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How was your life before the diagnose?


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Hi there everyone,

 

 

I was just wondering this afternoon how everything has changed since I needed professional help for my issues. In the past my life was apparently a big mess and I couldn't see the ups and downs so clearly, I used to define myself as a anxious person but there was also the depressive episodes from time to time. Now both the manic and depressive states seem unbearable, I'm currently on Zyprexa, Depakote and Alprazolam, but the depressive states is so strong now that I'm considering the option of hospitalization for a while.
 
Why was I capable to deal with all this shit before and it seems so worse now? Does anyone share the same opinion or is going through something similar?
 
I just don't know what to do now.
 
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My life was a mess before I was diagnosed. I was constantly cycling between depression and mania. I was also very suicidal. I did manage to get through school though(did bad in K -12 but did good in college). I'm still symptomatic but it's not as bad. I'm going through an episode now but it's not as bad as past experiences. I'm not suicidal at least.

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thanks for all the replies,

 
 
The biggest problem for me now is College, I've been dropping out and switching majors for 10 years! All because I can't keep track on things and then when the depression hits I have already lost control and this is about to happen again. I just cannot take it anymore.
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I was severely depressed in high school, before my diagnosis of MDD.  Was not able to function at all.  Failing classes, anorexia, etc.

 

Throughout college I was on and off different meds, had some episodes of depression but nothing too terrible.  

 

After college, I had some worse episodes of depression.  Again, on and off different meds.

 

Felt great with my first pregnancy (mood-wise, anyway), super awesome after my first child was born, was not on meds at all then.  I may have been hypomanic.  Was super depressed during second pregnancy, had to go on Zoloft in the third trimester, which I didn't want to do but I was unable to function.  After she was born, I struggled a little.  When she was about two, I was feeling really good (another possible hypomanic period).  Went off meds.

 

Then I crashed again, had horrible depression.  Back on meds.

 

I got the BP2 diagnosis recently and I'm still trying to figure out what meds I should be on.

 

That's the jist of it.

Edited by larali
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I was highly functional at work, but lacked all interest and emotion In life, auto pilot, with suicidal wishes. Drinks and xanax, repeat.

Started to become less functional at work, no one noticed, thank goodness. I initially was wrongly diagnosed (not uncommon) and then everything became shattered. IP followed, and now with a new dx and hopefully the right meds things are righting themselves..

To be honest I liked IP, I would have stayed longer if allowed, but stuff was figured out there that I don't think would have been figured out.

Good luck to you.

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I remember having a breakdown in school when I was about 15.... crying/laughing/crying/laughing.... just lost it... life was pretty shitty but I "just got along", it was hard... saw so many psychologists but was not given a diagnosis that helped for a LOOOONG time!

 

I also study.... I also find it hard! I dunno how I pull it together sometimes. Today I am literally "forcing" myself to sit down and WORK! grrrrr

 

Anyway - life before was messy, with no real reason as to why.... why no friends, or why did people push me away... down, but with a big fat veneer on..... that veneer fell off one day.... and that was that really....

 

Best to you and for your studies! x

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I looked functional (still do) while all kinds of crazy ass shit was happening on the inside.  I could twist whatever was happening around to make it look at least sort of normal.  It was hell but only for me.  Still is that way.  I don't share.  Tdoc is really annoyed that I don't ask for help or comfort but I never learned to do that. It's weird to me.  The current clusterfuck with the pdoc was caused by me looking "so put together it was confusing".  Tdoc talked to pdoc.  I asked tdoc if she was going to charge pdoc for that bit of therapy explaining that you can't look at someone's pants and tell their mental state.

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Before my current diagnosis, my life was up and down.  I always had a diagnosis of something since 1988, but it changed all the time.  I went from one diagnosis to another.  I looked fine and was functional until about 1995 (with the exception of 1988-1990, when I was extremely underweight).  Things weren't great, but I made things look good on the outside.  I had to. 

 

After I finished college in 1995 (literally, a couple days before graduation), I had a breakdown and OD'd for the first time**.  I was hyper/depressed/impulsive/anorexic/obsessive for the next 8 years off and on, and my diagnoses changed as different pdocs observed me (I was in the hospital more than not from 1995-6, and 1997-8), and as many meds were tried. 

 

Finally in 2003 a new pdoc diagnosed with SZA (and other things) and that pdoc found the right cocktail of meds for me to become functional as much as I could be.  More than I had been.  And he's kept me stable as much as possible.  I was still psychotic for awhile, and I stopped taking my medication without him knowing sometimes, but around 2010 I became more in reality.  It's only been in the past 4 years that I have had the kind of stability that I have now.

