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Newly diagnosed BPII


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I was recently diagnosed as bipolar II by my latest Pdoc. I've read the literature given to me by my doc and learned as much as I can from articles found on the internet.

What I was really hoping for was information on how real people experience and deal with this disorder.

How do you know when you are starting to enter a manic/hypomanic state? Is there anything you can do to lessen it? (Though I really do enjoy the hypomanic states, I refer to it as being "bouncy")

Most importantly I seem not to notice when I am slipping into a depressed state. Once I realize I am depressed I'm so far down that it takes weeks to get myself back to "normal" Does anybody have tell tale clues that you are going downhill?

Any information, anecdotes, advice or whatever would be extremely helpful.

Thanks

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Hi Jenny-

Welcome to the world of BP and BPII. A lot of what you describe is just the nature of the beast. Most of us find the combination of meds, therapy, and sharing here is how we cope best. All of it is very individual- but as you read what people post you may begin to recognize yourself. Feel free to chime in.

You'll probably get the most responses to pretty specific questions or if you say you need just general support.

If you go to the Bipolar spectrum page there will be a list of "pinned" topics at the top- these may lead you to some good info. Otherwise- hangout , listen and learn. and tell us about you and your experiences too if you 'd like!

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I learned a lot from Julie Fast's books on managing bipolar disorder. One thing she recommends is to pay attention to your "triggers", that is, things that bring on depressed or manic states in you. Write your triggers down. The more familiar you are with these, the more you can help yourself.

Another thing to keep track of is what happens when you are entering a manic or depressed stage. There will be subtle behavior changes that you can keep an eye out for. The basic idea is to recognize your symptoms early on, in order to stop an episode before it gets into full swing.

Most important of all, you should learn what works and what doesn't work for you to stop depression or mania from taking hold. This is another good thing to keep lists of, since when you are depressed or manic, it's not easy to think of these things at first. It really helps to have a list written by "the sane you" that you can consult during these times.

I urge you to explore the board. There have been many good topics written on this subject.

MG

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How do you know when you are starting to enter a manic/hypomanic state? Is there anything you can do to lessen it? (Though I really do enjoy the hypomanic states, I refer to it as being "bouncy")

Most importantly I seem not to notice when I am slipping into a depressed state. Once I realize I am depressed I'm so far down that it takes weeks to get myself back to "normal" Does anybody have tell tale clues that you are going downhill?

My advice is that you learn everything you can about the signals of mania and depression. In the beginning, I actually wrote them down on a card and carried it in my wallet. Every day I would ask myself, did I honestly feel I was showing any of those behaviors?

Being dx'd for 4 years, I'm pretty self-aware now, and (BIG PLUS OF EXPERIENCE) I have prn meds I know how to use to nip something in the bud.

Another good thing is if you have family members, or a very good friend or SO who can tell you if you're acting weird. Sometimes they see things before we do.

Learning and experience will be your best teachers. Remember to listen to that "small voice" down inside, even if you don't want to hear what it's saying. Mine hasn't lied to me yet.

HTH,

Jackee

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If anything, it seems to worsen around age 40. I don't know why.... that's when mine was finally dx'd, instead of unipolar, and I've heard others who have received their dx around the same age. Don't let it scare you, you just may have to take it more seriously, take care of yourself, and keep up with meds.

Like depression, I don't see the manic/mixed state coming until I'm in the middle of it, or crashing from it, unfortunately. Sleep is a big factor, that can clue you in.

Rab, native Texan, now a card-carrying yankee. I miss carne guisada.

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Have you checked out www.psycheducation.org? Best bipolar II info I've seen. I would suggest you get your close family on board with you--I find that when I start to get manic, I'm already halfway down the rabbit hole before I even know it. Without my husband to yank me back, I'd be much farther in debt than I already am. My boss (also my best friend), also helps me monitor my mania.

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don't know if your on meds--took me form age 19 to 26 before I faithfully took 'em. I take the introductory levels of depakote(750mg) and lithium(900mg). I must say, it's the only way. The disease gets worse with age--another cycle, another pained failure. I'm BP1, so my experience may vary. 6 mos. up/6mos. down. The body gets used to the meds. after awhile--depakote is known for its "zombifying" effects.

I don't feel the stigma I once felt--is it different than a diabetic taking insulin? not really. I've felt normal(better than my previous normal) for most of the past 10yrs. Only when I've messed with dosage on my own has there been a problem. Others tend to notice(or feel the wrath)of my emotions before I do. Bottom line--if I stay on the meds, I'll never want to kill myself again. good luck.

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Another question. I read that BP is a life long struggle. Is that true? It'll never go away?

absolutely--find some meds. that work and stay on 'em. Fish oil, too?

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