Depression, PMDD, and Bi-Polar? UPDATED - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 81 Old 10-11-2006, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having yet another bad bipolar day. (I will probably finish this post later (i.e. edit it) because its near time to get the kids.)

Well, good and bad.

I hadn't read the bipolar handbook recently at all. I am really trying to heal myself metaphysically and through prayer. On the surface that seems like "hoping and forgetting" but it is far from it. It is a calming. Reading a book that contradicts this- that is giving claim to the idea that I am flawed- even STATING that I must believe I am sick to be healed- is in direct contradiction to C.S. Yet, when I read this book, I feel something like "Yes this is me. Yes there is a reason all these things are connected. Yes oh my god I am NOT insane or alone in doing things like wondering if my sig. other is seeing someone else, having issues with keeping or wanting to keep jobs...." There are lots of details, I could put it.

I read .... weeks inbetween, when I feel "fine" I do not. But then days like yesterday happen. When in the morning I felt on top of the world, thinking of how I would get a job, and that having my own house- yae even BUYING one!- is completely possible and within grasp and SOON!- and that all is right with my person, to later in the day thinking I would surprise Christopher by going into the movie he was at with his daughter- something *I* would enjoy, not realizing not everybody would. This only served to make for an uncomfortable evening, a VERY stressful sleep for me, and a conversation with my ex. about "What if it had been his ex-wife or another woman, instead of his daughter?" Things that I tend to put out of my mind as "needless worry outside of trying to keep lucid based on what I know as fact", only to have Christopher write an email response last night saying all was well with the event and no worries, but "What if it had been...?" That was the first real reality that told me "Hey- its not in my mind. HE thinks it could've been someone else too?" All the while, I go between meditating through C.S., trying to find a job (I put in an application last night cuz I didn't get the one last week), and when I DO that I feel like "Yes I am normal and can do this..."- and then today I feel "Maybe I need to get this bipolar under control before I go arranging jobs... but my life will not change if I do not change it..." Wondering if these things are not just manifestations of bipolar.

All my life I have done things like this- things which I thought were perfectly okay socially and then turned out to be huge misjudgements- like surprising someone at the movies. I have had people just stop talking to me because they cannot deal with me this way. I am not ALWAYS this way- but it IS there, and it is often times a helpless feeling. A detached feeling. I will take on my life/the world.... and then, reality sets in. I have not run away lately or spent lots of money, but when life's rules seem to change on me it throws me for a loop. I am spending time doing "dialectical behavioral therapy" -or my version thereof. I will see myself getting into a non-sensical way of thinking and then step around it. Then times like last night happen and BAM! I am back to being completely confused and emotionally ... well whatever it is, it is not what I would guess is 34 1/2. This is when I find comfort in reading "The bipolar handbook" because it tells me "Yes you are NOT crazy. You are ill with bipolar." This in itself is helpful. The next step is to somehow cure myself of this metaphysically but that will take a while. Short stop-gap measures are singing in the car alone- something that lets go of a lot of emotion "positively". Some days, I cannot deal with myself like this and wonder how I expect others to. The silent hugs or hand-holding I get from Christopher do more than warm my hands- they calm my heart.

I don't hold out a lot of hope for my counselling sessions coming up, but at the same time I DO because maybe they will point me in the right direction. Very little has ever come out of psychotherapy for me- save for ONE social worker about a year and a half ago.

Must run. Later. Oh- and who else has updates?
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#62 of 81 Old 10-12-2006, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Saw primary dr. today. She is upping my Depakote and changing it so I take it at night not in the morning (and taking my celexa in the morning instead). Also she has added Trazadone for nights like last night when I couldn't sleep for anything. She wanted to do other things, but she said she'll wait for me to see the psychiatrist on Wednesday.
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#63 of 81 Old 10-13-2006, 11:20 AM
 
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Dh had his evaluation yesterday. He was diagnosed with bipolar II and post traumatic stress disorder. I guess BP II is a little less severe form of BP I, characterized by mostly depression with brief moments of hypomania, rather than extended mania. They told him to continue his 20 mg of Lexapro and added Lamictal for the BP. Has anyone ever been on Lamictal, I guess its an anit-seizure med. They wanted to put him on Lithium but it wouldn't go well with other meds he is taking for Rhuematoid arthritis. Also because of his ulcer they had to avoid most other meds, so Lamictal it is.
For the PTSD he is still seeing a therapist and it seems to be starting to finally help. Yesterday he told me that he discovered that the reason all his trauma started coming back into his memory (he had no memory of it prior) when he met me nine years ago, was because it was the first time in his life that he felt safe. He was 22 at the time. That made me cry. I hope this medication helps with his moods. Do I dare to say that I think he is moving out of his depression? I don't know, but I hope.

