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About Omnishambles

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  1. Hey all! I am going to be starting a job at an NGO in DC soonish and I am wondering if there are any support groups for DC professionals out there. I have bipolar 2, and I've worked in this sector before (at this exact org. to be precise), but I had to leave do to my illness cycling. This is a pattern with me, I obtain a fulltime, somewhat demanding (yet rewarding) job in my field that I ultimately have to leave due to my illness. I'm going in this time armed with new meds, better coping strategies, and a stronger support system in place so I'm hopeful this time it will work out a bit better, but I'd really like to add a support group to the mix. I'm specifically hoping for a group of individuals in similar circumstances, i.e people who are trying to hold down full-time employment in the demanding DC culture. I've been to other groups in the area in the past, but none with anyone in my position. I've done some googling, but no luck so far. Anyone out there like me who knows of a group? Maybe anyone who wants to start a group? Thanks!
  2. Thank you, I'm sorry you get that too, it's a really insidious thought cycle. I really didn't help that when I told my dad that my mood was shifting (it genuinely was, the crying had already starting), he speculated that it was either a med thing, OR a "behavior" thing. Meaning that I was doing it on purpose to keep him on the phone for more attention. He doesn't believe I have Bipolar (i'm not certain either but that's another story) but MDD instead, like him. He has seen my mood rapidly shift many times, and now I worry he has always thought I was somehow doing it on purpose. Regardless, I still feel crappy and I worry that I'll be down for a while again...
  3. Crashing. Was up today, happy about good feedback at work. Then, on the metro ride home while talking to my dad on the phone, it starts getting harder to get my words out, and then all of a sudden I'm crying. On the train. Back at my apt. and not in a good place mentally/emotionally, but my brain keeps telling me, SCREAMING at me that I'm a faker that I am acting at being ill, that I could stop crying at any point and be normal. Took a klonopin to numb everything down a bit, but still in a really rough spot.
  4. With the exception of sleeping almost all day, and not getting out of bed when I was awake, on Saturday, I have felt so agitated over the last week and a half or so. I start out in the morning fairly at ease, and then grow increasingly on edge with a healthy dose of irritability. Last week, I had a sudden flash of irritation, near-anger over the way a stranger's glasses magnified their eyes. This evening on the bus, I found myself fantasizing about confrontation. I keep having strange recurring thoughts, almost hoping that someone would try to mug me because I'm curious to see how I would react. I am almost certain that this is med related, but it's a med (adderall) that was not causing me to feel this way before, particularly the irritability. I also recently started Geodon. (I would normally guess PMS, but I am not even close to that part of my cycle.) It took me forever to actually submit this post because I had to read it over and over to make sure it made sense.
  5. This is really important, thanks! And to your point about a washout, you're right it could be counterproductive and hellish. It's strange, when I'm more up it's hard for me to remember how miserable the depression is. The acceptance bit has always been tricky, but I'm working on it!
  6. Of course, that makes sense! I actually meant this question: Thanks for all of your input so far, Melissa!
  7. You're right, it would take time. Ideally, I would have some time I could take off work, but I'm not sure that could happen. Also, this job is a short-term position, it's set until mid-October. I am hoping it will lead to longer term opportunities in the field, and at the same time I sort of wish I could take a break in between this job and looking for the next one. Argh life! Yep, in a perfect scenario I would have time + good insurance + great pdoc who could facilitate a productive IP stint for this to happen. Can I ask what made you ask about my meds? Not offended or anything, just curious about what others' thoughts are on my situation.
  8. I think it's more that I'm nervous about trying something new right now. I am not opposed to it, and I don't think he is either, but I have a newish job right now that I really want to maintain and I am worried that switching things up might make me lose it (both mentally, and thus the job). I have thought about doing a washout (under supervision of course) so that I can see where I'm really at.
  9. Thanks Melissa! I have been seeing a pdoc, he has said that because I have been medicated for so long that it is difficult to accurately diagnose, but that my "breakthrough" symptoms seem to be congruent with BP. I haven't shared with him my whole history, though, and he hasn't asked. He isn't terrible, but not great. I am looking for a new one. I have seen tdocs off and on for years, and find them to be very helpful to address coping, and the deeper trauma-associated stuff. Or trauma-lite as I see it, because I can't fully accept that what has happened to me was all that bad, compared to others. I will be starting with a new tdoc soon. I haven't tried any other mood stabilizers, but I have been on a variety of ADs + other things. Right now, my other meds are Lexapro, Trazodone, Geodon, and Adderall. Thanks aura! I will check that out!
