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Old November 14th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #1
Iris
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Red face I need advice...

A little while ago I got diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder. My mood can swing drastically 1 to 7 or so times a day. Usually it's no more than two. Sometimes they're ok-I'll feel strong and powerful, and I get very hyper. Other times I'll get furious, so angry I can't contain it. Last time I had an anger swing, I tried to rip myself apart with my hands, because I couldn't handle that fury; I wanted to get it out of me. Needless to say, it didn't work. Like all of my swings, it passed. Most of the time though, I get depressed. So, so horribly depressed. I lose any energy to do anything. All my faults echo in my head, while other voices cry things like "stupid, worthless, monster, selfish, pathetic, weak, loser, idiot, fuck-up, nothing." And I always end up believing those voices. The depression is the worst; unbearable. I always want to die, I almost always consider overdosing. I've already overdosed once. I...might do it again. I don't know. I don't want to. But when I'm furious or horribly depressed, I don't care.

I'm on anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. I have the most incredible supportive loving boyfriend in existence. I love him and he loves me. He helps me through all my hard times. I just wish I could do more. I'm always so helpless during my swings. I try to get through them, wait until they pass. The bad ones rarely last more than 2 hours, but those 2 hours are brutal. Whenever I try googling 'tips for rapid cycling bipolar disorder', I get nothing. I doubt I'll get anything here. But I'm desperate, and have nothing to lose.

So...If anyway can give me some advice on how to deal with this...I'd really appreciate it.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #2
Syvelocin
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Default Re: I need advice...

I have Bipolar 1, just so you know, that is where my expertise lies. But I can try to tell you anything I know through my experience and being surrounded by bipolar people.

Meds are essential if you can't cope on your own. Completely essential. I can't stress this enough. I'm very hypocritical right now, but really, if your disorder is that severe you really have to be on meds and hang in there. Never forget them, and keep holding on until you can get the proper balance of drugs. This takes a very long time, as my mum has only just gotten rather steady with her meds. She takes so many medications though, some are for physical issues, but the others, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anxiety meds, then she has other meds to counteract symptoms she has. Figuring out exactly what combination of meds to be on and the dosage of each is a long and gruelling process, but it's worth it once it's settled.

I said I'm hypocritical because I'm currently unmedicated. Quit all medication after my last hospital stay. However, my mum would have never let me do this if I wasn't doing very well, and with the promise that instead I would see a professional weekly. I don't like therapy and it's a time-hog and money-waster (the psychologist I see is not covered by my insurance) but I still honour the promise.

You have to be very attuned to your emotions. If you haven't been already, pay very close attention to them. Try to recall anything at all that happened in conjunction with them, and look for similarities. The key to bipolar disorder other than meds is knowing you and your brain. If you know, like me, that you are more prone to erratic behaviour around your period, plan for that. If you know that when you don't take your vitamins you have more issues with psychosis, remember to take your vitamins. Avoid outside factors that tend to affect your already chaotic moods. Sometimes, you just have to leave the room when you're not getting on with people. As you can imagine, my home life was very messy as a kid, everyone having bipolar disorder and all. My dad's long-since had it under control so he wasn't usually the issue, though sometimes he'd be part of it as well, but it was all my mum and I pushing each other's buttons and pissing each other off. Loved each other to death, but when I was a kid we were a very volatile mixture.

Dealing with depression, honestly, you just can't let yourself fall victim to that. I know how appealing it is to just stay in bed for days at a time. But you have to find it in you to force yourself to get up and out of the house on those days. In the long run it'll be much better for you.

Find coping mechanisms that work for you. They're different for everyone. I, for instance, love taking walks at night. Especially in the winter, going out in the frigid weather and taking a brisk walk can really cool you down. I have liked cold showers for the same reason. I like to vent to my girlfriend over a hot cup of tea as well. A loving significant other is such a blessing, you probably know. Someone like that who really cares for you that much unconditionally, it's a very useful resource. I'm glad you're taking advantage of that. A support system is absolutely necessary. I personally have issues with feeling too dependent, as I often am in relationships, but it's important to remember that though you can be high-maintenance, you aren't as much of a burden as you think you are to them.

Mmm, that's all I have for now. If you need anything, don't hesitate to contact me.


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; November 14th, 2011 at 10:19 PM.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #3
Iris
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Thanks so much for replying; this is incredibly helpful .

