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Anyone diagnosed Bipolar?

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

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  1. uba egar320

    uba egar320 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 9, 2009
    Man, you guys have some eye opening info.
  2. Xanax

    Xanax Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    East Coast
    Yeah I'm 23 and have definitely improved a little since my teen years. I had a reaaaally rough time throughout 8th grade and highschool. Had mono on top of extremely bad social anxiety (which I still have- it's worse than ever at this point in my life) and also on top of that, my bipolar symptoms emerging. Missed a lot of school because of it.
  3. Xanax

    Xanax Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    East Coast
    @Jiverock about Seroquel. When I was on seroquel, yes it made me very sleepy at night but during the day I felt like I had a bad heart or something. I got sooo out of breath even walking up the stairs in my house. It felt like I was out of shape with clogged arteries and asthma. It was awful. Never again!
  4. BiffRocko

    BiffRocko Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    That was my story. I got so bad at my worst point that I could have easily been diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder. I fit the majority of the DSM criteria for diagnosis. Many years of therapy, a good dose of self esteem building, and a year of training to become a certified hypnotherapist got rid of the worst of my social anxiety. It's still there, but it's not crippling anymore.
  5. Xanax

    Xanax Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    East Coast
    I know your pain. Eventually I had to drop out of HS. Never went to prom or homecoming either. Right now I only go out to check the mail and once a month for my Suboxone appointments. I take inderal before I do those things. I've never been in anxiety specific therapy. I'd really like to, though. Problem is I'm still on mom's insurance and she gets really mad if I have to go to another doctor for any reason :(.
  6. Automaton

    Automaton Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    This is an extremely valid point, especially since hyper-sensitive personalities are so poorly understood.

    Since I don't take psychological jargon entirely seriously (studying it for a while showed me exactly how LITTLE we know about it), I just go with whatever jargon has been applied to me for the purposes of conversation.

    But looking back on my childhood, my more recent encounters with psych people, however brief, have always raised the question "Why didn't anyone notice when you were a child?"

    I was an eccentric, artistic, cerebral, sensitive child. I am exactly the same as an adult. The only difference is that now I recognize it, and build my life around me and my needs.

    When I was a child and a teen, I didn't understand why I was the way I was, I didn't understand why I was an "outsider" for it (even with the people who loved me), and I didn't know how to articulate what I needed and how I felt as well as I can now. And the reason is because there is no vocabulary for sensitive people to use, and in the 90's there was even less understanding of sensitive personalities than there is now. If I had been born in 2010, my life might have been very different.

    Did this frustration and outsiderness and sensitivity and inability to articulate contribute to my instability as a teen, and pave the way for a breakdown in communication significant enough for me to lose my mind after trauma? Yeah, probably.

    All of this factored into the equation, am I really bipolar, or do the symptoms of disconnection and sensitivity merely mimic the disorder (like so many other things)?

    Is the fact that I was able to become a high-functioning adult with no medication after such a profound breakdown a sign that my diagnosis is incorrect and I was merely a sensitive person who could not articulate, or am I recovering with age?

    Who knows.

    We don't. Anything we claim to understand about the human mind at this point in history is an exaggeration at best. We know so little.
  7. Lisa B

    Lisa B Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 30, 2010
    Central City, Colorado
    It is very difficult to explain bi-polar disorder because everyone has different experiences with it and yes it is misdiagnosed in some. Mental health is an area of medicine that is really hit and miss. We are all as different as snowflakes so their is no good treatment that will work for everyone, which makes treating the disorder most difficult on all of us. We are guinea pigs for therapy and pharmaceuticals, finding doctors and therapists that don't try and pigeon hole is very difficult. But when you find things that work for you it is amazing. Nothing is going to get rid of all the symptoms but to find some kind of balance somewhere that makes us able to function is the key. Unfortunately a lot of us never find it or if we do it lasts for a short time and we have to start over. In my case that has been true, I would be good for a bit and then everything fall apart but right now I have been functional for quite sometime and I am truly grateful, I hope it lasts but I am prepared to start over if it doesn't. I am lucky to have someone in my life that will help me through the bad and work with me to get to the good places, it is very difficult for loved ones to deal with as much as it is for us that live with bi-polar disorder.
  8. guitardedmark

