Is there anyone else out there with bipolar that has mixed episodes & such that feels like... well... like you feel everything at once and nothing at all at the same time... constantly? I mean, I feel like that, though a sometimes I'll have one feeling more on top--that I'm more--aware of, I guess. But really, it's like everything blurs together after a while and nothing sticks out and all I feel is fog and greyness, like the slush in the streets that forms when thousands of cars have driven over a bunch of snow. But at the same time, so many different things to so many extremes... to the point where none of them stick out, even as they constantly plague me. I find myself trying so hard to make something, anything stick out--I've been in an emotionally fragile state for a couple years or so and have been avoiding many things because of it, but lately it seems as if everything's getting worse and I've started reading really painful things (I read a lot) to make the pain stand out. Even though it hurts... at least it sticks out... some. But still... it doesn't work completely.
Anyone else feel like that? What do you think?
It's as if every concept in the universe is at war within me. --Aliryn
Yes, I often feel what you've described, especially when stressed out. I am Schizoaffective-Schizophrenia & Bipolar II rapid cycling. Are you a rapid cycler? Even though it's supposed to mean going back & forth between depression & hypomania, sometimes it feels like they're all jumbled up & I feel every emotion out there, just like you said-the snow slush. A fog. I sometimes "lose time"-how can it be 2 p.m. already? I try to remember what I've been doing to explain the time & can't...and also like you said, feeling everything at once & yet feeling nothing. It is exhausting. I live for the good days!
Hurrah! sorry don't mean to sound so crazzzy! Aliryn, I REALLY know what you are talking about; this is a liberation! Good news is, now with some of the emotional stress I've had recently and a new diagnosis and meds (BP11 to BP1 and mixed phase) I am beginning to feel AT LEAST ONE THING OR THE OTHER!
Your description was exactly how i felt for about 2/3 weeks. I couldn't sleep but was overwhelmed with despair, desperation even. I shook, but I couldn't release the energy into anything positive (like in a mania) because THERE WAS NOTHING POSTIVE. I wanted to have one feeling or the other. I even took myself off my drugs to precipate a high or low. Then I got a real slagging from those around me that care!
Go to the doctor. This is a dangerous place to be.....TAKE CARE
Oh, it's wonderful to hear that others have some of the same experiences as me. I have quite a few extended relatives who are/were (as in they're dead, not they're cured, we all know that doesn't happen) mentally ill, but the only one I have contact with is my mother, and she's depressive, and so doesn't really understand--although at least she believes me. I get the feeling like there'd be a lot of people out there who would say it's all in my head and blah blah blah.
makeworldgoaway, that sounds like a very trying diagnosis. I don't know my specific diagnosis; all my doctor said was some atypical kind of bipolar and mixed episodes. However, the rapid-cycling thing wouldn't surprise me as my mood can change from moment to moment--forget hours or even minutes sometimes. I always feel everything and nothing but the mood that's sort of on top changes CONSTANTLY; and, frankly... it gets really old. Really old. As in dead, buried, and decomposed old. I'm sure I lose time all of the time, but haven't noticed any specific instances really because I don't pay attention to the time. I can't manage school (I WAS at university; theatre major--I love it, I wish I could get back to it!) and I couldn't get a job if I tried. Not only am I bipolar but I have pathetic people skills, so I have no reason to pay attention to the time. Frankly, time and I aren't on speaking terms. My sleeping schedule is completely whacked--I can sleep anywhere from an hour and a half or twenty-six hours straight, and can stay up from six hours to thirty-seven or so. I have no control. And when my body/brain wants to sleep or be awake, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. So, basically, I sleep weird hours, and different every time I go to bed, so I don't even know what day it is ever. I can only tell when it's the weekend cuz there's only real junk on tv.
And you're right--it's exhausting feeling everything at once and nothing at all. I've felt like that for... so... long... I don't even remember how to feel anything differently anymore.
jgr01, don't worry; nothing sounds crazy to me. Seriously. If I hear/see/etc something that others say is crazy I, more often than not, find it merely funny. I suppose that should scare me but it doesn't. When I have weird opinions on things like that, I find it funny, and my mother gets scared.
Anyway, I'd LOVE to feel one thing or the other. I'd be glad for a freaking two-minute break. Not like I want to be numb, though--I'm that as the same time as everything else...
