Tag Archives: Bipolar disorder

Bipolar Therapy, Bipolar Medications, or Both?

The first time I was medicated for Bipolar I, I was living in Las Vegas and I left shortly after. I didn’t really feel like the medications helped, but I was still on the lower dosages so the psychiatrist hadn’t had a chance to increase them to levels that would help me properly.

When I was in Las Vegas, I still had periods of mania and depression. When I was manic, I would gamble or shop, maybe even get in the car and drive five hours to the beach. I would be hypersexual and I’m quite surprised that I never contracted an STD or became pregnant.

When I would become depressed I would feel like I had the flu and would not want to get out of bed for a few days.

However, I had days of normalcy, too.

The bad thing about being unmedicated when I’m manic is that I do some dangerous things. When I drive, I drive fast or don’t pay attention to the road like I should. I married a man three days after meeting him in person and it led to a horrible experience. I took out $60k in private student loans (with my father as a co-signer, who has since passed away) that now amounts to over $100k, and none of that money was spent on school.

One thing that could’ve ended badly but ended up being the best thing in my life, was when my brother brought home his roommate from Phoenix. That roommate was Quay and we have now been married for five and a half years. However, we slept together on that first night, and then I stopped talking to him for almost a year. But then I just hopped on a Greyhound and within three weeks I was living with him in his ex-girlfriend’s house, I had a job in Phoenix, and we were moving into our own place a few months later.

A year later, we moved to Vermont, where Quay grew up, and I got and held a crap job at first, and left there only when I got one that offered me $30k a year with bonuses. I worked there seven months without medication or therapy until the working conditions became so horrible that I had a mental breakdown and ended up in a psych ward. Since then I have been seeing a psychiatrist. I started with a therapist, but once I was stable, that stopped. However, I got worse, and they sent me to another one. This one specializes in DBT therapy.

The medications I have been on over the last five years have been all over the place. Some I can’t take anymore because of side effects. Right now, I believe I’m overmedicated on the mood stabilizers, and my anti-depressant I have become immune to as it’s the same one I started with and I’m on the highest dosage recommended.

Mood stabilizers help push your mood down so you don’t become manic, and anti-depressants help keep your mood up. Mine are not in-sync or something because I spend 90% of my life not wanting to get out of bed, or shower, or take care of the pets, or clean my house. Before I was medicated, I could at least keep a job for three to six months if it was full time, and I wanted to do things outside of the house, and I took my dog for walks, and my house was cleaned on a regular basis.

What brought me to realize all of this is my therapist yesterday asked me what my manic episodes were like and I had to explain that I used to get happy and have energy, and now I get angry and irritable. She asked me why I was medicated then, and I came up with the best answer I could at the time, but I don’t think that I would do those dangerous things if I were to have the DBT therapy with her, plus my more stable life now having been married so long, having lived in our own home for so long, having health insurance for so long, etc. You know?

I still have to talk to more people I trust, family and friends and the like, but I think I want to come off my Bipolar meds, or at least reduce them.

Sorry this is such a long post, but this is an important decision and I need to make the right one so I can start feeling like less of a failure and more involved in my own life.

The View from Bayview

So Quay caught me in the bedroom with a pair of scissors against my wrist. He hit them away and then slapped my head, telling me to get my shoes on because he was taking me to the ER. The conversation during the ER visit wasn’t very helpful. In fact, I was quite relieved when the crisis worker took him away for a conversation. But then Colleen showed up. I had been in contact with her several times over the holiday weekend so it wasn’t a surprise, and actually calming.

They came up with a plan to take me to a respite house for one night, which is actually a group home with one respite bed in it, and then I would go to Bayview, which is the crisis bed. I was very upset at the respite bed because one person in particular was always angry and upset and when Quay and I were having a conversation, this person was certain we were talking about him. I which Quay would’ve stayed longer to make sure I was okay instead of just leave, but nope, he just left.

A little while later, they came to get me to take me to Bayview. It was already late so I just relaxed and went to bed. The next day was a lot of treatment work though and that was helpful but also hard. That night I slept much better than I had in many months.

Today, so far, I have worked with a new worker who has helped me determine why I self-harm and what my stressors are. We got about half-way through the packet and he said we’d finish the rest tomorrow. Tomorrow I also see my case manager and therapist.

They haven’t told me how long they want me to stay here but I feel safe here and I feel good working on things that will help me when I go home, especially the goals and working on stressors. They are repeating to me that I have a voice in my own home and it’s up to me to use it. I have used it before, I can use it again.

X Amount of Words

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. The good thing is that I’m in a better place now than I was when I last posted. That was a dark place. I actually went to a respite bed for a few days (twice) to get myself back into a better place where I felt safe again. 

