View Full Version : What's the use of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder???


Fuzzy12
12-19-12, 12:13 PM
Yeah, I know, it's good to know what's wrong with me and there's the issue of kindling and making it worse, blah, blah, blah.

I don't care. Hypomania isn't my problem now. Lack of focus and concentration is. Procrastination is. These are the things that are seriously impairing my life not a bit of mild hypomania. :mad:

I'm annoyed and irritated. Mood stabilisers aren't known to help with cognitive impairments and I'm still not convinced that my cognitive impairments are caused by bipolar disorder or depression. They preceded the depression and they never let up, irrespective of how I'm feeling. And yes, I know that bipolar patients are supposed to have cognitive impairments even during euthymic episodes but there's nothing out there in the literature on how to fix that.

I don't need this stupid diagnosis now. I need something that helps me. Now. Right now!! Not at some point in the future when my mood appears to have stabilised itself and then they may consider the possibility of ADHD again. By then, I'll have lost my job and god knows what else. A job, I love and could potentially be good at if I was just able to work. :mad:

Sorry, I know, this doesn't make much sense. I'm just ranting. I'm stressed, annoyed and tired. I just want to sleep. I'd welcome a bit of hypomania now. Not because it helps me with work (it doesn't) but just because then I might feel so good that I won't care. :mad:

Grrr...:mad:

Abi
12-19-12, 02:16 PM
Studies show that the cognitive impairments caused by Bipolar persist even when the sufferer is not depressed or hypo/manic.

:grouphug:

Fuzzy12
12-19-12, 02:46 PM
i know Abi but what's the solution? If i had adhd i might ha e got some help from stimulant medication but with bipolar? Am i just doomed to be like this? :(

Abi
12-19-12, 03:53 PM
Wellbutrin might help some.

AlphaOne
12-19-12, 04:22 PM
Death seems so much easier when you bipolar. I'm really going to hate myself after the holidays because I go on a drug binge. I been doing it for about 3 years and I accidently overdosed once.

Now I know my cognitive impairment is permanent and "Wellbutrin might help some," I am totally with you.

What a h***

I am gonna go listen to cannibal corpse.

keliza
12-30-12, 03:00 PM
You don't "know" that cognitive impairments are permanent. Studies have shown that with illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, after periods of sustained, stable mood, the brain begins to go into neurogensis. In short, your brain rebuilds itself. Seriously. Not just in little kids, but in adults too. The brain, once buffered by a lengthy period without mood episodes, begins to stabilize and regenerate. New neural pathways are formed. New connections are made. New neurons fire. The brain is unbelievably resilient and elastic, like you wouldn't believe.

On the flip side, the more mood episodes you have, the worse the deficiencies become. The longer you go without proper treatment, the more damage you're doing to yourself long-term. You will have greater cognitive impairments and worsening mood episodes. What are just pleasant hypomanic episodes now will turn into full-blown psychotic manias in some people - not all, but some. That alone should be enough to persuade you to get diagnosed properly, treat your condition, and aim for wellness.

Fuzzy, you HAVE to let go of this hang-up you have with wanting a specific diagnosis for a specific medication. You aren't helping yourself, and in fact you could be hurting yourself. I know it is very hard to deal with, I know from experience. I'm there, I know, I get it. But you have to believe that treating the illness you have, whatever that illness may be, is the most important thing. Not performing to XYZ capacity with ABC medications, not getting a specific DSM code on your record, but treating your symptoms, your illness.

Big hugs to you. I understand this is hard. It takes time to deal with. Please feel free to PM me any time you want to talk about it.

Zaashy
12-30-12, 03:05 PM
You don't "know" that cognitive impairments are permanent. Studies have shown that with illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, after periods of sustained, stable mood, the brain begins to go into neurogensis. In short, your brain rebuilds itself. Seriously. Not just in little kids, but in adults too. The brain, once buffered by a lengthy period without mood episodes, begins to stabilize and regenerate. New neural pathways are formed. New connections are made. New neurons fire. The brain is unbelievably resilient and elastic, like you wouldn't believe.

