Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story


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These have been both a lovely surprise or struck me silent with shock. Many people believe having bipolar means simply dealing with alternating very high and very low moods, but there is so much more to it. During a manic phase, the person can experience delusional hallucinations, which can be terrifying. During a depressive phase, the person may become very forgetful or indecisive.

It can be life-threatening. Most people start adulthood, looking to the future, at a world of possibility. The transition from teenage life to adulthood was marked by when I diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder type II at I am pleased that we regularly hear about the importance of talking about our mental health. However, as a long-term sufferer of bipolar disorder I have mixed feelings about the disclosure of my illness.

The experience of stigma has a huge impact on anyone who has experienced mental health problems. Skip to main content. I fluctuate with highs and lows so often throughout the day that I cannot even trust my own emotions anymore. The unexplained gittyness and euphoria throughout the day - mixed with horrendous lows. I can fake it very well - the only people who are aware - are my parents because they receive the true uncensored me. I am so relieved to hear you say how you feel about being the "fake you" at work and in social situations.

After a day socialising I have the most massive headache for all the next day and I feel so down about myself. And sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the thought that I can top myself. I actually know that I would not do this as I could not do it to my 18 year old son. I had a friend whose father committed suicide when she was little and it devastated her into her adult life. Most of the time I just feel like such a social loser. I like the way you accurately describes mania as not always feeling happy, but like you can't shut your mind down. I'm having a rapid cycle right now that began yest morning.

Got a big project done at work but when I came home I couldn't stop doing chores and art stuff, but I didn't feel high and happy. I felt like an exhausted robot. I was dx in There are LOTS of ways to have some control. With meds you can meditate,do yoga, walk or jog, alternate nostril breathing helps me calm down yoga thing.. Your post just helped me think of my wellness tools. Thanks for your first post.

About the author

Our son 28 has been diagnosed with rapid cycling bi polar this year after his most recent 5th car accident, which he was lucky to escape from alive. It has been a confusing time but I think has made some sense out of his behaviours over the years. He's on Aripiprazole which seem to be making a difference, he says that he feels better than he has for years.

One thing which is difficult to deal with is that he lies compulsively Untreated Bipolar gets worse with age and it changes , so my parents have trouble understanding why or how I've spent so much money now that I'm in my mids. I used to be very good with money, and I was fortunate that I was able to focus my energies academically.


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I was lucky that that's all i wanted to do. I was incredibly focused and controlled and in a bizarrely hypomanic productive way that I would KILL to have back! But anyway, I went from all this productive hypomania and ability to control myself, including financially, to massive debt, unproductive hypomania more of a mixed state that includes lots of energy to be even MORE anxious and irritable!

It's like a totally different disorder in some ways.. Now I'm just holding on day to day. But, online shopping has been the death of me, as it has for so many with bipolar. I'm very aware I do this. I'm a smart guy; I've read about my mood disorder, etc. BUT sometimes awareness, intelligence, medications, and therapy are still not going to solve all the problems.

You might talk with him about what he wants to do financially in the future. Does he want to think about ways to protect himself from himself? My wife occasionally will lock up credit cards or take away login info, check credit cards regularly, give me a limited amount of cash, etc. But it only works when I want to work.

So, your son has to want it to work. The most important recommendation I can make is for your son to seek routines. Sleep routines, routines in activity, etc. Surprises are awful for me. I hate to be surprised. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. And birthdays and holidays are awful. Anything that's supposed to be a big deal puts me in a tail spin. They usually end up in an emotional meltdown for me. I understand the lying. It feels awful to admit the stupid things you do that you KNOW are stupid. Many many many people like me with bipolar live full lives. I wouldn't trade my life for the world.

When the stars align with my moods and everything is going well, it's just perfect! So, I've learned to savor those moments. So, in some ways my moods have gotten worse as I've gotten older, but I've also learned how to deal with them better in some ways now that I'm in my 40s. But my story won't be your son's story. We all have our own, and when you are dealing with bipolar, you're dealing with infinite variety. We each have our own little special snowflake-like individual varieties of bipolar.

Most of them include the unpredictable within each day, over the weeks and months, and even across the years as our disorder takes on different personalities at different stages in our lives. It's hard to do. Most the time my wife is able to just discount me when I'm over-reacting. She knows I'll apologize later. But if she reacts, it's like fuel on a fire. I'm not saying put up with anything. Being abusive emotionally and verbally, not to mention physically, is NOT okay. But I get heated and irritable and over-react to small things, and if i get my wife to take the bait though I don't mean to do this , we can escalate very quickly.

Later she is always confused by how she got so caught up in the moment reacting to my over-reacting as if it were normal! So, within reason, try to be patient! I know that's hard. There is a great graphic novel about bipolar called Look Straight Ahead. I highly recommend it. It's about parents dealing with their son's getting diagnosed with bipolar.

