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Depression, PMDD, and Bi-Polar? UPDATED - Page 2

post #21 of 81
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Rebecca. They are calling me for a psych. appointment. Should be maybe a month from now, but they are supposed to call way before that I hope. I just had the same thing last night that I had back in June when I was hospitalized. I didn't go in to the hospital, though. I live with my mom and I crawled downstairs where she was sleeping and told her I felt like I did before and needed to go in to the ER. She just said "You remember how long you were there before?" UGH! I DID make it through the night, but I probably started feeling bad around 9 p.m. and finally fell asleep exhausted and dehydrated at 6 a.m. after throwing up and diarhea. Now I'm trying to rehydrate with coolaid and popsicles and water. Watching a show on working out right now. I didn't go to judo this morning, obviously. Ah well.
post #22 of 81
Thread Starter 



The psych. nurse phoned this morning saying my old psych. dr. said to just go with what my primary doctor is doing about the whole issue; that I don't need to see a psych. dr. (!)

I saw my primary dr. today. She has no idea about why i'm getting the stomach aches. Because I've been so tired, and missing periods, she tested me for pregnancy (negative) and drew blood for more stuff (forget what) and said my cortisol levels were okay from the test last week.

I told her about all this stuff (less actually) I typed here- basically about the high and lows- and she said I was bi-polar and prescribed depakote. My celexa is being put back down to 20 over the next little bit and then I'm to add the other. Opposite times of day- not at the same time. Call if I get rashes or anything else weird from it. I read today that once you go on these drugs you can't really ever go off- or "bad things happen". I dunno what the better choice is. I am glad to finally confirm I am bipolar, and I'm worried what I might do in a manic phase- have unprotected sex, buy lots of big items, drive far away, wander aimlessly, all of the above (done these before!). But being on a med forever?

I also was sent for an ultrasound of my pelvis for sharp ovarian pain, but nothing turned up out of the ordinary except they can't locate my right ovary. It used to be the 10 years ago as far as I know when I went through infertilty treatments and ultrasounds.... I think its just too hidden by scar tissue.
post #23 of 81
Thread Starter 
I don't know why they didn't see it before. I've often wondered about it before, myself. When at the psych. office- picking up a pamphlet that talked about bipolar and thinking that was me. Or, reading about it online or elsewhere now and then. Thinking that I knew something wasn't right with how I felt, and that I shouldn't make such big purchases, have cheap sex... that running away during the lunch break of work and hiding at the mall and never showing up again, or driving to Georgia for the weekend to visit an online male "friend" were strange... but I kind of secretly liked it too. The feeling of no responsibility, and quick "reward"... Its just that going on the higher dose of Celexa suddenly made those symptoms come back, but a lot more. That, combined with then going back to depression fairly soon after I guess were enough symptoms to diagnose bipolar. Apparently, people often don't get diagnosed as bipolar for many years- but rather just depressed- as it isn't always easy to see the symptoms. I have the same psychiatrist, but it was my primary doctor who diagnosed this today. I've had this same primary dr. since 1997.
post #24 of 81
Nathan> I am glad you are getting a better fitting dx. It's weird. How many times have i read the many different symptoms of bipolar and yet when i read YOUR account of such (leaving work- the high of the freedom, going on quick trips, sex, money spending) it's so much more real that it is ME and YOU (and others) doing that stuff and being nuts about it.

Yeah, the average time it takes, that people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed is 10 yrs. (or is it 20?) :

I am on depakote as well. I also take effexor which is one that is really difficult to get off of and i did try to go down on it once and gave up because of the crappy feeling i was getting. I've heard of people getting electric zapping in their bodies when weaning. One thing i notice myself besides the headaches if i am late or miss a dose is this strange 'clicking' noise in my head. Weird.

learn all you can about bipolar. knowledge is power.
post #25 of 81
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lauraess
Nathan> I am glad you are getting a better fitting dx. It's weird. How many times have i read the many different symptoms of bipolar and yet when i read YOUR account of such (leaving work- the high of the freedom, going on quick trips, sex, money spending) it's so much more real that it is ME and YOU (and others) doing that stuff and being nuts about it.

