Life Story -- Sorry it's so Long!

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Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 11/4/2007 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed by my therapist over a year ago with depression and anxiety.  Since, then I've tried two different antidepressants (Wellbutrin and Celexa).  I'm still taking Celexa, (10 mg a day) which has done wonders for my anxiety, which I didn't realize I had!  But, looking back I can remember getting really stressed out back in third grade, right before a mid-term exam.  What I did then was hid a small stuffed mouse into my front pocket of my uniform, to keep me calm.  And for whatever reason that helped me that day. 
 
The first time I realized I had depression was when I was 16 years old and the guy I was dating (my first boyfriend, who was also the first guy I had ever kissed) broke up with me.  I took it really hard.  I remember being completely distraunt about it.  At one point my mom talked to me briefly about it, as we were passing each other in the upstairs hallway.  I don't remember anything meaningful from that conversation, nor feeling any better by it.  But, I overheard her exclaim to her sisters that "I made her feel all better."  That made me even more depressed, since here I was still depressed, but no one even understood it much less really wanted to talk about it.  I had also been writing a journal and had gotten up enough courage to show it to one of my friends.  I thought "this is the answer".  I would finally be understood.  But, when my friend returned it to me, she said nothing.  I sank even lower, but I still maintained good grades, was involved with a bunch of clubs, and played sports.  But, nobody knew the demons within.    
 
Anyways, to make a long story shorter, (and this is were everything gets fuzzy) my dad's mother was a depressive alcoholic, she died when he was in Vietnam.  And my dad's father died when he was three, so my dad was shipped from relative to relative, (since his mom was in no shape to raise him) before one of his aunt's decided to raise him, otherwise he would have gone to an orphanage.  My dad has never been in touch with his feelings, doesn't talk a whole heck of a lot and is pretty much dominated by my mom, especially since he his stroke two years ago.  If anything, he is propably OCD and depressed.
 
My mom has always favored my younger brother, whereas my dad has always favored me.  But, since my mom tends to dominate the family, my brother has also taken on that "personality" trait, whereas I tend to hang back and let other people bang their heads against each other.  I would also say, that my mom is probably depressed too.  Neither my mom nor my dad has ever been diagnosed and they would never consider talking to a "shrink".  Whereas, my undergrad is in psychology and when a best friend of mine was killed in a car accident when I was in college I figured how in the world was I going to treat people if I couldn't see myself going to a psychologist.  Since, then I've had several.  But, this is the first year of going on antidepressants, and it's opened up an entirely new world.  I finally feel that I have the mental wherewithall to finally start tackling some of these "issues" I've been dragging around with me for so long.
 
I've never really felt that I've gotten the warmth, love, compassion, and understanding that I need from my family.  I have been able to get some of this from various friends and relationships along the way, but it seems that something is missing at my core.  That I will never be able to fill that void until I can accept and forgive my family for what I see as being unable to cradle me with love, understanding, and support that I crave and need.  I mean, I've never really felt loved.  My mom has only said those three little words maybe a handful of times to me, none of which I remember.  Maybe, I need to take the lead and say them to her instead?
 
Anyways, the real reason I was writting this is because I was reading up on symptoms of bipolar.  And I noticed that the literature said that antidepressants can trigger manic episodes.  From time to time, I get full of energy, my thoughts race, and I'm full of life.  But, this only usually lasts a day and then I crash hard.  Afterwards, I have no energy, I have no interest in anything and have a hard time getting out of bed, much less doing anything productive.  But, at the same time I relish those highs.  I wish I could have that kind of energy all the time, I feel so good, I wish I could bottle the stuff and be like that all the time!  I get so much accomplished.  I can clean my entire apartment in half the time it would normally take, I don't need to eat and when I finally do sit down - I can't seem to get my energy level back up to where it was, so I'll push myself until I'm absolutely exhausted and depleted.  And now, I'm wondering if I am perhaps bipolar rather than depressed.  Since, these "manic" moments tend to coincide with nice bright sunny days, where I've already used my light box as soon as I get up in the morning, like today.
 
How have others been diagnosed?  It seems like a very complex and long journey.       
 
