Tag Archives: Manic/ Mania

Another Twist In Life

babiesBlueBonnetStroll

 

I recently went on a trip to visit my little ones… it was beautiful and so natural to be with them. As their Mom, I feel like there is always a part of me missing, I am always missing out on something.

I get “I miss you’s, I love you’s, I will see you soon.”

I miss tucking them to bed at night, good morning kisses, hearing “that’s my Mom” when they are at a school play and find where I am standing to watch them. I miss knowing their favorite foods, missing teeth, meeting their teachers. I miss out on every aspect of their life except for the few minutes I get to talk to them… and the visits that keep me sane. 

While I was there, I got some very sad news… they are moving to Germany for three years.

Yes… Germany.

I cried instantly and have been very tearful ever since… trying to fight off the complete breakdown. I need to be strong… I will be.

While I know everything will work out, I am afraid that them moving so far is going to do something to my mental health. I can feel it. I love my children so  much, and while I want them to experience another country, I feel as though they need to experience me more… I feel like I am in the dark without them… and I KNOW that they need me as well. That being said, I could not, nor would not stand in the way of their move. I love them and want all the best for them… I want them to see life and live it… I want them to enjoy living in another culture.  I want them to truly live.

I guess what I do not want is for them to forget about me… 

I wish they could stay.

“Please remember me.”

Withdrawal Day Two

Yesterday was actually day 2 but I wasn’t able to get on here to update.

So far, the withdrawals have been minimal. However, I have done this before and my body gets the worst of it withing 4 days.

I am still experiencing  hot flashes and my skin feels like it is on fire. I know the sickness will probably rear it’s ugly tomorrow and I will be living off of hot baths, immodiom ad, and a racing mind. My body will ache and I will be highly sensitive to pain. And the worst part will be keeping my mind off of the fact I need the meds. The thoughts will be all consuming.

So far, so good… but I will keep you posted.

Withdrawals…. Day One

Please read this post about a new Doc lowering the dosages of my meds to better understand this post…read it HERE.

withdrawl

So day one of withdrawals has hit me. It started with having the sweats yesterday, the inability to sleep the last two nights, and now I can add muscle pain to the mix. Of course, other problems are arising but I will refrain from mentioning them until they become overly bothersome.

The worst part is that the pills are on my mind nonstop… they are always on the forefront of my mind though there is nothing that can be done about my medication situation.

Graciously, I have found some organizations to help those in this predicament and I fully intend to get the ball rolling with services with them this upcoming week.

Until then, I will chronicle my experience with you.

Sit back, relax, and taking a magic carpet ride with me.

Doctor Playing Russian Roulette

I am majorly peeved over my last Doc appointment and I could choke him out.

Unfortunately, I do not have health insurance and am a self pay patient… this causes alot of financial distress as you can imagine because I must pay a small fortune each month for Doctor visits and the meds prescribed.

Well, recently, my family Doc retired and  I found myself in a predicament of sorts and needed to find a new Doc. Since I pay out of pocket, I only see a regular Physician to refill my Psych and pain meds. I decided on a new Doctor, and to my dismay, he has taken the liberty of lowering the dosages of all my medications simply because they are too high in his opinion and he feels I should not be on the dosage amounts prescribed to me by my previous specialists.

I was floored to say the least, but because I could not afford another visit, I was at his mercy.

So. Next month I am off to, yet again, look for a new Doctor who will listen and not try to turn my world upside down.

Not only will I be going through some sort of withdrawal for the Psych meds, but also for my pain medication prescribed to me by a specialist.

I am beyond frustrated and plan to never return to this Doc again.

I am already feeling the affects and having withdrawal symptoms… I will keep you posted.

Alpha-Stim Cranial Electrotherapy

 

I heard about this fascinating treatment through my man. He is a combat veteran, fought to protect us after 9/11, and now receives therapy for PTSD. Being a veteran, they offer the Alpha-Stim Cranial Electrotherapy as a form of treatment for pain, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. It uses Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), (also known as “electrosleep”, “transcranial electrotherapy” and by many other names), involves a form of treatment that sends low intensity microcurrent (under 1 milliampere) to the brain.

“In some cases, effects have been stable and permanent, suggesting that the electrical and chemical changes evoked by Alpha-Stim® technology have led to a durable re-tuning back to normal function.”Aplha-Stim

There are some studies out there on the topic and some look to be promising. Please google this and learn more about it. I personally would give it a try to see if it would improve any of my Bipolar symptoms… and my sleep. Anything is nearly worth a shot, especially if it could replace the use of medications.

