Hello! I'm new to the bipolar world. Haven't been officially told but its been mentioned and runs in my family. Anyway, the past 2 weeks have been a scary ride and I'm not sure if its just a "new me", if its related to BP, or if I am going crazy. I'm very scared of what's going on and am not sure what to do or where to turn.
First off until the past 2-3 years i have always been the goody-two-shoes in life. following every law/rule there is, having respect for authority and always thinking of others. In the past 2weeks I have had a "screw everyone" attitude. 2 weeks ago I left my pdoc appointment and just wrote off everything that night. I stopped taking the lithium I was on (which he was tapering me off anyway), I began drinking (previously 1-2 drinks a year now 6-9 oz of 70 proof vodka a night) when taking my trazadone before bed and have periods of rage (when angry daydreaming of destroying items, thankfully stopping myself from following thru so far). All of this is completely unlike me. Worst part is I kind of like some of it sometimes (drinking & attitude) but the anger scares me. In the middle of the week I just decided to stop taking the 90mg of cymbalta I was on because "I didn't want to" (even though I know it has been very helpful). Once I plummeted my tdoc (who endured an hour of me sobbing) got me to start back up again and put some sense in me. But at one point again I found myself craving a cigarette (never smoked in my life) and stood in line to buy some...managed to walk out before I did. I also contacted an old acquaintance who I know smokes weed just to try to get some from him (again never even come close to that stuff). I'm back to the I'll do what I want attitude but feel like I'm going to cry any second. Pdoc said no more alcohol,and I just laughed as I walked out went home and had a drink. What is going on with me? Why am I doing this to myself? Some days it feels great to not care about any consequences on other days I'm scared this is a "new me". I started mentioning some of this to my pdoc and he seemed to just tune me out. I was scared enough that at one point I wouldn't leave my house or talk to my family or friends because I was afraid of what I might say or do. Help! Can anyone relate? Am I going crazy? I'm just at a loss and have no one to talk to who won't lecture me about what I'm doing. At this point I feel I have some control but not completely. I almost feel its been luck I haven't done some of the stuff I "want" to do. Anyone have a guess what's going on?
Sorry to go on and on but I just don't have anywhere to turn. Thanks for reading/listening at least.
I should also mention I just went back to work after being off for 8 weeks because of the stress of work and my moods. That and the fact that I'm sleeping only 5-7 hours a night because my mind is racing (usually 8-10 hours) are things I'm sure hasn't helped.
are you seeing a therapist? you need professional help before you get much more out of control. it would be good if you could schedule therapy sessions at least once a week, if not twice, until you can manage to get things more under control and find out why you are behaving like you are. alcohol is only making things worse for you, which i'm sure you know...but if you are refusing to stop, and discontinuing your meds, and you want help, then see a therapist and be completely honest with her/him and be willing to do what it takes to help yourself because only you can do the work. You can get help, but only you can make the changes. if the medication was helping you, why stop taking it? sometimes talking with a therapist is where you will find the answer to questions like that. it's hard and takes lots of work, but if you want to get better, you will be willing to do it in spite of how hard. Get professional help before things get worse for you!
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
Thanks, Debbie. I do currently see a therapist once a week but the sessions deal more with stress and she tends to ask what the pdoc says about it. The pdoc says the therapist can help with coping skills etc and the therapist says she has (true). The therapist says the pdoc just doesn't know me well enough since he's only been my dr for 6 months, she's been my therapist for over 2 years. So each one seems to blame the other and say they will talk to the other but neither one does. So.....I am just bouncing back and forth.plus the therapist doesn't like to push me and most days if I'm not pushed to actually answer a question I just give the I don't know speech. I know I need to make more of an effort too.
Does any of this sound like someone who is bipolar/hypo manic? All I've been told for sure was depression but possibly BP. My relative with BP is BP1 and I don't see me like him. Just really wanting to know if anyone is on the right track. Therapist thinks some type of BP and pdoc bounces back and forth with depression/stress at work to cyclothymia or BP2. All I need to find out is if any of this is something you might see in a BP person?
Why did your doctor decide to taper down your lithium? Are you taking other medications to treat your mania? Your depression?
Why do you describe yourself as goody two-shoes? We may not be defined by our Bipolar disorder, but our morals are unique to us. It sounds like your good morals are valuable to you. You don't sound like a snob so maybe goody two-shoes doesn't apply to you. If you are manic and behaving in ways that go against your grain, then you might want to think about what is valuable to you. I have never had an untreated manic episode where I didn't lose something of value to me (i.e. good judgment, jobs, friends, support, money, safety, self-esteem, self-confidence, some gray matter).
Maybe you are putting out more than you are receiving. While that can be a virtue, it can cause a lot of stress and anger. I will admit that alcohol and illegal drugs can take a load off and give good times. I have been drinking more than I should lately because my family and job is stressing me out. Alcohol is a quick fix and chilled bottles of wine are relieving, but it does cause depression. When I get severely depressed and have suicide ideation, I hope my values and positive coping skills are enough for me to wait for the light to come again.
It doesn't sound like you have any addictions. I hope you can get through this phase and re-think seeking help from your doctors again.