Nathan1097, Keep believing in yourself. Even when you do things that aren't quite the "norm", love yourself anyway, in fact love yourself for those things. My dh does some things like that too. Sometimes he crosses lines or does things totally out of place, but these are also the things that endear him to me. Can I say that there is a balance between getting BP or other mental illnesses under control so you are able to live happily (ie through meds, diet, etc) and also accepting that your brain will always work a little different and thats ok? In fact that is beautiful.
Also I think it is healthy to be able to identify with others, like on this thread or in your book. It helps you realize that you are not alone. My dh goes to AA for these reasons I think. Its less about the alcohol and more about the mental issues (alot of the people there have the same issues he has).
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#64 of 81 Old 10-13-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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Can I say that there is a balance between getting BP or other mental illnesses under control so you are able to live happily (ie through meds, diet, etc) and also accepting that your brain will always work a little different and thats ok? In fact that is beautiful.
This made me teary (in a good way). What a wonderful way to make that point!

I'm so glad your DH received a diagnosis. I hope he really is coming out of a depression. I have BP II as well. I also take Lamictal (200 mg), along with Carbatrol and Litihium. Lamictal gave me the shakes for a while, but it only lasted about 6 weeks.


Nathan: I've been reading what you're up to. I just haven't had much time to post lately. Hang in there!
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#65 of 81 Old 10-20-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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Bad Day for me and dh.
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#66 of 81 Old 10-20-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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Qerattsmom>I'm so sorry to hear your latest newn on your dh . You sound so distraught and noone can blame you. You ARE trapped within his illness. is this decision meant to last for a certain time period? - like a few months or what?

I honestly would consider letting him know how you feel just like you are telling us here and than consider maybe a separation in order for you to get some relief and him perhaps a better perspective.

I know for me, being bipolar- it was the anger and irrationality that tipped my pshycologist off to my illness and meds have helped a lot. I cant imagine not being on them.
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#67 of 81 Old 10-22-2006, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I haven't posted in quite a while.

I've seen a psychiatrist. The appointment was horrible. They told me they don't think I'm bipolar. One of them told me she can look at a person and right away figure out who they are and she doesn't know who I am. It was like being under the spotlight. There were three of them- a student, the dr. I had the appointment with, and this woman. In fact, they would not diagnose me as bipolar but rather "severe depression".

I followed up with my primary. She is more helpful than the psychiatrist. We talked about meds and my feelings and my episode with the balcony (see below) and she gave me the psych. ER number and a social worker. She said "That is not normal". She still is with me on being bipolar, it seems. From everything I've read and remembered about myself, I am nearly sure I am.

A week ago, I had a manic episode where I wandered around all day out of touch with reality thinking anything could happen. I went up on a balcony and thought I could fly. I didn't answer my phone all day. And I've been hearing voices. Clear as day- saying "Helloooo!" or my name. When there is nobody else around. Its not scary, but it does take me aback.
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#68 of 81 Old 10-24-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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Querratsmom: I am so sorry things are so rough right now! I think the beginning of treatment is one of the hardest times b/c everything is so new and you don't understand all that is happening. Even though it is DH who is BPII, he *must* make a real effort to understand how his illness affects you. BP is not just his disease, he shares it's outcomes with you. I can't remember whether or not you are involved in couples therapy, but I would highly recommend it. I believe that, although I have BPII, I also have a responsibility for my actions. If I can't control my actions, I have a responsibility to apologize to those I hurt with those actions. I have a responsibility to understand how my behavior affects others. Take care!