Yeah, the average time it takes, that people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed is 10 yrs. (or is it 20?) :

I am on depakote as well. I also take effexor which is one that is really difficult to get off of and i did try to go down on it once and gave up because of the crappy feeling i was getting. I've heard of people getting electric zapping in their bodies when weaning. One thing i notice myself besides the headaches if i am late or miss a dose is this strange 'clicking' noise in my head. Weird.

learn all you can about bipolar. knowledge is power.
Now that's really weird, because I haven't even started the depakote yet and I get those clicking noises in my head! Somtimes its clicking sometimes more of a popping sound and usually when I'm trying to fall asleep- and its LOUD!

I had never put WHY I'd leave jobs or drive away to another state together. I just knew I always felt I had to. Go away and hide somewhere where nobody could find me. There was an excitement to it- still is- and it feels like I am in my own world. I knew I felt a bit of "I shoudn't..." when I'd go buy stuff, but still I did it anyway because I "had to".

I saw my boyfriend last night and told him about my day. Told him how I felt torn about the meds because he is Christian Scientists and because his first wife was bipolar. I don't want to be "crazy". And to top it off, he'd rescued a bird from a cat- a dove it looked like- when he just got home. He prayed for it and told it it was "whole" and did everything he could. He put it up in a grate on a little roof about 4 feet off the ground to keep it away from other animals. BUt when we returned home an hour or two later, he went to check on the bird and it was stiff. Dead. That really bummed him out. Me, too. I don't know what damage it had sustained, but talking about that is "malpracticing" the bird. Its not really a place to explain it here, but the point is that he seemed quite bummed that the bird was dead. He put him in a little "nook" in the ground. Anyway, he seemed fine with what I was telling him about the meds. He's not unreasonable. I just feel that its so opposite of C.S. and that's a big part of who he is.
post #26 of 81
Nathan: I'm so glad to hear that you've come away from your doc with a diagnosis. Although I'm sure its frightening, a correct diagnosis will allow you to receive much better treatment. It will be interesting to see how you do on Depakote (a mood stabilizer). Did your doc express any concern about the combo of Celexa and potential manic episodes?

As for being on meds forever, I think everyone has a different view. I have been on meds for over 15 years and have accepted that I will always be on medication. But I also have an extensive family history of mental illness. I also know people that have stabilized and decided to wean off. There are side effects to weaning, but its nothing that can't be managed. Just be sure to stay in constant communication with your doc about what's going on to ward off and/or minimize unpleasant side effects and/or side effects from weaning.

As for your bf, I think it might be helpful for you two to attend some counseling together, so he can understand what is going on with you and you both can figure out ways to get through the rough times. I would also highly recommend that you see a therapist as often as possible to help you learn to cope with your new dx and help you find ways to manage your symptoms.

My best to you! You have lots of support here!
post #27 of 81
Thread Starter 
Hello again. Its always lovely to check my email and see that I have respones here!

I spent the morning out, after I dropped off the kids at school. Then I went to Border's and was there for about 3 hours. I picked up a book on Bipolar called The Bipolar Handbook: Realife Questions with Up-to-Date Answers by Wes Burgess, M.D., Ph.D. I started reading it in the store and SO much of it sounded like me! Not everything, of course. So I figured I'd get it so I didn't have to sit in Border's all day reading it. There was another book I was very interested in, but I just decided to read part of it and maybe get it another time. Still, I felt guilty for buying ANYthing. The book seems to explain so much of my behavior and the way my mind works... Heck- I was like this at 22, if not before. (I'm 34 now.) Lots of this seems to cross over with being a child of an alcoholic, although I haven't done any offical comparison. I just know that I've struggled since probably teenagehood with failing school, dropping jobs, and the rest of it. Like, how about wanting to beat people up for no reason in public? I haven't actually done it, but sometimes I do fantasize about it- and for no reason at all! Just that I'd like to take that person by surprise and "judo them"- what it would be like for them to smack their head on the pavement. I'll spare you the other crazy things that have gone through my mind in the past! Well, except back in about 2000, I was sure the doctors in my daugther's pediatrician's office were "after me" because she had had a vaccine reaction (and I reported it and they denied it) so I was sure they were going to force me to give them to her, to the point of chasing me out to my car. I left the office before they came back with the shots, didn't check out, and ran to the car paranoid. And a few years earlier, my ex went into the bank and I had our toddler son with me. When he didn't come out soon, I ran into the building, pregnant with #2 (daughter), toddler son on my hip SURE the place was being held up or poisoned by terrorists with biological agents. (This was in 1999- way before 9/11!)

