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Old 03-19-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
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Another Question about Grief and BP

Hi everyone,

I had a nightmare tonight, so I'm awake again posting to the board.

I have another question about grief as it relates to bipolar.

My pdoc told me that death is no different for someone with bipolar than it is for someone who isn't. Do you agree?

A counselor I've known for a long time disagrees and says that grief/loss can exacerbate bipolar symptoms.

What do you think?

I tend to agree with the latter comment.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-20-2009, 02:27 AM   #2
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

dreams,

i agree that grief is deeper for those of us with bp particularly when followed by further trauma , last summer we seemed to have one death after another but i know people here have not realised how much it has hit me. i am always astonished too that death doesn't seem to prompt people to be nicer to each other. i thought that it would be one good thing to come from my brother's death but no, my family while they think of him have not changed at all.

 
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:37 AM   #3
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Hi Dreams
I definitely agree with the second comment more than the first. However everyone's reactions to grief and death is different and almost impossible to judge until they experience it. A perfectly usual person free from BP can go right of the rails in despair, while someone with a mental health condition might take a strength and cope extremely well. Grief is unpredictable and there is no right or wrong way to grieve etc.

But is your question about how a person with BP deals with grief or how grief effects a person with BP? In answer to the first I would say that death is the same for all because it is unpredictable as to how anyone will cope. But in answer to the second I would agree that death and grieve has a high probability of exacerbating BP...
J

 
Old 03-20-2009, 03:20 AM   #4
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by irishwriter View Post
dreams,

i agree that grief is deeper for those of us with bp particularly when followed by further trauma , last summer we seemed to have one death after another but i know people here have not realised how much it has hit me. i am always astonished too that death doesn't seem to prompt people to be nicer to each other. i thought that it would be one good thing to come from my brother's death but no, my family while they think of him have not changed at all.
I feel the same way you do, irishwriter. When my parents died, everyone in our family stopped talking to each other. We used to have huge family get togethers on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but now we don't and haven't since 2004. Now all I have to rely on are 2 sisters. Without them, I don't have any family.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 03-20-2009, 03:23 AM   #5
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsfai View Post
Hi Dreams
I definitely agree with the second comment more than the first. However everyone's reactions to grief and death is different and almost impossible to judge until they experience it. A perfectly usual person free from BP can go right of the rails in despair, while someone with a mental health condition might take a strength and cope extremely well. Grief is unpredictable and there is no right or wrong way to grieve etc.

But is your question about how a person with BP deals with grief or how grief effects a person with BP? In answer to the first I would say that death is the same for all because it is unpredictable as to how anyone will cope. But in answer to the second I would agree that death and grieve has a high probability of exacerbating BP...
J
My question is how death affects someone with BP. Do we experience grief more than the average person because of our BP or not? I know death can trigger a manic or depressive episode which is the reason why I was curious to know some of your thoughts. With that being the case, it makes sense that some of us with BP do grieve more than people who do not. I know that has certainly been the case for me.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-20-2009 at 03:24 AM.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 03:37 AM   #6
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Dreams
This is a really interesting train of thought, has something in your life recently prompting this thinking?
I am thinking two things here. People with BP are, obviously, prone to emotion mood swings that can be dramatic at the best of times. I'm not sure if those with BP greive more (I actually think that might be a little niaeve to think that someone can grieve 'more' than others) But I think maybe the BP might lead to a different style of grief, they might display their grief more readily than others.
This might be becouse of their mood swings but it might also be becouse of an awarness of their diagnosis and through therapy etc they have become educated in accpoetiung and managing their moods, hence they have more permission from society to grieve openly...
What do you think
J

 
Old 03-20-2009, 03:42 AM   #7
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

I think that because we experience such intense mood swings, our expression of grief tends to be stronger than those who do not have BP. Does that make sense?

The reason this question occurred to me is because a friend of mine whom I've known for 5 years was taken off of a ventilator yesterday and I've been having a very difficult time coping.