On the flip side, the more mood episodes you have, the worse the deficiencies become. The longer you go without proper treatment, the more damage you're doing to yourself long-term. You will have greater cognitive impairments and worsening mood episodes. What are just pleasant hypomanic episodes now will turn into full-blown psychotic manias in some people - not all, but some. That alone should be enough to persuade you to get diagnosed properly, treat your condition, and aim for wellness.

Fuzzy, you HAVE to let go of this hang-up you have with wanting a specific diagnosis for a specific medication. You aren't helping yourself, and in fact you could be hurting yourself. I know it is very hard to deal with, I know from experience. I'm there, I know, I get it. But you have to believe that treating the illness you have, whatever that illness may be, is the most important thing. Not performing to XYZ capacity with ABC medications, not getting a specific DSM code on your record, but treating your symptoms, your illness.

Big hugs to you. I understand this is hard. It takes time to deal with. Please feel free to PM me any time you want to talk about it.

Thank you for an awesome New Years present, I been in a given up mood recently. Knowing this will push me to become the person that I always wanted to be.

crystal8080
12-30-12, 03:25 PM
You don't "know" that cognitive impairments are permanent. Studies have shown that with illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, after periods of sustained, stable mood, the brain begins to go into neurogensis. In short, your brain rebuilds itself. Seriously. Not just in little kids, but in adults too. The brain, once buffered by a lengthy period without mood episodes, begins to stabilize and regenerate. New neural pathways are formed. New connections are made. New neurons fire. The brain is unbelievably resilient and elastic, like you wouldn't believe.

On the flip side, the more mood episodes you have, the worse the deficiencies become. The longer you go without proper treatment, the more damage you're doing to yourself long-term. You will have greater cognitive impairments and worsening mood episodes. What are just pleasant hypomanic episodes now will turn into full-blown psychotic manias in some people - not all, but some. That alone should be enough to persuade you to get diagnosed properly, treat your condition, and aim for wellness.



I have noticed a decline myself, I keep having episodes. But I believe I will get better. Its hard to find a new path. I have never been scared in my life. Even when I was a little kid I was full of bravado. Now I have to search for it. When I am up I know it at least. But then I fear the crash. How do you deal with the fear Keliza?

keliza
12-30-12, 03:56 PM
I have noticed a decline myself, I keep having episodes. But I believe I will get better. Its hard to find a new path. I have never been scared in my life. Even when I was a little kid I was full of bravado. Now I have to search for it. When I am up I know it at least. But then I fear the crash. How do you deal with the fear Keliza?

It is really scary sometimes. I won't lie and say that I'm never scared, because I am absolutely scared sometimes. There are nights when things have been really bad for a really long time, and I wonder if I'm ever going to get better, or if I might be disabled by this monster one day. It's scary. Feeling like something else lives in your head and takes over sometimes, is scary. Not knowing how the disease will progress, remit, change, etc. in the future, is terrifying sometimes.

Especially when I look around at my family and see all the people with bipolar disorder, and what has happened to them--addictions, prison, suicide. It sometimes does not look like a great future, especially if I'm looking at it through depression goggles (like beer goggles but way less pleasant, the doom-and-gloom outlook one tends to pick up when they've been depressed for an extended period of time).

But I also look at how much I've gone through so far in my life, and how far I've come. And I remember that every mood episode ends. They end. They always end. It might not be for weeks or months (or in the case of some really stubborn depressive episodes, over a year). But they end. Whether they end by medication changes or by running their natural course, they end. No mood episode lasts forever. That is the only guarantee - that if you hang tough, you WILL outlast the mood episode. You will.

Nobody chooses bipolar disorder, but we absolutely choose how we deal with it. Many people in my family who also have BP have chosen to cope with drugs, alcohol, and attempting to take their own lives. They chose not to seek the proper treatment, and that is why their lives have become what they are. Not simply because they have bipolar disorder, but because they have BP and this is what they chose to do with it. That's not me, and it eases my anxiety some, to see just how much measurable control I do have over my own outcome.

