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How do you NOT look at everything as a symptom?


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I'm finding myself here looking at everything I do with a critical eye, trying to figure out if I'm having an episode. I might be, I might not be, but how do I STOP doing this? I get irritated when my parents ask me if I've taken my meds when I'm a bit grumpy or frustrated, so why am I doing it to myself?

Honestly right now, I'm not sure what's going on. I just got out of the hospital yesterday and I feel so light, like everything is okay and right in the world. Much like I felt with the manic episode I had back in August/September. Today I went on this huge shopping spree, bought a ton of stuff, bought high-heeled shoes which I have never in my life worn, and I'm having sex again (which I have found that it's impossible for me to do unless I feel this way).

I THINK I read somewhere that Abilify can cause mania in Bipolar patients, is that true? If it's not please tell me, I might be pulling that from no where.

Anyway, maybe this is all in my head, regardless, how can I stop analyzing everything I do and making it into a symptom?

Edit: Even my online friend just told me I seemed like I was hypomanic, that's must say something, it's not just me noticing, possibly?

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Time and experience........you describe a kinda manic episode, but then , when things are right in the world and I have the money and the time I am allowed to enjoy myself and treat myself right. So its living a while with the BP reality that cues you into whether or not this is DP or manic, or just a good or bad day. Wish I had a faster simpler answer but I don't. I still have the same questions many days on the issues you raised. As a male, at least I'm not collecting high heels.....

Yet.....

Sigh.......

Keep posting and read other posts and you'll see we're no longer in a black and white movie.....

best wishes,

peace

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First, yes, abilify can definitely elicit mania in people with bipolar disorder. And what you're describing definitely sounds like you're heading in that direction. So please don't just wait for things to get worse. Call your doctor, asap.

As far as constantly monitoring yourself, for signs of mood symptoms, I think that's very, very, common in people recently diagnosed, and just beginning to get a sense of what stability is like. Over time, you'll get a much better sense of what your warning signs that something's not right are, and you'll become better able to stop any incipient mood episodes before they have the chance to escalate.

It's just one of those things where the only way out is through.

Call your doctor!

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Yes, mania can make some BP folks as manic as all fuck. I have it on my allergy med list for that reason. I never want another abilify pill in my life. 2 doses sent me to hospital for a month... not cool.

In any case, like SS says, it takes time, and experience. But what you are experiening right now does sound like mania.

Early in dx it can be helpful to have the feedback of OTHERS if you are unsure. I have found that my family are fairly good at gaguing my stability about 2--3 days before me, it's almost uncanny, really.

THis has gotten better over the years, but if I'm ever worried, I go ask my husband feedback about what I'm about to do.

Anna

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Time and experience........you describe a kinda manic episode, but then , when things are right in the world and I have the money and the time I am allowed to enjoy myself and treat myself right. So its living a while with the BP reality that cues you into whether or not this is DP or manic, or just a good or bad day. Wish I had a faster simpler answer but I don't. I still have the same questions many days on the issues you raised. As a male, at least I'm not collecting high heels.....

Yet.....

Sigh.......

Keep posting and read other posts and you'll see we're no longer in a black and white movie.....

best wishes,

peace

The reason I'm worried about the spending is that it's really out of character, I hardly ever buy this much at a time. When I found something I liked, I bought it, I didn't say no to anything I liked essentially. For the most part, I am very frugal and I like to save money, I've just about spent all I've got. And the heels...I've never desired to wear heels before as I'm already 6 feet tall and they would make me tower over people. Actually, there is a small reason I got them but it's so embarrassing I'm not even going to say it. Not sure I can even justify it.

Thanks for the reply!

First, yes, abilify can definitely elicit mania in people with bipolar disorder. And what you're describing definitely sounds like you're heading in that direction. So please don't just wait for things to get worse. Call your doctor, asap.

As far as constantly monitoring yourself, for signs of mood symptoms, I think that's very, very, common in people recently diagnosed, and just beginning to get a sense of what stability is like. Over time, you'll get a much better sense of what your warning signs that something's not right are, and you'll become better able to stop any incipient mood episodes before they have the chance to escalate.

It's just one of those things where the only way out is through.

Call your doctor!

On Monday I start a partial hospitalization program to follow up, they take care of meds there too, do you think that's alright or is it necessary to do something about this tomorrow?

Thanks for that, makes sense that I would be doing this. I had my first completely euphoric manic episode in August for weeks, so I guess that once it was over, that's when I truly accepted that I was Bipolar. I have been diagnosed since early 2010, I believe, but didn't really know what to think of it. It took me a while to realize I'd had two manic episodes before, but they were mostly filled with agitation, extreme impulse and hostility. I definitely feel very new to all of this.

