Recently diagnosed as bipolar type 2. Question about certain aspects.

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I have recently been diagnosed as bipolar type 2. Not surprising as it runs in my family, and after assessing my life it paints a clear picture. My question isn't necessarily about the way it affects my mood specifically, but more so other aspects of my life.

Long before I was diagnosed I've always viewed my life as an inconsistent shift of different phases. I understand it is normal for people to enjoy doing something short term and then become bored of it,, but is this more common for people affected by this mental illness? There are certain hobbies I am very passionate about, writing being my main example. Though no matter how much I enjoy something or how much I want to work on a project, I can never seem to keep at it. It always feels so inconsistent. It has always been like that. I can never stick to something no matter how much I want or need to do it. II desire so much to continue writing, I have so many ideas, but can never bring my self to do it. I mostly just want more information on if the feeling that everything is just moving from one phases to another randomly is a result of being bipolar and if there are tips or ideas to make it seem less frustrating. This sort of information I find very valuable as I assess things and move forward.

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  • Posted

    Hi Elijah,   I am bipolar as well. I find myself with the same problems. I might be motivated to do the dishes then half way through I stop and go play games on the computer. That may take hours away from doing the things around the apartment that I SHOULD be doing like vacuuming or doing the laundry. You wouldn't believe how many time I wear the same shirt... just on different days. I recycle my clothes. Luckily I don't suffer from depression, just lack of motivation doing the essentials in life. I suffer from mania most of all. I find myself staying on the computer a lot watching videos & reading blogs such as this one. I will often find myself staying up until as late as 3 AM in the morning. My body is good to me because I still end up getting my 88 hours of sleep anyway. Luckily because of all the medication I am on... my psychiatrist won't prescribe sleeping meds for me. I have tried one called Ziziphus and it worked well but it was expensive. I now use an over the counter drug called Nytol which works well for me when I remeber to take it soon enough. Thankfully my drug store has a points plan where my drug purchases give me points that I can use to purchase OTC things. I have found a lot of good information from this forum.
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    • Posted

      Thank is interesting I may look into that. Unfortunately my body isn't quite as kind. I more suffer from the mania as well, but when I'm in that state sometimes my mind will only allow me to have 4 hours. It gets to the point where no matter how well my.mind is functioning my body starts getting sleep deprived. After a five day work stretch I end up sleeping 12+ hours. If I don't get two days off in a row I never end up getting properly recharged, and if I don't get the two days for multiple weeks is when I start functioning really low and can't pull myself out of it until I can rest. Luckily my manager is pretty good for accommodating it. I feel like its getting worse though. Maybe I'm over analyzing, but it has gotten to the point lately where I feel more.manic and almost not in control. I really need something to keep me sleeping properly.
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    • Posted

      Hi Elijah,

       What I tried a while back was a hebal medication called Zizyphus. It worked wonderfully. Only one problem... it was too expensive. Somewhere in the neibourhood of $45 for 1 month's supply. So I tried an OTC sleep medication called Nytol instead. It has worked well also. At least I end up getting my required 8 hours of sleep no matter what time I GO to sleep. Check your local pharmacy to see if they have it. It's also reasonably priced. In Canada it costs $8.42 for 20 pills... enough for almost 3 weeks. If you do try it, get back to me to share your experience with me.

       Mike

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  • Posted

    Hi elijah09191,

    Your post is describing me. I really don't know what more to say. I'll just give one example (out of many): I've probably started reading more books then those I finnished. Just ridiculous... We should start a club or something...

    When I enter mania and start tiding the house and stuff I never finnish, there s at least spoon left unwashed -  it's like some strange force is stopping me and funny is that  I know about "the spoon" but I just somehow leave it there, though  I was sooooo determant in the beggining.. Just lol...

