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Author Topic: Bi-Polar Disorder
DevilDreamt
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Iím not sure where to start.

A few months ago I was diagnosed by a psychologist and then a psychiatrist and both agreed that I have a bi-polar personality disorder. When they started talking about medication I dropped all contact with them and havenít spoken with them since.

Iíve had the disorder for as long as I can remember.

In a manic phase, I am extremely productive. I gain a ton of confidence, become much more outgoing and social. This is when I tend to meet new people and make friends. I fall in love with the world and I experience euphoria. Sometimes I manage to pull off some really amazing artwork as well. When I read while Iím in my manic phase, I can forget that Iím reading. I no longer see the words on the page, and my imagination is able to play the entire book out, like a movie. This used to throw me off, and I would go back and make sure I had been reading, force myself to see the words and double-check that I am not simply day-dreaming, and the movie that plays in my mind is always the exact same as the book. Consequently, almost everything I read while Iím manic is brilliant.

Hereís an analogy that may help:

Imagine a fish (weíll say itís a rainbow trout) swimming in a river. The fish, for whatever reason, leaps out of the river. Freeze frame while the fish is in mid-air. A normal person can see the river, can see the trout, can see the hundreds of water droplets surrounding the trout. I canít. I focus on one droplet, and that droplet becomes my world. It is infinitely beautiful, it is complete, and its existence is perfect. I feel like I can spend in eternity exploring that one droplet, never having the desire to leave it, being perfectly content and happy there. With effort, I can leave that droplet of water, and the next object I find will fixate my attention just as the first did. Sometimes I can switch from one item to another very quickly, but sometimes I canít.

When Iím manic, my connection with reality slides in and out of perspective. Sometimes Iíll fixate on small things for seconds, minutes, hours, feeling complete and whole, sometimes Iíll slide back and see a slightly larger picture, and the complexity of this new picture will lead me toward all sorts of new patterns, new thoughts, new experiments. This phase usually only lasts a few days.

I am a very dangerous driver while Iím manic. I become very clumsy. Multi-tasking is out of the question, although I can single-task in rapid succession very very quickly.

The depressed phase, on the other hand, is much worse. I feel like life is meaningless, devoid of purpose. I get very strong urges to dramatically alter my life (which I sometimes act on) and I become very self-destructive. The feeling that absolutely nothing in the universe matters is overwhelming. Everything I read when Iím depressed sucks.

The reason I went to the psychologist in the first place is because of these depressive phases, which have been getting worse.

The point of the thread Ė Letís talk about the human soul, and whether or not we have one. Letís talk about destiny, The Tao, Godís plan, and evolutionís plan (in essence, any perspective, including ones I have not mentioned, is worthwhile to me).

I canít decide whether or not I want to go on medication. I know, for a fact, that if I do, I probably wonít stay on it.

My current outlook on prescription drugs for a personality disorder is best summarized by Marilyn Manson, with these slightly misquoted lyrics from the song Coma White:

ďUntil they make you numb
until they make you dumb
until they make you
anybody else
All the drugs in this world
wonít save you from yourself.Ē

I find comfort in the idea that thereís a part of me that canít be touched. No matter what drugs they give me, no matter what drugs I subject myself to, it canít save me from who I am. And I want that, I want a soul, but Iím not convinced I have one.

Sometimes people have a ďdisorderĒ that separates them from the rest of society, and they feel itís not a disorder. Itís just a part of who they are.

What is my personal Tao?
What is the plan, whereís the design in this?
If there is a God, why this and why me?
What is the purpose behind life?
How did this evolve?

I donít expect anyone to have answers for me, at least not in regards to what I should do.

What Iím looking for are new perspectives. This is something Iíve been thinking about and struggling with for a while now, and I think it would be interesting to discuss.

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TomDavidson
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It's all very well and good to "be yourself," but the boost to your creativity is meaningless if you're lying with your wrists slit in a hotel bathtub.
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Phanto
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Take the frikin medicine. Bipolar is not something you can handle. Robert Lowell spent his whole life suffering, ruining his close relationships because he didn't have access to lithium, I think. Forget psychotherapy. Once he took the pills, he was healthy again.

Still a great poet, but healthy. Take the pills*.

*I am not a doctor and am not qualified to dispense medical advice.

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ketchupqueen
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Okay, so you don't want to take drugs. But what about lithium? It's a naturally occuring substance that is found to be very helpful in most folks with bi-polar disorder. Even if you take nothing else, would it be worth that to avoid the possibility of severe depression and harming or killing yourself, or alienating everyone in your life or going to jail because of an angry manic phase?
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Shawshank
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First- my mother and older brother are bipolar. My brother used to take medicine but now doesn't want to and hasn't for years. He hasn't made the best decisions in the world- in fact- he hasn't made one good decision in a few years now. My mother does take her medicine- and finds that a combination of therapy/counseling plus the medicine is what makes the difference.

