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Archive for the ‘Bipolar Disorder’ Category

I don’t love you enough to fill the windshield wiper fluid before  your 12 hour car ride

I don’t love you enough to stock the fridge with unspoiled food after your 12 hour car ride home

I don’t love you enough to adhere to your therapist’s suggestions on ways I can alleviate some of your stress

I don’t love you enough to seek a support group for myself regarding your condition

I don’t love you enough to ask about your doctors appointments

I don’t love you enough to research constructive communication techniques regarding your condition

I don’t love you enough to care about what medications help with your various conditions

I don’t love you enough to include you in parental decision-making for our child while you are 700 miles away

I don’t love you enough to keep an eye on you after the therapist and your mother told me you were vulnerable

I don’t love you enough to spend time in the same room the second day you returned home from your suicide attempt

I don’t love you enough to have my own issues addressed, possibly alleviating some of your stress

I don’t love you enough to move in order to improve your health, increase your support system and decrease your loneliness

I don’t love you enough to inquire about your feelings everyday

I don’t love you enough to acknowledge your presence

I don’t love you enough to notice when you are crying while we are in the same room

I don’t love you enough to put your shoes on my feet to feel what  you are feeling

I don’t love you enough to change anything I do that has negatively impacted our relationship

I don’t love you enough to find out why I do the same things over and over again, adding to your frustration

I don’t love you enough to tell you before I tell my parents that divorce is imminent

I don’t love you enough to offer comfort when your businesses had to be closed and your career ended

I don’t love you enough to leave my parents

I don’t love you enough to sacrifice video game time

I don’t love  you enough to resolve a conflict before I leave for vacation while you stay home alone

I don’t know you enough to take our child away from his friends and grandparents

I don’t love you enough to stand by your side during the lowest point in your life

I don’t love you enough to waste another 3 years of you trying different medications

I don’t love you enough to do all I can to save our marriage

and I don’t love you enough to deny the fact that  love for my child is greater than the love I have for you, knowing this information will prolong your depression

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It is a chemical imbalance and I cannot snap out of it. Visiting with family and friends only takes my mind off dark places FOR THAT MOMENT, it does not go away. In the evening hours when people are usually sleeping I am ruminating about EVERYTHING NEGATIVE. Being in Buffalo has helped and I feel supported, but I am still grieving in the midst of my depression. I live 700 miles from my son, my animals, my house, my garden, my address, my doctors, my therapist, my career, my independence,  my belongings and my panic attacks are endured without the help of my husband to calm me. My psychiatric care is transitioning from NC to NY and is another added stress. Having to tell my story over and over again to a perfect stranger (not even knowing if I will like them) is excruciating and  deletes my energy and raises anxiety.

OCD-obsessive compulsive disorder for me are negative thoughts playing over and over again. Imagine that song you just heard and it plays over and over in your head, that is how it works. I dissect them in so many ways and they never turn out positive. Everything is my fault and no one can uplift my thoughts permanently.

Depression changes energy level, my behavior towards others and myself, my emotional state and my actions are either lethargic or violent. If conflict is not resolved my anxiety takes over and just builds up to where the only outlet is to lash out with unkind words, punching, slamming or swinging at SOMETHING. Depression creates confusion in me and does not allow for rational decisions to be made or talking sensibly, which adds to my frustration.

Making decisions, planning, organizing, memorizing or retaining details, initiating anything, and motivation are all compromised at this point. It is all an overwhelming feeling and sometimes I do just walk away………and worry about how it will all manifest.

Buffalo is a whole different world but not without new problems…….

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Bitch is an understatement. When I am depressed with anxiety or paranoia, it is no picnic.  Since medication is currently ineffective, “others” that are close to me need to be highly EDUCATED on the illness, my stress triggers and my symptoms of mania, depression or mixed episodes. Communication is ALWAYS a problem because my perception of anything is usually different from yours. Emotions will always be expressed with a bit more passion and my sensitivity level tends to stay on the high side. These traits are part of the bipolar illness, but don’t have to ruin all relationships if all parties did their share to cope and research…………… I need to have hope but with certain circumstances and ultimatums thrown in my face that hope is diminished.