I can't choose how severe or frequent my episodes are. But I can choose to take my meds every day. I choose to see a therapist who helps me keep my head on straight. I choose to guard my sleep cycle fiercely, engage in healthy spiritual practices, exercise routinely, eat a moderately healthy diet, everything I know I need to do to have the best fighting chance at a semi-normal life. And those things do help, they do make a difference. They aren't the be-all-end-all of the disorder, but they absolutely change the course of your life with this disorder.

I guess ultimately the way I deal with the fear is by not focusing on the things I have no control over, but putting my energies into the things I DO have control over. Focus on what you can do to impact your life in a healthy, positive way, and don't dwell on the what-ifs of the future. What if I end up disabled by this illness? What if I can't work? What if my meds stop helping? What if nobody ever wants to get married to the mayor of crazytown, and I end up a lonely old cat lady? What if, what if, what if? Well, I'll cross that bridge when I get there, if I ever get there.

I know this is a long post, but this is something I feel really passionately about, is having hope when living with bipolar disorder. I'm only good for this day. I can only work on this day. I can do positive things to make myself healthier and more functional in the future, but I have to do those things on THIS day. I can only act on this day. Tomorrow, I can act on tomorrow. Next week I can act on next week. But today, I am only good for today, and that has to be enough. I will ruin this day by letting myself be consumed with fear about the next, and the next.

phantasm
12-30-12, 04:08 PM
You don't "know" that cognitive impairments are permanent. Studies have shown that with illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, after periods of sustained, stable mood, the brain begins to go into neurogensis. In short, your brain rebuilds itself. Seriously. Not just in little kids, but in adults too. The brain, once buffered by a lengthy period without mood episodes, begins to stabilize and regenerate. New neural pathways are formed. New connections are made. New neurons fire. The brain is unbelievably resilient and elastic, like you wouldn't believe.
.

This really struck a cord for me, Keliza. I recently started on a mood stabilizer for BP II and am really amazed at my results. My doc originally had me on Ritalin and I felt like I was out of my mind, although it helped me in so many ways. It was a very uncomfortable feeling to have. After I got off that and started mood stabilizers, i swear I feel like something in my brain moved out of the way for my brain to start working more efficiently. My thoughts are very streamlined and my thoughts are elevated. Not saying I am perfect and don't still get sad or mad about things, but I have more pleasent thoughts and actually feel like exercising and doing positive things. I just feel like something really is working in my brain, that didn't work quite right before taking these new meds, and I could not find a better way to describe it until I read your post. :goodpost:

crystal8080
12-30-12, 04:13 PM
It is really scary sometimes. I won't lie and say that I'm never scared, because I am absolutely scared sometimes. There are nights when things have been really bad for a really long time, and I wonder if I'm ever going to get better, or if I might be disabled by this monster one day. It's scary. Feeling like something else lives in your head and takes over sometimes, is scary. Not knowing how the disease will progress, remit, change, etc. in the future, is terrifying sometimes.

Especially when I look around at my family and see all the people with bipolar disorder, and what has happened to them--addictions, prison, suicide. It sometimes does not look like a great future, especially if I'm looking at it through depression goggles (like beer goggles but way less pleasant, the doom-and-gloom outlook one tends to pick up when they've been depressed for an extended period of time).

But I also look at how much I've gone through so far in my life, and how far I've come. And I remember that every mood episode ends. They end. They always end. It might not be for weeks or months (or in the case of some really stubborn depressive episodes, over a year). But they end. Whether they end by medication changes or by running their natural course, they end. No mood episode lasts forever. That is the only guarantee - that if you hang tough, you WILL outlast the mood episode. You will.

Nobody chooses bipolar disorder, but we absolutely choose how we deal with it. Many people in my family who also have BP have chosen to cope with drugs, alcohol, and attempting to take their own lives. They chose not to seek the proper treatment, and that is why their lives have become what they are. Not simply because they have bipolar disorder, but because they have BP and this is what they chose to do with it. That's not me, and it eases my anxiety some, to see just how much measurable control I do have over my own outcome.

