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Old May 26th, 2014, 01:13 AM   #1
Hallie
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Default I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

So I've just been diagnosed with Bipolar NOS and I don't really know much about it, so can someone maybe tell me a little bit about it and your experience with it? Also what kinds of medications have you used and how well do they work for you?
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Old May 26th, 2014, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

NOS is a pretty grey area; do you know what lead them to choose BD-NOS for your diagnosis so I can get a clearer idea of the symptoms you experience?

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II nine years ago and I'm always available to talk. I'm also third generation bipolar so I have both first-hand experience with BD-II and second-hand experience with BD-I.

The biggest thing I'd recommend for the newly-diagnosed is to start keeping a mood diary, or at least pay close attention to your cycles to see if any patterns exist. You want to figure yourself out basically. Learn the warning signs for a new cycle setting in, know if your symptoms get more intense around your menstrual cycle (mine do), figure out how long each of your phases tend to last, and learn how to recognize each. Awareness is quite critical: being able to tell yourself "I may not be thinking rationally right now because I have this, this, and this symptom of mania."

I have been on many medications and while my psychiatrist probably wasn't the best, I ended up making the decision to stop medication. I am finding myself in the position now however that, while secondary was easier to deal with, uni is proving impossible with the combination of my depression and ADHD symptoms so I'm trying to find a psychiatrist again currently. My warning is just make sure you try all your alternate treatment options before medication. If you can deal in day-to-day life with just therapy, do it. Try CBT as well; it can be difficult to figure out but I use what I learned in it pretty much every day and it's a lifesaver. Then if therapy isn't enough, medication is a solid option. I just say this because I grew up with a parent who's been medicated for bipolar disorder for decades and her brain doesn't work like it used to. She has permanent memory issues, can't work any more and was denied for disability. She can't stop though, because her symptoms are now too much to deal with without the medication. She does cope well on the medication though. Not to scare you. I've just never heard them warn that the drugs can have long-term affects on your brain chemistry. The fashion nowadays seems to be to shove pills down everyone's throats immediately.


And I'm sorry I didn't build your walls. And I'm sorry I had to go and fall.
And I'm sorry I had the whole thing wrong. Well, I guess I'm the sorriest of all.
And I'm sorry that you are feeling small. And I'm sorry that I'm not used to crawling.
And I'm sorry the writing's on the wall. Well, I guess I'm the sorriest of all.

Last edited by Syvelocin; May 26th, 2014 at 06:44 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2014, 09:58 AM   #3
Hallie
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Default Re: I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syvelocin View Post
NOS is a pretty grey area; do you know what lead them to choose BD-NOS for your diagnosis so I can get a clearer idea of the symptoms you experience?

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II nine years ago and I'm always available to talk. I'm also third generation bipolar so I have both first-hand experience with BD-II and second-hand experience with BD-I.

The biggest thing I'd recommend for the newly-diagnosed is to start keeping a mood diary, or at least pay close attention to your cycles to see if any patterns exist. You want to figure yourself out basically. Learn the warning signs for a new cycle setting in, know if your symptoms get more intense around your menstrual cycle (mine do), figure out how long each of your phases tend to last, and learn how to recognize each. Awareness is quite critical: being able to tell yourself "I may not be thinking rationally right now because I have this, this, and this symptom of mania."

I have been on many medications and while my psychiatrist probably wasn't the best, I ended up making the decision to stop medication. I am finding myself in the position now however that, while secondary was easier to deal with, uni is proving impossible with the combination of my depression and ADHD symptoms so I'm trying to find a psychiatrist again currently. My warning is just make sure you try all your alternate treatment options before medication. If you can deal in day-to-day life with just therapy, do it. Try CBT as well; it can be difficult to figure out but I use what I learned in it pretty much every day and it's a lifesaver. Then if therapy isn't enough, medication is a solid option. I just say this because I grew up with a parent who's been medicated for bipolar disorder for decades and her brain doesn't work like it used to. She has permanent memory issues, can't work any more and was denied for disability. She can't stop though, because her symptoms are now too much to deal with without the medication. She does cope well on the medication though. Not to scare you. I've just never heard them warn that the drugs can have long-term affects on your brain chemistry. The fashion nowadays seems to be to shove pills down everyone's throats immediately.
Thank you so much--hearing your view on treatment has given me a new perspective. I'm currently taking medication for it and I suspect it of killing my creativity, which is my life, and that makes me really depressed. It also makes me bored with just about everything. I haven't had a manic episode (although I did have a hypomanic episode) while I've been on it, but I've only been on it for about a month and a half. I'm thinking that keeping a mood journal is a good idea and I'm going to start doing that, and I'll look into CBT and see if my psych can hook me up. Thank you so much for everything. It's helped loads.
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Old June 14th, 2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syvelocin View Post
NOS is a pretty grey area; do you know what lead them to choose BD-NOS for your diagnosis so I can get a clearer idea of the symptoms you experience?

