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Awetron

Life lessons for those with a new bipolar diagnosis

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Hi there,

I haven't been here in quite some time, but I am really happy to see that one of my thread was able to help people help themselves! :D

In the past 8 months things went rather well for me. The best advice I have now is to try and find closure for your (hypo)manic period. I went back to the place I was committed as a visitor, and it did me a great deal of good. I went there as a student, willing to see how it works when in a normal mood. And having a talk with the staff there that cared for me while I was sick was a great bonus.

I always used to be someone that used to pent up anger, sadness and depression, but I started to let go of that now. Just telling people you trust how you feel makes a very large difference too. It really suprised me how many people were positive about me, even after learning about my "secret". Their support pulled me through a rough patch in my moods. Just having a group of people supporting you is good. Wether it be your treatment team, your friends and family, employers or teachers, it's good to have some people to help you up when you're down.

And the moodchart thing is very nice as well. I don't know if it's allowed, but I use the one on medhelp, because it has the most features I need. Just seeing how your moods progress through time gives you a hold on yourself. It really makes you see your moods more relative to other periods.

Anyway, take care people! :)

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I am having a very hard time with depression after my first extreme manic episode. I am so depressed right now. Suicidal thoughts creep in. I try to stick to everyone's good advice about sleeping and diet and exercise, but honestly i feel too depressed to follow through. I just want to feel better. I'm hoping a change of meds can improve my condition.. I can't imagine living this way permanently. This bi-polar thing just blows my mind. I had no idea that my brain was so unreliable and untrustworthy. It's a lot to come to terms with. I almost miss my hypomania because at least I was happy and productive,

I feel you on this one. I can't stand living like this. Yet I have no ability to stick to a plan consistently. :(

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In my OP program some of the core concepts we follow are:

1 Look at the past that didn't work and try to change to something that does work

2.take your meds

3. keep safe people in your life ( people who understand you and can help you in times of crises)

4.trust others that they see what is going on with you ie mania, hypomania, mixed, rapid cycling etc...They can help you

5.Never,never,never,never,never,never,never, never give up ..We call this never x 8

Core concepts of safety are:

1. achieve abstinence from substance ( this will go against your meds and in the long run make you worse)

2. eliminate self harm

3. build heathy trustworthy relationships

4. Gain control over strong emotions/symptoms

5. Protect yourself from destructive people and siuations

6..Increase function

7. attain stability

8 learn to cope with day to day problems

I am working on all of this...It is hard but stay mindful and it will help you I feel like. you are doing something proactive

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I thought I replied to this topic but when I got on it was blank. Must have been too early i the morning. I have been in a great op program after I came out of IP. I reluctantly did this, Thinking it would not be any good. It has been so good

Any way some core concepts we utlize is

stay around safe people

Have a safe person if things get rough

If something in your past did not help then try something new

Take your meds

if something doesn't help then try a new tactic

Never,never,never,never,never,never,never,never give up. This is called Never x 8

I try to use some of these every day.because different challenges come up everyday.

I hope this helps a little bit.

Be kind to yourself

trust those around you to be good observers of your behavior and to help you to be aware of this when you are unstable.

Anyway this helps me and I try to look at them everyday and decide which ones I need to focus on for that day.

Never,Never,Never,Never,Never,Never,Never,Never give up. This we call is Never x 8

sorry something happened and the same thing got typed twice.

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I have an app on my android called e moods. It is for bi polar if you have i phone I am sure they have something similiar. It is a good app and lets you track. You can also send the results to your p doc.

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There are a couple good bipolar apps for iPhone, actually! There's a large discussion forum app (Bipolar Disorder Connect) that's really active and useful for getting info, venting, or just chatting. There's also a mood tracking app called Optimism that is really good, and my favorite of the various mood trackers available for iPhone.

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This title drives me crazy. You do not "go" bipolar all of a sudden. It is not a virus you catch.

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It probably should be "was just diagnosed." But it has been like that for a long time, and I believe the person who posted it was newly diagnosed (but I am too lazy to check). People need time to learn the terminology.

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I think noticing lightning might help if its somehow related to ECT, but I'm not liking the idea of Carlotta touching shaky. :D

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I've definitely found this entire stream so helpful. I was diagnosed only 4 days ago and been on meds the past 3. I struggle with the idea that this is something that I'm going to have to constantly be weary of my entire life. At this point in my life I feel like everything around me is hanging by a thread and I guess my biggest question to all of you is, how do you mend the personal relationships that you've practically shattered from past unwell actions?

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 how do you mend the personal relationships that you've practically shattered from past unwell actions?

 

I don't know if there's a single answer to that.  Unfortunately it's just something that takes time. Personally, as my meds started to work for me and I had greater moments of clarity, I was pretty horrified to look back at some of the things that I'd done to the people around me.  And also horrified because I knew that there were things I'd done during psychotic breaks that I'd never be able to recall completely.  I still cringe when I look back at some things.. but I did some very hard work in therapy in addition to working hard with my psychiatrist, and that made a huge difference in the process of rebuilding bridges.  In these very early days after your diagnosis, you should concentrate on setting up therapeutic and medical support structures, because those are what will help you start to get well again. And as you start to get well, you'll learn the skills necessary to understand yourself and how to approach the people who've been hurt by your illness.  It can be done, but again - it takes time.

