Does Bi-Polar Disorder get worse with age? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 08-09-2011, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if anyone knew about this. Does it generally intensify as you get older? Is there a "peak" age? Thanks for any insights.

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#2 of 25 Old 08-10-2011, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes. Every time I post about bi-polar there is an empty void. Is this "that which we do not speak of?" lol Or is it really so rare? Should I be posting somewhere else about it?

 

I so wish there was a tribe. I feel like I need to talk to other people who deal with this but it seems no one is willing to talk. :(

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#3 of 25 Old 08-11-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Sorry sweetie. I hope some more mamas come out of the woodwork.


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years
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#4 of 25 Old 08-12-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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If its caused by a nutritional issue then yes it will get worse as you get older and the deficiency gets more severe.  Unfortunately so many are taught Bipolar is not curable but after what I have seen over the last year when in the majority were healed after figuring out the exact nutritional issue and the Bipolar was replaced with a normal functioning person. In our case it was Pyroluria, Histamine imbalance and sub clinical Pellagra, we also believe were dealing with copper toxicity, waiting for the tests to come back.


Seriously?
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#5 of 25 Old 08-12-2011, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both so much for your replies. I do feel like I've been having allergies which have been getting worse over the past few years and I believe the bipolar is has gotten worse along with them. I'll have to look into that.

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#6 of 25 Old 08-13-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to add on to my last post though, I have had severe depression since I was a young child and that had everything to do with my upbringing and nothing to do with allergies. Well, that and it runs in the family. So maybe not. shrug.gif

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#7 of 25 Old 08-14-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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OP:  This may be of little help, but oftentimes BiP is a misdiagnosis, especially with an awful childhood history.  PTSD can be a look-a-like in some cases.  Just a thought.  Regardless of the label, I am sorry for both your traumatic childhood candle.gif and whatever challenges and sadness you are experiencing.  Feel free to PM me if you would like a BTDT buddy.


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#8 of 25 Old 08-14-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post

Just to add on to my last post though, I have had severe depression since I was a young child and that had everything to do with my upbringing and nothing to do with allergies. Well, that and it runs in the family. So maybe not. shrug.gif



I'm not bi-polar but my mom was (committed suicide), my grandmother is (tried suicide a few times I know of), and my sister is (tried 10+x since she was about 9). Anyways according to my family "all the women have always had it" but I don't. IDK if it's somehow diet related. I was definitely depressed before I started eating well but I wouldn't say I was bi-polar...

 

So IDK about my grandmother's childhood (other than she was a poor immigrant) but my mothers was full of SA and ours was full of PA. I have thoroughly watch and taken/took care of my mom and my sister during their mood issues and mania issues. They liked to stay in bed for weeks and not eat hardly a thing...I used to force them to drink water, when I was just a kid...

 

So as mother aged she got worse, much worse, but she also never healed her old wounds and did not feel fulfilled in her life. She was too afraid to work but hated being home, her kids were "grown" (I was only 15 when she took her life) and she felt she had no purpose.

 

My sister got worse after my mother passed, but as the years go by she seems to be more mentally stable. She still has a lot of problems and she is on traditional (western) meds for it...she misses a lot of work, but has not tried suicide in the last few years, BUT IDK if I would say my sis has "true" Bi-Polar. *I* never noticed mood changes in her, only the mania that would hit her. She is overly obsessed with men and material things, but IDK if that correlates with Bi-Polar. I am of the belief it is grossly over diagnosed although I do think it is a real disease.

 

I for one tend to shy away from western medicine...

 

My mother "did everything right" took all the pills they wanted her to and went to a psychologist, tried to genuinely get help, although no therapist every cared enough to dig deep and get to the roots really..IDK it just seemed like med after med after med. Obviously it failed in the end...

 

My sis credits her "recovery" (IDK that I would say she is recovered really, she's not cutting or suicidal but she's also grown up a bit and not living in her teenage angst anymore KWIM?) to her meds but she does not go to therapy at all...

 

I think it's important to keep fighting and to think outside of the box. I refuse to believe you can have some pill that will make life "manageable" and that's as good as it gets. I would try to see s naturopath for your depression and see if they can uncover anything to help. I would absolutely go to talk therapy and try to heal your wounds. You should really try some diet changes too. Eliminating all grains really helps me feel energized and happy.

 

HTH and good luck!


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#9 of 25 Old 08-14-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post

Just to add on to my last post though, I have had severe depression since I was a young child and that had everything to do with my upbringing and nothing to do with allergies. Well, that and it runs in the family. So maybe not. shrug.gif



This post just screams Pyroluria, honestly! PLEASE look into it! Treatment is cheap and easy.