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II nine years ago and I'm always available to talk. I'm also third generation bipolar so I have both first-hand experience with BD-II and second-hand experience with BD-I.

The biggest thing I'd recommend for the newly-diagnosed is to start keeping a mood diary, or at least pay close attention to your cycles to see if any patterns exist. You want to figure yourself out basically. Learn the warning signs for a new cycle setting in, know if your symptoms get more intense around your menstrual cycle (mine do), figure out how long each of your phases tend to last, and learn how to recognize each. Awareness is quite critical: being able to tell yourself "I may not be thinking rationally right now because I have this, this, and this symptom of mania."

I have been on many medications and while my psychiatrist probably wasn't the best, I ended up making the decision to stop medication. I am finding myself in the position now however that, while secondary was easier to deal with, uni is proving impossible with the combination of my depression and ADHD symptoms so I'm trying to find a psychiatrist again currently. My warning is just make sure you try all your alternate treatment options before medication. If you can deal in day-to-day life with just therapy, do it. Try CBT as well; it can be difficult to figure out but I use what I learned in it pretty much every day and it's a lifesaver. Then if therapy isn't enough, medication is a solid option. I just say this because I grew up with a parent who's been medicated for bipolar disorder for decades and her brain doesn't work like it used to. She has permanent memory issues, can't work any more and was denied for disability. She can't stop though, because her symptoms are now too much to deal with without the medication. She does cope well on the medication though. Not to scare you. I've just never heard them warn that the drugs can have long-term affects on your brain chemistry. The fashion nowadays seems to be to shove pills down everyone's throats immediately.
Wow- thanks for the bit about it getting intense around your menstrual cycle, that explains a lot for me, actually. I tend to experience delusions, or be extremely suicidal for minor reasons (such as the dogs barking too much, which bothers me significantly more than it probably would a normal person otherwise, but wouldn't make me suicidal on a normal day, maybe just trigger severe anxiety, or a panic attack.) when I'm on my period, and I'm kind of like a hormonal person on crack- either I cry nonstop violently (loudly and intensely- I don't usually make noise when I cry) or I am ANGRY at everything. For no reason! Like, borderline homicidal.

I feel like I personally will not be able to cope without medication, because of the severity of my emotions, along with other mental illness. (Because you could practically throw the DSM at me and go "this is what's wrong with you". I wish I was lying when I listed my 'disorders', I really do.) I mean, my inability to function as a normal person kind of has two sides- crippling anxiety, and bipolar. Especially because my depressive periods are long, hard, and intense. (Though the funny thing is, more recently, I've had very short episodes, and mixed episodes, they're just very intense. And I've read that it could mean that my bipolar is really severe? But I've also read that it could mean that I'm just a teenager, and it's NOT as severe? Which also seems to be the consensus of my doctor and my old psychologist, because well, I can't exactly tell them the extent of my problems without them placing me on close watch, or possibly even hospitalizing me. It could just be because I can't tell them everything yet. I mean, due to the way the US so wonderfully works, I'm afraid to tell them certain things altogether, but we'll see.) My anxiety is supposed to be helped by the medication I'm taking? (Depakote, 500mg) It's not. I mean, maybe a teensy weensy little bit, but really, it's not.