It's a moving book. Another great graphic novel is called Marbles--it's more "graphic" it the adult sense and not just in the "visual" sense, so I don't know if you want to read it. But both books helped my father understand me better. There are two more books I recommend: Unquiet Mind look it up and read about the author! And recently, I found one of the best books ever: Living with Depression and Bipolar. It's author also keeps a fantastic website. Reading the first pages of that book to get a quick accurate overview of bipolar in a way your doctor probably won't explain it to you.

I hope these resources help you. If you can't find the names of these authors, just write back. If you've never read a graphic novel, don't dismiss them. Comic books deal with serious subjects too a graphic novel is just a book-length comic book. Thank you for your comment; it sounds so much like my situation.

Online shopping has been a really embarrassing issue of mine. It's actually what prompted me to seek a diagnosis in the first place. However, I though I was going to be diagnosed as ADHD because that's what I was diagnosed with as a child though my parents never medicated me because I excelled in school. All my life, I have felt so different. Growing up, my bedroom was always a mess. I could never do homework. I had little regard for authority. I drove too fast and wrecked multiple times.

However, I thought I was going to be diagnosed as ADHD because that's what I was diagnosed with as a child though my parents never medicated me because I excelled in school. All of my life, I have felt so different from my friends. As I aged, my relationships were tumultuous. I got into drugs and alcohol and car sales.

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3 Stories of Rapid Cycling | International Bipolar Foundation

I would have moments of super productivity and success, followed with periods of outbursts and failures. Two failed marriages and two children later, I have managed to marry a wonderful man. We have been together now for almost seven years but I often wonder where I would be without him because he is the reason I am able to stay in check for the most part He called me out on all of my bullshit antics promiscuity, substance abuse, social inappropriateness at the beginning of our relationship in a way that made me listen and admit I was not living in an acceptable manner--particularly for a mother.

Although I don't lead such a destructive life anymore, I still have some major issues that need attention. I am overly snappy--I take every remark as a personal attack. I cannot drive without messing with my phone or something else I can never just give the road my full attention. I am addicted to applying for credit cards and requesting credit limit increases. I am addicted to online shopping and will go on binges anytime we have an event of some sort coming upon us.

Then, I'm embarrassed as the packages start arriving. I have actually started putting them in other people's name whoever I bought them for in the household , to save face. Anyhow, I don't really know where I am going with this, but your response resonated with me. I am trying to come to terms with my diagnosis and figure out a way to move forward and deal with this appropriately. Do you take medicine? She stated she had bipolar and was in her 40's, and going through menopause at the same time.

I am going through the same thing. I have bipolar 2, wake up soaking wet like I took a shower, my breast are so sore it hurts, I had a hysterectomy 1 year ago, they left my ovaries in. I still have hormones going crazy- no period thank goodness. My mom died at 44 from stage 4 breast cancer, which was estrogen fed. For that reason, they won't put me on hormones. I just started Latuda 2 days ago, got off the trileptal. I was taking mg at night and it was not helping. This is the worst episode of bipolar I have ever had in my adult life.

I know I had it as a teenager, however in the 80's I would just self medicate with alcohol. No one really knew what it was back then. I didn't get diagnosed until I was in my 30's. I feel like just giving up, I am so exhausted, everyday is another day where I am in the boxing ring and they ring the bell, and it's time for round 1, I am mentally and physically worn out. My husband gets very frustrated with me, I totally can understand why.

Help, I just don't know what to do anymore. Hi, I found your experiences so similar to mine and my bipolar. And it's true what you say about being well educated about your illness, on the right meds, self aware etc etc there are still times when Im not in control. I'm in my 40's too, the main difference tho is I'm going thru early menopause, and being bipolar. Can you actually imagine what the PmT is like on top of that little lot lol!!

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There isn't a lot of information I don't think about bipolar and menopause Hey, it is what it is, and I can only do the best that I can, everyday. I love reading everyone's stories, make you feel, not so alone x. Plus, I starred in a school play; tutored at the college in English, Differential Equations, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry, Logic, Biology, and Chemistry; taught weekend Statistics and English classes; did private tutoring; and started a busy computer business with all of my first customers being teachers, students, and the college itself.

I was also a newcomer to A. I ran some meetings and was the treasurer for one and the "chip" person for another. I even lost weight and got into great shape with the help of two friends of mine at the college. One was the girlfriend of my best friend, and the other was a driven sheriff wannabe who wanted to be the first female sheriff in our area. Between the two of them, I got into excellent shape with a lot of muscle and great cardio.

And after college ended, I wanted to go straight back I got rich, but was going out of my head. I "remedied" the situation by becoming a heavy gambler.

☁️Bipolar - Short Film (Vaughan Film Festival 2015 Nomination)

I was fairly good and fairly lucky, so I had a lot of time to gamble with my winnings. I also traveled a lot, and took friends and family with, or sent them to places they couldn't afford to go.