Now to answer your actual questions. I believe in God- I believe absolutely in God. The Christian one, to be specific. One of your ideas is something I've been thinking a lot about lately- is that humanity is fundamentally good. We hear a lot about how Christians focus on the sinful nature of man. But at the very beginning, humanity was found to be perfect and good and there is nothing on any plane that can change the fundamental nature of God's creation.

Why you? I have no idea- from my experience I have found that it is suffering that brings people closer to spiritual maturity. It tests them and after having passed a test of strength (meaning discipline) and fortitude, they have proven their character to themselves, to others, and to God. As someone raised in a home filled with Bipolar (and I have mild tendencies of this- but I think mostly owing to my environment) and having suffered from depression in middle school, I have seen how God has taken my suffering as used them later on for His glory- about how I have gone through some trials- but they make me more passionate about helping other people. Now I want to dedicate my entire life towards helping those who feel they have no hope at all.

I do believe in a soul. In an underlying sense of self- that nothing- no human medication or device, no psychological terminology, no presence of good or evil can take away from you. You are Yourself. I don't know what it is- I tend to think of it as the center of our own personal will. Our free will.

I do think it was God's desire for you to suffer- but he allows it to happen to fulfill his purposes- so that in the end- less people will suffer here on this earth. But I'm willing to suffer so the people I love won't have to.

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quidscribis
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Whaddya know, I agree with TomDavidson.


I have a sister and at least one cousin with bipolar disorder. My sister took her meds and dealt with it. She's productive, happy, healthy, and in a stable relationship with two fantastic kids.

My cousin is... Well, to say screwed up would put it mildly. She's willingly put her life in danger more times than I can count, she's purposely screwed up her health severely, she's nearly killed herself quite a few times. She's been doing this for a couple of decades, and she's, oh, in her early thirties. She can't hold down a decent job or pay her bills on time or keep friends or manage to stay on good terms with her family and relatives. She lies to everyone, continuously.

When she takes her meds, she doesn't behave like that. She's a completely different person. She behaves like a reasonable somewhat mature adult. She doesn't lie, and she can manage to maintain at least somewhat healthy relationships.

Personally, I vote take the meds. Save everyone a lot of grief.

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Shawshank
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And yes- I would beg you to take your medicine. You most likely don't have the experience of being the family of someone who is manic or depressed. It's very difficult- even when they are medicated it still can be.

I also would recommend against drinking. Seeing an drunken bipolar person is very frightening.

It caused me a great deal of grief. I know for instance my mother wants to take her medicine because it makes her more like what she wants to be. I refuse to believe that your creativity is fueled by a disease.

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quidscribis
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Or a drunk and stoned bipolar person.
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Shawshank
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My brother is an alcoholic with a preexisting kidney disease. And a pothead- with SEVERE anger management problems. [For instance- the fact that he's hit my mom and regularly beats his girlfriend]
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Sharpie
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Devildreamt, I don't know you at all. I do know a bipolar person, my beloved daughter. She will be 17 in December.

She is (yay yay yay!) finally stable on a medicine regimen. Stable for her means that she is starting to go to school again (2 classes a day), she is reengaging in her hobbies, her friends' lives, and her family.

But here is the thing. When she is sick, when she is unstable, she thinks she is fine without the medicine. She looks at her crumbled life and says: "I don't need medicine, I don't want it, it will dull my feelings, it makes me sleep too much, I hate it." She THINKS she is functioning. But she is not.

Some people manage to find a way to deal with mental illness without medicines, but they MUST have a trusted person in their lives who can say something like "your bipolar is tricking you and making you think you are functioning, but you haven't been out of your room in 17 days."

Bipolar kills people. It tricks them and kills them. Find someone who can help you know when you are being tricked. Give them the authority to drive you to the doctor and start you on medication when they can see that you are in trouble.

Lastly: my daughter's creativity comes BACK when she is stable. Stable doesn't mean giving up the creativity. It means having the ability to use the creativity.

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ClaudiaTherese
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DevilDreamt, I wish you the best.

---

As a side note -- but an important one, given the size of this forum and how many different people read it -- bipolar disorder is not considered to be a "personality disorder," at least not as a medical classification.

There might be political reasons to call it a personality disorder, but it's worth noting that this steps outside common usage and the categories that underlie that usage.

Personality disorders are considered to be very much a part of fundamental ways someone interacts with the world, and they do not generally prevent that person from functioning interpersonally. Those relationships may be different or unusual, but there is nothing about a personality disorder that means someone has problems holding down a job (for example). There also are not effective treatments for personality disorders.

