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Old 05-12-11, 03:31 AM
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Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

This will be long (my posts always are, lol) but I'm in desperate need of advice because I've just realized some pretty scary things. I am writing this, I believe, on the tail end of a manic episode. Because I always forget what these episodes feel like I am forcing myself to post this here. If you know anything about this, please comment.

Here goes...

I am bipolar. I am ADHD. Or so I've been told.

I'm not completely sure what these terms mean because disorders seem so individualized and the subjective experience of having them is so hard to express. However, I know I'm hyperactive and "off." I'm unbelievably talented at and exclusively fixated on the certain things that interest me (with me any actual interest will inevitably result in knowing all there is to know about it, being the best at it, etc...)

I seem to have three stages...

Stage 1 - I lack focus and am always failing miserably in any area of my life that doesn't immediately interest me. I'm fidgety, my thoughts race, my emotions (when I have any) seem entirely mental, so tied up in all these thoughts that I feel completely disconnected from them... Not fun.

Stage 2 - I also have what are referred to as hypomanic episodes. This is when the chaotic mental mess that is my daily thought process becomes magically untangled, and while my thoughts are probably still racing, they feel much, much slower because they are so sharp, so orderly, and I'm able to efficiently acknowledge and reflect on each one before letting it pass.

During hypomanic episodes I have always been the ultimate alpha male; witty, magnetic, efficient, goal oriented, charming... Basically I'm the kind of person everyone looks up to and wants as a friend. Not bragging, it is more of a weird symptom than a character trait.

I'm also very creative in this phase. It is amazing how creativity is the key to success, not only in art, but in relationships and everyday life.

However, creativity, my great passion, is also very dangerous for me. A fruitful writing binge, thought provoking movie, performance I happen to give, project I undertake, or even a particularly stimulating conversation... can all turn a hypomanic phase into a manic phase.

Stage 3 - I've identified what triggers my mania, but I'm not sure anyone else would understand. I have to avoid these triggers but they are exactly what seem to make life worth living.

Certain ideas seem to have mysterious, unexplainable "feel." These ideas are always connected in some way to the great mystery of existence.

They pull me in like Eve to the apple. They are exciting, tempting and scary. These ideas, if entertained too long, will trigger mania. I can't watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, read the passages of certain poets, or debate religion (i.e. the problem of divine predestination being in oppositon to free will) without feeling the high come on. Don't get me around a pastor!

This mania is frightening. I become very convinced that I'm experiencing a higher state of consciousness. It escalates and my thoughts become more and more stimulating.

I feel I understand something incredible, indescribable, something there are no words for... but somehow I HAVE to tell everyone. I have to make them see as I do. The evolution of the human spirit depends on everyone opening their eyes but everyone seems so comfortable remaining blind!!!!

I feel like Paul Revere screaming, "The british are coming..." The sense of urgency and excitement is overwhelming. For years I used drugs not only to medicate myself but as a way to reach out to other people, to try and light things up for them (no pun intended) so they might see as I did.

You see, as exciting as it is, mania is the most desperate, and urgent feeling of bottomless loneliness I can imagine. It feels as if a heartless, foreign God has revealed himself to me and is taking me away and leaving behind everyone and everything I can relate to. I want people to come along, but I feel Ihave to trick them, to tempt them as I was tempted, and it makes me feel, well, evil.

In this state I make everyone crazy and ruin everything then collapse into the first stage where I can't begin to repair damage from the third because I'm so lethargic, scatterbrained and guilt-ridden and everything seems so flat.

Usually the end of mania finds me in the hospital or wherever I end up recuperating. Once I'm hypomanic I can start life again, better than ever, and do it all over agin.

PLEASE FORIVE ME for all that explanation, but I'm desperate to know if anyone can relate to this, or if this is really what bipolar disorder is? It certainly seems like it, but I guess I've been in denial most my life because I CAN"T LIVE WITH THIS!

Life isn't worth living without those wonderful ideas and feelings yet it is unbearable when no one has acess to them but me.

I take Depakote, Vyvanse and Adderall.

The Depakote doesn't prevent mania and hypomania. I still have episodes every few months (I'm never not in one unless I'm recuperating). They build and build and slowly shift into one another, slowly, slowly and then all at once. On Depakote, actual mania is rather short lived but it is still enough time to ruin my life.

