Tag Archives: mania

Join Me in a Bipolar Mixed Episode

bipolar

It’s been a day of hard issues in my marriage. Please forgive my disjointed organization of thought. I’m taking you with me on a bout of Bipolar Mixed episode. I have depression paired with anxiety. I feel anger, rage actually. I want to die. Not to threaten it but to actually do the deed. I don’t because of my two kids and my mother. I love them too much to put them through a loss like that, so I’m stuck in this mental illness with no real way out. Meds work most of the time. Not tonight. I had wine with a Xanax. Supposedly a no-no but my body is so used to the Xanax that I only have a good buzz going. I feel lonely – like I am ultimately responsible for myself, and I hate that. I’ve always been a sheltered child and then woman. I can’t organized my thoughts to keep a job for longer than a year but also can’t receive government aid (for income). It’s a terrible cycle which causes me much anxiety and depression. My spouse and I have a couple of weak areas in our new marriage (of two years). This starts the bipolar/mania cycle. As I type, the words on the screen are blurry, and I make a lot of spelling errors. I long for the long seep. The end of all of these roller coaster of emotions. Meds can only do so much for me. I’ve dealt with this for 9 years. I’m TIRED of fighting with it. I hope i can sleep tonight. I hope when  wake, it’s a hopeful new day. But I don’t know. I hang in the abyss of a universe with stars blinking brightly, hurting my eyes. I float too closely to the planets. It’s sometimes hard to breathe in this dark vast space. Other times I get lungs full of fresh air. Hope is all I have. It stays somewhere deep in my core, a tiny flame that doesn’t seem to go out even when high winds or heavy rains cover it. I am inwardly thankful for that flame. It promises  another day that might be a good one. One with sunshine on my face and bird songs in my ears.

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What to do With Myself?

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I’m trying to figure out what to do with myself. I have trouble looking into my eyes in a mirror. I tried self-talk . . . maybe regain self-worth. That didn’t work out well. Why can’t I look myself in the eyes?

I’m coming out of an initial “bout” of bipolar 2. I woke up and was full of energy, ideas, and plans. The mania began. I had no idea.
A year and a half later, I fell into deep depression and stayed there for another three years. Yes, really.

Being treated for depression only doesn’t work if you have a bipolar disorder. Ya need a mood stabilizer as well. Didn’t know I had this disorder, so I was spinning in place. Who’d have thought that initial period of weight-loss, extreme exercise, pricey vacations, thoughtless spending, job-hopping, college-flunking, divorcing-a-25-year-husband, taking up with a stranger, drinking, smoking, and other energy-filled activities was actually mania?!

I’m trying to figure out what to do with myself. The old mind is finally coming out of the clouds . . . the fog that encircled my reality. Now I want to know what my reality is. All of the self-evaluation is exhausting, but I see progress in ridding myself of self-hatred.

My mind feels as though it has been shaken and now has small fissures from the traumatic event. The cracks don’t completely heal, however. I’ll be “full o’ fissures” from now on. The injustice makes me mad. In fact, lots of things make me fricking mad. I’ve been over the facts a million times. They don’t change.

I’m trying to figure out what to do with myself.

Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn . . .

 

What do these people have in common?

Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, Rosemary Clooney, Patricia Cornwell,

Robert Downey, Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Patty Duke, Carrie Fisher, Connie

 Francis, Mel Gibson, Ernest Hemingway, Vivien Leigh, Demi Lovato,

 Kristy McNicol, Florence Nightingale, Jane Pauley, Edgar Allen Poe,

Jackson Pollock, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Sidney Sheldon, Jean

 Claude Van Damme, Virginia Woolf, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

All “-Accompanied by verifiable source citations associating them with bipolar disorder  (formerly known as “manic depression”), either based on their own public statements or (in the case of dead people only) reported contemporary or posthumous diagnoses of bipolar disorder.” (Wikipedia)

“It is often suggested that genius (or, at least, creative talent) and mental disorder (specifically, the mania and hypomania of bipolar disorder) is linked.” (Wikipedia)

Sooo, do we run with it and say, “I knew I was a creative genius!” or will we pity ourselves right into a pathetic un-life. I call it an un-life because untreated or improperly treated bipolar disorder is no way to live. It’s not “living” at all.

C’mon, fellow fighters, gather your wits, gather your support system (or find one), and get to a really good psychiatrist and also a counselor (two different professionals). Don’t stop trying until you find the magic mix of meds! You WILL feel better, loves!

XO

❤ Lea

Does Bipolar Disorder Run in the Family?

A note of interest is this: my father was rumored to have this disorder. He killed himself at age 44. My first manic episode (and the one that changed everything in my life) was at age 44.  ~Irony~

This informative article is written by Marcia Purse, Health Guide for Healthcentral.com. Thank you sharing information, Ms. Purse

Does Bipolar Disorder Run in the Family?

Marcia Purse
By Marcia Purse, Health GuideSunday, March 11, 2012

There’s no doubt that there is a genetic component to the risk of developing mental illnesses. Several studies have confirmed this. It’s been found that people with unipolar depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are highly likely to have siblings, half-siblings and children to have one of these disorders or even have symptoms of more than one.