The Importance Of Meds

I couldn’t sleep last night and I just laid there, tossing and turning, my mind running at 500mph. When it was time to get up, I was relieved that I didn’t have to lay there any longer.

My mind was RACING. Crazy thoughts with no order or rhythm… just complete randomness. It was torture. My brain felt like it was firing off in a million different directions.

I decided to take a morning nap and it was more of the same… a restless mind… running and running.

I kept trying to find the “trigger” to this insomnia and racing thoughts, but was coming up empty handed. Then I went into the bathroom and it dawned on me that I had missed my medicine two days in a row. Yikes! No wonder my brain was in overdrive… the meds that I take to prevent mania were no longer in my system.

I took the medicine instantly and started having relief within the half hour.

Meds are important. Note to self…

Recovery From Manic Depression ~ Patty Duke Quote

My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle. – PATTY DUKE

hopeJoy

When we suffer from mood disorders such as manic depression (aka Bipolar disorder) we want instant results from the hell in our brains. We want it NOW because the hell we live in is brutal to mind and body. Not to mention the high risk of suicide, but also the damage it does to us physically. We are at higher risks for many health ailments (high blood pressure being one), and have a shortened life span.

“Heart disease was the leading cause of death for each group.  After statistical adjustments were made for gender, race, education and marital  status, the greatest differences in cause of death between the two groups were seen in suicide, cancer, accidents, liver disease, and septicemia.” Psych Central

 In recent studies, those with chronic mental health issues (like Bipolar, Schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety) have reduced life span by approximately 6 years, permitting that the individual doesn’t take their own life.

Everything takes time whether  it is healing from physical pain, emotional pain, or practicing coping skills. It certainly does not happen over night.

So keep up the good fight my friends, and know that this life is like an adventure… it will take time to recover from Bipolar disorder, but it is worth the ride when you come out of the darkness.

Free And Whole

angel

Holding on to grains of sand,

unable to contain them all…

Every word spoken,

razorblades slip and fall.

~

I no longer look back,

the ache no longer fierce …

No longer looking for whats not there,

He has kissed away my tears.

~

Where I once had pain,

I now feel free and whole…

He makes my world brilliant,

My heart he graciously stole.

© bipolarmuse 2012

 

Try Looking At It Through My Eyes~ Day Two

Day Two – “My Eyes” – Take and publish a photo of your eyes (or if you prefer simply look in the mirror). Using no less that 50 words imagine those eyes belonged to a stranger and you are looking into them for the first time. What do those eyes alone say to you about the person whose eyes they are?

015Fun, Kind, Enticing… these eyes say several different things to me and though they say several things, the one that it leaves out is “manic depressive”. LOL. If these were a stangers, I would have no clue that anything other than happiness had ever resided behind these eyes.

I see someone happy, joyful, compassionate, fun, excited, loving life!

This picture was taken a couple months ago and I would have to say that happiness is felt through these eyes… I felt it then and I can see and feel it now. ♥

Try Looking At It Through My Eyes ~ Challenge. Day One.

This was created by Kevin at Voices Of Glass. I would like to thank him (A big Thank you!) for creating this challenge that I look forward to participating in. I got so many responses from my Need Motivation post and would like to thank everyone for their suggestions. ♥

Here’s the intro from Kevin specifically:

 

The challenge is specific to those who suffer with mental illness or poor mental health and lasts 12 days in total.  You can do these either consecutively or as and when the inspiration takes you…

Simply follow the daily instructions….

Day One – “She” (Or if you are male “He”) – Write a short story about someone who has just been diagnosed with your mental illness/condition and who is the age you were when you were diagnosed.  What happened, what were they expecting, what are their feelings etc?

**After several diagnosis’ and many years of poor decision making, she finally throws her hands up and says “I give up”. But truly, this isn’t the case. To really give up means the ultimate “giving up” and ends with taking ones own life. She certainly wanted to live… she was simply begging for help. After some very life altering choices that landed her in the Psych’s chair, she had to re-evaluate “life” and why these patterns were showing up in the smallest form. She finally listened and expected things to start falling into place. She felt a sense of relief because she had a “name for it”. She isn’t one to pass the blame so it was difficult for her to adjust to the fact that a chemical imbalance was part of the poor choices she made. She had serious mixed feelings over everything…she didn’t want to be labeled so-to-speak, she was afraid, nervous, anxious, excited… all wrapped into one. Most of all, she was afraid of the stigma associated with mental disorders. Then she set out and created a blog to help others with mental disorders and to use it as a form of therapy…

That person is me.

