When does recovery begin?

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Kat24
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/10/2007 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so tired of this. I can't hold a job. I am always worried. I enjoy almost nothing. I have glimpses of the way I want to feel and the way I know I should feel. It's almost like I cannot figure out the exact equation or something...The one that will put my mind to rest once and for all. I get so close sometimes though...

I have an amazing boyfriend who loves me dearly. I am an attractive and intelligent young girl. My family loves me. I should be grateful everyday of life. Why is this feeling still out of reach for me?

Anti-depressants, life changes, therapy, better sleeping habits, exercise. I can't put any of these options to good use when I feel: DEPRESSED. I am not suicidal. I want to live so much that it hurts. I just want to live the way only a small part of me lives today. The part that still has hope.

My physical health suffers now.

What will it take to feel 'normal'?

I am ready to put this behind me.


-K

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/11/2007 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kat,

You're making a huge list of things you're "supposed" to be doing to feel better, but it would be impossible to do all of them at once. We have this tendency to say, "I have to do all these things to make my life work" and then paralyze ourselves because we're too overwhelmed to do even one. No one can completely change all their ways at once. Try making just one decision that will help you get better. I'd recommend seeing your pdoc and getting some meds. Have your family help you remember to take them. Once you find some meds that work, the rest should get easier. You'll sleep better just naturally, etc...

Good luck,
Serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/11/2007 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Kat, I don't know that you will be able to "put it behind you", as you so desire. As a BP, it is with you forever. However, you can manage it and work with it until you do achieve the happiness and satisfaction with your life you desire. It is about keeping that consistent which then takes all the work. It will take vigilance to find the correct balance of meds so you are not depressed or shifting and you can stay stable with that. It requires a team of people: pdoc, therapist, support group, diet, exercise, loved ones around that you trust...etc. And it takes endurance to master the roller coaster and wrangle it down to the benign Dumbo ride at Disneyland - easy to manage with grace. From the sound of it, you know, and seem to be doing all the right steps here. The last step is called choice. Sometimes the last step to getting there is a conscience choice to feel it, verses "waiting" for it to happen. Even non-BP's need to choose happiness sometimes. It is about viewpoint and ones perspective. It can be about deciding to embrace it, whether you “feel” the way you think it is suppose to feel on the inside or not. You know the glass half full vs. empty thing. I know that must sound simple; it is not by any means. But it is doable. It sounds like you have a little work to do on feeling depressed with you doc regarding meds to start. Additionally, you shouldn't expect to feel "up" all the time. I am not a BP - but a spouse to one and mother to another, and I can tell you as a non-BP who is a very stable person - NO ONE is happy EVERY minute, a general tone of it overall maybe, but life for anyone, on a daily basis, can have its ups and downs. Life is simply not easy whether or not you are a BP.

Have you ever tried to keep a gratitude journal? It allows you to see your blessings every day. What you do is you start off your day by listing 5 blessings around you for that day – it doesn’t take long dissertations…just one line statements, and then end your day if you want doing 5 additional ones that came up that day. It is quite transformational to commit to seeing the good around us. You might want to give it a try. My son’s therapist recently told him that he felt he probably didn’t know what it really felt like to “be happy”, or satisfied with his life because he had never really experienced it with any longevity yet; as you said…only glimpses. But the next day, my son made this choice that he was going to try being happy with himself all day at school (not an easy place for him as kids are consistently unkind). When he got home, he reported that although it wasn’t perfect, he saw that his participation in deciding to be happy improved things greatly for him. He said, I quote…”It was a good day”. Not excessively high, but no real lows either. Balanced, contented, and free enough to experience the joy of it – which he then did. The next day he didn’t start his day by “thinking” about it first. He then said it wasn’t as good, and yet he had done nothing different, and no one treated him any different than the previous day; they had basically left him alone again. He also said he wasn’t sure that he could stick to this conscience choosing everyday – it felt so foreign to him to not be reaching for the HUGE brass ring, or just feeling blah or low. But he agreed maybe if he practiced it, it would become second nature and then he could eventually get a handle on it and be able to report he felt happy with consistency. He is only 13, but I am hoping he masters this now so he can really enjoy his life. I wish the same thing for you too Kat. Good luck…LFW

Kat24
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/11/2007 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the enlightening responses. Yesterday was one of my worst days, I'm glad I reached out. This morning started out crappy and then MAGICALLY turned around when I found out I was being offered a new job! My whole mood shifted...I am very much a person whom is affected easily by the smallest/largest of things.

