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About PlatformDblSuede

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  1. The first sign of any impending mood change for me is always sleep changes, whether it's too much or too little. Then, there is usually some sort of appetite disturbance, too, following closely on the heels of the screwed-up sleep, but that's not always a given. To me, dysphoric mania is simply mania. (I don't have euphoric ones, under non-medication-related circumstances.) It's unpleasant, but mixed states are worse. Mixed states involve everything that sucks about dysphoric mania piled on top of everything that sucks about depression. It's a personal hell that I hope I never experience again and wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
  2. I actually DO freelance (and have for years), so when I tell people that, it's the truth. When people start the "Oh, I'd LOVE to work at home. How do I get into THAT?" questions, I just make it sound either boring as all get-out or harder to get into than the mob, so they'll leave me alone about it. As for the drinking thing, people are usually cool about my saying I shouldn't drink on my meds. They don't usually ask any other questions. Alternatively, I say that drinking when I already have a headache makes the headache worse. That's actually true, and since I pretty much always have a low-grade headache from allergies, I can use it whenever necessary.
  3. I can't do much of anything without plenty of caffeine. It can be coffee, Dr. Pepper, caffeine pills, or any combination thereof. Without it, I feel like my brain won't do anything. It takes a certain amount of it in order to clear my brain enough to focus on anything. Otherwise, my brain feels so fuzzy that I have to wonder if it's wrapped in cotton. For me, it's not at all connected with my mood; it's the same, whether I'm manic, depressed, or normal. Because of this (and various other things), I'm thinking about talking to pdoc about the possibility of ADD or something.
  4. I'm with everyone else who said they were relieved. Actually, by the time the diagnosis came, I already knew. But before that, I finally put two and two together myself, the only thing I could think was "Oh, thank God, I'm not just an asocial asshole."
  5. Spark Note that sucker, so you know what it's about in case any class discussions come up, and then actually read it in your free time. If there's not an actual Spark Notes on that particular book, you can probably find enough info online to be able to keep up with any lectures/discussions that come up about the book until you can actually read it in its entirety. I once made an "A" in a graduate-level Shakespeare class using nothing but Spark Notes and my bullshitting skills, so I know of that which I speak.
  6. Let's see. 1.) Maxed out 2 credit cards while unemployed. 2.) Couldn't hold a job for shit. 3.) Had to drop out of grad school with only 3 more classes left until I got my master's degree because I was too crazy to finish. 4.) Incurred about $55,000 worth of student loans for this master's degree I'll never be able to get now. 5.) Alienated pretty much everybody who ever meant anything to me through a combination of being angry and paranoid and promiscuous all the time. 6.) Crawled to and from my bathroom and kitchen for fear that the snipers sent by the government that were surrounding my house would see my head through the window and kill me. 7.) Went through periods where I couldn't eat because I thought food was sentient and was afraid of me eating it. Also went through periods where I couldn't sleep because I was afraid someone would break in my house and kill me. When I finally did sleep, it was only during the day because that was somehow safer. 8.) Became convinced that demons were going to come and drag me off to hell with them at any second. And that's just the stuff I remember.
  7. Well, I can't speak for everybody, of course, but I spent years trying to get better by myself. Despite my best efforts, I just kept getting worse and worse. Finally, when I got on meds, I got somewhat better almost immediately. As the dosages were fine-tuned, I became as close to "normal" as I suspect I'll ever be. That alone is enough to convince me that I need the meds. And, too, the fact that I DID get better with the meds is enough to help me get through the occasional rough patch. I can tell myself, "I've been worse off than this, and I got better. I'll do it again, too." Just my two cents.
  8. My apologies. I was speaking for the DSM as it's written right now.
  9. But that is the definition of sza, isn't it? (BTW, I've had psychotic episodes during depressive periods as well as manic and mixed.) I think so. From what I've read and what little I remember from abnormal psych from school, a schizophrenia diagnosis is ruled out if the patient has a mood disorder. So I think in order to jump from bipolar to schizophrenia, a person would have to be completely "cured" of bipolar, and then several years later, present with psychosis without mood disturbances. On the other hand, a "progression" from bipolar to schizoaffective also doesn't necessarily mean someone's gotten crazier, either. It could just be that the person was diagnosed wrong in the first place. From what I understand, it can be hard to tell the difference. /hijack
  10. Wouldn't that make them schizoaffective, since the diagnostic criteria for bipolar and schizophrenia are written to be mutually exclusive?
  11. My mother's the only one in my family I've told about my diagnosis and only because she wouldn't stop pestering me about what my meds were for. She thinks that I'm not really crazy--I only "want" to be crazy. Figure that one out. *Eyeroll* The few friends I have left (and by that, I mean the ones I didn't manage to run off last time I went off the deep end) are much better. One of my best friends is BP I, just like me, so she gets it. We have to be careful, though, because we've been known to feed into each others' delusions when it happens that we're both psychotic at the same time. Other friends have varying degrees of knowledge about it, but nobody's been an outright ass regarding my diagnosis like my mother has. I suspect it's because my friends always knew there was something wrong.
  12. See, I think they're both "me." Medicated me is the good twin; unmedicated me is the super-evil one. I feel like all the good traits that make me myself are still there, but those things are no longer double-edged swords. I'm still creative, but it's mixed with a little caution and a lot more persistence now. (I wasn't running my own business when I was unmedicated.) I'm still emotional, but not over-emotional. I'm still passionate, but not a drama queen. I'm still capable of grand, sweeping gestures toward people I care about, but they don't cripple my pocketbook anymore. You know, stuff like that. I don't know, maybe I'm just weird?
  13. I am very "sensitive," and I'm still bipolar. Admittedly, the meds have helped my thin-skinned-ness a lot, but the two aren't mutually exclusive of one another. I hope you can get the help that you need, papertrees.
  14. I usually play it off with something like "I AM crazy as hell" or whatever. It's rare that I actually say the word, presumably because I think saying "bipolar" is like saying "Bloody Mary" three times in the mirror or something. *Eyeroll* When I do mention it, though, it's "I *am* bipolar" or "I *have* BP I." It's "have" when talking about the diagnosis itself and "am" when I'm talking about its effect on my life.
  15. I live alone and have a shotgun for protection. I've been around guns all my life and have had them in my house when I was in the depths of the blackest, most suicidal depressions and the worst mixed episodes ever. I never once thought that I would shoot myself to end my own life. I've heard too many stories of people shooting half their faces off...and living. If I'm going to do myself in, I'm not taking *that* chance.
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