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Old 10-20-2008, 02:20 AM   #1
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Hello! New Member

Hi everyone!

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder bipolar type in 2006 after having a severe manic episode. As a result, I was involuntarily hospitalized for a little over a month. Some of the symptoms I experienced included intense anger/agitation, auditory hallucinations, extreme confusion and paranoia.

The hospital pdoc and psychologist both felt that my symptoms were attributed to several factors: not eating or sleeping for over a week (I lost 20 pounds), sensory deprivation (I'm totally blind and have bilateral cochlear implants) and stress caused by a surgical procedure I had the week prior to entering the psychiatric hospital.

I remember bits and pieces of what happened to me in the hospital, but most of it is a blur.

The one thing I do remember clearly is the day I sat across from the pdoc and he said I had "manic-depression." (His words.) I didn't think much about my diagnosis until I was told by my current pdoc that I'll need to be on meds for the rest of my life. (I'm currently taking 500 mg Depakote three times/day, 4 mg of Risperdal at bedtime and 100 mg Trazadone at bedtime.)

For the first few months following my diagnosis, I had a difficult time accepting the fact that I have bipolar. I kept asking, "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?"

I eventually sought bi-weekly therapy to help me understand what bipolar is and how to keep track of my manic and depressive episodes. I'm working with a wonderful tdoc who has taught me so much about how I can best control my manic symptoms (I primarily have difficulty with mania compared to depression). Every 2 weeks, we review my mood journal to evaluate how I'm doing.

I'm currently working with an excellent pdoc. I've been seeing him for a little over a year now and during that time, he has always been attentive to my questions, concerns, etc. I thank my lucky stars for him because before I saw him, the psychiatric hospital recommended a different pdoc who 1) didn't read my hospital discharge paperwork and 2) told me that it was my choice whether or not I wanted to be on medication.

I'm happy to report that I've been doing quite well over the past 2 years. Thanks to the combination of meds and therapy, my manic episodes have been mild to moderate and not anything like what I experienced back in 2006. Of course, my tdoc has given me good suggestions as to what I can do when I become manic, so that has helped me prevent some of my symptoms from getting out of hand.

I'm *so* glad I found this community. I don't know anyone else who has bipolar which means I don't have others I can talk to about what I'm experiencing. I've thought about contacting a local BP support group, but so far, I haven't taken any steps to do that.

Since I've written a dissertation , I think I'll close for now.

I look forward to getting to know all of you and participating in the discussions when I can!

dreams in neon

 
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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seaturtle HB User
Re: Hello! New Member

Hi, neons,

Welcome to the board! I hadn't found any support, either (later found a support group here in my town), but this board has helped more than I can say.
You'll find understanding, compassion and support here always.

Yes, it's so hard when we have to carry the illness all by ourselves, with no one to talk to doesn't understand or judge. Here, feel free to ask for for help, vent, and contribute.
You sound as if you're getting great treatment.

Please do keep posting, I'm glad you're here,

Seaturtle

 
Old 10-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
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Talking Re: Hello! New Member

Hello Neon and welcome from another newbie.......

Sounds like you have had similar experiences but on the opposite end. For years I was diagnosed with plain and simple depression and given every antidepressant under the sun - which of course would work short term.

After a mini-breakdown about 5 years ago I booked into a new pdoc who politely told me I had bipolar.



I had suspected it all along but was still shocked. For me I run more on the depressed side than the manic. Recently I was finally hospitalized as I was just not functioning very well and chose to do some ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) which worked wonders as I had forgotton what it was like to enjoy life! Now, 4 months down the track I sliding quickly back into depression.

Saw my pdoc today, we are uping one medication so see what happens, but he feels at this point that medication is not going to be enough to hold me and I may need to do another full course of ECT and then once monthly maintenance treatment....... this one is a bit hard to accept even though I thought he might say this.

So I can understand how you feel Sounds like you are luck in that you also have a good pdoc and tdoc.... good luck with everything!

 
Old 10-21-2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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CarenR HB User
Re: Hello! New Member

Welcome to the board. I haVE Bipolar 1

hugs, Caren

 
Old 10-22-2008, 11:14 PM   #5
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: Hello! New Member

Tigger,

Thanks for the warm welcome!

Wow, it sounds like you've been through alot! I know how you feel about antidepressants not working. When I was placed on them over 10 years ago, they never helped me feel better and I ended up being hospitalized 4 times. Why my pdoc at the time didn't suspect that something else was wrong (i.e. that I had bipolar) I don't know. I was simply told I had severe major depressive disorder.

I can understand the shock you felt after being diagnosed. I felt the same way. In fact, it took over a year for it all to sink in.

I hope you have success with your ECT treatments. If it worked well for you once, I'm sure it will work for you again but this time with a longer period of effectiveness. After you've had your ECT treatment, I hope you'll post and let us know how you're doing.

Thanks again for the welcome!

 
Old 10-22-2008, 11:37 PM   #6
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: Hello! New Member

Hi Seaturtle,

I appreciate the welcome! Thanks!

I'm strongly thinking about joining a BP support group in my area. While bi-weekly therapy does help, I don't have anyone else I can talk to about my moods or manic symptoms. I've tried talking to my sister, but she is in complete denial that I even have BP. According to her, my hospitalization in 2006 was simply caused by stress. She's also of the opinion that the diagnoses of doctors aren't worth anything because they're not with us 24/7 and don't know every detail of our lives. Also, whenever I tell her about my mania or depression, she says she has similar symptoms -- as if my euphoria, high energy levels, depression, agitation and auditory hallucinations are "normal" everyday experiences. I don't think she'll ever truly understand what I go through unless I have another severe manic episode... Don't get me wrong...I love my sister to pieces...I just wish she would understand.

I hope I'm not coming across as if I'm complaining because that's not my intent.

Thanks for listening! I look forward to chatting with you on the board!

 
Old 10-22-2008, 11:40 PM   #7
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: Hello! New Member

Caren,

Thanks for welcoming me to the board!

If you don't mind my asking, how long have you had bipolar I? Also, what meds are you on?

Thanks again for the welcome!

 
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