I know its easy to tell someone they are hypomanic. But what about yourself? And that full blow mania is frightening. But hypomania can seem like "fun" but it quickly spirals into full blown mania. We've all experienced it. Including myself. And aren't always self aware. But how can we stop it before it gets worse?
For myself signs of hypomania (remember its complex because I have schizoaffective)
contacting people I hardly know, feelings that "I love everyone" (elation), hypersexuality, overspending, feelings of paranoia (people who are annoying become "threatening"), doing passive aggressive or hostile pranks (in the past), self medicating with natural remedies (in the past), drinking large amounts of caffeinated beverages (in the past), overstating my important/thinking I could "change the world", unable to concentrate on tasks but becoming obssessed with something unimportant.
Right now I am to the point where I can spot this and catch it before it gets worse. Can you? What happens with you?
Can you stop it? And could you learn?
I am BP2, so never go into full-blown mania. But my hypomania symptoms flux between anger/irritation/rage, anxiety over simple things [paranoia that I'm about to get fired at work, though I'm far from it, etc], a jittery feeling beneath my skin, jumpiness, generalized paranoia [can't stand people behind me or touching me, although I never have the feeling they work for the government or anything]. Sudden inspiration, bounding friendliness, abrupt joining of a million different causes [volunteer].
Sometimes I can side-swipe it by focusing it on a creative project I get obsessed with until it's over. Lately I haven't been able to. And if it's worse than just a minor bout of hypomania, there hasn't been any way I can actually stop it. I can forestall it, calm it down with a nice, hot bath or an early rest at night, but not get rid of it until it's over. I'm also an ultra-rapid cycler, which makes it all the harder to control.
I am gest comming out of a hypomania state.In the beginning my mood becomes elevated and I have several projects to get done.I am generally quite functional. It doesn't take long before the sleepness nights kick in.I usually have very vivid dreams during this time. Very much in color. At this point I start getting concerned if I am going to keep going to full blown mania or am I going to start spiriling down,and if that happends how low am I going to go and what is it going to take to get back to my confort zone For me during mania there is a fine line between elation and paronia. But there is almost always aggitiation when I start comming down and I usually sleep for a couple of days and become antisocial. The biggest thing I do to manage Bi-Polar is to stay med compliant, take care of my spiritual need, emotional and plysical But even if I do everything right I can still have an eposide.Especially with being a rapid cycler.More than anything I've learned not to beat myself up when it does happen. Blessed Be
I believe that I'm BP2 as well, but find conflicting diagnostics between I and II.
I find it very difficult to discover hypomanic episodes while I'm experiencing them. Looking back at them while not hypomanic, many of the episodes seem obvious, but while I'm in them they generally make me feel and think something like: "finally, I'm getting better", or "finally, I can do things again".
I spend a lot (most) of my time in depression or possibly "mixed", and the hypomanic state very often feels like I'm finally (and only just) coming out of the depression. Hypomania also seems different in quality from one episode to another, further disguising its appearance.
While in an episode, I generally do occasionally wonder if I could possibly be hypomanic, but usually end up deciding that I'm not. Perhaps my clue should be that if I'm wondering if I'm hypomanic, I probably am!
I'm BP2, or so I thought, then I was told on the 30th that I have BP spectrum... hmmm.
I'm constantly mood swinging. in the last month it's been 75% hypo/25% dep. I didn't realize until you just mentioned SandTiger, that worrying and almost sure you're going to lose you job has been a constant for months.that it's paranoia. Before I went off on sick leave. I then started getting worse because of my anxiety and temper. I get buzzy "highs" as well, sometimes there fine, because I'm aware that I'm in that state. I try not to spend, start things and if it gets too much, I add some extra seroquel. I've only had one full blown manic episode where I was sure someone could hear me outside of my apt., my friend called and told me I was manic, I took extra meds to wind down. I am very cautious of those, because I crash the next day. My pdoc just upped my Lithium, I've been in an "up" mood since just before xmas.
First: to sandtiger - I'm so glad that you wrote your symptoms. I have had episodes of being very irritated by ppl touching or standing too close to me. I never thought of this as a sign of BP cuz I started getting this quite young (16). It makes sense though, because all of my 'signs' began around that time (same time as my menstrual cycle starting).
That being said, I know to watch for signs of hypomania when I feel like my menstrual cycle may begin. But because I don't always have a cycle (I get 6 or less per year due to another diagnoses), it doesn't always occur when I think it's going to. Or, I get no warning of impending doom (that's what it feels like for me because so many problems are going to occur at once) and I am unprepared. Like today.
Today, I am hypomanic. My symptoms are feelings of irritability, anxiety, skin crawling, lack of concentration (I mean more than usual), no attention span, insomnia (even with sleeping pills - but they at least give me a couple of hours of sleep) and the aforementioned touchy feely problems. To compound that, I'm usually in alot of pain which increases my agitation and yelling and aggressiveness. And the worst part of all? I feel extremely guilty about turning my 13 year old son away when it feels so painful on my skin to hug him or have him sit too close to me. (He is very understanding! My sisters and brother have shared many anecdotes with him about my "freaking out" whenever they touched me!)
Although I am aware of my hypomania as it occurs, I have no idea how to stop it. It has been almost three years since my diagnosis and I have less hypomania than depression, so it has been hard to prevent or even remedy these episodes.
This is really interesting. I have a variety of ways in which hypomania presents itself but to date I can never notice the signs that it is approaching, they kind of just hit. I can either be very angry/irritable for no apparent reason. Other times I go on mad cleaning sprees, moving furniture and scrubbing everything in site and this is often accompanied by irritability that nobody else is doing the same! Spending - although not to great excess nowadays I do still spend money on things I don't really need and will probably never use, my latest purchase was a digital camera and not just any old make and model and although i've used it a few times i don't really need it.
I become enthused with ideas and work on them obsessively for anything from a day to a week (sometimes longer), I never do things by half, ie, i won't settle for painting one picture or writing one short story, I'm talking about setting up an art exhibition or getting a whole series of books published. The number of projects that I've started and not completed are vast.
Other things are when I do things on the spur of the moment like have all my hair cut short, or die it a completely different colour and I almost always end up regretting it when I come back down.
The worrying thing about it though is nobody can hold me back once i'm on a "roll", i just won't listen and I'm very good at persuading family and friends that "this time its different".
Bringing in the recent post of coming off medication, I'm also guilty of doing that when i'm on an extended hypomanic state.
So although I don't have mania with psychosis and nothing I do is dangerous to my health or others they do still impact on me and my family. You should have seen the hole I dug in the garden of our previous garden when I decided I wanted to design and build a sunken patio - it remained a great big square hole some 4ft deep!
I also get that I don't want anyone near me at times not even my husband or kids and then other times I won't leave my husband alone!
I am trying to learn about triggers, signs etc so that I can develop a stay well plan once I'm more stable and my husband is also keeping alert to what may trigger my rather silly manic episodes.
I have no idea what my triggers are; sometimes what triggers an episode one time doesn't ever again, and vice versa. As far as predicting my hypomania, it's only because they almost always occur with my cycles, but I also have unpredictable episodes.
Sometimes I get obsessed about getting my house cleaned and find that I am extremely irritable with my child for being painfully slow, but I don't think it's tied in with the hypomania. It definately occurs during those episodes, but it happens more often than that, too.
Funny thing is that the obseession never really gets past my thoughts. Cleaning is the only action I take when obsessed, but not to the degree that others would call abnormal. I think it's because even during hypomania, my energy is rather low.
Does anyone else experience really low energy during their hypomanic states?
alzandra: "Does anyone else experience really low energy during their hypomanic states?"
I am feeling that way right now in fact. I was in the shower earlier, and all of these ideas and questions for posting to this group were coming to me. I had so many great questions that I wanted to ask this group that I felt wow, I have to write this down. Then I wondered hmmm, I must be hypomanic in order for this to be happening. Not that the questions weren't great mind you :)
And at the same time, and now, I feel physically tired and heavy, but still with a sort of nervous energy that is keeping me going. It actually feels like an uncomfortable caffeine sort of buzz, which is unlike any hypomanic episode that I've had before. I felt the same way for part of the day yesterday. Feels strange to me, not very good actually, but I guess it beats couch potato, at least for now.
I've been taking Lamictal for only a few weeks, and Wellbutrin for 2-3 months I guess, so I'm wondering if it may be due to one of these kicking in or something.
I have a question based upon what alzandra said above about skin crawling. The night before last I had a bout of what I've likened to "restless leg syndrome", only it's more like restless body. Its like my body gets so uncomfortable with the crawling and burning that a large number of the muscles in my body finally contract in one big spasm, seemingly to relieve the sensations. This is a very temporary help, and it happens unconsciously sometimes and sometimes I do it myself to try to alleviate the symptoms. After not sleeping hardly at all for 4 1/2 hours, I finally had the idea to take some Advil & Tylenol, which did help me get some sleep afterward.
I'm very curious as to how many here have this skin crawling sensation?
It's really great to have a community like this for bipolar related questions and ideas. I've been missing out for a long time!
Well it depends. I know there's the phrase when people are nervous that you "want to jump out of your skin" but I looked it up and a sensation of having your skin crawl is a potential but harmless side effect of Wellbutrin so see if it started with that. Its odd when someone has hypomania to experience low energy. I have trouble concentrating on projects or ideas but my thoughts are speeded up as is common or I work on things that are useless or time wasting such as organizing papers. I have low energy during episodes of depression and in an agitated mixed state appear "angry at the world" but those are less and less these days.
Thanks. I see a lot of these issues in myself. Having a general recovery from psychosis doesn't mean that I was out of the woods as regards mood stabilization. I know that I have over riding neurological issues and require activating prescriptions for them that keep me up late at night (until early morning, cannot tolerate known sleep aides) but I knew there was an element of what I called to my psychopharmocologist "garden variety mania" lol. I was just trying to target exactly what.
The difficulty in the past was that I did things that had destructive consequences. Now I do things that have positive consequences but involve a lot of responsibility that goes with them. So I have to target exactly what to take on and what's realistic and eliminate any destructive motives involved if the advocacy involves something I am contesting. I would say since getting back on a mood stabilizer that's been much easier to do. If you try to "correct the world" as I do even when hypomanic you are really just fighting windmills and are unable to get anything done.
Oh my goodness, I am so happy to have found you ppl here! Thank you. I feel "normal." Haha. For someone with BP.
My low energy is the inability to follow through with the racing ideas, starting of projects, etc. Sometimes I have a hard time even starting things, but I do pace. Although in hypomania with racing thoughts and influx of ideas, I can stay up all night and not do anything except read, watch TV or just sit and stare at the walls.
I know what you mean by saying "I want to jump out of my skin", I've had that too, as a psychological urge, unlike what I meant by "skin crawling", meaning a physical sensation that I think some people have described as feeling kind of like ants crawling underneath your skin, associated with restless leg syndrome. I also have a physical burning feeling that goes along with it as well. It's most obvious in my legs and feet, but is farther up as well.
I've had this for years, mostly while not on Wellbutrin. It comes and goes seemingly without reason. Whenever it comes I look for a reason and can't find one, but I am now wondering if it possibly comes along when I have active mania/hypomania.
