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06/08/2011 10:56 PM

looking for some understanding...

megsmiley
Posts: 9
Member

Hi all,

I have been reading posts from this forum all night and am in tears because I recognize so much of what I am reading.

I am 32 years old, married, mother of a 2 year-old boy and I believe I have bipolar II, cyclothymia or something in that spectrum.

I went once to see a doctor about this about 10 years ago and was told that I am too high-functioning to have this (I was a law student at the time and am now a lawyer).

However, I don't feel very high-functioning. Life is hard. I don't think life should be this hard. I don't think I should be having to exert such effort to try to keep my emotions under control, to suppress the intense rage and irritability that can come up for me or to get out of bed on many mornings. This has been continuous since I was 15 years old, although sometimes I get a few months off here and there to breathe. I am exhausted with just this aspect of my life, never mind parenting, marriage, housework, work and everything else. Life is hard. I feel like I am tottering on the edge of a big abyss and I am constantly struggling to keep my balance and avoid falling in. My marriage is suffering. I am sad and scared.

One big indicator to me that this is bipolar is that when I was medicated for depression at age 19, I went completely manic- I shaved my head completely bald at a party, wore just a bikini to the bar, engaged in a lot of other behavior that is not characteristic for me and which I am not proud of. That was the only time in my life that I ever behaved that way. The behavior stopped once I dropped the zoloft.

I'm sorry this is long. There is so much more to the story, but I'll stop there to spare everyone the novel I am tempted to write. I have made a doctor's appointment and am finally taking steps to get some help. I will keep you updated. I feel like I need to say that I am not a hypochondriac. I think I do such a good job of hiding the intensity of some of this that when I do break down and admit I think I have a real problem- my husband doesn't really believe me. He'll tell me I'm just having a bad day and everyone gets emotional. This is frustrating and hurtful, although I know he means to help. It's hard.

I am hoping for some support and understanding from people who struggle like I do. I am so sad and sick of inflicting my moods on my husband, and it breaks my heart to think of my son growing up and seeing me so sad and angry. I'm ready for some real help.

Thanks for reading this.

Unsure

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06/09/2011 05:57 AM
jaguarandcubs
jaguarandcubs  
Posts: 2685
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I'm an Advocate

Wow - you are very in tune with yourself, and that is amazing! Well done! It sure does sound like you could be bipolar, and you are right to seek professional advice. Here in Australia, it has gotten to the point that doctors don't want to make the diagnosis, because it has become 'fashionable' and something for people to use as an excuse. Which is SO frustrating to those of us who are genuine.

Keep fighting to figure out why you feel the way you do - because anything in the extreme isn't normal. And to that doctor who told you that you couldn't be bipolar because you are too high functioning - OMG! What an idiot! A lot of us are! Until we burn out. Smile

It may help you to keep a daily diary and a mood chart to take with you to a doctors appt. The more information you can provide - both past and present - will help figure things out.

I don't know what your future holds as far as a diagnosis, but I do hope you get one soon, no matter what it is.

Carley

Post edited by: jaguarandcubs, at: 06/09/2011 05:58 AM


06/09/2011 03:58 PM
Catbaloo
CatbalooPosts: 6811
Group Leader

Good for you for having the courage to address this issue even though your husband and even a doctor have discouraged you. Only you know how you feel inside. You shouldn't have to battle to keep your emotions at bay every day. You may or may not be bipolar, but it certainly sounds like you would benefit from consulting a psychiatrist to find out why your emotions are so erratic. I finally did that and it completely changed my life for the better.

We can all put on a good face for a while, but if you are bipolar and it is untreated, you will eventually fall into that abyss. I did. Don't let it happen to you. Don't be like me: get help before you have a real crisis. Please.

Keep us posted, okay?


06/09/2011 04:54 PM
megsmiley
Posts: 9
Member

Thank you all so much for your compassionate and thoughtful responses. It means more to me than you can imagine- or perhaps you all know quite well. I feel heard and understood.