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  • Posted

    I appreciate everyone's replies. I accepted the BPII diagnosis about 10 years ago, although looking back, I believe I was born with this illness. What I haven't identified as being a symptom of it is interruption of tasks that creates messes in every room of my house. This bothers me a great deal most days. MJM, I had to laugh (and feel better) when I read how you don't finish the dishes, and soharingo when you described starting to read more books than those you've finished. I have 5, 7' tall by 3' wide shelves loaded with books, MOST of which I haven't read. I call them "Good Intentions." Especially vexing, sometimes causing shame, because I work as a book editor. Family and friends tease me about the boxes of stuff littered here, there, and everywhere. I'm not a hoarder, just living in disarray and perplexed about it. After all, I'm a smart, capable person. I got the sleep problem solved aobut 20 years ago, but not necessarily in the best way: temazapam (Restoril), habit-forming but non-narcotic. Some nights, additionally I have to add an herbal sleep aid. Temazapam has wicked and instant withdrawal symptoms. My psychiatrist told me that it alters brain chemistry in long-term use such that I might not be able to sleep, even if I titrated off, again. Love an optimist. I'm brand new to this discussion forum and appreciate not feeling all alone.
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  • Posted

    Dear Elijah, this is my first time replying to someone in this group, I myself joined this morning hoping for some help also.  Firstly please know that you are not alone!  I suffer from severe depression, although I have not yet been diagnosed fully as being Bipolar, I know deep down that I most definitely am.  I go through periods very similar to yours....there have been times that I would look at the same small wrapper on the floor but found myself unable to pick it up no matter how badly I wanted to!!  I just could not seem to move my body, it consumed my mind...I would stare at it for days and I knew I should just pick it up but I could not seem to get my mind and body in sync...a stupid wrapper on the floor, lol.   There have been other moments in my life or cycle that I just can't stop cleaning up and this will last for days also and it is like I just can't seem to control myself from doing it.  I started Abilify 7.5 mg exactly one month ago and within one week of taking it I felt more like my old self.  You haven't said if you take any medications for your bipolar disorder, but if you haven't tried Abilify it is definitely worth a shot!  What have you got to lose?  I am also on Lyrica for issues not related to my depression (I have nerve damage and a few disc herniations in my spine) and I have found that my anxiety has been under control ever since.  Anyway I feel like I'm babbling on.....I just wanted to let you know of my experience, my focus is back and I truly have never felt better in that aspect.  My only complaints are that sometimes I feel "cloudy" in my mind, but I'm hoping in time this side effect will disappear.  One more thing to remember is that you are not alone, I know how it feels and I completely understand how you are feeling and what you are going through!  I have felt alone for a very long time but with therapy I am starting to feel "normal", which is why I joined this group.  If we can be there to support one another and provide tips and ideas, it really does help to know you are not alone.  Good-luck and I look forward to hearing how you are making out!  Julie smile
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  • Posted

    On the very lighter side, I allow myself "retail therapy," very controlled to shopping at a used clothing store, maybe every other month. While I'm there I'm intensely focused on the search, mind not on my problems. My body is moving, which frees up stuck places in the mind. I usually find something, which makes me feel good about looking good, or the illusion of that. Helps me!
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  • Posted

    Hi

    It sounds like you are describing me! Writing is my main passion too and I have had many diagnoses over the past ten years, including bi-polat type 2.

    What I know is this: people with any kind of depressive disorder tend to suffer from low self esteem and negative thinking. If the negative thinking takes the form of sabotaging anything you love doing, by persisitantly telling you that what you are doing is' not worth it', 'not what sensible people do', 'not for you as you are no good at it' and so on, then eventually you give up on project after project. 

    I am learning to 1. Recognise the sabotage, as self sabotage and 2. Not listen to it!

