Recently diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Bipolar disorder II

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nuts?
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/26/2010 3:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, My relationship has been going to crap and I haven't had the emotional or mental headspace to be a good father. This has been going on for a while. I was formally diagnosed with major depression about 6 years ago (and PTSD) although I have been on one antidepressant or another since about 15 years of age.

about three weeks ago I went back to see my psychiatrist for the first time in 5 years (completed a degree and became a father of 2 awesome (but at times trying) children) in that 5 years.

The doctor diagnosed me with bipolar disorder II. Apparently I had developed it some time in the last 5 years. At first I thought he must be wrong...I'm depressive not nuts! (no offence!). The Dr prescribed seroquel but 1/4 of a tablet knocked me right out. The next day I got a prescription for Epilim. It has been 3 weeks and I went back to see the Dr today with a mood diary. My mood has been cycling hard from day to day: up, down, little bit further down, right up etc; but have also been cycling throughout the day a lot. Also the Epilim has made me slow enough to find it hard to think or type properly.

I am overly sensitive ALL THE TIME!!!!!!! I finally sat my partner down today and apologised (I know it's not my fault) for the hell she's been going through (my irrational anger, I guess you could almost use as strong a word as hatred that she's received from me, all the sleeping and just not being there for the family . I guess I've accepted that people with bipolar disorder (like me) are not nuts...they're ill.

Anyway, my Dr has just prescribed Lithium and I have to come off the antidepressants completely to stop the rapid cycling. I'm pretty nervous!

I'd really like to hear from people with similar experiences to what I've just described (I also take Xanax for panic disorder). In particular I'd REALLY like to hear from people who have this disorder and the treatment has been successful (whatever that means....) and you have a meaningful career and a happy family.

At the same time as being diagnosed with bipolar disorder I was starting my honours year at university studying ecotoxicology (aquatic environmental toxicology I guess is another way of saying it, most people don't know what it is.......)

Thanks guys!

jbauls
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/26/2010 4:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I am not Bi-Polar, my wife I suspect is but won't be properly diagnosed for easily another week or so.

I hope you get the right cocktail of medication. Your wife obviously loves you. Speaking from her perspective I would definitely give her lots of apologies. The more the better because dealing with a Bi-Polar spouse is one of the most challenging things I have ever encountered. I hope my wife comes around and gets better and wants to be back in the relationship again with me and our daughters.

Good luck in your treatment.
JB

happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 7/26/2010 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   

 

  First, welcome, all the good crazy people hang out here. tongue tongue tongue tongue tongue tongue .  Now really, you arnt crazy, you have a desease or disorder however you would like to call it that is it.

  And guess what, it isnt your fault in any way that you got this, you didnt smoke two packs a day and get BP, you didnt shoot up iv drugs and get BP, you didnt even piss off god and get BP. Its just like lighting, its goign to hit where it does, no ryme or reason to that.

  That said how you treat it now that you know what the problem is is entirely on you. I have forgiven myself for the mistakes i made before being diagnosed and getting on meds, now that i am sane and level, it is on me to stay that way. ANd yes, it is much easier to deal with the bad urges with the meds helping you out.  

   Stress is a huge trigger for me as a BP person, and some stress cant be avoided. However i have learend to just let a lot of things go, let it slide so to speak, so i dont get all worked up and upset.

   Even thought i am well, i still get about 2-4 major mania attacks a year. They last about 2 weeks and are very tiring. However after you have gone thru a few you see the signs earlier and earlier and can do teh things that allow you to get thru it with a minimum of damage to you and the family.

  Last thing for now, i have to run to work. I like to think about it this way. I "OWN" BP, because the altertinative is that BP OWNS me. There is a difference there, i accept that i am this way, i will be this way, and that there are blessings inside this curse. Its just my way of handling BP. May not be for you but for me it makes all the difference. By me owning BP i have a much better chance of setting the rules of the game, instead of BP telling me what to do.

  ALso i am on Respirdal, or respridone depending on which drug maker makes it. It was the proverbial bolt from the blue that has helped me so very much. I take celexa AS NEEDED. By that when i notice a depression comming on i take it for about a month plus. Then i go off of it and see how i am doing. I would rather fight this beast with as few drugs helping me and instead learning coping mechanisms to see me thru. NOt because i am macho, but because all drugs eventually will not work. So i am trying to extend the life span of the drugs in me by not using them as much, or at all.