Not to mention that it isn't just run of the mill anxiety, or even panic attacks that I deal with- I'm OCD, I have social anxiety, I have paranoid delusions at times when I have panic attacks. (One time, recently, I couldn't go to sleep, I started to have a panic attack, and I tried to look into the hotel hallway [I was staying out of town overnight for the first time in almost a year] and spotted a security camera [or at least what I thought was one], and I just lost it. I couldn't let it "see" me, and I couldn't let smoke detectors see me, I couldn't let the fucking fire sprinkler see me- neither of which have cameras, as was explained to me ad nauseam by my stepdad [unfortunately, my mom, who is a little more sympathetic and tactful when dealing with me couldn't be there]- I had to hide in a wardrobe for like half an hour. The ironing board had little burn marks on it, which vaguely looked like blood in the low light [I had my phone], so I couldn't even be comfortable in there. See, I knew it was irrational, but that didn't stop me from flipping out over it.)

You could medicate the anxiety away (you'd probably have to heavily sedate me- nothing I've ever tried for anxiety has done a thing) and I'd still be generally uncomfortable with life. Not as uncomfortable as I am now possibly, but the habits of being uncomfortable with everything are pretty deeply engrained.

I feel kind of fearful that this is it, and I'm never going to be a 'normal person' ever again. (I made a lot of progress last year, and even worked full time for nearly a year. It was a highly stressful job, and I was promoted way too soon, but even with this in mind, I lasted 11 solid months before my body broke down and I had to be on medical leave, which made my mental symptoms worse and left me practically bedridden [again], and eventually just ended up quitting.) 2014, and the end of 2013 have been the hardest parts of my life, honestly, even with the addition of medication, occasional therapy (I live in a small town. It would be literally impossible to have the therapy I need, which is probably anywhere from weekly to bi-weekly.) I'm to the point where I not only have no life, I can't even cope with simple things, like finding food for myself more than maybe once a day, or playing a videogame I like. It's too much for me. I'm starting to feel like a big baby, basically. Totally useless, needs to be watched and cared for every second of the day. I've kept wanting them to put me on more potent meds, just so I wouldn't have to deal with it as much, but I know that's only wishful thinking.

I don't mean to hijack the thread, I just kind of needed to get that off my chest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallie View Post
So I've just been diagnosed with Bipolar NOS and I don't really know much about it, so can someone maybe tell me a little bit about it and your experience with it? Also what kinds of medications have you used and how well do they work for you?
I don't have NOS- er, at least not that I am aware of, but then again, I don't have a solid diagnosis. The consensus is that I'm bipolar, and ok, that's a problem, we need to treat the symptoms. Which'd be great, except I'm now out of therapy because my psychologist determined I needed someone...Who knew more about my condition, could be available more, etc. And the medication does help- it's definitely something- but I've still been suicidal, I'm now struggling with mania (and extreme anxiety, which is a troubling combination- I either feel really good, or I have so much energy that I eat myself alive with worry, fear, and panic.). I wish it was at least making my symptoms even less severe than they are, but maybe I'm expecting too much.

My diagnosis is extremely recent- I think I was diagnosed in March or April. I've only been on depakote, and it's helped a teensy weensy bit, but I feel that I need more. I'm probably just expecting too much out of it.

