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controlling manic urges

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Old 10-20-2006, 08:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 820
fallen_angel HB User
controlling manic urges

i wonder if anyone had any advice on recognising and controlling manic urges?
I recently dropped my meds to too low a level as i was feeling too suppressed and had no motivation. I also missed a couple of doses which didnt help matters. I noticed i had more energy and a 'sunnier' outlook on life and i was worried i could be getting a bit hypo, but because i felt happy and had some get up and go i didnt mind and was actually enjoying it. I guess thats when the warning signs should of kicked in, but i was happy so they didnt. Then i got a couple of my credit cards back that i had shut down and have spent over £1000 in the past week. Some of that has been on xmas shopping though, and it was still nothing like what i used to spend. But i feel angry with myself for getting into more debt when i had been doing so well. I had all the same feelings, the adrenaline racing, not checking the prices on anything, hiding things, dreading the post coming with the bills, but i just couldnt stop myself. It was almost like it was a different person doing it and one that was untouchable and only had one goal, and that was to spend.
I then felt very guilty and ashamed and planned to increase my tablets again because of this. Around the same time i had a call from my doctors office saying my lithium levels had come back and were far too low and had dropped under a therapeutic level. So that explains my recent behaviour. Im now on that higher dose, and my pdoc wants to see me to discuss strategies for dealing with manic urges. Im not looking forward to this as i just dont see how it can be done, im honestly like a different person who truly doesnt believe anything is wrong when i feel like that until afterwards. I turn into this fun person where nothing matters. And afterwards is too late as the damage has already been done.
i just wondered if anyone has any personal strategies that have worked for them with this?

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Old 10-20-2006, 09:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: london uk
Posts: 337
jgr01 HB User
Re: controlling manic urges

Hi Fallen,

i did notice you hadn't been around so much in the last couple of I know why! I know I found this board when I was at one of my worse mixed phases, have upped the meds, fell into a depression and now I'm the pheonix again (yes I've spent a bit too).
I have always found this the most awful part of the condition, recognising the hypo's before they become manias/psychosis or the depressions before I take off on my own (to nowhere).

My husband and I have warning cards (my mum carries one too). We do change them every few months (if we remember) but generally if I exhibit 3 out of 5 symptoms on the card he tells me and we work out a course of action at that time. That could be visit to the psych, remove all alcohol, credit/debit cards, go for a trip to Dorset whatever it needs to be at the time.

It's sort of CBT within the family, even my daughter can recognise and point out the symptoms.

The interesting thing for me is, before I was actually diagnosed, even though I spent a lot, drank a lot, took street drugs, was promiscuous you name it, the manias cycled so regularly that I was also always somewhat in control afterwards and paid back if I'd overspent, worked and kept a roof over my head. Since my first Section and the medication, it has just got worse and worse if I ever relapse. Now I am aware it's not normal, now I know my behaviour should leave me guilty, now I have less get up and go and feel incapacitated much of the time. Of course, if I wasn't Sectioned I may not even be here to feel those things, or love my family and friends and feel the weather on my skin.

It's such a tricky mix of emotions I sometimes wonder if I will ever just be sated and happy with my lot again.

Good luck

Juliet x

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