  10. Hi All, I'm new here and I am so grateful for this space. I received a tentative BP II (I believe rapid cycling) dx a rather long time ago (over a decade), and have been on a mood stab. since then (lamictal). The thing is, I'm not certain if this fits me. I know you can't dx me, but I am hoping that maybe someone shares my experience, or can shed some light on what's going on for me. All of this is based on a fairly shaky memory of the time + my parents memory. Way back then, in my pre-teen days, I presented as having periods of being "stable," active and generally good. Very suddenly, I would go into extreme irritability and frustration with uncontrollable outbursts, typically triggered by something. I remember feeling, after these outbursts, that I had no control over them and would often be very apologetic and ashamed. As I got into my teens, I would more often rapidly spiral down into deep deep, inconsolable despair. The latter is pretty clearly depression, but does the former count as hypomania? Those period wouldn't last the requisite 4 days, they were just extremely fast shifts. There were times where I would get hyper focused on projects with a belief that, whatever I was doing it needed to be genius and the "best." The irritability and frustration would often be present as well. I don't recall ever having periods of euphoria and hyperactivity so often described as hypomania. I also don't know if I ever had grandiose ideas about myself, but I do know that I often believed myself to be different and wanted to be the "best" at everything. I wanted everyone to see me as super special and recognize my amazingness. Sometimes I would get into a cleaning frenzy with my room and have to reorganize everything, but I don't think those moods would last very long. I should mention that around the same time, I had developed a severe anxiety disorder with near-daily panic attacks. As an adult, I still have periods of crashing into deep depression, but for a while the periods in between have been longer (except recently they may be getting shorter again?). I don't know if I ever have what could be considered hypomania. I will have high energy periods where I want to be social and get frustrated if I don't have plans (but that could be normal). I will also get very focused and intense about work, and will commit myself to projects that I later lose interest in/can't follow through on due to the depression. A couple of different meds I have tried have triggered high high energy and pressured speech, but that's a med thing I believe. Anyways, apologies for this being long, I am finally in a stage of my life where I am trying to make sense of all of this and take charge of my treatment. I have been pretty passive about it for a while, but I have seen how it does severely impact my life. I just want to be able to hold down a job and advance in a career and have relationships without needing to bail!
  11. I know this thread is a little old, but what you're going through sounds somewhat similar to me, except I do have a BP II diagnosis. Hearing about "double depression" makes me wonder if that fits me more accurately, or if my lack of distinct hypomania has just been successfully treated by the meds I'm on. A pdoc diagnosed me when I was fairly young, around 14-15. I'm not sure if I ever truly exhibited hypomania. If I did, I think it was somewhat atypical if there is such a thing. I have been on a mood stabiliser since then (lamictal) and I think it has helped. What does happen to me is, like you said, a period of feeling ok or even good and then suddenly spiralling down into deep deep despair. This sometimes presents as intense "numbing," not being able to physically move, and wanting to disappear, other times inconsolable crying and agitation with a side of self loathing. This can go on for a few days or weeks. Then I pull out of it, and also like you, can't even remember exactly what it even feels like to be that depressed (this causes me to think "I'm not really sick, I just fake it or I'm lazy"). For me, I think the mood stab. plus an AD PLUS an antipsychotic (plus a couple other things for sleep and focus), make the periods between spiralling down longer, so yay? I don't have any concrete advice really, just wanted to say that you definitely aren't alone with your symptoms!
  12. Here's my current cocktail (generics of all): Lamictal 250mg - Mood stabilizer (I've been on it for over a decade now, no idea what I am like w/out it) Trazodone 50mg - Sleep Lexapro 20mg(?) - Helps with depression Geodon 60mg - To augment the AD (I hope) Adderall - Helps with focus Klonopin - For emergencies The Geodon is the newest addition. I was on Abilify previously, but my insurance won't cover it. I wasn't sure if the Abilify was actually helping or not, but when I went off of it I crashed hard, so here we are.
  13. Hi all! I just discovered this site, and as I am trying to be more proactive about my treatment and self-care, I thought I would give this a try. I hope that by hearing other posters' stories, I can be better about accepting that I have a brain illness rather than a moral failing. My history goes back to when I was around 9 years old when I very suddenly developed a crippling anxiety disorder, presenting as near-daily panic attacks and severe phobias of storms and tornados. If the sky was even remotely cloudy, I would not leave the house. This went untreated for some time until a relative suggested to my parents that maybe, instead of approaching it as a behavioral issue, this was something a doctor should look into. And lo, my near-20 year relationship with psych meds was born (still going strong)! The anxiety settled into white noise, and gave way to major depression, or possibly BP II (still unclear, which is frustrating) More recent history, I have definitely seen that my depression is cyclical, going from a somewhat stable (at times maybe hypomanic?) state to rapidly spiralling down into severe depression where basic functioning is nearly impossible. I have learned to be wary. When I'm up, I envision and indeed experience myself being productive and effective and succeeding at the things I want to do. I am wary because I know that, while I'm making grand plans and committing myself to projects, the depression is below the surface, just waiting to pull me under. And yet, I still get caught off guard sometimes, which makes me angry and even fearful of the next time I start feeling too "up." That's enough about me! I'll leave most of my questions to the relevant forums, but I am curious if anyone else here struggles with an unclear diagnosis? It is very frustrating to not be able to pinpoint exactly what is "wrong" with me. Thank you for creating this space!