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Old 04-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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chris chacha HB User
How do you get through university with bipolar!!

everday is a new problem, whethe its being too groggy from the meds, feeling weak, feeling like its pointless to keep going to class cause i have missed so many of them already one feels lost or my personal favorite attending the first two classes then feeling dizzy and calling it a day. With all these hiccups you can imagine how difficult it is for a uni student to function. Disciplining yourself just goes out the window, cause your never sure if its just you being lazy or the bipolar disorder messing with your functioning. its hard for people to understand when i tell them i have bipolar disorder. They keep thinking its like the flu, it will go away as soon as i start taking the meds, honestl thats what i thought too untill i got on the meds and realised this thing isnt going away. Came to a point i stopped telling people i have bipolar and luckily on my part, they love me through the ups and downs of my journey without even realising i am not neccesarily in control of my actions. Been in two car accidents and a fight that might have cost me my life but lucky it just left me with a straight line scar on my temple that is barely visible now. my question is if you have bipolar, how did you manage to get through the trying and demanding years of being a varsity student.

 
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:40 PM   #2
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Lieve66 HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

I sympathize with you. It took me double the time to get my degree because of it, 8 years instead of 4. A few time i had to reapply to the college because of hospitalization, sometime I just took one class because i couldn't function on the meds. it was a mess, but i kept going, took a class in summer a few times trying to make up the lost time. Just get trhough however you can is how i did it, and don't think about having to do it the way everyone else is, cuz that's just depressing. Good luck. You can do it.

 
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

How do you get through university with bipolar? That's a good question, one I have no answer to. I haven't been able to graduate. This would be my seventh year if it wasn't for a seven month hospitalization.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 05:22 PM   #4
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

I don't know the answer to that question either.

I had to take this semester off after failing all of my classes this past fall due to rapid cycling, auditory hallucinations, racing thoughts and mania.

My social work advisor, pdoc and tdoc all thought it would be best if I withdrew so that I could get my rapid cycling under control.

I'm doing much better now that I'm seeing a new pdoc and have been put on a different med regimen.

If all continues to go well, I plan to resume my education in September.

The only thing I can suggest is to ask your school for accommodations in regards to your bipolar such as extensions for assignments, extra time for exams and excused absences for pdoc and/or tdoc appointments. This is what I plan to do. If I had used these accommodations in the first place, I probably wouldn't have failed my classes.
__________________
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; 04-25-2009 at 05:24 PM.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #5
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Llama HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

Forgot to mention, the first three years went REALLY well for me. This was due to manic episodes. I did so well during that time in university. But then a series of depressions hit and all has gone downhill.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

Llama,

I know someone else with BP who said she did very well in college thanks to her manic episodes.

I must be a rare breed or something because I've never been able to concentrate well enough in a 3 hour lecture when I'm manic. The sound of my professor's voice annoys me to the point where I want to leave the room.

I also had problems doing too many things at once. I would start studying Statistics for 5 minutes, then switch to social work for another 5 minutes before changing yet again to a different subject.

I never used to be this way before I was diagnosed with bipolar. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a very hard worker and could spend hours upon hours studying. Now I can't. My concentration isn't what it used to be and I have problems with short term memory which make memorizing information very difficult.
__________________
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 04-25-2009, 08:14 PM   #7
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Llama HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

I can totally relate to the concentration problems, dreams. Eek! And I've had a few three hour classes, but not that many. It's hard to sit still that long and it definitely is impossible to concentrate that long.

 
Old 04-25-2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

Llama,

If I'm feeling level, I can handle 1 hour lectures, but not 3. When I was a freshman, we used to have one hour lectures, but once I became a senior, that all changed. Now all of my classes are 3 hours long. Thank goodness I only have 2 more courses to take before graduating!
__________________
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 04-26-2009, 07:31 AM   #9
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caitlin122 HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris chacha View Post
everday is a new problem, whethe its being too groggy from the meds, feeling weak, feeling like its pointless to keep going to class cause i have missed so many of them already one feels lost or my personal favorite attending the first two classes then feeling dizzy and calling it a day. With all these hiccups you can imagine how difficult it is for a uni student to function. Disciplining yourself just goes out the window, cause your never sure if its just you being lazy or the bipolar disorder messing with your functioning. its hard for people to understand when i tell them i have bipolar disorder. They keep thinking its like the flu, it will go away as soon as i start taking the meds, honestl thats what i thought too untill i got on the meds and realised this thing isnt going away. Came to a point i stopped telling people i have bipolar and luckily on my part, they love me through the ups and downs of my journey without even realising i am not neccesarily in control of my actions. Been in two car accidents and a fight that might have cost me my life but lucky it just left me with a straight line scar on my temple that is barely visible now. my question is if you have bipolar, how did you manage to get through the trying and demanding years of being a varsity student.
Chis,
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. I know how frustrating it can be. When I first started college in 1999, I had many problems too. I failed some classes, skipped many, and ended up taking a medical leave of abscence from school for the rest of the year. I tried going back the next year, and within 2 weeks the stress was so bad, that I had to drop out again. I had then decided college wasn't for me. I took 5 years off. I didn't think I would ever go back, but a few years ago, I felt that I could handle it now that I'm a little older, and more stable than I was back then. I would suggest you take one day at a time. I know how hard it can be to work up the motivation to do any work, or go to class, but try and force yourself to. Even if the work you produce isn't the greatest, at least you'll be trying your best. I would also suggest if you are doing bad at school right now because of your bipolar, I would let some of your teachers know the struggles you are having, if you feel comfortable enough to do so. When I was having the hard time, I finally had to tell my professors what was going on because I was doing so bad. Most of them were willing to work with my needs, and help in anyway they could. It also gave them more understanding and they didn't think I just wasn't doing the work or coming to class because I wanted to. Hang in there, I know it's ruff. It may not be a bad idea either to take some time off, and go back when your ready. I am currently finishing my degree online, and it's the best choice I ever made. Let me know what else I can do to help. If you ever need someone to talk to about it, let me know. I know exactly what you are going through.

 
Old 04-26-2009, 11:22 AM   #10
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klyn07 HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

Good question! I was doing a half *** job of it until my kids came along and I dropped out alltogether. Now I have one class to go and have yet to finish 4 years later. The anxiety of it gets to me, the fear of failing and making a fool of myself for trying.

I hope you manage and get your degree.

 
Old 04-27-2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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Bunnylover HB User
Re: How do you get through university with bipolar!!

One day at a time. I don't know any other answer, that's how I did it. There will be days you feel like you can't do, if at all possible, drag yourself to class anyway, even if your concentration is shot. As a university instructor now I know the worst thing you can do is start missing classes. Students who are there, do better than students who aren't there, period, even if they aren't at their best.

And accept that you're doing a hard thing, and that some days, weeks, semesters will be harder than others. Focus on achieving the end goal, and don't beat yourself up if along the way you don't get the grades you want. You're keeping going, that's the main thing.

Honestly, I can't think of anything in the way of accomodations that would have helped me, but maybe other people have ideas. I just needed not to be so depressed I couldn't get out of bed.

 
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