I wanted to indroduce myself to the forum. I am 38 years young, and have been struggling with Bipolar since I was a teen. I never recognized any of my behavior has a problem until I got married in 1999. My wife has received the brunt of my disorder - I have been nasty to her, snapped at her, unhappy with our marriage, and I even attempted to find another woman to have sex with.
I tried to commit suicide twice in my early 20's. Thankfully both attempts were lame calls for attention, and I easily survived both. I went to the psychiatric ward after the second attempt for a week. I saw many folks I felt were a lot worse off than I was, and I decided to live a better life. Once I got married, things started to change. My sex drive went off the charts. I drove my wife crazy by constantly pressuring her for sex. She is interested, but does not have the libido that I still possess. I am working on that aspect of my life, because the sex drive is a real obstacle. I also have had tendencies to be impulsive. I spend money on big ticket items even when we do not have the money to pay for these things.
I was diagnosed with General Depression in 2003 and put on Lexapro. At first I thought it was helping me. Over time, it turned me into a zombie. I could not function as a normal person, so I weaned myself off of the drug and stopped counseling. In August 2008 I had a really bad manic episode. I could not form sentences, I could not stop racing thoughts, I lost track of where I was and could not concentrate. All while I was driving an 18 wheeler 150 miles from home. My wife managed to talk me through driving home, and the very next day I went to the ER. That was little help, so I went to my regular doc and got some Xanax, which did help to calm me down. I went to my pdoc two days later, who immediately diagnosed me as bipolar. I was both releived and sad, realizing I now faced a lifetime of psychiatry and medication.
I am currently on Lamictal, it is really helping me a lot. At first it really increased my sex drive at 25 mg. At 50 mg I was disoriented for a few days, and became anorgasmic, but all of that cleared up. I recently stepped up to 100 mg. The first few days, I woke up every morning feeling depressed, but after a few hours I would feel great. Right now I am feeling more stable every day, although I went through a little episode yesterday while my wife was off with her friends and my children were asleep. Xanax really helped me get through that. Now I feel great again. I can not tell what the day will bring, I take things hour by hour sometimes. All I know is I am seeking the help I need and I am becoming a better person as a result.