i think i'm bipolar II and i don't know where to start

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born2run78
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/16/2009 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
this is entirely new to me, thinking of myself in this way. i'm 30 now and i'm fairly sure i've been dealing with this condition for 10 years. i didn't even know this classification existed until a few days ago. i have always shrugged at depression and bipolar info because it just didn't fit. now i start reading about bipolar II and it's basically me up and down.

i can plot it out on a calendar. for the last year, every two to three weeks i cycle up and down. it has gotten so i know when it's going to happen. now, that may be a self-fulfilling prophecy too, who knows? but it's so real. and the ups are not manic, they feel GREAT. when i'm up, i think i can handle the lows if the highs keep coming back like this. then i get down (as i am now) and i look at my money situation and my job situation and everything i've committed to for the last two weeks and i can't possibly do it all, let alone a tiny piece of it.

i'm so scared. i'm in a very low phase right now. couldn't leave the apartment all day. i have an appointment to be evaluated in a week and a half and i'm seeing a therapist, but that's all new to me too and not helping the rest of the time. my life has fallen apart around me in the last two years. my finances are a disaster, my relationships are strained and foreign, i just moved back to los angeles after being gone for two years and i feel like an alien here.

it's all so chaotic and so confusing, i don't know where to start and how to begin again. i know i need to, but i feel completely helpless in this current state.

AND i am terrified of medication. i don't like taking medication for ANYTHING. a diagnosis and commitment to this means medicating the rest of my life? i just don't know if i can handle that.

then i have my psychologist friends warning me about the field of psychiatry and strongly urging me to just "talk it out." which i'm trying, but frankly feels lightweight compared to what i'm dealing with.

i know this is just an internet forum, but i was comforted by some of the things i read on here. can anyone give any advice on how to deal in the short term? i just don't know what to do. i feel like someone hijacks my body and brain every two weeks and forces me to hate all that i am and have done.

sorry for the caps, just being lazy.

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 5/16/2009 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Have a heart to heart talk with your Dr........
SnowyLynne


Learning2deal
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 5/17/2009 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
To start with, just know you are not alone and we are here for you. It sounds very much like bipolar type 2. I know your friends have given you all these warnings, but they may not know exactly what is best for you. Sometimes it takes time to accept that you have this disorder. So it may take time. Medication may be your only option if this is going to cost you your life or well being. You can do this, hang in there. I am a 31 year old female with three kids. I know how hard the stuggle can be to maintain relationships. The people who truly love you will hang in there too. Don't think of the medication as the  rest of your life, think of it as one day at a time. I would recommend you get a mood chart and chart your moods daily. Then take this to your doctor. If you are not completely satisfied with that doctor get a second opinion, and a third. It took about 2 years to get my meds right for me. On medicaton I feel so much better. I had mostly depression. It really hurts. Give it a chance. You may want to try a mood stabilizer first with your doc. Lamictal is what I use. It has been so helpful to me. I also take Ablify. I have heard so many people speak highly of it as do I. Again, hang in there and let us know how you are doing...

born2run78
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/17/2009 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks "learning2deal" -- I like that, learning to deal. Today is another bad one. The good news is that I should be feeling great in about 4-5 days. Bad news is that as soon as I go up, I'll go back down two weeks later.

I does help to hear from other people, though. 2 YEARS! Good lord. I don't know if I can take 2 years of cycling medications. This feels like the beginning of a horrible nightmare. I'm having crazy fantasies of escaping to Mexico or something, but I know the problems will just follow me. 50 minutes with the therapist in a couple days just doesn't seem like enough -- checking myself in somewhere seems like too much.

So many problems just keep cycling and cycling through my head. I just keep thinking of how much of my life I've ruined, particularly in the last 2 years, by not recognizing this. IF this is what it is!!? I'm not even diagnosed, but I am taking comfort from the fact that this craziness I've felt for so long could actually be something real and not just me being an idiot.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/17/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi born2run78,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. It's good you've found us. We're glad you're here.

This can all feel so overwhelming to start off -- it's overwhelming when you're in the middle of it too, so we're all with you there. I know you're eager to find out more about bipolar, and I'll get there in a minute, but first let me urge you to get a proper diagnosis from a psychiatrist before you freak out too much. Bipolar looks and acts like several other personality and mental disorders, and only a professional is well qualified to tell them apart. So don't rely just on your reading, as much as it may seem perfect (and you know, it may be). I hope your appt goes well.

