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#1 of 275 Old 04-19-2005, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This can be an ongoing thread to help support and commiserate life as a bipolar mama, papa, or parent of dignosed. Whether you are on meds or not , unsure about your diagnosis or attempting to parent a child with bipolar you can express yourself here. We sure need the support in this strange area that affects us profoundly.
~L
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#2 of 275 Old 04-19-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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Thanks Laura! Shall we have a time limit thread (i.e. monthly, bimonthly - maybe seasonally? a lot of us are seasonally affected to some extent, after all), or just pop open a new one when the old's getting too long?

Should we link to the thread that started this all? (Again, thank you Laura!)

I've never been part of an on-going thing, except for one Tribe, so I defer t'y'all's superior knowledge and experience. :LOL

Anyway, hi!!!
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#3 of 275 Old 04-19-2005, 05:29 PM
 
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i Also am new to the extended threads but I would suggest that we start a new thread at least seasonally (like the first day of summer. fall etc) AND/OR if its gotten more than 3 or 4 pages.

I am hopin that its that time of the month cause I want to kill just about everyone!@ boiling rage is so fun! Im not due for a couple weeks , but every once in awhile I flip flop cycles and go from one moon (full) to another (new).

I go to the Doc THIS thursday, so Ill come update then....ill hopefully be off Seroquel and on alot of lamictal!.
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#4 of 275 Old 04-21-2005, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey ladies. I guess we can keep a watch on this and when it gets several pages long we can re-start.
Just wanted to update on me. My mental stability is pretty awesomely changed. I'm not flipping out at all lately. I mean sure, i get mad, but i handle it pretty well. No more of the stuff i was experiencing: racing thoughts, spirals down into negativity land, quick talking to myself and pacing.
I at times find myself surprised at how un-anxious I am throughout the day. Even when I was being treated for anxiety only I never felt this way, this calm. I guess it really helps to not have the extra thoughts getting in my way.
so, with that... what else can I say? I wish It was this easy for others and yet surely it wont remain this way for me. I've heard so many stories about How the Mental/chemical changes keep us hopping with meds and psyche appointments.
so, what is up others?
~L
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#5 of 275 Old 04-22-2005, 11:40 AM
 
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SOO I went to the Dr and she said we could speed upi the process of getting me off seroquel, which is awesome seeing as Ive gained 12 pounds in like 4 or 5 days since goiing back on it. My whole body i itchy from stretching skin, I also think Ive gained a bra size, which is the ONLY upside.
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#6 of 275 Old 04-22-2005, 12:57 PM
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Hi ladies. I am unaware of the previuos threads but i was wondering if their was a section about this. Glad i saw this today.

I was diagnosed at 15 but REFUSED meds. My family has a LONG history of bi polar. Suicide inclused . Anyhow iam not seeking treatment & i am hoping to get on the right meds. My dr has me on meds for like 3 yrs now but only for basic depression since i was having babies. Now i am all done & ready to move on.

I notice in addition to the RAGE etc i have uncontrolable spending issues in weird cycles. I will be great & all of a sudden i need to shop like mad . I then get us into debt after trying so hard to get out from the timr before. I even go out & get new cars etc. Its CRAZY. My hubby is so understanding with everything but is has gotten old now. I am currently looking to get into treatment with a reg dr who can help me.

Looking forward to geting to know you mamas.
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#7 of 275 Old 04-22-2005, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, welcome Heather!
Now, did you mean you were NOT seaking treatment or NOW seeking treatment?
~L
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#8 of 275 Old 04-23-2005, 01:09 AM
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LMBO, yes i meant i am NOW going to seek treatment.
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#9 of 275 Old 04-23-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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Talk about water retention, I went off the seroquel and lost 8 lbs in one day!!!

