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  1. Being Admitted

    I constantly evaluate whether I'm doing the right things for my mental health. Am I staying on my meds and telling my pdoc when they aren't working? Am I continuing with therapy? Am I in a supportive community with people I trust? Am I exercising and eating right? If I believe I'm doing all the right things, it gives me hope because eventually things will get better. Over the course of my treatment things have gotten better, but with some hiccups along the way. It can take a long time for things to get better even with proper treatment. So don't give up hope! Even if it takes years to get things straightened out, you still have a long life left to enjoy.
  2. Thank you for your post. Besides backing out of an attempt, the closest I ever got was two years ago. I had everything planned, and the date was several weeks away. I started to get my affairs in order. I was at peace with my decision, because I truly believed that I was not worth living and everybody would be better off without me. It made me happy thinking that I would be doing people the ultimate favor by dying. I thought my friends and family would be happy and relieved that I was gone. I also felt so worthless I thought eating was a waste of food. But before I could execute my plan, I started having suicidal impulses and voices trying to trick me into doing it before my planned date. That's when I actually got scared of dying, but I was largely concerned that I was going to do it before everything was in order. I told my wife I was suicidal because I figured she was the only one who could stop me. I then got help and treatment (I had never had any sort of mental health treatment before). The only action I've done since was driving to a wooded park with a means. I left it in the car, though, and went into the woods for awhile by myself. Mostly my suicidal thoughts are planning. I had thoughts this week, but dang it I have so much going on over the next couple months that I really need to be here for. Another thing is the cyclical and random nature of my moods. I might be severely depressed, but a few days later I'm just fine. I showed my pdoc my mood tracker app and he said the constant ups and downs of my mood are not indicative of major depressive disorder. I asked if it was a characteristic of bipolar and he said no. I asked what it was then, and he said "I don't know." I appreciate honesty! He said he's more concerned with appropriate treatments than labels. I have been hypomanic before so that at least technically puts me as BPII. All that said, when I have suicidal thoughts, I do recognize that they will go away soon when my mood comes back up. Two years ago they weren't going away, but I wasn't getting treatment. Now I firmly believe my treatment (meds, therapy, community support, etc.) makes my down times not last very long.
  3. I would think those things were likely attempts, as long as you also had an intent to die. You had a high probability of dying if not for external factors (people) outside of your control. I'm like you, I wonder about my past actions in order to put in place appropriate plans to protect myself going forward. Either way, I think it's best to err on the safe side and take such actions seriously and have crisis plans in case of the worst.
  4. Think I may be bipolar

