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I'm 44 years old with bipolar 2. I was diagnosed in my 20s and have been on continuous medication for almost 4 years. I am not sure when it started, but I know I have been "blacking out" for at least 2 years. I only became fully aware of what was happening a couple months ago. I am not - and never have been - a heavy drinker. I do not use drugs except for the ones prescribed by my pdoc and once daily marijuana for sleep. I only started the marijuana a month ago, so it does not have anything to do with the blackouts. I have several confirmed episodes ranging from 24 to 60 hours of doing things with no memory. Once I talked to family and friends on the phone and drove my car with no memory. Recently, I lost 24 hours in which I screamed horrible things at my husband and drove him out of the house. During the same 24 hour period, I somehow broke my phone and threw garden tools (including a pick axe) around the backyard and broke a large glass top patio table. I have absolutely no memory of any of these things. I also have lost many things in the past couple years with some of them later turning up in bizarre places. Other things never turn up. My pdoc has referred me to a sleep specialist to rule out a sleep disorder, but my husband and I think that this is unlikely. I would appreciate input from anyone who has knowledge and/or experience regarding this situation. I am frightened and do not want this to continue - especially if I am going to drive or possibly hurt someone.
Ok, so I need help. I've had this problem off and on for about 6 years, and, though it doesn't happen often, it freaks me out every time. I've been an SI for a long time (I know, I'm working on it,) but I very rarely do it as a concious decision. Things get bad and I feel this really heavy weight in my stomach/chest, and then things get cloudy. When I "come to" (for lack of a better description,) I'll have either burned something (notes, pictures, things that i've saved for whatever reason that are often related to whatever my "breakdown" was about,) or i'll find myself wiping up the blood from my SI, with no cognative memory of ever having done anything. I've read about various dissociative disorders, but i'm still not sure if this applies to that. I can't really think of what else it might be, so is there anybody here who might be able to shed some light? I've been on the lower end of middle class most of my life, so I can't really afford pricy doctor visits and psychiatric evaluation. More than anything, I'm just trying to figure out a general idea of my problems before I start hunting for a shrink. I was diagnosed Manic Depressive about three years ago, but haven't told anyone about the depth of my issues. I'm sure this ties into that, but is there more to this than I already know? Thanks for your insight.