Bipolar, no meds? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 116 Old 02-12-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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thanks! I do already use chamomile hylands and rescue remedy butIll definately look in to the more specific bachs. I also have used valarian to sleep - or5 try to, but I honestly have to say that not much of that is effective enough to cut into my points. It helps in the first few weeks but then its just ON, ya know?
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#32 of 116 Old 02-14-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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right here rowin' the ol' boat behind y'all!

the hyland's calm's forte is a good one when i'm feeling extremely agitated, or can't sleep. gotta only take one though, or much grogginess!

fish oils are our friends. i wonder if i should be taking more than the "one a day" dosage the packaging recommends? the midwife who suggested them didn't give me much guidance in that respect (only saw her once for a consultation).

i'm just so, so glad to be off lithium ... it stabilized me when my life depended on it, but oh man, did the side effects suck.
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#33 of 116 Old 03-16-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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I'm right in the same boat with you! I was diagnosed as Bipolar when I was 16, and I've been on many of the drugs you named. But when I left my home state of Virginia to move to Ohio, I decided it was a new start all around, and I stopped taking my meds. It's been 2 and 1/2 years since then, and well...I'm alive, lol! I still cycle, and have ups and downs (not as bad as when I was a teen though). Thankfully, I have a very understanding, supportive DH who just loves me through the cycles if that makes sense. Alot of the depression is triggered by my weight, and the mania...well, I haven't figured out what triggers that! I don't have any advice really, just wanted to let you know, I'm in the same boat, and I'm ok.

good luck, I'm sending lots of love your way!
~Ashley

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#34 of 116 Old 03-17-2006, 03:42 AM
 
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Oh, I'm so happy to have found this thread!!! I was diagnosed bipolar in April of 2003. I'd been on antidepressents for several years and they had pushed me so far into manic that I'd ran up a secret cc, was behaving inappropriately in public, had started on a 100' rock wall and was making fast and good progress, and many other things that were totally out of character for me. Then I went on Lamictal and for the first time in my entire life I felt like a normal person. I cried when I was sad, felt happy sometimes, was productive, but not overly productive, etc. Then, last May, my mental health deteriorated very quickly. I probably should have been hospitalized. I started crawling under things at home. I'd have these weaping fits where I'd find myself half under my bed. Or one day, I crawled behind the toilet!!! I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I started seeing a specialist for medication as my family doc was handling it before. I also saw a psychologist that quickly became too expensive. Both were helpful. But, the specialist took me off of the antidepressant and put me on an anti-psychotic. It would help for a few days and then I would start rapid cycling. It was so bizarre that I started keeping a journal. I'd feel great for a few hours and then suddenly, I'd be going off the deep end. Part of this was that my values require me to be a SAHM but I'd been working full time for 2+ years with my youngest in daycare and was tearing me to pieces!!! I was crying nearly constantly. I had a higher level position at the office and had two innapropriate outbursts, one of which found me yelling at my boss in front of my crew, "Don't undermine me!" Another day I went into hysterical crying and snuck away soas to not be noticed. In September I went on a 3 day personal retreat at a little retreat community uplake where there are no phones. I journaled constantly, did a huge (several feet wide and several feet long) weaving, ate healthy food, had healthy conversations with people from my past who weirdly happened to be there at the same time, and had forgotten my medication. At first I was scared that something weird might happen, like seizures, but then I felt so free!! I also decided to quit my job even though dh still wanted my income (he got over it and is happy he agreed). Then, I had time to start exercising again. So, now I'm a SAHM who exercises almost every day and I'm not taking any medication. However, last time I saw my family doc she prescribed something similar to valium which I really think was a good idea. I carry them around with me, but don't need them. However, if I find that I'm getting really aggitated, I'll take half of one. I did that for the first time last Saturday when I was seeing my sister. Anytime I see my family I get aggitated. Otherwise, I've been feeling great. Well...I have struggled on and off with depression, but THAT I can handle. Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed. Sometimes I sit in front of the computer for far too long. But, I'm basically functioning every day. I can't say that I feel happy or content, but I do recognize true joy sometimes.