Nathan: I completely agree with your counselor; the psych you saw sounds like a quack. It is impossible to diagnosis someone simply by looking at them. I know it sucks, but you need to find another psych. If it makes you feel better, I've had 7 psychs over 15 years. I know how hard it is to walk into a brand new office and explain yourself all over again. But the episodes you are describing require a pysch's help. Does your counselor have any suggestions? And I know seeing a counselor is about as much fun as nailing your foot to the ground, but the insight and problem-solving skills they can provide are invaluable.

Try not to get too freaked out over your moods; it's all part of being bipolar unfortunately. Being happy and making grand plans one minute and ready to crawl into a hole the next. It will even out once you find the combo of meds and therapy that work for you.

Myself, I've been feeling a little depressed lately. The situation surrounding my grandpa's death was really intense and I was the family member responsible for his care. I was in crisis mode for about 4 weeks and it has been weird coming down from that. Now I'm just tired and sad. I'm a bit concerned about my mood spiraling, but, so far, I feel as though this is a normal response to a stressful and sad event.

Hang in there, mamas!!
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#69 of 81 Old 10-24-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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familylove, it sounds to me like the depression you feel is normal, especially after all the hype during the funeral etc. Now you have to get back to day to day living without your grandpa and that is hard HUGS.

ANd thanks familylove and lauaess for the support. I"m not sure what is going to happen at this point. I have some friends IRL on MDC and don't want to disclose tmi here. I may pm later.

Nathan1097, Hang in there. That psychiatrist sounds very pompous and inconsiderate, I"m suprised she is still working with people.
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#70 of 81 Old 10-26-2006, 02:42 AM
 
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A week ago, I had a manic episode where I wandered around all day out of touch with reality thinking anything could happen. I went up on a balcony and thought I could fly. I didn't answer my phone all day. And I've been hearing voices. Clear as day- saying "Helloooo!" or my name. When there is nobody else around. Its not scary, but it does take me aback.
This is text book bi-polar. Those dr's are freaking idiots. You can read the DSM-1V and know that those symptoms indicateBi-polar 1 (Which I am as well).

Are the voices in your head? Or are they outside? If they are outside, you may want to talk with a doctor about that. It could indicate schizophrenia as well.

Can you see a different psychiatrist? I'm sure your family doctor is great, but a good psychiatrist is very important with severe mental illness -- which bi-polar 1 most certainly is.

(((hugs)))
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#71 of 81 Old 10-26-2006, 09:18 AM
 
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Nathan> yeah, as previous poster said the pshych DOES sound pompous and totally full of herself. She can look at a person and Know???? ! wow! She's like a god or something, eh? (sarcasm)-- Ick. I'd try to find another, although i know it's a pain-- make a call or two. Ask around.
Good luck and hang tight

Hey for all you bipolars out there: ever wonder what it must be like to be fairly steady in your moods? I mean, sometimes i just wonder about that. Just because Im on a low dose of my meds and maybe I experience enough of the variations still that It's noticable.
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#72 of 81 Old 10-30-2006, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Laura, sometimes I feel I am "steady". Sometimes I feel sedated- which at least keeps me from being too manic. Right now I have been dealing with the flu- high fever, headache, night sweats, sore throat/tonsil, all-over body aches- since Friday or thereabout. So I think that's masking any manic or depressed flareups I might be having. I am sleeping ALL the time now but that's the flu part. Well, not exactly- I was up in the middle of the night last night watching South Park and Drawn Together of all things!!
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#73 of 81 Old 10-30-2006, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is text book bi-polar. Those dr's are freaking idiots. You can read the DSM-1V and know that those symptoms indicateBi-polar 1 (Which I am as well).

Are the voices in your head? Or are they outside? If they are outside, you may want to talk with a doctor about that. It could indicate schizophrenia as well.

Can you see a different psychiatrist? I'm sure your family doctor is great, but a good psychiatrist is very important with severe mental illness -- which bi-polar 1 most certainly is.

(((hugs)))
Thanks!

The voices sound like they are in the room with me, but then I can't find anybody else. I also hear noises others don't and smell things others don't.

