hi, i was just wondering if anyone could explain bipolar to me as im very confused, ive been seeing a councilor for 3 months and she thinks im bipolar so she is refering me to a psyciatrist? for a test to see if i am. i know a little on bipolar but i would like to know if people with bipolar are either on a high or a low? do they ever have a normal mood? with me i am a little low for around 8 weeks then i go on a almighty high but which lasts for around 5 days but i also get almighty lows and shut myself away and feel as though i dont love anyone. i know these are the common symptoms but i cant understand why i get 8 weeks of normal mood. is this normal? thank you
There are several different types of bipolar and often a person can rapid cycle (switch from manic to depressed within a short period of time) and with all forms of bipolar there is a period of stability between mania and depression. As well, some people experience mixed states where some of the changes that occur in mania and depression overlap. We have some good websites linked up such as "Depression Central" (for all mood disorders) that explain it in a consumer friendly manner that's easy to understand.
I cannot say for sure because I do not have a diagnosis of bipolar yet, but it's pretty obvious as it runs in my family and I've been told by several docs that it's probably the case with me. For the longest time I also believed that bipolar ppl didn't have normal in between moods and that's why I always denied bipolar as being the issue. I do have in between moods. But when I'm in an in between mood, I'm completely emotionless. Almost like a daze and really have no feeling. I'm just kinda there. And on a side note, like ILADVOCATE said, different ppl are different ways. I personally rapid cycle like there's no tomorrow. It's very common for me to cycle a couple of times in one day...and very scary.
When I'm in a normal happy mood I find myself thinking a lot about my manic or depressed moods and dwelling on them a lot. Always worried about when the next one is coming and I pray that it won't. I can't explain this to other ppl cuz they think I'm weak or overreacting. They dont understand why I can't control myself like they can. My ex husband used to tell me I CAN control my my temper, I just don't want to. Or my favorite was..." you don't care about anyone but yourself.". He used to tell me I was a bad wife and a bad mom and it was my fault he cheated. When I told him killed my self esteem with what he said to me, he said he wasn't doing that, I was doing it to myself. Notice I said he's my EX husband. LOL
I am bipolar. It took years to find this out. I was diag. many things before I was given some Lithium. Suddenly I felt wonderful. I knew then this was my problem. I was alergic to Lithium so I was given other meds that I took for many years.
Many bipolar people experience both highs and depression. There can be periods of low or high mania that can also be experienced as irritation about anything. So it is not always a wonderful feeling. You can go into a manic phase and not even know it until you have started coming out of it and realize the stupid things you did or said or threw away money on etc. Then you dive into a depression feeling such shame, anger at yourself, hatred, sadness and dispair. You can even become suicidal at moments so you need to be in touch with your doctor and therapist. Then you can go for weeks, maybe months feeling well and healthy and you totally believe you are no longer bipolar. Only to start seeing symptoms appear again. You may have a week or longer of mania, and then a week or longer of depression, with normal periods, and suddenly be assaulted by rapid cycling where you are extremely manic, and seconds later, extremely depressed, only to go extremely manic within seconds and then depressed. You are totally out of control and you need somebody to hold you firmly with compassion. It is scarey and exhausting and you may feel this will lead to death, you are so tired and frightened. This is not some bid for attention, or being self-centered, or trying to jerk around anybody else. It does not mean you are a bad person, a failure in life, a bad wife or mother. You are truly ill. You need medication and help. People who have never been through anything like this have not a clue and can be very judgemental of you, rather than doing everything they can to learn about and help you through the tough times. This can be a disease that makes a person feel very lonely. You don't want to tell anyone. But it is not like you robbed a bank by choice. It is not like you asked for this illness to strike you. It certainly is nothing one enjoys enduring. You don't deserve to be hated for having the flu, or diabetes, or bipolar disorder. True, when your moods are fluctuating, you do think about the next episode and try to plan for it. It is reasonable. Our genes are not always perfect. It is not your fault. You can do things to lessen the severity at times, like keeping your life as stress-free as possible. Get psychotherapy help to work through issues that disrupt your sense of calm and happiness. It really does help.
Get adequate sleep every night, with meds if necessary. Eat healthy foods and keep your body excercised and strong. Stay in touch with all your friends. Laughter is wonderful medicine. As best as you can, remain positive minded. When things hit a rough pavement, remind yourself that this will pass. Keep speed-dial numbers for any emergency when thinking straight is hard. Simple 1,2,3,4 in order of who you must call first when you are losing it. You are better off without that ex. He is clueless and quite self-centered and inmature. You don't need that stress in your life.
also, ILADVOCATE sounds to be quite intelligent and knowledgable. I like him so far.
