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07/22/2008 10:02 PM

totally confused

Posts: 1

Hello.. I was diagnosed as manic depressive almost six years ago, when I was 13. Since then, it's been a long struggle of being diagnosed with conflicting disorders, cycling through psychiatrists and therapists, trying various medications, and arriving where I am now. I'm currently only medicated with Effexor Xr and don't have a long term therapist or psychiatrist.

You'd think after 6 years, I'd really be on the ball by now, but I'm just not. I'm here because it was only two weeks ago that I decided to read a book called Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie Fast as a means to helping my suffering relationship. After reading this book, I was shocked to find all of the "extra" symptoms of bipolar that are so much more than depression and mania that no one ever even told me about. It was then that I realized that my entire life is dominated by bipolar and I need to do something to help the agitation, impatience, frustration, and severe anger that I know now are part of being bipolar.

I'm at a crossroads now where I'm trying desperately to figure out my personal symptoms and moods so I can take control of them, but I feel so overwhelmed and confused, I don't know how. I find myself analyzing every aspect of my life as far back as I can remember, and constantly saying, "well, I must not really have bipolar because I don't do _____" or "No no, I definitely have it because I do _______" all of this stress has actually put me into a depressive episode.

I'm by no means using online forums as a substitute for seeing a doctor and having regular therapy, but I just thought I would ask other people going through this as well as me... I often find myself really confused by my episodes.. I always thought that if I really had bipolar, I would have set periods of being depressed or manic. I thought mania would always bring happiness. I thought episodes would last months or weeks, at the shortest. It seems as if none of these are true for me. My mania, 90% of the time, has no happiness. It's just slight elation that can easily be pierced and brought into destructive anger. My episodes can last as long as only a day. Sometimes I feel like I have depression and mania interchanging every few days. I'm aware of rapid cycling, but is it really like how I described? Or is it possible that I really don't have bipolar?


07/22/2008 10:10 PM
normaPosts: 10109
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Glad you joined the group, honey. I have read the book and it is a good one.

If you were diagnosed at 13 yrs, by a qualified psychiatrist chances are you are still bipolar, it doesn't go away. Now the good news is that you know why you have the mood swings, and you are still you. But, there is a lot of help for feeling better. I would strongly encourage you to see a psychiatrist soon, one who is familiar with bipolar.

And start keeping a daily mood chart, (there are several on the internet you can print one out) record moods, meds, alchol or drugs, sleep patterns, etc.

Make yourself at home here honey. My son and I both have bipolar and lead perfectly normal lives.

07/22/2008 10:25 PM
Posts: 10660
VIP Member

Welcome you will find here a lot of caring and understanding and non judgmental people. When i first came here i was so lonely thought no one understood me or knew what i was going through boy was i wrong. I don't feel as lonely anymore and i know everyone here will listen and they have great advice and you can talk about anything.

07/23/2008 03:28 AM
Posts: 404

It is good to see someone educating themselves and reflecting on their symptoms. It is also good to question the diagnosis and get a second opinion, it wasn't until I got one, after 8 years of incorrect diagnosis as severe depression that I stopped ECT, changed all my meds, and stopped going into hospital. This made the difference between being in hospital frequently and living like a zombie, to holding down a job and being able to care for my children. The shame of it is that I refused to get a second opinion because I had so much faith in my pdoc who was a professor, and everyone said he was the best. My hb finally gave me an ultimatum so I got a second opinion.

Good luck, you are right to keep an open mind and to question the medical profession.

07/23/2008 03:47 AM

All of these symptoms I'm sure all of us can relate to. The aggitation, pacing, highs and lows(sometimes within a matter of hours) Inability to sleep. The euphoria becoming so high you feel that it controls you instead of the other way around. The key is to find an understand psychiatrist that you trust who is good at med management. It may take time with different meds, doses, etc. Some may make you feel like a zombie and it may just be the dosing. Some will give you side effects that will go away after your body gets use to them. It is worth going through all of this because once you find the right combination you find yourself again, and most of the "extreme" feelings go away. You'll always have the ups and downs, they'll just be manageable and you'll feel in control instead of them controlling you. You'll learn on those bad days you might have to distract yourself. spend a little time to chill and use the mania to be productive. You'll find coping skills to compensate. And remember. Most bipolars are very intelligent.

Post edited by: crazywonderful, at: 07/23/2008 03:51


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