To be completely honest now with you, the reason I went off my meds was because I desperately wanted to be manic again. I have forgotten what it feels like to be happy, just a normal happy, and that was the closest I've ever been. I'm going to have to fight myself to tell someone what's going on right now, this doesn't feel like it should be wrong, but I know what could happen if it's anything like last time.

Yes, mania can make some BP folks as manic as all fuck. I have it on my allergy med list for that reason. I never want another abilify pill in my life. 2 doses sent me to hospital for a month... not cool.

In any case, like SS says, it takes time, and experience. But what you are experiening right now does sound like mania.

Early in dx it can be helpful to have the feedback of OTHERS if you are unsure. I have found that my family are fairly good at gaguing my stability about 2--3 days before me, it's almost uncanny, really.

THis has gotten better over the years, but if I'm ever worried, I go ask my husband feedback about what I'm about to do.

Anna

Sorry, your post popped in while I was replying haha.

I'm glad this just isn't my head, though, and me trying to over-analyze what's going on. I thought it might be the case when even my online friend could tell I was not right. I guess I'll have to tell my parents and get myself to the doctor. I will be seeing somebody on Monday for sure, in a PHP, but I'm not sure I can get to see anyone tomorrow.

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I get irritated when my parents ask me if I've taken my meds when I'm a bit grumpy or frustrated, so why am I doing it to myself?

When people know you're bp, sometimes, every emotion that's outside the "norm" (their definition thereof, of course) is cause for concern.

For us? What IS the "norm?" What's a good day, a really good day, a bad day, or the start of an episode?

Yeah, like the others have said, you really only can tell with time. I know, for instance, that if I just went and blew a bunch of money that I shouldn't have I better damn well have a rational reason to. (Well shit it was a buy-two-get-one! I NEED those damn video games!) If, otoh, I come home with a bunch of crap I don't need and an empty wallet, well, I've got my pdoc's number memorized and he will fit me in. Helllloooo AAPs.

You will learn to separate situational (I'm depressed cuz my fiancee just walked out on me) from the other (I'm fucking depressed).

You learn to live life and accept being happy, deal with being hurt/sad, and run to the pdoc when you're too far off either side of the Bell Curve.

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Give credit cards etc. to parents to hold, don't leave house or do anything much until Monday. Make a safety plan for if your mood changes drastically. If you aren't suicidal or danger to self, you are probably ok to wait until Monday.

Abilify has a really long half life, so you might want to get in touch with prescribing doctor NOW to see if you should stop taking it NOW.

Anna

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When people know you're bp, sometimes, every emotion that's outside the "norm" (their definition thereof, of course) is cause for concern.

For us? What IS the "norm?" What's a good day, a really good day, a bad day, or the start of an episode?

Yeah, like the others have said, you really only can tell with time. I know, for instance, that if I just went and blew a bunch of money that I shouldn't have I better damn well have a rational reason to. (Well shit it was a buy-two-get-one! I NEED those damn video games!) If, otoh, I come home with a bunch of crap I don't need and an empty wallet, well, I've got my pdoc's number memorized and he will fit me in. Helllloooo AAPs.

You will learn to separate situational (I'm depressed cuz my fiancee just walked out on me) from the other (I'm fucking depressed).

You learn to live life and accept being happy, deal with being hurt/sad, and run to the pdoc when you're too far off either side of the Bell Curve.

Thanks for the advice, that's really helpful, thinking about situational and other. :)

Give credit cards etc. to parents to hold, don't leave house or do anything much until Monday. Make a safety plan for if your mood changes drastically. If you aren't suicidal or danger to self, you are probably ok to wait until Monday.

Abilify has a really long half life, so you might want to get in touch with prescribing doctor NOW to see if you should stop taking it NOW.

Anna

I'm gonna go stir-crazy but I will try. Luckily I have no credit cards, just my debit card with money in my checking account which is mostly gone, and I am trying very hard not to switch money from my savings into checking, but I will give them my debit card to be sure I can't do anything, and the money I've got left over from Christmas, too. I am definitely not suicidal, I feel wonderful, and I don't think I'm a danger, but I will give a call to my p-doc just to tell her something might be happening.

Going ahead and giving the doctor a call isn't going to make anything worse. I'd probably do it.

I will definitely do that, I think I will have to leave a message but maybe her answering service could get in touch with her for me.