This, book, too says that bi-polar people should not be on antidepressants as they just make them worse. I guess I will have to see what goes on. Maybe she has me down to 20 again to wean me off the celexa? Oh- and my psych. nurse phoned while I was at the bookstore and said he would find out why they haven't called me to schedule an appointment yet, but that I should have one coming up soon.
post #28 of 81
Nathan> Hi again How 're you feeling? About that 'clicking or popping' in your head- I've always attritbuted mine to the effexor withdraw when i'm off schedule with it. I never noticed it before , but that doesnt mean for you it's somethng that is 'more' noticable . dont know if that makes sense? anyway, let's see if depakote changes that any. For all i know it could be a depakote withdraw/low dose for me. (uhhm the funn of med analysis )
-I really think i'd have to concur with <familylove> that getting counseling with your partner is a great idea. Oh, and you and me Both must see our therapists. I've been meaning to for almost 2 months now. Somehow my priorities are a bit mixed up and so i was just reminded AGAIN that since i have this new number i better call soon.

I know 'of' that Handbook for bipolar book and it sounds like a good one. I think it's great to have them around for times when you might "forget" why you are taking your meds. kwim?

so, you are an Adult child of an Alcoholic too, eh? I agree that it seems like they crossover. That knowledge, of the many abuses and neglects in my life due to that, along with the History in both families as <familylove> mentioned is one way i keep serious about the meds in my life and let go of wanting so bad to not be on them. Heck, i'd been eating mostly organic for over 10 years, using natural cleaners, and wearing mostly natural fibers, going 32 hrs med free labor before resigning myself to taking mood stabilizing meds! I very rarely take ibuprofen..... But, it seems I need to take my meds or i turn into both my mother-at-her-worst and my father-at-his-worst tightly rolled up into a neurotic whack job **with kids.

One more thing: a freind i know has adhd and he says since a lot of times bipolar symptoms crossover/share symptoms of adhd that my wanting to wander, to run free ( like going on spontaneous trips)is very much adhd. I dont know how true that is or correct but when he and i talked it seemed that i did share symptoms with him such as that .

Take care
post #29 of 81
Hi Nathan,

I read lauraess's post and it made me wonder how you are doing as well.

Are you experiencing any side effects from Depakote? I know some folks who have had wonderful success with Depakote. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me but I take a couple of other mood stabilizers that do the trick (carbatrol, lithium and lamictal). If Depakote doesn't do it for you, there are plenty of other options. As for the popping noises, I vaguely remember experiencing them as well, but can't remember what I attributed them to at the time.

As lauraess said, I have committed myself to taking meds for the rest of my life. It was a really scary concept at first and I spent a of time trying to figure out ways to get off as soon as possible. I talked constantly about weaning off of this and that when I showed the slightest sign of feeling better. I finally accepted that it was the meds making me feel better and going off them was a sure ticket, for me, to a major setback. I just want you to know that there are a lot of people out there that take meds daily to control their illnesses.

Lauraess: call your therapist! This is another thing I have accepted as part of being bipolar. I will need to see a therapist in one capacity or another as part of my overall treatment plan.

I apologize if I repeat myself a lot, but these are the things that got me stable and feeling like myself again and I would love for you to get there, too.

Take care, sweetie, and keep us updated!
post #30 of 81
Thread Starter 
Hi. Just a short reply right now- Thank you for writing!!

I have not started the Depakote yet. Tomorrow morning, I will. My dr. wanted me to be on the lower dose of Celexa for week first.

