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Warning: LONG, BORING...

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In the past I have been diagnosed with bipolar II and OCD. I am currently not taking any meds, although I do go to the counseling center at my university once a week. I have had a little bit of decent luck with meds, particularly Abilify, which seemed to work the best with the least side effects. However, a little over a year ago I was on four different medications, and I developed a really, really bad tremor. Due to this tremor I was unable to drive, which is my favorite activity for fun and stress relief. So I immediately quit all my meds cold turkey. But it took months for the tremor to fully disappear from my hands, which absolutely terrified me. During those long months of waiting for it to go away, I feared that there was some kind of permanent damage. So now I am absolutely terrified to take any kind of medication ever again, for fear of getting any kind of a movement disorder.


I am an absolute mess, though. I don't even know if going back to medication would help me, especially since it would cause huge amounts of anxiety about developing tremors and other movement problems, and I would probably blow any side effects completely out of proportion. Also, I have trouble discerning exactly what is wrong with me. I think it's a bit more complicated than my diagnosis (although when isn't it?).


Currently what I'm dealing with is long depressions that go on for maybe about 4 to 10 months, punctauted by short little hypomanias (or something). When I am depressed, I pretty much just lose all the joy and pleasure in life and see no real point in living. Basically I feel dead inside, to use a tired cliche. This starts to actually feel normal, and I start thinking maybe that's all there is to life, and I often think about suicide. But I have never attempted suicide because I know my parents would be devastated if they lost me. I'm their only child and they've given me so much, and someday I want to be able to pay it back to them and make them proud. So anyway, just when I start to think this is how I always am and will always be, all of a sudden the coin flips and I am suddenly flying over the chasm. Then I am absolutely thrilled by life. Everything is beautiful and sacred, every idea and thing becomes connected, music and colors become more vibrant. I catch up on all the things I neglected while I was down, I write pages of memories and images because they are so beautiful and I don't ever want to lose them, and it's like the world just sparkles with beauty and potential. But then anxiety sets in. It starts with just a general panicky feeling--my heart races and I'm nauseous. Then I get paranoid, wonder if people are planning to kill me, or if I have a deadly disease that I've been unknowingly spreading, and just feel generally unsafe and also dangerous. And then before too long life is empty and I'm back to feeling "dead" again. The "up" times usually seem to last between 2 weeks and 2 months. It's not as simple as just a cycle though. Sometimes when I'm "up", I can still get suddenly hit by that empty, dead feeling, but it lasts for maybe a couple hours and then I'm back up again. So yeah, I guess that covers that part of the equation.


The other part is tougher to explain. I guess basically they are sort of ordering and hoarding/"reverse hoarding" compulsions, although the mechanism behind it is difficult to explain. It's kind of like I get visual and physical sensations from things that shouldn't be provoking such sensations. If something is out of order (particularly in my own home), I get this feeling in my body that it isn't right. Or my mind seems to form a kind of map of how things should/could be arranged, but it's impossible to get it just right in accordance with the map. I also feel like I should be keeping and preserving everything, but I have already given up so many special things that I ultimately decide if I can't preserve everything I should preserve nothing, so I end up in this sort of keeping/giving away war.


There are two things that are bothering me the most right now. One is the universal hard drive, which I think exists at the edge of the universe and preserves all of the information that has ever and will ever exist. It bothers me because it preserves every mistake I have ever made, every imperfection I exhibit, and every bit of harm I have ever caused. I feel like I should be perfect because everything I do is getting saved on this hard drive (or God's memory, or something). I can't throw out my belief in the hard drive, because then I will be bothered by the fact that all the beauty in the world is slipping away into oblivion. If it's not getting saved somewhere, it just bothers me. But then I think,well, maybe I'm not really an individual person at all and we are all one universal soul, so it doesn't really matter if I'm perfect or not, because everything ultimately comes together into a state of perfection that we might someday understand. But then that clashes with a lot of my everyday beliefs, so back to square one of worrying that maybe all the beautiful things really are just disappearing and I should be making more of an attempt to save them.


The other thing that's bothering me right now is just...people. I feel hurt when people disagree with my opinions and try to discredit them, or when they don't like the things that I like. Also I get really mad when people make requests of me or criticize something I've done. I know it's self-centered, but I guess I'm just a selfish person. Nobody knows this about me (although I'm sure it sometimes shows when I get hurt or defensive). I really do go out of my way in trying to not insult other people's opinions or taste, and not to ask them to do things that would bother me if they made the request, but they don't treat me that way. Probably because it never even occurs to them that their behavior hurts me, since it wouldn't hurt most people.


Sorry about the essay. I know you all aren't in the business of diagnosis, but it felt really good to "say"all of that. I've never really explained it like that before, not even to the doctor. I'm in kind of a weird headspace today because I think I am hypomanic, but I am also deeply unhappy. And I am contamplating going back to the doc to see if I can try Abilify again, or maybe a different antipsychotic, but I'm afraid of what it could do to me. I'm also afraid of where I'm going right now, though. Being this unhappy is kind of ruining my life. Right now I am in school but all my classes are online, which allows me to get all the work done when I'm more hypo, and slack when I'm depressed. But in the fall I want to transfer to an on-campus school, which would require a bit more stability than what I have now. Plus the obsessive stuff (including the universal hard drive, but also a lot of other ideas that have crossed my mind that I simply can't let go of), my tendency to say random words to myself when I am having really unpleasant thoughts I can't shake, and like a million other things, just all seems to be ruining my life.

Edited by starship_subaru
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Welcome :). I can relate to a lot of things in your post, if not the universal harddrive idea, the ups and downs at least. I hope you find some comfort from these boards and hang around. I get Abilify tremors too hence I am cutting down slowly but I have similar fears that they are going to be permanent. There are other medications you can try with the guidance of a pdoc. I honestly don't think you have to live with these symptoms, it sounds awful what you're going through.

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Hello and Welcome to CB!  I'm sorry that your concept of a universal hard drive and people's actions are bothering you so much.  I think posting some of this on the main boards could be really helpful to you.


Please take a moment to read the User Agreement so you know where we're coming from: http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/6642-user-agreement-updated-28th-sept-2012/.  You might also want to check out chat or start a blog to describe your feelings.


I hope you feel welcome at CB!

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Welcome, Starship_Subaru.    Love your user name!   I agree with nightbutterfly above . . . you should not have to live with these symptoms.  Are you seeing a p-doc or t-doc to help you through this, maybe do a "reality check".   I, too, can relate to much of what you are saying, except for the part about the universal hard drive that preserves all information, including peoples' mistakes.    I think the universe, or maybe some "higher power" if you can relate to that, is more forgiving than that.

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