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If that were me, I'd call it anxious hypomania (most of my manias are anxious anyways).  In my case I get almost paralyzed because of the increased energy plus the inability to choose what needs to be done and just do that and cross it off the list.  That sounds like what you're feeling.  It sucks.

Have you tried a traditional mood stabilizer?  Lithium, depakote, tegretol?  The APs have gotten very trendy and do work well for some.  But ACs are the tried and true first-line treatment for bipolar disorder.  Everything has side effects, both APs and ACs.  But don't shy away from a med just because it was bad for some people.  You are just as likely to not get serious side effects from the same med. (BTW, if you're starting off with mania or hypomania, lamictal isn't a great initial med for you; it's activating, and it won't treat acute mania, which it sounds like you have, though it might be helpful later.)

I wouldn't suggest shopping for a med by surfing these boards (and the AC/AP boards are the ones to check, if you insist).  I say that because most of what you'll hear here is problems with meds; most of us don't post here because we've done well on them.  Instead go to psycheducation.org.  The doctor that runs the site is very skilled and has very user-friendly about BP disorder and excellent info on all treatments.

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How long has this feeling/behavior been going on?

It could be anything. I am not going to tell you that what you are feeling isn't a big deal, because all of these things are. But please try to remember- crazy people are people too.

[edit: ha. oops. I forgot ''not'']

Which means that we going on shopping sprees which may not have anything to do with a chemical imbalance.  We get a little lax in spending, get behind on chores, get overwhelmed and get distracted when we should be doing more important things.

Just like ''normal'' people.

And it can be really hard to tell the difference between what may be a really overwhelming 'blah' and stressful week and what may be an indication of something larger.

When you are more sensitive to stressful situations, you do need to react differently to them, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you are heading down a steep path which will necessitate new medication.

i have a habit pre/post bp of buying a lot of things.
This is a shared trait among a lot of bipolars.  Not all, but many will tell you that they shop. A lot.

i buy anything ordinary that is colorful and represents beauty.  blue/purple staples, purple scissors, notebooks, decorated mop/broom, light fixtures.  anything that i feel represents me on the outside.  (i found these great index cards at wal-mart. they have different floral designs, professionally done and the cards are also the same color.  i love it!  oh, and from target, a purple flowered notebook with 3 sections - blue, green purple with the same colored lines and borders on the paper.)

Maybe it would be good for you to do something creative, if you don't already have enough of an outlet.  It seems as though you are itching to use/work with/play with colors and shapes and beautiful things more.

I have a tendency to do collages when I get antsy like what you are talking about- I can pick out different things that can represent me, pay attention to as much or as little detail as I want, and there are a lot of different things to do within the activity.

It is usually a good activity.

There are probably other things that you can find that are as serene for you as you find shopping to be- but less harsh on your budget.

now, though, my life has become busy...

it's not like i have this incredible energy.  its just that now that i have some semblance of motivation, the mountain looks huge!!!

Really, that makes a lot of sense.  But you can't do everything at once.

And you can't do all the 'fun' things at once.  But you can't be expected to never take a break.

You mentioned that you tend to think obsessively about things.

If you don't do anything with that constant thinking, you are really just going to wear yourself out.

If you look at your post, though, you have a list.

Some of them are things you need to get done.

Some are things you should get done, some are things that would probably be nice to do.

You seem to attach the same amount of stress to all of them.

But if you make a list that long, it will look overwhelming.

Room is a disaster is not the same as ingrown toenail as going out to dinner.

I guess while I think that you *are* stressed and you do need to do something about that, I wouldn't personally suggest looking for a med.

I do suggest that the first thing you do is to maybe go back to the first post you wrote for this thread. If you look at the list you wrote, you can divide those things up- some of those are more important than others, some are things you should do. Some, like painting your nails, could be done while relaxing.  Long lists- bad. Deep breaths- good.

It has become easier with the lists and such for me, but I have had to work at it. I have at times kept a day planner. All the time though [except for when I recently just about finished it], I kept a little notebook on me at all times, always. I got into the habit of carrying it around so that I would always have something to write in when I needed to remember something. At least i had it written down somewhere.

Sometimes a whole system won't work.

I can't say that you aren't experiencing any sort of hypomania, but it does really sound like you are very overwhelmed right now and it could take sometimes to figure out what might help make things more managable.

