Tag Archives: Mania

Ways To Cope

Having Bipolar Disorder and co-morbid piggy backers are not easy to live with. Some days, of course, are much better than others, but overall, dealing with mental disorders becomes easier as I learn more skills to combat the negative affect they can have. I have had some form of depression and bipolar disorder for as far back as I can remember. I think I really noticed it when I was about 11 years of age… and it has never let up since. Sometimes I have gone for a short time with no symptoms, but it is short lived. Some form of the disorder shows itself at all times whether it is mania, anxiety, depression, irritability… you name it.

So how do I cope?

One thing I have found SUPER important for me… and it helps others as well… is to have a very regular schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, wake up at the same time every day, workout, spend time with friends and family, eat properly and don’t skip meals. All of these little things are very important. Now, I cannot control every single moment of the day… but these things mentioned are within my control so I make sure to use that to my benefit.

Sleep is so very important as well. Just two sleepless nights and I can be thrown into mania… and what is inevitable after mania?? Depression. Dreaded depression.

I do my best to keep my ‘action’ plan updated… this is a plan on what to do if I hit a manic moment or a depressive moment that seems larger than life… this plan is in place to protect me. Simple things on it… talk to a loved one, take walks outdoors, word in my DBT and Bipolar workbooks, distract myself with movies… etc. I am sure you get my point.

There are many ways that we can combat this disorder, and though we will always have it, we don’t always have to be at war with it.

How do you cope??

Misdiagnosis of Bipolar and ADHD In Children

Even with the progress we have made in mental health in regards to diagnosing and treating those with mental illnesses, not much is known about Bipolar Disorder.

An alarming problem is the misdiagnosis of children who are bipolar but misdiagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or the other way around.

Why does this happen??

In children, the symptoms of ADHD often mimic the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. Some symptoms include: rapid or impulsive speech, physical restlessness, trouble focusing, irritability, and sometimes defiant or oppositional behavior. Children with Bipolar disorder have very similar symptoms and behaviors.

Children with Bipolar often disrupt the life of the family. If misdiagnosed or poorly treated there is an increase in suicidal attempts and completions, multiple hospitalizations, poor academic performance, failed or impaired relationships, and increased rates of substance abuse.

**Some doctors/experts  do not believe that childhood Bipolar disorder is the same disease as adult Bipolar Disorder.**

In adults, mood changes from depression to mania. Adult mania includes: decreased need for sleep, rapid speech, euphoria, irritability, racing thoughts/activities, grandiosity. Yet in children, mania is not so clear. Some experts say that being irritable, cranky, and negative is the only signs of mania, yet we all know that children often have these behaviors, especially teens.

ADHD is different than Bipolar in that Bipolar Disorder is primarily a mood disorder. ADHD causes symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity… ADHD is chronic whereas Bipolar Disorder is usually episodic with periods of normal moods interspersed with depression, mania, and hypo-mania.

Bipolar Disorder is treated with mood stabilizers such as Depakote, Lithium, Tegretol, Lamictal, Trileptol. Children are often treated with the same and with the newer atypical antipsychotics. They are also sometimes treated with a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant.

ADHD is treated with medication and behavioral therapy. Meds used include psychostimulants Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, Vyvance, and some nonstimulants like Intuniv, Strattera, and antidepressants like Wellbutrin.

 

How to get your child a proper diagnosis?? Ask the doctor how they came to that diagnosis. Make sure they spoke to the childs school teachers. Make sure your childs Doctor sees him/her on a regular basis instead of just once to make a diagnosis. And, of course, seek a second opinion with a child and adolescent psychiatric specialist.

 

 

A little info about Bipolar Disorder

NIMH- Bipolar Disorder

Hold Me

holdme

Hold my breath,

forcing the smile.

I fear that to breathe,

Will make me crumble,

Choke on bile.

~

My heart feels gone,

You took it with you.

Hold it gently… cradle me.

I gave… you took…

Hold it gently, it’s already bruised.

~

No “goodbyes” allowed here…

for I will never utter those words.

I will always look ahead to you…

Close my eyes to linger in your presence.

Hold me where you are, abolish the hurt.

© bipolarmuse

The Damage of Mania

maniaDamage

 

One of the biggest mistakes made…  no doubt in the throes of this disorder… is to end (and at times, begin) relationships while in the grips of mania.

The devastation brought on by this is insane. You lose people you love… hurt those around you… lose friends and family that you thought you could always count on… your reputation is dragged through the mud, over and over… and the worst, you just hurt yourself and the one you love most to a degree that may never be mended.

I am no stranger to this. And have, more times than I would like to admit, ruined relationships this ugly way. The last being the straw that broke the camels back. I no longer stayed in denial about my disorders and aggressively sought to treat them… but the damage was done, the relationship could not be revived, and we parted ways promising to be good co-parents to our two youngest children.

The damage was severe. The pain I caused astronomical. The domino affect of my actions led to my son being abused physically by someone I thought I could trust… this list goes on and on.