I don't know if what I have been experiencing is bipolar or not. I just know I need some help. I don't care if I get a label for it or not- but I desperately need relief. If it turns out that I do have something in the bipolar spectrum, I will be in good company.

Jaguarandcubs- I am going to start keeping a mood journal. I think that is such a great idea and will definitely be doing this.

Catbaloo- thank you for your advice about continuing to pursue this. When I am feeling good and balanced, I often rationalize the bad times and think the problem is over... but it always seems to come back- razing any progress I have made to the ground. I will definitely keep my appointment and keep you all posted.

MissHildy- Thanks for commenting and sharing your circumstances. It comforts me to know that you have the same situation with your husband. I am at the point that I KNOW there is something going on and I don't care if he understands as long as he supports me in pursuing treatment, which he is.

Anyway- once again- thank you all so much. I reached out last night when I felt beyond hope and to find this amazing community of people has been overwhelming. I usually feel so alone. Thank you. Truly.


06/09/2011 04:58 PM
Catbaloo
CatbalooPosts: 6811
Group Leader

I sent you a PM, Meg.

06/10/2011 08:52 PM
Kelti
Kelti  
Posts: 4162
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I'm an Advocate

meg, I think we have been living in the same house. ha. I was manic on all the drugs in that SSRI category before I finally went to a pdoc and discovered I needed something else (wellbutrin) along with 2 mood stablizers. I am high functioning too, a social worker, but just part time for the past few years. I don't rage like I used to or at least not as often, thanks to the old med cabinet. I hear you about the hubby and son as I have one of each too. Our son is 33 and he has moved back home to help us take care of my bipolar issues and my hubby needs the help dealing with it all too. I thank God everyday for my son. What a brave man he is. He knows how to man up real good. I use a mood chart from dbsa,org ( Depression and Bipolar Alliance) you can go to their site and order one from their pamplet page. You all have just gotta see it. It is so easy to use instead of writing a dang book about it all. works for me. I wish everyone had one, bipolar or not.!!When I am doing OK the bad stuf seems so ELUSIVE to me. like it just is akin to 'going under'. this is where the chart comes in, to remind me. Keep posting and you can PM us any time you want!

06/12/2011 06:28 PM
megsmiley
Posts: 9
Member

Thanks Workingonit and Kelti. I really appreciate your responses.

Had a long talk with my husband about this today and am feeling much better. He listened thoughtfully as I told him my thoughts about this over the course of an hour or so. Then he hugged me and said he didn't want my struggling so hard and wanted to be there for me. He couldn't have had a better response. I feel very hopeful this evening.

Thanks.


09/01/2011 08:51 PM
megsmiley
Posts: 9
Member

I know this thread is really old... I just wanted to update everyone... I never kept my initial appointment. But today I had my first appointment with a new pdoc and I am feeling very hopeful! Hope everyone else is doing well and feeling good. Smile

11/01/2011 08:47 PM
jammermama

I see that this is an older thread, but I have to reply because our lives are entirely too similar! I'm also 32, have two kids, and have long considered myself very high functioning. I've only been on meds for a short time in the past, but am officially at the point of seeking help again too. My problems sound similar to yours (rage and severe irritability....which are just mania in disguise).

I've also come across a number of people in my life, husband included, who don't believe I could have anything so serious going wrong with me. "You're so stable". "You're so organized". "We're so proud of you and your accomplishments". "You're so level headed and down to earth". "You just need a night out". Sound familiar? It really eats away at that gut feeling that SOMETHING IS WRONG and you need to do something about it.

I hope you're doing well and seeking treatment. I'm hoping to get myself in check soon enough to apply to a Ph.D. program this coming year.


11/02/2011 04:27 PM
hunkydorie
hunkydorie  
Posts: 2057
Group Leader

Hi Jammermama, hope you get into the Ph.D. program soon! Good luck!
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