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Everything posted by atomic_cupcake

  1. I had my last appointment with my awesome tdoc (he's an intern, and is moving to his next rotation) today, and met with my new tdoc. I was pretty shaken up when he told me that I would be switching to someone new, because I have a great relationship with him and he has helped me tremendously. I am new to going to therapy; i only started about 9 months ago, when i was diagnosed with BPII. I have been going to see him every week, and am kind of sad about not being able to work with him anymore, and having to start off fresh with someone else. That being said, my tdoc hand picked my new therapist; he talked with her about my case, and felt she was someone that I would be comfortable talking with, and who is experienced in dealing with the goals i have for myself from therapy. So that gives me confidence that, in time, I will adjust and benefit from my new therapist. I met her today, and she is very laid back, very friendly, which put me at ease, for sure. I can't imagine having to move on to someone new after several years though, I am sure that has to be tough, bookgirl.
  2. I do not drive at all. I have attempted it, i went through with the classes and getting my permit, but I don't trust me judgement~and this was even before being officially diagnosed as BP. I too, feel lazy and selfish about it, and embarrassed sometimes, to be 33 without a license. I know my husband resents it, because we have 4 kids, and the driving falls all on him. I sometimes want to try again, but just thinking about it makes me anxious. I have no problem whatsoever with the online tests, but the actual reality of driving scares me to no end.
  3. I am impulsive, and I definitely think it's related to my BP II. I have bought dogs (flew them in on a plane!), cats, lizards, on a whim; I have too many tattoos to count (90% were impulsive decisions), I have dyed my hair every color under the rainbow, spent way too much money on random things on ebay (seeds to start an herb garden...uhm, ok, clothes, etc). It's almost always when i am feeling hypomanic, motivated, endless energy, as well. I never really recognized it until my diagnosis a few months back, but now it's quite obvious to me. I at least am more aware of it now that I know what's going on, and I try to reign it in before it gets out of hand, but sometimes a little impulsiveness is fun.
  4. Thanks for the reply; the more I think about it, the more it makes sense, although at first, it threw me for a loop. I do feel happy knowing that he has noticed differences (as have I) since i started therapy. Hopefully I get to the point where I can say that I am ready to face the world without my weekly meetings with him. Thanks! I really appreciate the input from those who have 'been there', since I am still fairly new to therapy.
  5. Lamictal. It is the only mood stabilizer I have tried, and I am on a relatively low dose (100 mg), but it has been working really well for me, especially to help pull me out of my most recent miserable depression. I had some headaches when i was titrating up, especially when i went up to my current dose, but nothing that was unbearable. No weight gain. No drowsiness. No rashes.
  6. I do try to put a lot of energy into appearing normal, especially at my day job. But sometimes, it is exhausting. Luckily, I am an artist, and can brush off some of my symptoms as being a quirky, creative type (in the eyes of coworkers and friends).
  7. I have BP II and anxiety (with panic attacks). I have found a good medication combo that turns off the chatter of anxiety (constant worry, worry,worry) and helps with mood stabilization~lamictal and prozac. I haven't had any unpleasant side effects, except for a headache for a few days when i went up to 100mg of Lamictal. SSRI's on their own were not good for me, either for anxiety or for mood swings. Hope you can find a good balance of meds
  8. So I have only been seeing a therapist for a few months now (along with my Pdoc), and have been diagnosed as BPII. I've found a good medicine combo that seems to be working pretty well for me, 100mg Lamictal and 20mg Prozac~I actually feel normal for the first time in a long time. At my last appt with my tdoc (I see him once a week), he said that he has noticed a huge difference since I started coming to see him, that I seem to be handling things much better, that my entire demeanor has changed, my anxiety levels have dropped (all good things!) and that his ultimate goal is for me to 'fire' him ,which scares the daylights out of me! Is that normal? Is it normal to get to the point where you don't need the help of a therapist? I mean, i have gone years without one, until finally I decided i needed to do something; i was getting no help from my regular doctor(who just kept prescribing me SSRI's) and saying that there was no way that an antidepressant would stop working, that it must be stress causing all of my symptoms. I just can't imagine not going to talk to someone now, after being misdiagnosed and treated for years. I know that i will continue to see my Pdoc, every month or two, so he can monitor my meds and symptoms, but I worry about not having that sounding board, and someone to help me work on my responses to anxiety provoking situations.
  9. I work at the pharmacy that fills my prescriptions, so although i haven't officially told anyone (except for one coworker that i am close to, who has BP I), I am pretty sure they have their suspicions. No one really says anything,but they are somewhat aware of my mood swings. I can't imagine telling anyone at my previous job though, if i still worked there. I worked in a fast paced banking environment, and most of my coworkers and supervisors were very judgmental; i doubt it would have gone over very well had I said that i was BP II and handling 100's of thousands of dollars every day.
  10. I was prescribed Lexapro about a year ago by my GP when i complained of anxiety and depression (before my BP II diagnosis). While it seemed to help with the anxiety for a little bit, at least, it caused a pretty unsettling and scary reaction a few months into taking it. I ended up in the urgent care center because my heart felt like it was doing flip flops and beating out of my chest, which the doctors chalked up to too much caffeine. A few days later it happened again, and my regular doctor referred me a cardiologist, who found that i had an arrythmia (atrial flutter) and my heart rate was super high. He suspected it was from the Lexapro, he actually said he has had several patients with those same symptoms, all while taking that medication. Once i stopped, the palpitations and abnormal rhythm disappeared completely. So when my Pdoc prescribed me Prozac, (along with Lamictal) I was pretty reluctant to take it, because i worried that it might cause the same symptoms. So far, so good though. At least in my experience, it seems worth it to risk side effects (that can stop once the meds are discontinued)to treat the symptoms. If my heartbeat starts going wacky, then i know to call my doctor,and we can make some adjustments.