In contrast, for other mental health disorders, there is generally a period of inability to function with the activities of daily living. There are also generally established methods of treatment for these disorders, ranging from pharmacological intervention to cognitive therapy (for example).

Borderline Personality Disorder is a bit of an exception. It is called "borderline" because it straddles the personality disorder/other mental health disorder divide, and it has characteristics from both.

---

I think one of the hardest things about Bipolar Disorder must be how hard it is to give up the good feelings that come with the mania. It must feel like being weighted down with lead chains, like in Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. I don't know if I'd want to give up that feeling, either, and if it didn't come at such a great cost, I doubt anyone would even consider it.

I think the best way to approach this is to think about what one wants from one's life (living alone? finding a life partner? doing regular work? any particular work? staying safe? safe from assault, sexual abuse, unhealthy eating habits, manipulation by others at one's own expense? etc. -- these vary from person to person, and I don't mean to suggest anything about you or BD by listing these -- it's just a hypothetical list), and then figuring out how to go about getting it.

I am trying to do this on a daily basis for myself now. I have the luxury of time and support to do a lot of thinking, and although it's hard to face up to the inconsistency between what I want and what I'm doing (*wince), it is necessary.

[I am doing this more generally than just mental health issues, although I am thinking about mental health, too. One of my biggest bugaboos is wanting to be tough, to be someone who doesn't need anyone's help. That has brought problems for me and those who love me, and I am dealing with it head-on now as best I can.]

---

Again, I wish you the best. I think it's going to involve medication and therapy, but whatever it is for you, I do hope you find it.

[ October 09, 2007, 10:54 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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mackillian
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What Tom said. Suck it up, take the drugs, and be yourself.

Also, bipolar disorder is not a personality disorder.

edit: CT got to the differentiation before I did!

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
I know for instance my mother wants to take her medicine because it makes her more like what she wants to be.

I was rereading the thread and this jumped out at me (and probably had sparked some thoughts above unconsciously).

Yes, Shawshank.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by mackillian:
edit: CT got to the differentiation before I did!

Tag-team. *grin

For interests of full disclosure, depression runs heavily in my mother's side of my family, and it is something I have struggled with (at times mightily) in my life. I don't think anyone in my family has also been manic, although I have had a few periods of "hypomania" (I suspect -- no formal diagnosis, just from my own observation). These don't prevent me from functioning, and they are lovely times for productive work and happiness. It is hard to give them up.

I've found that every time I go off anti-depressant medication, I eventually go nose-down again. There is a "kindling effect"*** in depression and BD, just as in epilepsy. That is, the more bouts of it you have, the more primed the brain seems to be for it -- so over time, having more episodes (e.g., if one goes untreated) means the episodes are likely to be stronger, last longer, and become more resistant to intervention.

For these reasons, I've decided to stay on medication for my depression, even though it comes with some side effects and even though I can go for long stretches of time without it. The risk is just to great, and I'm not willing to give up the life I want to lead -- being a good partner, doing good work, and being here a long time.

---

This is a good online resource about Bipolar Disorder, including some non-medication ways to help deal with some of the issues.

---

Edited to add: ***alcohol and cocaine, as well as other substances of abuse, seem to have a kindling effect for BD, too

[ October 09, 2007, 10:59 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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mackillian
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I suppose I should come clean as well. I've been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type II (same as Bipolar Disorder Type I, but the manias don't go quite as high).

A working medication regimen has been a godsend. Communicating how much of a difference for the better being on medication is hard to do. If I'm caught in a mood cycle, I'm not myself. Stable on medications, I am. And like Sharpie's daughter, my creativity comes back when I'm stableóand I'm able to be more productive with that creativity. Otherwise, everything's just this fast, jumbled up white-noise purposeless mix.

It's a disorder. Treat it. Most folks wouldn't question treating diabetes or asthma. Don't do a disservice to yourself and others by leaving this disorder untreated.

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pH
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Take the medication. Seriously. I don't have bipolar disorder - I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, as I have been very open about on this board. And medication has been EXTREMELY helpful for me. I don't consider taking medication to be a sign of weakness or something that alters who you are. Seriously, if you can find the right medication, it will do wonders for you.

