I have been reading through some of the threads and would like to get your input on whether I may be dealing with bi-polar disorder. I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder in the fall of 99 after the birth of my second child... but I'm beginning to wonder if it may be more than that. Here's my story:
I was a pain in the butt rebelious teenager that drove my poor parents crazy (I am 99 percent certain that my Dad is Bi-polar). I got pregnant at 16 and was forced to move out of my house (my Dad's idea) thank God for my Mom at that time (although my Dad and I are really close now). I lived on my own and raised my son while graduating from high school and attending college. My family and friends have always said that I get hyper sometimes but it's always just been a part of me - very talkative and outgoing. After I had my second child in June of 99 I began having debilitating panic attacks that forced me to leave my job, my husband and basically change everything in my life. I attributed these attacks to post partum depression, an unhappy marriage, and a lot of responsibility for someone who was only 22. As the years have progressed I have struggled terribly with anxiety (although I've never lost a job or jeoparized my relationships because of it). My primary fear is health problems. I am able to create any life threatening illness at any moment depending on the ache or pain. When I get "into" one of my panic modes It is almost completely debilitating. I've missed time from work and have trouble concentrating on anything. During these times I find no joy in anything and have this feeling of impending doom. Something terrible is about to happen and I can't shake it. Other times I can have an ache or pain and it causes me mild fear but I can put it into perspective and move on.
During these periods of fear/anxiety nothing helps - I've thought about the fact that death would be worse than feeling this way although I've never considered harming myself - I tend to just think "what am I so worried about developing a life threatening illness for - because then I would die and I would never have to feel this way anymore" but like I said it's fleeting and nothing I would ever do. I have far too much to live for namely my four beautiful children and my wonderful husband.
I've always thought that these waves of anxiety were just that but I've tried to find a trigger and oftentimes I can't find anything. I go through periods where I feel great and want to do a lot of things, during these times I like to go out with friends and take family trips/outings but then a couple weeks later I go back into this place consumed with fear. I never feel quiet or satisfied with anything - I'll get an idea into my head ie: I'm going to write a book and become rich and famous so I go great guns with it, using all of my spare time and occasionally seperating myself from my family to completely immerse myself in the project. Only it's always short lived and I then one day I stop and think "yeah right never gonna happen" and I never pick it up again. I'm constantly searching for new houses or new jobs because I can't ever feel content with anything.
I am on Zoloft and have been for a few years. Prior to that I was on Prozac - sometimes it seems to help but others, not so much. I just hate the feeling of being trapped in my own head and never feeling like my thoughts are quiet. I am constantly tense and have lots of muscle aches and sometimes feel like I could crawl out of my skin. When I get into a period of anxiety I oftentimes feel so depressed that I literally cannot get out of bed. My Mom has told me time and again that I shouldn't allow my children to see my moods so effected so I try and pull it together for them, but they always know somehow.
There are times when I get so silly and hyped up that I goof around - during these times my kids, husband, and co-workers make cracks like "don't give this girl anymore caffiene". Sometimes I feel so spot on that I could talk to anyone and always seem to have the right words and other times I feel like I can't do anything right. I've never spent money frivolously (at least not major amounts, sometimes I get the feeling that I'm definitely gonna win the lottery so i might blow 20 bucks on scratch offs) but never to the detriment of my family. I've never taken off without people knowing where I am (although some days I'd love too, lol). Anyway - dear God long post...
I'm 30 years old and want to get this thing figured out!!!!!What do you guys think?