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manic behavior = shame & embarassment & confusion


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if anyone has anything to say--encouragement, advice, sympathy, anything--i'm really at a loss as to how i got where i am now.

i'm in my mid-30s & on "paper" it looks like i have a great life. it's been coming apart slowly over the past 5 years, and i fear i'm about to finally lose my

apartment & job--leaving me unable to hide & rendering me worthless in my career. i fear i am seriously going out of my mind but don't know what the

hell to do.

this evening i did some writing. i don't mean to be selfish, but if anything sounds familiar to anyone else it would be comforting to know...

__________

my overspending during manic states has gotten so out of control that i haven't been able to bother to pay my rent

since last january. i am so embarassed, and cannot bear to face my landlord. i fear an eviction notice every day

and can't bear to share this truth with anyone else. i just did my 2004 taxes. why does it feel like time flies

with this sort of behavior?

promiscuity isn't really the right word--mornings "after" i often don't recall being actually attracted to the person

i spent the night with--or they may even repel me. i don't think i'm looking for love or sex--it's just the energy

and the high of the activity. i know i'm manic when i go through periods of masturbation which involve 8, 10, 15

episodes/orgasms one after another. i've been late to several things because i couldn't stop masturbating.

then there are periods where i don't masturbate for days or a week & i don't notice, so i know it's not an obsession

with sexual pleasure in & of itself. that's scary.

going out at night. i live alone, and am lonely--in that i have issues with social acceptance, disassociation with

a community, and fear of social rejection, etc. i go out to clubs alone almost every night. i prefer to go out

alone, and almost never invite a friend. i'm sure it's because being alone allows me the freedom to act however

dangerously i please. i truly live this secret life at night so i feel, and have recently gotten to know a few people

that claim to see me "everywhere". it's very rare that a night will go by when i will not have to go out dancing,

even if i'm not able to leave the house until 2:30 in the morning. places close at 4--and then there are the after-

hours parties. on more than a few occassions i have stayed out all night, up the whole next day at parties until 2

or 3 in the afternoon. this is happening more & more frequently--along with my use of cocaine. (i had a cocaine habit

for 9 months in 1996; since then this is the first time i have felt compelled to use it again--i don't feel physically

addicted, just like the energizing high, etc.) i am embarassed. i want to achieve a balance between going out dancing

& staying home with cookies & law & order re-runs, but i can't--i don't know how to??????? shit.

***why does it feel like when i like something i can't ever get enough of it???

i've been in therapy since 2002 or 2003. a year ago my last therapist dumped me. pretty much coincides with all the

above becoming acute & my quitting my old job & taking this new one which i hate. i hate the job. i liked therapy.

i just haven't had the time or made the time to find a new one because i need to sleep when i'm not working or out

all night.

i feel so embarassed & ashamed. i feel like at times i'm someone else; that there's no way my friends or family would

recognize me when i'm doing these things, even though most of them know of my mood disorder.

my doctor has had me on lithium for a few months. i can't seem to take it on a regular basis so i don't know how

well it's been working on me. i'm also ADD & have been on adderall for 2 or 3 years. i've been on lamictal since

2003. as far as its efficacy, i guess i could be worse off, as for the past 2.5 days i was out of it & couldn't get

a script filled. i probably slept 10 hours total in those 2.5 days, and started hallucinating very slightly.

my hearing became hypersensitive to the extent to which i thought the noise from the water heater in the bathroom

was from a deep percussive instrument or stereo feedback. a chunk of that sleep took place over one night, the

morning after which found me hosting a man in my bed & having overslept for work. i was too embarassed to call

& fear i am going to get fired tomorrow when i return. i am a well-respected professional in my line of work &

i don't know how to explain this or how it will bear on my career. why does this shit always affect my work?

(by the way, do i have any rights under the ADA when it comes to the right to work despite my illness?)

i got more lamictal today & have resisted the urge to go out. i am going to change my sheets & have some nutter

butters and soymilk. writing this has helped. thank you for taking the time to read it.

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Hi, Sita.

Yes, a lot of this sounds just, well, extraordinarily familiar. The spending, the hypersexual behavior, the wonky sleep, the David-Byrne-like "My God, what have I done" moments. It does get better, eventually, although it doesn't necessarily get better and then just stay that way all at once with no further adjustments. (Sorry, I'm not much for fluffy happy answers tonight.) Still, over the long haul, it gets a lot better.

Lithium helped. Lamictal helps. Sleep helps. Structure - a life where you're up every day at the same time, doing about the same things at the same times- helps.

Cocaine doesn't help so much. You knew that, I don't mean it as a patronizing thing, it's just that it seems better at first... but it's a lot worse later on.

I would ask on the "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" board about ADA-specific issues.

More later. I'm fried to a crisp from work and I need to get some sleep (and practice what I preach!)

Seriously, though, Sita, in the "you're not alone" department - yeah. You are SO not alone, OK? And this will get a lot better, really.

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I just wanted to echo Silver's sentiments. You aren't alone in your behavior or feelings.

