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  1. What were the symptoms that led the doctor to suggest ECTs? I have felt blank before but that effect wore off. I have never felt more depressed. I have had unilateral, which did nothing, and bilateral with 2 initial series of 9 and then maintenance of one every 4 weeks for about 4 years or so. I lost memory, but for me it was worth it because I was no longer suicidal. I have fully recovered my personality and have not had any issues since stopping. I am diagnosed bipolar with occasional psychotic episodes and was considered treatment resistant.
  2. I think for me it did become a habit, though it didn't start that way. It got to where every time I felt anxious or had a disturbing thought my mind would just automatically think of suicide. Even when I wasn't depressed anymore I would think of suicide when I had a panic attack. I had to actually adjust to not being depressed, it had been so many years depressed that I didn't know how to think or act when not depressed. I was finally able to tell my husband I wasn't thinking of suicide several months after not being depressed anymore.
  3. I know when I am nervous I focus on the other person. Asking them questions and getting them to talk. You don't have to read or watch tv in order to ask what she likes to read and watch and why. I especially like it when the other person is a parent because they usually like talking about their children. Or I ask about pets if they have them, like why they got them, how they act, did they do any training, etc. Or their experience in school. Usually at some point I get a level of comfort and can talk a bit about myself.
  4. So I just thought I'd update. In therapy today we talked about why I felt it was dangerous to be one person and we separated feeling anxious from feeling in danger and how I am no longer in danger, but I still feel like it at times and it is always when I am talking to my family (not my husband and kids, just parents and siblings) and also some people from church and from my past. The rest of the time it is just anxiety (this is really simplified from what was discussed). So if I have good boundaries it can give me the feeling of safety that I used to have from being more than one person. So I quit Facebook (yeah! no one can contact me on social media!) and decided not to call my family anymore. If they text me (which they won't) and are nice to me I will text them, other than that I will just fade quietly from their lives. I won't visit them anymore. I won't tell them anything personal about myself. I won't answer the phone from anyone if I don't want to and will work on not feeling guilty for this. I won't discuss church doctrine with anyone and when I go to church I will just read a good science fiction book on my phone and ignore what is being said. Good news too. My husband and I went to a dinner party with people I know who are really nice and for the first time ever in my life at a social event I didn't dissociate and was one person the whole time. I didn't even have a panic attack. I did take clonazapam before and it was at the home of safe people. But still, this is unprecedented!
  5. When I was young, sometime before 12, I got pneumonia. I had been sick for months and my parents kept telling me I was being lazy and going to the doctor cost money and they couldn't afford to pay so I had to quit being a baby and go to school. One morning I couldn't move. My mom was yelling at me but I couldn't move and it hurt so bad to breathe. I had blood that I had coughed up. They took me to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a long time. The doctor told me I almost died and that when I get sick I need to tell my parents right away because they would always help me. When my parents visited they would tell me how expensive the hospital was and I needed to tell the doctor I was better. For years my mom would mention how expensive my hospital stay was. Today I got a text message that my dad is in the hospital, possibly pneumonia, and it could be lethal, though he will probably be alright. I was told I needed to call him to help him feel better and know he is loved. So I did and now I feel like shit. My sister would just tell me I need to get over it and quit hanging on to old history and I should be nice to him because he is old. Maybe I am being petty. It would be so much easier if he came to visit me just once. If he ever remembered any of my children's birthdays. If he actually knew me. He has never bothered.
  6. It went pretty well. I didn't say everything, but I introduced the subject and tried to say why it is a problem now. She listened very well and told me that it is something that happens to people in trauma for extended periods and can be very helpful during that time. I was afraid she was going to tell me it was bad, but she said she thought it was the mind's way of helping but that now that I am safe and also no longer in a prescription induced haze or ect induced fog my mind may be changing the way it does things. I told her I didn't want to be one person. It is too much and I don't know how to function that way. It also seems dangerous. It is really weird to talk about this. I am going to think about what she said for a few weeks and then see her again. She said I don't have to be one person, it isn't a requirement, but if I want to she can help me figure out how to function as one person if that is what is happening. Even though I am not depressed and my mind is working better than it has for decades this is very scary to me.
  7. thank you. I am nervous about giving her a written copy because then I can't stop her reading it if I detect she isn't taking it well. That doesn't make sense because she has proven to be competent and not bothered by anything I have said. Maybe I can just bring a copy with me and read it to her, then I can stop if it seems to be going bad. Thank you for your comments. I am glad to know someone had something similar and that you felt fine as one person. The only time I have been psychotic was when my inner person got "stuck" on the "face." My inner person cannot deal directly with the world very well, but it happens sometimes. I never had them all collapse into one before though. Since it is giving me problems I should tell my therapist something. I see her today. I am going to try to introduce the subject and see what happens.