I am Bipolar II. I am 51 and have had it as long as I can remember. I was the difficult child then teenager. Even then I just knew that I was and felt different than others. Back then mental illness was a taboo subject. I was finally diagnosed in my early 30's. Frankly I hate being Bipolar. It helped caused a lot of bad decisions when younger, caused 5 hospitalizations and 3 suicide attempts. The depressions are dark and deep. There has been a lot of hypomania as well. I also have OCD and panic disorder. These all have caused for much misery. What does the hypomania cause in me? I have been known to spend money, when I knew bills were due. I get an inflated sense that I know everything. I will get to talking and no one can get a word in. I become very irritable, have zero patience and have extreme anger inside. I have had multiple jobs. Friendships that have never lasted. I will multi-task. Having a number of things that I am doing at once. All I end up accomplishing is feeling such frustration. What are my triggers? I really don't know. Somedays I wake up and that is just the way I am. I think stress is one of my possible triggers. The depressions I can feel and see coming in myself, more than I can the hypomania. My husband says I am like two people. At what point am I at now at 51? I see a good person down deep, that was intelligent enough, to have been anything she wanted to be. And this is not hypomania talking in me now. This is the real me, that is feeling from the heart. Being bipolar does not improve or it did not for me anyway. At this point I am only very tired. The weariness reaches to my soul. I have done all the counseling. I do believe in counseling and the meds. But, those things cannot fix for me now, what has already been damaged over the years. Now, I live with extreme guilt and regret. I have become housebound pretty much. The world no longer holds any interest to me. My paranoia took the interest of life away for me. I now trust no one. I have been diagnosed in Oct. 2007 with COPD..Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Due to the OCD, I am afraid to get out in the world. I am terrified of germs. With COPD a person gets ill a lot. A cold turns into bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, etc. When you have COPD there is much loss of breath and the fatigue is overwhelming. Anymore, I can have hypomania and just not have the energy or breath, to keep up with being hypomanic. Depression creeps in more and more. It is hard knowing you have a disease, that is one day going to kill you. Being bipolar was bad enough. I have been on many meds in my time. Some only made me worse, some took the edge off and some did nothing. I cannot tolerate the antipsychotics. And I won't be so doped up, that I am like a zombie. I have been there. I am not at a good place right now. There is no one to talk to. My family loves me, but they don't really get me. I don't blame them. I don't get myself. Things are not going to get better. It all is what it is. Please don't let my story discourage anyone though. Hang in there and strive for what you want in life and your dreams. I let all mine pass by. Now, I am just an aging unhappy lady.
Yes well hypomania is something for me to cope with but before I was on the experimental psychotic glycine I had full psychotic thoughts. Its a matter of getting a good mood stabilizer and I've been through 30 of them. Truthfully I am aware when I am hypomanic. Even when I am manic. With the experimental antipsychotic I am on I redirect the energy. If I feel manic I may work on a creative project to keep from doing something destructive. If I feel persecuted by the world even in a sense that's not abnormal I'll do something to change things and not grandiose, I mean such as recently when I wrote to the boro president where I live about there being a traffic light on the corner because of the number of car crashes and it got a response and will be acted on. And when I feel depressed I try and work with someone to help them so I stop feeling sorry for myself. Look it took me a while to find an antipsychotic that mitigated my psychotic thoughts. That seemed impossible. But studies bear it out. If I find a mood stabilizer that works that well in development that I can get access to I'll try it. But with any mood stabilizer in addition to the glycine (again this is a Phase II experimental antipsychotic, not a natural remedy) I can redirect all of those annoying manic feelings.
And I've known some people with cylothymia who can't. Its complex. I remember when I was first recovering and the voices I heard (that's gone of course) stopped being angry and psychotic and said once "I know you are manic. What are you going to do about it?. Do something constructive with it". I don't hear voices anymore but I think and act in that manner. And it does work. And I don't think someone needs to make a medication change to use this strategy.
As George Clooney said in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, you are in a tight spot. After reading your post I feel like a real whiner - and more appreciative of what I still DO have!
A couple of positives in your post really stuck out for me. First, "I see a good person deep down...". I know exactly what you mean, that "good person" is always good no matter what is or isn't going on. To me, this is the "real me", the part that is not changeable, unaffected by circumstances, and according to teachers that I particularly like, the part of us that is eternal or timeless: the part that was there before we were born and will still be after physical death.
Second, "It all is what it is.". This totally reminds me of Eckhart Tolle's teachings. One thing that he said that I wrote down and has stuck with me ever since is, "Allow, what is, to be...It seems too simple, but that's how it works." In other words, it already is as it is, why cause oneself more suffering by arguing with, and fighting against, what already is?
I used to strive for what I wanted, occasionally still do, but like you, I have finally let most of it pass by, partly because I could see that it was no longer possible, but more importantly for me was seeing that almost all of what I was previously striving for was of no real importance after all. What is most important to me now is doing my best to honor that goodness, and to BE that goodness, that resides down deep.
That goodness knows that there is no need for guilt, how could there be? We do the best that we can do given the cards that we've been dealt. We've always done the best that we can, even when it seems that we could have done better - if we could have done better, we would have! We are not to blame for our genetics and conditioning resulting from our upbringing, schools, other people, societal expectations, etc. We've always done the best we could at any given moment, given all that we are, and that goodness down deep knows that.
So, I have to disagree with your last sentence, you are not just an aging unhappy lady, you are really that goodness down deep.
Iladvocate: I haven't had any psychosis. Yet. Thankfully. I have also been lucky as far as a mood stabilizer (lithium was the first and only). I understand the guinea pig issues you've had, as I've been on numerous different antidepressants. Finally settled on Effexor XR. We change the dosage as needed at different times.
Daledude: I feel like you and I have alot in common with our symptoms. I wish I was as eloquent as many of the ppl on here.... I also seem to not realize a LOT of things I thought were just weird quirks may actually be a part of my BP. Like the painful skin-crawling feelings & now, the feelings of isolation and giving up. Which brings me to....
Lynnkay: We are doing the best that we can with what we've got. If we knew better, we would do better. Platitudes, yes. But it is the truth. I can relate to your feelings. I too, have isolated myself. Mostly I feel like there is so much more to me that's stuck inside and just can't get out. I wish desparately that I could fix it because I have the potential and I'm young enuff to go to school, but the motivation and the ability is no longer there. It's like it was sucked right out of me. It's the same with making new relationships.
I feel like I'm going to be single and on disablity forever. And boy does that hurt.
There are ways around these issues once medication is adjusted as you say it it. There are dating sites for people with psychiatric disabilities. I know nolongerlonely.com is a reputable one. As for disability, if you mean SSDI, there are work incentives programs associated with it and I know each state has vocational training programs for people with disabilities so that even if you couldn't do your past work, you could try for something else. As well with SSDI there is a limit called Substantial Gainful Activity but if you earn below that, that is do minor part time work you could still be able to collect. That's in the United States and I noticed that you live in Canada so perhaps it works differently there but they must have something similar. Regardless you could find out at an independent living center and they do have those in Canada as well:
Regardless being on disability doesn't mean not being productive as I can personally testify.
Thank you. I do have many resources here in Canada. And I have been using them as I am able. I am having a problem being productive. Except in the small things. I even do things for my family members and I can't always be as reliable as I want to. They, thankfully, do understand that I am not unreliable on purpose, and they also know that I don't take on too much so that I render myself useless. But in the real world, it doesn't work.
Sometimes, it's so hard to read (my favourite hobby) because of my innability to concentrate, my memory problems and fatigue. Can you believe that? I mean, really, how is it possible to be too fatigued to read? Even one magazine article....
I think you're right, we do have a lot in common with our symptoms. I have serious problems being productive due to fatigue, depression, lack of energy, no motivation, etc. Fortunately, or for me, mostly unfortunately, I can feel this way and still look pretty good such that my ex used to get really pissed at me for not doing the things that I should be doing.
At the time I didn't know that I was bipolar, all I knew was that I was often really tired and unmotivated to do anything. Part of me thought that I was just lazy, but another part of me knew that I really couldn't help it. I remember regularly falling asleep in class all the way back in high school. I generally wouldn't last more than 15 minutes trying to study in the library before I was asleep on the table. Drank coffee and smoked cigarettes all day for 20+ years to try to compensate.
Wasn't bad off enough for long enough to think I needed help, plus it really never crossed my mind that what I was experiencing could be a mental illness. I thought that I was just f'd up and inadequate, bad character or something, and that I was just lacking the discipline to get my s*** together. Thought that if I'd just be disciplined enough to do that, I'd be okay and it'd all go away.
Went through a pile of self-help stuff trying to get it right, some of it helped a bit, in some areas, for a while, but the tiredness, fatigue and sleep problems never went away.
I feel like I have to watch myself a bit now because it's a bit too easy to just say f*** it, I have bipolar so I can't do anything anymore. Not a helpful attitude, but hard to resist because sometimes it IS true, I am really unable to do much of anything.
I have been having headaches every day for months and found that I was also unable to read due mostly to fatigue, plus it was painful for my eyes when I tried to read. It does seem strange, but I know what you're talking about. I usually didn't want to read more than a short paragraph or so at a time - not too productive. At the moment I am thankfully able to read again.
In regards to relationships, I've hit the jackpot - I don't know if I'd be around at all if it weren't for my wife. We have been together for 15 years as best friends too - its been a real blessing for both of us in that way. Its kind of strange that in spite of all the pain and things "gone wrong", I've always felt lucky or fortunate at the same time. Not a happy type feeling, just a feeling of being fortunate that I have what I do and how it could be so much worse than it is I guess.
My mania comes in waves, the days I'm not in physical pain, I'm buzzing around, though I can never get anything done, including cleaning, now my place is a serious mess. I found that celexa and cymbalta both made me want to jump out of my skin and I hated being touched.
I, like you wonder if I am ever going to have a sweetheart. As soon as I mention BP, whoosh they're gone. I've tried to educate, but it doesn't really matter. At this point I've given up. It's been years since I've had a serious relationship, but with this diagnosis on top of being a bit overweight, my chances are slim to none. I have let go of that aspect of my life. Not that I don't think I'm worthy, but I'm being realistic in my situation. I'm glad that some folks have a partner, it's much easier when you have someone batting in your corner.
SSRI's gave me agonzing headaches, it was only until I switched meds did I realize much of it was from the meds. I didn't have a day w/out a headache. I get maybe 2 a week now. I also used to drink piles of coffee to stay awake, I was drowsy all the time.
I only have rough days now usually when it's colder outside as I have osteoarthritis in my lower back. I've stopped having tenssion headaches, my neck doesn't hurt anymore, and that's been going on for 15+ yrs when I started Luvox as my first ssri. I can cope more with lower back pain 90% of the time, when my pain is at a level 8+, I don't do well.
I also know that pain at that level triggers my depression. The brain is such a complex thing isn't it?
I totally disagree. Your life and how to live it and everyone's here is their decision but I don't think that hearing that someone has bipolar should scare people off. Its a matter of how you disclose. I know it sounds a bit arch and politically correct when I say I am a person with a psychiatric disability but when I put it factually and with that stance I haven't alienated anyone. The truth is the people who are the most hateful of people with psychiatric disabilities are often hiding aspects of their lives they don't like. As for my physical disability that has kept me apart from people and homebound but because of the impact of crowds and lines as well as autonomic stimuli in a way that's hard to describe without taking up a whole page lol although I take a full walk outside daily and interact with the people I see in a normal fashion.
