When is happiness real?

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shine_on_u_crazy_dimond
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 5/19/2007 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Do any of you guys have any tips on how to distinguish between being happy and going hypo-manic/ manic? I get a warm euphoric feeling some days where It feels like if I enjoy it I'll end up going manic. Anyone else have this problem?
 
Also, you's could let me know about the start of your episodes, how do you know you're going into a manic episode or how do your loved ones know? It's easy to spot depression, it's the opposite I find more decieving.

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/22/2007 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sort of surprised no one's responded. I think it's a little different for everyone, Shiny. :)

I get hypomanic, so first I'm really efficient and organized and I get a lot done around the house and I'm very funny and witty and so on... Pretty soon, though, I start getting this "itchy" feeling, like I wanna jump out of my skin. Then I start feeling crappy and mean. As it gets worse, I want to self-injure, 'cos I'm that kinda girl, and then I go to my doc, 'cos I know better. :) That's about as far as I've gotten, because of drugs, glorious drugs.

APG
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 5/25/2007 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I shudder and cringe with my BP husband used the word "happy." I don't think that it is a place he will ever go to again. Whenever he gets ambitious or at all exuberanat, I know that it is the BP talking. HE woke up manic yesterday. I just want him to be stable. Happiness long since left the equation of our lives. Just don't think about happiness. It is an elusive butterfly, at best, for the rest of us anyway. His episodes start with an idea about doing something great or solving some problem.

He has destablized this week and we are both suffering horribly. I just don't know what to do at this point since he gets agitated and aggressive with me. I can't take care of him and take him someplace if he is going to abuse me. What a mess.

shine_on_u_crazy_dimond
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 6/2/2007 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
serafena said...
I get hypomanic, so first I'm really efficient and organized and I get a lot done around the house and I'm very funny and witty and so on... Pretty soon, though, I start getting this "itchy" feeling, like I wanna jump out of my skin.


It's devieving but,huh? If you're being funny and witty and organised then there is no problem- when do stop? When you start to notice yourself being organised is that a warning sign or what if you're just feeling organised and there's nothing more to it?

No body wants to stop feeling funny or witty, do you think there's a way to keep that level of mood without spiraling into a vault?

I never get the itchy feeling, but I can deffinetly relate to the other symptoms you mentioned.

A.F.MomDiane
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 6/3/2007 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, I hope someone who knows will respond to the the above! How do you "nip it in the bud!!" I betcha parents and spouces of werewolves have the same problems!!JK...But you know what they say "An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Boo
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Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 724
   Posted 6/3/2007 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
APG, do you have any kind of support...family, friend who you could call when things get out of hand? This is something we established early on, right after diagnosis. I have several names and phone #'s of guys to call if things get scary. Unbelievably, my hubby came up with this. He is stable right now and has been for quite a while. BUT, when things get hairy I'll do anything I have to not to be blindsighted even if that means calling someone or leaving for a while. You take care of You.

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/5/2007 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry I've been MIA Shine-on.

I wish I did know how to keep that witty, organized feeling. I bet every manic person wishes the same thing. Wouldn't that be great. I had the great pleasure of going through an entire mini-cycle last month while my medication was adjusted and it was a bleeding nightmare. From fabulous and energized to dreaming of corpses in four weeks. I don't know how to stop the progression. I don't think anyone does. I do know they say we need to learn our own "triggers." Supposedly sleep disturbances are a good sign that things are going wobbly in our brains -- if our sleeping patterns get wonky (suddenly too much or too little) that's supposedly a sign we should see our doc. I've also heard that we need to be relying of stable friends or family members to give us honest feedback about racing language and unpredictable behavior, etc...

I'm not sure if this is helpful...

serafena

rek3283
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/7/2007 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Serafina,
 
I'm new to this forum, I just found out about it thanks to Parade magazine this past
Sunday. 
 
I was diagnosed back in 1990.  Today (this is weird), I found a theme I wrote back when I was first diagnosed.  I had forgotten all about it.  I had the same concerns then that you are concerned about.  Trying to discern the difference between happiness and manicness.  (I was obviously manic  at the time--I typed it with a typewriter and there are no errors!)
 
I rely on my wife to let me know when my speech accelerates, become unable to concentrate, and demonstrate significant irritability.  That helps me to curtail things a bit.  I've been on lithium since 1990, and I haven't had any major manic episodes in 15 years--knock on wood.
 
Now, as to the downside, that's a whole 'nother ball-o-wax.
 
 

REK3283


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 6/13/2007 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   

rek3283,

I would like to welcome you to the HealingWell family. I am very glad that you found us and I am sure you will find the support you are looking for here.  There are so many people out there that might share a similar experience to yours and many that could benefit from what you have to say.

Again, Welcome!!!  :-)


@~ Olivia
Moderator, Bipolar

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


2Hawaii
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/18/2007 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi APG, I can relate with your situation, although yours is a little different from my situation. My husband has never been diagnosed as BP, but his symptoms do make me think it's definitely a possibly. He is chronically depressed and negative, but never has the happy highs that many BPs have. 99% of the time, no matter what is being said, repeated or discussed, if he can find a negative aspect he'll take that view point. When he gets angry, he get aggressive and verbally abusive, but luckily for me, so far he's never physically abusive, but I do think that is because I stood up to him a few times and phoned the police. I've never pressed charges or had him taken in, (I see no good coming of that) but he realizes, even when he's manic that if he goes too far, that's what I'll do and that I could press charges or what ever is necessary at the time. I really think that keeps him from becoming physical. I read on one other thread that even BPs have to learn they can go just so far and that there are consequences for their behavior. I believe that and I've seen that the consequences do help keep PBs from getting too far astray from acceptable behavior.