    guitardedmark Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    I agree with Mistress. We really don't know as much about mental health as we think we do. It's one of the most difficult and variable areas of human health there is. It's unbelievable how many new diagnosis and disorders come out every YEAR! I think there is much more uniqueness than we account for. There are some chemical disorders than affect many people but there are other "disorders" that I believe are very unique to the individual. General mental illness treatments are not as effective in treating these issues. I also believe the impact of drug use is AT BEST hardly considered in the mental illness world and it is an absolute shame.

    For years and years I struggled with anxiety, depression, bi-polar symptoms, anger, narcisism, anti-social behavior, and just about any other disorder you can mention. What I've learned is that I was raised in an abusive enviroment. I was unable to cope well as a child because I was not taught coping skills. I was controlled and traumatized. As I got older, life got tougher. I then found drugs o_O Drugs can give a false sense of security and can temporarily provide feelings of peace and happiness. I began to "cope" with my issues by using drugs. Eventually that just made things worse and I started having symptoms of some major MI.

    Believe it or not I have absolutely none of those symptoms anymore. What did I do? I got sober, did some work on myself, joined AA and took responsbility for my actions and feelings. Now I am a happy, fully functioning healthy adult. Drugs have caused me so much personal agony that I refused to take medication. Some people don't have a choice. Fortunately I did. Also, the movie "what the bleep do we know" absolutely changed my life. The idea of the movie is pretty much the same as the poem "attitude" by charles swindoll with some scientific evidence. I no longer allow other people to determine my happiness and I no longer blame other people when I'm unhappy. I have learned to cope with very stressful situations and I have a clear grasp of what works for me and what doesnt. Mistakes can be a true blessing, as long as you learn from them. Edison said it best, "I have not failed, I have simply discovered 10000 ways which do not work" :) If nothing else, I am an expert at using the process of elimination to learn how to live a healthy happy life :)
  9. Lisa B

    Lisa B Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 30, 2010
    Central City, Colorado
    Congratulations on your sobriety, I know that is one of the most difficult things anyone can do for themselves. I applaud your success at managing your symptoms, you are a lot stronger then you ever thought you could be. Continue to live your life on your own terms and be proud of yourself.
  10. BCB

    BCB Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 28, 2010
    North Idaho
    As a parent of one daughter who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and one daughter who is not, I just wanted to say that the upheaval the disorder put all of us through gave me a surprising gift. I have learned that my daughter who's bipolar is one of the most courageous people I've ever met. And I've learned that my other daughter is one of the most generous people I've met. I would not have predicted these outstanding characteristics in either of them, but I cannot deny the discovery or my pride in both of them. So--hang in there. You are giving gifts of discovery to others as you struggle with your demons.
  11. guitardedmark

    guitardedmark Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Good for you BCB and props for being a good mother! It's always great to hear the "glass half full" attitude :)
  12. maureengill

