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Hi everyone, it's been a while.
So, I took the full 6 months of my short term disability, and I just started a new job. It's a little stressful, but it pays well. It is a contract job, and it required me to move to the location of the contract. I'm salaried though, and my company is putting me up in an extended stay hotel, and they are flying my home once a month and getting me a rental car when I am home...so I can come home and see my sisters and parents. That is a blessing. I can see my best friend too.
I am struggling with the never ending anxiety that I can never beat. I take a lot of meds for my bipolar. I think mine is really non specified because I'm so hard to treat. I take geodon, gabapentin, topamax, klonopin and lunesta plus vitamins. If I could wean off klonopin I could probably wean off everything but geodon. I'm just not ready to wean off klonopin, and I take .5 mg even though I'm prescribed 1 mg.
I am doing therapy online with betterhelp since I am on the road, and it is going pretty good. I just selected and therapist, and am sticking with her. I don't like her as much as my IOP therapist, but it is online, so I acknowledge the quality of therapy won't be as good but it is consistent.
I did go no contact with my ex boyfriend because that relationship was slowly killing me. He'd been abusive in the past, and was a narcissist. I loved him so much that it contributed to my breakdown in a serious way, and taking this job moved me out of state and away from him and helped me go no contact, so I am working through that with my therapist. It's hard. I've had ptsd over the past couple months since my short term disability was about to run out and I wasn't sure what I was going to do about money, and I knew I had to do something about him. I was waking up with nightmares and night terrors thinking someone was trying to kill me or I was going to die or the world was going to end. I don't know how to describe it. It was terrifying. I felt completely untethered from this world and it felt like I was threatened and like I was going to not live or survive or maybe subconsciously didn't want to. That was the scariest thing. I slowly started to feel disconnected from everything. Like I am just meaningless and one of billions of people and what does it matter? Those weren't my thoughts but my feelings. I was fighting that daily. I have been fighting that.
ive also been fighting some mortality issues with my age. Since I just broke up, I just turned 39, and I am traveling and single again. I am scared I won't meet anyone again or fall in love again. I worry about my parents aging. All of a sudden this stuff is in my head. I think because I have leaned on them so much this year since it has been so hard.
'I guess the good news is, I stopped having nightmares a few nights ago. No more night terrors and waking up thinking I'm going to die. I enjoyed music at work today. I went to a recovery group at church last night and that was helpful to talk and heal about what I went through with my ex. I'm trying to do the best I can at work. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, life will go on, and hopefully, so will I. I am trying to live more in the moment and practice mindfulness to help with my anxiety. Trying to take things one day at a time and if I can't do that, take things one moment at a time.
I know bipolar is for life, but I think recovery is possible, and it is possible to function with this illness, but maybe we just have to modify our lifestyles. Right now I just come to the hotel, take it very easy and am very gentle with myself and rest at night. I try to exercise when I feel like it. I need to be a little better with my diet. But it's not that bad. I'm not pushing myself working late or volunteering to work longer hours even though I know I can. I know what that leads to...cycling. My goal is boring stability. I take turmeric and magnesium to keep brain fog at bay but I wish I knew what I could do about these feelings of despair and loneliness. Maybe that's not mental illness. Maybe that's just heartbreak, and will take time to heal on its own.
Love to you guys and to everyone living with mental illness.
Deleted and closed due to lack of response.
I didn't realize this until I was reading another post, but here it is again, the first day of Fall in the US in two days. Already leaves are turning colors, falling, and the light outside is changing. Usually every change in season, I have one or two manic episodes. Last night had what I believe was my first manic episode in a long time. But last evening was scarier, all the typical symptoms of mania along with visual disturbances and sensations I had never experienced before. Left a vmail message on my psych docs line this morning thinking this is the smart thing to do, it usually takes alot for me to bother him in between sessions, but he does encourage this, fortunately. I left him the data and left it up to him if he feels he needs to call me back next week. I see him in two weeks.
So, I remember my psych doc telling me once in a mood change, one can take a little extra medicine to help. I only take Seroquel as needed, so took 1/2 of a 25 mg of Seroquel and nothing happened. Thirty minutes took the next 1/2 of the 25 mg and finally sleep arrived. I slept 14 hours straight and when I woke up, I woke up to a totally different person. That scary weird out of control mood was no longer there (thought I was going to have to call 911 for help), the cycling was almost gone and slowly drifted away throughout the day.
