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1563217 tn?1300198557

Are feelings real or just sickness?

Does anyone have techniques to help identify when your feelings are real vs the result of a bipolar episode?  I realize this is a common issue associated with the disease.  

At times I completely love my fiance, want nothing more than to get married (like immediately), think he is fantastic person, love so many things about who he is. But then at other times I have very hateful feelings that he's fat and ugly and a loser, I feel trapped and want to flee.  

Then I read stories online from or about people with bipolar who just get up one day and walk out on their husband and kids because "it's just not the life they want."  Frighteningly this goes through my head when I am feeling bad. When I act on these feelings I inevitably regret it and it leads to significant chaos and instability in our lives. But then when I am in a better mood I can't begin to comprehend what would make me think that way. My partner is left not knowing what is real, what to believe, feeling lied to or unappreciated.  

In very practical terms:
1. has anyone come across any techniques whereby you can help yourself differentiate between "real" and "grossly exaggerated" feelings?
2. In my opinion it makes therapy rather difficult in that you can waste a ton of time (and money) following obsessive thoughts down the wrong path. Any experience on how this can be prevented?  

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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Avatar universal
This is literally my life. I get so paranoid that what if I actually don't love him and just think I do and then try to leave because it's not fair on him and then can't because something deep inside stops me so then I think maybe I do love him. I'm always so confused about how I feel and thought I was going insane so I'm so glad that there are other people like me, thank you. I will try the things the others have mentioned and I'm seeing a therapist for post traumatic stress, but my friend thinks I could be bipolar. Can I ask if you are and what you feel if you are?
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Avatar universal
I've felt that journalling has helped me soo much.  In fact, I think it saved my life at least once.  I never want to feel like that ever again.
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Avatar universal
Glad you started journaling and you've made the decision to go back to your psychologist :) From your post it really sounds like you've gained a lot of self-knowledge into what's going on with you. What's most important is that you're openminded to finding a better way to live and to learning more about yourself. That's one of the keys to success. I'm glad our words could help you. I hope you keep us posted and let us know how you're doing!

Sara RN
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1563217 tn?1300198557
Feeling much calmer today and regretting the ugly and hateful things I said in anger yesterday. Thanks Sara and Lindahand for your advice.

It's like a bad wave of feelings hits me and I pick a (seemingly) credible target to use as the reason I feel so awful. While in the midst of a the bad episode, the thought distortion makes my reaction to a given issue seem completely appropriate and rational. However once it passes, I know it wasn't. Sara, black and white describes it perfectly!  

Lindahand, writing a letter to yourself is a great idea.  Earlier this week I started to journal using this website so that I can maybe spot this oncoming disaster before it hits next time. I was seeing a Psychologist for 2 months but I decided to quit after the holidays becaues of the cost and feeling like it was unproductive.  Guess I was wrong on the second point.. Leery of Psychiatrists because I have no interest in taking prescription medications and am worried about suicide risk inherent with many drugs.  

My fiance has been living with me (and my personal hell) for over 14 years now.  He wants me to go back to the Psychologist and says it's worth the money. I will see her next week.

Thanks again.
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Avatar universal
Thanks trdofbeingtrd!
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Avatar universal
I find journaling also helps. Once it is written down sometimes it is easy to see what is going on. I've also heard of people writing letters to themselves while they are well to read when they want to do something extreme like run away from home. It is easier to listen to yourself than anyone else. Another thing is to go and tell your psychiatrist what is going on, and if you don't have a psychiatrist you may want to consider getting one.
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Avatar universal
You just got advice from Sara money can't buy. From all the research I have done with bi-polar (because I am supposedly bi-polar), what she just said sounds spot on.

Sara, that was excellent, I can learn a lot from you.
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Avatar universal
What I found to be true is that all strong or exaggerated feelings will pass more quickly than ones you trully feel or are a part of you. For instance, if a drunk driver hits you while you're driving, at first you may be extremely angry and want to guy to do serious time in jail and be punished. But after a couple of weeks, when the damage to your car is fixed, and you've had some time to cool down, you may start to feel a little sorry for the drunk man, knowing that he's been taken away from his family and just has a serious problem with alcohol, like so many other people, and possibly deserves some forgiveness and just needs help with his alcoholism, buut he doesn't desvere to spend the rest of his life in jail. However, when it come to relationships, that can be a little more tricky. What you're describing makes me think that you're experiencing some confusion, along with possible bipolar issues as well. Do you really know how you feel about this man when your not in the midst of a bipolar flare up? That may be an issue that you can talk about during therapy. Do other feelings affect how you feel about him? For instance, if your life is not going so great and you had a bad day, does that make you feel like you hate this guy? Or when your life is going great and you had a good day, does that make you love him even more? In other words, is your love for him situational only? Only you can figure this out, and your therapist may be able to help. But tips to identify realistic vs. unrealistic feelings: 1. Is the feeling situational (i.e. did something just happen to make you feel this way. That could be a clue this feeling is exaggerated at this time and will eventually level out or pass). 2. Did this feeling come out of no where? That could be a clue this is a bipolar issue. 3. Is the feeling realistic for the situation just experienced? For instance, it's normal to be extremely sad if someone just died, but not normal if you lost a tube of lipstick. 4. Are the feelings you have towards something black and white? In other words opposite, like in the case of your boyfriend. That's a clue to bipolar feelings. Hope that helps. Good luck and keep us posted on how it's going!

Sara RN
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