Two years seems like a long time, but when you're talking about a disorder you're going to have for the rest of your life, it's a drop in the bucket. The medications HELP, they are necessary, in my opinion, but they don't make the symptoms disappear. And they don't work forever. They work for a while, and then they'll need to be adjusted. So you'll still need to play with your medications, even once you're "stable". You'll still have mood swings once you're medicated. It's just a fact of life. They haven't made a perfect drug yet. There are so many different medications because no one drug works for everyone, so often it is a matter of trial and error to find one that works, so you have to be strong and hold on while you find one that helps make the pain lift. And it is scary to think of being medicated for the rest of your life. I certainly hate it. But it is truly SO much better than going it alone. So if you turn out to be bipolar, give that some serious thought. There is a drug out there -- and you will find it -- that will stop the swinging.

Unfortunately, you can't "talk out" bipolar. It's a medical condition. Tell your friends they're silly. That's like telling someone to talk out their broken arm. It requires medical care.

I hope that's helpful. Stick around. Tell us how your appointment goes. In the meantime, try to limit your stress level and get regular sleep. Those are two of the biggest triggers for bipolars.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 5/17/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the board. First off I think you can maybe calm yourself down by waiting until a doctor has actually diagnosed you. Like Serena said, bipolar can mimic a lot of other conditions. But it is not a death sentence either, so if you are diagnosed as bipolar, do not let that get you more down. It is a good thing to finally figure out what you are dealing with.

The amount of time it takes for your body to get accustomed to a medication varies from person to person. Like learning2deal said, it took her 2 years, and me...I am still on the same meds that I was first put on when first diagnosed 2 years ago. I have only made a change once and that was just increasing the mg. of my antidepressant. It took me about 2 months before I started noticing a difference, and fa=or all of the side effects to wear off.

You will get all kinds of advice from a lot of people who mean well. But what is best is to listen to your dr/pdoc/therapist, and of course yourself. Bipolar is a chemical condition in the brain and it is futile to try and fight it without medication.
"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean
you have to run people over." ~ Fred Pausch


evergreenstella
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/9/2009 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello:

I have just descovered the same Bi-Polar II after many years of symptoms. At least now I know.

My family never understood when I was yound=g and always acted as though I was deliberately being "bad".

I take Celexa now with few side effects but have discovered that heathcare plans descriminate against you for this.

I too cycle because of a triggering event about every 2 weeks although reading and understanding and meds help to

explain it all it doesn't help the feels of being out of control. Unable to explain that I am not being bad, that I

can shut up and control the words, but am labeled bad for that too. I am not that perfect normal a partner would want.

Always taking care of everything making no waves, calm and in control even in the face of a family suicide. Being emotion

just isn't done in our family and I have always been an abnormality. It gives me a sense of normalacy knowing I am not alone out there.

Karen


annie_anne
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/1/2009 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I completely agree with mommy.michele. Listening to a doctor and seeking out therapy is the best bet. I have been medicated for 3 years now and have never felt better. However, I have also been seeking therapy and other resources. As mentioned before there is no magic pill that will erase this disorder completely. I wish there was such a thing. But it is not as horrible as you would think it is. Having this disorder is like having any kind of disorder. People take meds for heart conditions, diabetes, etc without feeling bad about it. So, even though taking meds are a pain and the idea of staying on them for the long term is not such a great thought, it is a hell of a better alternative to feeling the way I did before the meds. Seek out information from a specialist. And if the weekly therapy is not working, find another doctor. It took a very long time to find a good therapist....but unfortunately, that's the game you have to play. Give it time and an open mind and I think you will turn out great. :)

Good luck, hon!!

jeeper
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 7/1/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I would like to reiterate what everyone else has said...bipolar is a medical condition and requires medication.  I tried 2 mood stabilizers before I found geodon and now I woundn't think of not taking it.  My husband would crawl on his hands and knees to the pharmacy to get me a refill (lol).  Bipolars have the up and down cycles and racing thoughts and that is what the mood stabilizer is for.  Good luck to you.