    maureengill Moved On ECF Veteran

    Oct 3, 2009
    Trainer PA

    Sorry to hear you are having such a tough time. My sister was diagnosed with bipolar and her son was also (my oldest nephew). I was diagnosed with major depression 10+ years ago and was told by my psychiatrist at the time that I was a lifer on meds. My nephew passed away back in April of this year and it has been the toughest year ever in my family. Unfortunately he was using drugs and OD'd. He stole from me about a month before he passed and I'd bet that some of that was used to kill him. A couple months after my nephew passed my sister tried to commit suicide and that is when she was diagnosed with bipolar. In the last month my car was totalled and someone robbed my house. I've spent a lot of time just trying to keep it together (there was a large amount of cash taken). Unfortunately this was another person who stole from me to get their fix of drugs. This kid (my friends brother) was in my house once with his brother and apparently stole a spare house key from me. My neighbor saw him go into my house, but didn't call the police. I'm really just trying to stay sane at this point. I'll be dealing with the repercussions of the robbery for a long time, not feeling safe in my own home, knowing that someone went through everything i own and took whatever they wanted. My spare car key to the new car was on that list, so now I have to keep a club on my car to make sure it'll still be there because the key was never found. The cash was gone (that was pretty much a given) and I am sad because like my nephew this person was using ...... and as much as I want to be mad I just can't seem to find mad. I'd like to better understand what my sister is going through so that I can help her as much as possible. Anything anyone has to offer on this subject would be great. Sometimes the easiest way to relate to it is to hear someone elses story. Thanks for listening...i really needed to get some of that out.
  13. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 4, 2010
    Southeast Texas
    This is a great place to get it out. big (((hugs))) Maureen! You are really getting handed the poopy end of the stick lately. Many folks with mental disorders try to self-medicate with illegal drugs, which leads to brain damage which leads to more self medication.... on and on. Mental anguish is as painful as physical hurt, maybe more so sometimes. So many outsiders want to judge... 'oh they're just an addict' and write people off. Healthy, happy sane people don't just wake up one morning and think--- gee, I think today I'll choose to do illegal drugs! I'd love to be an addict! it just doesn't happen. People start down that path because they are in pain and want it to stop.
    I also have chronic depression. I've had it as long as I can remember, around 5 years old. Taking my meds is annoying as all get out. I hate it. But what I hate worse is being off of them for too long. I am not who I really am inside when I'm off them. I'm meaner, snappier, less focused and all round not fun to live with. I don't even like living with me when I'm like that. So I grumble and take my pill.
    I do hope you are seeing a thearapist who is helpful to you. They can be useful in giving you advice on coping skills to get through this large pile of poo you have on your plate. Hang in there and know that we're here for ya!
  14. jiveman

    jiveman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 22, 2010
    i'm sorry to hear about all of this.

    on a good note in my story, i'm back to managing again despite not being able to get in to see a psychiatrist. it's my mission to abstain from hard drugs for the rest of my life, and vaping without cigarettes has calmed me down a lot and allowed that possibility. i'm working on not drinking so much, at least not alone haha. bipolar is different for a lot of people. we have the same mood fluctuation disorder but mood ranges and their consequences/behavioral results vary so much from person to person. it is my own fault for not continuing to search for a good medication regimen earlier, but then again, medications are not always the answer and its sometimes just too hard to live with the side effects.

    i wonder daily whether i am misdiagnosed, but that's a common trait amongst bipolar individuals. it takes us so long to accept the fact even when it carries on for years. it makes me laugh how many of us deny it for so long. twenty plus individuals i met with this disorder while in the hospital all have the same denial, and it makes me laugh as i still continue to refuse to believe it's not going to affect me my whole life. (maybe its just our only way to micro manage the hard truth of seeing ourselves this way for such a long time)...and the blunt truth that managing very often means the end of mania, which to us, represents our greatest feelings in life. (nothin' beats that high, trust me i know.)

    the best thing to do is to realize it takes a lot of time even for the person with this disorder to understand how it affects them personally, and there will be many bumps in the road as they come to self-discovery. non-judgmental attempts at understanding it, and waiting for them to feel confident enough to acknowledge and discuss it, when they're ready, is our only hope of maintaining a normal relationship with such an indvidual. they have a great tendency to shut everyone out for a very long time. don't take it personally and try to understand. they'll come around when things settle down and are more understandable and consistent.

    as always, best of luck to everyone.

    all i can say is...what a mess :)
  15. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 4, 2010
    Southeast Texas
    I'm glad to hear you are feeling better lately jiverock! It's a hard to understand and accept diagnosis for both the patient and their loved ones. I certainly didn't want to believe my kid had it. I am still not certain that he does. I am fairly certain he is schitzophrenic, and I am just hoping he doesn't have BOTH. yeah cheeze louise.... that would be just lovely... I just try to make it through each day with him. Big hugs to all of us, and courage to get through it. :)
  16. Automaton

    Automaton Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    Hey jive, glad to know you're managing better. Baby steps.

