Male, 38, diagnosed 7 years ago with type II Bi-P, lithium since then.
I am also a victim of a bad childhood / parents and an ex-wife to rival satan herself.
Never felt I fitted the illness or diagnosis accurately. (totally aside from the classic avoidance issue).
Repeatedly questioned my P-Doc and the Medications prescribed. Additional meds used to support the lithium never had 'quite the right' effect on me.
I read, talked, listened and researched all I could regarding Bi-Polar, on BOTH sides of the pond. This resulted in even more questions than answers.
My decision was simple. Change what I could to attempt to improve my quality of life (and that of my family).
I found a new P-Doc - intelligent, understanding and open minded enough to not only listen to what I had to say but decide to help me any way she could. Fully accepting that if after a period of time I STILL presented as a BI-P sufferer then I would return to the meds ( but NOT lithium). She also has introduced a program of counselling to start to unearth the details from my childhood with a view to ridding my system of the memories.
I have the unerring support of the most amazing woman on this planet (or any other) my future wife. Without whom I would NOT be here now. She is not only my life, but she has become my support network and my back up if anything starts getting 'kinda squirrely'. She is my 'point of reference' for what is acceptable within our home/ relationship/ society.
Introduction over. I will attempt to post an update (when relevent) with any changes to my overall situation. This will commence with my next posting which will include an accurate picture of my current situation.
I really hope this thread will prove just as helpful and informative to others as my last.
Last edited by Hedgehog No 1; 02-20-2005 at 11:11 AM.
My biggest problem is the lack of personal reference for normality*
Having been the recipient** of lithium in large quantities, I have experienced an 'altered' mental state for so long, my memories simply cannot recall the required information prior to my diagnosis.
This very 'lack of personal reference' is a cause for my confusion. The times are many when I am literally stuck as to what to say or do in a given situation, for fear of offending or upsetting or angering someone. A current reaction to my misunderstood character/personality. (which I consider acceptable).***
Once I can build up enough 'points of reference' it should make my progress with my current situation a little easier on ALL those around me. So I hope, anyway.
I also suffer with some side-efects of withdrawal from the lithium. Even though this was achieved under medical supervision and over a longer than recommended withdrawal time span than advised.
The good side is that my very thought process has started returning to its former state. Essentially...active...I now posess the ability to think clearly concerning such topics as returning to my home-study course to achieve my goal of a Physics Degree.
* I know the very mention of the word can 'trigger' people, but, right now I am trying to learn what is normal, for 'normal' people. My current defenition of 'normal' is a person who is NOT currently diagnosed with ANY mental illness OR the recipient of ANY mood altering medication.
** Resisting temptation to use words like sufferer/victim/ginea pig...etc
*** It is me after all that has changed. NOT those around me.
Last edited by Hedgehog No 1; 02-20-2005 at 11:36 AM.
1) SEX* - Being VERY carefull how I present this information - My sex drive has increased. Quite a lot. If that is down to generally feeling better in myself, or if it is the lack of meds in my system, I'm not sure.
2) I am generally more relaxed. I laugh and play with both the kids and Carol a lot more. My 'normal' position of existing in the 'depressed state' of being Bi-P, appears to have moved up the scale a few notches to a situation closer to other people's definition of 'day to day life'.
3) I am physically more active than at ANY time over the last 7 years. I can organise more and better than previously capable. I have set about a number of tasks both within the house and outside interests.
4) DOWN SIDE - I am over-cautious when I get 'stuck into' something. Constantly reassessing myself for signs of 'hypomania' onset.
5) So far - so good.
* ONLY mentioned as a medical reference point. Usually a common sign of the onset of a 'manic' episode in BI-P sufferers. In this case the degree of frequency is not considered high (by medical definition).
I have the same problem and at times I wonder what is normal. I have been told by my wife that at times my mood changes and I am unaware of this. I am constantly checking myself and re-checking myself.
Have you done anything to replace some of the salts you lost by coming off the lithium? Just a thougt. My other thought is have you had your thyroid checked since you ended the Lithium? The last time I had unexplained sores on my face and neck it was causes by my thyroid being off. They were like big pimples but that's not what the were.
Thanks Jamie, I was suffering with the dreaded 'hyperthyroidism' a while ago. I did have a full set of bloods tested and that showed everything had settled down. However, as a precaution, I am scheduled for another test soon.
I find it interesting that your description also accurately describes the problem I have...???
Hence the NEED for more OPEN discussion on things like symptoms and side-effects, to increase the awareness of ALL people affected by either the illness or the meds.
Hedge, I just went back and TRIED to read O.L.E. One, but alas, not able to concentrate long enough, plus it was quite long. I did read some very good points and I'm glad all went well for you but I've got some questions, for you or anyone else.
After reading that and some other posts concerning BP being overdiagnosed, I find myself thinking that maybe I might not be BP. I don't know if it was the comment that even "normal" people have good and bad days, I start thinking what if I was experiencing "normal" good and bad days? I then start thinking about other posts I have read and seem to be able to relate with the same feelings as many others on this board, maybe I am BP. I then get scared wondering will I be on meds all my life. Hoping I'm not BP, so I wouldn't have to be on meds. Thinking back to pre-med days I hate the way I was and feel much better being on the meds, then that nagging feeling of maybe I am normal and I was just having "normal" good and bad days.
Now that I look back on that last paragraph and my previous venting post, Am I just in a hypomanic state thinking everything is all good, and AM I in complete control? OR am I losing control, GOd Knows any imput would be great. If you think this warrants a new thread let me know so I can start one or someone else could start one.
1) SEX - (respectfully mentioned in a medical context ONLY)*
My sex drive has currently increased to quite literally a 'daily' measurment rather than a 'weekly' meaurement. HOWEVER, I exibit NO other signs of 'hypomania'. It is possible that being free of meds, my body has started to simply exhibit its natural level of sexual desire - completely seperate an issue from the Bi-Polar diagnosis.
How does ANYBODY accurately measure their sexual drive as 'normal'** or not...???
Perhaps if two people who are very much in love and in tune with each other on a physical, as well as an emotional level, have a higher than 'normal'** sex drive, how can that be measured...???...or even compared...???
Is this a question to be posted on another Board here at HB? My confusion stems from not knowing what is 'normal'** for EITHER... 1. a loving couple 2. a bipolar couple 3. a couple with a bipolar member. If I am a Bi-Polar sufferer starting an episode of 'hypomania' then I should start to exhibit 'other' signs. Shouldn't I...???
2) P-DOC - See her next week. She gets the condensed version of all this. I only get 30 mins every 4 weeks...!!!
3) WISDOM TOOTH - or rather the whole it left, is improving greatly, thanks.
* NOTE - the frequency of sexual activity is VERY commonly refered to as an indication of the onset of 'hypomania'. This is usually coupled with excessive and/or irrational spending.
** NOTE - using 'that' word again...
PERSONAL STUFF - Jen, post away...let it out...
Last edited by Hedgehog No 1; 02-25-2005 at 03:25 AM.