Whew, new paragraph! My public face is very stoic and happy. People around me, unless they know me very well, think that I'm a happy, contributing member of society. And that image is very important to me. It's probably the single-most powerful thing that has kept me from really going crazy. I HAVE to look good. I don't mean physically...I mean I have to look like a good, kind, happy, friendly person. I HAVE to. When I'm not doing well, I just fade away and torment my family.

My worst times have always been spring. Sooooo...I'm really scared to enter spring unmedicated. I've also taken on a lot of responsibility. I'm the fundraising chairperson at our daughters' school and I'm directing a musical this summer. I had also taken on being the chairperson for the school's auction which is a massive, huge job. But, with the support of some close friends and those feelings of aggitation beginning to build, I backed out. And amazingly, the world didn't fall apart!!! And no one was angry with me!!!!

So, I think the key for me is to keep exercising, keep living within my values (being home for my kids is the biggy), keep busy, but recognize when I'm getting too busy, and let myself say no, and also keep trying to live up to this reputation of being a good, productive person. I'd also like to look into alternative supplements. No one ever told me about fish oil. I do consume a lot of flax meal. Can't stomach the oil unless it's in capsules.

Nice to meet you all!
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#35 of 116 Old 03-17-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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Wow, I'm glad I found this thread...I'm medicated right now. I wasn't a good mom and my symptoms got worse with pregnancy (alot worse)

Right now I feel so placid and almost uncaring, unfeeling. I haven't even cried over my divorce once , but i have felt jealousy and mild anger though. I've had a friend tell me that he really notices the effects of my medication, my therapist tells me that i seem less animated than before (heck, i don't even need her except for the jealousy problem, which is now gone)

I want to reduce my meds and up my fish oil, etc. I took the high high doses of fish oil during pregnancy and BF (bf i was Dx) I refused meds until DD was 2, the earliest that I would even consider weaning her.

I want to HS my DS next year and am worried about the stress involved bc he is also bipolar (we are almost sure) School isn't a good fit for him but how can an unmedicated mom homeschool her son?

IOW, I'm terrified to go off of the meds, also terrified about being on them. I had a great DR work up this regime for me and now she dropped me as a patient bc i was stable. I've been seeing another doc who doesn't even remember me, i frankly don't trust her to tinker with what is working to keep the bipolar at bay.

BTW, the 'good' doc is semi retired so i doubt that she would see me again.

I think I'm going to start up my fish oil again and hope to find a good doctor to help me wean...and of course watch this thread.

I must say that I miss 'me' I feel lost inside of a pill bottle (s)

Good luck to everyone and wish me luck as I take the great leap.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#36 of 116 Old 03-17-2006, 09:12 PM
 
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Here's a remedy I haven't seen mentioned so far - some chiropractors can offer you an amino acid supplement with B6, calcium and folate. The amino acids it contains are the building blocks of neurotransmitters used by the brain. If you have had some luck w/ SSRIs calming your cycles but don't like how they make you feel, this might be something to look into. It's called NeuroReplete and apparently is only available thru a chiro, and not all are into it. They officially use it to help patients deal with chronic pain, lose weight and to help with migraines.

The supplement info says that SSRIs actually reduce the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, they don't increase it at all. So the approach with this supplement is to increase the "supplies" needed by the brain to make the neurotransmitters, in an effort to increase them & relieve the symptoms.
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#37 of 116 Old 03-20-2006, 10:25 PM
 
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I am so glad I looked at this thread!
Does anyone else have the manic/depression swings that come with their periods? I feel like I am fine 2 weeks out of the month and the other 2 weeks I am rapid cycling.
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#38 of 116 Old 03-20-2006, 10:32 PM
 
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I recently found this Pyroluria info. At first I wasn't sure but I went for it. After eliminating that stuff from my diet and taking supplements things have improved 110% for me.

http://www.nutritional-healing.com.a...ding=Pyroluria
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#39 of 116 Old 03-26-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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Nice to see this thread here. I am posting, but may not be visiting much because I prefer to forget 'bout this part of my life as long as it's not bothering me.

