I'm not sure where to start with this, please don't mind the babbling. I have had mental health problems for a very long time. I went on my first antidepressant when I was about 15, but even before that some of my earliest memories are of being anxious, sad, lonely and/or otherwise depressed. I had PPD after the birth of my second child, and this was my first visit to a mental health professional since my teenage years.
For the last couple years my depression has started to get bad, and about once a month I'll get to the point that I just can't take it anymore. I haven't thought of ways to kill myself, but there have been times when I wish that I could just push a 'delete' button, know what I mean? Only when I get seriously depressed do I ever think about going to the doctor, and this happens regularly.
To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, let me describe my life when I get this way. My house is a wreck, and I mean filthy, not just too embarrassing to have company over. The kids and I will run around in pajamas all day, and I rarely ever feed them anything healthier or more complicated than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My oldest will often miss preschool because I don't feel like taking her in, and neither of my kids get the love and attention they deserve while I'm feeling like this.
The problem is that by the time I get out of my slump long enough to take care of such important things like making appointments, I feel so much better that I don't think I need to go. I'll be happy and upbeat and get a million things done in a day. To give you an example, last week was an 'up' time for me, and I spent the day running around nonstop making appointments, calling people, cleaning my house, running errands... I got more accomplished in that week or two than I've done in a year. I reregistered for school and started contacting potential childcare providers about keeping my youngest so that I could attend school. I contacted a couple organizations about volunteering, and I even pulled off a birthday party in about two days...
I tell you I felt invincible. Just like before, I felt my life was coming together, like I had magically wished myself into a new person and things would only be on the up from here on out. I had no explanation for it. There wasn't anything obviously changed then from any time before it. I just felt different.
Starting a couple days ago, it's just gone downhill. I'm irritable, and I have no energy. My daughter has missed two days of preschool, my house is a wreck, and I feel worthless and hopeless. All this and just days ago I was on top of the world.
To add to the problem, my husband had to take a trip to Chicago. He left yesterday and came home this evening... he was gone for a total of 36 hours. He came home to find me in one of my worse moods, and after we sat at home for a minute, he said "Please go to the doctor. You're lows are getting worse. I'm afraid you might be bipolar."
I admit that neither one of us are health care professionals so he really doesn't know. When he said that something hit me, and I just can't help than to feel that he's right. I don't mention it, and I've always known that I have problems with depression, but bipolar disorder has been on the back of my mind for a long time.
I called my mom before, and mentioned that he hadn't called the entire time, and she's now convinced that he's cheating on me. Later on that evening I tried to talk to here about what I'm going through, and she yelled at me and demanded to talk to my husband. She tried to tell me that it's okay to be mad at him for not calling. (I am, but this isn't what this is about.) And she even suggested that I demand proof of his whereabouts. (I don't need to for the record. He's military and it's kind of hard to fake a group of 15 Sailors making an out of state trip all at the same time.)
My mom told me that the symptoms of bipolar disorder can apply to anyone and that because she worked at a mental health hospital years ago she knows I'm 'okay.' It makes me so angry. She knows I'm depressed, but how would I explain to her that I can't explain it when I'm feeling so good? She doesn't know what I go through, and I can't explain it. I guess she's trying to say that we all get down sometimes... I'm not just down, I spend a lot of time lacking the will to live and dealing with some vaguely unpleasant and torturous feeling sittin in the back of my mind. I'm not sad because I lost a pet or because I can't lose weight or because I can't get out of debt. I'm down and I have no reason to be.
Anyhow, she yelled at me and told me that I was fine, and just like that I lost the last person who may have been able to sit and talk with me. I don't feel like I can talk to my husband right now. I needed her just to listen, why did she get so mad?
This is how it happens. I spend a while with such self confidence and hopefulness that I spend my time taking on responsibilities, trying make new friends, trying new things and seeing the places I want to see. Then, I begin to lose interest. I start to cut off the people I know, cancel appointments, and get rid of my responsibilities. I isolate myself until no one will bother me and I have as few responsibilities as I can get.
I just want to feel normal. I want to be able to get involved without having my depression tell me when it's time to cut back. I want to feel ok all the time rather than swinging back and forth.
Now I need some input. I'm already going to see my doctor so and that has been decided. What do you think of my situation? Based on your experiences, does it sound like I may be manic depressive?
Hi EightyOne, well I'm no pdoc, but you sure do fit the bipolar profile. I'm sorry your going through this I know how hard it is as I'm bipolar myself. I felt just like you do before I finally went to see a pdoc while I was so depressed for really nothing. Then up up & away for a day, week, 2 months, then back down into depression hell.
My mother doesn't get it either,she never will. I guess she doesnt want me having bipolar as it doesn't fit in with her plans for her daughter. She told me when I informed her of my DX.."well you didn't get that from MY SIDE OF THE FAMILY" I was touched as to how much she really cared for my well being,NOT!!!!!!!!!!
Please see a Pdoc and get put on the right meds,you will find some will agree with you some won't. don't give up,you can get your life back.
Keep in touch & let me know how your doing.
Hi, and welcome to the boards...
Your mom may have some fears of her own where it comes to mental health... Possibly someone in her family - a mom or a grandma - there is a strong genetic component to Bipolar Disorder. I am Type I Bipolar and it is my maternal grandmother who also had it.
If your husband is mentioning going to a doctor I would say that it is past time for you to go. Keep a journal with small notes about your moods during the day. Then whether you are depressed or "up" when you go you will have a chart of sorts to show what is happening.
No one likes to think they have a chemical imbalance in their brain. It's all so much more "acceptable" if it's your pancreas & you have diabetes instead.
Plus, thinking we're fine is part of being Bipolar!
You've taken a wonderful step by finding us here - we have similar stories that will make you feel not so alone. This is probably the most supportive board here -