Bipolar Disorder Community
Being aware of mood change
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Being aware of mood change

I am curious about this and hopefully you folks will give alot of input back to me.  Do you people that suffer from Bipolar Disorder know when your mood is about to change?  For example, from depressed or stable to manic.   I never realize as soon as it seems like I should until i am really either depression or what have you.  Wish I could gauge that better!
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585414_tn?1288944902
Well for me since I use the Catapres application patch, partially as a mood stabilizer, I do know as the days pass on until the next application I will encounter rapid cycling. What I didn't know is that until I started an anti-convulsant (used to control dystonic spasms in me, they are documenting a mood stabization effect as well) that has mood stabilization properties that I could look back and see that I was clearly grandiose at times. Its harder to tell when its happenning. Its not so hard to tell when you are depressed but sometimes elation or mania can seem like a "really good day" and in the past before my current recovery with that antipsychotic agent in clinical study I would have purchased $100 on cd's and think it was "the best day I ever had" and didn't realize I was wildly manic until someone pointed it out to me.
For anyone here keeping a mood tracker is a good way to understand it though and then you can bring the results to your psychiatrist for them to know what is going on better.
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969102_tn?1294341967
I do notice my mood changes, though I don't always act on what I'm noticing.  Sometimes that is part of the illness, wanting to deny that certain moods are even a problem.  As with the previous comment from Iladvocate, mania is much trickier to catch as it can feel so good, I feel so intelligent, and can seem to make everything go my way.  I also have gone on some great happy shopping trips...bought a new SUV on a whim last year that I am still begrudgingly paying more than I can afford:)

I really use the mood  tracker on this site everyday now, and am honest.  Just conscientiously keeping track helps keep things more stable.  Also compiling thorough, and I mean thorough lists of all your triggers, symptoms and strategies to alleviate symptoms and reviewing them once in a while is a good idea.  That way if you can start to recognize signs or symptoms that mean a mood swing may be starting, and can work on that symptom, and what triggered it if possible, before either depression or mania starts to get hold of you.  Medication shouldn't be the only way the moods are dealt with...not that it isn't important, and for most of us probably essential, there are endless things we can all do to keep the swings on a shorter leash.  
If you'd like an example of some lists and other great strategies, google Julie Fast.  She has two comprehensive websites on bipolar.

All the best!
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539549_tn?1315985262
     I start noticing right after it happens,......
it hasbn't always been this way tho
but I've been BP for 8 something years now so its a habbit I've picked up on
it does happen (normally when it does I ask myself about the situation.....is this something that would normally upset me,....so that I can recongise the diffrence between just bein aggiitated or depressed or having a pet peeeve)

well, when Im
feeling okay and then bein bummed out or suddenly becoming more talkative....
here what I do to help (this might help you too you should try it)
Basicly I take my meds in my purse since I take that pretty much everywhere I go
when I feel like I'm starting to get manic I find the nearst restroom so I can take them privately without anyone noticing
    
     If I feel like I'm depressed and slow,....(not manicly depressed)
I normally just try going through the day,.....people can rleate to derpression or being quite
it looks a hell of alot better than mentioning stuff thats innaproperiate or not bein able to shutup......I guage the situation,..... (since I don't respond well at all to stimulant or anti depressent drugs) if its bad I try and get my hands on some herbal remedies like ginko or vervain or B12 possibly niacin vitimans and stuff you can buy at the local helath store (they really work trust me)
but if I really feel like I have no energy or can't get outta bed I drink a moutain dew
the caffine boost works really well for me (better than coffee)
(as long as its not late in the afternoon so I can get to bed at night)
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Now that I am in the middle of changing all my meds I have learned to recognize my moods through feedback from people and how I am at work.  For instance a coworker said I have "a lot of energy".  I also move quickly, can't sit still and I am excited when I am high.  Recently I was taken off my anti depressant cuz I was high and I became very depressed - crying spells, paranoia around my family and wanting to be alone.  I have learned to be aware of my symptoms and keep track of them.  It really helps.
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