a person in a stable place. Unfortunately it sometimes leaves people feeling like zombies, and there are many negative side effects such as memory issues, weight gain, "brain shakes", etc.

    Some people self medicate with drugs/alcohol...not good.

    Substance abuse can be common with those with bipolar disorder. Some develop addiction as a result of trying to cope, others are incorrectly diagnosed bipolar because they've abused drugs/alcohol. The symptoms can be similar.

    Cognitive techniques such as recognizing that the "mood" is not really your own, and is separate from actual reality is helpful, but can take a very long time to effectively recognize, and sometimes impossible for the individual to do on their own. Many will have those around them prepared to inform them when they notice a change in their behaviors/rationality, and will attempt to recognize it themselves and try to work through it.

    The trouble with this disorder is that a person can sometimes feel they've lost their "credibility" when they react to others. Those who know of their disorder will sometimes falsely identify simple human emotion as part of the disorder. The individual themselves may also have a hard time identifying what their own "normal" feelings/behaviors are. It's complicated, as you can imagine, as human emotions/moods are not black and white.

    Bipolar disorder interferes with a person's life in some of the worst ways. It strips them of their ability to cope with a situation at times because it forces them to "feel" in ways that are not related to actual reality.

    Mania can be a blessing though for those who are creative! As you probably know, some of the greatest artists were bipolar and created great works during manic episodes.
    A lot of work can be completed when you're manic! lol Superhuman amounts.

    But what goes up must come down.
     
  16. uba egar320

    uba egar320 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 9, 2009
    WV
    Is this hereditary, or just a chem imbalance that happens to hit certain people? The girl I was speaking of was a total sweetheart. Nothing would get under her skin, and then BAM! He couldn't console her over the smallest thing. It got to the point where she assaulted him a few times before they broke up. And it was usually over little things form what I understand.
     
  17. guitardedmark

    guitardedmark Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    There is a pre-disposition to bi-polar if it runs in your family. As far as causes, the biggest one is drug abuse. Just like depression, it is a chemical imbalance BUT something causes that chemical imbalance. It doesn't just happen, contrary to popular belief. However, once there is the imbalance, meds can be very helpful.
     
  18. jiveman

    jiveman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 22, 2010
    usa
    yep, such is the case many times! good for you! There's a great crossover between the two, and unfortunately I think many people have the same issue and don't realize it.

    drug use will sometimes bring out the bipolar in those who are predisposed as you probably know.
    so will stressful events.

    sometimes we're just drug addicts trying to find an explanation for the shifts while floating around in denial. haha
     
  19. guitardedmark

    guitardedmark Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Bi-polar is one of the most mis-understood disorders there is. A lot of people get this confused with hyper-sensitivity or borderline personality disorder. Also, people that have used drugs and alcohol heavily exhibit many symptoms of these disorders as our coping skills are greatly compromised by the substances.
     
  20. guitardedmark

    guitardedmark Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    IMO a therapist or psychologist is an active alcoholic/addict's worst nightmare. They can mis-diagnose and treat and very often they do. This can delay or severly hinder the recovery of peopel with the disease of alcoholism. Jails and institutions are probably more helpful!
     
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