Ive upped my lamictal and everything is going well so far.
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#10 of 275 Old 04-23-2005, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rowantree>
~L
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#11 of 275 Old 04-27-2005, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how is everyone? I expected to see a little more traffic here lately.
anyway, today i had some issues come up that caused me a lot of frustration and anger and i almost got to raging but didint. I felt certain it was what would be termed normal issues- you know, from alchoholic upbringing and such-- then since talking about it with dh i started to see that yes they were 'normal issues' and I was dealing fairly well. What i seem to recognize is that my usual behavior patterns brought on with bipolar, now having been shifted into a more neutral zone, have me dealing 'well' . Yet, the feelings i must deal with that are related to long-standing issues can now(hopefully) be looked at much more rationally.
I really dont know what the heck im saying. a few minutes ago i thought it was making sense. I was relating some of my frustrations and my day to my dh and thought i was 'getting 'something. Like, maybe some sense of it all. but now, i dont know.
All I do know is things have been better and it does make sense that I will be able to be more sensible and non-reactionary with stability that may come with medication and therapy. I just hope im doing the right thing.
~L
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#12 of 275 Old 04-27-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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I'm still not on meds... I've been working really hard at behavior modification and I've stayed out of serious mood cycles for a while now, thank god... who knows if and when it'll pop up, but this is a huge change for me, as my bipolar is usually pretty rapid-cycling.
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#13 of 275 Old 04-27-2005, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Candiland: hey, That is great! I have to be reminded again of your situation: whether you ever tried, how Bad your illness was etc. I would love to someday go off meds.
~L
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#14 of 275 Old 04-28-2005, 09:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland


I'm still not on meds... I've been working really hard at behavior modification and I've stayed out of serious mood cycles for a while now, thank god... who knows if and when it'll pop up, but this is a huge change for me, as my bipolar is usually pretty rapid-cycling.
That is AWESOME for you, good luck! I was successfully off meds for a year when I was doing weekly acupuncture, combo I cant afford and my very talented acupuncturist is a raging self absorbed asshole so I stopped. I tried other acupunturists, but he really was the only one who made any real effect.

anyway:
So I go off the seroquel (which is like anti-mania) and get depressed? makes no sense to me. Mostly I think its from fighting with DH, he like just shot down all of my self esteem (long story regaurding a washing machine and not listening to my opinion) He DOES NOT mean to do this at all, I take things the wrong way and then roll with them in a big ole self pity downward spiral. He just seems to just say the wrong thing, hes so sweet about it after...i have had the cleanest house ever in the last week from him cleaning in combo from me being depressed and useless and me being mad at him. Im so not used to the depression part really, I always rank in the manic end. Yesterday I slept all day (whichh is totally against my grain). any way Ill keep you updated and all, i go back to pdoc in 1 week from today, so im not all worried about me or anything, just hating on myself and lathargic and useless (which makes me hate on myself more).
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#15 of 275 Old 04-28-2005, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Rowantree> sorry you are feeling lethargic. It is difficult to get out of that hole. Is anything you can do differently that might help? regular exercise ( of course, you'd have to totally force yourself) would help. That sounds great if you're saying that hubby has been supporting with the housework, not many men would do that.
I hope when you see the doc it helps to sort out what is happening and get you going with a better treatment.
~L
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#16 of 275 Old 04-28-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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Lauraess, I would need a crow bar!!! but my dog just went into heat so i have to walk her, maybe that will help me get my a$$ in gear!
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#17 of 275 Old 04-28-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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Paradoxically (and annoyingly) I've found that I couldn't get myself to exercise (and thus help with wellness) until I was already getting better. Well, at least it ought to help me stay well.

Just out of curiousity, what has y'alls experiences with school been? I've found I can do school, but only either at my own pace, or one class at a time, meeting no more than twice a week. Other than that, and I start to (literally, as I'm sure you're familiar with) go crazy. So I was just wondering what others' experiences have been.

Here's to everyone's mental health and whole body wellness!
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#18 of 275 Old 05-01-2005, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A'rwyn> School... yes, not something that has ever been a strong point for me. I've only ever managed to barely complete two semesters, at different intervals and found that taking more than two classes was too much. that was before being diagnosed tho, although i'm almost sure much of my bipolar was taking hold.
I wonder how it would be now while on meds. Not going to find out tho.
~L
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#19 of 275 Old 05-01-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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I'm in the middle of an episode right now though... so I'll write more when my head is clear. I dont even remembering writing the thread i made in the parents as partners forum... apparently I did that last night... I'm going to go take another seraquil (it doesnt seem to help and I'm self medicating with it... bad bad bad) and see if it'll et my brain a little clearer.

I do have a psych appointment in the AM so hopefully i'll have good reports tommarrow. And I can maybe tell mystory tonight if my head doesnt get so confused

GREAT MOM to dd (5) and )ds( [sept 26 2006]
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#20 of 275 Old 05-02-2005, 01:34 AM
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Hi all. I am wondering to all of you who have bi ploar what are your concerns with passing this down to your kids?? Did it start with you or are their others in your immediate family who were diapgnosed??

pardon my grammer tonight!!