Studies of identical twins show that if one twin has bipolar, the other has very high risk of developing bipolar as well. There is also an increased risk within fraternal twins, but it is much lower than for identical twins.

What about more remote relationships? There are no studies, but here’s a look at a family where four cousins are all diagnosed with bipolar disorder (names changed to protect privacy).

One Family’s True Story

My friend Janet, who has bipolar disorder, also has three cousins on her mother’s side with bipolar. Linda and Stacey are the children of an uncle and Jeff the child of an aunt.

Janet doesn’t know everything about the family history, but was curious enough to put together what she does know in the chart below.

Family Bipolar Chart

As you can see, the only known factor the four cousins have in common is Janet’s maternal great-grandfather, who was diagnosed with “melancholia” (an old term for depression) and committed suicide.

Janet herself, the only one who had childhood bipolar symptoms, also has a history of mental illness on her father’s side.

Is this a stretch? I don’t believe so. Even though all four cousins also have siblings with no known signs of mental illness, it seems more than a coincidence that the four all have bipolar disorder.

Sources: McGuffin, P, et al. The heritablity of bipolar affective disorder and the genetic relationship to unipolar depression.  Archives of General Psychiatry. 2003 May;60(5): 497-502.

Lichenstein, P, et al. Common genetic determinants of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Swedish families: a population-based study. The Lancet. 17 Jan 2009. 373(9659) 234-239.

Edvardsen, J, et al. Heritability of bipolar spectrum disorders. Unity or hetergenity? Journal of Affective Disorders. March 2008. 106(3) 229-240.

Is Bipolar I Worse Than Bipolar II?

The following article, in its entirety is by Marcia Purse, Health Guide for Healthcentral.com. Ms. Purse is an informative writer. I hope you enjoy.

 

Is Bipolar I  Worse Than Bipolar II?

Marcia Purse
Health GuideWednesday, March 28, 2012

People tend to think of Bipolar I as being “worse” than Bipolar II. In discussions about this, people diagnosed with Bipolar I have sometimes said, “I wish I only had Bipolar II.”

 

I’m not here to tell you people with BP I don’t have a rough time – they do. But what those who said they wished they had BP II, and the public in general, don’t realize is that Bipolar II is profoundly different from Bipolar I.

 

If you have ever had soaring mania, perhaps with hallucinations or delusions; if your mania has ever been so out of control that you had to be hospitalized; indeed, if you’ve ever had a manic episode at all, you have Bipolar I Disorder. Mania and the hypomania of Bipolar II and Cyclothymia (also known as Bipolar III) share some characteristics, but the severity of mania makes a great deal of difference. (See Mania vs. Hypomania)

 

But people who have Bipolar II have a miserable time at the opposite pole: depression. In general, these people have far more depressive than hypomanic episodes. Those depressive episodes last longer and are more frequent than in people with BP I. Again, this isn’t to say that people with BP I can’t have very bad depressive episodes. They just aren’t likely to have them as frequently, or for as long as, people with BP II.

 

And there is one more key difference between the two disorders – the one that sometimes makes me wish I had Bipolar I, believe it or not. That is the fact that people with BP II are very likely to feel at least slightly depressed almost all the time that they aren’t hypomanic.

 

It’s true for me. In fact, my psychiatrist told me that on the 1-10 scale he uses for rating mood, 6 is normal, and most of his patients with BP II hardly ever get above 5 (having to push yourself some), and 4 (having to push yourself often) is more common.

 

That’s where I live most of the time – between 4 and 5, with days I’d rate as 3 at least twice a week. And at those levels, my symptoms don’t even qualify as a diagnosable depressive episode! Yet I’m struggling all the time to a greater or lesser degree. “Up” periods generally don’t last for more than a few hours.

 

So don’t let anybody tell you that because you have Bipolar II Disorder you “aren’t that sick.” Both Bipolar I and Bipolar II are serious disorders. It’s just important to understand that they are so different that they can’t be compared.

 

Sources:

Mantere, O., et al. (2008). Differences in outcome of dsm-iv bipolar i and ii disorders. Bipolar Disorders, 10(3), 413-25. Abstract retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18402629

 

Maina, G., et al. (2007). Health-related quality of life in euthymic bipolar disorder patients: differences between bipolar i and ii subtypes. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(2), 207-12. Abstract retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17335318

Be Careful: Possible Differing Treatments for Depression vs Biploar 2 Disorder

Bipolar 2 disorder sufferers have episodes of hypomania which aren’t generally severe enough for them to think anything is “wrong.” They just seem to be in a great mood and feeling very social and creative. Their depressive states, however, are more severe. The sufferers tend to seek help while in a state of depression, therefore obtaining prescriptions for an antidepressants.

In a study by an Italian psychiatric disorders expert, Franco Benazzi, MD, PhD, says that studies show that antidepressants and a bipolar 2 patient may not make a good combination.

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/news/20070315/antidepressants-risky-for-biopolar-disorder

Also, below is an excellent source of links and specific information on the use of antidepressants in those with bipolar. Very, very interesting material.

http://www.psycheducation.org/bipolar/controversy.htm

Take a look, ready a bit. Be informed, my dears.