This bipolar life
Are your moods are like an elevator with no control buttons? Mine are.
Ground floor ... I feel normal, content, just quietly getting on with ordinary, everyday life, loving my family and friends. This is as it should be. And maybe there's nothing wrong with me after all. Live.
Going up, top floor. Oh look! There's a shiny thing! I want to sing! Let's go buy stuff! Let's have a big party and invite the world! What could possibly go wrong! Woooooo hoooooooo! Play.
Going up (a different day) top floor. What do you mean you don't agree with me! I'm right! Why don't you think like me? Keep up! How can you be so illogical? I'll f-ing shred you if you don't do what I want! Rage.
Going down, lower ground floor. Flat, listless, can't be bothered. Can still function but it's a drag. Cope
Going down, basement. I'm never getting out of bed again. I'm useless, worthless. Total idiot, how could I ever imagine I could do anything, nothing ever goes right because I'm wrong. I'm a burden to everyone. Hide.
Welcome to my bipolar world. It's always been my world, but it's only recently I've seen it for what it is. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression during one of my 'basement' times. I had a lot of lower ground floor times too, on and off, and I kept out of the basement (so I thought) with alcohol. Until that took me into the blackest ever basement with only one obvious way out. Having survived doing something very dangerous I realised I had to stop drinking or I really would die.
I never took much notice of the playful times or the anger, that was just me, I was fun sometimes, and sometimes I was a devastating bitch. Ha! Deal with it people!
Well, yes, but in time the elevator started going up and down too quickly and, as I became more aware and more knowledgeable about mental health I realised this wasn't good. Doctor. Diagnosis. Bipolar 2. Lithium.
So, I've started this thread in the hope that other bipolar folks will join me, to share experiences and strategies. In my 'beginners' understanding, we are different from other fellow travellers of the back dog. While we experience depression as many others on this site do, the hypomanic or manic ups and, for some the rapid cycling that can happen, are experiences unto themselves.
I want to learn more, and I want to share with others. I hope my fellow elevators will join me here.
BTW, it's a ground floor day in my head today! Yay!
Flat as ... not quite in the basement yet but I feel like I'm heading there. It's Friday night, I should be relaxed and happy. Nothing bad happened today, nothing good either, just feel like I can't be bothered with the world. Feel raw, like my mind has a gravel rash and every thought aggravates it.
Another two weeks till I see my doc. I am so tempted to starting upping the medication but I know I'd tell someone else not to do that. Might see if I can get an appointment earlier. My doc said last time if the medication isn't effective I'll need to see a psychiatrist who can develop a more complex drug treatment. Hate this. Hate being in the hands of the pharmaceutical companies. I just want the damn things to work!
I've found that my mood stabilisers only help me with overall mood not spontaneous "tip my bucket over" conflicts.
My AD's help me with keeping my depression at bay....also only most times.
With this in mind and reading about your GP suggesting psych visits for more complex medication it struck a cord with me. I felt like saying to you...yes do it.
Bipolar in my experiences (diagnosed type 1 2003, correctly diagnosed type 2 2009) is more fickle in seeking the right meds for you.
The main symptom left in me is spontaneity from other people. I call it " pushing my buttons". Eg I could have a good calm conversation with someone and agree on a plan
If the person repeats themselves about my tasks I can flip out. One work colleague reminded me 3 times to put a cover over my baked beans in the microwave all within one minute.
I couldn't tolerate it. Don't know it that'd you but your OP was quite accurate.
Getting in as early as you can to see the dr sounds like a plan.
I have done a little reading, not much, on bipolar. I am wondering if you have tried some exercise. I read that the chemicals released during exercise can help towards mood stabilising. I know it's late at night now but the internet would probably have free classes to follow in things like zumba for example that might help with both mood and sleep?
I know that's probably not much help so here's a gentle hug instead.
Thank you for sharing your post Kazz. It's interesting hearing of your thoughts and the journey you've had. I think you are strong willed and incredibly self aware which can only be two traits to take with you along the way. It's a tough illness at times. I've had high anxiety at times with the hypomania, I used cognitive behavioural therapy to combat that, I use meditation to calm my setting when I feel edgy, I know when the irritability is surfacing.
To be honest, I'm reluctant to chat about my 3 years on pharmacy. It's not that I don't want to give tips etc but more that I believe each persons experience is different and how they respond to treatment can vary quite a bit. Obviously I chose to leave pharmaceuticals and try just natropath/ homeopathic , cognitive behavioural therapy and meditation because I felt thats what I'd like to do but again its individual stages and how they want to support the illness.
Thanks for sharing Kazz.
Morning Kaz. I hope you have gotten yourself out of the basement by now? And are you in the elevator or the rollercoaster?
Have you been able to enjoy your weekend so far? Like us up here, I think you are likely to get a wet day there today. Hopefully you can do something you enjoy doing - Did you watch the Wallabies last night? Dissappointing again werent they? They had an absolute glut of possession, but couldnt do anything with it. Oh well. Bugger that Eddie Jones and also assistant coach Ella!!
I note your comment above: I don't feel I have any defences at the moment. None of the usual protective processes like reasoning or ignoring or dismissing. Why has this changed Kaz, why do you feel you have lost your usual protection processes? Is it the new medications, or something else? If this doesnt improve, I think it would be worthwhile to see your Dr before the 2 weeks when your next apt is. 2 weeks is a long time when you are feeling like you are. And even if it is just a matter of reassuring you, then its worthwhile.
You are back at work now arent you, rather then working from home? Is there any chance that you can work from home again for a while?
From what I have read, it is a bit of a trial and error thing with getting meds right for bipolar. A very complex procedure. Hopefully in the end they will get it right though. Patience though Kaz ............
Thinking of you with much affection Kaz. Now sending a big cyber hug your way - down the Pacific and Hume Hways and into the ACT. Catch it on its way through wont you, otherwise who knows where it may end up. (-:
No defences? I've been describing this feeling over the years (to my dear wife) as "being fragile"
Don't know about you but when I'm good I am so for a couple if days and allow "water off a ducks back". Then, wham, the irritability of which you speak comes oh so fast. Unfortunately 80% of the time, my wife is the recipient.
This means a shirt time later i do apologize and " nip it in the bud". My wife has depression, no hypomania, and between us we have a high level of acceptance of our quirks of flying off the handle.
It means we have accepted we won't ever be stable.
My depression has drifted away a lot, unless under severe stress. My dysthymia the same. So my bipolar 2 is now more prominent and its unpredictability harder to fathom.
I've tried looking for triggers and that hasn't had any conclusion. I'm convinced it is chemical in origin.
Like someone flicks a switch!!
Morning lovely friends. Thank you all for your kindness. Sherie you asked what's changed ... very good question hun. I don't know really. And it's not just now, it's really what made me suspect there was more to my condition than depression and why I went to the doc initially. I guess the difference is that I have had to drop right down on the ADs before I started the new drug, which hasn't really kicked in yet, so in some ways I'm not as medicated as I was. I got your hug, thanks lovely, sending one back to you. xx
Tony - yes I'm looking for triggers too. But I don't know if that's it, it's just a cycle I seem to have been in for months. I'm starting to see patterns. Up for a few days, down for a few days, stable for a few days. Thanks for sharing mate.
Hi Carol hun, I'll call today and see what I can do. Feeling pretty good this morning, and I have singing tonight which is fun. Thanks hun.
Hi Sharny - hope you've had a good weekend. Thank you for posting here.