What are Your Symptoms?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/14/2007 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
First of all, thanks for the replies to my initial post. It's nice to have found a place where others understand.
I'm curious to know what others experience with bipolar. Are the things I deal with part of the disease, or just how I am?
I have a terrible memory. I forget things almost immediately - example - I'll be on the phone with my husband and he'll ask me to pull something down for dinner. We hang up the phone and POOF!...I forget to pull dinner out of the freezer.
This happens constantly, to the point where it's become a joke at times, a real pain in the #*% other times. I've forgotten appointments, when bills are due, to pick up toilet paper at the store...I even forgot a scheduled dinner with my father and step-mother. Some forgetfulness is common, I know...but what I experience is way over the top.
I am easily irritated. And once irritated, I stay that way for hours. Both my husband and son suffer my wrath when they've done something to set me off, and usually whatever it is they've done doesn't warrant such crankiness.
I have no motivation. It takes me an hour to clean the kitchen properly, but it takes my husband 25 minutes to complete the same exact tasks. I take frequent breaks and then take forever to get back to it.
I'm also easily distracted. When picking up around the house, I'll take something upstairs to my bedroom, fully intending to go back downstairs and finish off whatever it was I was doing.
But in the bedroom I'll notice something that belongs in the bathroom, so I'll return that item to the bathroom and notice the sink needs a wipedown, so I'll run downstairs to grab a cloth and notice a pile of dirty clothes that need to be taken down to the laundry room...etc etc etc
As you can probably tell, I'm a stay at home mom...at least mostly. I work 2 days a week in a low stress office job. Most of my problems are here at home - so far, I've managed to control things while at work...except for the memory thing. Luckily my job isn't that difficult, so it really hasn't been a problem.
Of course...when I'm in a manic state, I clean the house like the President is coming to dinner, rearrange furniture, organize closets, and wash every piece of laundry we own...all before noon.
Are these problems in any way related to bipolar, or do I just need to learn better time management/retention skills?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 2/15/2007 3:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you met me before somewhere? Cos I could swear you were talking about me  tongue   is it the BP I don't know to be sure?
Bipolar Moderator
DX : Bipolar , Panic Disorder , GAD , OCD , IBS.
If HealingWell.com has helped you in some small or big way, please donate and enable us to continue helping others find their way to "healing well" at http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
 thank you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/15/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey debrbg,
    I too am Bi-Polar.  Just so you know....this sounds like a carbon copy of me, especially the anxiety.  Noise is the worst...The cleaning, being a "space-case", being sidetracked.  You are SOOO not alone!
    Coincidence:  when God chooses to remain

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 2/15/2007 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   

OMH- You have just described me perfectly. I'm forgetful beyond normal, I'm easily irritated and it takes me forever to calm back down. I get started on something and remember something else I need to do, so I go start it and totally forget about what I was doing before. All I want to do is sit in my comfy chair, in my comfy pajamas. Lately, I've been cancelling appointments and rescheduling them for another day because I don't want to leave the house.

You are not alone. I'm completely there with you. Hang in and let's hope for all our sakes and sanity that things get better!

Take Care,
    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
  DX: ankylosing spondylitis, periferal neuropathy, chronic migraines/headaches, depression/panic attacks, bi-polar, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, sleep apnea
  RX: synthroid, estradiol, prozac, lamictal, inderal la, klonopin, seroquel, imiprimine, aspirin, (relpax, maxalt, phenergan, esgic plus, xanax, PRN for migraine)
  Surgeries: hysterectomy 1997, tonsillectomy 2001, deviated septum 2005, cataracts (both eyes) 2006

Green Lantern
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 2/19/2007 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know how to label myself, nor do some expensive pdocs, but that sounds a lot like me.
No one knows

