Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Flyover Country
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Like you said, everyone experiences bipolar disorder differently, but I'll share my experience and see if its helpful to you.
I was diagnosed w/ major depression about 15 years ago and took anti-depressants for 10 of those years. When I got pregnant with DS, everything went haywire. I was very depressed during my pregnancy and had wicked PPD. When my period returned at 9 months post-partum, I began to experience mood cycling that corresponded with AF and I was rediagnosed with BPD II.
Starting with ovulation, I became extremely irritable and angry. I would snap at DH for no reason. I b/c very aggressive towards other people while driving and out in public. For instance, someone in the grocery store would be going to slow or get in my way and I wanted to hit them. My thoughts would race around and I couldn't concentrate. I also would jump to conclusions in my mind and then be *sure* I was right. This would last 4-5 days. Then my period would start and I would slide into a depression. Crying, self-loathing, intense anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, inability to leave the house and, often, inability to get out of bed. I also had intense desires to hurt myself. The depression lasted until my AF left. Then I would get two weeks of relatively "normal" behavior until I started ovulating again. This went on for over three years until I found the right combination of meds. I still feel mild symptoms if I'm really stressed, but nothing like before.