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I'm thinking about moving far away for several reason, but I'm literally scared of myself. The last time I tried, I pretty much had a total disconnect from reality.

Here's the back story. (Sorry it's long)

Last time I moved, I had been starting to get manic for a few months. I thought I was getting depressed, but my friends noticed that I was hyper, getting up early, and switching from angry to euphoric. I think it was some sort of dysphoric/irritable mania. Anyway, a week before I moved, something happened in my life which really set me off. I was in a terrible mood for a week straight.

Finally, it came time for me to move. I actually moved, but when I arrived at the new place, I literally broke from reality. I was manic and depressed at the same time. I could not stop pacing, and I could not sleep even with melatonin. My mind was racing, but the thoughts were very dark. I started having suicidal thoughts (first time ever), and I scared myself. I wasn't making much sense either.

Long story short, I stayed up for 72 hours straight, acted so crazy that others knew something was up, and every decision I made felt like life or death. It was 72 hours of heart pounding panic, and it felt like I had an IV of epinephrine. It came out of the blue, and I was actually excited to move. I was totally out of control and definitly a danger to myself due to general recklessness and suicidal thoughts. I probably should've been hospitalized. I scared myself so bad I moved back.

The thing is, how do I know this won't happen again if I move? I'm taking medication now, but I'm still worried. Lamictal isn't exactly a powerful antimanic, but it seems to be doing the trick so far.

Should I avoid the move all together? I'd like to think that I can do it.

Should I ask for a benzo or zyprexa when I move in case it happens again?

Have any of you ever had an episode this intense, and what did you do?

I was totally out of control, and I knew it. I didn't realize just how out of control I was though. If I move, I won't have anyone to save me from myself. I suppose that's what scares me the most. I was already in the middle of an episode last time, but it escalated incredibly fast. I didn't see it coming.

I really don't know what to do here. A benzo seems like the best thing. If I get like that I could always just sedate myself until I regain control. Plus, I'd feel a lot more confident if I knew I had something to "catch me" if I freak out. I hate the idea of taking any sort of sedative though.

I won't know anybody, so I won't have any social support for awhile.

Please, any advice you all can offer would be wonderful.

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The thing is, how do I know this won't happen again if I move? I'm taking medication now, but I'm still worried. Lamictal isn't exactly a powerful antimanic, but it seems to be doing the trick so far.
You don't. However, your odds are better this time around. You have some more insight, and you have some drugs in your toolkit you didn't have before.

Should I avoid the move all together? I'd like to think that I can do it.
I think the question I'd ask first is if you're making the move decision in a euthymic state of mind. (That's not a veiled suggestion that you're not, by the way. I have no idea what your situation is. I just know I've been prone to hypo/manic moves across the country...)

Should I ask for a benzo or zyprexa when I move in case it happens again?
That's a dandy idea. May I cast a vote for Zyprexa? The benzos might quiet you down, but the Zyprexa has that nice "brain glue" feature. You're trying to address the mood disorder symptoms, not just feel better, if that makes sense.

I was totally out of control, and I knew it. I didn't realize just how out of control I was though. If I move, I won't have anyone to save me from myself. I suppose that's what scares me the most. I was already in the middle of an episode last time, but it escalated incredibly fast. I didn't see it coming.
Structure, structure, structure. If I were to move at this point in my life, especially in your situation, I'd be religious about waking times, daily routines, bedtime. I'd impose as many artificial routines on myself as I could. Call Aunt Betty every day at 10 am. Go into the front yard and walk 6 times widdershins at noon. Whatever.

Chaos begets chaos in my brain, I've learned. Even moving a mere 60 miles, a few years ago, with my complete social network in place, working most days at my usual job - even that almost did me in.

Again, getting back to the "is there incipient hypomania already" question... you say you were already in the middle of an episode last time. I don't know how much that fed into your move. However, maybe some insight into that process will help with your assessment of the current possible move and of your current risk level

I really don't know what to do here. A benzo seems like the best thing. If I get like that I could always just sedate myself until I regain control. Plus, I'd feel a lot more confident if I knew I had something to "catch me" if I freak out. I hate the idea of taking any sort of sedative though.
See earlier comment. Work on wrangling the underlying problem, not just sedating yourself.

One thing to talk to your psychiatrist about: starting pre-emptive Zyprexa BEFORE the move, taking it as a daily drug during and after the move, and then carefully fading it out once things stabilize.

Much better, IMO, than getting to full on meltdown-land and having to do damage control!

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I have heard several times in my Bipolar CBT group that moving is a MAJOR trigger for people. I mean, even without manic depression in the mix, it is so stressful. And, it seems it can definitely trigger a manic episode. Keep in mind that you have your online communities for consistency and make sure your pdoc situation is in hand. Can you take a few days off afterward and desensitize? Not to push my drugs on anyone, but Seroquel has been a real help for me with anxiety and stabilization (with your Dr.'s approval, of course). Good luck.

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I'm impressed that you're thinking of it. I don't think many of us could do it without having some fear about it. Your fear shows that you are self aware and in touch with your illness.

I don't know how far you are moving but, if it were me, I would try to have a treatment team as far in place as I could before the move and I imagine that your current treatment team would stay with you until the move is in place and you are comfortable.

Your current team could probably help you establish the new treatment team. I would get as much professional support as I could before, during, and after the move.

You can talk through the move here and gain some reality checks and practical advice along the way.

Make sure that you have your medications supply and renewals in place.

Have your move thoroughly organized with lists. Get help if you need to. (I would)

If you can handle the suggestions on this thread and be able to cope with the stress and inevitable problems with moving it would seem that you could handle it. If not, I would give myself the option of reconsidering at any point in the process.

Only you can make this decision with advice and support from your treatment team.

Best wishes,

Sushine Outside

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Thanks for all the excellent advice!!

My desire to move isn't just from mania/hypomania. I've wanted to move for years, and I've always wanted to move even when I'm depressed/eurythmic/hypomanic/manic. The last time, it was just the way I moved that was impulsive. I really didn't plan it out. I just went for it. (yay for manic impulsiveness)

I think you guys are right about structure. I mean, I know structure is huge for people with bipolar, and I've seen how much it can help others firsthand. The problem is, I'm still getting used to the fact that I'm bipolar and the usual "treatments" work for me.

I've been thinking about it for awhile, I think I'm going to move reasonably far, but less than 3 hours from my current social support network. There's no reason I can't take "baby steps" when moving. I move once a year anyway (same town), so I may as well keep moving farther and farther away.

P.S. I like how you called Zyprexa brain glue. ;)

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eh, i'm moving cross town tomorrow.......and I wouldn't believe it if someone told me till it happens.....

Moving is a major trigger/stressor.......even if its for the better? our brain is hardwired to see a threat...

After moving you wonder why all that shit has us schizzed out..........beats me.

At least you're aware and can take precautions....and have someone you trust be in touch with you - maybe even daily? - to see if you start to loose your moorings.

I'm guessing and hoping this move will be easier.........a trigger today is a mouse fart tomorrow

cheers

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