I am 67 and finding that my brain is functioning differently lately. It's beginning to scare me, of course the aging process is very scary. I have addressed this with my psych doc many times, even my neurologist and they do not seem concerned. I had an MRI and all was normal there for someone my age. These are all new symptoms to me, or maybe the same but more dramatic, I think.
I have had more than my share of significant triggers last 9 months. I tried therapy last two weeks and actually ran out of the therapists room last week due to a panic attack. I warned her not to push. I even had it all written out for her to read, but oh no, she wanted me to verbalize it and then she swung into asking me about bodily feelings, that was when I ran out of her room in a blind panic. She wanted me to reveal too much stuff too fast and I kept warning her. Will not go back to her. So, now I have to get up the courage to seek out someone else. My psych doc will not refer me to anyone, as is his way, which makes it harder on me.
Okay, will close for now.
Last night was scary for me. I felt a mood suddenly ink in and I think I may have been hallucinating or dissociating due to the anxiety I was experiencing. I actually saw out of the corner of my right eye a face that was letting out all the angst I was feeling. It was a tortured hideous expression, and as soon as it appeared, it disappeared and I could feel all those churning emotions inking back into me. Soo weird !!! Was this dissociation, am I now BiPolar, what in the heck happened to me? Never had this, this intense before. I was afraid of........ me.
I could tell something seriously was wrong, so what do I do? I go straight to the computer and go to my favorite site to order things I have never been able to afford before as that is one technique to self soothe, only I went overboard. Yes, I extended my line of credit one late night and now I am buying things that I don't even remember, even two or three of the same item. I am now busy returning most of them. However, there are items I have wanted for sooo long that I am now buying, I won't even go into the items I am sending back, way to embarrassing, lol.
What scared me the most was the enormous scary mood swing, out of the blue, the mood was bigger than life to me. I could hear my psych doc telling me what to do as going thru a mood swing like this your body can tolerate extra medication, so I took 1/2 of a 25 mg Seroquel and it did nothing to stop the mood, so 1/2 hour later, I took another half of the 25 mg and it worked, within 30 minutes I was out and I slept 14 hours, woke up in a completely different mood, a completely different person. I had to say to myself this morning when I woke up, who was that person last night, I didn't even recognize myself and what I went thru. What a difference a good nights sleep does and strong medicine to help me get to and stay asleep. Wondering now if I am BiPolar because I heard that only a solid 12 hours of sleep will break cycling and I was definitely cycling last night.
I have been coming down from Zyprexa due to extreme vertigo, so wondering if this may have been part of what happened to me. I also have reduced the Klonopin due to issues with my HMO and have had to stock-pile them, which leaves me wide open for more anxiety. Lately, my mood and anxiety/panic have rendered me housebound and even sometimes too fearful to get out of my bed.
Well, thanks for reading this. I don't know if anyone can shed any light on this to help me.
I am going to copy this out and hand over to my new trauma therapist, will circle which applies to me. I met with her last week and she educated me with certain diagnoses I was given that now fall under the new PTSD criteria. I also am keeping a daily log of my symptoms and triggers.
CAUTION: May trigger
Full copyrighted criteria are available from the American Psychiatric Association (1). All of the criteria are required for the diagnosis of PTSD. The following text summarizes the diagnostic criteria:
Criterion A (one required): The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):
Witnessing the trauma
Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)
Criterion B (one required): The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced, in the following way(s):
Unwanted upsetting memories
Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
Criterion C (one required): Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Trauma-related thoughts or feelings
Criterion D (two required): Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Inability to recall key features of the trauma
Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
Decreased interest in activities
Difficulty experiencing positive affect
Criterion E (two required): Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Irritability or aggression
Risky or destructive behavior
Heightened startle reaction
Criterion F (required): Symptoms last for more than 1 month.
Criterion G (required): Symptoms create distress or functional impairment (e.g., social, occupational).
Criterion H (required): Symptoms are not due to medication, substance use, or other illness.
Dissociative Specification. In addition to meeting criteria for diagnosis, an individual experiences high levels of either of the following in reaction to trauma-related stimuli:
Depersonalization. Experience of being an outside observer of or detached from oneself (e.g., feeling as if "this is not happening to me" or one were in a dream).
Derealization. Experience of unreality, distance, or distortion (e.g., "things are not real").
Delayed Specification. Full diagnostic criteria are not met until at least six months after the trauma(s), although onset of symptoms may occur immediately.
Note: DSM-5 introduced a preschool subtype of PTSD for children ages six years and younger.