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  1. I am so worried about this.
  2. Hey, I've also been through repeated hospitalizations, as have many here. I think asking for those extra medications is a good idea - I also have emergency medications that I don't take everyday but only if it looks like I could spiral out of control with mania or psychosis. The only reasons i can think of for a doctor saying no is if you pose a suicide risk and the medications can get you there, or if they're addictive. In that case, it might be worth asking if you can leave them with a family member who can judge if you need them or not. My mum moved to another country to watch me and administer my meds at my most unstable (she's great). Hospitalization is inconvenient and really expensive, so I think your doctor would likely agree that the best outcome is preventing it where possible.
  3. What you're going through sounds dreadful, and if there's anything I or anyone else can do, let us know. 1) Are you in a country with socialized health care? If so, it should be more affordable for foreigners than healthcare is in the US for people without insurance. 2) I would strongly, strongly recommend going to an ER because they will keep you in a safe place for the next day, week, whatever they think you need in order to not be an imminent risk of dying. 3) Professionally, people might expect you to be productive and successful, but people usually expect a little less of us than what we think they do, and people are always more sympathetic than you might imagine. You don't need to disclose the details of what's going on, but you can always say that something needed your attention in your personal life and needed to take some time off. You might be through the absolute worst patch of this episode within a few weeks or a month or two, and that length of time off is pretty easy to pass off for whatever you want to say. Work means nothing if you can't survive. You can only gain benefits that it brings if you're alive. Everyone who matters who is linked to your work wants you to survive. Even though it's really important, I would try and remember that your life is the most significant thing there is, and that there is a pathway forward where you will be much healthier than you are now, and consequently, be able to deliver on your work and other things that matter to you.
  4. I was diagnosed with anxiety disorders 12 years ago but my doctors have never really spoken about it in depth since my bipolar diagnosis. So I don't really know as much about anxiety as I probably should. I was wondering, can panic attacks feel different in different circumstances? I was wondering, because over the last few months I've had spells where I start shaking so badly I can't hold a pen or paper, whole body burns up and I turn bright pink, can't swallow, struggle to breathe, sometimes throw up, mind races until it hurts my head and I can just cry and nothing else. On the other hand, I've had a lot of panic attacks while manic and they felt quite different... A lot more numbness rather than burning up... Can panic attacks be different from time to time? Not sure if mania makes it different somehow...
  5. Sleep disturbances, followed by stress.
  6. I narrowly avoided being killed or severely injured. Others around me weren't so lucky. I am grieving for people I never knew, for what could have happened, and for how these events can even exist.
  7. I keep on hearing classical music from the phone in my office, but it's off and no one in my whole office is listening to music...
  8. Insurance covered it all. I would be bankrupt if they hadn't. The issue was this - my university involuntarily forced me to withdraw from school because of a hospitalisation for mania. If I withdrew, I wouldn't have legally been a student anymore .That also meant I was ineligible for the insurance I was on, and had no backup because I wasn't a US citizen and was from a developed country with a fantastic government-run medical system. My parents and academic administrators had to fight for me (I also would have lost my visa). Eventually, the mental health board at my university allowed me to take a "voluntary" leave on paper with admission requirements (including interviews) to return. This meant I could keep my insurance. I was so sick when all of this was going on, I am horrified to think of what would have happened without such a proactive and determined family and dean. I would never have graduated, I would have been too snowed under in debt to ever enter the US, get a credit card, get a mortgage, maybe even a job. My life would have been ruined in many senses.
  9. I was admitted twice involuntarily in the US, and each time the bill was $40,000-$80,000. I almost lost my insurance because I was admitted and had to withdraw from school, but thankfully my social worker and family were able to find a solution that kept my insurance. If I hadn't, I would have had to declare bankruptcy and would have been banned from re-entering the US. Brutal.
  10. I feel kinda bad because I've done a lot of things here while not at all manic. I was an idiot in college.
  11. Reading is the same for me too, aura - can't read on either side of the spectrum. I think that's why I have trouble identifying with manic stereotype of overproductivity. I can't get anything coherent done. I have broken down in tears while manic because I can't do what I need to do and I hate that.
  12. I did very low carb for a year, eating only complex carbohydrates. It was really good for me - now that I'm off it, I get a lot of dizzy spells and more blood sugar issues. The human body isn't designed to eat sugar. It was only introduced to Western diets in the last few hundred years during colonialism. Quite a few doctors I know call it "white death".
  13. I'm in the process of changing jobs (currently interviewing) due to my bipolar, specifically my depression. My job requires extreme attention to detail and also entails intensely long hours... for me that induces episodes of severe depression, hallucinations and paranoia (which I only figured out in retrospect by people's comments on how I was behaving ). It breaks my heart. It has helped me to realize that this is my biological limit, and I need to take care of myself. I just can't do it. Thoughts are with you, even though we're not quite in the same situation.
  14. I strongly, strongly think that exercise is a good thing, especially for mental health. It will never cure it completely, but it has helped me a lot. When I'm anxious, walking helps me to take the edge off - vigorous energy also helps to distract from distressing and obtrusive thoughts When I'm on the manic side of things, walking helps with the agitation When I'm depressed, I try to force myself to walk - even if I sit down every minute. I find that I get catatonic (stuck in weird positions for hours), and walking gives me a bit of momentum When I exercise regularly, my sugar cravings go down and I lose weight. I did 45 minutes of cardio every day for the year that I was on 20mg Zyprexa daily and lost ~4kg (10 pounds). I've been on Seroquel this year, haven't exercised, and I have put on about 8kg (20 pounds)
  15. Thanks for the suggestions! I have done DBT, and it has transformed how I think, how I view others, and how I handle most forms of distress. I'm now in a position where I can go back and dissect why I feel the anger or hurt, and why others feel that way, and how to approach it going forward. However, I struggle to help myself cope properly in the milliseconds around the incident, and that's where the damage is done. I seem to go from zero to 100% and as such, many strategies (grabbing ice, turning on music, making tea) just aren't immediate enough. I think feeling calmer overall would help a lot, but if there's anything I can do acutely when I feel things, that would be very useful for me.