Diagnosed BP in 2000. Finally felt like that was an answer to the question I'd asked since childhood "Am I the only person that feels this deeply, hurts this painfully and experiences these colors?"

I'm lucky, I'm usually hypomanic which manifests itself in a little bit of grandiosity and over-exuberance. The downside is that I'm terribly disorganized in thought and unable to focus on things for much time at all. I have been able to function both on and off meds pretty well, but I feel much safer on them. My drugs of choice were Lamictal and Wellbutrin XR. Went off of them last June when I found out I was 10 wks pregnant. Got through pregnancy okay, now am breasfeeding and not having too many problems without meds.

It's like there's always something lurking underneath though, some shark ready to smack me if things go awry.

I just wanted to intruduce myself.

Jen (aka: Fireshifter)

Messianic mama to 3 boys, C (4 yrs), E (22 mths), B (newborn)
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#40 of 116 Old 03-26-2006, 03:09 AM
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I want to HS my DS next year and am worried about the stress involved bc he is also bipolar (we are almost sure) School isn't a good fit for him but how can an unmedicated mom homeschool her son?

I stopped taking my meds several weeks ago and I actually feel better now. I was on Seroquel and it made me feel like a highly functioning zombie. I've been taking a combo of probiotics, mulitivitamins, and Flax oil (and my Levoxyl for my thyroid) every day, combined with Hylands Nerve Tonic when I start getting really pissed off about something. I also have a 32 hour/week job and homeschool my son. I prefer homeschooling off the meds because I tend to be on the manic side and I can get SO MUCH more accomplished when I only sleep 4 hours/night. The Seroquel was making me sleep 8 hours and I felt like I never had enough time for everything. We're unschooling so I don't have to actually sit down and "teach" but I've been able to spend more time just playing and interacting so DS is learning a lot more these days.
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#41 of 116 Old 06-08-2006, 01:08 PM
 
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Hi all

I'm Erin... happy to find this thread today. I'm swimming in that water you're all boating around in! I've been going through BP (but didn't chalk it up to that) for a loooooong time, just thinking I was "out of it" and never went for help. Actually I thought I was depressed, since my mum has been forever it seems. So.... okay, my son is 15 months old and we're bfing (kind of motivates me to find alternatives to meds) and I've been all over the map since that.. raging, not functioning, screaming (I thought I actually loosened a wisdom tooth from screaming so hard ) I have a really supportive but worried dh and now finally FINALLY I'm going to a bipolar support group (general public, not spec. for mamas) and it really resonates deep inside me. I don't know how severely I swing, sometimes if I have caffeine I am so manic and like another mama said, I throw myself into sewing or sorting or cleaning etc.. and IT FEELS DAMN GOOD> then the next day is a writeoff. and the tv's on, it's a lovely day outside, and I feel like a nobody. empty and dull and afraid that if we go out, someone will piss me off and I'll be like "What was the point of getting out the door"/ ???? I'm really depressed today. Highly sensitive too.. I'm going to make a mission to get some fish oil! I want to feel better! I'm looking at my ds with so much love and yet my body and mind are saying "Uh, nope, mama's got no energy and very little patience for you, and are you ready for a nap?" THat f-ing SUCKS!!!! I don't want to regret all these bad days. WHat a waste.

: but !!!
Erin
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#42 of 116 Old 06-08-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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I hear you. It's reall f'ing hard to manage just life when you're cycling. I'll tell you what has helped me immensly. I cut sugar, coffee and wheat out of my diet. I'm taking zinc, manganese, evening primrose oil and B6. I just started acupuncture for BP and other things. Hopefully this will also have a positive impact. I can tell you changing my diet and starting the supplements has made a big difference. Before I was wanting to wean so I could go back on meds because I was beginning to feel so out of control and cycle har. Now, I still have the highs and lows but it's more 'normal' and workable. Anyway...I'm here if you want to talk and hopefully you can find something that works for you!
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#43 of 116 Old 06-09-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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Thanks for everything you said Ellie! I'm down to 1 organic decaf a day and really try to stay away from wheat too. Sugar's one of my vices-- but I'm having it in dark chocolate so... some kind of balance?! I'm going to look into acupuncture. And start some kind of yoga regimen too. Ahh, there's hope! I had fish oil last night and a B complex this morning and today does feel different.