My grandmother & my father & his brother were diagnosed with bi polar. I have it but it somehow skipped my brother but hit my unlces 1 son & not the other. i'm wondering what this will do to my 3 kids. I am so concerned of them being stuck with horrible crazyness i have delt with. i am just wondering who else has a family history like mine. I ma so hoping my kids don't get this.
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#21 of 275 Old 05-02-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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Hi Amber and Heather!

Amber: I hope all goes well with your appointment. I am ALL for self-care and directing your own treatment (see the other bipolar thread that lauraess started), but self-dosing psychotropics makes me nervous. Please, do return and tell us your story!

Heather: I have a very consistent family history of bipolar, mostly type II. My grandfather (II) had eight jobs in ten years, and cheated on my grandmother - real classic stuff. My father (II) has been depressed most of his life, with just a few hypomanic episodes (like when he spent $10,000 on a computer back in 1980). My brother (I) has been hospitalized twice with psychotic mania, and spent most of his highschool and college years hiding extreme depression. My aunt (dad's sister) has never been diagnosed, but is probably cyclothymic (less severe form). And then there's me, bipolar II and although I never have been hospitalized, there were times I probably should have been.

My sister-in-law almost didn't go out with my brother, because her mother is bipolar and untreated, and she didn't want to pass it on to her children. Fortunately, she changed her mind.

I am aware of all this family history and my own diagnosis, and am currently working on preparing to have my own, biological, children. Why? Because I am who I am in part because of this disease, and I like me. It's taken me a long time and a lot of hard work to be able to say that and mean it, but it's true. I think I'm an amazing and worthwhile person and the world is better because I'm here, and that this is (in part) because of, not in spite of, being bipolar.

Do I want my kids to suffer? Of course not. But, I don't think having bipolar disorder inevitably leads to increased suffering. EVERYONE in life has something to deal with (and yes, some stuff is harder to deal with than others), and this is what gives us the opportunity to grow. And I want my kids to have amazing opportunities.

So no, I'm not worried about my kids getting bipolar disorder - if they do, I'll help them deal, through my own example and with whatever concrete help I can offer. I don't think it's something to be scared of, and it's certainly not a reason to avoid having kids. Can you imagine the world of art if all bipolar artists hadn't been born? There would still be some, of course, but so much less.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't idealize this disease as some kind of miracle; it's still a total pain in the most of the time. But, I do believe that the meaning in the world is what we create out of it: if we just suffer with and curse the disease, then it is suffering and a curse. But if we get something good out of it, then its essence is, at least in part, good.

Anyway, that's my rambling on bipolar disorder and family history and kids (except to say yes, there is a pretty good chance that any child with a parent with bipolar will get some form of the disease themselves - but as previously mentioned, I don't see that as, exactly, a bad thing).
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#22 of 275 Old 05-03-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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I wanted to post my exciting YAY moment for myself.

I will give small backround first- Diagnosed with bipolar at 20. Major
panic disorder at 26 after Post-Baby depression, and PTSD. Didn't
leave my home for 4 months, other than therapy, when first diagnosed
with the panic disorder. Medication didn't seem to work well for me, so
I tried behavior therapy. I had problems with being in public, being in
cars with others (other than my daughter), being in resturants, and
other triggers.

OKAY SO NOW FOR THE BIG YAY!
Last week I took a plane from PA to Florida. I rode in the back seat
of the car for the first time in 4 years on my way to the airport. I let
another person drive me to several places during vacation. I went into
totally new situations while here. AND I DIDN'T PANIC!!!!! YAY
I still have the flight home, and a drive from the airport to my home in
the backseat again, allowing another person to drive, BUT I really feel
so good about this past week. I feel proud that I wanted to take a
vacation, and I did it. I feel proud that I used what I have learned to
calm myself before panic even became a issue. I feel SO HAPPY that
I was able to take my daughter on a really exciting trip (something that
4 years ago I felt like I would be holding her back from with MY problem).

I wanted to share my week with you all. Cause I felt like maybe some
one feels like there are things they will never be able to do. Keep being
positive, keep learning about your disorders. Keep trying different meds
if the one you are on isn't helping or the bad side effects are worse than
the disorder,cause what works for one, sometimes won't work for others.

Okay so as I do when I feel like I have done something great
YAY ME!

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#23 of 275 Old 05-03-2005, 12:41 PM
 
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YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!