It is only during the shift to or from mania that I ever realize I'm bipolar.

The rest of the time I just believe I'm taking these funny pills that don't seem to do anything out sheer of habit. I can never remember what mania feels like unless I'm experiencing it. It is like deja vu in that sense.

Anyway, I'm aware that all this happens but I can never quite decide if it isn't just crazy speculation from a wacky psychiatrist overanalyzing my issues and turning them into symptoms... until I get manic.

As I said, hypomania is great. It is the only time I am functional, better than functional sometimes.

But I'M TERRIFIED because I've just realized that my stimulants are keeping me in a hypomanic state. I still have little manic and depressive episodes but they are incredibly condensed (several hours up to 1-2 days).

Basically, stimulants (especially Adderall) seem to give me a highly controlled hypomania for a month or two, followed by a very brief but mentally traumatizing mania and even more brief depression.

At this point mania and depression come and go so fast I don't have time to see what hit me. The rest of the time I'm doing great and everyone is so proud of me.

Is this REALLY DANGEROUS? It seems like it, but I just CAN"T go back to the way things were before, wallowing in depression for weeks after spending God knows how much time in an insanely overstimulated state.

On this med combo I can come out of a mania, go through a quick bout of shame and sadness and confusion, then pick myself up, dust myself off, and get on with life.

I can function in soceity and it feels so good I want to cry, but underneath it all I'm always waiting for the ball to drop.

Can anyone relate? Help? PLEASE...
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Old 05-12-11, 04:41 AM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

I can relate, I was diagnosed as bipolar a few years ago after being up for five days straight. An emergency room psych prescribed me seroquel and lamictal, just as a sidebar, don't ever take either one of those. Total disaster. Life has ups and downs. Depression hits but you can't let it take you down. Just roll with it and know that you're not going to feel great everyday, no one does. It's ok to be depressed sometimes. You say that you're waiting for the "ball to drop" and it's probably going to some day again, just have an action plan for when it does. Read some poetry or find a pastor. Or it might not because you've addressed it and you're not going to let it happen again. As far as "ruining everything and driving everyone crazy" i'm sure you don't really, that's just you're perception.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:09 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

Well, as expected, I woke up today with no idea why I wrote this. No rebound depression either. Maybe I wasn't in full blown mania but I felt dangerously close. Today, I'm just fine.

How can I be cycling so fast? If this were merely about feeling up and down it wouldn't be such a big deal, but my manic episodes border on psychosis. All that explanation above was quite literal.
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Old 05-12-11, 02:11 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

With the right cocktail, there is hope that stability can be found. I personally take lamictal, geodon and ritalin and avoid the Rit when I'm feeling off for fear that it will make the issue worse. I would suggest trying a different stimulant and ensure that it is not an IR so it's not in your system for as long. Always have a standby when hypomania hits. Although the high is great, the other side of the pendulum is a bear, avoid it if you can. I'm blessed that with geodon, I'm less likely to go hypo or slide into manic.

One of the things I have found is that my co-existing issues can exasperate my bipolar and at first I want to target the BP as the cause but life as a bipolar is that of an onion. There are just so many layers to consider when you're working towards stability that it's difficult to understand which layer is causing the issue for the whole.

For many months I thought that I was launching into paranoia because I was so aware and concerned with what I was doing and if people were speaking ill of me. It triggered my OCD which took me into bouts of hypo-mania. When I finally saw my pdoc, it was a smack in the head that, it's not the bipolar that was causing the issue and it wasn't true paranoia but my stress level was kicking my anxiety in the tush.

First tweak to the meds to address the anxiety, crash and burn, still recovering but I've found ways to reduce the stress and I'm hopeful that the next tweak will do the trick because that's the life of bipolar. When I finally accepted that life is to be managed and in order for the duck to appear to glide across the water there are feet going like mad under the surface, I add each experience to my tool belt that will help me deal and address the next bump in the road. Being upset with my conditions is counterproductive for me. I learn, I grow and I deal. Key to my happiness has been accepting and learning what I can about my badges and living the best life that I can...love me or hate me, I’m the best person I can be…I accept myself for all my faults and warts. If I can't accept myself, no one else can. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

I think if you reevaluate your cocktail and continue to learn and grow from your struggles, and identify any additional co-existing conditions and triggers, you'll find a balance. Lofty goal I know but a day at a time it's doable. I know you may regret posting this but I appreciate it. Keep your head up and keep moving forward.
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Old 05-12-11, 02:22 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

It was really nice to read that Andi. I'd like to hear a little bit more about your experiences with Bipolar and how it effects you.