My spidy senses are keener! :

Erin

Likewise about the chatting! Anytime..
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#44 of 116 Old 06-15-2006, 02:40 PM
 
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Wow-- thanks to a few glowing recommendations by other mamas in similar boats : I tried taking a high-quality fish oil and a B complex. I tell you, I feel clear-headed, calmer, like I have access to my brain and my instincts and energy. And that was the day after I started taking it!!! I highly HIGHLY recommend fish oil for boost out of that high-low cycle/depression (of course, with the thumbs up from someone medical if you're on meds). I actually feel more like myself... kwim?
YAHOOO!!! Even if I'm tired when I wake up, I've got a new set of coping thoughts and centeredness that cancels out that lingering dark feeling that has been my norm for ages now.
: I feel great!
I hope it works wonders for everymama reading this

Erin
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#45 of 116 Old 06-24-2006, 01:37 PM
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I have been suffering alone through my manicdepression. I haven't been on meds for 5 years, I feel like I'm never going to feel better. I love being pregnant, it makes me feel normal.

I have never tried fish oil or Bvitamins. What is the difference between cod liver oil and fish oil? which would you recommend? I have moved recently, and I don't have a doc to talk to about this - at least not one I trust - I could use any advice.

Its really great to know there is something out there besides meds that may help me, thtnk you for starting this thread!
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#46 of 116 Old 06-26-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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Hi,
Cod liver oil is a fish oil, but it is harder to get a pure source of this.(toxins are stored in fats, and oil is all fat)
For fish oil, I have been using a good product called Ultimate Omegas from Nordic Naturals. It has a high dose of EFA's with not too bad a fishy taste (it is flavored with lemon oil so not too bad). I take two in the morning with breakfast and two in the evening with dinner. It makes me feel remarkably better, clearer and more able to deal with the world. I would highly recommend this product, it's really pure and a good high dose of omegas.
From their website:
"All Nordic Naturals products are doctor recommended, pharmaceutical grade, molecularly distilled, and third party tested to document the absence of all environmental pollutants (No PCBs, dioxins, pesticides or heavy metals).

They also have other pills for pregnant women,kids and lower doses too.
In addition to fish oil, I also take a lot of B's and zinc.

I hope this is helpful
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#47 of 116 Old 06-29-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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I'm new to the list so I'll introduce myself. I have two fantastic daughters and a wonderful husband. Thank goodness for that or I don't know how I would have made it through the last few years. I am also a doula, which seems to come very naturally for me. I have been BP probablly my whole life. I have been diagnosed as hyperactive and of course as ADD and depressed...sound familiar??? About 10 mos ago I was doing some reading and at the same time my primary care suggested that the reason my Lexapro wasn't helping was because I was possibly BP. Turns out he was right...texbook BPII. I was put on Seroquil and Zoloft...Finally "even" for the first time in my life...now the next problem...I am a recovering bulemic (13 years of it) and have gained over 20 lbs. on the meds. I work out with a trainer doing pilates 3 days a week as well as eat very healthy. I don't want to have to make a choice between "even" and fat...I am going to try to wean off and have started Heel brand homeopathy pellets as well as a detox. I know someone posted recently about how she hated the meds and started homeopathy and it worked for her...if you are that person, or have had a similar experience please let me know...I'm pretty nervous about the whole thing.