But I've been on Lamictal, Trileptal, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin for a loooong time. I take antidepressants also because I have a major problem with depression, though my doctor wanted me to start going off them. I'm kind of... well, I'm really scared of stopping them. I've not been of antidepressants for like four years.
But right now I can't get into the doctor to get my prescriptions renewed, and I haven't been in recently that she can just renew them by calling the pharmacy or whatever--she needs to see me. But she won't call me back! I left a message... um... I dunno how long ago but it was at least a few days. I'm pretty sure... Yeah, and I ran out of the mood stabilisers weeks ago. The only reason I still have antidepressants is because my mom takes those two also, although she doesn't take them regularly like she should, and she says if it's just gonna sit there I might as well take it 'til I can get more.
And you're right when you said it was a dangerous place to be. I've gotten totally, completely fed up with this monotonous insanity and decided I wanted something, anything to stick out. Last night I made a cut on my leg in an effort to feel pain. However the knife was dull and it only stings. I'm very frustrated. I don't really want to hurt myself, especially badly, but I'm going completely and utterly insane .
Sigh... I'm gonna go find something to read now... I need to get my mind off of this.
Anyway, thank you both very much for replying to my post, and I hope you're both doing well.
Oh, and does anyone else have temperature swings? I'm often too hot and too cold at the same time. I'm actually cold a lot, but I think that's because I'm a little underweight because I'm never hungry--I think it's the bipolar messing with my head that I have no appetite. Also, I ALWAYS have to have noise around me--I ALWAYS have both the tv and music going along with whatever I'm reading or while I'm playing a video game. I *HATE* the silence and the cold, more than I could ever convey... I even leave the stereo on while I'm asleep--on repeat so it never goes off. On the rare occasions I leave the house, like when my mom, brother, and I go out to the store or something just to get out, I always bring my cd player... I'll listen to it even if we're sitting in a restaurant somewhere. I'll keep one of the earphones off, but I can't turn it off. I can't stand even a little quiet, let alone dead silence...
It's as if every concept in the universe is at war within me. --Aliryn
Oh yes, many people say-even on boards-"get off meds!" "you can control this! I did it!" "It's nothing, stop fooling yourself..." blah blah blah...I'm thrilled they found a "cure" or relief ( perhaps they were misdiagnosed) but it's hard to take hearing you can end this problem yourself like we wouldn't jump at that chance. I too sometimes have a moment to moment change in rapid cycling-you don't know what to expect. I wrote about that in a post on Schizophrenia today, how before being diagnosed last year (or maybe it was the beginning of this year...) the rapid cycling alone made me think I was nuts-how could I feel so very very depressed, crying, feeling there was nothing to live for, etc, etc, one moment-and the next I'm feeling just fine & going about my business!? It just didn't make sense. I hope you can get into a doctor very very soon & won't feel the need to cut yourself anymore-it breaks my heart when I read of anyone doing that...I never have. As far as the temperature swings, I do get those but thought it was perimenopause since I am 49, soon to be 50 & having symptoms of that. If you're a youngster it can't be that & maybe mine isn't what I think, but that's what I chalked it up to! I know I can't chalk it up to being too thin...what you wrote about always having to have noise from the t.v., stereo, whatever-even when you sleep-was really very interesting to read, because in my case it is often the OPPOSITE. I used to have the radio on during the day & the t.v. on at night, until I went to sleep. All of a sudden, last March, I couldn't STAND to have any noise. Just like that, I had no radio, no t.v....that really blew me away because it was so unlike me. I used to need some sort of noise, like you when my husband wasn't home to make noise. It really blew me away & seemed to be "loud" things that bothered me, so I tried watching quiet channels like the History Channel, listening to the classical music station, watching sweet quiet Winnie the Pooh videos I always loved-they all bothered me enough to shut it off. So for about 3 months I think, I had nothing on. I tried to at least scan the paper every day so I wasn't totally in the dark on news, but I didn't read much. Couldn't read a book or even a magazine, I love to read...sometimes I thought I might have been burned out & scared about all the bad news in the world-it's just everywhere now & things that used to be shocking are now talked about & written like every day common occurences, which unfortunately they are...then sometime after about 3 months I was able to watch some stuff again & t hat's where I am now-still not reading, still often have the radio off during the day, but I can turn the t.v. on at night & not be freaked out by it. It's crazy & really blew me away to feel that way. I also isolated myself even more than normal, only went out once a week to the grocery store about 2 miles away where I hoped to see no one I knew & didn't talk to anyone-just got what we needed & came home & patted myself on the back for being able to do that! We have 4 grandchildren also, which I was seeing much less of...my kids & husband try to be understanding but I don't think they can very well. I'm doing better these days than I was during that period, but it's still bad & I'm not "normal"...I get very paranoid also-in fact I quit posting & reading here for that period, & quit several groups I belonged to, paranoia overcame me & now I'm taking it slower & only coming to this board so I'm not so overwhelmed. Sorry to go on & o n -I don't do that forever & then all of a sudden I do. I wish you well & hope you can see a doctor very soon!!!
