I Hate Being Bipolar. It's AWESOME! - page 2
We've been talking a lot about mental illness during this early part of May, which has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. Nurses and students with all sorts of psychiatric conditions have been coming "out of the... Read More
- 4May 6, '13 by NurseRiesGreat read! My husband is bipolar 2 and my Dad is bipolar 1. My dads illness seems to have crippled him a bit more, but I think most of it is due to the non acceptance among his family. He was put on so many meds that he now has no desire to do much of anything and has been that way for 25 years. He is stable and he says he's happy, so that's great! I just wish that the meds didn't suppress his passions and interests as much as they do. He is finally down to the lowest dose of lithium, but he will never be completely off it. My brother and I are both mental illness free so far. I do get depression occasionally, but I don't consider it to be crippling.
My husband is a more milder case, however, he hates the way meds made him feel and so he's been without them for 10 years. I think he does fairly well. He sees his bipolar as an advantage that separates him from others. A lot of people don't understand his logic at times, but his mind just works in a very unique and interesting way. His depressions are deep, but usually only last a few days to a week. His mania is day to day, but has never been severe. When he gets obsessed with new interests, or goes on a diet/workout kick, it is INTENSE. Nothing will stop him. If he has a goal, like before we got married, he would work 70 hours a week without flinching to pay for things be wanted. I know he is manic when he starts talking to people and won't stop. They are polite enough to keep listening, but after 15 minutes and they haven't said a word, I know he's in his own world!
I love both men for who they are and the bipolar is part of what makes them unique. I have learned a couple of things that get me through hard times, " I didn't cause it and I can't change it." Once I realize the depression or outbursts are not my fault, I am ok. I cannot let the moods affect my moods as hard as that is, but I need to move on with my day because I can't fix it, I can't change it. I let my husband know that I am here in the other room if he needs something. I tell him what I'm doing and when ill be back. After a few days when he is better, I tell him I am so thankful he's feeling better and that I missed him, I think when people takes things personally, it makes the bipolar person more upset and agitated. The best thing I can do as a significant other and daughter is to ACCEPT the illness. It cannot be fixed. It cannot be changed. Regardless of that, I am here for both of them and will not run when things get intense. Although my husband thought he would never get married, there are people out there that have the ability to accept this disease and do not make it about them. We have been very happy for over 4 years and he is still incredibly interesting and I am excited to see where life takes us.
One thing I wish: that people didn't freak out when they hear the word BIPOLAR... It does not equal insanity or hallucinations or crazy. My husband is proud of his bipolar, he feels special. Other times he hates his own mind and feels so desperate and helpless. But just like any disease, we have good days and bad days. Like someone with chronic pain or diabetes, we just need to learn how to manage if and need to work together as a family!
And but the way, it's not pretty when I hear nurses at the hospital talking about the "crazy" patient and laughing. It's a disease just like any other and these people that are hospitalized are going through a rough time! Compassion appreciated.
- 3May 6, '13 by jenna75I was dxed with bipolar disorder about 7 years ago and it has been one rough ride since I was a teenager. I go from complete manic states to being so heavily depressed I can barely crawl out of bed. I am in my second semester of nursing school and I am currently not passing due to a personal issue earlier this year that has left me devastated emotionally. My doc tried upping my effexor dose to the max-- it didn't work, she added a mood stabilizer-- it didn't work and now I am gradually making a switch from effexor to zoloft. Xanax works to keep me out of deep states of depression but it is short acting and I try to limit intake of it due to the addictive effects. I have tried Wellbutrin before but it had me so manic that I did not sleep for 7 days straight and developed SOB and heart palpitations. I am afraid Zoloft will fail as well. I saw a psychologist for a couple of months but it was too expensive and I felt it was not working.