Seriously?
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#10 of 25 Old 08-16-2011, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for replies and support. And thank you sosurreal for sharing your story. I have stood very strong against taking medications of any kind. I feel like they can lead to more problems and imbalances and even trigger full on psychosis. So I appreciate all of your thoughts and alternative treatment suggestions.

 

I did do talk therapy for a little over a year. I do think it helped. I'm not sure that I'd want to start up with another therapist though (mine, who was genuinely invested in me, passed away and that is why our sessions ended).

 

I checked out several websites on pyroluria and it just doesn't sound like what I have going on. I've never been anemic (not even close) and I can't tolerate vit. B because it gives me a niacin flush (bad), which leads me to believe I already have plenty. The onset doesn't sound right either. I remember being severely depressed my entire life, like wanted to die when I was very young. It wasn't something that just happened, I think it was always there and was further aggravated by my home life. Except for the depression and anxiety (and the sound/tactile sensitivities) none of it went along with my symptoms at all. shrug.gif  So maybe not?

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#11 of 25 Old 08-16-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post

Thank you so much for replies and support. And thank you sosurreal for sharing your story. I have stood very strong against taking medications of any kind. I feel like they can lead to more problems and imbalances and even trigger full on psychosis. So I appreciate all of your thoughts and alternative treatment suggestions.

 

I did do talk therapy for a little over a year. I do think it helped. I'm not sure that I'd want to start up with another therapist though (mine, who was genuinely invested in me, passed away and that is why our sessions ended).

 

I checked out several websites on pyroluria and it just doesn't sound like what I have going on. I've never been anemic (not even close) and I can't tolerate vit. B because it gives me a niacin flush (bad), which leads me to believe I already have plenty. The onset doesn't sound right either. I remember being severely depressed my entire life, like wanted to die when I was very young. It wasn't something that just happened, I think it was always there and was further aggravated by my home life. Except for the depression and anxiety (and the sound/tactile sensitivities) none of it went along with my symptoms at all. shrug.gif  So maybe not?


B3 causes the flush and is not part of the core Pyroluria treatment, Zinc and B6 are which does not cause flushing. You don't have to be anemic. My daughter showed symptoms from infancy as did my mother. I know I was a miseable kid but don't remember becoming sucidial until my early teen years. It can't hurt to look into it, you don't need to have all the symptoms just like any other condition, there are various levels of it.

 


Seriously?
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#12 of 25 Old 08-17-2011, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It certainly sounds worth a try. Thanks. :)

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#13 of 25 Old 08-17-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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My bipolar has gotten worse since my diagnosis at 15. I'm now 21 and I went from Bipolar 1 to Bipolar 2 which is the more serious side of the spectrum. I had also been medicated and stopped taking the meds on more than one occasion by personal preference and because I was pregnant with my first and didn't like the thought of being on risky meds while pregnant and breastfeeding. Alot of doctors say that stopping and starting the medication several times will make the disorder worse. I have tried to commit suicide a couple times and put myself in treatment once because I felt like I would hurt myself if I didn't. I really don't think I have a deficiency and that it's not a misdiagnosis just because I had trauma as a child and adolescent. I went through 5 years of treatment so alot of the trauma issues were solved. The sick and uncontrolled behavior remained. Just saying.....

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#14 of 25 Old 08-17-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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Untreated bipolar definitely gets worse with age. There's some evidence that the more episodes/swings you have (especially manic episodes), the worse they get, to the point where you can actually end up with permanent damage to your brain chemistry. My dad is bipolar and things definitely got worse until he got the right diagnosis and the right treatment. If you're in treatment and it's working, it shouldn't progress - it's only when you're untreated and still having extreme swings. I wish people were more open about bipolar. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and I hope you're getting the help you deserve.

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#15 of 25 Old 08-18-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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People are only ashamed of it because of society's reaction to it. It's big and scary when it's untreated and if people know you have it, they recoil like "Gosh, I hope they're on meds! I don't want them to flip out on me and hurt me!" It's the people that aren't educated about bipolar that make it such a horrible illness to be open about.

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#16 of 25 Old 08-19-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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So far, my son's has been getting better and we are keeping out fingers crossed.

 

 

I think factors that made it better so far are:

 

1) He is medication compliant. He went off meds once and it was a learning exprience.  He also knows how to use prn meds as well.

 

2) He gained a lot of self-awarness from therapy. He is not longer using his disorder as an excuse.

 

3)  He developed meditation practice.