I will get better. I am going to start therapy as soon as it is financially possible, and ultimately go back on my meds. I am bi-polar II (as diagnosed) but apparently this means I am destined to deal with mostly lows. IT SUCKS!!! But I have hope.

I want to continue to share more experiences collectively with others, as I feel this is a great outlet for bi-polars, the depressed, and the ones who love us.

Thank you again,

K

Honey Bee
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/11/2007 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kat

Welcome to this forum there are lots of very helpful and understanding people here and good news on the job front.

Just a couple of immediate thoughts from me.

Sorry to hear you are having such a tough time right now. Suffering from BP does in essence I think mean that you will always be easily affected by the little things which is why it is often to manage. Things can so easily trigger your mood that I often cringe when someone has said something or done something that I know is going to send my hubbie's mood spiralling for the next couple of days. It seems totally inconsequential to me but is often huge in his mind so I understand why this affects you so much.

I think that the therapy and meds are a good idea if they will help you feel more 'normal'. Due to the research I have done over the past couple of years (my hubbie is BP1 diagnosed for past 2 years but has suffered from it for over 25 years) BP 2 is the MILDER form of the disorder which means that you are not going to be severely at either end of the BP scale i.e either very high or very depressed which is hopefully good news I hope for you.

Not sure who has told you that BP2 means you are destined to deal with mostly lows as I don't think this is always the case. Some sufferers of BP will sometimes spend more time depressed than high and for longer periods of time but I don't think this is always the case.

LFW suggestion of a gratitude journal is a good idea. My hubbie and I have tried it and we do at the end of the day in that we try and think of 5 good things that have happened to us that day and say them to each other. Sometimes it is hard to find 5 I admit but usually you can come up with 2 or 3 which has worked for us, but you need to keep doing it.

Honey Bee

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/12/2007 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Honey Bee,

I mean no offense, but in the interest of clarity, there's nothing milder about BP II, really. It's still wrenchingly awful. I guess I could count myself lucky that I don't have to worry about slipping into hallucinations or getting so falsely over-confident that I lose every last penny gambling, say, but my hypomanias make working extremely difficult and my depressions are every bit as debilitating and devastating as a BP I sufferer's.

Everyone's a little different, of course. You may be right that some BP I patients spend more time depressed than manic, but BP II depressions DO get absolutely as low and last just as long, and yes, as Kat said, generally, we're more likely to be depressed than hypomanic. For example, I just came out of a 4 month cycle. I spent the first 3 weeks hypomanic and the rest of the time depressed. The last month I was getting desperate and scared (I've been hospitalized before for suicidal ideation -- yes, we can get hospitalized) and was terrified I was going to have to be again when FINALLY my new meds kicked in. The difference -- My "shorter" cycle lasted only 4 months! yeah

The real difference is in the mania. Hypomanias aren't like traditional mania, which is why it took a decade for me (and many, many other BP IIs) to be diagnosed. What I don't get is the over-exuberant, I-can-rule-the-world, I-should-buy-a-Porsche, incomprehensible flights of thinking that many BPs get in their manias. Personally, I'm not very likely to engage in especially risky behavior, but I imagine that varies a bit. I get angry easily and for no good reason and I take everything personally. In my hypomanias I can't concentrate. I get annoyed, confused. I can't hold a thought. There's a constant chattering feeling in my head. I don't hear other people's voices, I hear my own -- a constant litany of thoughts that don't shut up, not even when I'm sleeping.

