I came to these boards because I'm not sure if or how I can explain my current state of being to anyone I know- they all seem to be drifting farther and farther away...
Every year around this time I get a bit depressed, and each year it has gotten progressively more intense- even so much so that I will often have to go home for a while (I live in Illinois, my family lives in Texas) just to be looked after. But recently something else has been happening to me that I'm not used to. Along with the unusually low low's, I am now experiencing a "high" or happiness and energy I haven't ever felt- and an irritability that manifests itself for no good reason. I wake up in the morning unsure of what I will be feeling. My friends are scared, my mother is worried, and I can't seem to control any of this.
I don't sleep- often staying up all night long and never going to sleep, then eventually sleeping through an entire day. And I don't eat- hunger escapes me and I rarely think about eating anyway. I only leave my house if I absolutely have to and even making music brings little to no excitement.
I am shortly starting therapy, but I'm skeptical as to whether that will help. I feel as if I do not get help soon that I will lose it. I don't know myself right now and it is frightening.
I guess I'm just asking for some encouragement, or anything really.
Hang in there. It is scary feeling out of control. It makes it scarier sometimes when my family and friends are freaking out too. They are supposed be there to help. But when I get scared I just tell myself that it is temporary and things will change. And they always do. Medication helps level things out, by leveling feelings out. Not as high highs and not as low lows. Therapy also helped me understand this condition. There has become a pattern of how the emotions happen with me. So once you figure out the pattern, you will be able to deal with it much easier. It becomes easier for you. I figured out that when I was having a high I would stay away from stores (so I wouldn't over shop and buy things I didn't need), instead I would take advantage of this high energy and do something that requires a lot of energy like working out at the gym, walking, jogging, hiking. Plus, after exercising I feel relaxed and calm. And when I am in a low, I call my friends and talk, and sometimes have a little caffeine or ginseng But not too much so I don't get too hyper. Be brave you can do it. Hold your head high and know you can!
Last edited by memyselfandI9; 02-26-2009 at 11:55 PM.
Thanks for your reply. It's nice to hear other peoples' experiences and thoughts/concerns.
I never went to sleep last night. I tried to lay down but I just couldn't get myself to sit still or quit thinking long enough for it to even be a possibility. My energy is simply too high, though I felt not as depressed as I have been, kinda apathetic really. Then early this morning I went on a cleaning rampage and cleaned my entire apartment in record time- was very happy about that. My sister came home, I did a bit of laundry. And now suddenly I want to rip her head off. Loud noises seem to irritate me a lot too- the dishwasher, slamming doors, people talking too loudly. It's strange, in a way I want people to reach out to me but then the other part of me just wants them to leave me the hell alone.
Discontentment seems never ending like this. I sure hope this therapy helps because this is already getting very annoying. I'm going to try and keep the faith.
Well, we are not Doctors, so of course we can't diagnose you, but it does sound as if you have BiPolar Disorder. What type of doc are you going to for therapy, a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist? If I may make a suggestion, you really need to see a Psychiatrist to be evaluated to see if you have BP, and also to be prescribed meds if warranted. A Psychologist, or tdoc as we call them can't do these things, they are there strictly to do "talk" therapy.
Try to hang in until you get a diagnosis and get on some type of therapy whether it be med therapy (which from what you describe sounds like you would most likely benefit from) or talk therapy. I myself am BiPolare w/Severe med resistant BiPolar Suicidal Depression, so I know about the lows, probably better than most. The highs, well I don't get them very often, usually only when my meds need changing, which lately has been quite often. The highs don't necesarily come in any type of pattern, you can cycle between lows and highs at any time, the best thing to do right now, is to keep a "mood tracking" journal so that you'll have something to share with your Doctor when you go for your appt.
When the irritability and agitation starts, try doing some calming excersices like relaxing your body starting from your toes up to your head, counting in your head up to certain number, then back down, over and over. Take a hot bath, go for a walk, put headphones on with relaxing music....any calming thing to rid yourself of some of the agitation, so that you don't go off on your roommate or other people.
Well hope this was of some help to you.
Let us know how your doing. Stay calm and stay safe.
Hey sorry it's taken so long to respond- I am seeing a psychologist. I really am not keen on the idea of being medicated, at least not right away. I had my first session yesterday and it was really overwhelming but a bit of a relief. I told her about my severe depressed feelings and my mood swings and she did mention antidepressants? She didn't mention anything about a mood stablizer or anything. But I basically told her I wanted to give it some time. My moods seem to be a bit more consistent the past few days. I don't really feel happy but I don't feel like I did last week either. I'm hoping it stays that way awhile. My sleeping patterns are still all out of wack, I get a maximum five hours of sleep but usually it's during a nap in the middle of the day. I'm always up all night and into the morning. Still don't eat much. Still don't go out. Even just going to the appointment took a lot of motivation and I felt rather anxious just making the trip there. My head was spinning, my hands were clammy. It wasn't good. But I'm still here...
I'm an ultradian rapid cycler which means that my moods change every hour and sometimes every minute. People can cycle between mania and depression in any number of ways -- every few days, once a day or even several times an hour like I do. I'm glad you are seeing a tdoc. That will go a long way in helping you deal with whatever diagnosis you have. If you do have bipolar, chances are likely that your pdoc will prescribe a mood stabilizer. A mood stabilizer does exactly what it sounds like -- it helps stabilize your moods so that you don't escalate too high or spiral too far into depression. Anytime you have questions, feel free to post to the boards!
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN
As you probably know, a psychologist can not prescribe meds, they are strictly therapists. If you haven't went to a Psychiatrist yet, it would be a good idea to go and be evaluated to see if you truly are BP, if you are, I can't imagine that a Pdoc would put you on anti-depressants without a mood stabilizer. This can be very dangerous for a person with BP, as it can make you very aggresive and manic. BP'ers are never supposed to be on "just" an anti-depressant alone.
Welcome to the board! I agree: it does sound like, and it's good you're seeking help.
I can understand your resistance to meds, I was for a long time, but when I found that my life was ever so much better and my functioning so much better, I realised that I needed them. I had a choice between taking them and suffering.
It's very difficult to admit that you're not able to control yourself, that the illness can control you, but when you do admit it, it's a good place, for then you can set about managing it.
If you can get along with a therapist and without meds, all the better. But please don't close your mind to medication help.
How long have you had these difficulties? May I ask how old you are? (I am almost 62.)
You'll find great people and much help and understanding, and I am glad to meet you.
As I said, I'm not closing myself off completely to medication, I'd just kind of like to give therapy alone a fighting chance...
I have been having difficulties with depression for years, but it has never been this intense and I had never experienced such high highs and low lows until just recently, I'd say for a few weeks now (Though I feel like I'm leveling out now...)
I am twenty years old.