Also, why you? I don't know...I've wondered that a lot myself, but....I think it's something that it takes time to come to terms with personally. I think that with the right medication, therapy, and time, you will be much more at peace with yourself and less worried about "Why you." [Smile]

-pH

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advice for robots
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I second everyone who's urging you to take the meds. They work, and they're getting better and better. Listen to your psychiatrist and take them!
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landybraine
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My mother put herself and her children and anyone else who cared about her through hell because she believed that there was nothing wrong with her. Fast forward twenty years later, and numerous suicide attempts and she finally saw the light. It took being hospitalized against her own wishes after a pretty nasty depressive period to get her to take the meds. Now, she says she can't believe the difference in her life. She is functional. She can hold down a job. And for the first time in MY life, I can have some type of relationship with her without being scared of what she's going to do next. My advice is take the meds. Get a good doctor or two, do your research, and feel better. I wish the best for you.
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Eduardo St. Elmo
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DevilDreamt: Since most of the posters before have already addressed the drug issue, I will leave that one open. I will tell you that I have been counseled to take medicine myself, to relieve what other people perceive as depression. But I am not convinced that taking the medicine will fix my problem. Of course your situation is different from mine, and I do not want to steer you in one direction or another on this point. Only you can decide whether the medicine will do you any good.

Now, I'd like to address your (other) questions.

What is my personal Tao?
I know this sounds very lame and unhelpful, but you are the only one who can find your Path. Just try to open yourself to information from as many sources as possible.
What is the plan, whereís the design in this? The design (I like the term pattern better) will become clearer to you if you keep looking for connections. These can be found everywhere, even between things that seem to have little or nothing to do with each other.
If there is a God, why this and why me?
This one's a bit of a stumper, perhaps if you rephrase the question it will become easier to answer. For now, I can say only this: whether there is or isn't a God, this is the same for every being alive and has been so since the beginning. Regarding the last part of this question - why me?, I can only say that as you become more aware of the Pattern, you will become more able to see how it affects your life. At all costs try to avoid asking this question out of self-pity, because that will get you nowhere.
What is the purpose behind life?
Another tough question. I sincerely doubt whether we'll ever find a definitive answer to this question as it pertains to life in general. For your own life, it is entirely possible to find meaning, but the answer is probably more abstract than you might wish.
How did this evolve?
This question is far too vaguely put to answer. However I assume you know exactly what you mean by 'this' in this question. If so, look into the history that pertains to the subject, try to find the patterns and check them against parallel cases. Your understanding will grow, if you allow it to.

In short, I wish you all strength, wisdom and endurance in dealing with these matters.

*** If this post comes across as pedantic and/or patronising, I can understand that. This wasn't my intention however. I myself am still learning (and hopefully will continue to do so until my demise). ***

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AvidReader
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Why this and why you? So you can find a way to do good with it. Maybe you're going to stop a teenager from killing herself some day because you know how it feels, too. Maybe you'll decide to start a summer camp for bipolar kids or counsel hospital patients who can't take their meds because of other illnesses. You can do anything you want if you choose to find a positive from this.

To me, the biggest problem with life is that there's so much of it. Sometimes I look out over the future and can't imagine having to keep being me for another 60 years or so. You need to find what it takes for you to look out over the future and be ok with it. Find a place where you can be yourself for decades to come.

If that's not going to be meds for you, please be careful. BD can be a very manipulative disease. It's so easy to have an episode to get out of something you don't want. If you use it as a way to control other people, you will never be free of it. I think the power is more addictive than the highs.

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Goody Scrivener
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A very dear friend of mine has bipolar disorder. He is on a medication regimen but he is NOT good about staying on schedule. When he's on an upswing, he routinely "forgets" to take his meds (i.e. chooses to believe he doesn't need them). This frequently brings the crash sooner and more severely than if he sticks to his schedule.

As for me, I have a really tough time being around him at the peak of his high cycle. He becomes far too intense and energetic, and I just can't keep up with him when he's like that. When he's "up", he reminds me of Sandy Cheeks getting ready for hibernation, and I'm Sponge Bob just trying to survive till she falls asleep. But the creativity level he exudes is mind-boggling to me, so in some ways I do actually look forward to his upswings. When he's crashing, he begins to withdraw from the world as much as he can possibly get away with, and there have been times where he's gone so far down the rabbit hole that he completely loses touch with everyone that loves him for very extended periods of time.

So please please please listen to the doctors and at least give the medications a shot. And STICK TO IT!!!! If you only take your meds part time, they will NOT help you as much as you need.

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vonk
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(Edit: This post presupposes that you don't know about genetic memory.)

Because you asked about souls and metaphysical incarnations and whatnot, I'm gonna answer to that. Please don't take this as medical advice or an indication of whether I think you should or should not take medication.