Mindfulness and DBT Exciting??

 

After much thought and talking things through with my wonderful man… we have devised a plan to safely help me to go off of my medication… not soon, but in about 9 months from now when we hit our 1 yr anniversary. (And yes, I have complete faith that he and I will have MANY anniversaries to come.)

Why wait that long?? Well, for one, to get more time with stability under my belt. You all have been on part of this journey with me and have watched the transformation with your own eyes… it is only smart to get some more time stable before making any changes. This is not only healthy but will help prevent this from being a spontaneous act that wasn’t thought through. Also, I will do it under physicians care that way I can be monitored and in the event things do not go as planned, I can always get back on my medication. One of the most important reasons for waiting though is so that my man and I have a stronger foundation as a couple before we rattle things up. He is very supportive though and actually came up with the idea to wait it out a little while before I attempt to go med free.

In my excitement over this, I have ordered 2 books to help me prepare these next 9 months. DBT and mindfulness have proven to be successful at treating emotional disorders. DBT is the most successful form of therapy for treating Borderline Personality Disorder (which I have) and has proven to work for Bipolar Disorder as well (which, of course, is my primary diagnosis).

DBT uses Four Skill Modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness (PsychCentral).

The 2 books that I am so eagerly awaiting are:

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, & Distress Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, & Distress Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
by Matthew McKay

Both of these books will take much effort and determination for me to “work” through, (workbook style), but I plan on using them to the fullest for the rest of my life to aid in my goal of being medication free.

I am beyond excited to get these books and begin this new adventure in my life. I have full confidence that with proper support, training, and guidance, that I will be successful. I don’t want to be unrealistic though…so I am fully aware that if I must, then I will most certainly be on meds to be healthy mentally rather than to live with the alternative. I have a wonderful man who will be able to help me keep a mood journal and will help to recognize when things have become “off”.

So, as the next 9 months pass and I am completing these workbooks, I will share my journey with you. Then I will continue to share my new journey without medication and using DBT and mindfulness to live a healthy, emotionally intelligent life. I will share my success and my failures… but know that either is success.  ♥

Sleep Malfunction

 

Lovely. So I just posted the Psychosis article a couple days ago, and I have been trying to do some analyzing over why I am hearing these soft sounds play in my head, and in doing so, came to the conclusion that I have been relatively “stress free” since my move. I now laugh at that statement because I know myself all to well, and I will be the first to tell you that stress manifests itself in my body FIRST and that is how I recognize it is even there.

Stress will manifest as a sick stomach, high blood pressure, sleep loss, panic attacks, general anxiety, and I guess I can now add psychosis to that little list.

I must honestly say that I believe the move has gone well. I have seen a-lot of my big kids and have managed to schedule a visit to the babies for 11 days next month!!! (29 days to go!) I guess my biggest stress is money… but I have managed thus far.

Now I have noticed a second clue to my “stress” which is my sleep pattern. I have gone from sleeping very well…literally out like a light and sleeping about 9 hours, occasionally more (which is not odd for me)… to tossing and turning and waking up many times in the middle of the night. The sleep issue reared it’s head about Thursday night, so it has lasted nearly a week.

With Bipolar Disorder, sleep patterns and GETTING sleep is highly important. (Sleep and Mood Disorders) When your not getting enough sleep, this usually will trigger a manic episode, which of course, needs to be prevented. Even on meds, when triggered, mania is possible… as is depression. I would like to hope that since I have been taking my medications like a good girl, if mania does strike, it will not be severe and it should be short lived. This is my hope.

So my plan?? Try to get into a PDoc (I am having a tough time finding good resources for this service at a reduced cost), and tonight I plan to go through a nice pre-sleep ritual. Take a nice warm bath, drink some warm milk with a touch of sugar and cinnamon, read for a short time, take meds, turn the light out, place my eye covers over my eyes, and throw on my favorite lip gloss. As I lay there, I will focus on nothing but the moment and every time my mind wanders off to race (as it has been doing), I will reign it in and once again focus on the moment. How do I do this?? I like to imagine a soft light enveloping me, warming me… and I keep my mind focused on this light. Each time thoughts pop into my mind, or my mind wanders off, I bring it back to the soft, warm light.

