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About Rabbity9

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  1. Cutting it out totally for a month is probably a good way to "reset" your habits. As far as people getting on your case for not drinking, try telling them you're taking a "detox month." I've done it, and I've had friends who've done it, and usually people just say "oh," and then "maybe I should try that sometime" in response. If they persist, ask why they care so much. If they're relentless and you feel comfortable being a little confrontational, maybe mention that alcoholics are often uncomfortable being around people who aren't drinking and tend to encourage peers to drink more so that they feel "normal." That should shut them up quick.
  2. This is a good topic. It's really interesting how much sleep issues seem to plague people with bipolar, even when not in any kind of clear episode. Do you usually sleep not enough or too much? Usually not enough. I like 90% sure I have delayed sleep phase disorder, because I am almost always energetic when I should be sleeping and consequently exhausted when I should be awake. Even as a kid, I would sometimes get in trouble because my dad would find me still up reading or drawing or whatever when he got up for work at 4 AM. How much sleep do you get on your average night? Lately, it's been about 5 hours on a work night, then I drag the average back up to about 6.5 by getting 8ish on the days when I can sleep in. I still wake up tired on those days, but find myself unable to get back to sleep even though I want to. What's the longest you've gone without sleep? 48 hours or so. It was a few years ago and during a pretty stressful final semester of grad school, so I couldn't tell you if it was because I was hypomanic or not. I just had so much work to do to finish everything, so maybe I was just fueled by necessity, but I did feel pretty unstoppable during that period, so I could have been very conveniently manic. Or the stress and sleep deprivation triggered it. What's the longest you've slept in one sitting? Not more than 10 hours without waking up at all, as far as I can remember. When depressed I've spent the whole day in bed, slipping in and out of sleep and mostly just getting up to go to the bathroom and maybe to eat or drink something.
  3. People can and do have successful careers after engaging in criminal activity. Especially if you can prove that it was related to mental illness and that you are being treated. You don't have to give up hope for your life because of a mistake or two.
  4. I'm the first with bipolar, that I know of. Definitely not the only one with mental health issues, though. My mom has been treated for depression for most of my life. Her mom, my grandmother, had something going on. She was an alcoholic and even after getting sober, she never seemed to really enjoy anything. HER father, my great-grandfather, died from suicide. Lots of mood disorder and likely mood disorder on my mom's side of the family tree. My dad's side had some alcoholism, but I live in Wisconsin so NOT having a relative with alcoholism is more or less unheard of.
  5. I met my boyfriend online (OkCupid). He was really open about having bipolar. He mentioned in in our third or fourth message, before we even met in person. I'm no stranger to mental illness, so it didn't put me off. I have an ex who was almost certainly bipolar, completely unstable with repeated suicide attempts, and still refused to get help. So many people seem to be existing with undiagnosed MI and refuse to admit that they have a problem, so I'd rather date someone who knows they have issues, gets treatment, and is honest about them. At one point I semi-jokingly told my boyfriend, "I tend to be attracted to troubled people, and I like you because you know what your trouble is." That's my personal view on things. I know there's still a lot of stigma, and my boyfriend kinda took a risk telling me right away. But, I've struggled with moderate to severe depression for my entire memorable life, so I'd be a pretty big hypocrite to dismiss someone over MI. I actually got diagnosed bipolar after we'd been dating for a few months, in part because of our relationship. I was reading a lot of books about bipolar to get a more thorough understanding of it, and as I read, it heightened some suspicions I'd had about my own mood swings. When I had another "up" episode, I had some idea what was going on, and the boyfriend confirmed it and helped me find an affordable psychiatrist. So now we're in a dual-bipolar relationship. I think it really helps us understand each other in ways a person without mental health issues might have a harder time with. Obviously, a "normal" person can still be very compassionate and understanding when their partner has MI, but personally, I don't like feeling like "the crazy one," so dating someone else with problems works for me.
  6. This is a complicated issue and I have a good amount of experience with it, so I apologize for this being hella long: So, cheating can definitely be a symptom of mental illness. Total lack of impulse control and hypersexuality are symptoms of mania which can lead to infidelity, and the person often feels a lot of guilt for it once the episode is over. Carrying on an affair, lying and gaslighting your partner don't seem like manic episode behavior or schizophrenia related behavior. Frankly, it kinda just sounds like asshole behavior. Sometimes people with mental illness use their diagnosis as an excuse for bad behavior, and sometimes their partners let them get away with it, because they are well-intentioned, kind people who want to be understanding. I think you might be one of those people. To affirm my opinion, I googled "schizophrenia and infidelity" and all I got were hits about paranoia the person with schizophrenia might experience about their partner cheating, not that people with schizophrenia might cheat due to their symptoms. It is your choice, but personally, I'd cut him loose. Your lack of physical proximity should make this easier than it might be under different circumstances. Relationships are difficult sometimes, but they should, overall, affect your life in a positive way. If he makes you feel bad about yourself more than he makes you feel good about yourself, that isn't a good thing. He very well could be making your episode worse. This is not to say that all relationships where both people have mental illness are bad! They can be very mutually supportive. My partner and I both have bipolar. He actually helped get me diagnosed. I knew for a long time that I had depression with "up" episodes, but I minimized them. I had an "up" episode a few months into our relationship, and he recognized it as hypomania and encouraged me to see a psychiatrist. While our illnesses aren't exactly the same, we still recognize and support each other during episodes more easily than a person without mental illness might be able to. There are still issues, of course. He can be very closed off during anxiety episodes, which was difficult for me to deal with at first, because I thought his growing distant had something to do with our relationship. I now understand that he just needs some distance because talking to people is tough for him during those times. Likewise, I sometimes get bad social anxiety when I'm depressed, so I might drag him out of gatherings that he's enjoying because I'm on the verge of a meltdown. Those are just two examples of things that aren't easy to deal with, and there are plenty more, but we put up with them and try to be understanding, because the good times make it worth it. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm bragging about my good relationship while you're having trouble. Just want to give an example of how mutual mental illness can be a good thing, rather than an automatic negative. It definitely helps that we're both medicated and on the stable side now. TL:DR - Don't write off a person as a potential relationship because they have mental illness too, because with good communication and understanding, you can be great partners. However, don't let someone walk all over you because they have a mental illness. You do not have to put up with feeling miserable. Even if the hurtful things are related to their symptoms, you still don't have to put up with it. I stayed in a bad relationship longer than I should have, once, because I finally got sick of him making suicide attempts and telling me that they were my fault. I thought it would be wrong to break up with him because of his depression, but finally realized that he was very emotionally abusive. Even if that was related to his illness, I didn't deserve to be a victim of it.