Er, as far as my experience goes, I feel like I've had symptoms relating to bipolar since I was 12-14. Back then, I thought I was schizophrenic, because at times, I'd have auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, etc. I was also beginning to be severely depressed. I think it really started forming into what I know it as today when I was 15 or so. I wouldn't need sleep for days, sometimes I'd clean the house for no reason, I'd just feel really good. I couldn't do school, but I have severe problems with ADHD, and online school just didn't work for me. But then, my mom found out about my boyfriend (wasn't, and am still not allowed to date.), and pulled me out of school (away from my online friends who attended school with me), and I fell into depression for a solid 8 months or so. Then, I had a solid two or so months of pure...Adrenaline. It was like I was on way too much speed. I was artistic (I made obscene amounts of art, and they were actually relatively good, too. I'd be able to spend hours in a row on art projects- I completed pieces that took almost 30 hours in as little as three days or so. I didn't really take breaks either, it'd just be when I got kicked off the computer.), I was also kind of a brooding douchebag, I didn't sleep, I was able to ride 6-10 miles a day on my brand-new bike out of NOWHERE (seriously, I didn't even work my way up to it, I was bedridden, and then I was riding my bike across town to go to the library), I did an entire unit of school (a big one, health) in a week, and was just generally accomplishing insane things out of nowhere. Then, depression hit me again, and lasted for a few more months until I got a job, then I slowly kind of started to hit a level period for a couple months or so. Then, I was working full time (and more- I'd work 50 hour weeks, I'd work as many hours in a day as they'd let me- as many as 14 or 15. I was obsessed with getting a fat paycheck.), I was also commuting 4 miles a day on my bike, I slept 3-5 hours if any, I was tutoring and volunteering as a TA in multiple schools, I'd run on the high school track every night- as many as three miles, in the middle of summer-, I just felt really "can do, will do". I started doing badly in my relationship, I was engaged to the boyfriend my mom separated me from at that point, but I ended up breaking up with him, getting together with one of my coworkers. Then, depression hit me. I was wiped out from extreme amounts of stress as a result of no store manager (and no solid "boss" to answer to, but a position of responsibility in the store- you may think being further up the line is more helpful in that sort of case, it's not. I'd rather've been a measly "crew member", and not've had to worry about the affairs of the store.), being promoted way too soon- and being constantly blamed and scrutinized for it. My hours were upped, and those hours were made mandatory. I was between being blamed for not knowing everything I was supposed to know when it wasn't my fault, being in charge of the store during rush periods out of nowhere, having to pick up the slack for/set an example for crew members, train crew members (and not in as thorough fashion as I'd've liked), and general chaos. I was on an even more physically intensive and emotionally intensive schedule than I was when I was manic- and I couldn't deal with it, because I wasn't manic! I also went through a miscarriage with my partner, which was devastating to both of us, and I started to abuse inhalants, because I really wanted to drink, but I was trying so desperately to stay sober. (I'm an alcoholic) I was suicidal. My drug abuse gradually got worse. I ended up having an accident at work, and was put on medical leave. I had a short, but intense manic episode where I smoked a lot, nearly killed myself 'experimenting' a couple times, didn't sleep a wink, and ended up becoming so deluded one night that I broke up with my partner over text, took a lot of ibuprofen because, in not so direct words, 'I was god, it couldn't hurt me'. Then, I had what was probably a mixed episode- I felt like I was still manic, but I also had severe problems with feeling suicidal, or depressed out of nowhere. It was confusing, and I was scared to death, because I felt unpredictable. Then, depression hit again for a few months, I ended up doing some damage to myself due to a suicide attempt. I relapsed, and got drunk again. Recently, I've been feeling manic again. With the exception of yesterday, I've needed little to no sleep again, and I got severely drunk and ran off into a park a mile away from home a couple nights ago. I've been really sick since then, which has thrown me off a bit, but I've had my moments of serious productivity, or unexplained physical ability, along with that 'high' feeling, so I know that I'm heading back into a manic episode- possibly the worst one yet (which is frightening to say the least).

You can ask me questions if you want/need, but I can't guarantee that I can help, just a warning. Hope this somehow helps.


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Old July 27th, 2014, 12:19 PM   #5
Benjie95
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Default Re: I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

I've been on a variety of medications. I've been on Olanzapine. Fluoxetine, Abilify and Escitalopram.

Olanzapine is an antipsychotic used for mood stabilization in bipolar disorder. I've found that it has been really good and getting me to sleep as it makes you really drowsy. Since I've been on it I've been really stable but it does make people gain weight.

I've found that Fluoxetine which is an antidepressant has worked really well for me and has given me no side effects. I've not been depressed since starting it.

I'm currently taking Escitalopram and have noticed that I have a much decreased sex drive but it has helped a lot with my anxiety so I'm willing to put up with decreased sexual pleasure.

I didn't really think a lot of abilify, it didn't really do a lot for me.

I've also been on Lorazepam and diazepam which are both benzodiazepines and work really well at keeping anxiety down. However, they are addictive and your body gets used to them so you have to have your dose upped every now and then. I found that I've had really bad withdrawal symptoms after coming of them.
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