My Story with Bipolar Disorder

I sent my parents to Hawaii for a week for their 50th wedding anniversary. Basically, I earned money and I spent it. This kept me from going completely insane, but not by much. Eventually, my health was impacted in a big way. I lost my business, and then crashed into permanent depression. A lot more has happened, like a wife and a family, but I told that in another post to "Julie" on this same page. Suffice it to say that I cannot shake this depression, and meds don't work. I came here looking for answers, as I do all the time since I left college in Well, I am out of time, but I just wanted to drop this line after I read your highlights.

I have never before read anyone's story that started out, at least superficially, so similar to mine. A few days ago I remembered that my psychiatrist told me some years ago I was rapid cycling, something I barely remember registering in the days that were a haze. It is good, a bit liberating I guess. I have been diagnosed with bipolar and I constantly cycle, I get frustrated because I feel I can go out and at least work " part time" and I go for an interview get the job then can't configure how to deal with my wood swings family the job and staying on top of meds, let alone a social life.

My diagnosis recently changed from major depressive disorder to bipolar disorder when I revealed to my psychiatrist that I've been having dramatic mood swings for a long time, often several in a single day. I've been trying to make sense of this change, because none of what I'd read before about bipolar disorder seemed to apply to me at all, but reading Melanie's experiences with rapid cycling has finally given me something I can relate to. To echo Janine thank you so much for this article. I've been so frustrated and confused and this is helping me finally feel included, like my diagnosis makes some sort of sense.

I have been bipolar all my life but diagnosed for 15years, and I have rapid cycles alot mostly when I am in the mall I am very manic spend more then I can afford and when I go into a depressed mode. I am slowly learning how to acknowledge them having friends helps alot to have someone to talk with. My boyfriend suffers from bi polar 2 with rapid cycling, this has really helped me to understand what rapid cycling really is and how it must make him feel. He explains to me how he feels but it's really useful to understand it from someone else's perspective and to make him realise that he's not alone in this.

Thanks for a really interesting article. Thank you for sharing. I'm so proud of you for sharing your journey and what you've experienced and learned along the way. I may never fully understand what you feel or go through all the time, but I'll always be there for you and make those ice cream runs. Ice cream is a temporary cure I'm diagnosed bp2 cycling and BPD I'm in a depressed fall seen phsyciatrist no change to meds assessed for extra input but turned down I'm finding friendship hard no family local not in relationship I get through but its so difficult I don't know how to get up to a level where I have at least some energy to at best feel a little content and a little in control.

I am 55 and still struggling. I am at the point where I no longer need the acceptance of others that don't matter to me. I am blessed with a good family, involved clinicians and a loving and forgiving husband. I have cycled for over 35 years. Didn't get treatment till But, my life is good. I am greatful for all I am.

Liz's story: Living with bipolar

I have been blessed with empathy and sympathy for those who suffer. Yet get up again and again. My father would say, "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go on. Skip to main content. In this article we will hear from 3 different perspectives: Do you have mania or depression more often? Has it changed over time? Do you have any tips on how to cope with rapid cycling? What do you wish other people knew about rapid cycling?

Comments Janine Mon, Mandy Tue, Dan Tue, Thanks for listening, I hope I dont sound foolish, Ive never written on a forum before. Jess Wed, S Tue, Hall Sun, Susan Mon, Julie Tue, Jenny Tue, Adam Sun, Krystal Thu, Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I loved this post.

Kate Thu, Kayla Fri, Rosanne Thu, Julie Thu, I totally lost track of time. It felt like I was in that room for months. The only people I saw for days were the nurses and my doctor. They started giving me daily medicine but for the first couple days I remember denying it. I thought, drugs got me into this mess, how can they possibly get me out? Then, for about the fifth time a nurse told me to, once again, take my medicine, and I said no. It was at that point that I began taking the medicine and slowly started recovering.

At that time, it was diagnosed as a drug-induced psychotic episode, probably from drinking beer laced with PCP. I did not make it back to college in time to graduate in Spring like I planned. I needed the quarter off to mentally recover. But I returned in Fall of for my last quarter of undergrad classes.

Leading up to the time I returned, my psychiatrist claimed I was doing well enough that he gradually weaned me off my meds. It worked out to be that right around the time I returned to campus, I was once again medicine free, for better or worse. Before then I decided that I wanted to pursue graduate school in civil engineering as well, the following quarter in Winter I was having a great time and very thrilled to see what went into the research side of engineering. It was all new to me. I had been off my medicine for quite a while now and started to relapse while starting grad school.


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I started losing sleep again. I started to have grandiose plans like designing and building my own house. I started having racing thoughts turned into religious delusions. During these periods, I begin to think many different delusional thoughts are in fact reality, and I was stupid to not think this way before. Sleep was lost night after night, until I eventually called my mom in a panic and said something was wrong. She drove to campus and drove me home and took me, once again, to the local psychiatric ward. The second episode of mine was more severe.

I had fantastical paranoid delusions, thinking I was the antichrist, the messiah or both.

Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story
Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story
Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story
Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story
Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story Living with Bipolar Disorder: Short Story

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