 

 

I was not happy when we had to start meds at young age. However, after doing a lots of research and getting second and third opinion it became clear to us that risk of not medicating was very serious.  Essentially, every manic attack damages the brain.

 

So, early medication is now reccomended for young children as part of neuron sparing strategy.

 

 We found the right combination of medication and results are good. He is not a walking zombie but a productive function human being. Not only he has creative ideas, he now has capability to make them come true.

 

None of the diets changes, suppliments of behavioural therapies worked.

 

 I is important to find a good doctor. Sometime a combination of MD and therapist works, sometime you can find 2 in 1.

 

 

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"Essentially, every manic attack damages the brain." I never knew that, good to know though.

 

I am frightened having children since Bipolar has been so prevalent in my family....is it definitely passed through genes or can anyone be effected by it? (JW and if you know)


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#18 of 25 Old 08-19-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Bipolar disorder has a strong genetic component. My son had no trauma, 2 parents stable family etc etc etc...

 

If anything I should have had it, my childhood was crazy. But really , genes are genes.

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#19 of 25 Old 08-20-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

"Essentially, every manic attack damages the brain." I never knew that, good to know though.

 

I am frightened having children since Bipolar has been so prevalent in my family....is it definitely passed through genes or can anyone be effected by it? (JW and if you know)


My father has it, HIS mom should have been diagnosed with it, I have it, and I'm getting my son looked at for Bipolar behavior. I think it's safe to say that it's genetic. It was actually my therapist that I had at the time that pointed out that maybe I had Bipolar and my mom got a 2nd and 3rd opinion. I improved only when I took my medication regularly.
 

 

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#20 of 25 Old 08-20-2011, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is really hard to read that but I know it's important for me to know. Can anyone explain the brain damage further? How does it work, which part of the brain does it damage, how does this type of damage affect a person?

 

For a long time I thought it was just severe clinical depression because the only movement I've ever had is low to extremely, dangerously low, to low, to occasionally almost normal. But never high. But I have had to face over the last few years that suddenly the fog clears without any rhyme or reason and I get more energy, I get more chatty, I want to be around people more, I think maybe there's a chance for me. But I do think that's just the way normal people feel on a normal day. I guess what I'm asking is, is there a chance that the mania part couldn't be damaging my brain as badly? I have to admit, my head even feels somewhat buzzy during these times, if that makes any sense.

 

I do think it runs in my family, even though none of them would even consider going to a therapist. My sibling who had the exact same issues as me killed himself. It's possible that one of my other siblings has it, but she's had so many addiction issues it's hard to say for sure. I think my mother probably does. She's got some pretty severe issues, but I don't know her well enough to really say.

 

It is really hard for me to think of my kids inheriting this stuff from me. Only one of mine has shown any depression but only very mildly and there's no kind of up and down.

 

I'm so glad that so many people are contributing to this thread now. It is so helpful, for a lot of people, I'm sure.

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#21 of 25 Old 08-21-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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There some instersting  studies

 

 

http://bipolarnews.org/?p=445

 

http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2003/05/4777/study-suggests-bipolar-disorder-may-cause-progressive-brain-damage

 

 

So, the idea is that proper treatment has neuron sparing effect.

 

 

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#22 of 25 Old 08-26-2011, 03:21 AM
 
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Quote:
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For a long time I thought it was just severe clinical depression because the only movement I've ever had is low to extremely, dangerously low, to low, to occasionally almost normal. But never high. But I have had to face over the last few years that suddenly the fog clears without any rhyme or reason and I get more energy, I get more chatty, I want to be around people more, I think maybe there's a chance for me. But I do think that's just the way normal people feel on a normal day. I guess what I'm asking is, is there a chance that the mania part couldn't be damaging my brain as badly? I have to admit, my head even feels somewhat buzzy during these times, if that makes any sense.

 


 

Is that a true manic state or "just the way normal people feel on a normal day"? Maybe you should explain it to someone around you who knows you well, see what they say. Sometimes it is hard to see how high/low/good/bad you feel - compared to "normal" - because you are in the middle of it, kwim? I can explain my manic state though - maybe that will help. Because what you describe sounds happy, but not manic, but hard to tell from one post and not knowing you.