~navy~

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thank you, thank you so much for all of the wonderful advice! ;)

i don't know how to tell you how much it means to be for you to take the time and respond to me.  you have really soothed my nerves.

i actually went ahead and did all the fun stuff:

record 6 30 min shows on dvd for b-day present

friend wants to meet up for dinner

re-visit all the shops to buy going away present and returns

(even added in a thank you present!)

they all really needed to be done by the end of the week.  i didn't worry about anything else!!!!  and i had alot fun doing it!!!  (it was a creative outlet)

i took back alot of stuff that i bought.  still have some decisions.

that in itself was liberating!

i do feel alot better.  more ready to get down to business!

Thank you bunches again!

Kathryn

:)

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I'd look into mood tracking. Use a device or tool like www.moodtracker.com. It even charts and lets you give your pdoc access if you want. It shows you your trends, and you can even print them to point to and say "hey, this is crazy!". There's also a space for you to journal.

I'd just keep an eye on it. Normal people have off or non-normal times in their lives, and yet these could be the early signs of something more major. Using the mood tracker and JOURNAL with it will help you see trends, and give you and your pdoc more information to make better decisions with.

For me, this tool helped us catch my last mania in its very, very beginning and I ended up in a rather weak mixed state that calmed down rather quickly instead of a MANIA. Instead of losing everything I have due to an episode.

BP is an intense disorder. My thinking on it is to always watch, and don't panic or something, but do observe as you have been, track, and talk about it. A mood stabilizer could always be introduced and increased if something is amiss.

loon

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I second Loon's advice.  Particularly the part about catching an episode before it gets out of control.  My moods tend to sneak up on me; even if I'm having a quick one, mood tracking helps me realize I'm not just upset about something but am having actual mood trouble.

There are lots of one-page paper mood charts.  Personally I like them better because the best time for me to track is right before bed, and if I get on the computer at bedtime I'm likely to stay online for hours.  My fave is at http://www.manicdepressive.org/tools_all.html. Personally I find it helpful to be able to see the results graphically right away, but whatever helps you see the patterns is great.  The chart is also great to hand to the pdoc because it's so condensed and easy to read at a glance.

But do whatever works.  I can't recommend it enough.

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thanks nars and loon for the info. i checked out that website you recommended nars.  pretty informative.

ok, so now why hasn't my pdoc mentioned this? ;)

(honestly, i am not much on follow through - may write in it occassionally)

i have got some decisions to make.  i do not want to go on the "find the right doc" mission.

thank you again!

Kathryn

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Neither of my pdocs suggested it.  Right after getting my BP diagnosis I read Frances Mondimore's "Bipolar Disorder" which strongly recommended it.  I pulled something off the web and started using it right away.  It was especially helpful the first year or so and anytime after that when I had more symptoms.  And when I switched meds last summer.  I still use it, but most of the time there's nothing to report.  Generally, after about 4-5 months of being stable I'll stop tracking my moods, but I always keep some blanks in my file cabinet for the bad times.

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I started tracking before I got to the pdoc, and it speeded up my diagnosis considerable (IMO).  I don't know if he would have suggested tracking but I do know that he appreciates me bringing in my charts.

My only problem with moodtracker is that it doesn't really give options for rapid cycling (more than twice a day changes) or mixed states.  I'm constantly making little notations in the journal that I then have to manually transfer to the chart.  Sometime when I have my head a bit straighter I'll set up an excel file with appropriate charting.

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Heya,

Yah I'm trying to make an Excel file that helps with mixeds.

I like the dots.

I like to just fill in dots everyday.

Current mood trackers are a pain.

B/c like Alissha I'm writing too much every day to keep it up.

I need dots for rage, and fear, and whether I had breakfast or not, and how much caffeine I had.

Also it would help a whole buncha more if I had the dots on my pocket PC.

So I'm looking for a dots tracker for the PPC.

Or I'll make one for Excel To Go.

Or I'll ask one of DH's techie friends to make one?

--ncc--

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or you could use those pretty pens and notebook to sort things out.  just a thought. 

Like the first response, I think you are itching to be creative and if you don't have a create plan, maybe using (some of) the things you bought to organize your life is a first step.  Prioritize and remember to have some fun.

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I like the dots.
Ooh!  Ooh!  Me too!!

My current chart uses check marks instead of dots, but you also draw a line between your lowest low and highest high for the day.  If you want you can make that line really black and thick!!  Thicker means more cycling, in my usage.

I'm all about spending no time.  Who has time?

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