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/23/2007 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL - Thanks for the laugh guys, debrbg496 you described a lot of us apparently including me tongue  When I read your post I thought, Ohhh I so have to get my boyfriend to read this so he can see it's not just me!  You actually made me feel much better because I beat myself up (not literally) a lot of the time because of the way I am now (post major BP1 Episode - 1st & hopefully only confused ).  I'm learning to accept & cope with my new self & I thought I'd share with you some of the things I do (or try to do when I'm not totally unmotivated) to help with I guess what you could call some symptoms of BP since we all seem to have them in common.
Memory issues - I make myself lists (& yes have to check it twice sometimes 3 x's if it's just one of those days ;). I use the calendar in my yahoo email a lot because it emails me reminders which is really helpful and that way if I have a busy week I can split up my to do list by day.  When someone tells you something you gotta remember, write it down right away!  I have sticky note pads all over my house & I got one of those magnetic marker white-board note thingys you can wipe off & stuck it on my fridge, that's where I write my notes reminding me to take out the meat (lol - & my bf writes on it almost every morning before work if it's not still there "Did you remember to feed the dog?" I tend to forget sometimes poor thing.  As a back-up I sometimes ask my boyfriend to remind me of things because for some reason when I ask someone to remind me I remember myself (weird how the brain works that way sometimes). 
Easily irritated - Lets just say I bite my boyfriends head off from time to time completely out of the blue & usually for no good reason.  Luckily he doesn't take me on because he knows I'm just having a BP moment but because he doesn't react I snap out of it pretty fast & start sucking up because I feel bad and then he just teases me about how irrational I am sometimes but in a way that makes me laugh at the whole situation.  I compare myself to the girl in the exorcist a lot (when her head spins around & she looks as crazy as can be like she just might bite your head off at any given moment LOL).  Maybe if you talk to your family about the things you mentioned in your initial post they can help support you in different ways.  (ie. when they see you snap give you space, some quite time, don't take it personally, & depending on what your relationships are like with your family you could ask them to lighten the mood when you get like that & joke around with you or come right up to you as your screaming and plant a big wet kiss on ya & give you a big hug (catch ya off guard - lol might irritate you more but hey it's worth a shot).
Motivation - Now this one is tricky.  Sometimes it just depends on the day, you can push yourself to do more & other days your feet are two big cement blocks and there ain't a thing you can do about it!  I don't think taking breaks is a bad thing but it is true it is hard to get started again once you've stopped (schedule breaks around fav. tv shows & as soon as the show is done turn the tv off & look at what is next to do on your list & make yourself go do it).  Planning helps me which includes my to do lists & breaks.  Everything is tentative though because you just never know whats going to come up or how your going to feel.  Don't sweat it if you don't get everything done, it'll be there for you tomorrow to do.  But don't be afraid to ask for help either, just because you don't work as much doesn't make you Miss Molly Maid.  As I said before, if you discuss with your family how you feel & what you go through on a daily basis they will better understand the support you need and how to support you.  I've noticed for myself there is a point every month usually for about 3 or 4 days that I have extremely low energy (sometimes the week before that time of the month sometimes after).  I don't even have to tell my boyfriend that the low energy wave has hit me because you can tell by just looking at me (& well the mess around me since I usually don't move all day and hibernate on the couch).  Since he knows all about how I'm feeling during that time instead of me taking care of him when he gets home from work he takes care of me because he's just a great guy like that (God love him, I really am lucky).  I've talked to my shrink about this low period and he suggested I try to make sure I take my multi-vitamins at that time (although I should be taking them daily I usually forget).  I guess there are a lot of other things (alt. medicine wise) you could take for energy but I'm scared it will make me feel anxious.  Anywho moving on....
Last but not least - Easily distracted -  I say who cares, if your up and about doing things.  If you have a to do list the important things will get done and the things that catch your eye will get done as well.  May slow you down but it's not the end of the world.  I think once you begin using organizational techniques that will keep you on task the more you'll notice you're not as easily distracted.   
Well hope my rambling on helped in some way, take care & keep on keepin on ;)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/23/2007 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I was nodding and smiling as I read your post.  I have bipolar, and my best friend has anxiety, depression, and sometimes mania-like symptoms.  We love each other for many reasons, but one of the reasons we get along so well is our TERRIBLE memories!  Our husbands, though they love us very much, enjoy getting together with us, and trading stories about "memorable" moments of us being forgetful.  At one point, my friend's husband suggested that we might as well have our own sitcom.  He was like, "Here's how it would go:  (my friend) Guess what?  (me) What?  (my friend) I forget! "  I'm laughing while I'm writing this, because this conversation has happened before, and we really could have our own sitcom.  When you get two people like that together, watch out!  Sometimes it isn't funny though, when my husband gets frustrated because of forgotten bills, forgotten traffic tickets with tacked on fines :( forgotten financial aid and tax forms, lovely.  I am also highly distractible, and both too motivated, and highly unmotivated.  (This frustrates me even more than other people I think, because I can never forgive myself when I'm unmotivated, and can't calm down or stop being irritable when I AM motivated) I am both a slob, and a neat freak if that's possible.  I used to be almost too neat "lysol-ling" absolutely everything in our apartment at least every other day.  Now, I start to clean, think about how I need to make a vet appointment for my cat, get groceries, start the laundry, and start my homework.  I either become enraged and give up, because my brain makes a whirlwind out of everything until I'm convinced I can't do ANYTHING in which case I sit there and do nothing, or I try to do things, and like you say, get distracted.  One time, the refrigerator was open all day.  (I had decided to clean it earlier).  As for the irritability, have that too.  You are definitely not alone, and absolutely do not need to feel ashamed.  I think the fact that you recognize it is great, some people don't, and I know it's hard not to beat yourself up for it later or feel depressed thinking you should have controlled yourself.  I've been there so many times.  It's not always in our control, but that doesn't mean any of us are bad people.  Too often I think we feel that way, but it's not true. 
Hang in there and know that you are surrounded by others who care and have similar experiences.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/23/2007 9:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Forgetfulness is a big thing. When I am manic, though, I am on top of everything. But depressed or stressed, my life turns into a huge ball of nothing and I forget everything. My cell phone, my purse at stores, even doctor appts.