That's so super cool. How great for you!
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#24 of 275 Old 05-03-2005, 03:47 PM
 
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just checking/ joining in here:

I am a bipolar mama - diagnosed finally 5 yrs ago after 15 years of h*ll and chronic suicidal feeling. Happily taking Lexapro - now available in Canada - and nursing and loving my miracle baby. In an ideal world I would love to be rx-free, but I know that I need to be here for dh and dd.

Before dd was born we worried a lot about the hereditary aspect of mental illness - dh's father was also bipolar, and dh suffers from unipolar depression. I think it is probably something that we will have our eyes open for, but I am trying not to obsess over it (oooooops, another of my features )

So, how is everybody doing?

Signing off with much love and support for all of you wonderful mamas
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#25 of 275 Old 05-03-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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Glad to find this site! Bipolar II here. I'm 37 and was diagnosed maybe 2 years ago. I take Depakot and Wellbutrin and have had a lot of success. I'm very pleased.

I was screaming and bellowing at everybody and spanking the kids all the time when I decided to get help. Except I was obsessed with adhd then and asked to be referred to a psychiatrist for that. He tried me on some adhd meds to help clear my mind and they did nothing, just made me feel jittery. Finally he re-interviewed me and I mentioned periods of euphoria when I was in jr. high and high school and he said, "bingo!" and started me on Depakot. It made a world of difference.

I don't like, however: the fact that my hands tremble, my hair has gotten coarse, my periods have changed, my libido is squashed and my mind is kind of foggy. And that I don't have those feelings of euphoria anymore. More about that.

Though really, I hadn't had the really big, week long bouts of euphoria since high school. Basically, I just got more and more irritable with everybody.

But for the past maybe 8 months it's felt like the meds aren't working completely. I get bouts of screaming fits and severe irritability bleeding through. But I've also felt some of that old euphoria again. Which is really wonderful, because honestly, I lived for those feelings. Flying, shooting like a star, naked through the summer night sky. That was my high school fantasy.

I don't regret having children. The first was unplanned, however. But if either of them end up with bipolar, there's much more that can be done to help them cope, then there used to be. I mean, when I was a kid people didn't think children could have bipolar.

School: it sucked. I mean, I was a good reader, even if I was slow. But I fell through the cracks in grade school when I was supposed to be learning how to multiply and divide. Those are reeeaaally basic building blocks of math! But they just kept graduating me on to the next grade, regardless of my abilities. It still makes me so angry and sad for the little kid me.

So in high school algebra, which I was determined to pass, I really paid attention and was actually getting the concepts. But I would loose focus doing homework or during a test and made basic addition/subtraction mistakes. It was just so unfair. I felt like God gave me a defective brain and I wondered if I was retarded.

Anybody read "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison? I was never brilliant like her. But I was kind of relieved to read her description of how the bipolar depression would affect her cognitive abilities and make her feel dumb. When episode lifted she got her old abilities back.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#26 of 275 Old 05-03-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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Here's a link I really like.

psycheducation.org

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#27 of 275 Old 05-04-2005, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Trinity> Yay yay yay for you! and to your dd: wahoo for mommy!

so, it was the behavior therapy you think that worked for you here?
I do not doubt the power of the mind to learn to be better. i hope to one day get better without the meds too so your story is inspiring!
Journeymom> I hear ya on the brain that let's you down. the inability to focus or concentrate is too familiar. I have always had a 'thing' about being or seeming dumb. I should read that book.
Bababybumblebee (love your username!) > I am an obsesser also and my son is 7. I have started worrying about him and my pshych keeps telling me not to worry... 'it's too soon'-- I dont really believe that. I try not to obsess but dont want him to go thru unnecesary suffering if he were to have this, yet I cant really know yet for sure. Im trying hard to keep just a close watch on him. But this is really really a point of stress for me.

Today the psych though i should increase my dose after telling him about my thinking and one episode that lasted about half an hour. I dont think he really understands my thinking. I am at a fairly low dose of depakote and doing pretty well- 750 mg- and so it seems more like " well, let's just try this and see. It cant hurt to increase."
-Any thoughts?
~L
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#28 of 275 Old 05-04-2005, 01:32 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in . . .

Ultradian cycling BPer here (multiple cycles in the same day), diagnosed at 17 and then again at 20, hospitalized once, tried ALL KINDS of pills, and finally a couple of months ago managed to go OFF the psychiatric meds with the help of acupuncture and homeopathy. (And mostly the homeopathy--with my crazy schedule I have only been able to manage two acupuncture appointments in as many months, so I don't know how much the needles are actually helping . . .)