Mania is weird, because like deja vu, I wouldn't know what the hell was going on if other people hadn't experienced it. We call it "mania" like we call it "deja vu" but what the hell is it?!

I really feel like I'm experiencing a higher state of consciousness and it is so hard to believe I'm just crazy. I know if anyone else experienced this they would think they were radically enlightened too, not crazy. Everyone else is crazy, or just plain blind! LOL
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Old 05-12-11, 02:52 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

First serious bout of mania was triggered by an antidepressant. I went off the reservation and although I have hit and miss memories of even living those moments, for the most part...I don't recall but thousands of dollars were spent, the house was really, really clean, I lost my job, dropped out of school and I lost a lot of friends. Main thing I recall was feeling like I was going to explode and if I didn't keep moving, I was going to die. After several days I began to hit a mix-state where I was crying but smiling and on the move. I vaguely recall calling my pdoc but we stopped the med, he put me on zyprexa and then I lost several months of time from a very deep, dark depression. Literally lost...I don't remember anything from November 2003 to March 2004, which is when we started lamictal.

Hypomania can be a mixture of things for me but mostly I experience an edgy energy, there are times I actually bounce back and forth. I tend to be very, very happy which is then sparked by seemingly brilliant thoughts but I can launch into mean and hateful in a blink of an eye. On a stable day I have a wicked tongue when someone crosses me but if I'm teasing the hypo line...oy. Sometimes I don't realize what I'm saying until it's too late and apparently when I've been manic...there's no holds barred.

I personally don't care to feel out of control so I work towards and look forward to stability. It took me a long time to find the right mix but I'm thankful that although I might have to tweak it here and there, I've got my cocktail. I have learned that meds can only do so much so when something comes up that I recognize, I adjust life first and then work from there.
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Old 05-14-11, 03:01 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

Be careful with your Bipolar diagnosis. There's a lot of simularities between ADHD and Bipolar that can make the two almost identical, and many of us have been diagnosed as one or both at some point in our lives.

ADHD with depression can look EXACTLY like BP2. Like, exactly. Depression goes away, you're up, you're creative, you're going 100mph with your ADD brain firing away on all cylinders. Feels like mania because you've come out of a depressive episode and you suddenly have your life back. When ADHDers get trapped in boredom or circumstances that don't interest or stimulate them, they can get low real quick, almost as quick as a Bipolar shift.

Mood swings are typical of both ADHD and Bipolar, with the ADHD swings being more frequent and less distinguishable. The sudden changes from one channel to the next can cause some psychs to label an ADHDer as Bipolar, or vice-versa.

Stimulant medications also can mess with someone's core diagnosis. Trust me, most people are "hypomanic" when they're on Adderall or Ritalin, it's speed. That's what it does. It can have a positive or negative effect on depression and anxiety, and that effect can change as you become accustomed to the medication - Also mirroring a Bipolar shift. When the euphoria wears off, depression and disinterest can kick in, and before you know it, your doctor is loading you up on a mood stabilizer when it's entirely possible you never needed one.

The real test to see if you're Bipolar or not would be to try an SSRI. While it doesn't ALWAYS cause mania, it usually does. If it doesn't, you've probably answered your question, and your diagnosis is as complicated as mine. Good luck.
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Old 10-13-11, 06:07 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

I will make this brief, but I am Bipolar I and Adhd. I am slowly learning that sitting around and analyzing how I feel, is one of the worst things I can do. What I can do to try and prevent this is, going to bed at the same time every night, waking up at the same time every morning, and trying to stick to a schedule that I have made no matter how I feel.
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Old 10-20-11, 03:00 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

I've never been diagnosed bipolar, but I've often wondered if I am. Generally speaking, whenever anyone like a doctor asks me questions that might lead to a bipolar diagnosis, I tend to hide any symptoms of mania. For me, I suppose, it's because mania has been a creative force in my life, rather than destructive, and I don't want any medication that will take it away from me.