The atoms of energy that make up our brains is as old as the universe itself, as energy can't be created or destroyed. There are theories, which I believe, that these atoms contain memories of all of those years passed, because memories are energy, in essence, and therefor survive their biological hosts. Further, these memories can manifest themselves in very real ways. Real to the perception of the individual, and possibly, real to the physical universe. It has been suggested that these memories are manifesting most prevalently in the limbic system. Some suggest that many mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, can be attributed to these manifestations of the long past, even primordial, memories, particularly religious visions and epiphanies. This would be the manifestation of your soul, of the universe's soul, of the original soul, of the Over-soul, which everyone, everywhere carries with them.

There are also people that manifest these memories intentionally, to learn more about life, the universe and everything. Shamans use potions and medicines, Buddhists use meditation, hippies use drugs. Many great things can be learned from these memories, whether intentionally recalled or through some 'talent' in the brain. (Remember that many ancient cultures believed those with mental 'abnormalities' were possessed with gifts from god.)

Genetic memory is also called racial memory, and is a concept of Jungian Psychology, among other things.

(Disclamer: I'm not an expert on these things by any means, merely an very interested student. For full clarification of any of the above concepts, original texts should be consulted.)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled advice thread.

[ October 10, 2007, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: vonk ]

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Javert
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Take the medication. Follow the instructions. And get involved in therapy.

If you think you'll stop taking the medication, tell that to your therapist. If the therapist isn't helping, consider getting a different one. If the medication has side effects or isn't working, tell your doctors and they can get you different meds or change your dose.

Trust the doctors. They're there to help you.

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pH
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Yes, definitely NEVER be afraid to put your foot down with a doctor if a medication is giving you a side effect that you feel is unacceptable, even if it's difficult to put in words. Even if it's "I feel like a robot" or something along those lines....if it's unacceptable to you, the doctor needs to take that into account and help you with changing your dosage or finding a more suitable medication for you altogether. Do your research. Be an informed patient so that you can have good discussions with your doctor about your options.

-pH

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by DevilDreamt:
I am a very dangerous driver while Iím manic.

This part, to me, is key. You are probably dangerous to yourself and others in other ways, and definitely if you get behind the wheel of a car. It's one thing to risk your own life, but you are at serious risk of killing innocent bystanders. Take the medicine.
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Tatiana
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I agree with pH that you have to work with your doctor to find the right medicines that leave you feeling you, but still feeling healthy and stable and able to form lasting relationships, hold a job, etc.

I highly highly recommend the book Touched with Fire by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison.

Also, bipolar people have the highest risk of suicide of any other type of mental difficulties. You're not being creative and expansive when you're dead. Please, please seek appropriate treatment to decrease the risk of suicide. It matters a lot.

Also, take a step back from yourself and use the perspective your constantly changing view of the world gives you to internalize the understanding that the world isn't necessarily like you're seeing it right this moment. If you currently feel that you can do no wrong, that no matter the risks you take you'll soar and surpass everything, then you likely could benefit from some reserve and caution. If, on the other hand, you currently feel that you're a worthless broken individual who needs to be put out of your misery, then likewise you could benefit from some tempering of that viewpoint. You are neither of the above, in fact. Your brain, though, will be extremely convincing at various times that you're one or the other. Learn to take what your brain's telling you with a grain of salt.

The next thing I would say to help you manage your condition is to learn the signs that show that you personally are entering a manic phase or depressive phase, and take steps to correct those. I guess the ideal for anyone bipolar is to hang in that hypomanic phase forever, the one in which you're massively productive and can overcome obstacles, but not so much that you alienate everyone around you and put yourself and others in physical danger.

Couple your volatile nature with a lot of sound wisdom, like a strong determination to avoid any and all psychoactive substances including alcohol and caffeine, to confine your sex life to your spouse, to never buy luxuries on credit, to avoid debt entirely except for a house and your education, and so on. Only when freed from the chains which these behaviors impose upon you can your spirit be free to soar to the heights for which it was made.

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Sharpie
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I gotta say, I really disagree with this: "BD can be a very manipulative disease. It's so easy to have an episode to get out of something you don't want. If you use it as a way to control other people, you will never be free of it. I think the power is more addictive than the highs."

Episodes aren't like tantrums.

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Jaiden
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As somebody who suffers from major depressive disorder I also vote for take medication. I fought it for awhile (unsuccessfully) partially because I didn't want to "admit" I had depression. Medication makes me feel like me. It makes me (closer) to the type of person I want to be. It makes me a functional member of society. I still have some rough patches (sometimes meds need to be adjusted) but I'm functional. And happy.
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AvidReader
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quote:
I gotta say, I really disagree with this: "BD can be a very manipulative disease. It's so easy to have an episode to get out of something you don't want. If you use it as a way to control other people, you will never be free of it. I think the power is more addictive than the highs."

Episodes aren't like tantrums.