I just wrote a lengthy letter to crzybeautiful1. It is about bipolar more as one experiences it than just symptoms. You may identify with some and not others or you may not identify with anything. Thus you would likely not have bipolar illness. However, only your psychiatrist can make that decision and diagnosis.
I hope you don't have this, but if you do you are at the right place. To share your ups and downs with others who know what you are going through.
How's London? My grandmother grew up in Leed's England.
Oh I hate it when people say things like that! When I was a kid it was "you're too sensitive" or "everyone has problems." I think the worst is "why don't you just get over it?" I've heard the whole "you only think of yourself" and "your a bad mom" things too. It hurts so bad and it is very lonely. You know I tried, and still do try, very hard not to let my disorder get in the way of other people's lives. But that doesn't mean I am successful as the "normal" people. I just do my best.
When I'm "normal" I still have a lot of anxiety. I think due to my high anxiety I tend to trigger myself out of a normal state without meaning too.
Kathy: Thank you so much for that nice post. Its really hard to not take blame for a lot of failed things in ur life at times. I know I did contribute the the failing of my marriage among other things, and although I know it wasn't completely my fault, I sometimes think maybe he wouldn't have cheated if I wasn't so bad off. IDK. I always knew something was wrong with me and have been struggling to found out all my problems. Not just mental but medical. My marriage was spent trying to find out exactly what all was wrong with me. My doc thought I had fibromyalgia, but it turned out to be hypothyroidism. I had severe symptoms of chronic fatigue and bad body aches all over, dizziness, hair loss, dumbness, etc. This effected the housework, therefore I was labled as lazy. Once that was treated and I was feeling so much better, I continued to struggle with getting on the right med for my "clinical depression" diagnosis. I have been on a **** load of anti depressants and has "fixed" me. I always KNEW something else was wrong and that made it even more frustrating that I couldn't figure out what. Then I got a diagnosis of ADD and was put on a stimulant It helped a lot, but my my manic episodes worse.
I wish I would've listened to the docs who told me I could be bipolar. I've know realized I was completely ignorant on what bipolar is and I'm a very headstrong person, so I completely dismissed the whole idea everytime it was mentioned. I'm really big into psychology (going to major in it), and sometimes I get a big head about it thinking I know it all...so stupid of me! LOL. Now I'm wondering...is it bipolar I have and not ADD? How do u know if u also have ADD as well as bipolar if the symptoms are the same?
I have taken 2 different kinds of mental health tests (one of them the one that starts with a D), 3 different times in my life, and the last one I was diagnosed with ADD. The other times they said it was severe clinical depression. Here is the EXACT thought that went through my head EVERY SINGLE TIME I took the test... It was always hard to answer the questions, because sometimes my answer would vary. So my answer could have been different on all the test because it was how I was feeling at the time of the test. It could have asked me if I felt like a worthless piece of trash and I could've felt great and said no, but 2 hrs later I could've been balled up on my bed in the fetal position, trying to sort through my thoughts of suicide and misery. So I would spend like 5 minutes on one question just staring at it and thinking really hard, only to finally just pick an answer cuz I didn't know what to put.
Ok my mind is wandering now LOL. I can't wait to see my doc soon!
"Oh I hate it when people say things like that! When I was a kid it was "you're too sensitive" or "everyone has problems." I think the worst is "why don't you just get over it?" I've heard the whole "you only think of yourself" and "your a bad mom" things too. It hurts so bad and it is very lonely. You know I tried, and still do try, very hard not to let my disorder get in the way of other people's lives. But that doesn't mean I am successful as the "normal" people. I just do my best."
I got the same treatment as a kid. When I started working it became burnout and I had to take a class how to deal with my stress in the workplace. They told me to eat right, don't be a perfectionist, take R&R and go to the gym. I did all that....I still felt lousy and because the approach didn't work; I was blamed for my problems.
It's like when you read the instructions on your shampoo bottle......"wet hair thoroughly, pour shampoo liberally on scalp, lather for several minutes, rinse and repeat..."
Why repeat the procedure? The first shampooing should of cleaned my hair, right?
People do create jobs for themselves with our illness because they think we don't know any better. Best approach in dealing with our bipolar disorder is to take command of it....don't hide behind walls to protect ourselves because we're too frighten to deal with bull out in the ring. If we don't confront our fears and allow other people to dictate our quality of life...we don't have a life.
Who wants to be a zombie?
I've been very proactive with my illness.
So far...so good.
I think thats a very good attitude to have about this. I mind and feelings constantly flip flop throughout the day, but in my positive mood I tell myself that I'M in charge of MY life, and I'm not going to let this or any physical healthcare problems I have get in my way. I refuse to surrender to it. I have to admit that I'm a VERY easily discouraged person, and I feel I have weak will power, but I'm always working on that.
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