When I called my pdoc on the phone yesterday, he made the comment that I included in my original post.

It's funny because I didn't even ask him whether or not people with BP experience a higher level of grief (in terms of intensity). When he said this to me, it made me wonder how people with BP differ from those who don't in regards to grief and how we deal with loss.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-20-2009 at 03:43 AM.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 03:54 AM   #8
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Oh dreams,
your poor friend and poor you. But cut yourself a little slack. It was only yesterday, of course you are finding it hard to cope, you dont need to cope at the moment. Remember there are no rules here....sleep if you can....

But in regard to your question. I think it's really important to differentiate between expression of grief and expereince/intensity of grief. the eperience of grief and the intesity felt is totally indiivdual and irrelevent of other peoples expereinces. No two people can be compaired and to do so is judgmental. Expression of grief can depend on many things, culture (some cry out and beat their chests others grieve behind closed doors), the relationship to the person lost, the expectation of death occuring.....again it is individualised. Thinking about it I am beginning to agree with your Pdoc. I think the main issue would be exacibation of BP.
J

 
Old 03-20-2009, 07:05 AM   #9
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Would it be fair to say that death/grief/loss affect people with BP differently than those who do not have BP?
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-20-2009 at 07:06 AM.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

I think that would be very fair to say. I think BP people are so much more emotional and in tune with their emotions, that things effect us more intensly. It's how it is for me anyway. Whenever I expereince grief or a loss, I take it very hard. Every single time. Almost to the point where I can't take it anymore. I think that's a very fair thing to say.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #11
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlin122 View Post
I think that would be very fair to say. I think BP people are so much more emotional and in tune with their emotions, that things effect us more intensly. It's how it is for me anyway. Whenever I expereince grief or a loss, I take it very hard. Every single time. Almost to the point where I can't take it anymore. I think that's a very fair thing to say.
Thanks for your reply, caitlin.

My tdoc and I discussed this today and he said the same thing.

He said that while everyone experiences grief differently, people with bipolar seem to react to it on a far more intense level than people without bipolar.

He also said that grief/loss can worsen bipolar symptoms.

When I asked him about my reaction to my friend's death, he told me I probably felt a higher degree of loss than the next person only because of the way my severe depression manifests itself.

I heard voices last night which he said is another indication of how grief/loss affects me.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-20-2009 at 12:42 PM.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

I agree that loss and grief can intensify bp symptoms. It's the loss of my grandmother that started my lasted manic/depressive episode in December. I didn't realize it until my mother brought it to my attention. We were trying to figure out what the trigger for this episode was and my mother said she bet it was my grandmother's loss in December. Thinking about it, that made total sense. Since then I've been progressively getting worse. That's when it all started. It was so hard for me to lose her. I always take a death very hard. I've had many of them in my unfortuanly. Starting freshman year in high school, I have lost lots of friends and family, either due to freak accidents, like my 14 year old friend dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, suicide, my schizophrenic friend hung himself, and death, many older relatives who were very important to me. It's so hard, even to this day. These deaths will always be with me.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:50 PM   #13
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

I'm so sorry for your losses, caitlin. ((((((caitlin)))))

I definitely believe that death can be a trigger. When I had my first manic/psychotic episode in 2006, it was caused by a variety of factors including my mother's death (according to the attending pdoc when I was IP). She passed away in December the previous year and I was hospitalized in February.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-20-2009 at 12:52 PM.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #14
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

Dreams,
That must have been devestating for you! I can't even imagine the day I lose my mother of father. I will fall apart, I can guarentee that. BP makes our emotions so intense that we feel these losses so much more and so much harder. They stay with us forever.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #15
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Re: Another Question about Grief and BP

That's true, caitlin. As for my father, I really didn't care that he died due to the fact that he sexually, physically and emotionally abused me from age 7-18. My mother emotionally abused me as well, but at least she came to my defense whenever my father tried to hit me. I still miss my mother and miss her terribly.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
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