 

I had, I think, a pre-manic state fen 2010 - was light and happy to a weird degree. But it was only a day and I ignored it. Then in April 2011 I was depressed. I had been depressed for months actually, and anxious and irritable and loss of sleep and panic attacks. But never so depressed that I just gave up or did nothing - I don't ever get that way, more panic attack like. But then mid of April it lifted, and then all through May I was happy and hyper-productive, needing little sleep and able to create 6 paintings in one month, also productive at work and at home with chores, kids…, good energy, focused. I was a super mom, super wife, super employee, super artist, super everything. But I was also agitated and impatient that other people could not keep up. Then beginning of June I was ecstatic happy, high, extremely sexual and uninhibited,  mind going in all directions at once with ideas, and can not sleep - had to take 4 sleeping pills just to get to sleep. And that was after a night I slept 0 hours! This lasted a week where I am crazy sexual (happy DH!), too speedy to be truly productive, and feeling really high. This is actually when I got medical help because it was too much. I mean if I was taking drugs it would have made sense to be so high and trippy, but it is scary to be like that when you are not taking drugs! (20 years ago I smoked pot and did mushrooms, and this was WAY more than that!) And it was frightening, because I did not know if I would get even more high and I was worried what would happen. Luckily it did go back down, and I have been generally happy though the summer, but not crazy happy, and I feel I may be starting my downward swing again. How fun, not. 

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#23 of 25 Old 08-28-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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My highs usually have horrible outcomes because I do some really messed up stuff that seems logical when I do them. It usually takes convincing myself that it's logical and then no one can tell me that it's a stupid idea, it only fuels me further because I think they are wrong. I almost enlisted in the army when I was manic. I was in the process of enlisting when I found out I was pregnant, actually. I tried to commit suicide in a manic state. I wasn't even depressed. I just woke up one morning and decided that that day was a good day to go. I ran away to Seattle on a whim the week after I got married, and when I came down from my manic state I panicked and didn't know why I thought it was okay to do that. When I'm manic, it almost seems like a dream and that what I do doesn't really have consequences. I can lightly think about the consequences, but it doesn't seem to matter much until it's too late.

 

When I am manic-depressive, I dip low during the day and pick back up in the night time and usually stay up. When I was a teenager, I would sneak out at night and usually a teen would sneak out to a party, right? Well, I took that time to walk down to the school and back home. Nobody believed me until my mom asked the principal to confirm that I in fact was just going to the school and they saw me on camera, on more than one night, outside the school, just hanging out......

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#24 of 25 Old 09-16-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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It can get worse with age if not properly treated. And there are many forms of treatment. The meds can help, however sometimes they can make things worse. Most BP's have addictive personalities, one of my friends runs when she's out of control barefoot and all out of the house for hours until she calms down. DH, reads and he won't stop or he paces and he chain smokes.

He has recently gotten off all medications and is now utilizing what he learned in CBT. It helps that I help him too. He's changed his diet and is exercising. However the running thoughts in his head continue, whole books page by page. Medical MJ has helped that. Since his bouts of depression are no longer as severe as they used to be. The exercising though is looking like it might become and addiction, so I need to throw something into the mix. I need to talk to his doctor.

He also has a long line of family members on the suicide list or bp and schizo list. All fully medicated their whole lives. I don't advocate not taking medication, however I do think there are other ways to combat some of the worst behaviors. And if you have a good support system that will see it all through with you it's much easier. So I would say as DH has gotten older and he's learned to understand himself better, knows his triggers and accepts that this is his life... he's gotten better.
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#25 of 25 Old 09-16-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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It can get worse with age if not properly treated. And there are many forms of treatment. The meds can help, however sometimes they can make things worse. Most BP's have addictive personalities, one of my friends runs when she's out of control barefoot and all out of the house for hours until she calms down. DH, reads and he won't stop or he paces and he chain smokes.

He has recently gotten off all medications and is now utilizing what he learned in CBT. It helps that I help him too. He's changed his diet and is exercising. However the running thoughts in his head continue, whole books page by page. Medical MJ has helped that. Since his bouts of depression are no longer as severe as they used to be. The exercising though is looking like it might become and addiction, so I need to throw something into the mix. I need to talk to his doctor.

He also has a long line of family members on the suicide list or bp and schizo list. All fully medicated their whole lives. I don't advocate not taking medication, however I do think there are other ways to combat some of the worst behaviors. And if you have a good support system that will see it all through with you it's much easier. So I would say as DH has gotten older and he's learned to understand himself better, knows his triggers and accepts that this is his life... he's gotten better.


So a person COULD get medical MJ if they wanted for bipolar? I had asked around before getting pregnant and everyone said no. Also, before getting pregnant I was running addictively. Knowing your triggers are a big thing with bipolar. I can feel when I'm starting to get manic. My sleep gets disturbed and I don't want to be in the house as much, and I make odd decisions. I'm happy about the meds I'm taking, but in order to have motivation to train for running again, I might need to lower my dose.
 

 

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