Lms-Kaz

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  1. Hypnosis has never been a viable option for me either. Seems like I am too grounded and content in my own little dysfunctional world to be tempted astray. Regardless of my personal experiences, I try to appreciate the YMMV aspect in all forms of potential assistance. I know very little of the various forms of electrotherapy? My bouts of panic have been very sporadic and the onset/reoccurance was easily tied to a particular event. In an effort to minimize the variables that influenced my thoughts and moods, I made the decision to avoid adding new medication to treat that additional concern. A Benzo (rarely, as needed) has worked wonders for me. If you have done your research, nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Apply that knowledge. It would be great if we could walk up to any specialist and say "I'm broken. Fix me." But, they are only a partner in our pursuits. We still have to do our part. A solid year of suffering with panic is heart-wrenching. Knowing that it is primarily a waking up event, perhaps a medication taken before bedtime with a longer active effect? Half life? People often cheat hangovers by setting an alarm clock an hour ahead of when they normally wake up to sneak an aspirin in? This approach might work, but only if you can wake up - without fully waking up - and then get back to sleep? Easier said than done, right? If your doctor is considering medication here's some research material for you. Rivotril is listed in place of Klonopin under the formulary Clonazepam. Apparently, the name changes often based on geographical location. http://www.vhpharmsci.com/vhformulary/tools/benzodiazepines-comparison.htm
  2. Totally agree. I have thought of becoming a therapist many, many times.. I fear that I would not be taken seriously or that anything I said, or did, would be instantly questioned as being overly influenced by the illness, rather than the education, life experience, or intelligence? Nothing compares to the enlightenment of the hypomanic mind. Such energy, focus, and clarity is unrivaled in nature. That is the 'gift'. But, all the other pieces of the bipolar cycle are a maddening curse. Unlike an actual pie that can be cut into individual slices, everything stays connected even when the different phases are identified or present. For me, it seems there is no effective way to tinker with one aspect of the illness without dramatically affecting or influencing the other attributes. I guess until medical science advances, all we can do is live our lives, learn from it, and anonymously add to this odd, scary, embarrassing, entertaining list of.. 'What was I thinking...' Buying a musical instrument thinking I could play it well just as soon as I brought it home and pulled it out of the box? Guilty! (It was a banjo!?)
  3. So, as I am reading through this post and absorbing the absurdity of actions and beliefs that I can so easily relate to.. I can't help but wonder.. what would any college student with a life goal of becoming mental health related therapist think if they scrolled through this topic.. "What in the world am I doing.. these people are freaking nutso!?" The irony is.. unless our minds have warped us into orbit, that same college student (and everybody blinded with all of their stigmas and preconcieved notions of mental illness) crosses paths with us all the time, in every imaginable capacity.. and, beyond getting an impression that 'something is odd' they have absolutely no clue how to interpret all the clues. Such awareness is a gift of mental illness. I can walk down a busy sidewalk in midtown Manhattan, look anybody in the eyes, and KNOW what is (or what should be) in their bathroom medicine cabinet. Or is that delusion? What if the delusion is accurate? Fascinating stuff, indeed.
  4. No amount of formal education could ever compare to the intense focus and clarity that the manic mind can conjure.. regardless of how deluded it may be. I am drawn to topics like this for the fascination of seeing all the many qualities and traits that form a cliff edge separating positive creativity from destructive insanity. Just before my mind tossed me over that edge, I often turned into some sort of McGuyver. All those little nagging things that, life draining power of depression, or the speed of life, never presented an opportunity to complete were no match for mania. I built my own scaffolding and painted the walls inside my house. (Had one of those loft areas upstairs that opened into the living room with a 20 foot high wall). Used it outside to clean gutters and trim trees and whatever else came along.. I would be replacing components of my truck out in the driveway in the moonlight. Replaced the exhaust from nose to tail. Shocks. Every piece of the brakes from the pads to the drum assembly attaching to the frame. Upper and lower ball joints. Detaching all the electronics from the front fenders and replacing them.. all because it had a some kind of flaw in it that nobody else could see, or feel, or smell, or hear. But, I could. I don't have any auto mechanic training, don't have the proper tools, didn't have a workshop, didn't watch any instructional video, didn't have any plan, didn't ask anybody for any advice. I just bought all the parts and a lot of extra stuff (just in case I might need it..) tore everything apart, and put it all back together. Never more than one project at a time, and never started another project before completing the first. Focus. Although I worked several years elbow deep in the guts of automated production machinery, had no idea what I was doing playing auto mechanic. The illness provided a step-by-step tutorial in my head for solving the riddles of it all. But, the focus would evaporate and morph into many of the same baffling tendencies presented in other confessions here. Another one that I haven't mentioned is that I had a thing for buying clothes that were a couple sizes too big (thinking that I would grow into them someday). I don't own a lot of clothes. Don't really care about fashion trends. Haven't gained or lost 5 pounds in the 20 years since high school ended. What was I thinking?! They all ended up being given away or donated. I don't return anything. That would mean I would have to admit I was wrong! Can't have that!