    The thing about bipolar, and all of the disorders it mimics, is that we really don't know much about them. Thyroid problems and nutrition deficiencies can actually cause identical symptoms as bipolar. And this is a common mix-up in people who are diagnosed bipolar at atypical ages (either younger or older than the average). Also keep in mind as many as half of those diagnosed as bipolar as young adults experience a long term/permanent remission of symptoms by age 30, with or without treatment.

    Every version of the DSM seems to have more and more sub-divisions of the disorder, including an ever-more diffuse and imprecise constellation of symptoms, which are almost always self-reported during the diagnosis process.

    I guess what I'm saying is that unfortunately, our knowledge base (or lack there of) doesn't do much to convince anyone of why they should accept their diagnosis. Which is both intellectually prudent, and realistically crippling. If our suffering, whether it's truly due to bipolar or not, were purely an intellectual practice, then questioning the validity of the current psychiatric process might make more sense. But our suffering is real - so sometimes we just have to leave that to psychiatrists to suss out.

    Personally? After thinking of myself as bipolar for a while, and becoming more and more confused about how this actually applied to me, and realizing more and more that what people tout as "fact" is actually "theory," and that much of that theory makes no sense, I gave up on labeling myself. I take my problems as they arise, and deal with myself as an individual.

    But I'm glad you're doing a better. I hope you're doing better. Like so many mad folks, you are quite gifted and you deserve a good life.


    My god, I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through. And so touched that your main concern is understanding better.

    Unfortunately, knowing her diagnosis doesn't narrow down the possible causes of her behavior much. Everyone's reasons for getting hooked into the wrong crowds is different. You're going to have to use what you know to whittle down the possibilities. Here's a few of the most common ones.

    1. Trying to quiet personal pain (this is a wide category - could be trauma, depression, stress, self-loathing, etc)

    2. Over-indulgence (mania)

    3. Trying to "normalize" herself (feeling outcast due to giftedness, sensitive personality, etc, using drugs to belong to that "group," or numb down her mind)

    ...And lots and lots more.

    The only thing I can recommend is trying to have a calm, loving conversation with her and see if you can find out.
  17. jiveman

    jiveman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jul 22, 2010
    Spot on. Good read as always. What a mind you have.
  18. Krisb

    Krisb Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 25, 2010
    Loved your description "psychiatric diagnoses are, more often than not, nothing more than a description applied to a constellation of symptoms. " Beautifully and accurately put!

    My first husband had Bi-polar but I was young and had no idea what I was dealing with. It was a very abusive relationship as I think he had no idea what he was dealing with either and had a lot of anger and denial. We had 2 children. I knew my son had it, from childhood. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a Dr. to put a name to it and he was left with no help. Pediatric Bi-polar is often overlooked due to the symptoms manifesting themselves so differently than in adulthood. He went into fits of rage like his father, then severe depression and bouts of crazy highs, mania. I honestly had to hold my breath when I would come home not knowing if he had killed himself or if his anger would be there. Horrible way to live, for him and all of us.

    Strangely, I remarried several yrs later and my new husband literally became someone completely different the day we married. We had a son and when he was only a few months old, knew he had autism. As he got older, we narrowed it down to aspergers and sure enough, my husband suddenly made sense. How likely to have your first husband and first son with bi-polar and your second husband and second son with aspergers? I know the struggle they all go through daily and I feel guilty for wanting to run away at times.

    Sorry, started reading this thread and it's been a long few yrs and had to vent a bit. Good luck to all in their journey.
  19. jj2

    jj2 Moved On ECF Veteran

    May 30, 2009
    Hundred Acre Wood
    Krisp---I totally understand wanting to run away and then I feel guilty because I do feel that way.
    What happens more than wanting to make the great escape is the urge to find a corner to scream in because I'd be laying a guilt trip on RW (disabled) and he is not to blame---his condition is.
  20. Morgythekilla

    Morgythekilla Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
    I completely agree meds are no good! It'll all be okay, everyone has a different brain that functions differently. I was studying psychology and now have switched to Business, because Bipolar and any other diagnosis is most likely BS. IMO. Everyone is different, you need to find your center, your balance and your chi!! You'll be okay!
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