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Am I really BP?


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Am I really bipolar?

I'm angry!

Will I always have to take meds?

I've suffered most of my life from major depression with periodic remission.  Then last summer happened.  I had some of the classic BP symptoms--hypersexuality, spent all my money, had little need for sleep and some other really bad, out of character stuff.  This was my first episode--can one episode at the age of 37 really make me bipolar?  Is it a disease or did I just become a bad person?  Does being bipolar mean having to be on meds my whole life?  I do live in fear of having another manic episode--the periodic euphoria wasn't worth the damaged I caused.  I've never been properly diagnosed because I'm in the public health system and I keep getting bounced from pdoc to pdoc.

I've lost close to 6 years due to mental illness--unable to work, now divorced. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I wasn't fighting MI. Quite frankly, I'm angry about it  I used to be a bright, witty, and motivated person.  Now I'm plagued by crippling anxiety and depression.  Other people seem to "fit in" to the world and I feel out of place, like I belong on another planet.  I'm so afraid to out in to the world that I'm practically agoraphobic. How can I get my personality back--it feels gone.

Although I am med-compliant, I don't like taking medication.  I'm sure I'd feel differently if I felt the medication actually did anything.  I've been on cocktail after cocktail and the only thing I've gained is weight.  I guess I take the medication because I'm scared sh*tless about have another manic episode.

Sorry if this seems like a bitch-fest.

Lisa

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I don't think there are any age limits on BP and I doubt seriously that you "just became a bad person".

Couple of questions.  What is your current diagnosis and your current med cocktail?  Was your manic episode last summer caused by a med change or life stressor or something else you can identify?  Can you identify any past manic or hypomanic episodes?  I know after I was diagnosed, I was able to see several hypomanic periods in my past that I thought were normal.  Do you have a good pdoc that you can talk about this with?

I hear you on the wasting years of my life fighting MI.  My regret is that I didn't seek help earlier.  Maybe if I had, I wouldn't be in the place I am now.  If you are bipolar, then you need to be aware of kindling.  Basically, the more BP episodes you have, the more likely they will get worse and harder to treat.  The point being, the meds aren't just for treating your current symptoms.  They are also to keep it from getting worse.  Here is a link.  http://bipolar.about.com/cs/brainchemistry...9_kindling1.htm   

I hope I didn't scare you too much with that, but we BPs are notorious for thinking we don't need meds.  If you are BP, you need to understand the risks of not taking your meds.

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