 

edit - depending on how they've been hurt, you may find that people don't trust you in the beginning, or don't trust the changes they see in you, because they have no reason to believe that they're real.  This is really why therapy is so important in addition to drug treatment, so that you have support in coping with this part of the process.

Edited by miab

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For me, in some cases, there is really no going back. There are people I miss terribly who will never speak to me again, and it still hurts from time to time, but I understand why they won't and I've had to just let it go, which isn't easy, but eventually it just happens. Others have been more forgiving after I explain my diagnosis and the reasons behind certain actions I made, but still seem wary of me (which might just be my own skewed perception, IDK). Then there are a few who completely understand and never held it against me in the first place.

 

I've found the hardest thing, though, is forgiving myself.

Edited by hagar running

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I've found the hardest thing, though, is forgiving myself.

 

This is couldn't be more true for myself.

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Yes, get stable yourself before worrying what you've done.  Some people can take more than others.  Just apologize, and maybe share your dx, and see what happens.  I know my man stuck around for the worst of it, but, to be honest, I wouldn't have done the same if it was him.  Makes amends and hope for the best.

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Hi Guys

 

I still havent been correctly diagnosed but they think I have either bipolar II or mixed bipolar, im very confused and manic worried about diagnosis, just want to get the right diagnosis, recently they catergorised me as complex PSTD, with depression and GAD, but lately they think i'm bipolar (as above), any suggestions??? I live in a small country town and the mental health through the local hospital is inadequate at best I've actually seen a Pdoc twice in 7 months (or more), I've just been given sodium valproate 200mg for the hypomania.  Any suggestions before I lose my brain completley.

 

I was diagnosed 11 yrs ago with depression and GAD also so been dealing with this bs for many years but now is worse!!!!

 

Currently taking:

Pristiq 150mg

Avanza 15mg

sodium valproate 200mg twice daily

diazepam 5mg prn

serequel XR 100mg

serequel IR 25 prn

Prazoline 1mg

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Mood charting

Identifying triggers

Plenty of sleep

a routine

as much contact with others as possible

religious adherence to taking meds

reduction of carbs in one's diet

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its probably been said, but sleep sleep sleep. and elimination or real mindful care around controlled substances. find a doc that you actually like... it can be tough in a rural community/ small town. 

 

also, this one is big but if you are a uterus haver and sexually active (and maybe even if you arent sexually active), you might want to think about long term birth control like an IUD.  condoms were not on the top of my list when i was manic and horny.  

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Mood charting

Identifying triggers

Plenty of sleep

a routine

as much contact with others as possible

religious adherence to taking meds

reduction of carbs in one's diet

Mood charting and reduction of carbs? Could you explain further? Please (: I'm a newbie.

Edited by crash_xoxo

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- Don't allow people use your mental illness as an excuse to abuse you.

- Get rid of unsupportive "friends" and family members. They are not only a waste of time and energy, they can actively undermine your progress toward wellness.

- Be kind to yourself. No matter what, no matter what has happened to you, or what you have done or have not done... be kind to yourself.

Edited by Bubble

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new to crazyboards, so here is my experience.  Pretty much going to reiterate what has been said.

 

1. find a psychiatrist that you TRUST.  If you trust them and build a good rapport, you are less likely to screw around with your meds.

2.  When I was newly diagnosed, my Dr. said that it could take as long as a year to stabilize.  She was right.

3. SLEEP.  Go to bed at the same time, get up at the same time.... crucial.  If I don't get enough sleep, I spin into a mixed state.

4. Exercise. Do it.  Tell yourself that you will do it for at least 10-15 minutes everyday... you will find yourself doing more. My iPod helps so much with this. I love, love music. If I can listen to something I like, it makes the time go faster.

 

5.Don't mess around with your meds.  Cold turkey is HELLISH. .. and you often feel worse than before.

6.  I agree with the "I have Bipolar Disorder" and not "I'm Bipolar."  You are so much more than your diagnosis

7.  Be very careful about who you tell. Most people don't get it and will tell you to suck it up anyway... dang stigma

8.  Have a support system. This is my downfall. Who do I have that I can talk about moods etc.... no one really. Grr

 

9. suicide - most people that have Bipolar Disorder get suicide ideation at some time.  Program a hotline number into your phone. Put together a plan when you are well, so you have something to fall back when you get sick.  And remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

 

10. try and get some sunshine everyday. It helps. I know it is hard for those that live in the Pacific NW in the winter, but it will boost your mood a bit.

 

11. keep all lab, therapy, psychiatry appointments. 

 

12. minimize stress when you can.  difficult at times as it is inevitable, but that stress that you can manage - manage it.

 

13. keep a mood journal, or at least what you can remember each day. Each day I ask my daughter her perception of my mood that day... it is helpful!

14. I don't smoke or drink or use illegal drugs, but I agree with what was said above in avoiding it.

 

and last... don't try and whiteknuckle it like me! Get help!

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