I can't choose how severe or frequent my episodes are. But I can choose to take my meds every day. I choose to see a therapist who helps me keep my head on straight. I choose to guard my sleep cycle fiercely, engage in healthy spiritual practices, exercise routinely, eat a moderately healthy diet, everything I know I need to do to have the best fighting chance at a semi-normal life. And those things do help, they do make a difference. They aren't the be-all-end-all of the disorder, but they absolutely change the course of your life with this disorder.

I guess ultimately the way I deal with the fear is by not focusing on the things I have no control over, but putting my energies into the things I DO have control over. Focus on what you can do to impact your life in a healthy, positive way, and don't dwell on the what-ifs of the future. What if I end up disabled by this illness? What if I can't work? What if my meds stop helping? What if nobody ever wants to get married to the mayor of crazytown, and I end up a lonely old cat lady? What if, what if, what if? Well, I'll cross that bridge when I get there, if I ever get there.

I know this is a long post, but this is something I feel really passionately about, is having hope when living with bipolar disorder. I'm only good for this day. I can only work on this day. I can do positive things to make myself healthier and more functional in the future, but I have to do those things on THIS day. I can only act on this day. Tomorrow, I can act on tomorrow. Next week I can act on next week. But today, I am only good for today, and that has to be enough. I will ruin this day by letting myself be consumed with fear about the next, and the next.

Thank you so much. That really brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for lending me your strength. Such a weird place to be, I have always been the one people lean on.

I am taking my medications faithfully. Taking care of myself. I got a recumbent bike for xmas, and wireless headphones. I get on it whenever I need to open the release valve. I guess its all I can do. So hard.

I am chickening out on school. I don't know if I'm ready. I guess for today I'll just worry about today. But I am going to save this, I think I'm going to need it again. Thanks again Keliza you give me hope.

keliza
12-30-12, 04:28 PM
Thank you so much. That really brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for lending me your strength. Such a weird place to be, I have always been the one people lean on.

I am taking my medications faithfully. Taking care of myself. I got a recumbent bike for xmas, and wireless headphones. I get on it whenever I need to open the release valve. I guess its all I can do. So hard.

I am chickening out on school. I don't know if I'm ready. I guess for today I'll just worry about today. But I am going to save this, I think I'm going to need it again. Thanks again Keliza you give me hope.

You are very welcome. :) I'm really glad that something I've said can give you hope.

I'm also glad to hear you have the bike! I would encourage you to hop on it every day, at least for a few minutes. Some studies have shown that 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day can be as effective as an SSRI antidepressant. I find that it helps with regulating my sleep cycles, too, and those are particularly tricky with bipolar disorder. Sometimes I go to the gym where they have TVs and I plug my headphones into the TV on the treadmill and power walk/jog through a TV show. You don't have to run wind sprints for half an hour, just get your heart pumping.

About school... if you're not ready yet, don't go. It's not chickening out, it's taking care of yourself. Don't throw yourself into something big like that if you don't think you're in the head space to handle it right now. You can take another semester or another year to get things together before you try going back. With that said, if you think you're avoiding it just because you're afraid to fail, then go. Don't let fear hold you back. But if you have a legitimate concern that you are not mentally stable enough to do well in school at this time, then that's not chickening out, it's taking care of yourself. I took 2 medical withdraws during college because of bipolar disorder, they were both hard but necessary decisions. Sometimes you need to step back and get yourself together before you can continue with your education, there's no shame in that.

crystal8080
12-30-12, 04:54 PM
You are very welcome. :) I'm really glad that something I've said can give you hope.

I'm also glad to hear you have the bike! I would encourage you to hop on it every day, at least for a few minutes. Some studies have shown that 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day can be as effective as an SSRI antidepressant. I find that it helps with regulating my sleep cycles, too, and those are particularly tricky with bipolar disorder. Sometimes I go to the gym where they have TVs and I plug my headphones into the TV on the treadmill and power walk/jog through a TV show. You don't have to run wind sprints for half an hour, just get your heart pumping.

