(Closed) Bees suffering from bipolar…now I join the fold (Sorry LONG)

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
Post # 17
Member
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

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@strawbabies:  She sounds like the perfect candidate to work with rocks.  Innocent

Post # 18
Member
745 posts
Busy bee

This is a long reply, but it definitely strikes a nerve for me.  OP, I can sympathize with where you’re coming from.  it can be a relief to get a diagnosis sometimes, when you’ve been suffering for a long time.  I’m going to suggest you look up a newer type of therapy as well – it’s called family systems theory.  It might give you some new information, or some food for thought.  FST helps a person observe their families of origins to cast a newer light on the symptoms they’ve been suffering from for so long.  

I was diagnosed at 19 with bipolar disorder.  I have been on probably thirty different medications since then – i’m now 32 – and I have successfully weaned off all of them by learning as much as I could about family systems theory.  At one point I was on FIVE different meds at once.  i was a walking zombie and the psychiatrists made it worse by giving me more meds each time I had an episode.   I was hospitalized seven times over the past five years for various reasons: “mania”, abusing painkillers, suicidal depression.  I was in rehab twice, got kicked out the second time.  I swallowed an entire bottle of lithium and ended up on a respirator in the ICU.  It was very, very bad for a long time and thankfully my husband stuck with me through it all.  

Ever since i discovered FST, I was able to literally turn my life around.  The way the theory works is that it views the family (of origin, or whomever initially raised you) as a unit and each person as a small part in it.  In each family there is a flow of anxiety brought down from each generation, and some inidividuals, for reasons such as the cicumstances when they were born in a family and/or their birth order, are more susceptible to that anxiety.  It can bubble up in the form of addictions, mental illnesses, divorce, even physical illnesses.  it’s quite fascinating and takes away some of the guilt that people with diagnoses often feel.

It’s no surprise at all, honestly, to hear that your family is less than supportive.  They are enmeshed in the same system as you are, as they helped to create/continue it.  You are the one suffering the most from it.  And yes, eating/craving too much sugar can be both symptom and cause.  Don’t let your mother blame you for that, but also examine why you are doing it in the first place.  

Bottom line: don’t end up thinking you’re a psych patient.  Doctors will give you whatever you want if you tell them you’ve had mood swings, and you really don’t want the stuff they’re pushing.  This mindset only serves to keep you down and keep you from moving on in your life, doing your life’s work.  I was told i would be on medication for the rest of my life because my “particular” form of bipolar ilness was so severe.  I nearly lost my life – all the while I was on meds!  In reality, I am NOT bipolar – just a smart, emotional, sensitive person who was susceptible to a LOT of intergenerational stress.    

All that said, I wish you the best of luck in your journey, wherever and however you find yourself! πŸ™‚  Feel free to PM me if you have questions or just need someone to talk to πŸ™‚  

Post # 20
Member
722 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Jacqui90: I got diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety about a year ago (which apparently, I’ve had for about 8yrs). At the time, the only person that really knew I was going to a psychiatrist and therapist was Fiance. I eventually told my mom and I’m not sure if my dad knows. I kept it pretty private, except for Fiance, just because we’re so close and I feel I can tell him anything and everything. I was put on an SSRI which have helped in ways, but I don’t feel is the best fit for me.

I know how you feel in regards to being scared. I was so upset to know there was something “wrong” with me. But I just kept telling myself to it’s best to know so I can get help and get better. I’m still pretty quiet about it all, but everything eventually works out for the best. Just try to keep positive thoughts and remind yourself that this will all help you feel better. And I can tell just from the things that have been posted, you have plenty of support here and won’t be judged!

Post # 22
Member
1889 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I am so glad that you were diagnosed and able to get on meds that should help you out.  I’m sorry your mom is being unreasonable–she may just have “blinders” on; I think many parents like to blame things like sugar and stress for their kids’ mental health issues because it’s easier than blaming themselves/genetics.  It is sooo good that your dad and your Fiance are understanding and that you can lean on them for support!

 

My sister, we are pretty sure, had undiagnosed BPD.  My mom was always very supportive, I was basically just confused about what was “different” about her (she was 3 years my senior).  My dad would tell me during her episodes that she was just “trying to get attention” and to ignore her… Even after repeated suicide attempts.

 

Sadly, she never received a full diagnosis and I don’t think she ever got the treatment she really needed.  She went to years of therapy and tried all sorts of anti-depressants as well as ADHD meds like Adderall and Ritalin.  She took her own life at age 16, and I remember my dad standing in front of the casket at her viewing saying, “It’s strange, she never really let anything get to her”.  I don’t know if he was just able to mentally block out all her episodes and suicide attempts, or he really was just clueless, but it’s truly stunning to me that he still thought she seemed totally OK to him.

 

Please try not to let your mom’s ignorance get to you, stay on your medication, TELL SOMEONE if you are feeling manic or suicidal, and remember that people love you and care about you–including here on the Bee!

 

Post # 23
Member
37 posts
Newbee

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@Jacqui90:  I know first hand how that roller coaster goes.

