View Full Version : Can you describe how your bipolar feels like?


andysmandy
03-01-13, 11:33 AM
Hi! :)

1.
Can you describe how your bipolar feels like?
-Home
-Work
-School



2.
What kind of ADHD/ADD do you have?



3.
Does your ADHD/ADD medication have a effect on your bipolar?

:thankyou:

Fuzzy12
03-01-13, 11:56 AM
I'm diagnosed with BP II and it's mainly depression with a few, rare episodes of hypomania every year. I have very, very bad mood swings throughout the day though.

Hi! :)

1.
Can you describe how your bipolar feels like?

-Home
When I'm hypo, I'm always on the go. I want to get things done but I'm not very focussed or efficient. I struggle to sit down but once I sit down the tiredness overcomes me and I can hardly get up again (till my legs start feeling restless :rolleyes:). I also get very social and chatty.

When I'm depressed, I just don't want to live anymore. All I want to do is sleep and being awake just seems too painful. I've got zero energy, zero motivation, zero anything.

-Work

Irrespective of if I'm hypo or depressed, I struggle with work. I can never focus or concentrate and procrastination is a huge problem. When I'm hypo though I get lots of ideas but can't focus long enough to implement them. I can't sit down for long and run back and forth between my building and the coffee machine for smokes.

2.
What kind of ADHD/ADD do you have?

I haven't been diagnosed with ADHD. I have all the symptoms (except for hyperactivity) but my psychiatrists think that all my problems are due to severe depression.

I guess, I'd be either PI or combined..if I do have ADHD.

3.
Does your ADHD/ADD medication have a effect on your bipolar?

I've never tried any ADHD meds. I'm taking anti depressants and a mood stabiliser. THey help to an extent with depression but do absolutely nothing for my ADHD like symptoms.

:thankyou:

crystal8080
03-01-13, 12:37 PM
Hi! :)

1.
Can you describe how your bipolar feels like?
-Home
-Work
-School

I am currently a stay at home mom.

It feels like getting caught in a current you didn't see from the shore. By the time you realize what is happening, you are already going down river. Some times you can get back to land without much trouble, other times you crawl back to shore coughing and spewing out water.



2.
What kind of ADHD/ADD do you have?

I have Cyclothymia and ADHD. It is hard to differentiate the symptoms of the two disorders since both depressive and manic states can cause cognitive problems, and mania can cause impulsive and hyperactive behaviours. My doctor just says ADHD.

3.
Does your ADHD/ADD medication have a effect on your bipolar?

The medication has been great. I take 500mg of Divalproex (Depakote) a day, 50 mg of Sertraline (Zoloft) and 15 mg of Dexedrine ER. I still have episodes but they are much better, they don't have the teeth they used to. They give them a ceiling and a floor, and the intensity is improved. As long as I watch my sleep, diet, stress and EXERCISE the medication does its job.


:thankyou:

Cyclothymia is not a mild form of bipolar.

Idiota
03-01-13, 01:03 PM
I'm diagnosed with BP II and it's mainly depression with a few, rare episodes of hypomania every year. I have very, very bad mood swings throughout the day though.

I'm not BPII, but your situation sounds a lot like mine. I am on lamotrigine and tripleptal now and in five weeks the psych might be willing to give me a non-stimulant ADHD medication. The problem is, until then I'm getting nowhere with anything. I just need a break because my student loan deferment ends at the end of June and I don't really have any idea what I'm going to do then.

Abi
03-01-13, 01:42 PM
Hi! :)

1.
Can you describe how your bipolar feels like?
-Home
-Work
-School

To all of the above:

Depressive phase: Sad, inferior, insecure, tired, lethargic, leaden paralysis, sleepy, hungry, suicidal.

Hypomanic phase: episodic dysphoric hypomania. irritability, emotional discomfiture, impulsiveness, temper dyscontrol, agitation and impaired judgment. socialisation impaired. productivity in work, studies, chores impaired. there is a sense of inner speeding combined with restless over activity and racing thoughts, which can lead to a state of desperation. the triad of irritable episodes alternating with rage episodes and paranoid episodes is characteristic of dysphoric hypomania.

Either phase or even when euthymic: inattentive, distractable, paranoid.




2.
What kind of ADHD/ADD do you have?

None of my psychiatrists have believed that I have ADHD, although I did strongly suggest the possibility to 2 of them. At one point I was put on Ritalin on a trial basis. See below.

I meet the criteria for ADHD-C under the DSM-5, having 8 out of 9 Inattentive Symptoms, 4 out of 6 Hyperactive Symptoms, and 3 out of 3 Impulsive Symptoms. I should note though that I am not, and have never been, physically hyperactive.

3.
Does your ADHD/ADD medication have a effect on your bipolar?

I was on Ritalin IR 5mg tid - it made me hypomanic and also induced severe anxiety and panic attacks.

