So, I am basically new to this whole bipolar idea. I was diagnosed in November. It was the first time anyone ever told me that it wasn't just depression, and that I probably can't just change my life and thoughts to make myself better.
So, my story is, that around the age of 12 or 13, I became very depressed. I attempted suicide at 15 and that was the first time anyone in my family realized anything was wrong. I have always been good at the fake smiles and hiding the cuts and burns. So, for 6 years, I was told I was depressed by the various counselors I would see... never the same one for more than a few weeks or a couple months though because I always found a reason to be afraid to go back... said something wrong, ran late to an appointment, forgot to take my medicine etc. But in the end, they mostly just said... get out and do something, make yourself happy, and you'll be better.
So, last year was a very bad year for me. I was basically crazy. I was always depressed, and always so very angry. And frustrated. The depressed part I probably could have handled, but the anger was so out of control, I almost lost my husband. Thats what led me to yet another psychiatrist and therapist. That didn't go well in my head. 2 months and I was actually doing better, but I hated the therapist and didn't trust talking to her. So try again... didn't think I would find any help. But I did. And this doctor spent more than 5 minutes with me and actually learned some stuff about me. She said that she thought I was bipolar, an atypical case. After talking with her for almost 2 hours, we made an appointment for me to come back and see her and a therapist. I knew I had found the perfect place for me. And then a few days later my husband lost his job and our insurance. I never even called to cancel my appointments I was so upset. I never even got to find out what type of bipolar she thought I had. She was going to put me on lexapro and lamictal. But, no insurance, no medicine.
So for 3 months I have been on my own. Doing alot better by the way, but still so moody. See, the problem is, every day is literally a new day, and sometimes it only takes a few hours to be a new me. Occasionally I can keep a mood for up to a week, but really it changes so often. I can be fine, and one little thing will put me in tears. Or a simple disagreement with my husband will send me from basically ok to having the extreme urge to want to break something, throw something, so SOMETHING destructive.
I just need to find a place to talk to people and read about other people and figure out how to find my way. Hope this is the right place.
I used to be that way too. i know exactly how you feel, its like the anger takes over you. im on medicine but sometimes it seems like it doesnt work. what i did when i was off medicine was try to relax and try not to let things get to me, even though they did and i couldnt help it i thought of a "happy place" and sometimes it really did work! just try to keep the good thoughts!
I am saddened when I read about people needing insurance to be able to get medication, I am lucky that here in NZ I can get treatment and medications at a low cost.
Good on you for joining up on this site, there are many people who can offer advice and understand what you are going through. Although I am not sure about the availability of herbal medications in you country I would recommend that you take fish oil for omega3, it helps with brain function and can help depression, also saint johns wort is a good antidepressant, a fair bit of study has been done about it. Exercise will help to increase the happy chemicals, as for the mania, the only advice I found was to make sure you get plenty of sleep.
Take care xxx
Well at least you got that figured out (monopolar-bipolar) before the doctors ran out.
I was first diagnosed with 'dysthymia' like... um...wow 30 years ago. Had different shrinks (talking only) until about a decade ago I had a sortof professional disaster, ended up with major depression, and got on meds - just SSRIs at first. But they kept on 'pooping out' and i'd change to a different one.
Then one day a year or two ago I was reading about bipolar 2 and they listed off some symptoms on a web page and I said Yes to more than half of them. Took it into my next pdoc visit and he said, yeah, looks like I'm Bi. Apparently it's hard to tell:
Monopolar Depression: you feel depression. But, you know, it comes and goes, sometimes you feel ok.
bipolar 2: you alternate between depressed states and 'hypomanic' states, where you're happy, confident, productive, maybe even brilliant, hyper... basically, you feel normal.
sounds about the same?
I too am starting Lamictal. I too am unemployed, the recession. But I'm spending down savings, keeping my health insurance. And I am absolutely continuing my meds - I think I've been losing jobs because of my depression. It's an investment.
Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil are off of patent and you can get them cheap. Wallgreen's has em for $12 for a 3 mo supply. but not lamictal. BUT you can't just switch over, you have to do it gradually over, I dunno, 2 months or something. Never shut off any of these drugs cold turkey - you'll flip out. Even if you skip a few days - they have momentum you have to keep it up. I always take them religiously. I have these plastic pillboxes with 7 compartments - that's how I tell what day of the week it is in the morning.
Hi Samantha - I'm so sorry that you lost your insurance just when it looked like you had just seen the light at the end of the tunnel! I have to say, I have bipolar II and I have only EVER had "good" mania (the fun kind! lol) a couple of times. Most of the time my mania manifests as anger, extreme irritability and rage (that is something that is not emphasized enough about bipolar I think). I was on meds for about a year and went off them due to side effects (I gained 60 pounds and the meds were making me very numb) so I went off them. I did well for a while but of course, life happens and I hit a stumbling block. I had a bad depression but instead of coming out of it I went into a period of anger/rage that lasted about four months. I just could NOT stop being angry. It was horrible. From the second I woke up until the second I went to bed I just wanted to SCREAM with rage. I couldn't stand it. Finally went back on meds (a different kind - Cymbalta) and am doing well again.
If I can give you one piece of advice for trying to cope WITHOUT meds (I was off meds for years before being diagnosed and did very well) I would have to say EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE! It honestly makes the hugest difference. I had an exercise bike that I would climb onto in the morning when I got out of bed EVERY day for half an hour or so. Did that for about five years. I was VERY stable emotionally that entire time. Damn, I gotta start at the gym again...... sigh.......
you are lucky you figured out whats wrong. i have a dumb doctor who is taking forever to figure out why 3 years ago i ended up in the psych ward. my mom thinks its because he messed around with my meds but he thinks it was the sign of a mental illness yet if i even suggest one he ignores me but i know i am something because i feel bad. i was feeling just fine on zyprexa but then when he started changing my meds i got messed up but maybe that would have happened if i stayed on just the one med anyway i dont know anymore. whatever the reason i wish he would figure it out. hes the expert he should know what really happened but maybe my paranoia and delusions werent usual for being off of a med and put on others.
Samantha, I'd call the office up and ask for the therapist to call you. Explain your insurance situation. Most will offer you the same rate they'd get paid by the insurance and might waive some of the cost. As for medications, there are lots of other generics available...some are even on the $4 list < edited >