Depends on who's having them. I have a family friend who I've watched deal with BD (badly) for a couple decades now. She gets a bunch of drugs from her doctor and takes more than she should to get high. She isn't feeling well any time she wants out of something but can't say no. And she goes crazy every time she has to deal with a situation she doesn't want to. Either her BD is coincidentally selective about when to strike, or she knows how to bring on an episode (or fake one) when she wants to.

There's power in the threat to go crazy. Or kill yourself. Folks who don't know any better will drop everything and cater to your every whim on those threats. People who want to be manipulative and controling can learn to use their mental illnesses for their own benefit. It's sad, and it's hard to call them on it, but it's very, very real.

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Samprimary
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quote:
In a manic phase, I am extremely productive. I gain a ton of confidence, become much more outgoing and social. This is when I tend to meet new people and make friends. I fall in love with the world and I experience euphoria. Sometimes I manage to pull off some really amazing artwork as well. When I read while Iím in my manic phase, I can forget that Iím reading. I no longer see the words on the page, and my imagination is able to play the entire book out, like a movie. This used to throw me off, and I would go back and make sure I had been reading, force myself to see the words and double-check that I am not simply day-dreaming, and the movie that plays in my mind is always the exact same as the book. Consequently, almost everything I read while Iím manic is brilliant.
Huh. Sounds pretty fun, but the manic phases are not worth the consequences of the unmanaged disorder.

Hell, the manic phases are not even worth the manic phases themselves. Whenever I watch someone posting while in a manic period I am reminded of the sad part of manic swings: they aren't really as good or illuminating as the person having the swing is pretty sure of.

I know I'm like the eight hojillionth person to say so but yes 2 drugs

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DevilDreamt
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I apologize for starting such a serious thread and then dropping it. At first, I realized how much I didnít want to talk about it. Then I didnít have an internet connection.

Iím still not taking meds, and have no intention to do so. Now that I mention it, I also avoided responding out of a fear of being judged for this decision.

I donít often talk about my personal religious/spiritual beliefs, and when I do, I tend to be very misleading or outright dishonest. These beliefs play an important role in my decision to not take medication.

The simple way to put it is ďI worship chaos.Ē I do not pray to chaos, I donít put my trust in it and I owe it no consistent bond of loyalty. More often then not I find it to be beautiful, and chaos brings me immense joy. If there is a Maker of the universe, or a guiding plan of some sort, I am in love with the idea that the plan can go wrong.

Because of this, I sometimes get trapped in thought, trying to determine what things are pieces of the plan, and what things are not. Trying to define what is order, and how best to disrupt it. I donít know if my illness is a part of some sort of plan or not, and I donít really care. The bottom line is that I enjoy being unpredictable, and I prefer to be in a state of flux.

I think that, honestly, as much as I love chaos, Iím afraid of change. Iím so used to instability in my life that I really canít fathom what stability would be like. And when I search my soul, if you will, I donít have the desire to find out, I really donít.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by DevilDreamt:
Iím so used to instability in my life that I really canít fathom what stability would be like. And when I search my soul, if you will, I donít have the desire to find out, I really donít.

That just makes me sad.
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Christine
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Getting bipolars to take medication is one of the biggest problems with that particular diagnosis. The manic stage is fun and they want that high.

I don't believe that bipolar disorder is a part of who anyone is. I think it is a disease that keeps people from knowing who they are.

I have a pretty good friend who is biplolar and ON meds. When the medication is working, she's a good person to be around and I enjoy her company.

The thing about her is that just like many bipolars, she wants the high. She knows she needs to be on medication, and is extremely intelligent and unwilling to just quit, but in order to circumvent the meds she often gets drunk. The alcohol counteracts the meds.

When she is drunk (and essentially OFF the meds) I can't stand the be around her. Oh, if she happens to go for a high that night she's a hoot but even the highs are unstable and can get angry. The lows are miserable.

[ December 10, 2007, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: Christine ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Because of this, I sometimes get trapped in thought, trying to determine what things are pieces of the plan, and what things are not. Trying to define what is order, and how best to disrupt it.
The big problem with this is that it will inevitably manifest itself as self-destructive behavior once you actually acquire semi-permanent things you'd like to have, like a good job or a marriage.
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rivka
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Removed due to becoming irrelevant.

[ December 10, 2007, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: rivka ]

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Christine
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ditto

[ December 10, 2007, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Christine ]

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rivka
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I've edited as well. [Smile]

As I am related to one person with bipolar (and I do object to using the disease as the name of a person -- they are not "bipolars"; they are people with bipolar) and friends with several others, I am perhaps oversensitive.

I happen to think that being forced to choose one's words carefully is, for the most part, a good thing. YMMV.