I am now on Wellbutrin SR 150mg bid. It helps with attentiveness, cognition, lack of energy, lethargy and self-discipline. It has however caued the onset of paranoia, specifically persecutory delusions. I try to keep them under control and am doing okay at present.

:thankyou:

xxxxx

Fuzzy12
03-01-13, 01:47 PM
there is a sense of inner speeding combined with restless over activity and racing thoughts, which can lead to a state of desperation.

Wow, Abi, that explains my state of hypomania so well. Especially the desperation!!

I get this longing for something more but I never know what. More stimulation I suppose. More, faster, better.

I forgot to add the irritable episodes though they seem to have started or rather increased in severity recently. I don't feel extreme rage or short tempered but just so, so annoyed. And I get very, very impatient too. :scratch:

Idiota
03-01-13, 02:05 PM
xxxxx

The productivity issues are what plague me all the time. Like currently, I'm euthymic but the cognitive impairments are pervasive. I can spend hours on something and maybe get 10-20 minutes of actual productivity. I thought I was hot **** when I was manic, but I was really just not accomplishing anything.

sarahsweets
03-01-13, 02:52 PM
one GIANT cluster f**K of emotions and thoughts all at the same time.

keliza
03-01-13, 02:55 PM
I have bipolar I disorder so I have manic episodes, hypomanic episodes, major depressive episodes, and mixed episodes. Any of the aforementioned (except hypomania) can occasionally have a psychotic flavor to it, if it gets bad enough.

Hypomania feels great to me. It feels like waking up with the scales off my eyes - the whole world looks brighter, more colorful, more alive. It almost feels like magic. I feel like I can do anything, and I become very creative and productive. When I was in college I could read an entire textbook in a day during a hypomanic episode. Understandably, I felt on top of the world, untouchable, inspired. Losing hypomanic episodes has been the hardest part of staying on my meds.

Mania, on the other hand, feels like everything inside of me is wound too tightly, moving too fast, spinning off-kilter, like the whole system is frying out. I've never had euphoric manias, mine have always been irritable. Imagine how an engine sounds and feels when you're parked and revving it at full speed. Imagine smoke billowing out from beneath the hood, the whole thing turning red hot, shaking violently, gears spinning and belts fraying and you just know at any moment the entire thing will explode. That's how my mania feels. I can't sleep, I can't focus, I forget to eat. I just burn.

Depression is a hole. Vacancy. The absence of light and color. It is nothing. Everything disappears inside of me and I am a shell where a human once was.

Mixed states are by far the worst, for me. Mixed episodes are when you have symptoms of mania and depression at once. I've only had a handful of them, but they were by far the most extreme and most dangerous of any of my mental states. It feels like your brain being torn in half. There is really no other way to describe it. You end up with the worst parts of both mania and depression - the crushing emptiness and desire to kill yourself, and the spinning out of control energy and impulsiveness to actually do it. Psychosis during these episodes is, as you can imagine, not helpful.

As far as what kind of ADHD I have, I have ADHD-C, combined type.

Does my ADHD medication have an effect on bipolar? Yes, definitely. I am on a VERY low dose of stimulants, and even then, depending on the week or month sometimes I have to stop taking them entirely for a little while. It's too easy to slide into mania with the stimulant drugs, even with mood stabilizers. It's like lighting a match in a bomb field.

saturday
03-01-13, 03:46 PM
Does anyone ever feel it hard to recall past episodes? Over my lifetime I have seen certain trends within episodes, so I can give detail on that, but right now Im trying to think back to my most recent mixed episode and Im at a loss of words.

Its like I have forgotten my feelings from those few months. I am very disterbed by this. I remember it happening, but thats all I can say. :confused:

keliza
03-01-13, 03:55 PM
Does anyone ever feel it hard to recall past episodes? Over my lifetime I have seen certain trends within episodes, so I can give detail on that, but right now Im trying to think back to my most recent mixed episode and Im at a loss of words.

Its like I have forgotten my feelings from those few months. I am very disterbed by this. I remember it happening, but thats all I can say. :confused:

Yes, particularly manic and mixed episodes. I can remember how it felt, but I can't remember my exact thoughts or actions. There have been times when I had to play detective and piece together written conversations, receipts, and other people's accounts of what happened to remember exactly where the manic tornado took me. It's a really unsettling feeling, like being black-out drunk and having to rely on others to put together your night for you.

saturday
03-01-13, 04:12 PM
Is this kind of like dissociation?

crystal8080
03-01-13, 04:17 PM
Isn't it true that you remember episodes better depending on your current mood?

You remember manic episodes better when you are manic, depressive episodes when you are depressed etc?

andysmandy
03-01-13, 04:30 PM
Thanks everybody!

Do you ever get a anxiety feeling after you have landed from the mania/manic state?