When I was in therapy, I was all eyes and ears… I recognized the feelings, emotions, actions, controlling factors, and etc… I had experienced them all before, 11 years previous when I left my first husband and lost custody of my children. Not for being a bad mom, but, well it is a long story… Can be read here- Time to get real- 1,  about the first go around and  Time to get real- 2 about the second. The point is, it was not foreign to me. I recognized having done this before and I was seriously ready to get to the bottom of this problem… ready to fix it, and to never fall victim to it again.

It has been a very long road since. I have been out of therapy for nearly two years and look forward to starting again in September when my medicare kicks in. My bouts of mania have ceased… and depression creeps up and ducks out. I feel like I am trapped in my body, just watching and waiting for the next attack on my life. I want to be well equipped, able to fight off any actions that I have not thoroughly thought out and planned for while in a normal frame of mind. I don’t want my world to buckle again… I don’t want to have to rebuild from rubble and tears… I don’t want to have to spend years saying “I am sorry” to myself and to others… I don’t want to want to die.

I want to live… and as I am learning, I want to live well. My goal is to serve as an open book for my children, so they can learn from me and see the devastation that can come from impulsive decisions. I want them to learn what it is to rebuild and be successful when all odds are against you. I want them to learn that we can all love again… especially to learn to love ourselves. And most of all… if any of them inherit my mental health issues, I want them to learn how to live and thrive even though our minds may try to get us to do otherwise. I will always fight for them… they have always been my beacon, now it is my turn to be theirs.

This disorder no doubt tore me down while making me believe I was all powerful and fully in charge. When I get thoughts like that swirling around my head now, I take a step back and start picking things apart… and I no doubt find that I am manic, rapid cycling, or in a mixed state… all damaging in their own right.

Being Bipolar 1 certainly takes over ones life… but I can honestly say that I have been taking it back.

I will flourish. I will continually work on forgiveness… not for others necessarily, but for myself. I will not stay silent, but speak openly about my disorders. I will help anyone struggling with mental disorders, teaching them my experiences and how I kept my head above water… and I will help to educate anyone and everyone who will listen.

I will learn to be proud of myself. I will always move forward… even if I have to take a couple steps back at times. I will keep this fire inside of me.

And most important…

I WILL NEVER GIVE UP.

NEVER.

Hyper-sexuality When Manic

hyper-sexuality

I have mentioned this topic before and week after week, it is the most searched for topic on Google that directs people to my blog. So what I want to do is list some symptoms, and talk about methods that can help one to avoid this ugly part of this already disruptive disorder.

Symptoms of Mania

elevated mood, feeling high or superior, racing thoughts, creative ideas, leads to agitation and poor decisions, alternate with depression, grandiose, irritable, belligerent, deny anything is wrong, high energy, decreased perception of need (or ability) to sleep, hyper-sexuality, hyper-religiosity, hyper activity, talkativeness, grandiose ideas and plans, out of character behavior, increased stress in personal relationships, and problems at work.

Other possible symptoms of Mania

elation, extreme optimism, rapid speech, racing thoughts/flight of ideas, agitation, poor judgment, recklessness, easily distracted, inability to concentrate, believing you’re int the best mental state.

Severe Symptoms of Mania

Hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, intense and unusual religious belief, sexual promiscuity, risk taking, gambling, and binge spending.

As you can see here, these symptoms, which may seem fairly easy to deal with, often come and turn your life upside down… ruining personal relationships, and professional relationships. The two symptoms that really have me interested are hyper-sexuality and hyper-religiosity… the latter fascinates me and I believe I may need to research it and do an entirely separate post about it.

What is Hyper-sexuality?

Bipolar Hyper-sexuality often shows itself during a manic episode. During mania, we often make very impulsive decisions that can have a life altering affect. Including impulsive choices with sexual activity. We may become excessively interested or involved in sexual activity…. with an increase in sexual activity with ones partner, involvement in internet porn, and excessive use of telephone sex service (regardless of the cost).

At times, during hyper-sexuality, one may engage in extramarital  affairs, seek out prostitutes, etc. All are risky behaviors

What’s significant?

Well, what is significant is that there is a change or difference from ones normal behavior. Often times, during Hyper-sexuality, one will  have multiple sex partners, think about sex constantly, engage in one night stands, and a abnormally high interest in internet porn.

How can we “treat” Hyper-sexuality during mania?

There is no tried and true treatment for someone experiencing Hyper-sexuality. It can possibly be treated by either introducing, or increasing the use of an anti-psychotic. Aside from that, there are no medications to help with this… but instead, one must use other means to keep themselves in control.