The challenges of being married to a person with a mental illness or disorder are often made considerably worse during the divorce process-Read more:

Most relationship problems can be resolved with five questions: What am I not facing? What truths have I not spoken? What have I been blaming others for that I need to own responsibility for creating? What choices do I need to make? What actions do I need to take?

Mental Illness or not, these are red flags for anyone………

Signals of impending divorce

No Conflict Resolution

The noted researcher John Gotman has argues that it is not lack of communication that sinks a marriage but, rather, lack of effective conflict resolution. Couples who have not evolved a way to resolve differences without injury to the relationship end up avoiding disagreement and conflict. One or both has arrived at a point of despair that it is pointless to try to resolve a difference with his/her mate. It may be that one or both are simply conflict avoidance. Or one or both may regard every conflict as a fight to be won by bullying the other into submission. What matters is that someone has given up. Differences are submerged resulting in a loss of respect, increasing distance and gradual withdrawal.

Emotional Disengagement

Emotional engagement is a minimum requirement for the development and maintenance of intimacy. Willing discussion of feelings, one’s own feelings and the other’s feelings are a part. Interest in the emotional life of the other and empathic engagement of each other’s emotional life all constitute the required elements for an intimate relationship.

Disaffection

Emotional engagement is generally accompanied by the withdrawal of affection. If your wife has disengaged emotionally from you she probably doesn’t feel much love for you. Divorcing people commonly say that “they have fallen out of love.” And depending on how sour the relationship has become one or both probably don’t like each other very much

Lack of Sex

Sex both expresses and reinforces emotional connectedness. When a couple has not had sex in a long time it is usually a reliable indicator that emotional disengagement is advancing steadily. It is yet another indicator that the partners take no pleasure in each other and that the bonds are rapidly eroding if not already in a terminal state.

Increased Focus outside the Marriage

Empty marriages are very boring. Some couples compensate by pouring themselves into their children so that child centered activity becomes the sole content of family life. Others pour themselves further into careers working late every night so the time with the other is minimized. And as emotional satisfaction is sought exclusively outside the marriage the probability of an affair soars. The majority of affairs I see in my practice have started with a coworker who takes an interest and is fun to be with.

Preparation for a Single Life

I recall a couple I worked with many years ago in which the husband, as part of his planning for the coming divorce, took a second mortgage on he house to pay for a hair transplant to improve his dating prospects. Although this was a bit extreme it is typical for the initiating spouse to begin preparing herself or himself by getting in shape, losing weight, attending to hair and wardrobe and other things to enhance appearance. And particularly with women who have stayed home we often see a new interest in refreshing or acquiring a career to be less dependent on the earnings of the husband. We also will often see the initiator taking up an activity such as tennis or golf without involving the other spouse and generally beginning to build a social network as a single rather than as a couple.

Differentiating- In this stage, partners begin to stress the “me” instead of the “we.” In other words, the individuals begin to assert their independence. They may develop different hobbies or activities. The relationship may continue to dissolve, or this stage may be a warning sign that the couple needs to address their relationship status.
Circumscribing: Communication between the couple diminishes during this stage. They tend to avoid certain topics of discussion. Outwardly, the couple appears normal. At this stage, attempts can be made to discuss the relationship and return it to a positive state.
Stagnating: During the stagnating stage, the individuals avoid discussing the relationship because they think they know what the other will say. Others begin to take notice that something is wrong.
Avoiding: The pair begins to physically separate themselves during the avoiding stage. The individuals try to reduce the opportunities for discussion.
Terminating: This is the final stage of the relationship. Termination may come naturally, such as at the end of the semester when roommates move out, or arbitrarily, through divorce. Termination of the relationship can occur positively or negatively.