It's a good idea to get into the habit of mood charting each day, to get an idea o what your patterns are and practice discerning how you are doing. There is a great site at www.moodtracker.com.

I've started a "mood diary" it's a bit like the mood charts I saw. I rate how I feel on a 1-5 scale, and then I write about what's going on, any events that have happened. I have tried to do it every day and have been pretty faithful about it.

all these are great ideas. but what i think, is that in fact you are heading in the direction of a hypo/mania state. which is perfectly possible, and in this instance you are not overanalyzing. you are being aware.

and there is a difference.

i do the same thing, i think EVERYTHING is a freaking symtpom. however as my mind matures around my illness (does that make sense?) i become more aware versus overanalyzing. aware being you know what is going on rationally and you doing something about it, and overanalyzing being you think of every possible outcome and chose something irrational.

but in this case, i dont think calling a doctor would hurt. to me there is a difference between being happy, and having a ton of sex you would usually have (as well as uneeded shopping sprees).

Thanks for your reply :)

I think that's one way I could look at it, "Do I feel like I could have sex right now?" if the answer is no, then I'm at my normal state, if it's yes, then it's very possible I'm going up. I had a HUGE problem with intimacy and anything sexual before my first euphoric manic episode. After it was over, it went right back to that, but now I find I am able to again. Possibly this could help me determine it to some degree.

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Humanoid, it sounds like you are going to do all the good and smart things. Don't transfer any money. I blew THOUSANDS of dollars my first few manic episodes before I learned to control it. It really is a horrible, nasty, unfun experience (although my kid did get a ferret, a play house, one of those amish ones, and I got a macbook pro out of one and some GREAT lingerie) but picking up the pieces was, um, difficult.

Mr. A was not happy. At first though, he really didn't want to take my "autonomy" like that, but he's really gotten it that in some states, I am safer with an emergency stash of cash, and nothing else. It's better for us all, trust me.

Good luck coming down (fav line from the simpsons ever, Lisa after drinking the ride water at Duff world shaking in towel after hallucinating, going "can't talk, coming down.")

I so identify with that line, at times.

You'll get it sorted, don't worry. And keep reading the full price tag, the back side. It's easy to read the pretty shiny front that says, oh hai this is fun, but the back side says "a few months from now you will deeply regret this."

Turn over the tag. I talk to my clients (and my fam, somteims!) a lot about this one.

Anna

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Thank you for your advice, it's helping me to see what's going on. I don't want to be without any money right now especially since I just quit my job. I have three more paychecks to cash, but I'm going to give those to my parents as well so I don't have more money to mess around with. I don't need more heels I can't even walk with them, I told myself earlier, lol!

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I think it is really useful to consider everything as a possible symptom, until you are more sure of yourself.

I received my diagnosis recently (October). At first it drove me crazy how my pdoc was looking at everything as a symptom! I wanted to tell her "I am not just a bunch of symptoms!"

When I started to do the same thing myself, though, I found it to be really helpful. I have been keeping really detailed notes and charts, and this has helped me to recognize things as "symptoms" that I would not have expected.

I have been compiling lists of depressed and hypomanic/manic symptoms. I started with the symptoms I found in books and other materials, and have been adding those of my own when I discover them. I find this to be really helpful, too. Each person has a unique set of symptoms that are not necessarily described in books.

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I really like the BP and depression dx workbook it can be a great way to distinguish sx on your own. I worked through it way back in 99 right after dx and found it really helpful. Lots of stuff to think about. It may be in the crazystore.

Anna

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Anna, I could not find a "BP and depression workbook" in the crazystore or amazon... do you have the author or more info?

These are the ones I have used, all have different symptom lists

I also found this NIMH manual and form to be useful. It has some good symptom lists and can help you decide whether symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe.

Also found this interesting, NIMH manual for making a "life chart" that summarizes episodes in your life so far. It is very much like the above, but focused on the past.

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Okay I'm pretty sure I'm going into hypomania here. Earlier today I started talking fast, talking a lot, and I got this feeling in my body, tense and like I wanted to move around, run around my house in laps until I passed out. I'm too out of shape to run though, so I just sit there and move constantly. I'm a bit relaxed now though, I took half a klonopin (half so I wouldn't get sleepy) and I went out with my mother.

Thank you everyone for the help, I did end up purchasing the Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, and it's very helpful, I did a checklist of symptoms while I was in the hospital, and a checklist of what is my actual personality, it helped a bit to realize how I am normally and not normally. My parents are finding it useful too. Now if only I could get them to read the BPD book I bought!

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