But I am connected through people online and I do get out to see them more than before and hope to increase that but require a fair amount of treatment with side effects of its own. Osteoarthritis is harder to cope with than what I have by far and you have my sympthy but I had a great aunt with severe arthritis and part of her difficulty coping with it we now believe was bipolar that never was treated (she had rampant moodswings) and that runs in my mother's side of the family though half of the people didn't realize it until I pointed it out to them and some of them are now getting help.
Thanks for the welcome. I should have mentioned that my headaches were around even before I started taking my current meds. At first I thought that it might have been from the Adderall, which, by the way, helped me more with severe depression than anything I had taken before. I stopped taking the Adderall because I suspected that it might have been causing the headaches, but no luck, they continued. Then I thought that it was caused by sinus issues because it hurt more when I bent over, or coughed, or the worst is sneezing - any internal body pressure causes extra pain. After mucking around with the sinus theory for many weeks, taking antibiotics, etc., I finally figured out that it was caused from problems in my neck, went back to the chiropractor and I'm finally feeling like I'm turning the corner on the headaches.
This is what seems to keep happening to me over and over again in various ways. The things that come up are always hard to figure out, the pain or whatever comes from the illness or injury seems to sap my energy and trigger depression just like you said.
It seems if everything is doing well physically, there is a much greater chance that I won't be depressed, but now I'm about 75% of the time depressed and/or completely energy depleted & fatigued. And it's a bit scary too because as I'm getting older, there are naturally more physical issues arising, at the same time as my mental capabilities seem at least at this time to be on the decline, making it more difficult all the way around to stay well physically. However, for the time being, at least the depression in regards to feeling worthless and wishing for death have not been happening.
Also, when I've felt well physically and had hypomania, it feels really good, and I've been quite productive, but now, I think because of my headaches, I'm still fairly worn out and relatively inactive while hypomania is present - at least for right now...
The difficulty is how to handle mania, even hypomania more than depression. When depressed, the key is to keep occupied and do something that will bring you out of the depression so you don't fixate on it. That's my strategy. But when hypomanic, over activity is part of the problem. You just can't focus. As for physical disabilities I look at the people in the family who had severe conditions such as cardiac conditions and strokes and just kept going to the end. I try to devote a minimum of my time towards self directed thinking unless its for a specific reason. I've toned people down who say "I feel sorry for you" and I ask them "how does that help?" and I try to refocus their energy into online research for treatments for me, some of which has been quite productive and the e-mail I hated the most was someone who said "you were victimized by medication". I gave the person a send off but in a polite way. Its funny because I don't need to get into a negative frame of mind about my physical disability and negative thinking overall because I have a whole crowd of people I know willing to the work lol and often I have to change their perspectives and motivate them and then I end up feeling better about myself.
I find your experience very interesting, it's somewhat reversed to mine.
I am feeling like I WISH my difficulty was in handling the hypomania. When I'm hypomanic I can finally do things again, like today I went to StarBucks, sat and read a book for 45 minutes or so while waiting for my wife and son to meet me - and enjoyed it! I felt like a relatively normal person again.
When I'm depressed, I enjoy practically nothing, and there's not much I can do to change that, at least nothing I've discovered. I become barely functional when depressed, completely sapped of energy and motivation to do anything except the absolute bare necessities, and I basically duck everything else as best I can. Anything slightly stressful just puts me over the top in terms of being able to emotionally and energetically cope. I often remain this way for months on end.
I'm with you on anyone saying that they feel sorry for me. I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me; I don't want to feel sorry for myself either, I just want other people, when necessary, to understand what is going on with me so that they have a clue when I don't do things they expect. And likewise, I like to know how to most effectively deal with the issues that I'm facing.
I used to go into negative thinking a lot, feeling sorry for myself and stuff, but fortunately I don't go there too much anymore unless I go down to the very bottom of the pit. I can now accept the fact of this depressed existence while it is going on - and why not accept it, it IS going on, and there's nothing I can do to stop it, complaining just compounds it. I still don't like it, it causes problems, but I don't fight against it.
I have a great deal more success in controlling the hypomania by limiting my engagement in obsessive activities, making sure that I stay in bed for at least 8 hours each night, even if I'm wide awake for some of it, taking lithium. And more often than not, my hypomanic episodes are mild enough that I don't (nor does anyone else) know for sure that I'm even having a hypomanic episode. They generally feel to me like I'm finally getting better and can be productive for a while.
The worst things that I do while hypomanic, generally, is to buy more books than I can read, spend a bit more money than I should, start projects that after the episode become completely unappealing, drive my wife a bit buggy talking my head off occasionally, get worked up and say some things that I wish later that I hadn't. And again, these things are mild, and if you didn't know my usual nature you wouldn't think much, if anything, about what I'm doing or saying.
So, for me, it's bring on the hypomania...except for one thing: I know that there is depression at the end of the hypomanic road, correspondingly as (or more) deep and long as the hypomanic episode was. So I do have motivation to keep the hypomania in check, even though it's tempting to just let 'er rip.
I shouldn't be surprised really because I've learned over the last 2 years that this type of behaviour is common BP signs.
On the depression note though - and this is mainly for ILADVOCATE - I'm surprised that you are able to "talk yourself out of depression". When depression hits me - and I'm talking deep depression here and not dips in mood - I can't even get out of bed, I don't want to eat, frankly I just want to die and there is nothing that can change that. Now if your talking about recognising when depression is hitting and taking action to prevent it getting worse, then I can go with that and agree. However, sometimes no amount of prevention, talking, activity can stop a major crash :-s that's why its BP depression.
I used to be able to talk myself out of depression but the last few months have robbed me of much of that, for a long time I used coping skills and recognition of the triggers but its not working now and I keep getting blindsided.
I react a lot like LCC - shock - we are so much a like anyway, except I am bp1 and she is 2....
My thing I have noticed is the out of body experiences with a rush of adrelaline (sp?) and energy then comes the sleepless night... waiting for the comedown to do depression. That's just one of the manic things- there are tons of them, but becoming more self-aware helps me not be so frightened when they happen.. That helps me keep suicidal thoughts in perspective, I believe.
Others' hypomania symptoms sound similar to my own except that now I seldom have good feelings. I'm often angry and irritable and then my mood will shift again and I'm completely miserable. I have racing thoughts that won't stop and become overly anxious and fearful. Maybe it's because I've gotten older, but I usually find nothing pleasant about any of the symptoms I get. I'm suspicious now if I'm in a good mood because it seems to last only a few hours until something ugly takes its place.
The creepy-crawlies under the skin - like restless legs in my whole body - are becoming more common and I get a terrible case of the wigglies, end up having to move, pace, swing my arms, etc. and nothing seems to stop it. I also tend to smoke a whole lot because I'm up and wired and nervous. To the tune of 2-3 packs a day, and I'm sure that doesn't help anything. I almost make myself sick. The lithium already keeps me with low-grade nausea and all those cigarettes make me want to puke. My spending sprees vary a lot. Christmas and my husband's birthday are right together and it's impossible to avoid spending, but it's also seemingly impossible to avoid over-spending. My psychiatrist is not concerned with that as long as it doesn't cause us financial hardship. I firmly believe enough is enough, so we don't see eye-to-eye on that. I grew up poor, so even if the amounts are not totally outrageous, they are outrageous to me.
I wish I could have a little of the "fun", but when I got wild a few weeks ago, the psychiatrist slapped me on AP meds and that put an end to that. I notice that even without psychotic symptoms that the AP can knock down a regular mixed state or hypomania. I started to go off again and was so uncomfortable and out of control that I couldn't stand it. I took a dose. Woke up the next day feeling better. Not 100% okay, but it makes a noticeable difference in my ability to function and think. I am going to discuss it with my psychiatrist because it seems awfully helpful.
Sometimes, I am fully aware that I'm getting hypomanic. Other times, I am blindsided by it and will only realize much later what's happening. It's usually a good clue if I am not sleeping at all, my body feels shaky, and I cannot focus. Lately, I have had a lot of difficulty concentrating enough to read. This has been devastating. I've always been a huge reader and it was a reliable escape no matter what else was going on in my life. As things have gotten worse over the past six months or thereabouts, I have been unable to read most of the time. At first, I was blaming the authors and thinking the books had to be poorly written or boring. After a while I realized that it was me. It is one of the worst things that could happen to me. Like losing a sibling. I would give up almost anything except our animals and my husband if I could consistently read again.
The depression is more comfortable in a way, I think. I don't enjoy it, but there's usually a certain amount of predictability that I don't see at the other end of the spectrum. I'm more familiar with it having spent months at a time struggling to do anything. I have a certain amount of irritability and anger sometimes (not always), but it doesn't seem to spew outward as violently. I don't have the energy to maintain any kind of outward-directed emotion. At the beginning, I'll end up crying a lot and then I won't be able to cry at all. I never thought I'd feel this way, but I think I'd rather be down than up. That's because up has gotten completely unmanageable and unpredictable now. I don't know what I might do any more. Actually, the worst thing is that now I am not remembering things I say and do. I'll argue about it and/or be surprised when I'm told something. That is new and I don't think it's anything to do with the head injury. If it was related, it would have been happening for the past 5 years or so on a more regular basis. Sure, I would always forget things, but now I forget a whole lot MORE things.
I don't know how one can talk themselves out of depression. Sounds like more work than I'd be capable of doing when I am depressed. My mind either doesn't work at all or it's all doom and gloom in there no matter what I try to force myself to think about I do well to stagger through the minimal chores I do around here - feed animals twice a day. I can do it without getting dressed - and often do even if I'm not depressed. The sofa is my best friend and I stare at the idiot box hour after hour after hour.
The psychiatrist says that I have a lot of mixed states at this point, but I admit I have trouble distinguishing what is happening when it is happening. I basically have to be told afterwards what has happened. I do know that this is relatively unfamiliar territory and something that has definitely gotten worse as I've gotten older. Everything used to be relatively quiet and low-key. It was obvious to my close friends and family - and occasionally at work back when I was employed. The past couple of years and especially the past six months, life has changed dramatically. And not for the better. It seems like the mood shifts have become bigger and louder and just really obnoxious. I can't do things like I used to. I am afraid to go down and work with the horses, for example. If I'm hypomanic or mixed or just plain having anxiety problems, they pick up on it and can become unpredicatable and dangerous. That is only one thing, but it is a big thing. Ironically, we always thought the horses were good therapy. Now, I don't trust myself OR them unless I'm feeling somewhat stable.
Well I'll say for myself in the past going into an agitated mixed state was common for me and that's hard to get over. Things just burn out and you have a feeling of irritability. What I was experiencing until recently and thanks to the person who let me (seriously) was dysphoric mania and I asked my psychopharmocologist and he said that's exactly what it was. Although I didn't purposely change things to bring it on and part of it was neurological in origin it was "fun" in its own way. I must admit. I got through a large portion of classic gothic literature. But I'm not that kind of person. And now its strongly mitigated. But the Zofran and Tenex together tend to knock me and lower my blood pressure but I am still up half the night from the activating effects of the other medications and I can't tolerate all known sleep aides. I was able to stop feeling psychotic, then I had to achieve a form of recovery from dissociation that was neurological in origin along with standard mood stabilization.
I've lost large aspects of my life, some of which I might not be able to physically get back. Thankfully my advocacy and what I do in that regard hasn't been impacted on. Some of it I cannot detail as its confidential but what I've found in treatment for my neurological disability I'll be presenting before a Parkinson's group even though that's not my specific disability. I always had that aspect of myself. I guess it was untapped. But its what keeps me going. The funniest card I ever got was from my mom that had a comic from the New Yorker saying "this was his last letter to the New York Times" showing someone who just died who had lived a long life and it said it was "me at 120 years old". Don't know if I'll live that long lol but I think I have my mind fine tuned here which is essential for any of that. Make the most of it while you can and then keep going anyway afterwards is my motto.