   Any questons feel free to ask.  I will be on later this afternoon.

  Bill


 
   "If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade"
 
   "It isn't my fault that i am BiPolar, It is my responsibility how i treat it so that i don't hurt others or myself."  Happy Bill
 
   Meds. Respirdal  0.5 a day, more if needed.


LindzKaye09
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 7/26/2010 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Nuts? you are not nuts. I understand about the rapid cycling. It can be exhausting and very hard for your family to deal with, but like Jbauls said, lots of apologies are in order. Your spouse loves you, or she would not still be there with you, which is a great thing for you both. Ask her to learn about this disease with you. The more you both understand, the better. How to deal with the rapid cycling...everyone works differently. Personally, i use photography and exercise and meds to help me. I've learned that being off the meds isn't a good thing at all. Although I'm off them now because I'm pregnant, my moods seem to level out a bit during pregnancy and I would rather not risk the chance of harming my baby with the medications that I have to take. Writing in a journal helps or writing on these blogs. Sometimes just getting things off your chest can do a lot of help. Whatever you do, don't bottle things up and I know it's easier said then done, don't put yourself down too much for being the way you are. It's not your fault, but like Bill said, you can do things to help it. Best of luck to you.
I know I'm not perfect, and I don't live to be...But before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean. - Bob Marley

Bipolar I
OCD
Anxiety Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


nuts?
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/27/2010 12:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your replies!

Yes apologies definitely seem to be in order, and letting her know that it is okay for to be angry at me event if "I didn't know I was ill". I'm very to have found someone like her (I'm just 31, I was 23 when we met).

Sounds like you have all really been through your trials and tribulations!!!!! Either as a person with Bipolar or as a partner of someone with Bipolar!

I don't mean to offend I just need answers to some things to know that the life I thought I was going to gave isn't going to be impossible to achieve....or some semblance of it.

No judgement here!

Do any of you have successful careers in areas that you find important and rewarding? (I mentioned that I was just starting my honours year at university when I was diagnosed.

If so is it impacted a lot by the bipolar?

Some of you have definitely got families (congratulations) on the pregnancy!!!!!


Anyway: Stopped the Epilim this morning, felt a bit weird as if the cotton wool between me and the world had been removed. But this Evening I feel much more clear headed and can even types somewhere near my old speed (not very fast:) )

Started the Lithium this morning, no real affects that I can tell yet. I did sleep all day but that was by choice as I felt like I couldn't deal with everything today. (I'd rather it be by choice if it's going to happen rather than a side effect of too much medication. If it's a choice I can do something about it!)

Anyway, see how the Lithium goes......

Cheers

LindzKaye09
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 7/27/2010 1:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the congratulations. I personally haven't had much success in working. My rapid cycling, along with pregnancies and postpartum depression has hindered that for the past few years. Before that, I would get a job, then would get bored or go into a depressed state and would just quit, but that's when I wasn't on meds. I know people that have had successful careers, although it has usually been a struggle. Just remember to take your meds regularly, once you find the right concoction. That's the best advice I know of. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Best of luck to you on your career and the new meds.
I know I'm not perfect, and I don't live to be...But before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean. - Bob Marley

Bipolar I
OCD
Anxiety Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 7/27/2010 3:06 AM (GMT -7)   

 

  I am a very successful full time firefighter, and part time bicycle mechanic and LP Detective (catching shoplifters). Those are wildly different jobs but one common thread runs thru all of them, variety. I need to have different jobs to do so i dont go stir crazy. My hell job would be doing one set of papers, all day long, just the same set over and over again. LOL LOL LOL

  And i have held down these jobs before i was diagnosed with BP and after. A quick example from yesterday. At Sears where i work LP, i came to work a bit hyomanic. So instead of sitting in the control room on cameras i went out on the floor and installed a new camera that i have wanted to install for a few weeks. Took, two hours or work, but by the end it was all done. Then i went in and sat on cameras, most of my hypomanic energy spent. 

   Bill


 
   "If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade"
 
   "It isn't my fault that i am BiPolar, It is my responsibility how i treat it so that i don't hurt others or myself."  Happy Bill
 
   Meds. Respirdal  0.5 a day, more if needed.


nuts?
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/27/2010 6:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Bill, That is what I needed to hear, Thank you very much for that!