Almost like the hungover anxiety you get after you said something when you were drunk.

daveddd
03-01-13, 04:36 PM
i remember my first manic episode perfectly

i woke up in the middle of the night with an unthinkable amount of energy and drive,i started seeking out people anyway i could(im normally socially anxious and avoidant)

started drinking, got coke, anything to keep the feeling going

then came the strange phenomena they call ' flood of ideas', it is exactly what it sounds like, there is no mistaking it. Ideas started flowing into my mind in the written word, They came from every direction at what seemed like the speed of light

but i could see each one perfect and clearly, it felt like it was a mission from the universe

i was out to solve an imaginary puzzle, ridiculous delusions of grandeur , i was talking a million miles a minute, and calling everyone i knew looking for clues?

that went on for a few days at least

then i remember it ending, instantly, i went into a rage that was very scary, i was lucky no one was around ,

kind of blurry from then on

daveddd
03-01-13, 05:57 PM
oh forgot

adhd c very hyper/impulsive

adhd meds help moods, probably more just the emotional regulation issues with ADHD,

keliza
03-03-13, 05:06 PM
Isn't it true that you remember episodes better depending on your current mood?

You remember manic episodes better when you are manic, depressive episodes when you are depressed etc?

In general, psychologically speaking, this is called state-dependent learning and the answer is yes. You are more likely to remember anything - memories from the past, facts you have memorized, emotions you felt previously, etc. - when you are in a mental state similar to that which you were in when you formed that memory. That means when you're sad, you're more likely to remember sad things. When you're happy, you're more likely to remember happy things. It even works when you're drunk! (Although I don't recommend it in general, but if you did something or learned something while drunk, you are actually more likely to remember it when you are drunk again.)

However, with mania, the memory can be a tricky thing because spotty memory/memory loss is part and parcel with manic episodes. I don't think state-dependent memory necessarily works in mania because you're not in a kind of mental state conducive with consolidating any sort of long-term memories at all. Does that make sense? Kind of like, if you're drunk and form a memory, you might be more likely to remember it when drunk again... but you're still not likely to remember much of anything in general while you're drunk.

Do you ever get a anxiety feeling after you have landed from the mania/manic state?

Almost like the hungover anxiety you get after you said something when you were drunk.

I personally don't get anxiety after a manic episode, but I do get a burnt-out hangover sort of feeling. I feel physically ill, worn out, sick, as if I were hung over from a long night of drinking. Part of it is probably mental fatigue and the crash that is common with mania, and part of it is probably genuine physical fatigue/illness, because I have a tendency to run myself ragged (little sleep, forgetting to eat/drink, etc.) while manic.

Is this kind of like dissociation?

I don't generally dissociate when I am in a manic mood state, no. I do have episodes of depersonalization/derealization when I am severely depressed or anxious, though. Sometimes it gets so bad that I look in the mirror and I feel as if the woman looking back at me is not actually me. It is incredibly unsettling.

daveddd
03-04-13, 10:21 AM
I don't generally dissociate when I am in a manic mood state, no. I do have episodes of depersonalization/derealization when I am severely depressed or anxious, though. Sometimes it gets so bad that I look in the mirror and I feel as if the woman looking back at me is not actually me. It is incredibly unsettling.

me too

especially my agitated/mixed state/depressions (whatever they are)

my house doesnt feel like mine, nothing feels real



and i have very little memory of those times

manmia
03-21-13, 03:34 PM
xxxxx


Wow, what you said about the hypomanic phase really sums me up into one little ball when I have an episode.

Ivy0202
04-25-13, 03:41 PM
Wow. I can't tell you how reassuring this thread is :). And fascinating, since there seems to be such strong similarity in how we individually experience these things. Anyhow, I thought I was the only one...

Mania: Manic Ivy is extremely impulsive and feels invincible/engages in risky behavior. When I'm manic, I'm the smartest, sexiest person in any room ANYWHERE. I know things and understand things that nobody else can. I, too, have difficulty remembering the details of my manic episodes. It's only when I crash out and look back at the path of utter destruction I left in my wake that I see how crazy I was.

Hypomania: I'm happiest being hypomanic. I'm more focused and productive. I feel like I think a bit faster and am a bit wittier, without the delusions of grandeur that I experience in full blown mania. I tend to be hypersexual when I'm hypomanic but when I'm manic, I'm too busy to be in the mood.

Mixed: Yep. Definitely the most dangerous. Depressed, suicidal AND impulsive...not a good thing. I've had two of these and both landed me in the hospital.

Depressed: There's a large range, it seems, in how the depressive phase manifests itself in my case. At the lowest points, I don't get out of bed for days. Other days are characterized more by irritability, frustration, and anhedonia. These occur with or without anxiety and occasionally full-blown panic attacks.

Prior to returning to mood stabilzers, I would cycle in a matter of hours. I would be happy or even just content and then it would feel as if the floor fell out from beneath me. Ugh...the classic depression "hole". But it would only last a few hours before I returned to normal or hypomanic, usually.

I'm now getting stabilized and back to living as "normal" a life as possible. And that's pretty awesome!

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/934071_10151341927092890_1261225757_n.jpg