I mean sure, mania may leave me salivating over the endless unrealized complexities involved in tying my shoelaces. Sure, that's pretty damn worthless information, and some would view getting so excited about it as pathetic, at best. But that same tenacity to dig through and seriously consider the intricacies of the mundane can also result in some creative breakthroughs. This has happened for me countless times at work, and I would go so far as to say that all of my most successful, praise-generating projects were conceived of during such an episode.

It may have been hell in the past, but learning to accept and appreciate myself, complete with all of my strengths and weaknesses, has made everything quite a bit better. I used to feel guilty for my manic thoughts or actions, and worthless and pathetic for my depressive qualities. But somewhere along the line, I decided that I deserved to have a positive opinion of myself. More than that, I deserved to have a unified opinion and to be able to trust myself--not just to be rational, but to stand behind my own thoughts and actions whatever state I was in. It took a long time, but it helped a lot. I don't run from rationality when manic, because I'm not afraid of my rational, depressed side. I don't hide from mania when depressed, because I'm not afraid of being manic. My extremes on both ends have been reduced, I don't shift as often, and I feel more like a whole, complete person.

Like I said, I don't really know if I'm bipolar, but if I am, then yes, I can relate. If that's the case, then I would advise you stop reprimanding yourself. You wrote it. You know why you wrote it. The thoughts and feelings that lead you to write it were valid. You have no reason to feel ashamed, no reason to explain or apologize. You deserve to feel satisfied that you got it out--not ashamed.

The divide between mania and depression is as much an emotional issue as it is a physical one. They are polar opposites, and if you allow yourself to hate and fear them, you will drive a wedge deeper between them. Avoiding depression results in stronger mania. Avoiding mania results in stronger depression. The common factor there is a sort of conditional self-loathing toward different aspects of yourself which you've divided, in your mind, into two separate identities: mania and depression. They are real, of course, but so are you--a real, whole, complete you. That concept of you is far, far, far more important than mania or depression will ever be.

Depression wants to think about how nothing would work, and how terrible you are.
Mania wants to think about how everything would work, and how awesome you are.
Perhaps you should ask yourself what you want to think about, or what you want to do.
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Old 10-20-11, 04:56 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

Tam man : I can relate! For me the trick was to accept my cycles happen and forgive myself when they do. Its funny I never realize I'm on the manic train right away. My husband will see me as excessively annoyingly playful, joking, laughing more than usually hyper. Then a totally angry bit** and venom spills from my mouth. Then depression tears sadness and hopelessness. Then I wake up after 4 days and wonder what people were talking about. I really think you can address the BP and the adhd with a good cocktail.
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Old 10-26-11, 01:34 AM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

I pray every day to my god Lithium. Since I'm back on it and stopped Seroquel, things are getting better. All the psycho stuff I also did was not nearly as effective as the meds.
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Old 10-26-11, 05:02 AM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

I can relate to pretty much every word of the original post, and I don't believe I am bipolar. I attribute all that to ADHD + stress + the weather + diet + sleep + anything else I can use to explain crap away.
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Old 11-27-12, 11:36 PM
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

Quote:
Originally Posted by tambourine-man View Post
This will be long (my posts always are, lol) but I'm in desperate need of advice because I've just realized some pretty scary things. I am writing this, I believe, on the tail end of a manic episode. Because I always forget what these episodes feel like I am forcing myself to post this here. If you know anything about this, please comment.

Here goes...

I am bipolar. I am ADHD. Or so I've been told.

I'm not completely sure what these terms mean because disorders seem so individualized and the subjective experience of having them is so hard to express. However, I know I'm hyperactive and "off." I'm unbelievably talented at and exclusively fixated on the certain things that interest me (with me any actual interest will inevitably result in knowing all there is to know about it, being the best at it, etc...)

I seem to have three stages...

Stage 1 - I lack focus and am always failing miserably in any area of my life that doesn't immediately interest me. I'm fidgety, my thoughts race, my emotions (when I have any) seem entirely mental, so tied up in all these thoughts that I feel completely disconnected from them... Not fun.

Stage 2 -During hypomanic episodes I have always been the ultimate alpha male; witty, magnetic, efficient, goal oriented, charming... Basically I'm the kind of person everyone looks up to and wants as a friend. Not bragging, it is more of a weird symptom than a character trait.