 

 

**During college I was evaluated for the hospital because I had lost too much weight, on purpose, but never went in because of reasons I can't talk about here.  So college it was rocky, but all that rockiness held off until 1995.

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My experience is a kind of progression - low school functioning, depressions in college, retrospectively hypomanic interludes, and then my brother died and it set me into a 2 year depression. I developed insomnia and spent a couple of years pursuing sleep disorders because my day to day functioning / mood was so variable. I thought if i just got some good sleep, it would go away.  Since then, I've failed many antidepressants and I've been propelled into full blown hypomania from wellbutrin. I'm now getting mood features that I haven't experienced so strongly before - ultra rapid cycling, mixed states and deeper depressions mixed in with occasional giddy days where I feel like floating on air with a shit eating grin on my face. Too me over 10 years to get to bipolar 2 diagnosis. Currently on the try this, try that mood stabilizer magic mystery tour.

 

You prob need to consider that your bipolar is changing character over time and you prob need a med adjustment. Lithium? 

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For me, it's been ever-longer depressions punctuated by the occasional manic or mixed episode. The manic and mixed periods have been getting much longer and more intense as times goes by. The depressions have always been a mix of intense deep depressions, and much, much longer mild or moderate depressions. Halfway through last year I had a big mixed episode that lasted until February of this year. I started seeing a pdoc again I'm early January and have been on the med-go-round since. Had month and a half of normal, which would have been really nice if I could have enjoyed it. I wrecked my back and my best friend was dying. About ten days after he passed, another episode started. Except for a strange week of mixed/manic, it's been all depression this time. My meds zap the mixed and manic stuff, but the depression has proven very difficult to treat. I'm close to normal when the Ritalin is working, but it wears off quickly and then I'm back to square one.

Before getting diagnosed, my life was a series of stops and starts. Everything was always falling apart periodically. School was a train wreck that took me 9 years and four schools, and then there were two failed graduate programs. I would quit or change jobs frequently, and was just basically always in flux, stumbling from one mess to the next. On top of that, I am a serious alcoholic and have the most dreadful time quitting or staying quit. During the depressions at least, it is sometimes hard to separate the effects of the booze from the bipolar. And I wonder If it has exacerbated the manic and mixed states. Anyway, things have improved since getting properly medicated, and I think I'm pretty close to a cocktail that works. I'm getting on in years now, and I feel like most of my life was lost to BP and alcohol. I can't undo the past, but I sure wish I had those years back. All I can do is try to move forward and try to have a life now, however shortened it may be. I'm still having a problem accepting the way it has all gone down, but I,m trying to let it go. Thinking about how things could have been so different if only I ... well, it certainly doesn't help my mood.

You say that you were able to deal with this shit, but now it's so much worse. Perhaps you're just having a particularly bad episode right now. I've heard some say that it gets worse with time, especially untreated. Trying to find the right cocktail can be a frustrating experience, but it's just something you have to deal with. I hope you find the right combination soon so that you can get relief. And if you think you need to go IP, it's worth considering. I nearly did last year. Wish I had done so after the first meltdown. I've been to the funny farm twice. It's not the worst thing in the world.

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Hi there everyone,

 

 

I was just wondering this afternoon how everything has changed since I needed professional help for my issues. In the past my life was apparently a big mess and I couldn't see the ups and downs so clearly, I used to define myself as a anxious person but there was also the depressive episodes from time to time. Now both the manic and depressive states seem unbearable, I'm currently on Zyprexa, Depakote and Alprazolam, but the depressive states is so strong now that I'm considering the option of hospitalization for a while.
 

 

Sometimes it is a good idea for hospitalization when you feel you need to be stabilized, and maybe get med adjustments to help even out your mood.  In the hospital you can get used to starting the meds in a safe environment.

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I have no idea how I got through my life pre-diagnosis as well as I did.

I was a mess though. My hypomanic episodes would last for months. I'd take on all sorts of complex and ambitious projects for school. I'd be out bicycling at all hours of the day and night. I'd volunteer at tonnes of organizations at once. I'd get very little sleep but still be bouncing off the walls. I also tended to overshare things and generally have very little filter when talking with people, so as much as I tried I had a lot of trouble making friends during my hypomania.

When the depression hit, it was miserable. I had to drop (almost) all my classes and I spent literally months doing little more than laying in bed and staring at the ceiling. I somehow managed to take two classes, but in the end I failed one. I didn't eat unless my partner brought food to me. Every moment of every day I just hoped that I would just drift to sleep and never wake.