Yeah, I'm glad that the attitudes about mental illness have, on the whole, changed over time. A few months back I was acting really manic and I said, "I'm the sort of person who got people locked up way back when," and my mom agreed--seriously. I still find that funny, though for some reason she finds it scary... and just a few weeks ago we were out... uh, somewhere, I can't remember ANYTHING... and I had my stereo headphones on pretty loud and was thinking about... something... can't remember that either... but I started muttering to myself about whatever-it-was cuz I think I was trying to work something out--like numbers maybe. (I can do math--I was great at everything up to calculus, though my algebra, for some completely inexplicable reason, is terrible; however, for a couple years or so EVERYTHING in my brain has stopped working right. It took my fifteen minutes to figure out which size of shampoo bottle was cheaper per ounce or whatever when we were at Wal-Mart at some point--and I had paper and a pen, too.) And, trying to work out the numbers or whatever, I was talking to myself, kind of mumbling, you know--then even when my thoughts moved on I kept it up, kind of like having a conversation with my mind--I'd think something and say something back to it. Now that doesn't really seem weird to me. It seems like... well, just like I'm working something out--thinking. But my mom and brother told me it was really creepy. I laughed and my mom was all serious and saying how it was really creepy, dead seriously. I STILL think it's funny. I find the fact that they think it's creepy completely... outside my comprehension. I just can't see that as creepy at all. Sometimes I wonder just how crazy I am when things like that happen--but even when seriously questioning my own sanity, I just don't find it disturbing or scary in the least. That fact in itself should be scary. But it's not. I just find it... I dunno. I just don't care, I guess. It doesn't make an impression on me. The fact that it doesn't creep me out that others seriously think I'm really creepy is... it just has no emotion for me. It's fine.
Yeah, the super rapid cycling. I'll find myself so depressed I can't do anything but sit there for a few minutes, then suddenly I'll be laughing my head off at something I read with this immense feeling of euphoria. Then suddenly I'll be irritable at everything. Then I'll be sort of feel-goody--all warm and fuzzy about something. It changes constantly, randomly; and it's not like things I read, watch, or listen to trigger it--often changes it whatever media I'm taking in will have a different effect, or they won't affect me at all. Though I never have a state of mind where I feel normal, really. If I don't feel anything in particular, I feel... blah. That's really the only word I can think of to put it.
Like I said, I don't really want to hurt myself at all, especially not badly. But I just wanted to feel something a bit more real for once. I mean, in my head I know the difference between what's real and what's not, but in the subjective part of my brain and in my heart and soul, everything feels the same--reality feels no more real than anything else. Maybe it's a sense of--detachment. Perhaps. But it's been like that for as long as I can remember, really, and getting worse all of the time, and now I feel practically no difference even if I know the difference. With so many years of feeling primarily emotional pain and numbness, it's really, truly driving me crazy.