  5. Extreme anxiety in my life has always been a reaction to things not being within my influence to control or frustration/confusion with my own ignorance. Waking up in jail? Inpatient hospital visits? Sure.. I earned it. But, other than serve my time, I was not free to life my life as I wanted. That trapped and cornered feeling provoked a great deal of anxiety. If you believe your diagnosis may be a contributing factor, taking some time to do some research will help immensely. There was a lot of anxiety tangled within the gradual development of my illness and all of the unknowns. Knowledge is power. All of those keywords and catchphrases specific to the different afflictions are sometimes the only language the textbook trained practitioners can speak or comprehend. Being familiar with their language tends to intimidate them, but.. if that is what it takes to find mutual understanding? Also, finding peace of mind in knowing what to expect may avoid future concerns regarding symptoms and/or medications? Anytime something new is happening, minor anxiety is a perfectly logical response.. the disruptive or debilitating feeling of being completely overwhelmed when waking up? I agree.. must be something important provoking that response. Random thought here. If it is a subconscious reaction, hypnosis might be a worthy option to persue in order to identify the culprit?
  6. Yup. All the time. I go so far out of my way to find inconsistencies in people (what they say, what they do, how they act, how they feel).. I try to catch them in lies, I find all the little meaningless things that contradict all the little meaningless things.. and then I use that as the basis to label them untrustworthy and a direct liability to my grasp on sanity. I call them out on what they did that made no sense to me.. then, rather than allowing anything to escalate, I just walk away.. let them seethe in the moment. Avoid them. Avoid everyone. Trust no one. Isolate myself from their provoking influence. Cut the cord. It has happened with everybody in my life since the manifestation of the illness. I leave no other option. That is my dysfunctional life preserver. My defense mechanism. My shield that protects me from the inevitable of everybody not understanding my unique perspective on anything. I am so well practiced at it now, so convincing, so passionate.. nobody even challenges my delusions. At the point of confrontation, they determine I am not even worth them making any effort to try and convince me how far from reality my jaded perspective is. There would be no point. In my mind, I already have a running list of reasons not to trust them. Support groups? Isn't it peculiar how much easier it is to be open and honest while hiding in this anonymous pixelated world online? There are so many aspects of my life that I have no problem sharing online, but would never trust anybody with if I was sitting in the same room as them. I have no faith in people who call themselves experts because they once read about some related topic. It's all a charade. I got my best words of wisdom from a therapist who lifted her skirt and rolled her sleeves up just enough to show me their scars. I could so easily connect to that level of dysfunction. Now? If there is no connection to be found, all that remains is liability. I have no room for that senseless drama in my life. (Reguardless of all the ridiculous ways that I seem to cause it) So, yeah.. connecting to people in environments similar to this forum is quite effortless (crazy people are my natural peers) and has become one of the most beneficial ways in which I cope with my delusions. Aside from 3 distinct instances of dangerous manic episodes, I am all bark. But, my bark is very effective. I would be a handful if I was ever cornered and walking away was not an option. Luckily, it has never come to that.
  7. Of all the medications - and the associatedsexual side effects, for me, mood itself always remained firmly in control of both desire (or lack of it) AND ability (or lack of it). That being said, I don't think I experienced any sexual side effects that I could pin directly on any medication. Depression is the world's most effective chastity belt. Manic episodes are like holding a prepaid debit card - with an unlimited balance - while standing in the lobby of a brothel. Mixed episodes are a frustrating mix of intense mental wanting, while not being able to physically satisfy that same craving. If medication had any influence, for me, it was no match for the prevailing mood. The inconsistency of it all sure makes intimate relationships difficult! Looking at that from the prospective of any potential partner, that is a lot to expect of anybody in terms of 'understanding'. I am currently not in a relationship. And, certainly not looking for one. I am enjoying a chapter of my life free of that extra layer of pressure and anxiety. Medications can certainly suck. I hate to hear how some of them can so drastically affect one element of life, while dramatically helping In other ways. It's an impossible balancing act, or needless compromise, in place of where only consistency should be.
  8. After going bonkers trying to conform with the norm, I have enjoyed the freedom of self-employment for a decade. Time has taught me how to schedule myself according to how I am feeling. I try to balance it all out and work anywhere between 20-60 hours a week. Though I still have frequent days when life gets the best of me, I pull it together, complete my task of the moment, then take time to decompress in a conscious effort to not get overwhelmed. I have no idea what 'stable' is. Everybody seems to have their own perspective or definition. And, that is fine. Healthy relationships are a lost cause for me. Instead, I tend to measure my own stability by equating it to self-sufficiency. Providing for myself removes the liabilities and anxiety of dealing with 'people drama'. All the demands, wants, expectations, criticism. Avoiding that that has its own share of consequences. Its a balancing act. I am better in my head than I once was, but.. unquestionably, there is always plenty of room for improvement. All that pressure to fit neatly into a box. Bah! No thanks!