No matter what I wasn't able to hold down a job until after college. Even then it was just barely. I was working multiple jobs at one point (it was a blend of economic necessity and hypomania that drove me to take that on.) Eventually I just cracked under the pressure. I couldn't handle life. I stopped going to work, and had my mom call in for me and explain to my bosses what had happened. I almost ended up in IP, but somehow managed to get an appointment with a pdoc within two weeks of my breakdown, so I just stayed home and cried until the appointment came up. Then I was finally diagnosed.

I still cycle, life is still miserable sometimes, but it's better than it was before my diagnosis and getting on the right meds.

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I did pretty well grades wise in K-12. But college I did well til I crashed or became so manic I needed hospitalization. I was able to talk my way out of my first hospitalization. To this day I don't know how I was able to do that.

The next one I was forced to stay or insurance wouldn't pay for it I was told. Yikes! So I stayed.

By then I was only working part time and off my rocker. School was out of the question. I finally lost it so bad and very seriously OD'd. I had tried before but this one I was in bad bad shape.

That sparked a year long hospitalization at a state hospital where I was properly diagnosed as SZA bp type with GAD.

For the next at least 5 years it was constantly in and out of hospitals and more in hospitals than out.

I really wish I could have finished college before shit hit the fan. My loans have been forgiven due to permanent disability. I'm on SSDI too. Can't work anymore.

I've had bad side effects from the meds too. But need long term hospitalization without them.

I wish I could do more with my life. But I'm fucked. Currently struggling with agoraphobia. Can hardly leave the bed let alone the house. Fml.

Edited by Wonderful.Cheese
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I have no idea how I got through my life pre-diagnosis as well as I did.

I was a mess though. My hypomanic episodes would last for months. I'd take on all sorts of complex and ambitious projects for school. I'd be out bicycling at all hours of the day and night. I'd volunteer at tonnes of organizations at once. I'd get very little sleep but still be bouncing off the walls. I also tended to overshare things and generally have very little filter when talking with people, so as much as I tried I had a lot of trouble making friends during my hypomania.

When the depression hit, it was miserable. I had to drop (almost) all my classes and I spent literally months doing little more than laying in bed and staring at the ceiling. I somehow managed to take two classes, but in the end I failed one. I didn't eat unless my partner brought food to me. Every moment of every day I just hoped that I would just drift to sleep and never wake.

No matter what I wasn't able to hold down a job until after college. Even then it was just barely. I was working multiple jobs at one point (it was a blend of economic necessity and hypomania that drove me to take that on.) Eventually I just cracked under the pressure. I couldn't handle life. I stopped going to work, and had my mom call in for me and explain to my bosses what had happened. I almost ended up in IP, but somehow managed to get an appointment with a pdoc within two weeks of my breakdown, so I just stayed home and cried until the appointment came up. Then I was finally diagnosed.

I still cycle, life is still miserable sometimes, but it's better than it was before my diagnosis and getting on the right meds.

OMG, I soooooooo have that problem!
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Before my diagnosis, I spent a lot of time depressed punctuated by episodes of violent anger.  Things got broken, people got screamed at, cars got driven WAY too fast.  And I'd have lovely hypomanias when I was happy and productive.  If I could bottle that and be like that all the time, I would.  I'm still like that, minus the hypomanias unfortunately, just not as much.  I'm still tweaking my meds after three plus years since diagnosis.  I think we're getting there, though.  I also need to get into cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy to address my various issues (GAD, OCD, PTSD).  In some ways I'm worse today  than I used to be.  My creativity and motivation are gone gone gone.  I am never in a better mood than "okay", so nothing really makes me happy.  The only positive thing seems to be that the angry episodes don't happen as often, though I do have breakthrough periods where I'm just angry all the time.  As I said, my pdoc and I are still working on tweaking my meds.

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brdude, if getting a degree is important to you, I would break it down, and not try to carry an entire course load. See if there is a community college near you from which you can transfer credits to a university/college. Take one or two classes at a time. It isn't a race or a contest. After 10 years, this is clearly something that is important to you, but you don't have to do it in the "typical" fashion.

 

Having been depressed throughout most of college, I think the max course load I *could have* carried and done well was two. I needed 4. All 4 grades were bad. Don't make it into a hard and fast line, look at it as a goal.

 

And anyway, degrees indicate hoops jumped through, not necessarily intellectual achievement.

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