Thanks
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#48 of 116 Old 07-11-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie_astrum
I recently found this Pyroluria info. At first I wasn't sure but I went for it. After eliminating that stuff from my diet and taking supplements things have improved 110% for me.

http://www.nutritional-healing.com.a...ding=Pyroluria
Hi. This link above was very interesting to me. overwhelming,a bit, as right now i'm at a low point and am overwhelmed by everything. However, I came here to this thread because i'm seeking some help.

dx about 2 yrs ag and am on low doses of effexor and depakote. i take fish oils and a multi and stuggle with stress, full moon effect and my hormone issues.

All of the alternatives are intriquing me, in as much as so many of you say they work for you. I would be scared to go off but still dont want to increase but wonder if i really need to right now.

i hope some of you come back and support as well as offer your insights and current updates. REally need some guidance right now.
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#49 of 116 Old 07-11-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passionfaerie
I am so glad I looked at this thread!
Does anyone else have the manic/depression swings that come with their periods? I feel like I am fine 2 weeks out of the month and the other 2 weeks I am rapid cycling.
Yes! me. The real clincher is also that my moon time keeps moving up about 4-5 days each month! Right now, i get the full moon that turns me absolutely irritable and manic-mad-agitated and then the hormones following right behind!
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#50 of 116 Old 07-11-2006, 03:24 AM
 
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How am I not subscribed to this thread yet? I know I read it when it first showed up (hi Tiff!).

Ah well, am now. Will catch up later.
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#51 of 116 Old 07-20-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraess
Yes! me. The real clincher is also that my moon time keeps moving up about 4-5 days each month! Right now, i get the full moon that turns me absolutely irritable and manic-mad-agitated and then the hormones following right behind!
the 2 week bad PMS thing i unbelievable for me this month, I had been doing really good for about a year until now.
I went back on the seroqiul hopefully just for a week or so.
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#52 of 116 Old 07-20-2006, 09:48 PM
 
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Hello again. I am feeling a lot better now. the hormones have done their thing and the moon is in a better phase for me.

I saw my med-psych and told her about my recent struggles. She thought i should go up again (been always trying to lower the dosage and keep going back up . I asked her for the name and no of the therapist she had referred way back so i can really get closer managed treatment.

I also found a good B complex that doesnt make me flush.

I wanted to take the info from the pyroluria site (above)along with so i could have her write me a script for lab work but of course i forgot.

So, I'm hoping i can fax her the info and she can send in a script to the lab.

Hope everyone is well and please, please come share.
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#53 of 116 Old 07-21-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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Hi everyone. I'm a med-free, bipolar, breastfeeding mother of a 2-year-old, and I'm probably going to homeschool her.

I've suffered from depression for the last 30 years, and started treatment (including meds) in junior high. Meds really don't agree with me, and often make things worse. By college, my reaction to anti-depressants was the thing that earned me the bipolar diagnosis. I got very involved as a subject in a bipolar research program at a local teaching hospital.

After years of feeling like crap, I finally made some progress with one of the psychologists in the research group, using cognitive behavioral therapy. I was on and off meds as they tried various experiments, but in the end I decided to drop out of the study program. I continued to see the psychologist for a while after I was off the meds, but we eventually felt we were "done" with treatment.

When I wanted to get pregnant, my psychologist helped me find a psychiatrist who would work with me through the pregnancy. I was on a super healthy diet while trying to conceive (including fish for dinner every night). Once I was pregnant, we opted for a low dose of Wellbutrin ER for the final trimester and the first few months after birth, with ECT as a back-up option if things got bad, but it went pretty well (mood-wise), so we didn't have to use ECT, and I tapered off the Wellbutrin.

I still have mood swings once a month, and I feel awful, and hopeless; then I get my period and I remember: "Oh! THAT'S why I feel this way!"