Here’s to getting my sleep on track, and preventing a manic episode because what follows mania?? Depression… without fail. And THAT is the devil I don’t like to deal with the most. ♥

On second thought, I could be in the beginning stages of mania ALREADY. Agh. That is a different post altogether. Crossing my fingers that this isn’t the case, but it would certainly explain a few things.

Bipolar Quote by Amy Reed

“I said just let me try one more time and she said, “THAT’S ENOUGH, ISABEL,” again, and she could just say it over and over and it would never get through my thick skull because I’m always wanting and wanting because nothing is ever enough you are never enough I am never enough I am never enough I AM NEVER ENOUGH.”
Amy Reed, Crazy

This section of the above quote stands out to me… “I’m always wanting and wanting because nothing is ever enough you are never enough I am never enough I am never enough I AM NEVER ENOUGH.”

“You are never enough, I am NEVER enough”. God, this sends bells ringing in my head because it really hits home. Bipolar disorder, when untreated, or not treated well, can certainly turn your life upside down and bring about a confusion that is so very hard to explain.

This hits home for me. Though at this moment I am feeling “content”, I remember very well the constant “want”, the feeling that the “want” could never be filled… that what I had was never enough…and then the ultimate self destructing thought that I was never enough. I was always lacking… I was a void. My life was not worth anything… I wasn’t worth anything.

Depression can do so many ugly things to you… it removes you of your personality, it removes the life from your eyes… bones… your beating heart…each breath. It completely breaks you down until you feel there is no reason to keep going on.

I know many do not understand mental disorders… but know that mood disorders are brutal. They devastate every aspect of ones life and leave behind destruction… it destroys that which was built with the best of intentions. Mood disorders are very often deadly. 30-70% of suicides victims have suffered from some sort of depression. (Web MD) That is a staggering statistic. These deaths could be prevented.

** When you look in that mirror and feels that you are not enough… know that you are not alone. Others have felt that horrible pain. Somehow, some way, try to find a light in that darkness and reach for it with all your strength. Seek that light wholeheartedly. Ask for help. Reach out. I know that this seems impossible… I know that it may seem pointless. BUT YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTH THE FIGHT. **

Allow me to be that example that there is hope. There is a light somewhere in all that darkness… I promise that it is there. If I could get to this point that I am at, anyone can. I have hit the lowest of lows. I have lived with mood disorders as long as I can remember, and with a medical paper trail for 12 years.

Never give up. I believe in you.

Conditional

 

I should not blame you…

Cannot.

My love is conditional too.

I understand…

even when I hate it.

I was warned…fair warning…

still I fell.

The lie… the hope…

The loss.

Maybe the loss was warranted…

but the false hope…

I’m trying to forgive.

I have awakened…

I feel the blame…

That finger pointed at me.

Your lips say one thing…

your eyes scream the

truth.

It wasn’t me, wasn’t you…

That control can’t be.

The dark took over…

took to much.

I’ve regained my sight.

© bipolarmuse 2012

 

Psychosis?? Or Are Those Sounds Real…

 

The last few weeks have been a bit interesting/thought provoking. I have had official “psychosis” a couple times and it involved sound. Not voices in my head talking…never like that… but sounds from an event, or music. From what I have been told and have read… music is very common when it comes to psychosis. Not like when a song gets stuck in your head, but when you go looking for the radio playing the song you can hear, only to find there isn’t a radio on anywhere near you nor outside. This happens.

For me, sounds have been “going on” in my head for a few weeks now. I know it is in my head because at first I go looking for the source and find nothing… then after so long, I just realize it isn’t real… it is just in my head. Psychosis as it is called.

Often times it happens at night for me… or in very early morning hours. Most annoying was when it sounded like the idling of a semi-truck diesel engine happening right in my bedroom. Annoying. Not scary… just a royal  annoyance. And of course my bedroom does not have such an idling engine so I can only chop it up to Psychosis. Music, and hearing the “interaction” between people have also been a common theme lately. I go to find the cause of what I am hearing and find a dark house. So… do I get scared?? No. It is just sound. Not voices telling me that I can fly. Also, the fact that I know it isn’t real is what keeps me grounded.

I may not be afraid… but I am well aware it must be watched closely. Not only that, but it is motivating me to seek a PDoc today. It is nothing to cause alarm to others either… just a reminder that I must pay close attention to my disorder, my meds, and have a PDoc at hand.

Today is the day that, after ice skating, I will be on the search for a new Psych. I am on it. ♥

After ice skating though. Time for bonding with my son…and today it will be on ice instead of rollerblades. I am ready. 😀 Stay tuned for that post.   😉