The only thing that seems to be bothering me now is my anxiety. It keeps me from getting a good night’s sleep and I often bounce one or both of my legs when sitting if I am nervous. This is awkward around people that don’t know me, especially when I explain that it’s anxiety causing it and they ask me what I have to be anxious about since I don’t work.

Speaking of work, I am trying to get back into freelancing and that will be even easier now that I have a new laptop. Nice, huh? I’m excited. But it will be adding to my anxiety and I have to be prepared for that.

I’ve only written one article so far, but it went well I think. It’s time to find more jobs that I can pace over several weeks. It would be nice to find some recurring jobs, right? Brooke said she’d work with me on freelancing which would be awesome. I’d have a partner in crime!

Well, I should get going. I have more blogs to write. Never-ending…

Seizures and moods… Who knew?

I saw my psychiatrist today. He knows me well. I think he knows my moods better than I know them myself. He knew there must be a contributing factor to this mood. Something happened to cause this mixed mood. We talked a little bit about things that were going on, like school and things, and then he mentioned the seizures he knows I used to have. Well, as of the last time I talked to him about them they were somewhat gone, and I hadn’t had any in quite some time.

So this brought up the seizure episodes that happened a few weeks ago and he told me that if anything like that happened again, to go straight to the ER. Don’t wait. The more information they have about these seizures the better they can be about diagnosing them.

But he also believes that was the cause of the beginning of the mood change for me. Something in my life changed drastically and it affected my moods drastically. It only makes sense now that I see it from this side. I don’t know why I didn’t make the connection before.

I see my neurologist about the seizures on the 8th of October and this is a new person whom I am hoping will take these seizures a little more seriously.

Bipolar Flashbacks

I needed to write a memoir/non-fiction essay for my Non-fiction Workshop class that started this week. Since I happen to be in a mixed state and more manic than depressed, why not add fuel to the fire, eh?

I decided to write about my first real manic episode followed by the crash, or depression, and then getting diagnosed with Bipolar. I thought it would be easy.

There was so much that happened during those eight days without sleep that I didn’t remember… probably didn’t want to remember. But I brought it out into the light. Not all of it made it into the essay, of course, but it’s all fresh in my head nonetheless. So that’s not really helping my mixed mood much.

I am blasting Blue October, drinking diet Coke, and looking for shit to do. I want to get out of the house tonight and so does hubby but the movies haven’t changed at the drive-ins in weeks except for the Robin Williams tribute movies and he already said no to going to see the UFC fight at Buffalo Wild Wings. He doesn’t really want to go to Burlington which really limits us.

I guess I’m staying home and making Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, maybe I will read if my mind will let me.

Mania AND Depression… at the SAME TIME!

So, when you’re Bipolar, you get mania and depression, up and down, the cycle of your life. Right? But what happens when you’re in between mania and depression, wouldn’t you just be normal, without experiencing the effects of either one? Sometimes that happens, yes. But sometimes what happens is something called a “mixed state” and in that state a Bipolar will feel the effects of being both depressed and manic. This is where I’m at right now.

How did I get here? I’ll tell you.

I felt off, like I was starting to feel down, starting last weekend, but there were no reasons for me to be feeling that way and my medications have all been working fine so I thought it would pass. Then by Tuesday I felt even more unmotivated and worthless, but I didn’t just want to lie in bed and stare blankly at the ceiling like I usually do when I get like that. I had energy. By Thursday (this) afternoon the feelings of both depression and mania were in full swing.

It’s like wanting to crawl under the covers and cry, but then beat the crap out of your pillows at the same time. It forces me to do things like clean out enormous and hideously packed closets and go through all my clothes to get rid of the ones I don’t wear or don’t fit me (all the while forcing my husband to do this with me, who is not Bipolar, and certainly nowhere near manic) and then I’m up making French toast at midnight because I saw it on TV. And at any second while all this is happening I could just break down and cry because I’m a total mess inside.

I see my case manager tomorrow at noon. This is the first time she will have to see me having any real issues mentally so I don’t know what to expect from her. I hope she’s helpful. ALL kinds of anxiety going on about that meeting. That is definitely not helping me right now.

I should try to get at least some sleep. Even just resting is better than running at full speed all night. It’s the thoughts while lying there not sleeping that are the problem. 🙁

Manic Moods… Wednesday? My To-Do List!

Okay, so the song is really “Manic Monday” but I think I’m having a manic Wednesday. At least, that’s what it feels like at the moment. It didn’t start out this way but I’m starting to get that extra burst of energy and that feeling like I could take on the world. I know I can’t, but maybe I’ll just start with taking on my to-do list?

So what’s on this to-do list? Well, there’s a lot of homework. I may have technically graduated, but I still have classes until the end of August. It’s a weird feeling. For homework reading, I have a 40 page “novella” to read called The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad, a chapter on plotting to read from Master Class in Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway, and Other Greats (I LOVE this textbook), and a short story called “Steal Small” by Caitlin Horrocks. Quite a bit of reading, eh? Then I have to write a discussion post for the week based on the short story and its plot, and respond to at least two others’ posts. And I have to write a fiction short story of no more than 1,500 words focusing on the plot.