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mackillian
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Thank you.
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Christine
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Eruve Nandiriel
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My cousin is bipolar as well as ADHD. We can see a difference in her when she takes her medicine. She quit taking it for a while, and ended up getting herself into trouble, because she hit an extreme and couldn't control herself. I think she's finally starting to realize that she needs help, and needs to take medication and actively try to change her behavior.

My brother also has pretty severe ADD, and hasn't really learned yet how to use the medication as a tool to help him control himself. He has to take pretty strong medicine, and often doesn't seem like himself when he's on it. I have mild ADD, and I take medicine for it, but it doesn't work if I take it thinking that it's a miracle drug that will magically make me focus...I have to exercise some self-control as well.

What I'm trying to illustrate is that I think there's a healthy balance between medication and self-control. Someone with a disorder like this needs medication to help them control it, but shouldn't rely completely on one or the other. Honestly, I think that you should try taking medication, and see if it helps you. Know what you're getting into. Know that you can still be yourself on medication if you don't rely on it completely, or let it take over.

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Brad Daniels
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Because of this, I sometimes get trapped in thought, trying to determine what things are pieces of the plan, and what things are not. Trying to define what is order, and how best to disrupt it.
The big problem with this is that it will inevitably manifest itself as self-destructive behavior once you actually acquire semi-permanent things you'd like to have, like a good job or a marriage.
I can't say enough how true this is. I hate using this alias but I just am not certain the things I want to say need names attached.

My spouse is bi-polar, unfortunately she does not really get awesome manic states, she has normal and then DEEP destructive depression. Her parents did not do a good job treating the problem beyond making sure she was medicated. While we dated I had no idea the problem existed until late in, and even then I had no idea of knowing how serious the problem was.

Well we got married and we couldn't afford health insurance so we got to find out. It was the worst year of my life, and I don't say that lightly. I had to exert twice as much effort as was normal to deal with my wife's depression. If I asked for her help with something, it turned into her crying because she was upset that she was not helpful enough. She'd talk about needing to lose weight and if I said I'd support her in the decision she'd get upset claiming I did not think she was physically attractive.

Her self confidence plummeted and in front of my family she turned into another person. She yelled at my family and said horrible things to them, and then burst into tears minutes later at her behavior and apologized profusely. This turned into questions about whether she was good enough for me. As her problems got worse she started to entertain the idea that she was not good enough for me, and that she never would be.

She began to cling to anything that could make her feel good. She started wondering what alcohol was like, smoking, drugs. She talked to me about the urge to try those things and I thought I was receptive and had helped her address those problems. Part of the problem was that she did not have any friends as her two girlfriends moved out of the state. I encouraged her to interact with others and step outside our apartment and meet people, as awkward as it was sometimes to have her so short tempered with people in public.

Make no mistake we talked about her medicine and tried to find a way to afford health insurance, but no insurance company was willing to pick us up with her having this preexisting condition. We couldn't afford her medication without insurance.

She got interested in an online game that I too played alot. I was happy we were sharing the same hobby, but unfortunately at that time I just lost interest in playing the game and so she played it that much more. She met a fun guild and was excited to meet some of them at a convention.

A group of them lived in Utah, and she asked if she could go to a movie with them. I had alot of things to do that night and I didn't want to coop her up at home so I said it was fine.

She fell apart on me that night.

A guy from her guild started flirting with her and she just happened to be very receptive that night. She ended up cheating on me with him that night. He drove her home and she actually took him inside to meet me, as I had told her I'd like to meet these guildies and be mutual friends with them. This guy had the gaul to come into my house and shake my hands, this guy who had just violated the person I love more than anyone else. A few days later she called me while I was out with a friend and said one of her girlfriends had driven down to Utah and that she wanted to spend the night with her. I was happy to let her have a girls night out, and asked her to leave her number on the table so I could call if anything came up.

She didn't leave a number and when I checked the cell phone call records there was no indication her friend had called that evening. I lay in bed half knowing something was wrong, but half believing I might just be paranoid. She never came home that night. It was so hard for me to wake up that morning alone in bed and force myself to go to school and work that morning, wondering what was going on. I ended up cutting out of work early and when I came home she was asleep on the sofa, I woke up and asked her what was going on. She was hiding something and I knew it, I just didn't know what. Finally after I talked with her she admitted that she had gone to a bar and then to the house of a guildie with some other people. They all got drunk and she fell asleep on his sofa. I asked her over and over if that was all that happened and she in tears said it was.