I'm also very creative in this phase. It is amazing how creativity is the key to success, not only in art, but in relationships and everyday life.

Stage 3 - Certain ideas seem to have mysterious, unexplainable "feel." These ideas are always connected in some way to the great mystery of existence.

This mania is frightening. I become very convinced that I'm experiencing a higher state of consciousness. It escalates and my thoughts become more and more stimulating.

I feel I understand something incredible, indescribable, something there are no words for... but somehow I HAVE to tell everyone. I have to make them see as I do. The evolution of the human spirit depends on everyone opening their eyes but everyone seems so comfortable remaining blind!!!!

You see, as exciting as it is, mania is the most desperate, and urgent feeling of bottomless loneliness I can imagine. It feels as if a heartless, foreign God has revealed himself to me and is taking me away and leaving behind everyone and everything I can relate to. I want people to come along, but I feel I have to leave them.

In this state I make everyone crazy and ruin everything then collapse into the first stage where I can't begin to repair damage from the third because I'm so lethargic, scatterbrained and guilt-ridden and everything seems so flat.

Usually the end of mania finds me in the hospital or wherever I end up recuperating. Once I'm hypomanic I can start life again, better than ever, and do it all over agin.

Life isn't worth living without those wonderful ideas and feelings yet it is unbearable when no one has acess to them but me.

I take Depakote, Vyvanse and Adderall.

The Depakote doesn't prevent mania and hypomania. I still have episodes every few months (I'm never not in one unless I'm recuperating). They build and build and slowly shift into one another, slowly, slowly and then all at once. On Depakote, actual mania is rather short lived but it is still enough time to ruin my life.

It is only during the shift to or from mania that I ever realize I'm bipolar. I can never remember what mania feels like unless I'm experiencing it. It is like deja vu in that sense.


As I said, hypomania is great. It is the only time I am functional, better than functional sometimes.

But I'M TERRIFIED because I've just realized that my stimulants are keeping me in a hypomanic state. I still have little manic and depressive episodes but they are incredibly condensed (several hours up to 1-2 days).

Basically, stimulants (especially Adderall) seem to give me a highly controlled hypomania for a month or two, followed by a very brief but mentally traumatizing mania and even more brief depression.


Can anyone relate? Help? PLEASE...
I tried to condense the quote down to the basic Items I also experienced.

I was just diagnosed as bipolar after my first real major episode of mania as explained in stage 3 of the quoted material.

Literally was like reading documentation from what I experienced. My manic phase was documented on youtube and scienceforum net it was not like deja vu but more like jeopardy for me... Like the answers were given to me and I was looking for the question. (NOT INSTRUCTIONS)

My mother stated I was looking for patterns but that was not it; it was a series of odd coincidences that strung together for miles and miles that started with a single piece of information or event that did not make sense at the time but made sense in the greater picture.

I can easily explain to someone but they would think it was a little odd but nothing to invest energy into.

Is you diagnosis still Bipolar and are you type I or II?
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Old 03-11-13, 12:21 PM
polarboo polarboo is offline
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

hello! i realize you posted this quite some time ago but i stumbled upon it today. so if you still make postings in this forum- i want to thank you for that. Aside from some minor details, you have summed up my daily life.





Quote:
Originally Posted by tambourine-man View Post
This will be long (my posts always are, lol) but I'm in desperate need of advice because I've just realized some pretty scary things. I am writing this, I believe, on the tail end of a manic episode. Because I always forget what these episodes feel like I am forcing myself to post this here. If you know anything about this, please comment.

Here goes...

I am bipolar. I am ADHD. Or so I've been told.

I'm not completely sure what these terms mean because disorders seem so individualized and the subjective experience of having them is so hard to express. However, I know I'm hyperactive and "off." I'm unbelievably talented at and exclusively fixated on the certain things that interest me (with me any actual interest will inevitably result in knowing all there is to know about it, being the best at it, etc...)

I seem to have three stages...

Stage 1 - I lack focus and am always failing miserably in any area of my life that doesn't immediately interest me. I'm fidgety, my thoughts race, my emotions (when I have any) seem entirely mental, so tied up in all these thoughts that I feel completely disconnected from them... Not fun.