  8. I have this thing about me that I haven't told a therapist because in the past it has always been under control or at least predictable and useful. I don't know how to even describe it well because I feel like I am lying every time I try to because I can't figure out how to say what is really going on. This thing about me is changing and I can't stop it or control it anymore. In all other ways I am doing better than I ever have. I don't know if this thing changing is me getting better, it doesn't feel like it. So this is kinda what is happening. I don't think I have dissociative Identity disorder so I'm sorry if some of this sounds like I do. I don't know what this is. I thought it was normal until a reference I read made me think it wasn't and now I am having a problem with it. I have several people in my mind, but they are all me. They are all at different distances from what I think of as my core. Different ones are "the face" depending on what is going on or who I am with. The ones furthest out from my core are what I used to describe as dissociation to my therapist because how that "face" feels seemed to match. Like most panic attacks I have are with my core and when they are bad enough one of the outer people become the face and I look normal to the outside even though I am still having a panic attack. I have always had this since I remember and when bad things were happening an outer person was the face and was sort of protecting the core people. Most of the time in the past whoever was the "face" was predictable and controllable. My core people only come out when it is safe or won't disturb people like crying in front of someone that would be upset by that. I wouldn't say they are different personalities, but they have different feelings and are experts in different feelings or situations, but they are all me. This doesn't really describe well what is going on because I have never used words to say it and so it feels like I am lying. Anyway, there have been some instances where all the people merged into the core. I felt like I was going to explode. I couldn't put on the right face and the emotions were horrible. It was like I was experiencing only being one person, even though I know I am only one person. I felt like there was no walls or separation or something and I was feeling all the people all at once. AHH! I can't explain. Does anyone know what the hell this is? How do I tell my therapist I am freaking out because I keep having periods where I am one person? Do people really only go around as one person all the time? how do they do that?
  9. I think it was the fact I was safe and loved and believed I was safe and loved that caused what I imagine as my "boxes of bad memories" to get unpacked and make a mess of my mind. Before that my therapist says I was living in survival mode and had everything packed up tight. Also I think having babies screwed up my control. I think the manifestation PTSD and the blossoming of my bipolar happened together after I had babies, was sleep deprived and also safe and loved. I have learned to repack my memories with therapy. They still leak out at times, but I can pack them back again.
  10. I've had difficulty with this. The therapist I have now will take the last 15 minutes of a session, or even half the session, to sort of reorient me to present reality. We do some grounding stuff and then she asks me detailed questions about things she knows I enjoy or am happy about. I still feel somewhat disconnected for the rest of the day, but at least I can function enough to drive home and present to everyone with a normal face. I still have bad thoughts, but no one else can tell I had therapy that day. To tell the truth, I never consciously realized what she was doing until I read your post. Now I can see she has been doing this since I first started with her some months ago. That makes me think she is pretty good. I didn't realize how good she was. This is even better than my favorite old therapist who retired. I do know I've made more progress with her than I thought I could ever make. She also has me make notes, or often she makes notes for me during therapy to look at in between times. But the notes aren't details of bad things that came up, they are notes about things I can do or think about to help me feel better or do better or cope. I look at the notes a lot. Then I talk about that first at the next session, so the session is sort of a sandwich with positive stuff at the beginning and end and disturbing stuff in the middle.
  11. I spent so many years, decades, feeling ashamed of myself and embarrassed I did so little and feeling it so throughly that I think I just burned out of feeling that anymore. It is like I went through the valley of shame and now I'm on the other side. I still don't do much of anything, certainly nothing practical or that makes money. I am not going to fulfill any of my past dreams. I don't have enough mind left to finish school and I'm too old anyway. I really don't know why it doesn't bother me, I spent so many years bothered. It sounds depressing, but everyone is going to die and any effect they had will fade to nothing over the years and so we are all the same, those who produce a lot and those who don't. Once I let go of any expectations of myself I could find some satisfaction in my little life as it is. You are still young. A lot could happen or not happen. The only thing I regret from my youth is that I felt so much shame for so long. The shame did nothing for me except make me feel worse than bipolar and ptsd already were making me. We are all the same in the end. You are not worse than anyone else. You have nothing to be ashamed of. It is what it is.
  12. Was going to say yes until I started to think about it. It reminds me of the time I told my husband I didn't need a therapist anymore because I had it together pretty good. Then he said, no, you still need a therapist. And then the next day I was having a total, almost psychotic, flashback/anxiety attack and couldn't figure out what to do to stop it, and I thought, wow! My husband was right. So even though I am pretty satisfied with my life right now (lowering expectations really works) I am not really symptom free. The difference is that doesn't bother me anymore, meaning I don't feel ashamed, embarrassed, or like I should be doing better.
  13. I will donate as soon as my tax refund hits sometime next month. I love this place.
  14. For my local Pdocs they all only met with me for 5 to sometimes 15 minutes max and mainly focused on prescribing the drugs. They were kind and I could tell they were trying, but they were always over scheduled. This is not uncommon. The therapist is the one that got to know me and would sometimes contact the Pdoc to push things. I finally went to a university affiliated hospital further away where my doctor saw me frequently for an hour, if not that, at least 30 minutes. He knows me very well. I couldn't use a general practitioner because my case was too complicated or difficult. General practitioners often don't know the latest research in mental illness and for me I would rather see a Pdoc for 5 minutes than a general practitioner, but others have had good experience using a general practitioner. I once had a therapist who on the second visit told me she looked up ideas on Google about how to cope with suicidal feelings since she wasn't sure what to suggest. You would think that a therapist would be better trained. Needless to say there are some pretty ignorant therapists out there. It is hard to really open up and take some advice when you feel you know more than the therapist. How I found my latest therapist is by asking a friend who is a therapist (I don't do therapy with friends) if he knew anyone who was competent, experienced with PTSD and bipolar, and who also was very calm and wouldn't freak out no matter what I said. If I hadn't had the friend I would have just called therapists and asked them what experience they had. Sometimes they lie or exaggerate. One therapist advertised she did DBT but I found she was just "familiar" with the concepts but "modified" them. All she did was tell me how I needed Jesus, after I told her I was an atheist. So, it can be hit or miss but your chances are better if you ask if they are experienced in treating bipolar. I saw one person suggest you ask them to tell you approximately how many patients they have treated with bipolar.