Quote: "Others' hypomania symptoms sound similar to my own except that now I seldom have good feelings."
Thanks for the reminder that hypomania is not necessarily partytime. Too often we speak of hypomania as if there were only one thing, namely euphoric hypomania. They tell me that can be exhilharating. I wouldn't know. All I ever get is dysphoric hypomania, which in my case expresses itself like this: intense feelings of frustration, a desire to pull out what's left of my hair, the urge to weep and scream simultaneously, restlessness, irritabiliity....
I have what I call a "burn out depression" right now but I am honestly not sure whether its due to stress factors in my life or the bipolar aspect of the schizoaffective or the fact that the medications I take that end up as mood stabilizers weren't intended originally for that purpose, although they work in that regard and have side effects that are personality altering. The Tenex like the Clonidine seems help on the dysphoric mania but it brings on a rush of elation and then it disspates. The Zofran has brought on feelings of depression and to be honest psychosis at first. But it has antipsychotic effects as well (and on conventional schizophrenia psychosis too). The rhodiola is great as an anti-depressent but it brings on elation and keeps me up half the night. But I need all these to control the neurological disability. I wish I could go back to the days when I could take and tolerate standard mood stabilizers but they are long gone. Frankly, they need to catch up with what's going on in my mind and I do hope they can.
Actually I just settled one of the issues in the above post and I feel better but I don't want to post about people I know or family members. I might talk to my neurologist about changing the Tenex as its causing some form of personality alteration (though less so than the Clonidine) but I expected that. Never a dull moment lol.
I am not sure I understand what you mean by fun. You mean reading the literature was fun? God or whoever, give me the focus to read again. Please! I'm not picky about what I read. Literature, pop fiction, whatever... You are doing a lot and that's admirable. Once upon a time I wanted to be on the Supreme Court. By the time I got my Bachelors I'd already realized I would never be able to handle practicing any kind of law. Figured I might have five good years then burn out in a most humiliating manner, so I gave it up entirely. It's disappointing when you've spent your whole life hearing about your "potential" to find out that something beyond your control can cripple you out of the blue. But, that's how it goes. Maybe things will get more stable eventually. I have my husband and my fur kids, the deer, squirrel and birds that visit. And, it's hockey season. So, it's a matter of trying to curb the wicked tongue and make it through the day.
I'm sorry you go through that. Since my early teens, I would more often have a happier kind of hypomania that friends and family often enjoyed - until they wanted to go to bed and I was still flying high. It could still be this kind of desperate, hysterical kind of mood with inappropriate behavior, but it wasn't entirely unpleasant - of course, then there'd be the crash. Very short ups and then weeks or months of being down, so I guess the ups then were a welcome relief. Boy, times have changed Now, it seems like it is very unpleasant, scary, and unpredictable. Not fun. More like duck and cover. It's like being possessed - the ugliness that pours out of me is astonishing and I'm so ashamed. But, I guess it would be funny if someone could be a fly on the wall because I will be scratching at myself, picking at my scalp and wiggling around like a hyper 4 year old who has to pee - all the while screaming and cursing like someone who needs a straitjacket. I swear it's like a caricature. I noticed the other day that I was flushed and I stayed that way for a couple of days. I'd been raging for about four days. I'm hoping the flushing was the start of menopause, LOL. It's only happened since all this got so bad. I'd hate to walk around red-faced like that on a regular basis. (C'mon meds. Kick in NOW).
Thanks and actually thankfully with the treatments I've found out about what appeared purely physical in the Parkinsonianism when I took medications that directly targeted the brain (as opposed to muscle relexants) everything "straightened out" so I put away the cane I throught I needed. I only use that term cripple when I'm in a self loathing mood (actually like most people in the disability activist community I have a sense of humor about it as well, as regards myself of course). I generally say I'm a person with a physical disability. No whatever I've done I'm not a lawyer but thanks for the compliment and as for reading material if you get preoccupied with obsessions regardless they will feed your psychosis or mania or whatever it is. Just read the posts in the anxiety community from someone who has been through medical literature and thinks they have what they've read and I'm not saying that to make fun. Before recovery, I've been through the same thing.
Well generally hypomania is never the start of something good even though it seems like it at the time and the point is to be able to catch it when it emerges in you before it turns into full blown mania and know your exact trigger points. Its hard but not impossible and the benefits are tremendous. We all don't have people to talk us down and when with medication (and as I always post they develop newer medications that are more effective and have a better side effect profile all the time) and talk therapy and behavioral therapy if needed we can develop a self regulation mechanism for what remains.
I love to read anything - the less I identify with it the better usually. But, my minor was psychology. Wasn't that fun for someone with issues?!?! As for being an attorney, I don't really know what anyone has done or used to do outside of what I can remember reading on here. Just for myself, I would still go to law school - if I won the lottery and could do it for fun. (And yes, I might well consider that fun - or it could go the other way with predictable crashing and burning. Who knows?) No way I'd incur that kind of debt now since the odds would be against me practicing. I'm a little obsessed with it lately since a high school friend is an attorney and I heard from him at Xmas. He's doing something I would love, too - working for lovely, touchy-feely liberal causes... I meant 'cripple' in the general sense that so many things can stop us in our tracks. It wasn't directed at your condition, which I do not fully understand. Although I am personally physically okay, well I'm really not ABLE to do much - know what I mean? I get crippling mood swings, crippling migraines, etc. Should I be more careful using that word? I wouldn't want to offend anyone. I am not completely PC, but that particular word is one that I don't think I've inappropriately, except maybe in childhood. Other words...well, we're an irreverent family and will say almost anything for effect.
This darn disorder can be crippling at times. Like others most of the time my hypomania is not a "happy happy joy joy" experience. I've had the negative hypomania lately because I've been stressing over some health issues and the possibility of having a connective tissue disease scares the **** out of me. . I even screamed at my cat, my dogs hid under the blankets. I felt so bad, I couldn't control that outburst. I have since put myself in check, if I know I'm getting to my breaking point, I take an ativan, and add a Seroquel. I was humming "getting to know youuuuu" today. New things pop up all the time. It's funny today, my arthritis was acting up, for the first time I've had to use the disabled/priority seating, I got stares until stood up and hobbled to the front.. Being disabled can come in many forms. I'm not much of a PC gal myself, just an honest one.
Speaking of triggers - stress is a big one and I'm a stress monster. The idea of a schedule is a lot of pressure for me. It's hard for me to be on time. It's hard to remember to eat at proper meal times. I am constantly battling the clock. At university and at almost every job I've ever had, I have had trouble being on time. Can't count the number of times I've walked into huge lecture halls 15 minutes into class or done the same thing at an office. I was late for my dental appointment today. For no reason at all...
A huge stress is moving. We moved several years ago and I fell apart. We hired movers to do the packing. Turned out to be the best possible solution. I was in such a state anyway because I was dealing with the fence people, utilities, etc. already. (I was so upset one day that I backed out of the garage with one of the car doors open. Yeah, that door is toast).
We took an older, smaller house to get the land, but we have not successfully purged anything or even unpacked a lot of our things. I am looking for a cleaning service and professional organizer. A cluttered environment affects me mentally and emotionally. My husband is very visual. You cannot put anything away out of sight or it seems to cease to exist for him. So, anything of his will have to visible, which means clear plastic or glass. I don't care as long as it isn't scattered all over like it is now. I can start to do something now and be stressed out, confused, frustrated and overwhelmed in a matter of minutes. I end up hopping from one thing to another accomplishing NOTHING. And even if I do get some tiny thing done, he'll drag stuff out and leave it where it lies...for months if not years and I am not joking.
Another thing I've noticed in the past is that sometimes having a drink sets me off. Not always, but sometimes just one drink sends me up. Since I started getting so bad, I have avoided alcohol almost entirely.
Too much or too little sleep is a trigger.
Physical pain is a trigger. Sickness is a trigger.
Oddly, certain films seem to be a trigger. Certain historical sites are also triggers. Other people's suffering is a trigger. The animals' suffering is also a trigger.
Sound familiar? I think it would help to have a list, but I don't know if I've ever tried to make one before...
Hope your health concern is not what you fear! I have to tell you that many of my relatives were very happy when their status finally had some perks. I had temporary status a couple of times after foot surgery and it helps immensely. Hobbling around is hard work. Uses a lot of energy. Makes me grin you yelling at the cat. Probably shouldn't make me grin, but I have 4 dogs and a couple of them (the same 2) get yelled at every day. They eat poop and/or won't go in their kennel and/or start winding up whoever is already in a kennel and/or chase the cats, etc.. I only feel bad about it when it is unnecessary and I've lost my temper. Usually, I am just trying to be heard. My dogs have selective hearing. Our cats...well, I find a loud, simulated hiss works better than yelling. ;-) (A brick would work even better, but hubby has said I'm not allowed to assassinate the cats).
You may not be a lawyer, but you ARE a comedian, you make me laugh out loud - you have a great sense of humor, with effect. I'm glad to have read your posts, and if you were a lawyer I don't suspect you'd have the time for that, and I'd have missed you completely. How's that for an argument against law school?
I did computer programming for a living for 25 years or so, until I couldn't anymore. It was a love/hate relationship the entire time, and even though I didn't know what was going on, I was totally screwed up from BP the whole time too - almost entirely due to depression at that time. It wasn't nearly as deep as it is now, and it would come and go more quickly, leaving me with periods of "relative" normalcy, but I went through my entire life feeling basically kind of shell-shocked. Like somebody that I couldn't see was regularly beating the **** out of me.
But I did always make a living at it at least. I actually won some awards at a couple of companies that I worked for, which truly came as a complete shock to me. One time at a monthly company meeting, completely bored, sitting close to the back of the group, mind a hundred miles sideways from the meeting, praying it'd be over soon, I heard my name called out by the president of the company and I immediately felt sick and almost passed out. (True story, I'm not exaggerating...) The first thing that came into my mind was panic: oh ****, they found out something bad about me, or I did something wrong and didn't realize it; he's calling out my name because I'm getting fired, and I'm going to be incredibly humiliated in front of all these people. And then I heard "...employee of the month...", and people were turning around to look at me, smiling - if only they could have seen the swirling mass of stunned chaos spinning in my head. I think I'd just rather not have won the thing, except, like being a lawyer, then I couldn't have told the story. I guess I'll take it. :)
I was the same way - was a THRIVING banker for 20 years until my bp progressed and then my "creativity" and "passion" (really hypomania) became a liability rather than an asset. It's easier I think to accept "passion" from a 20something not a 40ish person.
Going through the paranoia and the constant, "what if they find out what I am really like??" is horrible. I would think (and still think) - SURELY they know how messed up I am but no - I got award after award and promotion after promotion until it came to a screaching halt.
Now things are better because I don't have all of that stress, but like a lot of people my age and older, as well, who do and actually DON'T have to suffer from bp issues - I am having to reinvent myself when I wouldn't think I would be doing so. I guess that's not always a bad thing.