I have gone through feelings of suicide, but I would not do it because I have kids to raise and my whole point of nursing school was to get a better job in the medical field to support me and my kids since I am a single mom. I glided through first semester with no issues and usually love school (I have another degree in a different field), but now I have been having a hard time studying and concentrating, all I want to do is sleep or stare into space. The thought of doing the whole semester over again brings me down. I have not had a manic episode in a long time--if I am not just plain depressed, I am apathetic and though I smile and laugh on the outside in front of others I am really dying on the inside. I just feel like time is ticking by and I am only getting older. I have been seeing one of my nursing instructors regarding help studying and the like, but I am afraid to tell her about my disorder because I feel like my mental health will stop me from getting into the nursing field. First semester I felt like a shining star and this semester I feel like nothing but a failure.
I agree with what was said about this running in families. I think just about everyone I know on both my mom and dad's side of the family has some mental affliction or mood disorder. My parents as well. I'm afraid this is something that will pass to my children since their father also has mental and addiction issues. It's a scary thought, but I try to raise them the best I can and have them keep a good head on their shoulders.
Though I would never wish this disorder on anyone, I am glad I am not alone in this and the subject is more widely discussed than it used to be. Thank you!
- 3May 6, '13 by pinkiepieRN@Jenna75, you can and will get through this. I was diagnosed in my second to last semester of nursing school and even experienced another traumatic event at the same time just to make things worse. I pulled through, saw a therapist religiously, played medication roulette and ended up making Dean's List for the only time in my college career. I graduated and I've still been struggling on and off, but I'm blessed in that I've had good health insurance and have always advocated for myself. Sometimes, I think having the nursing background helps, even if it makes me a "difficult" patient.
- 2May 6, '13 by kellycinalliI too, have been diagnosed with bipolar 1 for about 6 years. My husband took the time to research it and took me to my doctors which saved me. I was being reckless and out of control. My problem was sexual in nature. Always had to be center of the conversation and flirting to the point of getting phone numbers and meeting people out for drinks. I owe my husband everything, if it wasn't for him I'd be spiraling out of control. I was seeing a psychiatrist but have been stable for years. I take Effexor, Prozac, and lamictal, which helps with the anger I was experiencing. I would not sleep for days either and trazadone helps with that. I have to say, I do miss mania because from the meds I'm now tired all the time.some days it's even hard to do a load of laundry. But all in all feel great!
- 2May 6, '13 by TerpGal02, ADN, RNHypomania can be AWESOME. At least in the beginning for me, I feel on top of the world. Then the rage sets it. That's no fun for anyone. My depressions are severe. I have literally laid in bed for DAYS in the past. Not due to laziness but the fact that I simply could not do it. Gone 2 weeks without showering. The mere idea of showering was just exhausting. In fact no one picked up on BP2 until my pdoc now, even after 3 hospitalizations because my main problem has always been depression. Not to mention the fact that SSRIs without a mood stabilizer is bad news bears. Once I was dx'd and still feeling irritable, ky pdoc decreased my Zoloft which I thought was counterintuitive since I had been so depressed. And damn didn't the irritability and insomnia STOP. Since its been light out and warm, I've been getting a little hypo. If it doesn't abate the next step is to stop the Zoloft for the summer.
- 2May 6, '13 by bookworm78910Dear Vive,
I too am Bipolar. I've experienced all the symptoms that you've so nimbly described and a few more. People with BPD can be VERY fun to be with. For example, I'm told that I am very witty and hilarious things come out of my mouth with very little filter.
Life can be beautiful with Bipolar Disorder as you so aptly described. Colors are richer and more vibrant, things other people take for granted taste, smell, look and feel spectacular to me. But it is the dark side of bipolar disorder, the weeks with 7 hours sleep, the irrational fits of anger, pique and irritability that drive people away from us (even sometimes our own families) that is the rub, and the harder part to deal with (obviously). At the same time, I think the dark times are part of what give us perspective and let us truly enjoy the brightness of mania.
I am blessed with life, I know I am. I believe God had special purpose for me, and that is why he chose me to be bi-polar. I know there are things I have done in episodes that could have changed or ended my life; but I'm here, mostly whole..and blessed.