Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: East Coast
Re: Just Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder
Hi Sonny, welcome to the bipolar world, lol. I am newly diagnosed as well, kinda, lol. I was just diagnosed a couple months ago. I'll tell you a little bit about my story and see if it relates. I'm 36, have been treated off and on for anxiety -depression by my general practitioner since about 18.
Well, a couple months ago I just lost it, had way too much going on in my life. My dad is back together with his ex wife, who used to beat the hell out of me and my sis while growing up. We told him about it, but he never saw it, and he says she denies it. Truth be told he doesn't want to believe it cause then he'd feel guilty for not protecting us and turning a blind eye to it. Anyway, that had me really stressed out. I'd been miserable at home, hubby always complains, i feel like I'm carrying most of the load at home, etc. Then I got involved with a guy I had been friends with for 5 years. We were on a real estate investment board and had been friends, never me as I live on east coast and he lives on west coast. I mean I fell head over heels, it was like this guy was my soulmate. He could read me like a book. I told hubby I wanted to leave him, that I was miserable, he was miserable, and I just couldn't go on like this. 2 days later I fell into a deep depression, could not get out of bed, and when i did it was like i was on autopilot, just doing what i had to out of habit, but totally numb. I was like this for several weeks, then I started feeling good. Really good. I felt sexy, was very flirtatious, more patient and involved with my kids, going through housework like it was nothing, and barely sleeping. Hubby and I were trying to work things out, I was on top of the world, lost weight, etc. Then the sleeplessness started bothering me, I was irritable, easily distrated, couldn't remember anything, was having hot flashes alot at night, my thoughts were all over the place.
So I went to see my general practitioner. Told him I thought maybe it was premenopause or thyroid. I could tell by his mannerism that he didn't agree. So I asked him what he thought. He said it wasn't thyroid, that if it was I wouldn't be cycling, thyroid is either normal, hypo active or hyperactive, it doesn't switch back and forth. But, to put my mind at ease he would request that with my bloodwork. He then told me that he thought I was bipolar. I flipped, did NOT want to accept it. I mean, having depression is fine, that goes away, but what he was telling me I had was a permant illness! No way!
Well, I went home and researched, and the more I read, the more I realized he was right. And you know what? I actually felt a sense of relief! I had thought I had some issues, but in reality I had a mental illness, so I wasn't a freak, I just had something in my brain that needed to be fixed.
The thing that bothered me most before I was diagnosed was that I would go through periods where I was obsessed with sex. I would flirt with guys in a car next to me, pretty much ever guy I saw I would be thinking hmm, wonder what he's like in bed. It was embarassing, humiliating, and I had never told anyone.
Anyway, I'll try to wrap this up, I'm hypomanic right now and just going on and on.
What I learned I do when in hypomanic state: I tend to clench my teeth, I drive more aggressively, I dress more provocatively, I flirt, think of sex alot, want to buy lots of stuff, I procrastinate (don't pay bills even when the money's in the bank) - I think this may be due to racing thoughts. Thoughts flip from one thing to the other real quick, I have difficulty remembering things, I have changes in body temperature, have lots of energy, clean the house, take on projects, etc. I speak rapidly, etc. Be unable to sleep or only sleep 2-4 hrs.
When depressed, I didn't really know I was depressed, I wasn't upset about anything. But I would go to bed and sleep 13-14 hrs, and still it was a struggle to get out of bed. I didn't want to do anything, cook, clean, no interest in sex, and I would cry very easily. I ate alot more too.
That's about as good as I can sum it up.
I went back to my doc, all bloodwork was normal. I told him I would like to try just an antidepressant, Lexapro. I had used that before and it worked well for my depression, and since I had rare hypomanic phases I would like to see if I could get along on just an antidepressant first. He reluctantly agreed, telling me I would have to monitor my moods, and that he really thought it would be best to put me on a mood stabilizer but that I could try the lexapro since that takes longer to build up in my system, and if I needed the mood stabilizer he would add that as it only takes a couple days to work.
So since starting the lexapro I have had a couple hypomanic phases but I knew when I was headed in that direction and tried to minimize it. Drinking a beer would take that "edge" away, or at night taking xanax so I could sleep, etc.
I go to a psychiatrist the 14th of this month, basically I want an evaluation. I don't know why, lol, I know the doc is right, but I still want to go to see what he suggests. I understand that taking an antidepressant only is not the norm, but if I can tell when I'm going on the up swing of this and simply taking xanax or valium to bring me down a little during that phase works, then I think I should be allowed to continue as long as that works, using as needed instead of daily "just in case".
Anyway, read read read, the more you know the better, and I firmly believe in taking an active role in your treatment.
Sorry for rambling, lol.