  9. Being new to the board, I hadn't noticed this thread until it got resurrected this morning. Such a wide variety of professions. Quite inspiring to read how everybody says NO to the overwhelming temptations to allow the illness to rule their life. It's a fascinating battle to observe. As for me, I started adulthood as a combat medic in the military, went on to get a degree in automation/robotics engineering and worked several years in a training role with an advanced machining capacity. A mosquito bite (encephalitis) and LOTS of stress from every concieveable angle conspired to melt my brain leading to a few years of uncontrollable madness and a nasty bout of psychosis. Doctors couldn't make the connection, medication couldn't stabilize it.. I am 40 now. That was 15 years ago. As the illness evolved, the diagnosis was all over the place and eventually settled primarily on Schizoaffective Disorder. Lots of attributes of paranoia, social avoidance, delusions, and a unique perspective on everything have pretty much isolated me from successful integration into society. Every attempt at trying to live a life closer to the societal 'normal' triggers a relapse into madness.. so, after a series of horrible decisions, I revolted against everything that remained, cut every cord on every influence, and reinvented my life. I have worked as an independant contractor in the transportation industry for the past decade. Medication would instantly disqualify me to continue with the profession that has provided my sanity. Although it is quite obvious to those familiar with the signs and symptoms, I am not around anybody long enough for them to put the pieces together. I continue to live in constant fear of relapsing into the years of chaos.. and that motivates me to do everything I can to prevent it. I plan well to avoid stress. I limit my exposure to people. I eat well and try to sleep well. I have learned not to dwell on all of the regret, embarrassment, shame, and guilt that I would have to face if I ever stopped. I stopped adding to that pile. I have too big of a heart. I feel too much. I care too deeply. I am far too passionate about my beliefs and relationships. But, nobody understands that. Myself included. So, I just keep running.. ------ At some point, in the future, I would love to push myself towards a formal education and parlay that into volunteer work at treatment facilities in the role of mentoring those beginning their journey into living life with this elephant on their shoulders. But, since I found my solace in such an unorthodox and rebellious way, I won't be finding much support in any setting that relies on the prevalent comply and conform dynamic.. *Insert the therapist / patient relationship from the movie Good Will Hunting here*. The inherent politics and micromanagement would likely conspire to nudge me over the edge towards relapse. I know how fragile I can be. Not being able to help somebody who so desperately needs it would undoubtedly crush spirit.
  10. False. My floor is made of metal. It is well insulated though. Don't ask. I'm not telling. Haa. TPBM has a lucky number that does not share a relationship to any particular birthday.
  11. Previous 2 comments provide interesting perspectives from alternate sides.. My frustrations isn't necessarily with the medications.. they are just innocent chemicals, right? It's all the politics of everything that rubs me the wrong way. What if the prescribing physicians insist on certain medications? What if the person taking them has occupational insurance that says, NO.. we don't cover that one, we suggest this one.. what if the top few options for each symptom are found to be not an option? "Well, we typically don't prescribe this.. but, let's give it a try..." Since changing careers, the medication i 'require' would instantly end my current job. Not allowed. No exceptions. The Medicoster isn't just medication.. All the frayed strands of my sanity being dropped into the hands of complete strangers living in far away mansions, creating new symptoms in boardroom meetings, and releasing new generations of pharmaceutical life-preservers exactly 9 years apart in order to be one step ahead of the generics in terms of pricing markups.. revenue.. stockholders. I was the guy paying $1700 a month in copays to NOT feel any better. For every professional holding out their hand to assist you with good intentions, there are a dozen more standing behind them saying.. no. No. No. The clarity and lucidity of hypomania is a threat to that establisment. I did my research to figure out how these wonder drugs are created, tested, and approved by the FDA. In a nice, neat, profitable circle, the same people creating medication are the same people approving, promoting, and selling the medication. Everything we think we know about safeguards.. is a lie. Where does knowing that truth leave a person with debilitating paranoia and trust issues? After fighting through 3 years of side effects that were just as bad as the illness itself.. it was not a difficult decision for me to flush my medication. But, even that had consequences. I've been making a life mistakes and throwing everything else away ever since. Maybe medication would have prevented that.. or maybe I wouldn't be here this writing this now? It's all became an unsolvable riddle of layered maybe's. Its the whole YMMV clause. In my quest for answers and solutions, medication provided only different illness and more confusion. 