Anyway, I can relate to your post as many here can.
Thank you so much for for letting me know you can relate in some way. I feel all alone in this. My pdoc wanted to taper my lithium down because he though that maybe this was all due to the stresses of work and not actual mania since I was on such a "low dose" (450mg a day) . Unfortunately he did this taper at the end of my leave from work so I don't know if going back has triggered this or if the lithium made a difference. He has said every visit how low my lithium is and asks if I think it's doing anything. How should I know? I never seem to know if I am in the middle of a cycle or if the pills are keeping me out of it right now.
As for a goody two shoes, well...I have always believed in respecting authority and so i always responded with yes ma'am and yes sir to adults. That was not something my parents instilled just something I did. I would never talk back to teachers, never broke the law (even speeding) and reminded those who did they shouldn't. So maybe thats nit the rivht term, but yes, my values are important to me...its who i see me as. About 2 years ago when I had my 1st major depression I was constantly talking back to my boss and was finally told by her I was being insubordinate. That freaked me out. I'm not snobbish but I used to follow the rules to a T. Who I am now is not who I was...that's for sure...and that's scary. In many ways it is the exact opposite of who i was. It seems to be evolving and I never know which Kat is going to be there that day. I know I have some choice in that but somedays it feels like its completely out of my rational control. My pdoc used to ask me if I feel like I'm able to control the days I'm "up"(as I refer to it)? I have been able to say yes previously but now I just don't know. I've stopped myself so many times, but what if one day I can't ... Just one time of not being able to stop myself from destroying my house or not showing my anger at work. Now, when the rebellious part of me is here, those days I don't control her. You know this week someone asked me why I wanted to keep drinking after the pdoc said to stop...my answer at that time was because no one is going to tell me what to do. That answer is what scares me...that is not me. I don't fear I have a drinking problem etc, its just the fact that I am doing what I want at the time and not thinking about the consequences of that choice. Looking back I know doing it was not good but in the moment impulse just took over.
Any who...really just wanted to say thank you for responding, sorry for the long story attached to this thank you.
Hi Kat, your behavior is so familiar to me, it's creepy.
When I had my first manic episode I went completely off the deep end. I started to drink, called off my wedding, bought a car I really couldn't afford, (two in fact) and got involved with a real jerk who just happened to be bp also. I acted completely and totally not like myself. What can I say, things happen. I eventually straightened myself out, but it was a long hard road. Today I still find myself wanting to break things and pitch a fit just for the sake of pitching a fit. I just remind myself that it won't do any good and try to move on from there. The drinking however, is another issue. It took me getting extremely tipsy and said jerk trying to take advantage of me to make me quit drinking. Sometimes you just have to hit rock bottom. I wish you luck in getting things straightened out.
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate you sharing your story, it does sound familiar. I have a feeling that its going to take a rock bottom to get me to change. Right now I just feel that if the medicines help some then i'll take them "when I'm in the mood" (lol). As for me changing me....well I just feel that I don't have the determination or the energy to fight this. i don't know...I just don't understand any of this.
Anyway I really appreciate you taking the time to share. Thanks again.
You're welcome Kat. I wish you luck in your treatment. Don't be shy to drop in occasionally and let us know how you're doing or ask some advice. The light is always on. May take us a while to answer, but someone always does.
BP is such a hairy area for diagnosis right now. I was a diagnosed BP (3 or 4) at this point. Not sure as it changed over the course of 20 years until I was finally told that it wasn't an issue for me.
The mental health field is in the front line of some very new ways for patients to gain their lives back again. I was started on Lithium in the beginning for a very short lived period of time. Went through periods like you have mentioned in your self. My favorite weapon of choice for a suicide attempt was an automobile. I was a coward when it came to guns and knives.
Perhaps your symptoms are merely your reaction to everything that is pining inside and all about your home/work/social environs. You mention stress in more than one of your areas of home/work and outward activity. My guess is that by now much of all facets are right about there.
We fall prey to depression when we feel we have lost our ability to control at least a certain portion of our daily activities. Work draws a heavy weight for you right now. But as long as you can get yourself up...brush your teeth and wake up...and go about your day even if you are a bit disarrayed, you really are good to go. I was once a pristine businessman who wore $700 Nino Ceruto custom fit suits.
Be not out to impress anyone even yourself. It creates an effort that is wasted and frivolous. Every morning wake and assess your basic well being. 1. Mind....is there a basic plan for your day? Map it out 2. Mood...if you are a morning person, this is usually a great thing to motivate your day. If not, you will need to be active in attaining a formidable morning mood. This comes from rest, sleep, and often times working through the restless bits at night. Spending a good deal of time in something that allows the mind to flow, while activating your spirit to move you through it creates a comfortable enjoyable environment that rewards the mood and elevates it naturally. 3. Physical. Perhaps the hardest thing we do is push ourselves to move forward in a day. Even a great day is taxing on all fronts. This only means we are working to make a better tomorrow, even though it may never appear. This is in itself a gracious deed we do for our selves. 4. Place the things foremost in your life that are not an absolute necessity and toss them in the dumpster. We create our Stress. We create our depression. So put those needs there also. 5. Me time. Take care of every part of your bring 1st. by loving your self. (Yea right). ha ha if you said that too then you will agree this helps. Sleep helps but doesn't always accommodate. So don't take a pill to grogg you through that. Make your days eventful and achievable. When you can get the mind and the body on an agreeable tandem, you will find sleep works better. Work through your day whether in be in a job/career...etc. or with whatever moves you through your day. Turn off the TV. If you have an over the air format like cable or satellite, put on the music choices and craft, work your home, spend time in the kitchen or with a good book if your mind allows it. 6. In work, be first mindful that everyone else around you is suffering at least as much as you are. They are just avid showmen who promote themselves to look good. Your boss. (Authority arugh!). Your boss may be a greater or a lesser person than you. Maybe sometimes better, sometimes not. Work place etiquette says mind the boss. Remember they have someone to answer to as well.