Stage 2 - I also have what are referred to as hypomanic episodes. This is when the chaotic mental mess that is my daily thought process becomes magically untangled, and while my thoughts are probably still racing, they feel much, much slower because they are so sharp, so orderly, and I'm able to efficiently acknowledge and reflect on each one before letting it pass.

During hypomanic episodes I have always been the ultimate alpha male; witty, magnetic, efficient, goal oriented, charming... Basically I'm the kind of person everyone looks up to and wants as a friend. Not bragging, it is more of a weird symptom than a character trait.

I'm also very creative in this phase. It is amazing how creativity is the key to success, not only in art, but in relationships and everyday life.

However, creativity, my great passion, is also very dangerous for me. A fruitful writing binge, thought provoking movie, performance I happen to give, project I undertake, or even a particularly stimulating conversation... can all turn a hypomanic phase into a manic phase.

Stage 3 - I've identified what triggers my mania, but I'm not sure anyone else would understand. I have to avoid these triggers but they are exactly what seem to make life worth living.

Certain ideas seem to have mysterious, unexplainable "feel." These ideas are always connected in some way to the great mystery of existence.

They pull me in like Eve to the apple. They are exciting, tempting and scary. These ideas, if entertained too long, will trigger mania. I can't watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, read the passages of certain poets, or debate religion (i.e. the problem of divine predestination being in oppositon to free will) without feeling the high come on. Don't get me around a pastor!

This mania is frightening. I become very convinced that I'm experiencing a higher state of consciousness. It escalates and my thoughts become more and more stimulating.

I feel I understand something incredible, indescribable, something there are no words for... but somehow I HAVE to tell everyone. I have to make them see as I do. The evolution of the human spirit depends on everyone opening their eyes but everyone seems so comfortable remaining blind!!!!

I feel like Paul Revere screaming, "The british are coming..." The sense of urgency and excitement is overwhelming. For years I used drugs not only to medicate myself but as a way to reach out to other people, to try and light things up for them (no pun intended) so they might see as I did.

You see, as exciting as it is, mania is the most desperate, and urgent feeling of bottomless loneliness I can imagine. It feels as if a heartless, foreign God has revealed himself to me and is taking me away and leaving behind everyone and everything I can relate to. I want people to come along, but I feel Ihave to trick them, to tempt them as I was tempted, and it makes me feel, well, evil.

In this state I make everyone crazy and ruin everything then collapse into the first stage where I can't begin to repair damage from the third because I'm so lethargic, scatterbrained and guilt-ridden and everything seems so flat.

Usually the end of mania finds me in the hospital or wherever I end up recuperating. Once I'm hypomanic I can start life again, better than ever, and do it all over agin.

PLEASE FORIVE ME for all that explanation, but I'm desperate to know if anyone can relate to this, or if this is really what bipolar disorder is? It certainly seems like it, but I guess I've been in denial most my life because I CAN"T LIVE WITH THIS!

Life isn't worth living without those wonderful ideas and feelings yet it is unbearable when no one has acess to them but me.

I take Depakote, Vyvanse and Adderall.

The Depakote doesn't prevent mania and hypomania. I still have episodes every few months (I'm never not in one unless I'm recuperating). They build and build and slowly shift into one another, slowly, slowly and then all at once. On Depakote, actual mania is rather short lived but it is still enough time to ruin my life.

It is only during the shift to or from mania that I ever realize I'm bipolar.

The rest of the time I just believe I'm taking these funny pills that don't seem to do anything out sheer of habit. I can never remember what mania feels like unless I'm experiencing it. It is like deja vu in that sense.

Anyway, I'm aware that all this happens but I can never quite decide if it isn't just crazy speculation from a wacky psychiatrist overanalyzing my issues and turning them into symptoms... until I get manic.

As I said, hypomania is great. It is the only time I am functional, better than functional sometimes.

But I'M TERRIFIED because I've just realized that my stimulants are keeping me in a hypomanic state. I still have little manic and depressive episodes but they are incredibly condensed (several hours up to 1-2 days).

Basically, stimulants (especially Adderall) seem to give me a highly controlled hypomania for a month or two, followed by a very brief but mentally traumatizing mania and even more brief depression.

At this point mania and depression come and go so fast I don't have time to see what hit me. The rest of the time I'm doing great and everyone is so proud of me.