I generally don't think about or identify with my diagnosis; but since I'm trying to get a part-time job right now, it's on my mind again. In a few of my jobs my depression has been bad enough to require a leave of absence, or leaving completely, so it's always a struggle to go through the whole process of trying to get a job and wondering what my references will say about me. Oh well....
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#54 of 116 Old 07-25-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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wow I just had the WORST PMS/period ever ( well at least in a year) I FINALLY feel like myself again todayprobably 2 weeks of pure hell. I have to say thought there were times in my life when the pure hell was a constant and not even ebb and flowing with the moon. yeah for sanity when we can get it!!!
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#55 of 116 Old 07-25-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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hey just wanted to say Im volcano - I remembered my old password!!!!
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#56 of 116 Old 07-25-2006, 11:16 PM
 
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AddysMama,
I started looking into http://www.womentowomen.com/ . It's very interesting. Of course you can take a Hormonal Health Screener Quiz to determine which category your symptoms lie, then they recommend a Personal Program (with vitamins and progesterone cream). I have not bought into it....yet. I read the testimonials (and there are a lot of positives!). Seems to be a naturopathic remedy with suggestions on nutrition.

Hope this helps.
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#57 of 116 Old 07-26-2006, 02:32 AM
 
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volcano> I'm sorry it was so rough Glad it's over, tho.
Do you live anywhere on the east coast? We just had this weather system that blew threw a doozy of hurricane- like stuff and i know it affected me!
I think that anything that touches on our sensitive neuro-sensory (is that the right word?) systems has the potential to swing us this way or that. Hormones, the barometric pressure, the phases of the moon, sickness.... oooo watch out!
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#58 of 116 Old 07-26-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauraess
I think that anything that touches on our sensitive neuro-sensory (is that the right word?) systems has the potential to swing us this way or that. Hormones, the barometric pressure, the phases of the moon, sickness.... oooo watch out!
As someone wise once said, "It's ALL connected, baby"

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#59 of 116 Old 07-26-2006, 07:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arwyn
As someone wise once said, "It's ALL connected, baby"

Yep! ..................................

Just one big ole spider web


And on another note, I have been getting a lot of side-effects/adjustment effects since i increased my meds. Yuck. I am really tired every afternoon, then i get a headache, after i eat diner i get a little bloated. I really wish it wasnt this way, and i get irritable Hopefully in a week or so i'll feel better.
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#60 of 116 Old 07-27-2006, 02:11 PM
 
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Hi--
I'm so happy this is a needed forum
I revived this thread and then I didn't look at it for a month and more! oops. we are REALLY not alone in this!
me... it's one of those weeks when i'd love to chalk it up to the moon/period/pms/pre-pms/post-period whatever.. but my brain goes NOPE YOU JUST AREN"T DOING WELL. there are just so many details weighing heavy right now, moving to new zealand in december, withdrawing from everything it seems, finding reasons not to see people i know (mostly because i have very little energy for my toddling son, let alone the world out there, or even at a friend's house, or on the bus). I am also a highly sensitive person and I FEEL EVERYTHING, every fluctuation in temperature, every facial expression, tone of voice, it's useful sometimes but it's driving me crazy right now!
Also, I'm so sad to admit.. the unplanned-ness (sort of surprise pregnancy)of our little sweet boy is like a freight train running into me every day. I know that sounds really awful and lazy and irresponsible... I mean, we WANTED to have a baby, i just never anticipated feeling like this. I feel like I barely get through each day, and if I put on Sesame Street for an hour I just look at his little self and can't help but feel selfish and unable to give him my attention. I still nurse him which makes me feel better about spending quality time, and I tickle him and talk to him all the time.. it's just that I feel so shitty and I wake up hoping that "today I'll feel like I LOVE BEING A MUM".. I don't resent him-- I love Andraeus so much.. it's just.. it's like I haven't surrendered yet to the fact that THIS IS MY LIFE. I have days when I feel alive and loving and wonderful for him, but those are once a week or so. Maybe I just need a good kick in the derriere. I don't know. I want to surrender to this! I WANT to feel the love and show it. When is my brain chemistry going to stop f---ing me around? Or is that a cop-out? It's probably something I can fix and am just lazy. I feel like I'm just playing house here, getting by. The rest of the time I'm not getting a grip and taking my life by the horns, kwim?
Does anymum understand this?

Erin
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