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Does it ever get better?


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So, to start off with some background, I started having symptoms of BP1 when I was about 13 years old. I'm now 27, and only started to receive treatment for it earlier this year (I realized I had the disorder about a year ago while I was depressed, but then when I went manic I, of course, decided I didn't have a problem). In Jan. I started to sink into the deepest depression I've ever experienced and finally sought out help after losing 10lbs in a week and having my friend stop me from driving to a bridge. I spent months in a partial hospitalization program, and was hospitalized twice, the second of which was after losing my job and attempting to end it. After finally getting out of my depression and feeling stable, I'm already starting to feel like a mood swing is looming. It has me feeling really defeated, and I'm just wondering if the rollercoaster ever stops? I keep going back and forth between intrusive thoughts about suicide and how I don't want to have to be this way forever, and itching for excitement and newness and the constant need for change. I just want to know, has anyone ever had similar feelings and does it ever stop? I don't want to ever feel that depressed again, but at times I'm just so frustrated with not being normal that it starts to creep up on me. 

Edited by Lorelion
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Welcome to CB, Lorelion. You're in the right place.

I was also diagnosed with bipolar after being symptomatic since I was in my early teens, and yes, it does get better. The trick is finding the right meds, which, sadly, rarely seems to happen on the first try. And I don't mean the very first meds you take. I mean tweaking your cocktail repeatedly over the course of several episodes that are more minor than the Big One that made you get treatment in the first place.

But yeah. It gets better. The longer you're stable the more you'll develop a taste for it and an understanding of what you can do with your life if you don't have the constant ups and downs. I know they seem natural now; you grew up with them, and you don't know any other way. But they're part of a disease, and they are not natural. In fact, they're trying to kill you.

Please let me or one of the other mods know if you need any help with the site.

Gearhead

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Welcome.   Similar to you I did not get the correct DX or meds till later in life.  Things get better, they get different and then they change. 

Not to be a downer,  I am now looking for a reduction in the number of episodes and a lessening of symptoms.  Not sure the fight is ever over, you just get breaks from time to time.  I struggle with the quiet that stability brings so dont feel alone on that one.   I have heard there are those that find the perfect med cocktail and have years and years of stability.  

I think I have moved passed thinking that would be me. 

Hope you find lots of support here.

 

Edited by dragonfly23
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I just wanted to add a voice that agreed that meds being fiddled with made big changes and my brilliant thought that things just HAVE to be different.  So getting better seems to be in the cards.  Wanting things like meds to work can get complicated by how long some take to kick in.  Ditto therapy.  You may need to try different forms to get anything out of it.  Or you may need to try different TDocs to find the one that will match up with your issues.  I know that last bit was a big deal for me because I had well meaning TDocs but they just weren't a good fit.  And the one I see now is just been so in tune and on the spot type of help.  And there are other things that help that are a little off the beam.  One thing that helped with my issues was some zen type stuff.   It sounded really corny to me but... It does work in my case. 

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I'm 27, too, and was recently diagnosed with bipolar. 

I have to believe there is a med and therapy combo out there for each of us which can help ameliorate the worst of our suffering.  It's a hellish ride, no doubt, but it's the only one there is.

I hope you explore CB and find it useful.  There's a lot of support and wisdom floating around here.

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Just want to echo what the previous posters have written.  These 3 quotes caught my attention as to being true for me too:

1 hour ago, lifequake said:

I have to believe there is a med and therapy combo out there for each of us which can help ameliorate the worst of our suffering.  It's a hellish ride, no doubt, but it's the only one there is.

 

8 hours ago, Gearhead said:

The trick is finding the right meds, which, sadly, rarely seems to happen on the first try. And I don't mean the very first meds you take. I mean tweaking your cocktail repeatedly over the course of several episodes that are more minor than the Big One that made you get treatment in the first place.

 

2 hours ago, HAL9000 said:

Wanting things like meds to work can get complicated by how long some take to kick in.  Ditto therapy.  You may need to try different forms to get anything out of it.  Or you may need to try different TDocs to find the one that will match up with your issues.  I know that last bit was a big deal for me because I had well meaning TDocs but they just weren't a good fit.  And the one I see now is just been so in tune and on the spot type of help. 

 

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Hi Lorelion,

Welcome to CB, while I haven't made any attempts, at 47 and having had intrusive thoughts (that is as far as I can admit, even to myself about feeling suicidal) and wishing I wasn't suffering so much. I used to get those thoughts and would ruminate a lot. It got really bad last winter and kept up til spring when I went through some medication changes. I have also finally gotten with a new pdoc and a new tdoc, both of whom I think are offering me a much higher level of care than I've never had in my 3 decades of battling my inner demons and traumas.

I think part of my problem last year was medication related and also the fact I had given up on ever finding inner peace. I had been out of therapy for 5 & 1/2 years. This is after a decade with only one coping tool offered to ease my anxiety and suffering. Yeah, wasn't working for me, so when tdoc retired I didn't seek a replacement. This year things have changed in that my relationship and entire house of cards was ready to implode if I didn't do something to get a grip on this shit.

I can tell you that you're ahead of me in the game of trying to manage this disease that is trying to kill us as sure as Cancer or Diabetes etc. I had gone off medication for a year, meaning an atypical anti-psychotic. (Abilify) My new pdoc wanted me back on something, because I am starting up psychotherapy, like for real this time. I am seeing my tdoc weekly and going to really dig deep to try and face the pain and get past it all. This board can be really helpful, so if you need support you will surely find it here.

I was a little older than you when I sought treatment. I denied the dx of BP II for 2 years and then when a second professional set that dx forth again to me, that was when I agreed to try medication. When it helped? That was when I accepted the dx. Our brains work differently, we respond differently to things. I am working now with my therapist to try to become aware of my reactions to things that trigger overwhelming emotional responses so that I can start to work on taking that emotion out of the equation and maybe find that inner peace I'd give up on finding within myself.

It's not easy, but it's the only option we've got, you know? Medication and intense talk therapy to figure out a path towards peace inside our troubled minds. Welcome to the board and I look forward to posting here with you Lorelion. :)

 

 

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For years things only rarely improved, and not by much. For some reason, I believed they could. For a long time I had a pdoc who didn't think I'd ever really feel better, and I partly believed that. I should have changed pdocs sooner. Now, I'm on better meds and finally, finally feel better. Partly I think having a pdoc who hadn't given up on me helped. So your situation is probably different, but it is possible to feel better even after a long time, at least for some of us. I hope you find balance sooner rather than later. Holding on to the hope that someday there would be a "better" is what kept me going. 

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15 hours ago, sugarsugar said:

but it is possible to feel better even after a long time, at least for some of us.

I agree with this.  I don't feel completely better and probably/most likely will never be totally better than I am now.  But it does get better.  14 years ago (when the hallucinations and delusions happened, and I started believing them, but was ending up in hospitals) I wondered if things would ever get better for me.  It took a long time but things gradually got better.  I feel more in control of life in general.  Not total control of the SZA, but for the most part, yes.  It has taken so many years to get to this point. So it s possible to feel better, but in time.  For me it didn't happen overnight.

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