     

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 11/5/2007 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I was officially diagnosed for depression when I was 18, and that stuck around for a while. When I was younger I was more depressed than manic/hypomanic. The hypomanic episodes were more frequent and the depression lessened. I was more irritable, aggressive, more talkative and wouldn't sleep for days. But this was not unatural to me, I thought it happened to everyone. After all everyone has sleepless nights. I was diagnosed as Bipolar type II almost 3 years ago, and my hypomanic symptoms were more frequent, instead of every few years by that time I was having at least 1 or 2 episodes a year. I would barely feel depressed, but once a year for about 2 weeks, then it was more no more. My highs became more frequent than my lows, and then out of the blue I started having mixed episodes, and it was not long after that about 6 months I had a full blown manic episode that lasted about 1 1/2 months, mostly because I was not on the right meds. And here I am today finally on the right meds, and feeling the most stable I have felt all year. Hopefully it will last. Oh by the way my diagnosis was chnaged to Bipolar I. It really doesn't matter, it matters more if one is getting the right treatment. I hope you stick around, and get the support that you need.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
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"Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement."

Post Edited (olivia of course) : 11/10/2007 1:41:50 PM (GMT-7)


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 11/10/2007 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for responding.

The more I think about it, I think I've just come out of hypomania - I had a $3,000 clothing spree, didn't sleep much, was wicked talkative, and was full of energy and ideas. (I usually only charge essentials and pay my bill at the end of every month.) And now, I can't even look at my credit card statements and bills withough a huge amount of anxiety, which is making me depressed.

Plus, I haven't been taking care of myself, not eating well, not drinking enough water or exercising, which makes the depression worse. But, I think the hypomania was brought on by the combination of the antidepressant I'm on - Celexa and the light box I'm using. The light box, a blue light, was a suggestion that my therapist had - do other folks consult their doctors for the time, frequency, and duration of using light therapy? I've just been figuring it out as I go. Also, for folks with bipolar - are there treatments that reduce and/or eliminate depression, but maintain the productive aspects of hypomania (i.e. creative thinking, high energy level, and lots of motivation?)

Thanks in advance!

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 11/10/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Sadsong

If you think you were experiencing hypomania you should probably contact your Dr. and get that checked out. Most of the the time antidepressants can make your symptoms worse. I am not saying that is the case in your situation, but most BPs also need a mood stabilizer along with other meds. I totally sympatise with you about the CC debt you have incurred, I have gone through such moments myself in the past.

Don't beat yourself up on not taking enough care of yourself, we all go through those moments at one time or another. As fo the light box, I am not sure if it can lead to hypomania or not. I have used one on several occasions, and felt good afterwards but not enough to have hypomania. Also, for most people hypomania is a good state to be in, but for others it turns sour. So no, there isn't anything to keep the creative thinking, high energy, motivation around. I am sorry, but bipolar is an undpredictable thing, you never know how things will turn out.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Support HealingWell:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement."


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 11/11/2007 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for responding Olivia. So, how can someone tell if they are just "up" by feeling full of life, spontaneous, personable, fun, and out-going with hypomania?

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 11/11/2007 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Because when one is hyponamic, they are overly happy, more than what would be considered happy.  They tend to be hyper, and can hardly stay still.  Very talkative, impulsive.  There is more.  Each person is different, but those were the more common things that happen.
 
You should read the following article, it explains it in a bit more detail.
 
 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Support HealingWell:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement."


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 11/23/2007 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
The past few days have been a roller coaster ride. Tuesday and Wednesday I was really anxious about going home and visiting my folks and extended family. I ended up having what I think was a panic attack. But, as soon as I decided to stay put and not travel home I was fine again. The anxiety had gotten to a point where it made me depressed. But, today I took two 10 mg of Celexa. I usually only take 10 mg, since the last time I tried to take two it just made my brain go numb. But, it worked wonders today, I went to the mall (on the busiest day of the year) and struck up conversations with the people waiting in line and stuck to my guns when something didn't scan correctly. I practically finished all of my Christmas shopping, something I've never even started this early in the season! So, I've having a very difficult time trying to figure out the different from being "up" and hypomania. 'Cause when I was out and about I slipped back into not really caring how much money I spend, eventhough I still have an outstanding credit card bill. I mean I told myself I was only going to spend a certain amount of money, but I didn't stick to it and I still have more people to buy for. Plus when I went grocery shopping afterwards I spent nearly three times the amount I budgeted for.
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