Also, here are 2 things I have done that help me feel safer. You may consider this drastic, but nonetheless, this is reality and so far these things work for me so I can cope and at this point, I have no intention of leaving. 1st I wear [24/7] a little personal travel alarm pinned to the inside of my pants pocket, so that I know it's there, but almost no one else does. So if things ever did get out of control, all I'd have to do is to pull the pin and the screeching noise is sure to throw him off long enough for me to get away. I also always try to keep my cell phone on me, my car keys with in reach, my purse next to me with enough money in it for a few nights at motel if necessary. That way I feel reassured as I can that in the event things get out of control, then I be able to get away and not worry about what I'm going to do.

I know all this sounds drastic, but one thing I'm sure of, many women are in the same position, with or without their husband's being BP, but few will admit to it. I'm posting what works for me in the hopes it will help someone else. Some things I've learned when dealing with an angry or manic person is 1] 1st physically move very slowly, 2] to say nothing or if I must reply to say something in a low quite voice and to say something nice or calming 3a] that means, no yelling, screaming, talking, no crying, no replying at all if you possibly can 3] wait until the person has left the room or until the are engrossed in something that takes their attention off of you, then slowly move towards the door, but do not run...running will alert them [unless you have no other option & your life is in danger] 4] leave as quietly and inconspicuously as possible. The idea is for him/her to not know you are leaving and to discover that when you are a safe distance away. 5] once you are safely away, then phone them as soon as possible. At this point that manic BP person may very well become afraid as their source of normalcy [you] has left them. 6] speak calmly, reassuringly, but firmly with them. 7] I personally would not go back until you are very sure things are well in hand and that means at least several hours if not overnight or a few days, but do stay in constant contact and do reassure them, they will need the support you can give them, at this point, if they have calmed down, they are most likely very apologetic and typically they will feel very guilty with promises of never doing this again, but remember they have a disease, they can't always control it. You need to contact their Dr. and seek advise as to what to do at this point, as each person's situation will be different. Good Luck, I hope I've been able to help a few people. Lastly, so that you know I'm writing with knowledge from both sides of the table, you see, I too am PB, so I know this situation from both points of view.

2Hawaii
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/18/2007 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
shine_on_u_crazy_diamond
I too feel that euphoric feeling when I'm becoming manic, but then I feel happy most of the time. When I am aware that I'm going into or in a manic phase, the dead give away for me is that everything seems to take forever. Time just really drags. The give away for anyone near me is that I become very impatient. Nothing happens fast enough and that perceived slowness makes me cranky and then very impatient. Luckily, since I've gotten older, these episode don't last but a short time, a few hrs, for the most part. What I do when I realize a manic episode is coming on, if I catch it in time, so that I'm still in control and not the disease, then I do the things my old psychologist taught me. One of those things is to hold my hands under running water and to really focus on feeling the water, all aspects of it. Another thing he taught me to do was to concentrate on the secondhand of the clock and watch and listen to the second hand ticking and moving. The idea was to slow down my heart rate and in turn that would slow down the manic episode. I do know that certain calming music and/or a very light petting stroking of my head or hair or arms will bring me down. I would imagine, though I've not tired it, that yoga deep breathing exercises would also work help bring a person out of a manic episode. Of course if a person is in the heavy midst of a manic episode, where they can't or won't help them selves, I'm sorry, but I dont' know what will help.

Of course there are the standard manic situations that all BPs and their loved ones need to watch for, lack of sleep...not needing sleep after being up for 12+ hrs and still having tons of energy. Other giveaways are: talking excessively or very fast without letting anyone get a word in edge wise, spending excessive amounts of money, writing bad checks, over charging on your charge card when you can't afford it, and being sexually promiscuous...all of which are dead giveaways to any doctor and should be giveaways to the PB and their family. I hope that helps.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/19/2007 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   
2Hawaii,

You say your husband hasn't been diagnosed with BP but you have? Has he ever seen a doctor? Would he ever? Are you on meds for your condition?

I ask because you seem especially concerned about physical violence which is not necessarily a characteristic of mania. (I, for one, am only ever a danger to myself. ;-) ) You say your husband doesn't have the "highs" of mania. Is it possible that he has some other condition which would explain his behavior? Severe depression? Wouldn't he consider treatment?

serafena

2Hawaii
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/19/2007 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
serafena, hi, yes, I was on of the 1st people diagnosed with BP back in the 60s. I've had this for over 50 years and I've studied many years in this area. Yes, my husband has been seen by various Dr.s and they felt my accretion of his behavior was correct and they put him on the same meds as I am on, although he has refused to take them, as he feels they do nothing for him. Personally I do see a difference in him, sadly he doesn't. Yes, aggression and violence can definitely be an aspect of BP mania, just as being too promiscuous and shopping too much can be. For my meds, I have been on many different types thru the years and what has worked best for me is Wellbutrin and a specific combination of vitamins, herbs, certain foods and specific life style, a schedule, calm surrounding, keeping stress to a minimum, daily exercise, and a few other things. They all work together, no one thing works by it's self for me or for anyone I've known.  Avoiding eating food triggers, like candy and caffeine, staying up all night, living a fast emotional roller coaster life style, etc. and working at keeping positive thoughts, really helps both of us lead a more normal life style. Those are the things that work for myself and for my husband, but what works for you may vary as I'd had a number of years to work out what works for myself.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/19/2007 1:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Absolutely. You're absolutely right. We've all just got to find what works, right? Congrats on living with it for so long. What a ride!
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