I have an apointment coming up for a psych. appointment- but I dont' know when. They seem to think there is one- but nobody's called me with the official day and time.

I was tested for ADHD back in about 1993. This was because at a psych. appointment, I was looking out the window most of the time. My mom was there and she's prone to giving all the answers for you if you you let her go with you, so I just felt I didn't want to be there. Therefore, I got sent for 3 hours worth of testing at the hospital for ADHD. I came out completely normal.

Meanwhile, I'm still seeing my primary doctor and my ob/gyn. Just my belly issues and annual check up, but they are helpful with the "big picture". Last night, I had another episode up all night with distended middle, horrible ache and eventually throwing up. Not to be too gross but I think I probably threw up 10 times if not more. I didn't really count- I just realized that it was many times. I'm on hold with the nurse at my primary dr's office right now as my primary dr. had said if this happens again over night I can come in to the clinic and get an IV to be rehydrated rather than go into the ER. Even the person on call last night didn't seem to think this warranted an ER visit. But other times, same syptoms, others have said it did. I know how these things- the sickness- evolve, but that doesn't mean they necessearily will always take the same track, you know?

Yeah ACOA too. Whoopie! Actually, as much as a lot of that stuff is me, when I read the bipolar handbook, I was just floored at how much it really hit home! I still wanna run away- I want to run away to no-stomachache-land. Christopher last night was so nice to me. He had to go to the grocery store so he asked me to go along, after we'd been out to the movies with his daughter. I was feeling worse at that point, but not like I would 3 hours later. We walked around and shopped and he gave me lots of long hugs. He's so warm and lovely! Then in the car when we got back, we had a long talk about healing things metaphysically, and I still do not completely understand, but when you are at a loss for how to heal something like these stomach aches, any little bit to feel better is a help.

All for now. Its old-movie-in-my-baggy-jammie-bottoms-and-big-sweatshirt-with-tea day today.
post #31 of 81
Thread Starter 
I still am sleeping more, but I did manage to take a shower last night, change my sheets and put on fresh jammies before bed. Belly still talking to me, but I managed to eat a bit more- pudding, doritos, and several carnation breakfast drinks.

I'm posting to say I took my first Depakote this morning and thus far I am doing fine. I'm basically feeling at ease. Not sad, not spazzy, not anxious... Just at ease. Now part of this may be due to feeling better re: my belly. I feel totally awful when that's going on, of course. But either way, the combination is nice- clean, serene, belly better. I've slept a lot the last few days and had crazy dreams! He he. They're always so vivid, too? Maybe this is a bipolar thing? I've always had it, but lately its been a lot more. Getting kids in a few from school. Guests coming over for dinner later. One who is on lithium- or was last year when they stopped by! Not my friends actually, but my mom's husband. Visiting nonetheless. I hope I can eat some of this food! It looks like it will be yummy.
post #32 of 81
HI Nathan1097, I've been reading your posts and hope you are feeling better. I am not bipolar but I suspect that my dh is. He reports many of the same feelings and behaviors, thoughts as you have. He is currently being treated for chronic depression and ihas just started seeing a therapist while he waits a psyc evaluation in a few weeks and hopefully a proper diagnoses and a change in meds (he is on Lexapro currently). One thing that stood out to me in your situatioin is your stomach issues. My dh also has stomach problems. I have read that people with bipolar can experience chronic physical pain due to the condition. I wonder if the stomach is related to the mental illness? Just a thought I wonder myself from time to time because of my dh. ANyway, I wish you the best. If the meds work, I would stay on them. I know my dh does not want to be on meds his whole life and gets upset about the idea, but if something could help ease his mental pain and anguish (from an outside perspective) and allow him to feel a sense of "contentedness" and enjoy his children and life "NOW" , I can't imagine how wonderful it would be. A lot of this is for my own self and sanity as it can be difficult to live with someone with bipolar. I hope sometimes that is not just my own selfishness that wants him medicated but I also care deeply for him and hate seeing him in such anguish. I also don't want our children exposed to some of his erratic behaviour. Sorry to ramble. This is an issue that strikes a chord in my family right now;'m interested in hearing how people deal with manic depression in their lives and families and what it feels like to be bipolar.
Hugs to you!
post #33 of 81
Thread Starter 
Hi, I am very tired since starting the Depakote. It feels like I'm stoned most of the time. Where I would've gotten really unwound emotionally and let my thoughts get away with me, now that all happens but I don't react to it. Well, I still laugh and cry, and I still think things and get confused- but since I feel dazed it just sort of passes me by without being a big trauma. Granted, I've only been on the meds 4 days now, so who knows if this is the meds or not. It feels like it. I don't normally feel so "zoned".