Oh, and the happy happy joy joy thing isn't all of the time in my hypomania either - I do enjoy a good little manic trip to get things done (no sleep can reflect an appearance of things getting done) but mostly it is horrifying because the most destructive and obviously "out there" things have happened during my mania. The depression is a friend I have known my whole life, also, so it just sits there waiting on me to address him again. My depression is harder to come out of since getting "stable" on my meds and the hypomania has decreased. (of course my pdoc says that I confused the hypomania with getting out of the depression but it was just a different aspect of my bp1)
ANYWAY! Glad to have you in the forum. You have some great postings.
Well you are a realist. But everyone here, you especially give practical suggestions on various ideas on recovery. That's a step above what I found at this mood disorders support group where everyone traded how much they hated their life and didn't say anything to benefit each other. It was the old "misery loves company" deal. Needless to say I stopped going back. But I also got sick of psychiatrists who said "just keep a positive attitude" and one staffer at a psych. hospital who pointed at my eyes (in what seemed a threatening manner) and said "you have to do eye contact" (before atypical antipsychotics, as a person with schizoaffective disorder, I could not at the time) As for my physical disability, of course its painful and before treatment I did get suicidal ideations. But as I said it was the two near death experiences from dysphagic (choking) spasms that brought me back. When you approach death for real it reminds you how valued life is. I don't discount the reality of what I'm going through but I had to go through the appeals process to get Access A Ride and I'm sure I'll have to do the same with a home attendant. There's so much practical stuff I'm involved in that it takes away my focus from the basic non stop pain and spasms that I experience.
And as for the neurologist I had who said "there is no recovery" (he's right its irreversible) he almost died of a massive heart attack and due to an experimental form of treating them he was saved and recently went back into practice. That's why I've focused on obtaining the best of what's out there and if not, what they are working on before it becomes available to other people overall.
I don't assume that everything will be better. It won't. I just am on a never ending battle to fight society's discrimination towards me and that takes up all the time I'd have for self pity. And hypomania does apply there. I can't fight every battle and before recovery, I'd take slight towards every minor insult because I was paranoid. The worst way to face the world but the way I did before was passive aggressive. Passive as in helpless. Then aggressive as in confrontational. The way I approach life now is assertive. I think the specific therapy you mentioned for depression is in that fashion, to not descend to negative thinking but also to cope with the depression that still exists in a realistic manner. Its just a bit harder to do with hypomania because of the misplaced energy. But I try to use it for positive purposes.
Yes, reinvention is my goal: how in the **** am I going to make money now? :)
When you talk about your pdoc and confusion with hypomania, it reminds me that to me it feels like I'm only cycling between hypomania and depression, with very little, if any, time while not either depressed or hypomanic.
I've really enjoyed a number of your postings as well. It's great to be here, at least for now. I wonder if I'll be able to post at all when back in depression; seems like it would be a miracle based upon past experience, which is a shame because it's when I'm depressed that I need the most help, but am generally unable to take advantage of any.
Thanks for thinking I'm funny. I find it's easier online.
You've had a lot of success and should be proud. Right now, so many people are having setbacks every place one looks. It doesn't make it easier, but you are really not alone. When you speak of reinventing yourself I wonder what you are considering. Yes, hideously serious now - do you want to stay in computers? How are you with software? Just curious if you wanted to go to something completely different or stay in computers. My husband does financial software consulting. It's a more stable livelihood than I expected, but the downside is that what he does is usually 100% travel. I live for the day he can work from home. Let me re-phrase that: I live for the day he can work from home in an office with the door closed and not be in my face. Now, he might be home but he's not really available which does not stop him from "working" from the sofa where I'm watching Ellen.
What I would love to do is be someone who helps others and makes them happy - that's probably why I admire people like Oprah and Ellen. (I know - cheesy!!!) People a lot of men don't "get" although I converted my husband easily. Then again, he's a closet Jerry Springer junkie and finds many American phenomena fascinating. I like to see people goofing off, having fun, and getting a little help when they need it... I was looking for an uplifting movie a few minutes ago. Not a romantic comedy. Not a tear-jerker. You'd think it wouldn't be hard with a zillion movie channels. There was nothing on but Reno 911 type comedies, suspense/horror or action films, etc. Doesn't it seem strange that no one has come up with a channel devoted to feel-good subject matter?
Hope you are still here when you need us. You seem very thoughtful and level-headed. Nice to meet you.
That's interesting because when I'm depressed that's actually when I need to reach out to other people the most. I find that I can "deactivate" the depression through helping others because if I bring some meaning to other people's lives then I can't say my life lacks meaning. Its harder for me to find self directed happinness but this is more the Parkinsonian depression I experience as its very different from what I had before recovery from schizoaffective and its helped by medications that treat Parkinson's although that's not my disability.
Before recovery I was a rapid cycler. I would go from feelings of life being worthless to feelings of elation that it was "the best day in my life" within hours. And I was in a continual agitated mixed state and honestly was a selfish person who used people. People had trouble accepting my physical disability but people more had trouble understanding that I had recovered mentally and they still felt they needed to be in control. But they accepted it after a while and then they were motivated to accept their own disabilities. And if I seem in better spirits today its because to get out at all I had to take more rhodiola which is in study for Parkinson's, tardive dyskinesia (what I have) and standard clinical depression. I do hope from research can identify a medication from that but I think they will. Unfortunately, the claims of "restoring energy" that you read about it online are not scientific enough. It brings up dopamine (that I need) and serotonin (which people with depression need) and its made a big difference in my life and I did find out about it from a presentation by the researcher but its still an unknown quantity. Perhaps that will change.
When I start to get depressed, my best friend is there for me. She checks up on me on a regular basis, and she doesn't take no for an answer. She's like my "Gordon Ramsey" of depression, sans swearing and put-downs. She makes sure that I will not lose out to depression. She is stronger than that.
Now we all know that no matter how much behavioural therapy we self-apply, no matter how much my friend can convince me to get out of bed when feeling really low and no matter what the personal costs are, depression can't always be beat. This is where I am more lucky than most ppl. Someone can always get me to the hospital and to the psych ward for outpatient care, or the two blocks to my psychiatrist, or the 3 blocks to my GP for an emergency assessment and readjustment of meds if necessary.
So far, I have been able to remain out of the hospital for any length of time as a result of BP. I believe that the quick actions of my best friend, doctors, and my 13 year old son, make it that way.
I was kind of from the old school of computer programming although I worked on PC's of some variety since I first started working. Schools didn't have PC's at all yet when I went to school.
A year ago or so I tried to transition to website programming. I worked my *** off for months trying to get transitioned, but I just couldn't pull it off.
A few years back I thought I finally had it made. I went to work for a large company doing website work. I was simultaneously bored to tears and in over my head. I really felt like I was in prison and that I was an outsider that couldn't fit in, and I didn't have enough concentration and memory to catch up with my peers. I couldn't stand it. On my last day there I thought that if I stayed there another hour I'd go absolutely out of my mind, so I finally just left in the middle of the day and emailed my boss from home to let him know. I was only there for a few weeks, and I had missed many days in that time due to my mom's illness and death, so I was really only in the office for probably 5 days full-time. It was just horrible for me.
That was my last attempt at working for someone else. I'm a lot worse off now than I was then. I've just recently applied for disability because there is no way that I could work in any traditional work environment at this point, mostly because of the depression, but also because of social anxiety. I've thought about doing something really easy like pumping gas, but the depression makes me completely unreliable. There are many, many days when there is no way I'm going anywhere, especially to work for somebody.
If I weren't currently hypomanic I wouldn't be making postings here either. I'm disablingly depressed about 75% of the time over the past few years and it's gotten worse over the past 6 months or so. I'm really not complaining about it, it's just the way that it is. I have felt scared about it recently for the first time, as it feels like I'm loosing something mentally, though I can't say exactly what - sharpness maybe. I kept thinking that I was going to pull out of it and be able to go back to work. I still hold hope that I can go back to work at some point, but that possibility seems to be moving farther away, at least at this time.
Fortunately, while I was still programming I started up a small Internet based business that is amazingly still up and running and profitable. It's not profitable enough to make a living from, and in fact we are currently on food stamps for the last couple of months. We've just about used up all of our savings and will have to start digging into retirement funds soon if I don't get disability.
So I really don't know what I'll be able to do in regards to work, or if I'd even be interested in going back to programming again. There is a part of me that feels sick just thinking about it. :) For right now my focus is trying to do whatever I can to get myself doing the best that I can possibly do. In fact it's kind of funny, but that's the "focus" of this particular episode of hypomania. Then if I get better enough and stable enough to go back to work in some way, I'll see what makes sense and sounds good. If I were feeling good enough I may be able to expand my small business so that it can actually support us.
If I dream big, I'd also like to do something to help people. It would be great to be able to help other people with bipolar somehow. But that just seems too remote a possibility to consider now.
I think Oprah is great, and amazing. How in the heck can she possibly do all of the things that she does? There must be at least 4 or 5 of her to do it all! There would need to be about 10 of me I think.
God, I hope I'm not repeating myself with all of my rambling, making a written record of my progression into senility. :)
And you are a very good writer as well. How can you do that!? I agree with you: when I'm depressed, that is when I'm most in need of help, but it also seems that the last thing that I'm able to do when badly depressed is to look for help. My wife is great and always supportive, but I'm so completely miserable that I hide out to keep from treating everyone else like ****.
I also hide out because I always end up in really bad arguments with my teenage daughter over something, anything. It seems like when I'm in a bad place, she's always in a bad place too. We both get hugely angry with each other, yelling at each other. The anger just seems to push me deeper into depression and despair.
My new plan is to get a good therapist and meds doc in place now, so that when I start getting depressed again I'll have some additional help in place and hopefully find something that works well as a mood stabilizer for me.
I think I understand some of your work experience. Most of the computer stuff is Greek to me, but I managed to work on both SAP and Oracle as a "stupid user". Here at home, I'm afraid to do much of anything. I know zip about programming. Hubby does a little customization. He's self-employed, but he does work with/for people in companies. Some of them make me look like Mary Sunshine-Stability. Luckily, most are awesome and he loves the new places and new challenges. He's a former accountant, so there ya go. He fell into the computer stuff because he liked it and had an affinity for it. I'm sure the past 9-10 years are like a dream come true for him, LOL! I haven't worked in 8 (?) years now. I'd be terrified to try it because I am so unreliable. I'm worse now than I was when I worked and I wasn't great when I worked, but got lucky in a job where I stayed a temp and basically set my own hours for five years. I worked harder and more efficiently than anyone else when I was there, so it wasn't a big deal when I wasn't there...except some of my co-workers resented it. It wasn't a bad job once I got to quit wearing dresses :-)
I can see where websites would be boring. My husband learned html to do one for us years ago. Well, he didn't "learn" it, but he muddled through. Then, all these people started telling him, "there's a program for that, ya know, and it's really easy". Do they even use html any more? (No idea if they do or not. Is that something a person should know?) I'd imagine a bigger, more complicated site would be a lot of the stuff I thought looked incredibly tedious. (That is part of why I am not good with the computer. NO PATIENCE). I can see why you might not want to go back to that or to programming. The only thing that detailed that would interest me would be forensics - and not computer forensics. Genetics - now there's a complicated area with huge elements of tedium that still manages to be sexy.
I wish you luck in getting disability. Know going in that you will likely be turned down and have to appeal. It's like a game they play. I'm not on disability but have had a few internet buddies through the years who were. I hope things go well. Hang in there!
I hope the internet-based business picks up if that's the direction you end up going. Is that something you enjoy? I think at this point finding something you like doing is a good idea. I like sitting on my butt. I'm a huge success.