Some coping techniques for spouses of bipolar sufferers

  • You may dearly miss the person you fell in love with. Keep in mind that with proper treatments and your support, that person will come back to you
  • Find your own therapist. You may need a professional to help guide you through the hard times
  • Look for a support group for partners of bipolar sufferers. If there isn’t one in your area, consider starting one
  • Go with your spouse to a few of his/her therapy sessions and talk to their therapist. Ask questions, listen to the therapist’s conclusions or views of your spouse’s care. Try to be interactive in their care rather than inactive. Don’t be overwhelming, though.
  • Find time for yourself with such things as hobbies, walks, jogging, sports, and writing. Sometimes it helps to vent a bit of frustrated energy. You can go for a vigorous walk and clear your head.
  • When your partner is in a healthy mental state, talk to them about your needs and hurts. Don’t be confrontational, don’t blame, just gently tell them how you feel about things from your perspective.
  • Remind yourself continually throughout the day that there will be better times ahead. Make it a mantra.
  • Allow yourself to reminisce about the good old times when you were both happy and give yourself hope that the good times will come again. Look through photographs of better days, read old love letters and watch family videos. Spend time with the kids talking about funny family stories.
  • Research and find reading material about mental illness. Get to know what you and your spouse are battling against.
  • View your spouse’s illness as something you both have to fight as a team.
  • Help monitor your spouse’s medication so that you can be aware they are taking the prescribed medications or not. You don’t have to be a nazi about it, just let them know you are keeping track.
  • If you have family, spend time with them.
  • If your spouse is hospitalized, ask family and friends to help out with the children, housework, cooking, and even with visitation. Ask for help, this is very important.
  • Treat yourself ever so often. Allow yourself to sleep in one day a week or take a long, hot bath.
  • Have a good cry once in a while. You don’t always have to be the strong one.
  • When your spouse is enjoying good mental health, spend pleasurable time together. Go on a date. Spend time with the children. Go for walks, etc.
  • Try not to take unpleasantness personally. It is not your fault that your spouse is depressed or suicidal for that matter. They may be emotional powder kegs ready to blow at any moment, irritable beyond belief, even spiteful. You must remember that most of the time it is the illness talking, not them. I know, this is easy to forget.
  • Learn to relax when you don’t have to be on guard. If stress is physically manifesting itself as back aches, sore and stiff muscles, or general aches and pains, consider going to a massage therapist.
  • Let the people around you know when you are going through an especially trying time. If possible, take some time off work.
  • Don’t argue with your spouse when they are in a deep depression or manic. It is of no use. They will not be able to see your point of view and it will just cause more tension for everyone.
  • If your spouse is hospitalized, talk to their nurses about their progress. It is a great way for you to get daily updates on your spouse’s condition.
  • If it is hard for you to visit a hospital, ask if you can have an off ward pass for a few hours. Take your spouse to a nearby park or restaurant and visit with them there.
  • Don’t have high expectations of someone in poor mental health. You are setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • Do not turn to drugs or alcohol to take away your pain and frustrations. You need to be strong for you and your spouse’s welfare.
  • Laughter is always good medicine. Rent a few comedies one evening and invite a few good friends to come down and watch them with you. Laugh.
  • If you have become so resentful and angry at your spouse that you have begun to experience marital problems, consider visiting a marriage counselor when the spouse is mentally stable.
  • Don’t blame everything on your spouse. It is not their fault that they are ill.
  • Don’t blame everything on yourself. That is not fair.
  • Try to focus on what is best for both of you.
  • Don’t get muddled up with all that is wrong with your spouse. Instead, look for the person trapped deep inside, the one you dearly love.
  • Sit down and take stock of your life, what is important and what is not.
  • There are a lot of motivational self-help books out there. Go find a few and read them.