I know you didn't mean to imply that BP II was a walk in the park, Honey Bee. I just wanted Kat to have a realistic picture. You're right, Kat. It is hard. But it WILL ALSO be okay. Congrats on the job. Go easy on yourself.
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

Post Edited (serafena) : 9/12/2007 2:11:51 PM (GMT-6)


Honey Bee
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/12/2007 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Serafena

I am not offended by your post and if you read mine again I think you may have focused on my use of the word 'milder' which I said and meant it in in these terms:

"means that you are not going to be SEVERELY AT EITHER END OF THE BP SCALE i.e either very high or very depressed" which I think is still accurate.

Believe me I wasn't alluding to the fact that any form of BP is 'mild' in general, believe me after over 20 gut wrenching hard years with my hubbie (and the same with his family, dad and both sisters are bipolar) who has nearly attempted suicide more than once I know that it is not.

I just meant that there was a difference and this in my understanding was one of them. I am no expert of course and wasn't portraying myself as one, I only know what I have read through books and hearing others views on this forum.

Take care.

Honey Bee :-)

Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 9/12/2007 4:44:08 PM (GMT-6)


Kat24
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/12/2007 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, Bipolar II is exactly as described above by Serefena. I believe at one point my Doctor actually apologized to me for the fact that I have dealt with such debilitating depression for almost my whole life, so it is in fact very serious. (Yet my mania is very few and far between.) Bipolar II is just as serious as Bipolar, depression, anxiety, etc. It's just slightly different. IT IS CERTAINLY NOT MILDER. If this were a mild situation, my entire life would not be consumed by the illness so often, and my doctors wouldn't suggest hospitalization, etc.

For me, mania only presents itself when something good happens, or when I accomplish something small, or even when I have a strong cup of coffee. I have been known to buy everything in the mall, or make a huge decision which is later regretted. Thankfully, this has only occurred every few months and is basically under control at this point. A much milder type of mania happens for me daily though, and is inter-weaved throughout the depression. Much like Serefena described; It is a series of inner-dialogues that make you feel as if you are constantly 'figuring everything out'.

My worst habit has been my sleeping patterns. I have been almost obsessed with how much sleep I can get for over 7 years now. I am afraid to go to bed because I know I won't want to get up the next morning. I constantly count the amount of hours I will get. I take 4 hour naps daily, (when possible) and if I can't sleep, I experience severe anxiety over it. I have actually quit jobs over it.

I think it's great that you have researched, and become so knowledgeable about the illness that your loved-ones deal with, Honey Bee. It's amazing to me that you care enough to do so. They are lucky to have you in their lives. I guess it's just hard to pinpoint what we really go through by just reading about it and watching others go through it. You have to be in our heads to really know...Bipolar II is a severe systemic disorder just as Bipolar is. To put it bluntly, they both suck. Just in different ways.

Honey Bee
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/12/2007 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kat24

I also didn't mean to offend you at all so apologies if you think I have. Of course, I cannot truly understand what it means to be Bipolar as I don't suffer from it. I have however, had some insight on the depression side personally as I have had several serious long episodes of depression in my life, accompanied by severe anxiety and agoraphobia.

Of course you are right, they both suck big time and I wouldn't wish this disorder on my worst enemy it totally destroys aspects of your life which you never get back and severely impedes your day to day coping with it.

Honey Bee

Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 9/12/2007 3:13:49 PM (GMT-6)


Kat24
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/12/2007 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Honey bee, you definitely haven't offended me. We are all in this together.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/12/2007 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, for whatever it is worth, I can say some BPII's...while consisting of ALL the symptoms described here, simply don't reach quite the extremes described. Just as there is a broad spectrum scale of BPI symptom degrees, so to is that the same as BPII's. My hubby is a BPII, as well as my son, they both do experience bad lows, LOW frustration tolerance with very little reason, racing thoughts, sleep issues, hyper sensitive, over personalize...etc....just not to the level of "hospitalization" ones. So, are they "lucky"? To some degree I would have to say yes, comparatively. But I think we can ALL agree...ANY KIND OF BP SUCKS for the person dealing with it, or loving someone with it. Smiles to all...LFW

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/12/2007 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
By all means, smiles to all. I talk too much, but then you all knew that. :) I say, smiles and hugs. That's what we're here for, right?
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

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