Seriously, I have thought of being a greeter at Wal-Mart. They are an evil company that I try to avoid and a lousy employer (my mom works in their vision center now), BUT they are nearby. One reason I quit working before was the commute. No joke. I just knew that one day I would snap in traffic and ram into whoever hacked me off. People complain about L.A. traffic/drivers. Well, I've driven in L.A. and I still think Dallas is the worst. I used to work for a guy and he was one of the ones who would drive down the shoulder when there was traffic. Used to scare me to death. No point to that story, sorry. Just a digression.
I think I can identify with your depressions. Until recently, I'd say that I was depressed almost all the time. The only things I have to do is feed animals so they don't starve. Everything else is optional. I go days or weeks without dressing and, the absolute worst, I won't bathe at all. Disgusting. I live on soda and cigarettes during those times. I imagine someone walking in and immediately calling 911 to have me hauled off. It's the only perk of being married to someone who stays in denial. He smiles, gives me a hug and pretends not to notice anything - not even the odor. I have to reek of cigarettes, at least. I'm not stinky otherwise, but I've gotta be oozing cigaretee stench from every pore and every hair. Oddly, I frequently want to disappear regardless of my emotional state. Did I read you mention that somewhere? If I get upset about something - something totally normal - my first inclination is to want to disappear. My personal theory is that it is a self-worth issue. I don't feel I deserve to exist. I think that is also why sometimes I am reckless. However, I do not feel bungee jumping is reckless. No, that's good, old-fashioned fun.
I think I'd like to help people who need it for whatever reason - and also help people who are helping animals or other people to the detriment of themselves. Sometimes we get sucked into things and it takes a huge toll on us. The house/car/children and etc. all suffer, but it's easy not to recognize that when you're in the middle of it. I think it'd also be wonderful to show up at someone's house who'd had a setback and make their mortgage/rent payments or replace that car that was on its last legs. I'd love to help som abused wife get her life back together - maybe she's out here far from her family. Be great to hand her a plane ticket... But back to reality, this year I am buying board games and toys all year - at least once a month, I'm getting classic stuff like Barbies, Candyland, balls, etc. that are on sale. No trendy stuff - I wouldn't have a clue what was "in"... That way, when I see something on the news about families in need or when it's time for Toys 4 Tots next year, it will all be done. I got Candyland for five bucks. I think that's a good deal.
I'm amazed your hypomanic episodes have a focus, especially a meaningful, productive one. I think that's exceptional. If I have a focus, it is ridiculous. Cleaning with a toothbrush, for example.
I should stop now. No idea if I've stayed on topic or not. I think a lot of us are marching toward senility together, some faster than most. Considering I'm looking back two generations at dementia and Alzheimer's, I'd guess I'm probably slightly ahead of some folks. That's okay. You know what they say - you get to meet new people.
I am with you on the march - 3 generations BOTH sides of dementia and Alzheimer's and have always joked that I wanted mine early so I could see what it looked like - but really it is kind of terrifying.
AND, yes, traffic in Dallas is horrific, especially driving toward Fort Worth. My favorite town in the WHOLE world, I would say is Weatherford, though. I love that place. I was born in Dallas and got to travel there when I worked for a bank a few years ago. They would want us to rent these little economy cars - and I was like, "ARE YOU CRAZY!? These people drive 100 mph - on a slow day!" I want to go back there one day. LOVE Texas.
Sorry it took so long to respond. I'm running low on hypomanic juice, so I'm not able to do as much posting anymore.
The Internet business is great because it is really low maintenance to keep it up and running. I set it all up about 6 years ago when I was still programming and had more energy in general.
Basically, it's a retail store for a very niche market, and since it's on the Internet, it's open 24/365 and it's international. It's still working for me if I'm feeling horrible, in bed, or whatever. I can pick my times when I work to print up orders, pack and ship them, do customer service email, reorder, etc. I only have to work at it for a couple of hours a few times a week for the most part. It's great because I have it down to an easy routine. Because of the depression, I've become an efficiency expert, finding the easiest and simplest ways of getting things done. I don't mind doing it, and I'm not excited about it either. I am very grateful that it does give us some income, plus it is very inexpensive overhead because I run it all from home.
I go days without bathing as well, just can't quite face getting in the shower because I'm either too tired to get in or I feel like the effort of taking the shower will finish me off energy wise. I still wanna smoke them damn things, but I quit in 1992.
Yes, I do disappear too. I do it because I don't have the energy to do anything, and most of all, some sort of emotionally charged interaction with somebody. And it seems that I'm highly likely to p*** somebody off when I'm depressed, and get some b.s. started up. So I try to hide out and stay away from all of that as much as possible.
Your plans for what you'd like to do sound really cool. I think you should try to get together with Oprah and she can pay you and send you around to do all of those things.
It's true about the hypomania having a focus, it almost always does, which leads me to believe that it's because I get all worked up and excited about something which triggers a hypomanic episode. I think that I used to do it all the time with computer projects of one sort or another, though I didn't know that it was fueled by hypomania at the time. I remember that it often made my wife really mad because I was completely obsessed and glued to my computer. In fact in remembering right now, I can remember one time and it was definitely hypomania driven. It's kind of like something says, hey, he's really excited about this, lets give him a break and shoot some energy his way so that he can actually do something for a change.
Gosh...everyone has so much to say, it is so refreshing reading others view on hypomania....I like others seems to have lots of energy and can tackle anywathing constantly want to do things...also get extremely irritable tho...along with vivid dreams which can be quite disturbing. I cannot get myself out of this state although at times I try and talk myself out of depression which always seems to follow! Am coming down right now...feeling extremely tired worthless and struggling to feel/be positive. Here we go again!!!
I hope you get back to Weatherford. I found the Dallas area over-stimulating. I loved the downtown Dallas skyline, though. I still love the view flying in and out of there at night. I think we were more Ft. Worth type people but stuck over on the Dallas side - if that makes sense. Ft. Worth always seemed a lot more laidback and the people were nicer. Dallas was busy and chaotic. We mostly lived in the burbs, Plano and Garland, but there still seemed to be a lot of traffic and people. My favorite big cities in Texas are Austin and San Antonio. If you haven't been there and have a chance to go, I'd recommend them. Completely different vibe than Dallas. Almost everywhere we've been in Texas still has the same crazy, fast drivers.
I'm sorry you are wondering about the dementia, etc., too. It is terrifying, though. It's not completely irrational because it could happen, unlike 99% of the other stuff we can get obsessed with sometimes. I usually try not to think about it too much. It becomes a preoccupation so fast. I can't help thinking about it a lot now because of spending so much time with my grandmother. Hope you aren't thinking about it too much.
The business sounds interesting. Do you have to keep a lot of inventory? It's good to have something that doesn't require a lot of time. Very smart considering how the energy level can fluctuate. I am impressed that depression helped make you more efficient. I try to look for the fastest ways to do things, but it doesn't always work out. I never would have thought to associate it with depression, but you've got me wondering why I value efficiency so much. It would be logical for it to be associated with that.
You know it totally struck home when you said a shower could use up all your energy. That is the way I am and people do not understand. I was talking to my mom about it and she didn't get it at all. My husband kinda gets it, but it's a strange concept for him. The funny thing is that I'm noticing now that it doesn't matter if I'm depressed or not. It is just plain tiring. It used to be that it was worse if I was depressed. Now, it is all the time and might be the only time I'm tired for days.
I think my husband is working in Chicago again next, so I'll ask him to hook up with Oprah for me, LOL!!! It would be awesome to help people like that, though. It'd be the kind of job that didn't feel like a job at all.
I guess I shouldn't act as though cleaning with a toothbrush is unimportant. Cleaning in general - or at least cleanliness - is reasonably important to most people. I think it's admirable that you are focused and productive when you're hypomanic. I have not channeled that in a meaningful direction since I was in school. No, I take that back. I have designed dozens of houses on 3D Home Architect. That was truly productive - at least the first few. We were actually planning to build and so those were hours, days, weeks and months well-spent. I was deep in the details. Then, we had a dry hole when we tried to dig the well and had to abandon the whole thing. So maybe occasionally I am focused. My memory is so bad that I couldn't say, but I do know that if I am focused, it must be on things that are not concrete projects. I'm not creating any evidence... I can still drive my husband nuts because most things I do end up bringing out my obsessive side. When I can read, I have to read the whole book. I do not want to put them down. I'll even avoid going to the bathroom until I'm dying because I don't want to stop reading. I don't know if I'd attribute that to bipolar, though. It's more a kind of immaturity where I need that instant gratification. Of course it's not "instant", but it's more immediate than a lot of things in life.
I hope you are feeling okay. Low on hypomanic juice is one thing, but sliding down, down, down is not great. I'm a real yo-yo these days and cannot figure out what is happening. I don't have a lot of hypo symptoms at the moment, but I am still not sleeping well and have the whole restless legs in my whole body feeling when it is time to go to bed. I've felt pretty decent all day today but I'm antsy as all get-out now with my leg bouncing and mystery itches all over. Weird. Thanks again for thinking I'm funny. As long as I have a (pleasant) sense of humor, I don't worry as much about myself even if something isn't right. It's when the humor turns mean-spirited that I get concerned. Or when it completely disappears.
Do you find yourself wondering about your emotional state if you are laughing a lot? I don't trust myself right now and I questioned it when I laughed out loud earlier today. I felt like it was a little too loud and a little too long. Just curious. I guess I really cannot tell what state I'm in any more, so I'm suspicious.
I do have to keep inventory, but not a whole lot, and the items range from like a 3x3x7 inch box on the large end to very small things. I have to spend a few thousand $ every couple of months to replenish in general.
Yes, in regards to energy, I've heard that very overweight people are the same way because it takes so much effort for them to do things. Also, because of my memory problems, I particularly liked computer programming because I could figure out how to do something, do it well, code it, and not have to remember it in the future - more or less. It also drove me to at least attempt to be the best programmer that I could be because I didn't or couldn't stand to go back and figure out how to fix stuff in the future.
The shower thing is weird, it drains me, but it also makes me feel better and more relaxed as well. Might be a good idea to take one before going to bed eh?
By the way, I was serious about Oprah. I honestly suggest that you go to Oprah's website and send them an email telling her/them about yourself and your dreams. It's admittedly a long shot, but at least it IS a shot. And you never know. And, just by the act of doing it, it may stimulate ways in which you can accomplish the same goals in other ways if Oprah doesn't respond. For me, if I were you, this would be a definite candidate for a potentially insightful hypomanic focus episode. :)
Cleaning is great, and great feng shui (sp?) as well. I wish I could stir up some cleaning hypomania, as I have a hell of a time with stuff building up all over the place that I don't have the energy to effectively and decisively deal with. I know that the fact of this stuff around eats up my energy. A saying comes to mind: you don't own things, they own you. I salute your cleaning and respectfully ask you to shoot some this way whenever you have an overabundance. :)
Yes! Yes! Design! Over the summer I got myself into numerous projects where I was designing stuff in a CAD program, I did some great work. Whether I'll actually ever use the stuff is another question, but it has definite potential, was very well thought out and designed, and I had a heck of a fun time doing it.
