Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

A BP casualty


Recommended Posts

Hello all,

I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For many years starting at the age of twelve I had severe depression and mood swings. I pretty much spent my years as the school psychologist's pet. The older I got the worse my moods and conduct became. At eighteen (I'll be 20 in less than a week) I began hallucinating. I saw a woman that died when I was a child. As I was hallucinating I also planned to run away to ireland and got a celtic tattoo for reasons I still am not certain about. Luckily I like the tattoo. Of course I crashed and burned before I ever made it to Ireland. My recent hallucinations include musical notes floating in the air, evil black blobs/shadows with red eyes, and hearing glass cracking and shattering constantly to the point where it physically hurt. This led to a major meltdown at work and now major embarrassment for the parts I remember and anxiety for the things I don't.

I have a history of self harm (burning, cuttting, impulsive self destruction and suicide) but have always felt that someone else was doing it to me. I never found relief or anything of the like from it. This behavior is impulsive. Im medicated now and doing better. The mood swings over the years have been bad enough but what has occured in the past year is unreal. I feel as though my mind is terrorizing me. I can't make sense of it. How could the brain, the center of who you are, betray you in such a horrible way.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself in a way. Get a little bit off my chest. Also, I'd like to know how common hallucinations are with this disease? Does everybody experience them at some point or does it vary?

Thank you much for reading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, hallucinations are a possibility with bipolar. The simplistic view is that if you're having a mood episode and having psychotic symptoms (e.g. hearing and seeing things, believing things not rooted in reality, etc.), then it is bipolar I. If you are experiencing these things outside of a mood episode, i.e. your mood is stable when it happens, it is considered Schizoaffective disorder.

If I'm mistaken on this, please correct me fellow CBers.

While I've never hallucinated on my own (the times I did, it was brought on by meds screwing with my neurotransmitters too much), but I've held some minor delusions and had pretty bad paranoia for a while before I was diagnosed. The hallucinations I did experience were just shadows in my peripheral vision and one time I saw an electric-blue blob floating through the air. I had a tactile sensation once that was pretty weird too. I thought someone grabbed my butt, but when I turned around there was no one to slap! haha. As a one-time thing, It didn't scare me; I was more amused by the weirdness my brain and nerves cause. Then there was that one time I had this weird knowledge that evil incarnate was staring at me from the bottom of my pitch-black basement stairs (if an atheist believing evil spirits are in her basement isn't delusional, I don't know what is lol). I remedied this by not looking down the stairs at night and quickly running into the kitchen any time I entered through the side door. It was pretty unnerving.

I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I struggled with self injury for over a decade. I'm doing a lot better these days, but there's a long way to go yet.

Edit: Neurontin makes me spell all homophoney sometimes. Grr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With good treatment there is a lot of hope for your future. How are you doing in the process of finding the right medications? Therapy can be helpful too. There are a lot of people, even those who have hallucinated, who find good treatment and do well with their lives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for responding.

The hallucinations were very bizarre for me. Knowing my mind could do this to me has been hard to cope with but Im trying to be optimistic about treatment.

I first started Risperdal which worked for awhile but I (stupidly) decided not to take it anymore and that led to my most recent episode. I was in denial about my disease...but it showed me that at this point in life I cannot cope without meds. I know that now. I take a low dose of effexor xr and a high dose of Seroquel xr. I have been doing rather well with this combo. I have been a bit up but not to the point where I lose myself.

My biggest issues now are anxiety which I will be telling my doc about and sleeping, I have been iffy about doing therapy only because of bad experiences in the past. I found it to be very depressing and embarrassing to share my feelings with a essentially a stranger no matter how non-judemental they are suppose to be. My own problem I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Recluse

Howdy Blue Roses,

I'm BPII with attendant visual, auditory, and olfactory hallucinations. They are bizarre, but at the very least, odds are you know that what you're seeing or experiencing isn't real when it happens. For me, the visual and olfactory ones are almost always clearly unreal, however the auditory ones tend to disturb me, as it's sometimes hard to tell. Right now I'm taking Abilify on a tiny, titrating dose and it seems to be helping a little, however I'm guessing that next pDoc visit is going to lead to it being increased, as I'm still having most of them myself.

My original diagnosis was unipolar depression and anxiety, however when I mentioned the hallucinations and head-chatter, (I thought I'd told her about them, but apparently I hadn't) she immediately changed my diagnosis to BPII, so apparently hallucinations are very common for people with our illness.

Good luck.

P.S. I like your username.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recluse, I thought if you had psychoses with BP, it was automatically BPI. I am not trying to question your diagnosis, I am just wondering? I know you can have MDD with psychosis, but I thought BPII implied no psychoses.

Or are hallucinations not necessarily psychosis?

I get foul tastes or smells as auras to some of my migraines, but I have never visually hallucinated without an assist from a med or street drug.

Oh, and when I haven't slept for over two days, but that is different, I am pretty sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recluse, I thought if you had psychoses with BP, it was automatically BPI. I am not trying to question your diagnosis, I am just wondering? I know you can have MDD with psychosis, but I thought BPII implied no psychoses.

Or are hallucinations not necessarily psychosis?

I get foul tastes or smells as auras to some of my migraines, but I have never visually hallucinated without an assist from a med or street drug.

Oh, and when I haven't slept for over two days, but that is different, I am pretty sure.

I thought this too and I repeatedly questioned my doctor on this point. My dad was schizoaffective, both brothers are BP and then there's me, BPII. However I also have delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Despite my concerns that all this sounded too much like my dad he assured me that I was still firmly in BPII land. Now, that said, I am getting a new doctor this month and we'll see what she has to say about it. I still think I've been under-diagnosed. However, my doctor and I didn't have real in depth conversations. It was mostly a med check when I went in every few months. I'm also not real forthcoming with the info, so I'm going to be VERY straightforward with this new one and take up as much of her time as I feel I need until she understands me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Vapourware

I am another who thought that if you have attendant hallucinations and delusions with BP, then it becomes BP 1. Although, I wonder if someone is still seen as BP II if the psychosis occurs during depressive episodes only. I am on my phone so it's a bit hard to check, maybe I will check when I'm home. I do know that when I talked about some of my delusionals, my dx changed from BP II to BP with psychotic features.

@OP: BP can be a challenging condition. Psychosis does occur with those on the spectrum but they are manageable with the right treatment. Personally I've found a combination of therapy and medication to be very helpful. Therapy can help with finding coping mechanisms and to help you identify your triggers. Sometimes I rely on my therapist to let me know about mood changes, because she is able to pick them up before I can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was really having lots of visual and auditory hallucinations before I got on a high dose of risperdal. Now, no more cartoon characters are running around my back yard, and I can't hear the cat breathing loudly when he's not even in the room.

When you get on the right meds for you, things will get better. I've had kind of a two steps forward, one step back progress in my treatment, but I'm certainly better off now than when I was first diagnosed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...