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What's the longest you have gone between major episodes?


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I'm particularly interested in the amount of time that elapses between complete meltdowns. Seems like I went all the way from 2008 to 2013 without a bad one*, and Then I started having a bunch of them close together. I hope the medication works soon, or I feel another one is probably right around the corner.

*although I had a very long depression or series of depressions during the intervening years, possibly with some milder mania sprinkled here and there.

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Well, 2008 to about 2011. I wasn't hospitalized in 2011, but I came damn close. I flipped out at school after failing an exam, and therefore failing my program, and having to go back and be class of 2012. I know it seems trivial now, but it was a big deal.. I started throwing things around (pens, paper, fortunately), screaming I was going to kill myself. 911 got called, I was taken by ambulance to the ER, released to my parents.. embarrassing. I did graduate in 2012.

 

It led to a lot of later delusions.

In 2013, I was hospitalized for a huge breakdown.

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Did you get hospitalized involuntarily? That's the only way I've gone before. Only twice in my life, though (so far). I worry they might not let me out next time. The loony bin terrifies me for that reason.

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I was pretty stable for the first year I was married.  I didn't know I had bipolar disorder then, I just thought I dealt with depression.  After that time I began having a lot of trouble with alcohol.  Like many people I have multiple diagnoses, and sometimes it's hard to separate the bipolar from the alcohol problem from the eating disorder.

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The last complete meltdown I had was at the end of June/beginning of July (2013). I didn't end up in the hospital but I totally could have. I wasn't very honest with my pdoc about it but Haldol pulled me out of it pretty quick. Before that? Hmm...June 2012 (last hospitalization). It has slowed down for me since I'm consistently on meds and in therapy. I'm glad about that because I was hospitalized 4 or 5 times from 2010-2012. I know people go in much more than that but that was a lot for me. Abilify has kept me out of the hospital two or three times. I was off of it and restarted. It saved my life those times, especially the last time.

 

In short, June 2012-July 2013 is the longest I've gone in between total meltdowns. Things went south from April until July but it definitely came to a head.

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I was pretty stable for the first year I was married.  I didn't know I had bipolar disorder then, I just thought I dealt with depression.  After that time I began having a lot of trouble with alcohol.  Like many people I have multiple diagnoses, and sometimes it's hard to separate the bipolar from the alcohol problem from the eating disorder.

Which symptom(s) could be either due to BP or alcohol?

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It wasn't that my symptoms were similar, but I drank when I was depressed and I drank when I was manic to make myself feel differently, and when my feelings changed it was sometimes hard to know if it was because of bipolar symptoms or because of the alcohol I drank.  It's hard to look back and determine what was due to what on some occasions.  Not sure if that makes sense.

 

At any rate, I hope your medication kicks in for you soon and you start feeling better.

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I think it depends on what I might consider a meltdown. Sometimes my really bad periods don't get to the point where I get more intense services or leave work, but maybe I should have. So I can't really go by that as a standard. It's generally hard for me to say because I have a really poor memory overall. I'm going to guess that I'm stable for maybe 6 months to a year at a time. I'm saying that because it's hard to remember the good periods, so I'm assuming there's a little bit less of those. Each time I try to remember a good year, I'm remembering all the bad stuff from it too, so...this is a hard question. Sorry I'm rambling here.

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The longest I have gone is 5-6 years.

 

The last episode before remission might have been mixed (I planned a murder suicide), but fell heavily on the depressive side, and back then, BP II "didn't have mixed episodes." Next episode, 5 or 6 years later, year 5 of my marriage, was mixed, so I was switched from BP II to BP NOS, because BP II "didn't have mixed episodes."

 

DH did know I was BP and what that entailed when we were married.

 

Now apparently my pdoc decided those mixed episodes were actually  dysphoric manias, and I was switched BP 1. I still haven't really come to terms with that, as lame as that is.

 

But anyway, 5-6 years.

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Thanks. I thought it was weird I went so long. Was doubting diagnosis as a result. Then got slammed outta the blue starting this summer, and it's been ongoing since. Finally couldn't take it any more and called pdoc. He no longer

seeing patients. Damn. So I started calling buncha new ones, but was during the holidays and nobody called me back, save for one who just moved too far away. And her replacement was an appointment way out. Finally got another one to call me back and got earlier appointment, but was still too long out for my taste. Like the guy so far, tHo. But he is not in network with my new insurance plan, so I may have to find another one in another month or so. Blech. I dunno. I suppose it depends on how often I have to see him. We shall see.

Edited by Flash
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Thanks. I thought it was weird I went so long. Was doubting diagnosis as a result. Then got slammed outta the blue starting this summer, and it's been ongoing since. Finally couldn't take it any more and called pdoc. He no longer

seeing patients. Damn. So I started calling buncha new ones, but was during the holidays and nobody called me back, save for one who just moved too far away. And her replacement was an appointment way out. Finally got another one to call me back and got earlier appointment, but was still too long out for my taste. Like the guy so far, tHo. But he is not in network with my new insurance plan, so I may have to find another one in another month or so. Blech. I dunno. I suppose it depends on how often I have to see him. We shall see.

All of that run around with pdocs really sucks, I was having a similar issue after my most recent breakdown; for months I was trying to receive treatment and getting on waiting lists, etc. I'm glad you like your new pdoc, I hope it all works out for you. 

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It wasn't that my symptoms were similar, but I drank when I was depressed and I drank when I was manic to make myself feel differently, and when my feelings changed it was sometimes hard to know if it was because of bipolar symptoms or because of the alcohol I drank. It's hard to look back and determine what was due to what on some occasions. Not sure if that makes sense.

At any rate, I hope your medication kicks in for you soon and you start feeling better.

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I feel the same way about the drinking. I've managed to stay off it 20 days now, and yep I've been very stable.

I lean more towards the bp 2, the only real meltdowns were rages if I got really drunk. Instead of huge episodes I just felt generally shitty most days. I was able to basically function, but was depressed & anxious.

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