  11. I haven't told my dad that i have Bipolar II; my mom has Bipolar I and it's something that we as a family have struggled with since I was young. She is very non-med compliant, so it can be unbearable quite often; i actually don't speak to her anymore because of some of the awful things she has said to me. Anyway, I am embarrassed to even think about mentioning to my dad about my diagnosis, because I worry he will be disappointed, and because i don't him to equate my situation to my moms'. I have only told a few select friends, my husband, my mother-in-law, and that's it. I feel like people hear the word 'bipolar' and instantly think 'off the wall, few sandwiches short of a picnic-crazy'. I admit to feeling that way when i was first diagnosed~i thought instantly that one day i would wake up like my mother and go off the deep end.
  12. I would chose mania/hypomania over depression, definitely. When i have been hypomanic, i am happy, confident, excessively creative and productive (until my mind starts getting ahead of me, and i can't keep up); i have made some poor choices, but overall it was a much better situation than when i have been depressed~as i am now. I am not motivated to do anything, but i force myself to get up and get moving because i have two jobs and a family to take care of, but honestly i would just stay in bed all day if i had the choice. And i have felt suicidal while depressed in the past~awful feeling.
  13. I feel like i am high functioning; i work a full time and a part time job, I am raising my 4 kids, keep up with all the housework, am working on my art career, pay my bills, have held together my marriage for 10 years, but sometimes i feel as if I am just really skilled at faking sanity. Even when i was feeling very suicidal a few months after my 2nd daughter's birth, i still dragged myself to a high-stress job every day. During several hypomania episodes, i held down my jobs (only missed 1 day of work) even while getting little sleep and running around like the energizer bunny. My mom, on the other hand, is not very high functioning; she hasn't held down a job since i was born, and regularly cycles between depression that has her glued to the couch for days at a time sleeping, and mania that sets her into shopping sprees and impromptu month-long road trips; she is not very med-compliant at all. I know when i first heard my diagnosis, i was terrified of being like her; because i have always been able to function despite what's going on in my head.
  14. Thanks for replying! I am normally a very high energy person also, so this lack of energy and motivation is so unlike me. Like you, i used to exercise on a regular basis, and i honestly couldn't tell you the last time i did. I have an appt with my pdoc of the 24th of January, and I definitely plan on talking to him about it; maybe i do need a medication adjustment. I have always taken some form of antidepressant (a few, specifically Zoloft, sent me hypomanic, which was fun for a while, until I started making some really poor decisions), but this is the first time i have ever been on an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer.
  15. I was diagnosed as BP II a few months ago, which was a true 'A-HA' moment for me (finally, an explanation for my mood swings, from high confidence, impusiveness, endless amounts of energy, to bouts of depression, anxiety, guilt, feelings of utter worthlessness, etc, that i have experiences at varying degrees since young adulthood).. Anyway, I am going to therapy once a week and also started taking Lamictal (up to 50mg once a day) and Prozac (10mg). I feel less anxious and guilty, and have no thoughts of suicide, but i feel completely unmotivated to do anything. I have 4 kids (3 in school) and two jobs, and it's a struggle each day to get up, get them ready, get to work, etc...let alone do anything that makes me happy. I am an artist, and normally art is my saving grace, either when i am hypomanic or depressed, it's been a constant in my life. And I feel completely uninspired and just 'blah'. I talked to my tdoc about it last week, and basically he said i am still depressed and to follow the advice of Nike and 'just do it'. That i should feel better once i make the time and effort...but it's so hard. Does anyone else feel this way about things that are normally such an important part of their lives? I hate to think that I could be like this indefinitely. Could it be caused by my medication?
  16. In 25 years....I will be 58; I hope to be spending time with a gaggle of grandkids (i have 4 children, so that's definitely possible), successful and established in my art career, either continuing as a caricature artist, or something bigger than that. I hope to have the money to travel a bit, even just for road trips (guess i had better work on getting my drivers' license). I hope to spend time with my friends making new memories as we get older. I am not sure if i will still be married or not by then. I definitely hope to have a handle on my MI, and maybe even come to be grateful for it in a way, because I know that it plays a part in who I am, as a person and an artist.
  17. I've been lurking on this forum since being diagnosed with Bipolar II a few weeks ago, and figured it might be time to join in and say hi. So, Hi. I'll try to keep it short and sweet (like me ) . I have struggled with depression and mood swings since my teen years (i just turned 33), but until recently, thought it was 'just' depression and too much stress. I finally decided to seek therapy and treatment (besides my primary care doctor) because my marriage is falling apart, and I really didn't know where else to turn. I am new to therapy, and we are still working on a treatment plan, but so far, I go in once a week to talk to my therapist, and the psychiatrist as well. He has taken me off of the Lexapro that i have been on for a year now (20 mg) and started me on Lamictal, 25 mg. I really like both my therapist and the psychiatrist, and wish i would have sought treatment sooner; I admit to thinking that I could handle everyone on my own for way too long. A bit of background info~I am a mom to 4 great kids, married for 10 years, but headed for separation, I work two jobs, one in customer service at a pharmacy, and one as a caricature artist. I have been an artist my entire life, and sometimes i think that's the only thing that keeps me semi-sane. Thanks for listening, and I look forward to being a part of this community
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