I don't get manic anymore, which really sucks, but when I do I clean a lot, like to go places, and do GREAT in school. Now, I don't have much motivation and my bedroom and bathroom is a mess.
"Stability is a place bipolar people only visit"
Bipolar II, rapid cycler, severe depression/hypomania, severe anxiety, and lifesaver- Shadley's Titan, nine-year-old reg. Quarter Horse Gelding.
Past: Depakote, Lexapro
Current: Lamictal, Abilify, Buspirome, Minocycline, omega 3, probiotics

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 2/24/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   

Yeah I hear ya bout the cleaning - do any of you have OCD as I thought that was to do with my OCD but looks like it could be the BP too. When I'm depressed the whole house is a mess and I can't do anything , but when I'm manic I'll go on a cleaning bender!

Everyone's echoing what I experience - it's nice to know you're not the only one tongue

Bipolar Moderator
DX : Bipolar , Panic Disorder , GAD , OCD , IBS.
If HealingWell.com has helped you in some small or big way, please donate and enable us to continue helping others find their way to "healing well" at http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
 thank you.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/24/2007 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Well in my case, I would have no motivation lasting for weeks. And when i say "no", I mean NO motivation. The house would not get clean, period. My wife would get on my case and I would still not clean. The house would look like a hurricane went through it, followed by a train, and then a cyclone. And I would just look at the house like, "Why should I clean this, it will just get messy again" and I would leave it at that. If i did start a task, it was almost 99% likely that I would not finish. I wouldnt take care of myself, No showers, no brushing teeth, nothing for days at a time.

My symptoms started back in 2004 when I was deployed over seas to the middle east and have gotten worse over the years. Last year in September, I was diagnosed bipolar 2. Although I didnt meet the strict timeline to be type 1, I know that I have been fully manic with psycho whatever its called, lol.. I just never let my doctor know. I went from medication to medication until I reached abilify and now I am alot better. I know its not a full story of my symptoms, but i figure I would share just a couple...

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