    It;s difficult, but will pay off if you persist in trusting yourself 

    Hope that helps a bit

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    • Posted

      Very helpful advice, Janet. I'm a writer, too, proud to say seven published how-to instruction books, and I work as a freelance book editor. I also suffer low self esteem and negative thinking. In terms of the thinking part of those two, the roots for me seem to be comparing myself to others, and expectations by others of me and by what I hold for myself. The most difficult thing has been to accept my life has turned out very differently than I expected because of this illness. I have to run a checklist: roof over my head, yes; food, yes; friends, yes; my pets (dog, two cats, so vital to my mental stability), yes. I struggle with resentment--probably tied to the reality that life isn't fair and entitlement-expectations. Lots of physical problems that I suspect have at least some relationship to the barrage of anxiety and depression over a lifetime. I still torture myself with recrimination over the mess in my physical space that I never seem to be able to dispense with. My weak areas, where I think quite a bit of stability would come from are gratefulness, meditation, exercise, and dropping the self pity. Janet, I think self sabotage is BIG. Thanks for the reminder. I think her sister is self pity. Poor me. Yes poor me, but get on with it girl! I tell myself.

       

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    • Posted

      Elizabeth! Seven published books! You are amazing! And you do that as well as cope with many problems. 

      I am just writing my first book................I've written articles and do a bit for a hospital charity.............and the self sabotage keeps coming up to bite me! Grrr. Am learning to bite back and carry on regardless, but it's sooooooo hard!

      And yes, gratefulness, meditation and excercise............well I keep meaning to get on with those!

       

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    • Posted

      It was a long story of how fate, destiny, crisis, and choice offered me teaching adult ed writing, leading critique groups, and freelance editing. Truly out of the blue, and I didn't have the qualifications had I been competing; I was given these jobs, inherited them. Being OCD and a bright cookie led me to take the next step of writing how-to books on writing and publishing. Bipoloar illness was a wrecking ball and also a motivator. I wrote a few books in manic episodes. I am now writing my first memoir, and yes, it is unbelievable difficult to write creative works. Instruction not so. I've missed almost every editing deadline--another BP trait or bad habit. Lots of people with all kinds of mental illness have been hugely successful, even famous, but the inner world is ferociously painful. We're doing great, don't you think? At least writing on this forum?
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    • Posted

      Yes. We are! Something people who have not experienced mental ill health do not understand, but I think you will : It hurts! I don't mean just emotionally, though God knows that's bad enough, I mean it can phsyically hurt can't it? Too much noise hurts? The clink of a spoon in a glass hurts? Too much traffic hurts? Being too busy hurts and it's worse because you know the after effects of being too busy will hurt as you recover from it. Or is it just me?!
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    • Posted

      I agree with you fully. I have a psychiatrist friend, who in a bizarre twist of my history, had been my first psychiatrist in my 20s (I'm 65) when he was an intern, told me that a simple way of describing people with bipolar is "extra-sensitive." He said he made a mistake once by starting a group for his bipolar patients. He said they were like Ping Pong balls being stimulated and bouncing off one another because of the reactivity that comes from being extra sensitive.
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    • Posted

       No Janet, it's not just you.. Many people with bipolar illness suffer from hypo-mania which hurts the body as well as the mind. I often find myself staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning. Thankfully my circadian rhythm is good to me. My body always gets the 8 hours of sleep I require regardless of when I go to sleep. Even if I am woken up by the sunrise, my body makes up for lost sleep by taking afternoon naps. Then I am able to tackle the world on a silver platter. Just ensure that you DO get your 8 hours of sleep every day!!! That will ensure that the lows of depression are held at bay. i.e. Fewer ups and downs.

       If you need to, talk to your psychiatrist or pharmacist about getting a sleep aid to enable you to get your sleep patern in order. Trust them. No two people are the same. what works for one person may be different than what others take.

       Be an overcomer. Be Victorious.

       

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    • Posted

      Great advice, MJM. Another symptom that I think many people, with and without our illnesses, think is character weakness is sleep aids. As a child, I used to think that I didn't sleep. Vivid dreams, sleep walking, racing thoughts. I am so glad when I "broke down" and asked my doctor for help. He told me, as well, that anyone with BP does best if they do the same thing at the same time every day--just to establish that anchoring in routine. It helps, to the extent I can do it. Keeps the eebie-jeebies away.

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