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Old 04-15-2012, 02:05 AM   #1
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What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Hi there,

I have recently been diagnosed with bipolar ii, though am not sure if this is accurate, or I am just in denial.

I have always thought of myself as quite normal until I turned 20. The night before my 20th, I went out, and was dancing while quite intoxicated. A guy came up and started harassing me, and next thing I was surrounded by a bunch of people who wanted to beat me up. They pushed me out on to the veranda of the pub, and tried to push me off. It was quite a stressful experience to say the least, and for the next couple of months I did not want to get out of bed, see people I usually hung out with or do anything at all. I guess I developed social anxiety at that point. After about four months, I started to feel better, my confidence came back, and I felt like myself again. But...

Six months later, I decided to move to the snowy mountains. I was drinking with some people I did not really know, and I said something they did not appreciate. I actually can't remember what it was now. The horrible feelings of depression/anxiety came back almost the next day, and I was depressed for another four months. When I came home, I snapped out of it.

And this pattern has followed me ever since. Over the past ten years I have had ten happy periods, and ten unhappy periods. When up I have succeeded in my life, when down my life is misery. I don't think I have ever been manic, but have started to question whether my happy times are a state of hypomania.

My questions for this forum are:

!.Are there any other people who can related to this once-yearly pole change? I have read that most Bipolar sufferers experience at least four changes during a typical year...

2. If yes, are you solely on lithium, or do you take SSRIs as well?


Thanks for your time,

J

 
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:28 AM   #2
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

thanks for sharing... though the only thing i can say is that bipolar is very unpredictable... hard to tell whats going to happen... how the symptoms are like and obviously how you react to it... for example in my case... my first episode lasted 3 years.... with depression and psychosis... then when i was diagnosed for my first time with schizophrenia... the delusions and psychosis just completely dissapeared.. for another 3 years... and i was just a super socially anxious guy... never went out of the house... then had a relapse after those 3 years which lasted for another 2 years... then after that another 2 year break from the insanity... then now for the past 4 weeks another episode... but with my experience and medication... i learn to makes use and adapt to my psychosis and delusions...

so all i can say is that with all the diagnosis i got like bipolar 2, schizophrenia and whatnot... the symptoms are are usually unpredictable... and sometimes not affecting to the diagnosis.... most important thing is that you're moving forward and coping...

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Has anyone talked to you about PTSD? I do have that and when your life is threatened with violence or death, you don't forget it. You might think you have and life will seem fine, but then something will remind you of the event and a lot of the times you don't even realize it. If I were you, I would stay away from drinking Alcohol until you have more of a grip on this. I wish you all the luck in the world and remember 1 thing.....ALWAYS RESEARCH! Don't just trust what a doctor tells you, question everything.

 
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Hi there,

I have 12 month episodes also. I was DX BP2 in 2004, and since then have been seeing my psych either every 2 or at the mos every 4 weeks without fail.

Despite this, and despite being generally stable, every February I go through a depressive episode. I have been an in-patient for my BP 4 times, each in the month of February - in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012.

Despite being 'generally' stable in between I do have periods of illness but not severe enough for in-patient, and changes in med doses at these particular times keeps me safe.

My psych is not surprised at all that I have 'regular' timings for my lows, and says it is most probably related to a child hood trauma at that time of year which my brain cannot accept yet (i'm 33 now). However, despite being on mood stabiliser, anti-psych and anti-dep, having a psychanalytical therapist I talk to, and my regular psych visits, it still happens each February, and I try very hard to battle it each time.

I have accepted now, that at this time of year , and those around me need to treat me a little mire gently. I don't take on as many things and try to keep myself as the most important object in my life at that time...

Good luck, but you're definitely displaying quite normal frequencies for BP 6 everyone IS DIFFERENT remember...

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BP 2 + hallucinations:
45mg Mirtazapine
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400mg Quetiapine
(tried Prozac, Seroxat, Fluoxetine, Duloxetine, Abilify, Risperidone, Amisulpride, Stelazine, Olanzapine, Diazepam)

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Feburary is my bad month. I think it has to do with the lack of sunlight. I ran away from home once (I was in my 30's) during Feburary. I try and schedule a vacation during Feburary to give me something to look forward to and to keep me occupied. So yes, I guess I have 12 month cycles. I've never taken litium. There are plenty of mood stablizers out there. Right now my only psych meds are celexa and geodon.

 
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Hey there,

I just want to thank you all for your replies. It seems that while we all experience some similar feelings and symptoms, how much and when we experience them, can differ greatly. I wish you all the best in finding the perfect treatment for your individual conditions.

When I wrote the above post I had been on Lithium a little over a week. I felt quite sluggish, weakened, and not myself while on it, so I gave it away. It's a shame I could not tolerate the drug for at least two weeks as that's how long it is supposed to take to work. I did not really feel like myself while on it, and though the painful thoughts were dulled out a little, so was my intellect, self-awareness and ability to think creatively. I have researched the effects of Lithium all over the place and it seems to be a wonder drug for many people with BP so please don't take my experience to heart, give it a try if your doctor thinks it's a good idea for you, and best of luck...

I have not had a manic period ever, just depression, in cycles. I wonder if how I feel can be controlled or changed by making wiser life decisions? Laying off the self-medication, like the occasional beer and smoking bud quite often, and doing more fitness in my life? The biggest thing is, I have never done these things to begin with... I need to give it a go before hitting the medication.

I have come to realise that rather than depression, I have anxiety that comes and goes. When the anxiety lifts I feel free and happy, but also act carelessly and in the moment, causing me to regret things later. Need to explain this to my doctor.

All the best and feel free to add more comments to this thread as greater communication means greater understanding...

Peace.

 
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Mt two cents worth:
Bipolar Disorder is almost always unpredictable and irregular. Although mania gets all the headlines, depression is usually a bigger problem. Personally, I would have 4 month mania, two year depression, 1 month mania, 1 year stability 3 month mania, etc, etc.
No regularity, no pattern, no logic.
Good luck.

 
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:51 PM   #8
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Thanks for your feedback. I can relate to what you are describing, except I have never had a two year depression. Really feel for you there, as it is hard enough going through half a year or so. Sounds like things are getting better for you though, over time. Has lithium or any other drug ever worked for you?

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

I think all of us have our cycles. Mine are 36 months and are like clockwork. Every three years I go manic. And I stay manic for 4 months, then crash and burn into a severe depression.... The only good thing about predictable cycles is that we can try and circumvent them. I hope to be aware enough before my next manic cycle to prevent it from happening. It's not easy though, as we all know those manic moments are tantalizing in their own ways at first, but then become quite scary. Good luck to you.

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
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Re: What is wrong with me? 12-month bipolar cycles

Hi Tanny.
I'm similar with a long period of time between episodes. Actually, on two mood stablizers I've been "stable" for five years now. I won't go through another severe depression like the last one, I'll see to that. And I know what you mean about the tantalizing nature of mania. Feels so very good at first but then spins out of control and into insanity of sorts. Anyway, wish you both many many years of stability.

 
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