Right now I am dealing with the flu, so that's totally downing any manic tendencies I might have. High fever.
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#74 of 81 Old 11-01-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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Lauraess: Yes, I often wonder what its like to feel fairly even from day to day. I know that everyone has ups and downs, I just wish I didn't get scared when I experience my ups and downs. I do a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy to try to keep myself in the middle. Its a constant effort to "thought check" and adjust my thinking accordingingly. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining too much, b/c I feel very fortunate to be fairly stable right now. But I recently had a couple of hypomanic days and it sucked! (I do not enjoy my "highs" *at all*; I find them extremely uncomfortable physically and mentally).

The other thing I wonder about is what it would be like to not have to take meds to keep myself as stable as possible. It's so weird to pop 7 types of meds every day.

Nathan: Any luck finding a new pysch?

Querratsmom: How is everything on the home front?

Take care, mamas!
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#75 of 81 Old 11-03-2006, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm seeing the same psych. on Wednesday evening. If she and I clash again, I'll have to find a new one.
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#76 of 81 Old 11-08-2006, 07:30 PM
 
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I've always wondered what it's like to be "diagnosed" manic depressive. I started occasionally wondering if I was when I was 19, I'd simply be up one day and irritable the next, with no clear pattern for being so. After I transferred colleges, deserted one college I didn't like for a 3,000 mile road trip to check out other school and find the "perfect" environment that I felt I could function normally & happily at (northwest coast or mountains), my parents were really worried and were conference-calling a psychiatrist who'd already basically "diagnosed" me manic-depressive before I even walked in the door to her office. Even so,I spent years not believing it, feeling it was nothing more than a conspiracy between my doctor father and his doctor friends to control my behaviour, and in some sense it probably was...
They said I was "not-otherwise specified" which is like saying, yes you don't fit our little rulebook, but we'll still prescribe you something.
So I took Depakote for nearly 6 years -- but I always felt strange without my moods, they were part of me, they are my personality, they are my core, they are my soul. To deny that is to deny every artist & musician what they feel inside.
that being said there are times when social support fails, art and music fail, life transitions are shitty and meds are the answer.
I'm now on lithium -- it's cheap, it's not part of the fast-food marketing campaign where they try to put eveyone on multiple new drugs, costing hundreds of dollars per month, and then on sleep drugs to top it off! All of the side effects, not to mention the cost and the chemicals.
I guess I like the idea of it basically being a naturally occurring mineral, and also knowing it wasn't recommended to me simply because the pretty pharmaceutical rep from glaxo-kline smith took my doctor out to a nice lunch and gave them lots of free samples.
The personality/"disorder" dichotomy is something you will never fully free yourself from. Am I bitchy, or am I bipolar? Am I "allowed" to have feelings, or are the things I think & feel when I am 'sick' still revelevant and valid when I am on drugs? Or vice versa, are they just medicating me to fit into their own reality? They never care when you are feeling shitty, they only care if you are doing something they don't like.
To tell people you are bipolar, manic depressive, is something I don't do because I am a sensitive enough person if I knew someone was discriminating against me based on that I would just die. I'd much rather be judged based on my own behaviour (because you're GOING to be judged based on your behaviour whether you like it or not!), no-one has EVER forgiven me for something I did or said while manic, I am still blamed for those things so you may as well accept yourself as a full individual with a little madness mixed in rather than spend days, hours , years worrying or wondering whether something you said was 'that disease' or whether it was 'you'. Of course it was you! And telling people only makes THEM wonder the same thing. Suddenly, everything you do or say is suspect, because you're no longer ahuman being, you're a walking crazy person! By all means, tell people you love and trust and you already know are not going to judge you. But telling people besides them may only stress you out more. I would personally never tell an employer that, employers and the rest of the world are not there to baby you and make it all 'okay' -- it is your own responsibility to find situations you can handle and act responsibly in those situations, even if that means working part-time, or changing your job description.
My family, even though being the ones to "diagnose" me, still expected me to work more than 40 hrs a week, volunteer, and be a full-capacity citizen. I could do most of those things but occasionally i would crumble from stress. Mainly I feel like I am just extra-sensitive to things: diet, sleep, work, stress, friends, other people's unnecessary dramas. I can't party like my friends can, and I have to have social networks I can count on. I've never found therapy to be useful because usually it would make me feel worseabout my situation rather than better. I've never, ever once found that being a person whose singular identity is being 'sick' to be a healthy way to live. Find your passions. Find a job or a hobby you love. Surround yourself with people you love, who love you. Find a sport you love to play. Know your sensitivities and act accordingly.
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#77 of 81 Old 11-08-2006, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm seeing the same psych. on Wednesday evening. If she and I clash again, I'll have to find a new one.
My 2nd Psych. Appointment Today
It went much better. We discussed what type of therapy I thought would work best for me. We settled on indivudual therapy. We discussed that my dad is an alcoholic and she said I possibly could have boarderline personality disorder- where my emotions are really extreme because of being a child of an alcoholic- but I also have lots of traits of being bipolar. So, those added with the fact that *I* think I'm bipolar, for now, she's going to diagnose me as bipolar and go from there and see if things change with time. The meds are stable for now, b ut she did say that I've gained quite a bit of weight on them and I should keep with judo to try to control it.
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#78 of 81 Old 11-08-2006, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, Cranberry99! We have much in common. I was also told (today) that I don't fit into any of their criteria for a diagnosis, but they'll go with bipolar for now. They also said something about a personality disorder. Social issues- based on my reality not being exactly that of everyone else's. I also am a very creative person- singer and poet- and these meds don't completely stiffle that so far, I'm I'm grateful, but yes overall my emotions are muted. So are my weird visions of "horror movie hallucinations"- which is good- but to press mute as a whole on my brain is weird. Lots of times, I go to do something and do not remember for the life of me if I'd just done it. For example, I'll take out my contact case, my tooth brush and toothpaste and go into the bathroom. I go to brush my teeth and then after, I look in the contact case to see if my contacts are in there yet. More than once, in fact, I've tried to take my contacts out- when they weren't in my eyes. Yes- weird! Very short-term memories are just lost in thin air. I also feel like an alien a lot but have learned to adapt to "the right rules"; part of this, I think, is because I am an "ACOA"- adult child of an alcoholic- which is another story. I'm still having trouble being diagnosed as bipolar. I ONLY am with reserve because of what I posted above.
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#79 of 81 Old 11-09-2006, 02:58 AM
 