I'm still new to the meds-I just got put on mood stabilizers about 2 weeks ago, because the anti-depressants I had been taking for about 2 months really fucked up my moods, and caused my bipolar disorder to become more expressed and no longer bearable. I'm not even at the right dose yet-I have to slowly climb from 25 mg to 100 mg. I'm at 50 mg now. So I'm trying to deal with the swings as best as I can until the meds begin to kick in.

As for being in tune to my emotions, that I'm good at. But it feels like a curse. I always know when a mood is coming. I can sort of sense it's presence in my head, and feel as it slowly takes over me. It's such a terrible thing, sitting there helpless, knowing what's about to happen to me, just waiting for the utter misery to hit. The basic patterns I've discerned so far is 1. after school I usually get hit by a depression swing 2. on days when I don't have big, time-consuming things like school, I swing much more than otherwise. Not always for bad , but there's inevitably a bad swing in the mix sometime. Sometimes on those days, I can have 4 or 5 drastic mood swings before noon. It's pretty exhausting. The thing is, there's really not much I can do to remedy this, to find a way to stop it or get help. I need to go to school, and on days that I don't have school I still have loads to do, just not with the distracting rigor of a school day.

The difference between me and you, though, is that my mood swings are relatively quick. They don't last days, but hours. So I'll just collapse on my bed too depressed to move for an hour or so, and then I'll slowly get better. The bad side of this is that it happens every day, and usually more than once a day, which is very draining, and harder to control. They can be utterly random at times.

As for coping mechanisms...this is where I fail. When I'm depressed or angry, I just can't get myself to do anything. Walking or painting or whatever...it's laughable to try that when I'm in those moods. The only thing I did for a while was cut, which helped, but recently I've stopped after a bad experience, which caused me to get disgusted by cutting. So I have nothing, in that sense. But yes, I have an incredible significant other too , and I'm unbelievably grateful for that. He's saved my life multiple times.