About school... if you're not ready yet, don't go. It's not chickening out, it's taking care of yourself. Don't throw yourself into something big like that if you don't think you're in the head space to handle it right now. You can take another semester or another year to get things together before you try going back. With that said, if you think you're avoiding it just because you're afraid to fail, then go. Don't let fear hold you back. But if you have a legitimate concern that you are not mentally stable enough to do well in school at this time, then that's not chickening out, it's taking care of yourself. I took 2 medical withdraws during college because of bipolar disorder, they were both hard but necessary decisions. Sometimes you need to step back and get yourself together before you can continue with your education, there's no shame in that.

I can't describe how much better I feel after a good workout. I am so calm and relaxed. Much better than all those YEARS I spent drinking. I also helps to pull me back. I'm not the fasted runner at bootcamp, but when I was 'up' over xmas I was so full of energy I was at the front of the pack chomping at the bit, about halfway through I settled down and started getting tired. Exercise is amazing.

As for school, I have to apply within the next month if I want to go next fall. Who knows how I will be doing that far away in the future. I'm not a psychic. I don't think I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid I'll have to quit. I will always choose my family first and I'm afraid I won't be able to do it all. Just when I think I'm stable and ready I have another episode and it scares me. I am so afraid of what I might do. I am so eager to live my life and achieve my goals I have been waiting to finish my degree since I became pregnant 6 years ago.

Then I had my father in law here over xmas. He has a brain injury and is an alcoholic (he gets the shakes and everything) and I could not deal with him. Then I wonder....if I can't deal with him how am I supposed to be a social worker? Man, now I'm rambling on someone elses thread LOL.:o

keliza
12-30-12, 08:44 PM
I can't describe how much better I feel after a good workout. I am so calm and relaxed. Much better than all those YEARS I spent drinking. I also helps to pull me back. I'm not the fasted runner at bootcamp, but when I was 'up' over xmas I was so full of energy I was at the front of the pack chomping at the bit, about halfway through I settled down and started getting tired. Exercise is amazing.

As for school, I have to apply within the next month if I want to go next fall. Who knows how I will be doing that far away in the future. I'm not a psychic. I don't think I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid I'll have to quit. I will always choose my family first and I'm afraid I won't be able to do it all. Just when I think I'm stable and ready I have another episode and it scares me. I am so afraid of what I might do. I am so eager to live my life and achieve my goals I have been waiting to finish my degree since I became pregnant 6 years ago.

Then I had my father in law here over xmas. He has a brain injury and is an alcoholic (he gets the shakes and everything) and I could not deal with him. Then I wonder....if I can't deal with him how am I supposed to be a social worker? Man, now I'm rambling on someone elses thread LOL.:o

On several occasions, the only thing that has stood between me and the destruction of my home during an irritable mania was a series of good, hard work-outs. I can't speak highly enough for the way exercise can help boost mood, reduce anxiety, reduce irritability, improve sleep, all of it. It's also really good for digestion, I've found. And that all is in addition to the many, many physical health perks. It's like the benefits never stop!

You might as well take the chance and apply now, since you're right, you don't know how you'll be doing by next August/September. If you're not doing well, you can always decline admission and wait another year. If you are feeling up to it, then it's available to you. Having to quit is not the worst thing in the world, you might as well at least give yourself that opportunity, that way if you ARE able to go, you can.

I think it's different when it's someone you know personally, versus a patient. I used to be a caretaker for a relative with Alzheimer's and that was so, so emotionally taxing for me. But I also worked with a group that helped patients with Alzheimer's/dementia and their caregivers, and I found that very rewarding, not taxing at all. I think the thing that drained me wasn't working with the patients, it was caring for my relative with Alzheimer's, because I was so much more personally invested in it.

Hey, this is the ADHD forum, we're allowed to ramble and get off topic! lol :) And really it's all mostly on topic anyway.

mirandatoritess
12-30-12, 09:11 PM
understanding may help with the struggle. Being in the dark is often frustrating and aggrivating. For the ADHD, that may not seem to help though. Ask the Pdoc for more help for the ADHD though. He may want to just tell you that you have bipolar to let you know everything.