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Old July 20th, 2017, 10:47 PM   #4
Join Date: November 3, 2013
Location: Texas
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Default Re: I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

Hi Yugen,
Wow, it seems like you were well on your way to finding the right Med combination for yourself, but then your support system was pulled out from under you with the move. That really sucks.

The rapid cycle of your diagnosis, semi-treatment with antidepressants, a serious attempt at treatment with the three Meds makes me feel very concerned for you.

I STRONGLY urge you to be proactive & find a psychiatrist & a talk therapist in your community or as close as possible to your location. The right support team, as you previously discovered can make a huge difference in getting you to optimum mental status.

More than anything, bipolar patients are fragile. The Meds can have an impact on the roller coaster of hypomania-depression-hypomania.....etc. But IMO, you need to find a good therapist that can help you identify your "triggers" that may initiate the mood swings.

I have a sister with bipolar type 2, which is sometimes called Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder. Her mood can have a radical swing within minutes. The information that has been most beneficial is identifying her triggers- what events cause the shift from sweet older sister to shrew to locked in her bedroom depression.

The therapist helped us identify several triggers:
- any significant change in her routine. If one of my brothers & his family are coming to visit, the stress of the additional stimulation of extra people in the house, triggers the shrew.
- Loud noises over an extended period of time: parties with 20+ people talking & loud music playing causes her to shift. She does much better with a small group in a relatively quiet place.

There are several more, but this might give you an idea. Identifying her triggers- & a new one can pop up at any time. It has taken almost 3 years of individual & family therapy to get this specific.

Bottom line: I'm sorry you have this chemical disorder, but you, with support, can keep it from becoming the dominating factor in your life. The best comparison I have heard is with Diabetes. It is a chemical disorder in your body that you can learn to control with proper medical & lifestyle management. You are no more mentally ill than the diabetic. Blood sugar fluctuations can change the behavior of the diabetic, just as brain chemical fluctuation influence your behavior. It is not your fault!

As you can tell, I am very passionate about this topic. With my sister, I watched her "self medicate" with alcohol & other drugs, then she could shift to drugs that were stimulants when she was depressed. I am so thankful, over the last three years, to have my big sis back!

Yes, it is a life long illness, but yes, you can develop some control over it when the brain decides to change chemical levels.

Please be proactive & take care of yourself,

Some days you're the bug;
some days you're the windshield.
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