Brings back good memories. I grew up in Florida and surfed when I was a teenager, and hadn't gone surfing for probably 27 years or so. Last summer, while undetectedly hypomanic, I bought 3 surfboards and went surfing with my wife and son. I was terribly out of shape and it was a bit scary, but it was really fun, and my wife and son also really enjoyed trying it. Since we're in the cold waters of Oregon, we all had to get wetsuits to do it, but we were in no way alone out there, lots of people doing it and trying to do it, from youngsters to guys and gals 60+ years old. I'm really hoping that I still like it when the warmer weather comes back. That's a weird thing about the hypomanic stuff too, I never know if I'll enjoy again later what I find enjoyable during the episode. Kind of sad. I long to enjoy things.
I digress, maybe I'm not quite out of that hypomanic juice after all. My point is that in addition to work related projects, I started designing skimboards in the CAD program as well, took the boards that I designed and made to the beach and had a blast with them. And I also took a bit of a beating once when one didn't perform very well. In turn, this then led me up to surfing again. I get completely obsessive as well, I live to fulfill whatever I have to do so that I appear somewhat reasonable, so that I can go back to obsessing on whatever projects I'm working on. I try to control it to some degree, and my wife is used to it as well, so it generally isn't too destructive.
In terms of reading the whole book thing, for me, part of what happens is that I know all to well, if no more than in the back of my mind, that I need to get stuff done quickly while I have the energy to do it, because before long I won't be able to do a damn thing again.
I'm trying to be very diligent and focused on not sliding down into the pit if at all possible. I have meds now, and I'm not afraid to use 'em. :) I'm sleeping very badly as well, with the same whole body restless leg type thing going just like you. In fact I went to a nurse practitioner last night hoping for some meds to help with it, but I think that she was too freaked out by the fact that I'm bipolar to give me anything, which challenged me to keep my frustration and temper in check, though I also understood her concerns.
Strange too that she has restless leg stuff as well, but not the whole body thing like us. She did tell me that the whole body twitch/spasm/convulsion thing that I have isn't restless legs, but that people who have RLS are more susceptible for this thing. She couldn't remember the name that is given to it, but told me that she would try to look it up and email it to me. I also have strange itches or really more like tickles, especially near or in my ears and on my cheeks. It feels just like there are hairs that are tickling my face, but there is no hair there.
I gauge myself on my sense of humor as well. If I get to where nothing is funny anymore and I don't look for what is funny, I know that I'm in bad shape. You are just a kick in the pants to me, a true delight for your sense of humor. I have the great fortune of having a wife that is also delightfully funny. This leads amazingly into your next question. Just recently, and a couple of different times, I have laughed really hard, and questionably inappropriately - both times with my wife. But I laugh inappropriately when I'm depressed sometimes too, out of nervousness or whatever, when I wish I weren't laughing but can't help myself. I think laughing is healing, no matter where it comes. I apologize if necessary, but I don't usually feel bad about it.
If I had your great sense of humor running around in my head all the time, I may have a problem with laughing too much - but I'd just buck up and take it. :)
Your idea of me being an idealist, hmmm. I beg to differ. I am a realist. I know my situation, BUT I refuse to let get the best of me. What you think is pop or fashionable therapy, so be it. It works for me and others. I refuse to let this dis-ease and other medical issues get the best of me. The therapy model I an working with is a new model of thinking and retraining one's brain comes. Is it a lesser therapy because it's new? I don't think so.
Like you I have had some brushes with death. I've stopped breathing twice from a reflux induced asthma attack, I've had two serious motor vehicle accidents, one where I had a pretty damaging spinal injury. I've also OD twice, once on illicit drugs the other an intentional wish to die. That being said, many times in your posts you seem confrontational. Just because someone hasn't been through what you've experienced, doesn't make their experience lesser then yours. I just want to remind you of that.
I apologize if I seem confrontational. The independent living perspective is slightly different from the medical model but it is by no means anti-treatment. At all. When I worked at these places if someone was not in treatment and needed it we actively encouraged them to seek help. And everyone has the right to their viewpoints. I do actively encourage people to know all about their psychiatric disability, their medications, what its for, the good effects as well as the side effects. When I hear "they put me on medication" which I hear a lot when I speak to consumers wherever I go, it makes me feel as if the person feels disempowered and they should think of medication, treatment and recovery as a positive issue. I agree I had to tone down my stance on long term side effects but I do believe people should be aware of what they are for any medication so they can work with their psychiatrist to monitor for them, such as knowing why regular bloodtests for certain medications are neccessary. I also know that sometimes people need medication when they are not aware of it. Including myself in the past. And some of the information I've brought is new to medical science but I've confirmed its factual. Any community moderator who has concerns I've updated with pm's. I just can't post the names of the providers on a public thread. You can speak to me about this by pm yourself any time you want.
I think most psychiatrists would agree an educated consumer would get the best response. I think you are highly educated and have some more knowledge on issues regarding bipolar than I do. I was interested in the form of therapy you were talking about. I just said on another thread I tried a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called "flooding" and it didn't work for me. But that was a specific form of CBT and there are others and as well my friend who referred me stopped taking 4 hour showers from ocd and that was before there was even medication for it. It worked for him and many other people. I've never put down any form of therapy or self help group unless it was some useless natural remedy or form of magical thinking that went against all known medical science (and that was out of concern) but I haven't seen any posts like that here. If you have any concerns with a particular post of mine let me know by pm. Seriously. We all travel our own path and as long as it leads to recovery who am I to say its wrong.
Hey, I have to be quick because I'm sick as a dog right now. But, I wanted to let you know that if I gave the impression that I regularly clean then I definitely misspoke. Our place is usually very messy and often downright filthy. If I decide to obsessively clean, well it might be one teeny tiny area. Around a faucet, for example. For an hour. With a toothbrush. Maybe I'll clean the whole sink area. But, I won't touch the counters or do anything meaningful or noticeable. Generally, I'm sad to say that I don't manage to keep up with things at all. Maybe once or twice a year I will get absolutely frenzied about cleaning and that could last for days, but it's never anything that makes a lasting change. So, no good feng shui around here. More like, 'try not to trip on that dog crate'.
I hope you find out what the full body restless leg-type thing is called. I'd be very interested in knowng. I figured it was part of bipolar. Maybe it's some weird neuro thing. I have wondered about that. It's funny you freaked out the nurse. It's no wonder, though. I was watching a show yesterday about a man with bipolar and gender dysphoria who murdered a woman whose life he wanted to take over after stalking her for like a decade. Well, just so happens I have a friend with bipolar and gender dysphoria. Of course I should know better, but I swear it kinda gives me the willies thinking about it now. Hmmm, I wonder if "willies" was a Freudian slip, given the subject matter.
I love design. I'd love to change all kinds of things, but mostly I'm interested in buildings. I wanted to take CAD classes but they weren't offered at the little community college down the road. I don't know about committing to anything requiring a commute because I know I won't feel like driving that far if I get depressed. I am not keen on driving anyway and especially not this time of year. We had a snowstorm this morning. Not a huge one, but big enough to mess up the roads, delay/close schools. Fun stuff like that. I really admire that you could design and build skimboards. That is too cool. Do you still have all those boards from that summer? I was always so weak in math. I failed chemistry - twice. I did get a little more of a grip on things later. I think all along part of the problem has been concentration and patience. Oh - have you seen the people surfing in Alaska? We watched a show about it. Talk about cold water! When we have gone up there on cruises, sometimes they will offer snorkeling or SCUBA or something. I can't remember which. It seems like madness to get into water that cold even with the big wet suits.
I asked my husband about the inappropriate laughter. He played it for laughs, of course, and told me I was almost always inappropriate. I should have known better than to ask. I did tell him that I didn't trust my moods and I was suspicious if I felt cheerful because I didn't know how long I'd be that way. I was saying a lot of really inappropriate things yesterday, but he thought I was funny. I think if we waited for something to be appropriate that we'd either never laugh or end up watching the Disney channel. Oh well, there's always Spongebob...
Yes, this is me being brief. For most people, I think they'd feel verbose. Me, I almost feel curt. Thanks again for appreciating the silly things I say. I have to move to a room that is further north and closer to facilities. Hope you've had a good day.
Hi I'm 22 years old female I'm reading this page and thinking to my self these are all the symptoms I have but I have been to a psychiatrist and they told me I have sommitization disorder but i thought it may be a type of bi polar and I do believe I may have had hypomania I go through stages where I get really motivated where I feel like I can do anything I don't sleep at night I come up with all crazy ideas like cleaning out my wardrobe and stuff I feel jittery and to excited to sleep or even when I'm awake I'll go through a really extremely excited period and have lots of energey friends have noticed it my boyfriend has to I feel like the love world I'm happy full of life I'll come up with unrealistic adventures and then I come crashing right down i almost of mood swings I'll be really down I member always crying on my birthday or at happy events also when I'm really down I get angry after it but almost like I'm in a rage I also have racing thoughts through m mind this happens over months though I'll be good for a month or two and then it starts agian I have strange obsessions to I won't wear certain tops or clothes I fear there bad luck I also have the same fear that someone's following me as some else did through my whole life I knew something was different I always felt sad as a kid but it's only the last few years I have noticed I'll be the total opposite if there's anyone that can give me some advice it would be helpful I'm also affraid of the dark to sleep And only get a 1 hour a night I'm so full of energy at night with ideas.
I just found out that I may be mildly bipolar. I went and talked to a phsycologist last week and she scared me to death! The one good thing was that she told me she had heard all of the crazy symptoms I shared with her before and was actually able to put a diagnosis to it. Now that I have had a chance to let the diagnosis sink in, I am soooo scared. I totally understand what you were writing. I tend to feel like I am outside of reality doing things that i shouldn't or wouldn't normally be doing....now that I have read up on hypomania, I guess this is what I have. I am very worried about this. My doctor is going to start me on Abilify this week(the lowest dosage)...and we will see how that works. I am concerned because my episodes tend to occur during or around my cycle. Do you know if it will stop once the cycle stops? I to hardly ever leave my house. I find more pleasure inside alone than I do with pple. I would simply rather be alone most of the time. When I do go out, I end up doing things I should not do. I spend too much money, my sex drive is crazy high and lately I have been forgetting things. That is what prompted me to go see a professional and share with them my symptoms. I can not afford to be out doing stuff and not remembering. its like i have been sleep walking.....
Hi, your descriptions and those of others on this site are very helpful. I've felt I am manic since my teens although after further thought I consider myself hypomanic. It's becoming easier to figure out if my feelings are down to hypomania and thus modify my behaviour. My emotions really do begin to make much more sense now. I really do feel for those with BP1. My mother has suffered this over the years so I am very familiar with the symptoms. It may sound risky (and therefore symptomatic!) but I'm trying to figure out how to make the most of those manic times.
As an aside my favourite song is Freebird; here's hoping you're not concentrating on the first line! Maybe this bird you cannot change
Gotta agree about the crawling sensation. I also feel that everything needs stretching and will often hold my body in a stretch at night to feel comfortable.Ironically reading posts on here makes me feel saner, I don't know if that makes any sense at all, it helps me to rationalise the odd behaviour I spend my life stifling!
I'm 68 years old and don't know if the mental problems I've been experiencing over the past several weeks are related to prescription drugs I'm been taking for a while (such as a statin medication I take for blood pressure) or something else. I find myself very irritable and angry over minor things. At the same time, I feel a slight buzz, like a mild drug high. I'm almost afraid to go out and be among other people for fear of snapping a few heads off.