  7. I've done some research on Abilify. Right now the drowsiness is part of the appeal of seroquel, as long as it's at night when I need it. If I find that it's keeping me drowsy during the day, though, my pdoc and I will definitely be looking for something else.
  8. Does anyone else feel much more comfortable sharing that they experience depression? That's what I've found myself doing. I don't have a problem talking about past depressive episodes at all. It seems like everyone knows about depression, and it's become very normalized, at least among people I know. There is still so much stigma when it comes to bipolar, though. I have a lot of respect for everyone who is open about it.
  9. For me exercise has to be preventative. I think it really helps stave off depressive episodes, and if I start to notice early depressive symptoms like feeling tired for no reason, I try even harder to keep it up. It's not easy, because exercise is usually the last thing I want to do, but I usually feel better midway through, and it helps prevent me from falling into the cycle of depression leading to inactivity leading to worse depression. Sometimes the episode sneaks up on me though, and if I'm already fully depressed, then exercise is terrible. I feel so slow and out of shape, and it just makes me feel horrid about myself. Depression can weigh you down so much, it's ridiculous. I can go from running five miles with relative ease to barely able to make it through a mile in two weeks or less. That's way too fast to actually get "out of shape," but it sure feels that way. Heavy, difficult movement with a lot of aches and pains. The physical symptoms of depression are very, very real.
  10. I didn't notice a difference when I increased from 150 to 200, so I don't feel like continuing to increase will be helpful. Seems my pdoc agrees, he's keeping me at 200 for now. My pdoc has suggested adding a low dose of seroquel at night. After some research I think I might be experiencing some mixed features, so that could be why he suggested an antipsychotic. On bad days, negative thoughts have been keeping me up for hours, even after taking ambien, so trying something with sedative effects that might also improve my mood makes a lot of sense. I can't say if it's working just yet, since I want to wait for a couple of days off to start taking it in case it slows me down too much. I can't be dead on my feet at work. I'm optimistic, though.
  11. Thanks for guiding me. I knew it couldn't be super complicated, but just never managed to click through to the right thing.
  12. I am BPII. I've been meaning to put in a signature with my dx and meds, but haven't figured out how yet. It's always heartening to hear that people have a med regimen that works. I know I'm pretty new to treatment, so it's all gonna take some adjustment.
  13. What are your experiences with adding an antidepressant to your meds? I got diagnosed and started lamotrigine about six months ago. At first, it felt great. I was in a good mood, but not too good, and reacted normally to sad things too. For about a month now, though, I've been pretty depressed. I do feel like the lamotrigine has helped with the avolition. I have an easier time getting out of bed and getting things done than in the past when I've been depressed. My body doesn't feel totally weighed down. In my head though, things are often terrible. I'm not sad all day every day, but it's more days than not, and my thoughts just suck. I feel hopeless and like I'm a disappointment to everyone, and even had some suicidal thoughts. I'm anhedonic and when I don't have a project or task at hand, I mostly just stare into space and think about how everything I have going for me will probably fall apart. I see my pdoc in a few days, so I'll have an opportunity to talk to him about this. I'm a little scared though. I have no side effects with the lamotrigine, and that's been a blessing. I'm worried that adding medications might change that, and I'm especially worried about weight gain because I already have some body image issues. So, for those who added antidepressants to mood stabilizers, what was it like for you? Did you get manic and have to add an anti-mania drug? I know everyone is different, but I'm just curious to hear about other people's experiences.
  14. To close friends and family, yes. At work, no. I work at a psychiatric hospital, and I feel like my coworkers would constantly be monitoring me for signs of an episode if I shared my diagnosis.
  15. I know when I'm on my third or fourth night with less than normal sleep and feel GOOD. I am chronically sleep deprived because of delayed sleep phase disorder, so my hypo is only a couple of hours less sleep than normal, but I feel SO different. I almost never fall asleep before 1 AM, so I'm usually rolling on maybe five or six hours of sleep on a work day. I doze off at my desk a lot. It's not great. I make up for it with nine to twelve hours on my off days. When hypo, it's two to four hours on work days, four to seven on days off. Not that much less, really, but I am bouncy. Chatty, can't stop moving, etc. I'm more likely to clean my whole desk than nod off at it. In my social life, I am wayyy more confident and flirty. Hypo periods are the only time I've actively used Tinder. When I go running, I'm a minute or two faster per mile without even trying. Things that would normally upset me are forgotten instantly. Honestly, if I didn't spend too much and annoy the shit out of people by bouncing off the walls, I'd love being hypo. I still kinda do love being hypo. I just wish it didn't come with consequences.