The homeopathy is great. The psychiatric meds helped control my insane moodswings and psychotic episodes, but left me feeling drugged, sleepy, and dulled. The homeopathy is not 100% effective in that I have very slight BP symptoms (some mild hypomania now and then, and in the last month it seems I have music going through my head CONSTANTLY), but after spending a couple of bad years unmedicated I can tell you that I am definitely getting a lot out of the treatment, and what mild symptoms I have are totally manageable.

I am thrilled to have been able to get off the meds, because DH and I are talking about TTC next fall, and I was really unhappy with the idea of taking meds during pregnancy and breastfeeding . . . and very scared about the idea of going off them cold-turkey. Now it seems I have found a natural treatment which is both safe AND effective, and I'm just holding my breath hoping that it continues to work as well as it has so far.

Glad to see this thread starting up--I have subscribed to it, so I will check back whenever there are new posts. Hoping we can support each other through the rough times, and celebrate in the good times!
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#29 of 275 Old 05-04-2005, 12:41 PM
 
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lauraess: my experience with the meds was 1) I needed a much higher dose than that (1500mg was what finally "did it" for me) and 2) I could only rely on them to help decrease the craziness, so that I could finally do all the hard work it takes to retrain one's thought patterns. Make of that what you will; obviously, the lower the dose you can get by with, the better!

Birth Junky: Hi! I'm really glad you found something other than the meds to help. I haven't tried homeopathy, but I'm seeing a psychotherapist (with Buddhist leanings), a massage therapist, an osteopath, and now an acupuncturist, and together with food and lifestyle changes I'm actually doing OK without the meds for right now. I couldn't have done it without being on the meds for a while first, though; they gave me the chance to know what "normal" was like for me. Until I had been on the meds for a few years and in therapy for almost that long, I hadn't ever experienced an emotionally stable adulthood (I hadn't been stable basically since puberty - which, for me, was really young!). So now I have a memory of what my goal, off meds, is. That helps soooooo much - whenever I start to slide into instability, I can remember what stable is and what's helped me get that way.

And congrats on contemplating TTC! We've moved past contemplating and are going to start as soon as I'm finished getting off the meds (1.5 more weeks!), then a couple/few weeks to let it all clear out of my system.

Now, if only I would actually start ovulating... Well, the acupuncture is supposed to be helping with that. Wish me luck!
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#30 of 275 Old 05-04-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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journeymom: Thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes what helps most is just knowing that other people have gone through something similar.

I have read Jamison's books, actually. My whole family is in love with her (well, not my brother - I think he's still too much in denial about his disease). We are considered "brilliant" by academic standards (my mom's an MD, dad got a PhD in mathematics just for kicks - he's been a computer programmer since before he graduated highschool, he just really likes math - my brother was in a PhD physics program before he had his second hospitalization - he left that with "only" a Master's. Me, I'm just an unschoolin' quick study with lots of passions), but sooooo dumb emotionally/socially (well, those of us with bipolar, anyway; my mom's actually brilliant in that area, too. and I'm not as bad as my dad or my brother). Anyway, I remember reading her books and starting to cry because it was all too damn familiar.

It's actually my dad's great life tragedy; he's never been stable, and his hypomanias are few and far between, with great desserts of debilitating depressions between, so although he has the potential for brilliance, he's just another decently good computer programmer with poor social skills, abysmal hygeine, and dreams of greatness. It makes me want to cry sometimes.

Part of the work I've done in therapy has been to let go of my addiction to the "highs" - they're so breathtaking when they happen, but they're also, for me, lifetaking, and lifedestroying. I cannot let myself be debilitated like that again for the sake of the thrill, no matter how amazing (and how brilliant and creative I am) when they happen.

But another thing I've been learning is that I can have something that's similar to, but much better than, those highs, because it's sustainable. It's the joy, the high, of being fully "now". I don't really have good words to describe it; the best I've seen have been buddhist writings, but I'm not buddhist, so I lack those words. Anyway, I can recreate and sustain the happy, joyful, abundant, fully alive, creative aspects of the hypomania without the instable craziness. Well, that's the goal, anyway. I'm working on being able to be there more and more of the time, but it's still kind of a rare thing for me.

Anyway. I'm running late, and I think I'm starting to not make sense, so I'll leave you with that. Again, thanks for joining and sharing your story.
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