 

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My drug of choice is Adderall for my ADHD and is the one substance that allows me to function when in depression. Without this medication I am a COMPLETELY different person. In the mornings before taking Adderall I am confused, weak, shaky, paranoid, overwhelmed, non-social, and pace or just sit and stare filled with anxiety about the day. This is exactly how I feel 7-8 hours after the medication wears off.

Sometimes I will purposely stay in bed and not take this stimulant just to save more pills for days I want to function for longer than 8 hours. I also need to adjust the time it is taken to correspond when I have an appointment and need to be social. This medication which is a controlled substance is highly abused, very addicting and was discontinued by my psychiatrist. I then sought a doctor who only deals with ADHD and would prescribe it. There are mixed schools of thought about Bipolar patients taking Adderall.

I hate taking it because my thoughts, motivation, and social skills are  DRASTICALLY changed and serves only as a band-aid for me. When the medication is active the fog surrounding my brain is lifted, I am no longer confused or overwhelmed, activities have meaning, my mood is uplifted, my thoughts are more positive and I can carry on a conversation as if I had no mental illness. It is all fake and when I basically turn into a pumpkin I am filled with anger, anxiety and disgust everyday it wears off. Maybe it won’t happen today, maybe this is the day I will feel good and not need it, but that day never comes. Am I addicted to the drug or addicted to feeling somewhat normal?

When you are constantly depressed and bipolar medication isn’t working, what are you supposed to do? Self medication is the answer. Even though Adderall is a controlled substance, it is a FDA approved medication which releases my guilt of having an addiction problem.

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Only a few have witnessed my panic attacks accompanied by tics. I try to stay home as much as possible when under increased stress or there is a change in normal routine to minimize anxiety. Tic disorders are not psychological, but neurological and not considered mental illnesses, but occur simultaneously with my Panic Attacks. Tics manifest as motor, vocal, and mental repetitions. Agoraphobia is fear of places and situations difficult to escape from with limited control,triggering my panic attacks.

I can definitely hide bipolar from you if all is calm, but not a chance when the panic attacks begin and I have nowhere to hide

Triggers-Panic Attacks with Agoraphobia:

  • Being far away from home
  • Going anywhere without the company of a “safe” person
  • Physical exertion (because of the belief that it could trigger a panic attack)
  • Going to places where escape is not readily available (e.g. restaurants, theaters, stores, public transportation)
  • Driving
  • Places where it would be embarrassing to have a panic attack, such as a social gathering
  • Eating or drinking anything that could possibly provoke panic (such as alcohol, caffeine, or certain foods or medications)

Agoraphobia patients can experience sudden panic attacks when traveling to places where they fear they are out of control, help would be difficult to obtain, or they could be embarrassed. During a panic attack, epinephrine is released in large amounts, triggering the body’s natural fight-or-flight response. A panic attack typically has an abrupt onset, building to maximum intensity within 10 to 15 minutes, and rarely lasts longer than 30 minutes. Symptoms of a panic attack include palpitations, a rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tightness in the throat and shortness of breath. Many patients report a fear of dying or of losing control of emotions and/or behavior.

I do not have the skills to stop an attack from getting worse when it starts and sometimes they lasts for hours. The tics are what makes it difficult to mask while in public. Everything I do is repeated for a long time and I am guessing this is a coping mechanism to calm down. Vocal tics-barely audible muttering, repeating words, portion of words, and phrases. Motor tics- shrugging, squinting, twitching, eye blinking, arm flailing, grimacing, and tongue rolling. Mental tic-echo is when I repeat something someone else said. When all of this is happening I CANNOT STAND BEING IN MY OWN SKIN. It is disabling because the weakness in my legs prevent me from walking steady.

As the years go by without successful treatment of the panic attacks and bipolar, everything just gets worse. Medication to treat one problem causes adverse reactions with another or they are highly addictive (bipolar patients tend to have more addictions).