I was originally diagnosed with major depression 8 years ago and went on a roller coaster of antidepressants to try and help.  Nothing worked, and I just kept getting worse and worse while on them, developing into also having anxiety attacks.

At the time I was diagnosed with depression my mother was very upset.  She felt that going on medication was horrible, that I should be going “Natural” that changing my diet would make me better.  Um, I’m sorry but diet alone will not help all problems.

I stopped all medications a few years ago and everything was okish until I started college recently.  Being a full-time non working student after working full-time for 10 years was a huge change for me and it really killed some of my confidence.  I love Mr Lionheart, but for the first time in our relationship I was having to rely on him for everything.  On top of that I was taking a very full load of classes… I ended up having an awful time of it and started to have a stress breakdown.  That lead me to finally seeing a doctor again about all of this.

I was officially diagnosed with bipolar type 2.  It is very commonly misdiagnosed as major depression because it doesn’t have the characteristic manic phases that you see with bipolar type 1.  This was the reason antidepressants did work for me.

It took me about a month to be ok with the idea of being bipolar.  I wish I could say it wasn’t an issue but it was.  Being depressed doesn’t have the same social stigma as being bipolar does.  Now I just own it.  I am what I am, I’ve always been this and I always be this.  Giving it a name doesn’t change me. However, the positive of giving it a name is that it now can be treated the way it should be.

Its been a year, and I still have bad days… but thankfully I have more good than bad now ^_^
It also helps that I *know* what to look for now.  Like you, I thought I just had normal mood swings but they are not.  I can now warn Mr Lionheart “Hey baby, I know I’m having a bad day.  Take it a little easy with me and try to be understanding.”  He tries πŸ™‚  I know being with a bipolar fiancee can be hard so I try too.

At least with the family part… my story is always ongoing with that aspect.  It took my older sister (the beloved favorite child) being diagnosed with bipolar type 1 before my mother could understand that medication isn’t so awful.
For my own mental health I just don’t listen to my own family much and instead I lean on Mr Lionheart πŸ™‚

As suggestions:
*Do try and get good sleep.  I know for me that helps a lot with not having as many “bad” days.
*I also learned that if I have a lot of caffeine (like think a few espresso shots) or just too much coffee on an empty stomach that can send me into a manic phase.
*Exercise has helped me a lot.  If I feel a little manic I go take a walk or a run, it helps me get some of that out of me.
*We have tried using the “Jelly Bean” method in our household.  I really get upset if Mr Lionheart seems like he is using my illness as a crutch in a fight telling me “Oh, you’re just being bipolar and not thinking about it.” This would lead into massive arguments… Instead if he notices I am getting a little “weird” he uses a term that has no baggage with it.
As an example: Me- *being worked up about something in a manic way*  Mr- It’s ok Miss Lionheart, we can talk about this but I think maybe some Jelly Beans are getting mixed in.  I normally take this a hint that he notices something I haven’t and it helps me try to be rational.

Anyway, sorry this is so long ^_^;;

 

Just try to think, we aren’t suffering through it… we are LIVING through it! And hopefully it is helping you live to be a healthier you! *hugs*

 

Post # 27
Member
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I was diagnosed with depression as a young teen, going through a lot of difficult times. I went to a couple psych wards for attempting suicide and self harm and went on numerous medications. When I was 19 I had my first and so far only mania with psychosis is what they called it, where I spent two weeks literally out of my mind, talking to trees and all sorts of stuff, I don’t even remember it at all. I “woke up” in a psych ward on a ton of meds and having been labeled bipolar. I’ve spent the rest of those almost five years since then trying to find a good medication off and on, being severely depressed off and on, and generally just feeling like I’m broken and nothing is going to fix me. I hate being medicated because nothing seems to work and I don’t feel like myself when I’m medicated, but when I’m not medicated I am extremely sad and can’t stay motivated to get anything done. I feel like I was given a bad brain when I was born and there’s not much I can do with it to make it workable. I wouldn’t wish bipolar disorder on anyone, it’s very difficult to live with sometimes, and as you can tell, despite having been diagnosed several years ago, I’m still struggling to cope with it. I’m going through a rough patch myself right now, basically all you can do is just keep trudging along and hope that tomorrow will be better in my experience, because nothing the doctors do for you really helps. Sorry that this post is so utterly depressing, I’m not in the best place right now =/

Post # 28
Member
9123 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

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@Jacqui90:  I am really glad for you that you have a diagnosis and hopefully will find an effective long-term treatment plan.  Just want to say that I can kind of relate – my Fiance (partner of many years) is going through a major and long depressive episode, and his doc thinks he may have BPII instead of regular depression.  We’ve tried several medications in the past 6 months and nothing has seemed to work yet  πŸ™  I’m really glad you have a supportive fiance – I know in our case, that is one of his biggest forms of support / encouragement / hope by far.  Don’t be afraid to really lean on him!  I suspect your family will be more supportive in time.  Good luck!  xoxo

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