Is this REALLY DANGEROUS? It seems like it, but I just CAN"T go back to the way things were before, wallowing in depression for weeks after spending God knows how much time in an insanely overstimulated state.

On this med combo I can come out of a mania, go through a quick bout of shame and sadness and confusion, then pick myself up, dust myself off, and get on with life.

I can function in soceity and it feels so good I want to cry, but underneath it all I'm always waiting for the ball to drop.

Can anyone relate? Help? PLEASE...
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Old 03-22-13, 06:42 PM
jssm650 jssm650 is offline
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Re: Adderall and Bipolar Disorder: A Very Personal and Urgent Concern

Tambourineman....I know your original post is old but I just "stumbled" on this site today searching for info and answers...when I read your post, it was like a light bulb went off in my head...you said exactly how I feel/think but haven't been able to articulate it...I'm fairly new to this bipolar thing (never been diagnosed because no money or insurance, but like you, once someone mentioned that they were sure I was bipolar, I became obsessed with finding everything out about it that I possibly could and there's no doubt, I have bipolar) and I'm still trying to "identify" things and learn, so I don't have any answers or solutions to offer, but I felt compelled to register here and to let you know that, 1)you are not alone, but I'm sure you know that and 2) it was very refreshing finding out that I am not alone. I don't know how to describe it, but I just can't believe that you perfectly described what I have been trying to articulate so I can tell a doctor when I'm able to get to one. I desperately want the doctor to understand me (I have a fear of finally getting to a dr and not being able to correctly describe things and him misdiagnosing me)

I especially relate to your comment about other people not understanding and even worse, not wanting to understand things when you've suddenly became enlightened. This happens a lot to me...basically, it's exactly like you said, I have so many scattered thoughts and so much of my life is chaos and every once in a while, it's like bam! Now I get it! And I just don't understand how other people don't wanna know what I just figured out (whatever that may be at the time). I know this is listed as a symptom of BP but I am convinced that these "enlightened moments" are very real and if you don't have them, you wouldn't understand and therefore, it makes sense for this to be labeled as a symptom.
One other thing: This is something that I would appreciate comments on from those more "experienced" than myself.

I am constantly trying to find a way to describe (in words) what is going on inside my head...I'll feel like I have a perfect understanding of whatever the topic/subject is at the time, and when I'm talking to someone, it doesn't sound anything at all like I'm thinking..In fact, my "clear" thoughts come out as unclear and very scattered--as if I don't know what the hell I"m talking about. The other day, I had one these "enlightened" moments we're talking about and it occurred to me that my thoughts are going sooo fast in my head (which is fine with me, because fast is very normal to me) that when I want to turn my speeding thoughts into words, I have to slow them way down and during this "transformation," of fast thought into normal paced words, I lose everything that I wanted to say..and it ends up making no sense whatsoever and it leaves me frustrated because I know what I just said and I realize it sounded scattered and senseless so now not only does the person I was talking to not "get" whatever it is that I was trying to say, they probably also think I an absolute "nut" for thinking that I know what I"m talking about.

The only thing that helps with this is typing my thoughts down in a journal..I do this a lot and it offers some relief to me for some reason.

Also, I'm very scared of medicine because I feel that I'm smarter than the majority of the population (not in an arrogant way, but I"ve always been smart academically) and I don't wanna medicine to "dumb me down." Anyone else have this concern? If so, any advice? Plus, I don't have much faith in doctor's because I'm almost certain that my BP and mania comes from a psychiatrist convincing me (it took a lot of convincing!) to take Paxil. I took it for about 6 years and life was GREAT! In fact, too great! Things that are supposed to cause concern in life, didn't bother me a bit. I didn't need my wife emotionally because I felt great inside and this left her lonely but I didn't know what to do about it. I was engulfed with becoming successful and "conquering the world" because Paxil just made me feel so great (not in a high way but I had a "no worries" attitude when at times, it would have been healthy to have a little "worry.") Anyways, I don't remember any of these BP and mania symptoms prior to my Paxil days and after researching it extensively, it seems that Paxil if the worst of the SSRI's at causing this. Okay, I'll shut up now..haha...(this post is a classic example of me having to thoroughly explain EVERYTHING as to be sure that you "get" what I'm trying to say...haha)

Last edited by BR549; 03-22-13 at 08:31 PM.. Reason: paragraph breaks for ease of reading only
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