I have BPII and, therefore, experience hypomania instead of "full blown" mania. But I have:

overspent

embarrassed myself in a public setting

forgotten (or just didn't care) to pay bills

had to quit my job b/c my attendance was appalling

lost friends due to my erratic behavior

had to apologize about a million times for my anger

let my home become a pit

I could, literally, go on and on.

I had to learn the hard way that these are symptoms of my illness. Warning signs that my illness is gearing up. It's a daily effort to keep myself well.

To keep myself as stable as possible, I try to maintain a routine and sleep schedule. I also make sure to take my all meds when I'm supposed to. I see a pdoc on a regular basis (right now its every month b/c I'm rapid cycling) and tdoc every few weeks. I mood journal to keep track of symptoms and the effects of new meds.

That may sound like a lot to do, but its totally worth the stability it can bring.

You're not alone. Not even close.

Take care.

Peace,

Phoenix

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Thank you. YesterdayI got enough sleep to catch me up on the past few nights' worth of manic figurative tossing & turning. But I fear I slept too much--that's what I do when I

fall into depression. Perhaps that's also why I resist sleep--I always fear I will "sleep the day away" & miss things, and to miss work.

I hear everyone on the sleep & life routine. I have to want to try.

I just wanted to echo Silver's sentiments. You aren't alone in your behavior or feelings.

I have BPII and, therefore, experience hypomania instead of "full blown" mania. But I have:

overspent

embarrassed myself in a public setting

forgotten (or just didn't care) to pay bills

had to quit my job b/c my attendance was appalling

lost friends due to my erratic behavior

had to apologize about a million times for my anger

let my home become a pit

I could, literally, go on and on.

I had to learn the hard way that these are symptoms of my illness. Warning signs that my illness is gearing up. It's a daily effort to keep myself well.

To keep myself as stable as possible, I try to maintain a routine and sleep schedule. I also make sure to take my all meds when I'm supposed to. I see a pdoc on a regular basis (right now its every month b/c I'm rapid cycling) and tdoc every few weeks. I mood journal to keep track of symptoms and the effects of new meds.

That may sound like a lot to do, but its totally worth the stability it can bring.

You're not alone. Not even close.

Take care.

Peace,

Phoenix

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But I fear I slept too much--that's what I do when I

fall into depression. Perhaps that's also why I resist sleep--I always fear I will "sleep the day away" & miss things, and to miss work.

OMG! I have the same obsession with sleep. That's another reason I finally caved on the sleep schedule. It was driving me mad to worry about the "sleep thing". I still obsess, but it doesn't frickin take up my whole day. ;)

Peaceful thoughts,

Phoenix

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Sita...I hear you, and believe me you're not alone....many of us have the same problems, perhaps just different experiences with them....I started an affair with one person to get over another person, but it didn't work, now I obsess over both of them, meanwhile putting my current 20+ year relationship in jeopardy....I get giddy highs and terrible cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat lows, have temper tantrums (how embarrassing is that at age 37?) so today I went to visit 2 psych offices to try and get on the right track to sanity....oh and I can't remember the last time I slept without the help of Ambien or Unisom.....seriously. Keep on these boards, you'll get lots of support and "conversations" with those who understand...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sita,

I hope you're feeling better.

FINDING HUMAN SUPPORT

I think that talking to a therapist regularly might help. Losing a therapist/psychologist/doctor/support worker can be much more disruptive than one might at first realise. Having the support of someone who knows exactly what is going on in your life but is detached from the situation can be invaluable in certain situations including depression.

Do not feel like a burden to family and friends, lean on the people around you, as the smallest things in daily life do make a difference. Even if it's just to have a cup of tea together or go to the Botanic gardens it can be soothing to be near people who value you. Perhaps if you are up to it start a new hobby - learn a language or race toy planes, whatever excites you, because making new friends who share your interests - other than drinking - can be rewarding.

DEALING WITH THE MEDS: A RATIONAL APPROACH

Committing to taking prescribed medications can be a daily struggle, a nuisance or even reduce feelings of self-worth and inner strength. Meds usually have unpleasant side-effects. For me it has been about weighing up the pros and cons, in terms of life quality, of taking vs. not taking meds. Making a list of pros and cons is a good way to rationally begin to solve problems which are decision-based. For me the pros of taking my meds are: good sleep, low irritability, mood stability, only minor depression and no delusions. The cons are: increased appetite, weight gain and mild sedation. Looking at the list objectively I can conclude the pros of taking me meds outweigh the cons. However, as my weight continues to increase and sedation is becoming more of the problem the cons on the list increase and slowly outweigh the pros. Olanzapine is the culprit drug for these side-effects and for this reason I am considering staying on my other meds but coming off the Olaz. The pros of switching to another anti-psychotic are clearly greater than going off an anti-psychotic cold turkey as the pros of being on an anti-psychotic for me are that I don't suffer delusions and anthrophobia which, when present, severely reduce the quality of my life.

Lithium, although toxic at high doses (bloods should be checked 3 monthly or more if the dosage is changed), is a relatively benign medication and has been used since the 1950s. If this is what you have been prescribed it may help you with your mood stabilization and may cut the "peaks" and "troughs" off your up and down cycles.

Good luck and keep us posted,

Sarah

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