I have problems with relationships- thinking people are going to leave me if they love me. Or wanting to spend "too much time" with them. I don't always know what is what. That said, sometimes I have moments of clarity or what feels normal and everything is lovely. Today I felt really out of sorts. I love to go out with a coffee and muffin or donut to Border's lately and read. I did that this morning, in fact. I will bring the newspaper, and a book of mine or pick up a book and/or magazine or two at the store and just sit and read. I found a book I really liked called As Nature Made Him and spent three days at 4 hours a day reading it till I finished it. Only reason I left was because I was getting hungry. I just like to sit and be among lots of people- talking, drinking, scootching their chairs around me-- hearing the coffee machines whirr- and feel surrounded, completely alone- where nobody knows where I am. The drowsiness of the Depakote and the warmth of wearing a jacket and a warm sip of coffee lull me. Eventually, I get so sleepy I have to go home.

I do worry about my kids. About my missing their lives. I take them out to do mom and kids things as much as I can. But these days of being sick with my belly and so tired on the Depakote.... Last night Istayed over at Christopher's house and thought about going home at 3 a.m. but fell back to sleep. At 6:50 or so, he woke up right after I did and said I had to go home- he worries that my kids will find me not at home when they wake up. All I want is the snuggles with him at times. We sat and watched a movie with his daughter, and I reclined on this pillow with "arms" on the end of her bed and he sat next to me in a chair. I just zoned out and watched. Its kind of like being on Vicodin, though not as "drunk".

As for living with someone with bipolar, I don't know what to say. Sometimes I think I tax Christopher to the max- and we don't even live together! My mom doesnt' know what to think of me and we've had lots of fights over my just "taking off" and she thinks I don't love my kids. It gets so bad sometimes that I just "have to" take off. Once I wandered around the neighborhood quite "detached" from reality. If that happens these days, I go to Christopher's to be somewhere safe- so that I can't go drive any further or wander places I shouldn't. I feel guilty about putting this all on him, sometimes.

Thanks for writing. I check in here to update when I have an update to post. Probably post a lot coming up because I have so many dr's appointments, but also just so I have a record of how things are going, and of course to get to talk with people who have some idea of what I'm going through.
post #34 of 81
Thread Starter 
I have been sleeping too much today, although I have been up since I wrote the post above.

I talked with Christopher for a while on the phone- mostly about stuff that was funny online. I have spent a while this evening looking at videos on youtube. Old price is right clips and such. I came across a MadTV spoof of that commercial for Zoloft that played a number of years back- with the bouncing sad head drawn in black and white? Only its for ecstacy. Too funny.

I did sleep way too much today though. Basically all night- though fitfully- and then till about 11:30. Then back home around 1-something, had lunch, and then back to sleep till 4. I dunno - I feel like I'm being REALLY lazy.

Qerratsmom, what specifically is difficult about having a bipolar husband?
post #35 of 81


Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 10:29am
post #36 of 81
Thread Starter 
Lotus beans, thanks for the reply. I joined the about.com bipolar boards a while back, but don't post there much.

