FAN: My moods seem to be determined by the energy I am in. I have a hard time telling the difference between good and bad energy. I do have symptoms like wanting to run away and get out or binge eating if it is bad energy. If if is good energy I feel the love I am happy funny and charismatic. Has anyone gone on Meds for bipolar? I am afraid to. I have had my whole life change in the past year, I’ve lost over 100 lbs and people treat me much different but since the weight loss I have severe ups and downs. My intution and perception have grown VERY strong to a point where it is driving me crazy because I see things people do not see. If anyone has any experience on medication please let me know!
REPLY: Congratulations on the weight loss that is huge! Do you have any tips? I am working on losing some weight myself right now I got rather ill with respiratory issues over the holidays this year so I was just eating whatever made me feel better thinking I could always take it off later. Not the best idea ever! I am taking it off but it was so not worth it lol. As for good and bad energy – I can find both in high doses to be quite overwhelming. Too much stimulation either way can lead me to shut down (depressed) or hypo-manic. Hypomania seems to come on when I’m feeling very excited and happy about things. It is frustrating to me that I can’t seem to just enjoy my emotion – I have to be so careful and not let it get too high. I have to be careful not to binge eat at night when I’m tired and I hardly know what I’m doing! I would probably be better off getting into bed but I work kind of late in the evenings and feel like I need that time to unwind. Of course, I am tempted to binge eat when I’m very stressed, too.
When I first received my dx I felt like medication did not work for me. I was about 25 at the time and had suffered mental illness since at least eleven or twelve. In the time before the dx I was given other meds that made things worse. I really hit rock bottom right before diagnosis. I had been doing things in my life that were very damaging to myself and my family. I thought since I finally, finally received the correct dx things would automatically get better – even though I had no job, had pushed away all my friends, and my relationship with my husband was a source of tremendous guilt for me (because of things I “did” to him). So I thought meds would fix all that :/ It is a mindset I developed as a kid – that I just needed to keep going, that I would find a “fix.” And I think it’s something that was instilled in me by all the medications and therapists pushed on me. Let’s take the kid here to get fixed, or there!
Flash forward to a few years ago and I was handling things without medication. Mania has never been my biggest problem, depression has. At this point I had a job, ran all the time, was slowly making friends and ate a strict vegan diet. The running literally saved my life as my marriage started to crumble. Then I discovered my husband was having an affair – for three years. I had no choice but to go on medication or I would not been able to function. Under this severe stress is where medication really shined for me. The meds immediately changed my thinking in a good way – the obsessive thoughts didn’t stop but I feel they were at a more “normal” level. Medication allowed me to take the initiative and save my marriage. Without it, I believe my marriage would have failed because my husband certainly wasn’t highly motivated – he was very conflicted.
I am now unsure if I will ever go off medications again. Who knows when a highly stressful event will occur in life? I want to handle it with grace – not fall on my face. I now realize this is a huge danger to bp folks. You feel better, you feel like maybe you don’t need the meds and maybe you don’t right now – but they aren’t really designed for the times you feel good. Of course I’m sure lots of people cope with stress better than me To address your specific comments – I think probably medication will help with what you see and perceive but I don’t take anti-psychotics so I have no experience with that class of medication (I’m thinking that’s what they would want to give you). I can tell you that right now I am on lithium (mood stabilizer), lamictal (mood stabilizer), klonopin (anxiety), trazadone (anxiety/depression). These medications work fairly well at controlling my bp symptoms. I used to have spontaneous mystic states and I don’t have them anymore. But I don’t know if that’s just the meds – I am also extremely busy and focused on my master’s degree which I also started three years ago. I have found that having something in my life that demands a great deal of concentration to be very stabilizing. It helps me with my routine, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, it grounds me to a certain extent – but I think it may close me off as well. If you think of the stereotype of the uptight intellectual who thinks they know it all and is not open minded – I think I have a bit of that in me. Although I am open minded! I’m just uptight, lol!
I know I have read in some bp books about medication for sensory defensiveness. I do not take anything to help with my sensory issues. I imagine some of those medications might be helpful as well – since you are sensing things that most people can’t/don’t want to acknowledge. I work in a library – so that eliminates most possibilities for an overload and I always try to have my earplugs handy. Sometimes at home I have to retreat to my bedroom because my thirteen year old has ADD. Do you think what you are seeing is a product of an overwrought mind or “legit” manifestations? At various times in my life I have perceived beings that seemed benign or positive – but I have also experienced what I consider hallucinations and I believe they come from my mind and images I’ve seen in horror movies. To this day I don’t take showers at night because I always used to see a bloody lady (think “carrie”) and felt like she was batting at the shower curtain as I showered. I believe at night my mind is “weaker” and more vulnerable. Do you notice places/activities/times that cause you the most grief?