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how long between episodes?

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Old 12-18-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
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apm86 HB User
Question how long between episodes?

So this is my first post, forgive me if this is a common and annoying question.

mid March of last year i had a rough time in my senior year of college. I was 25 and my whole life felt meaningless and worthless. alot of the occupy stuff was taking my time all fall and winter before that and im not sure how that contributes to anything but by march it was disintegrating rapidly. I had been feeling pretty down and having strange thoughts that kept intruding on whatever i was doing. i was drinking a lot and doing a lot of drugs, no amphetamines though. since the new year I had been even more depressed, my girlfriend and i were fighting alot and everything was falling apart, even though in retrospect it wasnt that big of a deal. i started having trouble sleeping and was told a few times that i needed to calm down i was partying to hard etc. I saw a doctor, and was put on seroquel

I came off of it, one week got pretty bad and i didnt sleep for 4 days at all, I was mostly sober but drank some alcohol. i did drugs before that and it felt like that might have kicked it up a notch. at the end of the four days my girlfriend broke up with me. I was alone, and i got very drunk and cut my wrist pretty bad. i had done some cutting 10 years before and i started again that spring. I completely severed a tendon and ended up with 13 stitches (I called the ambulance on myself after a little fainting fit when i got scared of dying). I was put on lithium and zyprexa, then switched to trileptal when my kidneys started acting up.

I ran out of insurance after i graduated and stopped taking meds. I have felt ok, last couple months i have been depressed a week or two here or there and some of the intrusive thoughts and nightmares have been coming and going but i feel way better than being on the meds. I went vegan and lost 30lbs down to 152 and feel healthier and more attractive, which is nice.

I dont really think of myself as bipolar and have been concluding that i was misdiagnosed and then messed up by the seroquel. but i just spoke to somebody about someone who didnt have a manic episode till close to 10 years after their first. this spooked me so i started doing research and it seems that they can be years apart.

first i was just spooked about having another episode (i had naively thought that it was always back to back and that since i came off the meds i was cured) then i started thinking about when i was 16-17 and i was running away and heavily using. I had some psychotic episodes that i attributed to speed, but i wonder if that could have been a first episode? furthermore, i am finishing up a course and plan on leaving the country in the next couple months to live abroad.

I guess my question in short form is what did your progression look like? was it similar to mine or not? and what do you think about mine? what should i do (i have no insurance and cant afford psych)?

ps. I have been feeling fairly in control lately minus some nightmares and intrusive thoughts, averaging about 5-6 hours or so of sleep most nights, drinking but not getting very drunk except 1 night a week. (the booze helps the nightmares).

Last edited by Administrator; 12-18-2012 at 11:13 PM.

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Old 12-20-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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thatgirl141 HB Userthatgirl141 HB User
Re: how long between episodes?

To be as honest as possible, everyone's after-episodes will be different because we all deal with different things and lead different lives.. I had a manic episode one year ago and for me, it took almost a full year to deal with hypomania.. the lesser form of the first episode. Of course it's not AS scary or frightening next time around because there's a sense of.. "I've been through this and I came out strong, this CAN'T break me.." Knowing about what you're dealing with makes all the difference. It might still be scary but this time you have a clue and there's a name to it.
To impart what you've written.. I also didn't sleep for 4 days and didn't really notice. Moral of the story: Sleep is IMPORTANT!
lol no, but if you feel the physical come on (and it's a far different feeling from when we don't deal with any episode symptoms.) then you KNOW: it will soon manifest itself mentally. I think learning as YOU mature and trying to keep episodes at bay with medication can be a great bet

I wish you all the best in your growth <3

P.S-- ENJOY your life! don't let this thing control youxo

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apm86 (01-27-2013)
Old 01-21-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2013
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workforhappy HB User
Re: how long between episodes?

I had my first psychotic manic episode at 25. Stopped taking meds about 4 months later. Had my second episode at 42. I'm 43 now and staying on meds. I didn't believe my diagnosis the first episode. I do now.

Sounds like you are self-medicating.

I did that for a long time too.

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apm86 (01-27-2013)
Old 01-27-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2012
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apm86 HB User
Re: how long between episodes?

Thank you both for your replies and support.

By way of an update, I've been seeing a therapist again as I have been pretty down in the dumps. She wants me to stop using, which is a pain. I stopped at new years and didn't sleep a wink for three days before i started drinking again. Then started drinking and using pretty heavily until the money ran out. Then I was really down, havent left my house in a couple weeks. Just stopped drinking again 3 days ago (its now 5:51am on the start of the third day), havent slept a wink since. I think it might be a withdrawal thing more than any type of "mania" but i dont really know. thoughts are getting a little loopy, tried to go out yesterday and had some pretty extreme anxiety, to the point of shaking, which is odd for me. Felt tired earlier but now that its night i cant sleep. I've been sitting in bed a couple hours in the dark with my eyelids fluttering like i was on dope before i decided to give up. Pretty scared, hopeless and alone feeling most of the time, just trying to watch cartoons and keep myself dissociated much as possible which is a drug of sorts. The odd burst of energy will have me walking around my yard but Im afraid to go out and get hassled by the cops or something. I dont really know what i should do, family thinks im a weirdo im sure.

Thanks again for your replies and support, I appreciate it.

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thatgirl141 (04-15-2013)
Old 04-14-2013, 08:18 PM   #5
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thatgirl141 HB Userthatgirl141 HB User
Re: how long between episodes?

You are very welcome, my fellow BP beloved
Keeping you in my prayers & I hope that by now you definitely have a clearer mind about peace you've been searching for through all..

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