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  • I have constant fear that there is no medicinal solution for me. The typical Bipolar medications have failed and now trying alternative approaches, with the last being electric or magnetic surges, shocking my brain for several weeks
  • I have fear that my panic attacks will occur in public. When they start there is no stopping them and this one reason I don’t venture outside too often
  • I have fear that my son will inherit this condition because he is showing signs
  • I have fear of abandonment and it terrifies me. I cannot live alone and can barely take care of myself when depression hits hard. People pass away, move or just end our relationship and this is not something I can handle. I will have to depend on someone, ALWAYS and that frustrates me. I am damaged goods with so much baggage and hate having to rely on others..
  • It is not easy to experience my rage, speedy mood swings, mania and depression. There are times when paranoid, evil and wicked thoughts enter my mind where I hate myself and I hate anyone near me. The strong language, violent tantrums, selfishness and intense anxiety will cause me to lash out and rip you apart layer by layer with no regards to children being present. I cannot keep too many people in the close circle because they will eventually throw in the towel and leave, not understanding that it is the illness and not Diana. There are only a few close family members who endure these horrible episodes
  • I fear never regaining my brain function or energy level from the past. Life moves so slow and I am trapped in this unstable body trying to keep from calling 911 or having an extended stay in the hospital or crisis center
  • I fear not being able to work anymore or the fact that I will have to work for someone other than myself. I have been fired from most jobs in the past because of my illness, not respecting authority figures, thinking my way is the best, or getting pissed before entering a violent rage
  • I fear uncertainty and this is what life is all about, not knowing what will happen next. I have to prepare myself and brain for EVERYTHING, otherwise panic sets in-did I take care of the dog, did I turn off lights, do I have keys, money, phone, panic attack prevention items, with all of this being checked 2-3 times because short term memory is shit

If we ever meet, I cannot guarantee calmness. Do not take offense to anything said by me and when I strongly suggest not to talk about a certain subject, it would be for the best to wait until my mood changes, which could be minutes or hours away. I was told that my mood changed 3 times within 45 minutes, which makes for a very unstable conversation. I hate the unpredicted moods, making it extremely difficult to make plans. It is only when I feel decent that spontaneity can occur.

I can sleep days away because it’s easier than dealing with my fears and anxiety, avoiding conflict, stress, disgust and depression. My dreams are ALL MINE and not the illness.

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Watching TV and even laughed last Tuesday night. Decided to go to bed and thoughts flooded my mind within seconds. Impulsive actions and switching from happy to sad in the blink of an eye is the evil of Bipolar Disorder. I can engage in positive behaviors and thoughts that would fool you and me into believing everything will be just fine. Rumination of negative thoughts play over and over again in my mind when Bipolar controls me.Switching from one extreme to the next is called a “mixed episode” which are dangerous. I always had the suicide plan in my mind, even plan A and plan B, but had no intention of implementing on Tuesday.

Plan A overdose  failed and was driven to the hospital for stabilization where I slept 3 of the 7 days away. For me, the suicide attempt is no big deal and assumed I would come home mow the grass, vacuum, and follow through with other tasks just like nothing happened. This bizarre thinking is all Bipolar impulsivity. I minimize most of my negative words and actions, which then confuse people around me. I also get confused when people react appropriately or serious and don’t view it as I do. When I go into a rage and verbally attack, it could be seconds later where I am thinking about what to cook for supper with no apology on my part because it was no big deal. I think this is one a the actions that people without mental issues would jokingly say, “They are psycho” or “She’s Bipolar”, with the latter being true.

Since I don’t see this as a big deal, family is taking precautions. My anger over this has passed and I have accepted the need for intervention. I feel like the hamster in the wheel, different words, thoughts and actions play over and over again without a moment to gasp for air.

Realistically my expectations are low for medicinal relief, but if a month passes without suicidal thoughts, I would take it. So as the hamster goes round and round, medicinal changes and additions have been on the same wheel for 3 years………….

Today I mowed, did some laundry, and thinking about what to have for supper.

 

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