I could go on but I believe you get the picture. If your Pdoc and your Tdoc are playing their game of "pass - d - buck" give them both passes to their perspective throne rooms and take a walk back to your PCP and say you want better workmanship than what you have. With regards to your health, it is your possession, not the doctors. If you do not see eye to eye in your healthcare planning it is you who can fix it. Be good to your self.
Take from each day, all that it gives to you, return only to it, nothing less than the very best that you have to offer.
Wow, David! That was some great encouragement for me. FYI, My method was also the car, still the plan. I do get up and go to work now, even though my hearts not in it. I know they need me right now and I don't want to let down my staff. The only reason I'm still at that job is because I need health insurance. With everything going on right now (and now in my insurance file) it's too expensive to find insurance on my own, and the job maket in my area sucks.
I was originally started on lamotrigine with a NP we quickly found out I'm one of those who had a horrible reaction to it. I thought it was helping but couldnt keep taking it. So, the new pdoc put me on the lithium, which I felt was going good. However once it went good, then he thought its low enough lets taper off it and see what happens. I wish he hadn't messed with it. Then again I wish I had enough follow thru with my plan to not be here at all. Since I'm the stupid one who stopped the meds cold turkey for a bit, now my punishment is the roller coaster I've been on these past few weeks. Although I started most of the pills again (not lithium)the coaster is still going full swing.
Yes, there is plenty of stress in my life, but I know I make most of it myself. Work is the biggest. When I had my 1st major depression (that kicked this all off), I had an enormous amount of stress from work on me for a long period of time. Once it was done, The me I knew was just gone and feel like nothing has been the same since. Not to say I didn't have problems before but I could usually handle my moods. Now I just have given up on seeing "me" again, and have resigned myself to the fact that this roller coaster is my life. So I go between it and the alternative. Wishing someone would make the decision for me, or I'd just be brave enough once.
As for the two playing back and forth...I'm having my Tdoc concentrate on some life events I haven't dealt with, and the pdoc needs to get something figured out or I am out of there. I've got an appt next week if something doesn't change then I'm stopping all and let life just play out.
I appreciate the suggestions and will try to soak more of it in once I'm back out of the black hole I'm in. It does sound like we have some things in common. Thanks again for the reply.
I've been side tracked with a total knee replacement performed on July 8th. I'm a strange bedfellow when it comes to healing. It works differently for me. Three days after surgery I was at home, alone fending for myself. 5 days after surgery, I found myself walking a mile with a cane to help out with a car wash for the youth in my church.
Anyway. When I was hospitalized for BP, the doctor I saw perhaps 2 times in a week. Once when arriving on the floor and the other, the day before discharge. There was no therapist, only various social workers. In the environment of this hospital, I worked on heart, soul-spirit, mind, body and strength. God is the healer, we merely heal unless He calls upon us to heal another.
Within the DNA of a BP lies a trigger. Like a cancer victim, aids, diabetes...etc. The trigger imbeds in the mind. A BP is born with BP so when you say it was kicked off, that trigger was tripped, so now you must heal. Yet since it is a birthright (bad choice) how does it heal. Awareness. Medical Science has a way of keeping it's practice within it's tangent. That tangent never fully touches it's subject. Medical Science in itself is not complete. It relies on the faith of the healer and the one to be healed for fullness of healing. You lose that faith and you remain unchanged. The PDOC (Physical) and the TDOC (Spirit, mind, behaviour) can play teeter-totter for their entire professional career with you and you will not heal. This since the two remain separate.
Combine the two as minimally evasive practices. Medicine (drug) designs to create an environment in the mind that has attached itself to the moors of your daily existence (stress, anxiety, fear, dis-association...etc). You no longer cope and your faith is displaced. Neither the PDOC or the TDOC ever address this for it is not part of their practice, so you remain unchanged. Stress is caused by a fear to control something within your environment (work, money, children, people...etc). We are the ones to be healed so we cannot control what we seek to control. Realize the need to control is up to the healer (God) and not you (one to heal), and He will provide you with every tool you will ever need to heal. Even if that means medicine and therapy. Your power in this healing is finding the right DOCS to guide you to the space you need to be in to heal. Faith helps you seek this.
Free your self from the desire to control and you will be healed
Take from each day, all that it gives to you, return only to it, nothing less than the very best that you have to offer.
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