LindzKaye09
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 7/27/2010 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Happy Bill~ How do you hold down the jobs while you're in your depression and manic stages?
I know I'm not perfect, and I don't live to be...But before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean. - Bob Marley

Bipolar I
OCD
Anxiety Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 7/27/2010 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   

 

   For whatever reason both the manias and depressions dont seem to affect my jobs like they do my home life. Maybe i am good at compartmentalizing (is that a word???? shocked shocked smilewinkgrin smilewinkgrin smilewinkgrin ) my life into managable pieces.

    I use my mania energy (controlled hypomaina energy) to work hard, build things, improve things and train people. Plus i get lots of good feedback from those i work with (bosses and such) so going to work is a positive experience for me.

   When i am depressed i go to work to escape the source of my depression (My life at home). Now my life at home isnt that bad, but you all know that when you are down everything seems to stink. But having a place to go with positive outcomes (earning money, being respected) just seems to help me so much.

   If i can think of this and explain it any better i will. However i have noticed that my wife does seem to "hate" on my jobs, as if she were jelous of them like another women. And maybe in a way they are for me right now.

   Bill                 


 
   "If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade"
 
   "It isn't my fault that i am BiPolar, It is my responsibility how i treat it so that i don't hurt others or myself."  Happy Bill
 
   Meds. Respirdal  0.5 a day, more if needed.


bip2
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/29/2010 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
For me the magic bullet has been Abilify 10mg once a week and xanax 1mg every night.

I'm mildly Bipolar II and have tried WellButrin Prozac and one other can't remember it.
The Abilify has worked for Anxiety Attack and depression and mania. Once on Abilify I eliminated all the other anti-depressants without issue.

When I tried Abilify I found it had a huge sedation effect luckily I experimented and found that I could take a low dose once a week around 7-10mg be tired the next day and function excellently the other 6 days. . Xanax I''ve limited to 1mg every night. Actually the Xanax doesn't do anything for me anymore except stabilize me.

Part of the reason I joined the forum is to share with the world the off label use of Abilify in low dosages alone along with a stable doseage of Xanax without any other Anti-Depressants to combat Bi-Polar II.

Remember this is my experience and my illness is fairly minor (exception of Panic attack and racing thoughts in morning) so I don't advocate my course of treatment for everyone.

mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 7/29/2010 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey nuts? Welcome to HW!

I have the same dx as you. I can't take any antidepressants, and to be honest that's hard for me. I am depressed a lot. But I also have the my moods change constantly which isn't fun either. And take it from me, the antidepressants DO make the cycling a lot worse!

I am a secretary for 3 psychiatrists at a big hospital and took me a long time to get to where I am today that is for sure. And there are many hard days of course.

Good for you for acheiving honours!! You should be really proud of yourself! Are you still studying???
Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed for panic attacks
---temporarily off Lamictal----
Seroquel 50mg/night


nuts?
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/29/2010 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Mogli,

Good to hear from you. It's good to hear that someone else has the problem with depression (not that I'm glad you have it....you know what I mean) and still holds down a good job! And the mood swings are horrible!!!!!

Technically I am still studying, however I've let myself have some time off until the medication and my moods are sorted out (hopefully not too long). I have every intention of returning to study asap.

It's just a bit hard at the moment. wake up late every day with panic (taking Xanax) ; lie there mind racing, finally get up. Actually, I'm not going to describe the day for you, you probably know exactly what it's like.

I'll just say that this time is very confusing, particularly with some drugs leaving the system and some drugs entering the system........I guess my biggest fear is that the treatment won't work.........Or that the only treatment that will work will end up leaving me foggy, drugged and stupid and I won't be able to pursue the studies and career that I want.

Cheers

mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 7/31/2010 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

Good decision to put things on hold to give yourself a chance to get stable. I hope that the meds work for you. I hear you though, the last thing I can tolerate is feeling the least bit foggy or sedated. That's not the goal for us....

It sounds like you are smart and know what to do and you are doing it. That goes a long way. I find when my thoughts are racing and anxiety is high, I have to do something calming to slow myself down. Writing helps with the racing thoughts, to get them out of my head. Taking my anxiety meds helps too.

Keep us posted. I hope you can return to studying soon. Just keep fighting. We are strong people!



Mogs
Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed for panic attacks
---temporarily off Lamictal----
Seroquel 50mg/night
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