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Cranberry, HIya! I think you sound as if you are on the right track with your attitude on this

Nathan> glad to hear this second appointment went smoother. Sometimes when I think deeply about all of my challenges and baggage and top it off with the bipolar dx that i sometimes question well, I end up thinking : hell, what a mess! Just give me a drug and thats the least we can do. Honestly, that seems to be true also. There is so much more i still need to look at with a therapist and I still have yet to call this number i have. I get so caught up with everything else and that just falls to the wayside.
I truly understand your spells of forgetting things that may or may not have JUST happened or that you did. Ugggh. Is it the meds? I've alway been spacey but it seems worse lately. then there is the fact that perimenopause causes that type of thing as well. : Man, i just want to retire RIGHT NOw. I want to be done parenting and being a wife and just go to the shore and walk on the beach.
I had a rough day
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#80 of 81 Old 11-09-2006, 10:41 AM
 
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Lauress, HUGS! I"m sorry you are having a bad day.

Nathan, I"m glad things are going a little better, one day at a time...

Cranberry, thank you for the post. You have hit on somethings that my dh (the one with bipolar?) talks about. He is still not taking meds and is not himslef convinced that her is bipolar II. He does admit to having problems due to ptsd but is working wiht a therapist on these. Its hard to tell what symptoms come from where.

Anyway dh and I are taking it one day at a time. I have come to respect dh's refusal of the meds AS LONG AS it does not disrupt my(our) children's lives. He has been doing really well at atleast recognizing his swings and finding quick and effectivr outlets (ex playing guitar). I get frustrated somedays because he will play guitar sometimes for HOURS AND HOURS, leaving me with everything else to do, but I love him and know that he is doing the best he can. I don't want him to be on meds if his diagnosis is false or if it not allowing him to work through the ptsd. All in all I get confused as to how to best help him and how to help best our family and children. So like I said, one day at a time. I give you all so much credit for living with this "condition" it must be sooo hard to be "Mommy" 24 hours a day without escape and feel the mania and depression.

I hope you all have great week!
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#81 of 81 Old 11-10-2006, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had the kids' conferences yesterday and those went well. Work today was just great. Now I'm all alone and upset and that's dangerous. That's when I tend to get manic. *sigh*...
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