It's just: today I had a mood swing during my Psychology class (ironic), and I was alone in a class I couldn't afford to miss, and it was so terrible. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to die right then and there, and there was nothing I could think of doing that would make me feel better. Luckily, soon after the class ended my mood shifted back to stable, and I survived the rest of the day, but it got me thinking about how I'm utterly helpless, how I want to be able to feel better on my own... :/
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Old November 17th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #4
Syvelocin
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Default Re: I need advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilys View Post
I'm still new to the meds-I just got put on mood stabilizers about 2 weeks ago, because the anti-depressants I had been taking for about 2 months really fucked up my moods, and caused my bipolar disorder to become more expressed and no longer bearable. I'm not even at the right dose yet-I have to slowly climb from 25 mg to 100 mg. I'm at 50 mg now. So I'm trying to deal with the swings as best as I can until the meds begin to kick in.
Yeah, that's all you really can do while getting settled. And always be as open as possible with your doctor. Anything at all you want to mention, do so. And of course he/she'll keep you on the right track (hopefully). If you don't think they're working, tell him/her, and continue to do so. Make sure they know how they're affecting you. Then they'll accurately be able to say, "Keep holding in there, I want you to wait a bit longer," or "I think we should try a different medication," etc. Rarely do the first meds you're put on end up being the golden ones. I've been through... god... prozac, lamictal, wellbutrin, lexapro, zoloft, remeron, abilify, tegretol, and seroquel. And I didn't stay on any of them, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilys View Post
As for being in tune to my emotions, that I'm good at. But it feels like a curse. I always know when a mood is coming. I can sort of sense it's presence in my head, and feel as it slowly takes over me. It's such a terrible thing, sitting there helpless, knowing what's about to happen to me, just waiting for the utter misery to hit. The basic patterns I've discerned so far is 1. after school I usually get hit by a depression swing 2. on days when I don't have big, time-consuming things like school, I swing much more than otherwise. Not always for bad , but there's inevitably a bad swing in the mix sometime. Sometimes on those days, I can have 4 or 5 drastic mood swings before noon. It's pretty exhausting. The thing is, there's really not much I can do to remedy this, to find a way to stop it or get help. I need to go to school, and on days that I don't have school I still have loads to do, just not with the distracting rigor of a school day.
Very nice that you've already been doing this. Of course, obviously, keep on that. As annoying as it is, it can be a very nice tool for you to take some control over circumstances that leave you rather powerless. Like I said, I used to get into a lot of fights with my mum, and it took right until I left the house before we figured out how to work around it. If I knew she was manic or I knew that I was at risk for being wound up, often I'd just keep to myself. And yeah, I know what you mean. Weekends and summer were always in the danger zone. More time with my family. I'm usually quite all right until it comes to social interaction, and school is social but it's also rather quiet too. So I can relate to how much more of a hurdle time off from school can be. You can't really get away from anything when you're at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilys View Post
The difference between me and you, though, is that my mood swings are relatively quick. They don't last days, but hours. So I'll just collapse on my bed too depressed to move for an hour or so, and then I'll slowly get better. The bad side of this is that it happens every day, and usually more than once a day, which is very draining, and harder to control. They can be utterly random at times.
Mmm, yeah, for me I face sleep deprivation for days and months of lying in bed staring at the wall. I honestly don't know which would be easier to cope with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilys View Post
As for coping mechanisms...this is where I fail. When I'm depressed or angry, I just can't get myself to do anything. Walking or painting or whatever...it's laughable to try that when I'm in those moods. The only thing I did for a while was cut, which helped, but recently I've stopped after a bad experience, which caused me to get disgusted by cutting. So I have nothing, in that sense. But yes, I have an incredible significant other too , and I'm unbelievably grateful for that. He's saved my life multiple times.
Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what that coping mechanism is. I had people urging me left and right to find that coping mechanism while I was cutting and I just couldn't, nothing distracted like self-harm did. But strangely, now I've gotten over it without any of their help. I mean, it might only be temporary, but I've finally been finding those coping mechanisms. You just have to try new things. Sometimes you just have to act natural. I was upset the other day and I felt like taking a shower. So I took a shower. And that worked for me. It probably wasn't the answer to every situation, but that's what I felt like doing and it ended up that it helped. Once you find it though, it may help to create a routine, make it habitual, so when you're upset or depressed you go to it automatically. Like self-harm really. Except something positive. Like, when I was upset, all I was thinking about is cutting. And then now, when I get upset, I have this urge to go outside. Just like that. "Coping mechanism" is scary, I know. You have no clue really. But keep trying things until you find something that works, that's really all I can tell you. And make it a habitual routine when you're cycling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilys View Post
It's just: today I had a mood swing during my Psychology class (ironic), and I was alone in a class I couldn't afford to miss, and it was so terrible. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to die right then and there, and there was nothing I could think of doing that would make me feel better. Luckily, soon after the class ended my mood shifted back to stable, and I survived the rest of the day, but it got me thinking about how I'm utterly helpless, how I want to be able to feel better on my own... :/
That's always hard. Really the only times I've had issues with that, well, most of them were in my English class and that teacher I was really close and open with, so she knew that sometimes I wasn't in a good place and she'd let me leave. Other than that, I've really just sat there doing some of my nervous habits trying to get through it. I had one maths class as well I didn't handle well, but I won't talk about that one.