I thought I was suffering from depression for the last 20 years (it was actually a mild BP II, hence the antidepressants didn't work & every time they prescribed me them, it made it worse! This last time, I got a rude awakening, when I was prescribed Bupropion. It sent me sky high into an immediate hallucination, psychotic break, I was delusional, had grand ideas... I was having panic attacks 48 hours straight, it was horrible, spiked to extremes daily, sometimes hourly. I am so glad I didn't commit suicide during that time, the thoughts were so rampant. I was paranoid that my doctor was trying to hunt me down. Luckily, I had the delusion that I was writing a "book" that would "change the world and save the universe" --I wrote 2,000 pages of crazy nonsense, while texting all my phone contacts crazy ****, I think I texted ~80,000 words to random folks on my phone. OMG!! I'm on a mood stabilizer now, after a friend finally convinced me to go see my doctor... I was psychotic for 6 months, lost complete touch with reality, I didn't know who I was. Worst experience of my life!
I never want to repeat that EVER and I keep a daily mood journal especially if I start to notice any sign of a swing. on a 0-10 scale, 0 = Total suicidal (I'm not myself when I hit 0 & that's f'ing scary), 1= fighting the suicidal thoughts, 2= worthless/hopeless/crying, 3= sad | 4,5,6,7, = baseline, happy/calm | 8 = excited, overly confident, start becoming impulsive w/ goals/tasks 9= overly confident/irritated/angry/jerk/*******/hypersexual<-- holy cow 10 =full blown mania= psychotic.
Unfortunately, it's all chemical imbalance, that bupropion must've killed all my neurotransmitters. I can't do anything to prevent it, only mood stabilizers. It's a total nightmare, without the meds - I am never getting off these meds! No fricken way!!!
I'm am really glad I joined this site. I now don't feel so alone about what is happening to me. I have many similar symptoms that alot of you all have lately I think I am having many mixed episodes as in a matter of hours I can go from extremely irritabiliy and agitated with not wanting to be touch or having someone around me looking over my shoulder to being so not motivated or able to focus on any task. I have no concentration and secretly wish I was dead because everyone would be so better off. I don't have any plans or suicidal thoughts just ones able not being around because life would be easier. Since I am only new to this diagnosis I am still learning how to recognize my hypomania episodes and what triggers them. As to my depression there is absolutely no way I can talk myself out of one. My Psychiatrist and I are working on finding the right mix. Due to my paranoia that my private LTD company is out to get me and is spying on me with any available spyware I have become house bound and unsociable with everyone but my family and the stress of all this just starts the whole cycle over and over.
Will I ever find my normal or am I going to just cycle like this forever. My stress and cycling are tiring for me and my spouse and children. I sometimes wish I was no longer a burden.
The other major stresser for me is that my 3 wonderful children can try my patience as the Three of them have ADHD. I am very lucky I have the most patient spouse who rides this mental health roller coaster with us and remain calm supportive and is my rock.
I experience low energy levels with my hypomania--- but I also have Fibromyalgia, so low energy levels and pain on a daily basis are normal, if I should use that word, for me. I do get to feeling restless, sleepless, questioning my meds, asking myself "could this be a hypomanic stage?' as well as feeling irritable and anxious.My mind races and will not shut down. I'm on edge with the obsessions, I wanna do things feel compelled to do them-- like clean, create, etc. but decide I don't have the energy nor the real patience it takes to set down and do these things- so I blow them off. I'm starting, just starting to see some of my symptoms prior to and at the beginning of hypomania-- but as for what triggers them-- I have no idea. Could be anything. Struggling tho, trying to keep my eyes open and journal what i can, when my brain will let me.
Hello. I used to have a diagnoses of bipolar many years ago. Now I have a diagnoses of schizoaffective, bipolar, which has many similar symptoms.
I used to get that crawling sensation in my legs and even in my body and especially my hips. That is from the antipsychotic medication we take. That crawling sensation is called: "akithesia", and it is pure hell for those who have it. Talk to your pdoc about it. Maybe he or she can do a med adjustment or something with you. Maybe this will help.
Do you get the symptom of irritability that takes the form of being real verbally abusive to your loved ones? I was either manic or hypomanic for 10 years and I was very verbally, emotionally abusive to my girlfriend and I lashed out and got angry at strangers if they crossed me in the slightest way. And I was extremely argumentative. I took every opportunity to argue about everything. Are you this way when you are manic, or hypomanic? To this day, I don't know if I was manic or hypomanic. I had nurses coming to my home all of those years and I would ask them if I was manic or hypomanic and they would always either stare at me or deny it. So, I don't know if they were telling me the truth or not. I presently think I was something. Just what, I don't know.
Hey everyone. I'm not officially diagnosed w BP but I'm beginning to suspect that I have it because it runs in the family and most of the symptoms ring true for me. I think recently I've been hypomanic: I can't sleep, I'm very jittery, can't sit still, increased sex drive, and also very talkative and hyper. Could this be hypomania? I'd say I'm 2 days - 1 week in. Thanks!
I have seen a pdoc for 14 years. She went through a terrible divorce, lost custody of her children, etc., and since then I have felt she is not focused on my treatment. I am compassionate and understand this but can't pay $275 for 45 minutes of mumbling and guessing, with different meds suggested each time and different explanations of what's going on or might be going on. I took my partner in to my last session and asked the pdoc to tell him "If D___ asked you, what would you tell him was my diagnosis?" Pdoc responded "atypical BP" and wants me to take Depakote. She took me off Lamictal because she felt it was implicated in my developing small fiber peripheral neuropathy. The problem is, I've completely lost trust in this medical professional. I am seeking a second opinion, which I should have done months ago. In the meantime, at Pdoc's suggestion, I am taking SAM-e, which I believe has triggered hypomania, which for me manifests itself in constant irritability. I have to monitor my behavior and my tone of voice constantly because I feel like flying off the handle at everyone. Admittedly, I drink too much caffeine, but the irritability really kicked in when I stopped drinking 3 years ago. In any case, I would be interested in hearing people's experience with Depakote - I'm afraid of it, especially the weight gain, but am utterly tired of this constant irritability. Thanks for any responses.
I was only on Depakote for a short while so I cannot tell you much about it but I would suggest starting a new thread on the forum so that you can get more responses. Just title it with your main question and go from there. Also you can search Medhelp in the mean time for Depakote and you will find some information that way. Good luck with your inquiry.
I still don't have a formal diagnosis of Bipolar. Though in psychometric testing it has been shown that I score for clinical levels of Bipolar. But prior to this nobody has ever seen me in any kind of manic state so my psychiatrist refused to diagnose it. Instead he focused on the EUPD (Borderline) diagnosis I have. Which is fair, its a debilitating illness that does affect most every aspect of my life. But theres bits that aren't explained. Such as the yearly mood cycle I experience, with crashes between September/December for the past 10 years.
In my quest for understanding what the hell is going on in my brain I've been trying to become more aware of when I'm symptomatic and when I'm stable. So far its hard to realise I'm stable, this is because I'm never sure if my productivity and creativity is me at baseline or whether its me on a mild hypomanic episode.
Discussing the symptoms I notice when I feel notable "weird" one of the main symptoms I experience I think is rapid thought, they work in layers. You have organised thought which is when I try to force myself to think in a constructive way (For example during a therapeutic session) and then theres the underlying thoughts which are racing past so fast you can't actually catch anything they're about. And this distracts you from the organised thought.
In these states I often trail off in the middle of a sentence, or find myself actively having to think to get words out that are in my brain but can't quite reach my tongue. Its frustrating. I also find myself making silly noises, repeating words and laughing at inappropriate times with little or no external stimulus, its almost as if my levels of fun are amped up to mega high levels. Which I must admit isn't one of the worst parts.
I also present physically as if I'm anxious. I move a lot, do repetitive movements, bouncing legs, moving fingers, just constant energy. As I write this long winded post I've been bouncing my legs for the past 2 hours. I literally can't sit still. I've tested my heart rate during these episodes but though it feels like its racing it hardly ever is anything above normal resting heart rate. Recently I ran for an hour and had so much energy afterwards that I went for another mile run, which I completed in my fastest time.
Other things I've noticed is dissociation. I zone out a lot during these periods. My eyesight goes blurry and I thought I'm aware of whats going on around me its as if my brain is working so hard it has to shut down certain parts to prevent overstimulation. I'm used to dissociating when I'm on a down but I'd not noticed it when I'm up until recently.
Things seem to have become more pronounced since starting Seroquel (100mg) before this I was cycled on a day to day basis, BPD and Ultradian cycling Bipolar working around eachother to create a daily rollercoaster. Though I must admit being medicated has helped to slow down the cycles, which is helpful because at least I know what to expect on a day to day basis.
The Moodtracker app is very useful, its shown my that if I miss sleep (anything less than 8 hours) it triggers hypomania, which I've been in, on varying levels, for the past 2 weeks. Yesterday it intensified so much my therapist had to send me out of session to go do some grounding techniques.
I guess I'd like to have that formal diagnosis. But I think with the symptoms I experience (even though they're faster than "normal") I would assume I'm somewhere on the spectrum.
Hi, I am new to the possible bipolar 2 diagnosis. I just started taking lamictal after trying literally every other antidepressant and tricyclics and atypical and crazy concoction known to mankind and either having crazy reactions or no benefit and just side effects. I guess it's been tough for me to understand because I also was severely abused and have terrible PTSD symptoms and am a VERY rigid rule bound human.... so I've become skilled at hiding things. With this being said, I am easily triggered, I go in stages of extreme paranoia, agitation where things that have nothing to do with me set me off and I lock myself in a room so I don't take it out on others, I often feel such intense agitation that I want to rip my hair out and sprint head first into a wall, I use excessive exercise to control it (I've been an elite athlete all my life)... there are times I spend money I don't really have and feel guilty about, but not enough to be in trouble. I have terrible anxiety and waves of horrible insomnia. It's hard because PTSD can have all these symptoms. I struggled a lot in my teen years especially with self-harm, and impulse control where I'd take random overdoses. I have periods of time where I am extremely productive- organizing all the cupboards and closets in the house, making months and months of menus, making months of workout calendars, goals, applying for a ton of jobs bc it feels like I could do anything. Then my mood quickly shifts and I'm having weeks of sobbing, only can get out of bed if I force myself, do the bare minimum. I can't work. I guess I'm wondering if anyone with the diagnosis is similar to me? Am I describing bipolar 2?
It's been a long time since I last wrote here. Usually when you are OK you don't read the posts of others.
For me I start to become very restless and walk in the house like crazy. Directly I increase my antipsychotic so that it kills it right away. It;s very easy to to tell I am becoming hypomanic. I can't afford a full blown mania.
sorry i thought this is a new post, it has been a long time since i last posted. The page interface has changed completely, in the past usually you see before getting into reading the post the no of persons who answered it
I know its easy to tell someone they are hypomanic. But what about yourself? And that full blow mania is frightening. But hypomania can seem like "fun" but it quickly spirals into full blown mania. We've all experienced it. Including myself. And aren't always self aware. But how can we stop it before it gets worse?
For myself signs of hypomania (remember its complex because I have schizoaffective)
contacting people I hardly know, feelings that "I love everyone" (elation), hypersexuality, overspending, feelings of paranoia (people who are annoying become "threatening"), doing passive aggressive or hostile pranks (in the past), self medicating with natural remedies (in the past), drinking large amounts of caffeinated beverages (in the past), overstating my important/thinking I could "change the world", unable to concentrate on tasks but becoming obssessed with something unimportant.
Right now I am to the point where I can spot this and catch it before it gets worse. Can you? What happens with you?
Can you stop it? And could you learn?
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