    When my pdoc told me I am BPII, I went home and read a lot about it. A light bulb went off with many of the things I read. "Ahhh, things make so much more sense now." Like you, I was skeptical at first. Definitely tell your pdoc about your experiences. Try to be objective and not let yourself try to fit your experiences in with what you read. Also, there's differences between a habitual shopaholic (or any other behavior) and behavior due to mania. Look for distinct periods of doing certain things.
  5. There's a lot there that I don't have the knowledge/experience to comment on. However, there was a period when I suspected I was BPII but was not (yet) diagnosed. Pdoc put me on a mood stabilizer (started with depakote then moved to lamictal) before I ever had hypomanic symptoms. He put me on it because I was constantly cycling in and out of depression every few days/weeks. It wasn't that I had variable degrees of depression, it was on/off. Anyway, shortly after starting a mood stabilizer (two weeks), springtime hit and bam, I went hypomanic. I pretty much knew what was going on right when it happened. At my next appointment pdoc said I am BPII. All that said, there is a school of thought that it doesn't matter if you have a BPII diagnosis or not if you are on meds that work for you. If you respond to a mood stabilizer, then there's a high likelihood that you are on the bipolar spectrum somewhere. Your dose of lamictal is quite low. 100mg is generally a starting therapeutic dosage. I started on 50, wasn't working, now I'm on 100, hard to tell if it's working, depression is still there but haven't been hypo since. A couple times I thought I was about to go hypo but didn't. Quitting alcohol altogether would be a wise choice. Alcohol and brain meds don't mix.
  6. Do you feel like you don't deserve nice things? It sounds like you grew up learning frugality out of necessity. When you were a kid it wasn't that having nice things was bad, it was that you just couldn't afford them. It's understandable that having nice things given to you from your parents now seems odd. Here's the way I look at money things. It's ok as long as you are living within your means. It's ok not to buy nice clothes if you don't have the money for it. It's ok to buy a new Mercedes every year if you are rich. As long as you don't have an attitude of greed or entitlement, you're ok. If your mom can afford to give you things, I would accept them with gratitude. She loves you and that's one way she shows her love. You can have nice things and still be an amazing humble individual. I know many people who are very wealthy but they are awesome people. Your money and things don't define you one way or another. Shoes with holes do not define you, nor would brand new shoes.
  7. Wow... that's almost my story. Started on Wellbutrin, worked great for my depression but gave me insomnia about two months in, was given trazodone for sleep, it made me sleep but after about two weeks I went plum fuck crazy and ended up one night in a dark room at home curled up and rocking back and forth mumbling to myself about being taken away to the looney bin. Threw away the trazodone and started on Remeron. Now on Wellbutrin 150, Remeron 15 for sleep, and Lamictal 100. My pdoc suggested gabapentin to me once but I wasn't convinced it would help me. Maybe it's worth taking him up on the offer? My cocktail has been working somewhat, but I haven't been stable lately. My pdoc also told me about the BP spectrum. He said I"m BPII (which is true) but he doesn't like to differentiate BP into subtypes and prefers to just say I'm on the spectrum.
  8. Y'all have a lot of great insight. I try not to get caught up in semantics but sometimes I do. If someone asks me if I've ever attempted suicide, I've never known what to say. I'm pretty sure the answer is yes based on this conversation. And of course, there have been many times I've planned it and started to execute parts of the plan. My tdoc says I have an addiction to suicidal thoughts. He's right. I know it's not healthy, but I also know that I haven't been taking those thoughts seriously enough. A couple of you mentioned that you had thoughts of checking out by age 30 or mid-twenties. Well, I just turned 39 this week... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to imagine what's been going through my head. I'll see my tdoc next week and I need to see my pdoc in the next three weeks for refills (he requires a face-to-face office visit every three months). I'm safe and well right now. My moods haven't been very stable, I can go days with no depression whatsoever (like today), and then crash into a serious low the next day. For the last couple months it's been more low than baseline, and I'm getting tired of it. I really want to be manic right now but of course that's out of my control.
  9. For me I don't think that ADs are necessarily activating. I had tried several over the course of over a year without experiencing hypomania. Then springtime hit and I started having hypomanic episodes of 4-5 days each. I've had three so far since the first one about four months ago. So far since coming up to a therapeutic dose of lamictal I haven't been hypomanic but it hasn't been long enough for me to really know if it's effective. There have been a couple times I thought I was about to go into hypomania but I didn't. I wonder if ADs are more activating for BPI sufferers?
  10. https://www.dovepress.com/a-pilot-study-differentiating-recurrent-major-depression-from-bipolar--peer-reviewed-article-NDT
  11. I work full time from home. I'm on a flex time schedule which means I don't have to work any set hours, just basically get my work done every pay period whenever I decide to do it. It is a perfect job because some days it takes forever to get out of bed or I just don't feel like working. It also allows me to spend time with people, which is really important to keeping me on the right path.
  12. Very good points everyone has made. I agree that the examples would likely not be actual "attempts." A lot of my wondering has come from what I've read/heard from others. Here's one more hypothetical: Say you take your bicycle up a mountain and find a tall cliff. You take off your helmet and ride full speed towards the cliff with intent to careen off the cliff and die. At the last second you hit the brakes and stop. What do you think about this one? It's actually a pretty good analogy to something I've done, but I don't want to share the circumstances of what I did. I once met someone who did the same thing I did and it really freaked me out since it isn't a common method at all. All this said, I do understand how dangerous these behaviors are. My pdoc and tdoc are well aware of my suicidal ideation and behaviors. We've come up with crisis plans and when and how I should activate those plans. So far it's worked because just this week I had to take action, which was to call someone on a list of people who know of my issues and know why I would be calling. My thinking and planning was going too far.
  13. I'm going to use some examples below of common suicide means that may be triggering. Without examples I don't know if I can get my point across. That part of my post is hidden below. I battle with suicidal ideation a lot. I think of suicide pretty much all the time. But one thing that's always been on my mind is whether I'm actually made a suicide attempt. I've read a definition of a attempt as, "A non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior; might not result in injury." But when is that line crossed? When does a behavior become "potentially injurious," particularly when you voluntarily stop either before injury or before the act becomes absolutely potentially injurious? I know sometimes when people attempt it's without question, particularly when you perform an act that can be deadly but you did not die for reasons outside of your control. I have done some things that may be considered a suicide attempt, and I don't know if I should dismiss them or embrace them in order to better understand myself and be more alert to warning signs of dangerous behavior. My fear is that if I don't take past actions seriously enough, I may get myself into trouble in the future. Thanks for your input.
  14. I was diagnosed with BPII a few months ago. The academic part of my brain knows it's true, but the emotional part has had a hard time accepting it. I have had three hypomanic episodes that lasted 4-5 days each. They all had telltale signs of hypomania. In fact, within hours of the first episode I pretty much knew what was happening. It was a very distinct feeling. A lot of my feelings are based on what others will think of me. When you think of "bipolar" people tend to think of extreme mania. I've told people who know me well that I'm bipolar and they say, "are you sure about that?" I doubt myself, thinking that I'm exaggerating for attention or sympathy. But I know it's a correct diagnosis. Besides the hypomania, it just all makes sense. I have rapid cycling, and it's far more common in bipolar than major depressive disorder (at least that's what I understand based on my research). Other things in my past started to make sense as well. Just this morning I read a study that was addressing when people are BPII but haven't yet had a hypomanic episode. Diagnostic criteria requires you to have one, but one school of thought is that you always were BPII even before your first episode. The study concluded that if people with MDD respond well to mood stabilizers, they are likely BPII even in absence of a known hypomaic episode. The study also made note that often people have had true hypomanic episodes but are unable to identify them. That's just my thoughts and experience. I'm not sure if it's helpful to the OP.
  15. Mood tracking app?

    I use eMoods and really like it. Some of the others were too complicated for what I wanted (for example, Mood Tracker has you track ten different aspects of depression, such as worthlessness, tiredness, loneliness, etc. I'm not interested in doing all that every day). eMoods has categories such as depressed, elevated, irritability, and anxiety, each with a 1-4 scale (none, mild, moderate, severe). It also tracks your meds. The only thing I wish it had was more than four points on the scale. I can be between mild, moderate, or severe. I'm using the free version for iPhone.