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.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 06:58 PM   #5
Iris
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Default Re: I need advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syvelocin View Post
Yeah, that's all you really can do while getting settled. And always be as open as possible with your doctor. Anything at all you want to mention, do so. And of course he/she'll keep you on the right track (hopefully). If you don't think they're working, tell him/her, and continue to do so. Make sure they know how they're affecting you. Then they'll accurately be able to say, "Keep holding in there, I want you to wait a bit longer," or "I think we should try a different medication," etc. Rarely do the first meds you're put on end up being the golden ones. I've been through... god... prozac, lamictal, wellbutrin, lexapro, zoloft, remeron, abilify, tegretol, and seroquel. And I didn't stay on any of them, lol.
Ugh pills. I've really begun to hate them. I stopped taking them for about a week after I purposely overdosed, and since then I've been going on and off. I took them 2 days ago, didn't yesterday, I might take them today...I don't know. The thought of going through pill after pill for the rest of my life...I don't know. How are you handling it without pills? What do you think the chances of me surviving without pills are? I hate hate hate the mood swings, but the pills...repulse me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Syvelocin View Post
Very nice that you've already been doing this. Of course, obviously, keep on that. As annoying as it is, it can be a very nice tool for you to take some control over circumstances that leave you rather powerless. Like I said, I used to get into a lot of fights with my mum, and it took right until I left the house before we figured out how to work around it. If I knew she was manic or I knew that I was at risk for being wound up, often I'd just keep to myself. And yeah, I know what you mean. Weekends and summer were always in the danger zone. More time with my family. I'm usually quite all right until it comes to social interaction, and school is social but it's also rather quiet too. So I can relate to how much more of a hurdle time off from school can be. You can't really get away from anything when you're at home.
Sigh. Yeah. This is something I'm going to take a while to perfect, I think, but at least I'm on that road. Figuring out how to work my life around this... :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syvelocin View Post
Mmm, yeah, for me I face sleep deprivation for days and months of lying in bed staring at the wall. I honestly don't know which would be easier to cope with.
I'm glad you're doing so well, though. It gives me hope .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syvelocin View Post
Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what that coping mechanism is. I had people urging me left and right to find that coping mechanism while I was cutting and I just couldn't, nothing distracted like self-harm did. But strangely, now I've gotten over it without any of their help. I mean, it might only be temporary, but I've finally been finding those coping mechanisms. You just have to try new things. Sometimes you just have to act natural. I was upset the other day and I felt like taking a shower. So I took a shower. And that worked for me. It probably wasn't the answer to every situation, but that's what I felt like doing and it ended up that it helped. Once you find it though, it may help to create a routine, make it habitual, so when you're upset or depressed you go to it automatically. Like self-harm really. Except something positive. Like, when I was upset, all I was thinking about is cutting. And then now, when I get upset, I have this urge to go outside. Just like that. "Coping mechanism" is scary, I know. You have no clue really. But keep trying things until you find something that works, that's really all I can tell you. And make it a habitual routine when you're cycling.
Hmm. I'm going to try to find something too.You're right-I'll get used to it. I feel like shit now. I think I'll take a shower soon. That should help.

Thanks again for all the advice. I really appreciate the guidance. <3
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: I need advice...

I know what you mean. My decision to be off pills is now mainly because I don't want to be like my mum, who simply needs to be on medication or she can't function correctly. I never liked myself on pills either, and I was very secure and comfortable with my mental illnesses that I accepted them as a part of me, in their full-glory though.

It varies person to person, my mum, like I said, simply needs her meds at this point, but I've spent a good seventeen years without psych meds and I'm very used to me with my symptoms and dealing with them myself. I'm also very happy with my mental illnesses, wouldn't trade them for the world. Could do without the paranoia and hallucinations though. But I'm getting used to it and getting a good routine down to deal with that.

Ultimately it's your decision. It is a pain in the arse learning to effectively deal with it and continuing to do so. Especially when you have large responsibilities where your disorder just can't be involved. I have to work every day regardless of what my chemical balance is like that day, and I have to show up to rehearsals if I want to stay in my productions and I can't let my phases get in the way of that. It's a large responsibility to commit to dealing without medication, and there's bound to be bumps along the way. There'll always be. You just have to be prepared to take them on.

Whichever you decide, I'll just say the pills won't work if you're only taking them sometimes. Consistent intake will be the most effective. Most drugs take a month or two to actually start making a difference, and when you don't take them consistently, it affects that amount of time it takes for them to start working. Always give them a chance, I have to say. Unless, of course, you're not choosing the meds.


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.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 07:21 PM   #7
Iris
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Default Re: I need advice...

I'm going to stick with the pills. I've committed myself to taking them daily, as much I hate them. I'm going to figure this out. I don't want some fucking mental illness to control me.

Thanks so much for your help .
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Old January 4th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: I need advice...

My mum was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when i was 10, so i know what the mood swings are like since i suffered the wrath of them. The only advise i think i could give you is something stupid: but it helped my mum. get a piece of cardboard and write as hard as you can into it all of your bad thoughts, then rip them up as much as you can. Just stick with your medication and everything will even itself out. Good luck

But you'd have to walk a thousand miles
In my shoes, just to see, What it's like, to be me
I'll be you, let's trade shoes Just to see what it'd be like To feel you're pain, you feel mine
Go inside each other's minds, Just to see what we'd find. Look at shit through each others eyes
Don't let them say you ain't beautiful
They can all get fucked, just stay true to you.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: I need advice...

hello there
alothough i cannot give you any advice i can deeply relate to what your feeling, and wish you, the best of luck! <3
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