cbear
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 7/2/2009 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
serafena, i LOVED your line about needing medical care and meds just as u would if u had a broken arm. i used to be embarrassed about being mentally ill until i realized its no difference than having cancer or diabetes. i know try to educate people when ican, when they seem responsive. unfortunately i have some relatives who believe if u are "right with God" u should be okay. for a while i bought into this and felt so guilty about needing meds. then i actually found a christian counselor who worked with my dr. getting me on the meds i needed at that time. i am very sick from many different illnesses, so i now take a lot more meds, but feel absolutely no guilt about needing them. i too am a christian and i know that no matter what God is on my side

1overwhelmedmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/6/2009 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I feel as though born2run78 was reading my mind. I am a 31 year old mother of two who is pretty certain that I have Bipolar II. Bipolar disorder runs thick in my family as well as ADHD and my new Dr recently diagnosed me with ADHD, and I can see that but I think either he was wrong or that I also have BPII, which I know is more common than most realize. After my 1 hour appt, that cost me $295 that we totally don't have, I really felt it was not enough time to cover everything to give me an accurate diagnosis, not to mention it was totally during my "happy, things could be much worse" phase of the month. So now that I am down and angry and frustrated I don't know what to do. I actually thought I was fine yesterday, then I lashed out today like a crazy person so maybe not. I too am terrified of medication and I am ridiculously sensitive to side effects, although I know they are my only option. I think I have known for a long time that it was BPII, but because I hoped so much that it wasn't I was in denial. But now that I have two little ones I can no longer run. I am scared and I want to find me again and I hope that the journey won't be too hard. Just a little lost and in need of a little direction.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 7/6/2009 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi 1overwhelmedmom,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. It sucks going to the doc without insurance, doesn't it? Was your visit to a psych? Did your doc give you meds for ADHD? Do they work?

Do you trust the doc if you went back for a reevaluation?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


1overwhelmedmom
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/6/2009 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I have insurance, but unfortunately getting in with a Psychiatrist who accepts it takes months and this doc came highly recommended, so i went. He prescribed me adderall, and although reluctant, I took it, and at first it wasn't bad, but then it took me through a world wind of emotions. It was awful. I called him for a reevaluation but it would be another $100 for 15 min. I mean seriously it is as if they are setting you up for failure. The mental health system in Texas is just like one big cruel joke. 15 min to decide both a diagnosis and which medicine is correct for me, seriously?!

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 7/6/2009 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Born2Run,
 
Well you don't want to live like this, day in and day out not knowing for sure what you are dealing with so it was a very good decision to make the appointments with a pdoc and therapist.
 
As far as worrying and not wanting to take medication, let your pdoc know this and let  him know that you want to start out very slow and see how the medication works for you until you feel comfortable to say, "Yes, lets try to increase this or decrease that because of how it makes you feel."  It will take time for the medications to take affect so you will have to be patient.
 
Working with a therapist is a wonderful thing.  Don't worry about where to start.  A trained therapist will know how to get you started.  The first sessions will basically be a "getting to know you."  So don't judge things just on your first visit.  It will take time to get down to the knitting gritty.
 
You're being proactive and that is the best first start. 
Keep us posted and continue to ask your questions.  There are so many people on here to offer their support.
 
Sincerely, blush

~sukay~
 Bipolar - 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
 
Leo Buscaglia


Jen2882
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/7/2009 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   

I am totally right there with you guys!  Newly diagnosed as Bipolar II.  Started Lamictal three weeks ago, but since it takes a while for it to even start to work, and I am off my prozac, it's like I am going crazy.  Right now I stay at home with my two children (5 and 3) and it drives me insane. 

I am up and down constantly! I too feel like I need something to change now before everything completely falls apart but have to wait for meds to kick in and not bad enough to warrant checking myself in.

It's very frustrating! 


CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 7/7/2009 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Folks

I am so sorry to hear of your trials. All of us have gone through it in one way or another. You have been diagnosed with a disease. One that, like so many others, is life changing. But manageable. Very difficult, but it is manageable. Takes a lot of time, constant tinkering with meds, and loads of frustration. But it does get better. Really.

We are all supporting here, and we can help one another. Stick around, or just stop by occasionally like I do just for a pick me up.

Cap
I want "I wish I had one more day to spend at the office" on my tombstone.

I used to be crazy, but now I have enough money to be called eccentric.

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