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Slow mo bipolar?

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I appreciate much of the information I've been able to glean so far from this site.  It's been very very helpful. I would appreciate some advice/perspective on my situation.  


I am older ( in 40s) and I have a long history of bipolar in my family. My mother and her mother both hit bipolar around 40.  Growing up with a bipolar mom I certainly know a lot about the eggshell life.  It was hard and still is.  She has ocd as well. Anyway I have had a rough time of it that last few years. I won't chart details but we are talking multiple new jobs in three countries plus death of a child and one child with a brain injury and then I was unlucky to get my own meningitis induced brain injury as well as several bouts with malaria. Also medicines used to treat and prevent malaria have not been kind on me mentally.  What I have noticed is that over the last 10 years I have a pattern of chasing highs in my career and life.  Then once they are achieved I crash in depression.  The chase phase might last 6 months or more with of course some downs but it's mainly a highly period full of energy. New house, new cars,  etc etc.  life in transition is great because I can blame any problems on transition, right?    Sometimes I feel like I can punch through a wall at that those times with glee.  

Then comes the fall. It takes time but I then mount problems with colleagues as I am/was a university professor.  I've had this cycle happen five times.  The depression part is also long and it is full of lots of thoughts racing in my head about not being content.  I don't feel right as nothing is changing.  I might buy things in this period as impulse to make things seem changing.  

But this last year was different.  I feel ill with a bad brain diesase. I was in hospital for two weeks then on chemo for a month and before the sickness could not move from my bed for months.   I am now recovering but cannot work and probably have lost the ability to be a high flying researcher.  I am ok with that part now.  

I reached a point over the last month of deep depression like I wanted to die. I did not have a quiet mind.  Any focus on a goal directed activity led to black and white thinking even exercise. I was trying to lift weight after brain surgery which was a little off I'd say. I went the dr and asked for help with my major depression from my illness and loss of a job plus a move from another country back the USA. I was perscribed Wellbutrin and remerol (mitrazapine).  That has taken me from the edge but i am nervous about the future. I have an appointment to work further on my mental state but I wanted to hear from folks about what is so motion bipolar like?  Maybe I am a victim of horrible circumstances only but when I look back on my thought patterns during those months and months of change I can recall blocks of times where I was high and low.  I hope I've made some sense.  Thank you

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I'm not quite sure what you mean by slow-mo bipolar, but if you're experiencing highs and lows that are negatively impacting your life - especially if you have a family history of bipolar - you should mention this to your doctor. If he/she thinks you might be more on the bipolar spectrum, he/she might medicate you differently. It's better to find this out sooner rather than later.

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I'm sorry you have gone through so much!  That is a lot of stress happening!  I'm sorry for the death of your child.

Like aura said, if any of this is impacting your life ... I would suggest telling your DR about it sooner than later.  It will most likely that the sooner you get treated, the faster recovery. (You may not be totally recovered, but in general I think you would, from personal experience).


I wanted to hear from folks about what is so motion bipolar like?

What is so motion bipolar?  Or slow mo bipolar, as read in the topic of your post?

When is your next appt?  I realize you said you had an appt with someone and i was wondering how long until the appt, and with who ... psychiatrist (pdoc) or therapist(tdoc) or a general DR (gdoc)?

Welcome to CB :)

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I hear you completely on the not knowing whether to attribute something to a mental health concern or something else--my variation was that I was burnt out at work and I almost missed the signs of a depressive episode because I was putting everything into the burnout category (fortunately the person I was dating caught it).

you may know this already--but in case not, with bipolar disorder it is possible to have the lengthy period of manic or hypo manic behavior and then lengthy period of depression.  I'm not able to say that that is what is going on--but the image of bipolar as jolting mood swings that happen quickly is a much, much less frequent version (rapid cycling).  Again, sorry if you know that already, but in case that's what you meant by it happening slowly, I wanted to say that it is possible and does happen.  Can't say that's going on, but agree with the people about me that it's worth asking about.  The potentially hard part is that some doctors really won't diagnose it without the clear signs and signals (spending spree of thousands of dollars, etc.), so getting a no now may just mean that it's worth paying attention to as life continues.

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