Some recommendations include: occupying your time with hobbies that you love to do or learn a new hobby and become engrossed in learning it. This will keep your mind and hands  busy… which would help tremendously when hyper-sexuality is rearing its ugly head. Also, begin a new exercise regimen. If you already workout, maybe change it up a bit and add yoga classes. Keeping your time occupied is a good preventative. Perhaps get into therapy and learn more/new coping skills… a skilled therapist would certainly be beneficial. Always avoid situations that may be compromising… keeping your head clear and staying away from potential opportunities for sex is key. If the opportunity isn’t right in front of your face, it will be easier to remain strong in your resolution. Avoid alcohol. (Very important.) Alcohol lowers our inhibitions… allowing one to say or do something that we wouldn’t otherwise do. Alcohol should be avoided anyways by those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder… but even-more-so, it should be avoided in social circumstances where you could have the opportunity to act on your Hyper-sexuality. Another great idea for those of you in relationships… have more sex. Yes, you read that right. Use your mania to your advantage and have as much sex as you want. This is safe for those in a monogamous relationship of course, and should be used as much as you desire. Doing this may help one to quench that Hyper-sexual sex desire. Get into it… try new sexual positions, role play, add a little pornography if that’s your thing. Add new toys to your collection (again, if that is your thing). Get kinky… talk dirty… etc. Just get into being sexual with your partner. Doing this is healthy for your relationship and also for your mind… orgasms are good for mental health and help to release endorphins, which are ‘feel good’ chemicals.

Even though there is no way to get rid of Hyper-sexuality, there are healthy ways to help keep it in control as mentioned above. I am sure that you can come up with more good ideas of your own…

Another thing that would be helpful is to create an action plan for when an episode strikes you. Having this plan in place will help you all around, whether it’s mania or depression that kicks in. It will help you to feel more in control of this disorder, and it will give you helpful ideas of what to do (or not do). An action plan is a must, not only for you, but also for others who will have an idea (based on your action plan) of how to help you.

Above all else… remember that you can always ask for help from family and friends. You do not have to go through everything alone. Having someone close to you to help is the best medicine.

 

 

Other Suggestions by fellow bloggers:

*Stay mindful and identify manic symptoms.- Kristin Barton Cuthriell

*Meditate- Lady Lovely

* Be Hyper-vigilant and recognize symptoms, communicate with therapist or anyone you trust.- The Secret Keeper

Hyper-sexuality and Bipolar Disorder- Bipolarmuse.com

Bipolar Is Awesome!

funnybipolar

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

LOL, I found this and found it funny and a tad bit true. I hate being bipolar at times and at other times, it absolutely rocks. Am I crazy for saying so? Nah… we all have mood swings we go through, mental disorders or not. We all share the same fluctuations in moods, attitudes, behaviors, and well… you get my drift.

I guess we ALL can be bipolar to a degree. The difference? Well, the difference is when these symptoms completely become out of control and interfere with your life. When being depressed causes you to stay in bed day in and day out, that is a problem. When you become so manic you start five different tasks, personal or at work, and cannot complete a single task… that is a problem. This is when some interference is needed to help control these crazy fluctuations in moods.

I can remember sitting in my therapists office… indian style on the couch, clutching a pillow, and rocking back and forth because I could not sit still to save my life. My teeth even chattered. It was like being on a drug. Interference was needed. Then came the massive dose of depekote. I went from speed walking and chattering teeth… reading five books at once… and planning to take over the world to drooling on myself and unable to hardly get off my chair at work. Literally… I drooled on myself, down the side of my mouth, to my shirt, on to my pants….

yeah… I hate being bipolar, it is AWESOME.

Bipolar Disorder In Check!

 

life

Wow.

Two years ago…around this time… I was spiraling out of control and feeling the worst I had ever felt with my disorder. I was not capable of thinking straight, holding lasting relationships… I struggled during simple conversations, completing school work, going to work and doing a good job at work. I was making very poor choices, acting impulsively…constantly anxious and teetering from mania to depression and then back, often times all in one day. The doctor explained to me that I was a “rapid cycler” and would experience all the symptoms of mania, hypo-mania, and depression within the same day or within days of one another. I remember the constant agitation, the desperate deep sadness, the crazy fast driving mania. I remember hating my life, hating myself.

Fast forward two years.

I barely remember that person.

Did I get here over night?? Absolutely not. It took 1 year and 8 months to get to where I stand today. I went from hopeless, to breathing hope. I went from lifeless, to thriving. I went from craving death, to craving life. Don’t get me wrong… this certainly was not easy to do and it took a-lot of work on my part. But I want to stress that it can be done. I thought I was “finished”… that life had given me all that there was and there was no longer a reason to keep suffering the way I was. Did I truly want to die? No. But I wanted the pain and suffering to end.

After choosing to live and get help, I worked very hard to find stability and it took over a year to find me. Many things came together and helped me to move forward with my head up… and finally with no tears. Then it took more work from me to continue to grow and heal. I practice mindfulness, look at positive affirmations, reflect on how I feel today and the vast difference from two years ago, and I am faithful at taking my medication.

I don’t claim that getting this disorder under control is easy because it is not. But with continued effort and fighting, it can be accomplished. Know that you are not alone and that all hope is not lost. Find that tiny spark of light in the darkness, and follow it… allow it to guide you…

You can heal, you can grow, you can LIVE. Make it happen.