A month went by and thought she hadn't done anything else the fact she had cheated on me kept eating at her and things just got ridiculously stressful. I don't know how, but I worked hard at school and at my job and came home and tried my best to keep my wife happy all evening, day after day. I had forbidden her to hang out with the guy who had let her spend the night drunk at his house when he knew full well neither of us drank. I still did not know he was in fact her lover. One day she told me this guy's car had broken down in the middle of the intersection and that he needed a ride home, I was in the middle of work and could not go with her to do it, and argued that I did not want her associating with him. She finally told me she understood my objections but then went to drive him anyway. She came home that night and I was furious.

The next day she went to get her hair done and without even calling just drove up to this guys apartment so they could, "hang out" while he waited for his car to get out of the shop. By then I knew something was horribly wrong but since her hair appointment was 2 hours as it was, it was not until 4 hours later that I called the salon and followed the trail back to his house.

She admitted to being there and said she was not going to just leave him stranded at his apt and that she would be home when his car was fixed. This really wasn't flying for me, but then her response turned from, "I'm not doing anything." to "I'm an adult I can do what I want, you are being unreasonable and you can just deal with this."

The more angry I got the more she said, "I'm an adult you can't tell me what to do, I'll do as I please." Because we had a family engagement set for that afternoon my parents found out right away that something was wrong as she had taken the car. I called them up asking for a ride and as soon as they asked why I could not drive myself I just broke down and started crying.

After I got off the phone with them I called my wife one more time and tearfully told her I was not doing this anymore, it was either me or him. She had never heard my cry before and I suppose it shocked her out of what she was doing and she came straight home.

After she came home she lay on the couch opposite of me and told me everything that had happened bit by bit and I just kept asking for details. She had cheated on me 3 times with this guy. The last time being the night before, and she had planned on doing again that day, but came home before anything could happen.

We had serious talks about it all for hours after that, and finally concluded that we would stay together. I forgave her quickly, for me what was important that she change some of her behaviors and mindsets immediately. She cut that guy out of her life forever, and stopped playing that online game for a time. But there were STILL certain things she could not change without her medicine and I had to seriously consider and reconsider staying with her for 1-2 months after that. Finally we signed up for a program that provides her medicine for free to low income families. In the course of filling out the paperwork we found out her medicine had gone generic and that we could buy it at Wal-Mart for $42 a month.

We got her back on her medicine and we saw dramatic improvement in her personality. Of course she still had the ability to be sad or angry, but now those two emotions were part of her personality rather then the base. About 2-3 days after she was back on her medicine I had a semi mental breakdown for I had not realized that I had boxed up so much negative emotion in the desire to be strong for my wife that once the need was gone it started flooding out.

My wife has concerns that her medicine makes her something she isn't, but even she agrees that the destructive things she was doing were not she really wanted. To this day she still does not know why she cheated on me. The sex was crappy, the guy was a wimp, and he had tried to get her to make meth with her to sell at parties; that scared her. Thank God it never came to that. Her medicine does not make her a fake person. It's not as if shoes are fake feet. Her brain is not producing a chemical in amounts everybody else's does. She needs another chemical to tell her brain to make more than it is genetically inclined to do.

Please consider medicine not as something that makes YOU fake and therefore acceptable to society. It's something that enables YOU to DECIDE how you want to be in a given situation. Instead of the currents throwing you to and fro, you can guide your ship through the currents to a large extent.

Chaos may be attractive to you, but insofar as your behavior negatively effects others, you have a responsibility to bridle it and control. You are not in a position to make the full assessment of how your actions effect others, but you ARE in the position to make the decision to fix the problem if need be. Ask others what they think about your behavior, if the consensus is that a change needs to be made, be humble enough to sacrifice for others.

Don't put your spouse through what mine put me through. I almost lost the most important relationship in my life because of a stupid pill.

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ClaudiaTherese
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That sounds like a heart-wrenching situation. [Frown]
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Eowyn-sama
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quote:
I find comfort in the idea that thereís a part of me that canít be touched. No matter what drugs they give me, no matter what drugs I subject myself to, it canít save me from who I am. And I want that, I want a soul, but Iím not convinced I have one.
I'm not sure if this will help because I don't have much experience with bi-polar disorder, but it's the first thing I thought of when I read your post. It's a quote from C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity: (Wow, it's longer than I remember :-p the important part is at the end, you can skip the first two paragraphs if you like)

"Human begins judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God's eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. [the Victoria Cross, the highest Britsh award for gallantry] When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing, does some tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God's eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend."

"It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and a good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man's choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it."

Here's the main point:

"Most of the man's psychological make-up is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or the worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises."

You're right that there's a part of you that can't be touched--but that part is not the disease, it's what lies beneath it. The drugs will only help to counteract the disease so that you'll have a better idea of who you really are.

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