15 years without medication led to solitude and regret. Unfulfillment of potential. Such a maddening illness. What if? What if? What if? The debate rages on.. Any reoccurance of psychotic mania would be the deciding factor for me. I have been fortunate enough to not reach that level while staying away from meds. I can tolerate my life in a constant state of 'mixed' episodes. That extreme high upswing was way beyond any limit for acceptable behavior. At that point, medication would clearly become the lesser of 2 evils. And, yes.. I am fully aware that things could always be so much worse. All while knowing they could be so much better. Maddening! ------ added link http://i.stuff.co.nz/science/7171664/Stress-causing-mood-disorders So many articles out there teasing of the next advancement in research. This article deals with Neuritin gene reactions in the brain. "Only about 30 percent of people with mood disorders achieve full remission on existing antidepressants, Russo said, "and there's been a fundamental failure to turn new discoveries into new drugs we can use in clinical practice. If someone is willing to take the risk and the financial responsibility, neuritin could be a good approach." Good approach to further what objective? Generate revenue for corporate America? Or promote positive outcomes for those remaining 70% who could use an alternative medication option? For those of us who struggle with medications, the top tier meds will soon be generics.. and, at $500 a month for a co-pay, this will be the next cure-all for stress induced mood disorders. But, it likely won't be any improvement for many. Why? People who see dramatic improvements in their mental health will no longer need to buy the NEXT breakthrough.. The future success in the business of pharmaceuticals requires a combination of...... more afflicted customers to treat or more afflictions available to diagnose them with or higher prices on medication. Profit becomes the priority at the expense of those who need the help. That logic is terrifying to me.
  12. I also enjoy the progression through the manic side immensely. All that clarity and creativity is fascinating.. right up to the second the switch gets flipped into overdrive and it all spirals out of control. I would love to find a therapist that could be even half as stubborn, obstinate, and passionate about guiding me as I am about rebelling against their attempts to help me recognize the flaws in my perspectives or how I express myself. I have nearly zero patience for the 99% of the population who can't possibly begin to relate to this insanity. I need to find a psycho crazy psychotherapist to stoop to my level of frustration with it all.. and then coax me up to their level of communication skills. Such irony. The medical professional that would have the most success with me is the exact same one that nobody else on the planet would ever fully trust with the garbage in their mind. I am also new to the forum. Luckily, I have plenty of time to be a sponge and review the shared knowledge, experiences, frustrations, hiccups, breakthroughs, and milestones happening every day in here. There are a whole bunch of very knowledgeable and very caring, compassionate people in here. Additionally, the moderators do an excellent job of encouraging the positive, healthy vibes while minimizing the pointless judgement and criticism that typically plagues internet chat environments.
  13. Same with the popular Skullcandy brand. They have 3 seperate tiers of quality/price. Personally, I think the midgrade is usually the best compromise. I go through several sets a year. Music is therapy. Therapy is sanity. Play that funky music!
  14. Funny thing is.. I was comparing my guesses to the research that followed, while playing out an episode of Family Feud in my mind. Steve Harvey saying.. "We polled 100 random urban dwellers: Name a sound that you think cicadas make. Top 6 answers.. Ready? Go!" And, to stay on topic here.. I am half-listening to flood coverage on the weather channel.
  15. Big pharma has fully earned its image of ruthlessness and greed. Corporate America at its finest. Politicians will do nothing because they are either shareholders in the stocks or dangling from the strings of the lobbyists, universally afraid to be the only one to have a morsel of integrity and go against the current of revenue. A majority of the prescribing physicians have a modified version of commission based dispensary guidelines that clouds their professional capacities, and manipulates their order for what is at the top of the list for a first attempt at medication managed treatment. We are at the mercy of whatever pharma rep took whatever insurance company executive to whatever island getaway had the best weather of the week or yacht docking availability. All while we are taking 1 medication for primary symptoms, and 3 additional ones for the side effects or additional symptoms or -- as a liability clause, just in case that primary medication sends us off into orbit, we won't do something sane like sue them all for being an illness on top of an illness. So where does that leave us? On that ohhh-sooo-thrilling amusement park Medicoaster. I don't know if that rant is pure delusion based on half-truths, rumors, and my personal frustrations with medications.. but.. all those puzzle pieces fit together way too well when I jumped off the coaster 15 years ago.. Big mistake. I am so sincerely happy for everybody who has had positive results with medication and has compiled a team dedicated and compassionate professionals that have devoted their time and effort to the futures of the suffering by working together for those who need the assistance, rather than pledging alliegence to the easy $. I try hard not to get provoked into the whole 'conspiracy theorist' mode. Looks like the $$$ signs triggered me on this one. I will add a disclaimer and hit the submit button anyways. If there is anybody who is debating whether or not the coaster is worth the aggrivation, please don't let my frustrations persuade you to not persue that potential for stability. There are endless success stories. I took a different route. And, I deeply regret it now. Don't give up! Motivation and dedication.