I did read an article in a WebMD magazine (I think) the day I was diagnosed but before I started the Depakote about how it can be very difficult to come off these meds. I waivered quite a bit about taking them because of this and because it conflicts with the basis of Christian Science. I am not C.S., but I am reading more about it and Christopher is C.S. so it kind of conflicts. When I mentioned my stomach ache recently and how I could not pray when in so much pain, he said that pain killers are okay if you can then pray, but more importantly he said you have to do what you have to do. Looking back at how I've been bipolar for at least 15 years and how it has affected my life, if there's something that can smooth things out so that I can get to working on the issues finally that go with it (rather than be misdiagnosed as ADHD, ACOA, Depressed) then that's what I want to do.
post #37 of 81
Thread Starter 
I have to leave in a couple minutes to take the kids to the Y where their dad is.

I thought Christopher would want to do something tonight but he says moving stuff at work is tiring him out and he's trying to do less in the eveings so he's just going to go to the grocery store, go shopping with his ex for a toilet and then go home and work on one of his books. So that made me cry a bit- mostly just let down cuz I wanted to go out tonight. I could take myself out, but that would be worse alone! So then I just figured maybe this is why I hate being alone- is that part of bipolar? I hate it and love it at the same time. Is that an unreasonable reaction? Its just that I only have certain evenings I can go anywhere and I admit we HAD been seeing a lot of each other.

On the other hand, I wrote a good email to somebody from years back re: my website on circ. And that felt good to be talking about something with someone (albeit delayed via email) that is on the same wavelength on that subject.

My brain still is adjusting. Not so tired but I still am not sure how to react to things as my reactions have changed. Kinda better, but still fuzzy. Before, I wouldn't know what was "right" and have to "guess"- well that's the ACOA coming out- but I guess I'd react and people would think I was weird. Some love me for my weirdness, though.

Must run to take the kids to the Y. Back later. Mothering- stay up!
post #38 of 81
Hi Nathan1097!
The difficult things for me about dh is that many times he is just not emotionally available. Sometimes he is trying to keep himself from "freaking out" (he can feel very aggresive) by running, wandering or playing guitar, sleeping. He also is constantly over spending (and we don't have much money at all right now, dh is only working part time since thats all he can find). A big thing for us was binge drinking to self medicate which he no longer does so thats been really good for us. Its mostly that sometimes (for long periods) he is unable to give much emotionally because he is trying to cope with life. I am very understanding of this and do as much as I can to help him but obviously it gets hard. Sometimes I really miss his partnership. Right now he is a chronic depression so he does not enjoy anything we do but in the past it has been episodes of extreme agitation. He needs the house quiet and in order which is very hard with two small kids. He realizes this and tries to cope but has a hard time. He may have other issues besides bipolar (he also suffers from child hood trauma and has been diagnose with general anxiety disorder. He acts adhd at lot times but I'm not sure if thats just due to the bipolar). I'm rambling here so let me know if you have questions. Do you frequently feel sever agitation/irritation? Dh will lash out sometimes for hardly any reason. He feels really badly about it and it doesn't happen much anymore mostly because he recedes into himself or leaves the house so he is not around me. Its hard because when he is feeling "normal" or atleast "managing" he is such a great guy and father and we have everything in common and love to do so much together. This is why I would like him to be on meds. Like I said maybe its very selfish of me.
post #39 of 81





Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 10:28am
post #40 of 81
Thread Starter 
After my post, I took the kids to the Y to meet their dad, then was feeling a bit lonely. So I called up someone I used to know and he listened to me for about 2 minutes then said "Jennie, when I told you never to contact me again, I meant it". Well, not long before that, Christopher had called and said his plans had cancelled and did I want to do something! When I got there, he took one look at me, and said "have you been crying?" ! I had shed ONE tear because of the comment on the phone to me by that guy, and he knew it! So let me sum it up this way- we went to a coffee shop, had coffees, the ONLY place open to sit was the couch so we hogged that up, talked about stuff we rarely talk about, had a WONDERFUL conversation, then we went to Meijer (kinda like super Walmart but nicer and came first ) and he got a couple things and we walked. Shopped for a couple shirts for him. He said "This isn't very romantic". Aww! Just saying that is. We went back to his house, made out in his car and sorry if TMI, then he asked me to come up to his apartment- which isn't anything new, however, he'd said before he didn't want to stay up late. Had a wonderful, close cuddly time.
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