It's like there's different levels of feelings--the feelings I get from bipolar are like mental emotions primarily. There's a different level of feeling in the heart and a third in the soul. (I have some really weird theories, so bear with me.) See, to start, I have this theory that the aspects of a human being are linked in a certain order--like the body is connected to the intangible mind (through the brain, obviously), and the intangible mind is connected to the heart, which in turn is connected to the soul. Body-mind-heart-soul, like that. And it's like you get feelings from each part, which are different, although they definitely interact--affect each other. My brain emotions influence my heart emotions so the bipolar affects how I feel, but the natural feelings of my heart are entirely pain and numbness (I've had a lot of bad stuff happen in my life--though it's not nearly as bad as it could be, I know. My mom's had it so much worse). The main feeling in my soul is pain, too--I think perhaps my heart has "callouses", if you know what I mean, from being so numb and so much pain; therefore, it's easier to perceive what my soul's feeling. My soul has a pain bad enough that I have felt a physical heavy burning in my gut for as long as I can remember. I also feel many other things in my soul, but they're not like heart emotions--most of them are more like the impressions of thoughts--or like the pure essence of... whatever's in there. It's hard to explain. So they're deep and aren't so much feelings--what people call "gut feelings", I suppose you could say at least some of them are. But you can't feel them the same way as you feel heart emotions--they're just not the same on a completely fundamental level. So when I get signals from soul feelings, feel pain and numbness in my heart, and have everything and nothing in my mental feelings, and usually have a headache at the very least, not to mention I have mild asthma problems--all of it together is just... it's too much and it's not enough--it's nothing at all. Altogether it's driving me insane. It really is. Sometimes I relish the everything of existence, but... it's so tiring when I've got all of this in me, when everything in the universe and nothing at all are inside me and every bit of it is fighting every other bit of it and themselves all at the same time even though nothing's really happening. It's like I can't say anything about how I feel because the opposite is true at the same time, although neither are true, and both are true even though they're paradoxical, all at once.
I mean, the way I'm going, I really will be crazy. It makes me wonder if I've got something worse than bipolar.
But perhaps it's my fault partly--I've always had to be looking around at life, being religious and philisophical and etc and poking into everything about everything, and I've come to strange, weird, overwhelming conclusions, as well as discovering many questions most people have never even thought of that have no answers that I can find. Pain about the universe in itself and everything it is and isn't is a large, large part of what hurts me. I think it hurts more than anything that's happened to me, personally. You were talking about not watching the news because of all the terrible things that happen. When I see that stuff, instead of feeling bad because someone was killed, I feel terrible because the concept of killing exists at all, let alone that it can be done and people do it. Maybe all of that contributes to my feeling of detachment.
Hm, yeah, I'm young--twenty-one. (Though I wanted to be seventeen forever. I *LOVED* high school--I went to a tiny private high school that was great--and I love the whole concept of being a teenager and all it entails. Not the bad stuff, though--I never got into the drinking/drugs/etc stuff that teenagers seem to gravitate to now. Like I said, small private high school... ah, it was lovely.) It's actually kind of funny because my mom and I were talking about temperature problems and she said something about menopause (which she's in) and was like, "Well, we know that's not your problem."
I understand patting yourself on the back for going to the grocery store and doing the necessary things and nothing else. The other day I actually did the dishes and I was like, "holy cow, I DID something!" See, my cat died in July. She was my best friend since before either of us were old enough to remember. I don't even know what she died from, just that she was sick. We were too poor to take her to the vet. And now the one single thing in the universe that I've never hated in my life is gone. See, I feel pretty much every emotion in existence towards EVERYTING in existence. But with my cat, I only ever felt what most people would call 'positive' emotions (I don't happen to think they're so easily classified, but whatever). But now that she's dead, for one thing I don't have the one thing that I had some sort of stability with concerning my feelings, but for another I have a complete lack of foothold. Which is part of the reason I've been getting so much worse than usual. Plus, all mental problems aside, she was my very best friend--we went crazy when we weren't together. We were stuck together like glue and ten times closer than almost anyone is with their pet. So... with all of that, I'm even battier than normal. ...For me. Which is even scarier. (Objectively. It doesn't feel scary at all...)
Anyway I've gone on way, way, way too long. (It made me cut some off before I could post.) (On that topic, it's fine with me if you go on and on. I find what others have to say interesting and I have nothing better to do with my life. I'm always willing to read as much as you're willing to write.) I hope you're doing well!
It's as if every concept in the universe is at war within me. --Aliryn
My great grandmother spent most of her life in an institution....2 maternal uncles are unipolar, 1 maternal cousin bipolar and 1 paternal cousin paranoid schizophrenic. My mother, we think, is prone BP, but it has softened over the years. So yep, families, who'd 'ave 'em?!
My family are great; they tried for years to get me to go to the doc.
Couple of Points
1. Do not cut yourself again
2. Go TO the doctor and get mood stabilisers
3. Temperature swings (I have them sometimes), but it could be a thyroid problem, which can also be the cause of other mood swings...I'm sure they checked this, but tell them about the cold again.
I too always have the radio on, although not when I'm asleep. I take sleeping pills but ran out yesterday and didn't sleep a wink...