Whew! That’s a lot. And that’s just my homework! I’m also in the process of judging a poetry contest over at Writing.Com and I have reviews to do for a group over there, too. Oh, and I’m reading Sense and Sensibility  and Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.).

So maybe I should be in one of my manic moods for a day or two to help me get all of this work done! It sure couldn’t hurt!

It’s Been a While!

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. So much has happened since the last time, too!

My doc added a new med (well, an old med, as I was on it before) to my medication stack before. I think I might’ve mentioned it. Anyway, he’s been slowly increasing that (it’s Lithium, by the way, the gold standard in Bipolar treatment) and soon he will start to decrease the risperidone, which is what I had been on before as a mood stabilizer. I am hoping all of this goes smoothly, as I can’t really afford any more manic or depressive episodes like I was having before.

Class is going well right now. We’re in week 3 of the 8 week class and I’m all caught up. I have two more classes after this and then they will send me my degree in the mail (I have to take them both at the same time – it was a stipulation of my walking in the graduation ceremony last weekend). And yup, you read that right! I graduated! Well, sort of. You know what I mean. 😀 Wanna see a picture?

Krysha's Graduation

Krysha’s Graduation

Yup, that’s me and hubby outside after the ceremony. There were over 1,300 people graduating so it took a while!

Oh, and before I forget, I have a flash fiction piece published! You can read all about it HERE. Don’t forget to tell me what you think of it!

Back In The Bipolar Swing of Things

So I’m trying to get back into the swing of things around the house and in my life in general.

Since our roommate moved out, I moved my office up to the spare room. It looks nice up there and I even have room for a reading chair in my office! I think I need to find a really comfortable chair, no matter what it looks like. I can always put a blanket over it, you know? I guess it shouldn’t be so comfortable that I fall asleep in it while I’m supposed to be reading for school or research though. That would be bad. *laugh*

We had my mother-in-law and her husband over for dinner last night and that was nice. It was great to visit. One more thing that is “normal” to help me get back into things and feel somewhat okay about things. We had corned beef and cabbage with potatoes. I know, it’s a little late for that considering St. Paddy’s day was last month, but we had it last month, too. *laugh* It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals so he bought two corned beef briskets when they went on sale and I froze one.

And I’m back to my volunteer post on Tuesday’s from 1-6 at the writing center. That’s where I am now writing this actually. It’s quiet here. I don’t think many people want to venture out in the rain to come in today. The rain is nasty, down-pouring at times. I hope it lets up by the time I have to drive home. I am glad that I am back to my post though. I need to get out of the house sometimes, you know?

Oh, and my birthday was on the 11th and my hubby bought me a new phone! He bought me the LG G2 and I love it. I didn’t even have a smart phone before I got this. The last time I had a smart phone, I had an iPhone 3GS, so you can say it’s been awhile, but this phone is just amazing. I love all the features of it. Maybe I will do a review of what I like about it (and don’t like – there’s some of that, too) in another post.

So I think I am going to get back to my writing. I have four stories to write in two weeks if I want to finish my Intermediate Fiction Writing Workshop class in time. The professor said that she could give me a one week extension if I needed it but I’d rather not extend the class into my next one if possible. So I have a lot to do!

So my bipolar swing is headed toward normal and that’s where I like it. Stay tuned for more fun!

A Few Days Spent Away for Bipolar Mania

Hello, Everyone. It’s been a while since I have blogged and I’d like to let you know why.

After my last post, I had started getting manic. Usually if I get manic for a day or two it’s not a problem but this wasn’t going away. In fact, it was getting worse. My case manager suggested a stay at a rest bed.

A rest bed is a place where you can leave all of your responsibilities at home, for the most part, and just come with your pillow and your meds (and clothes, of course) and rest. You visit with the staff there and spend time doing relaxing activities like puzzles, coloring mandalas, playing card games like Skip-Bo and Phase 10, and watching TV shows.

Every evening the staff made dinner for the two people there (of which I was one) and it was nice not to have to cook, although I did help clean up. I was on my own for breakfast and lunch although there was a fully stocked kitchen at my disposal.

I was there from Tuesday afternoon to Friday afternoon and I have to say that my visit there helped immensely. I am feeling much better and the new meds that the psychiatrist put me on to supplement the ones I’m already on will be helping even more in the coming days.

Bipolar mania can be very dangerous if it’s not handled properly and if the right precautions aren’t taken to prevent impulse decisions and injury. I feel I took the proper steps to make sure I was looked over by the right people while I was in this situation and I saw my doctor immediately.

Now that I’m feeling more normal, it’s time to get caught up on all the homework I missed due to being manic for so long!