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603015 tn?1329862973

Whats it like newley diagnosed

Hi

I have now had a forth proffessional say I am Bipolar and am now waiting to see a pdoc as it has been advised that I should go on medication. I am trying to understand this condition and relate it to me, I have always thought I was so normal a little quirky and Over the top sometimes and have always associated my depressions to situations at the time, my highs have always been short lived and yes I have done some things that my "normal" personality wouldnt do or would I. I have always thought when I instigated a skinny dip, flashed or flirted at a friends husband that this is me normally conservative letting my hair down, when I changed all the house round and spring clean and buy new stuff I am on a mission it lasts a few days and then usually fizzes out, does this sound like hypomania to you. I know that this year I had a major depression and then reacted to antidepressants and yes I can totally say I was truly hypomanic and then had some really scarey stuff go on in my mind, I know I had racing thoughts, felt randy etc.. and exceptionally happy and didnt need sleep ect.. ect.. but this was a reaction to medication, it continued to escalate when I came off them and then I had to take something to stop it which I took for a week or so and it knocked me out. I had my assesment yesterday and they said that during the two hour interview my mood fluctuated from happy laughing to crying, isnt this just a normal reaction that you laugh when nervous and mocking yourself and behaviour and cry when talking about truly sad stuff. I dont want to be in denial if I am ill but I have always been like this and I dont recognise it as distinct periods of time just me an up and down type of girl who is mostly conservative and then lets go sometimes. Yes I have sufferred low moods many many many times but if it has been major I have always had a reason for it.
They have said I am extremly sensitive to drugs ( based on the reaction to the AD and then the Seq) so they are going to have to introduce whatever they put me on very very slowly. I am so up and down I dont know what to think, but this is what I am like, this is normal and now I am off everything I feel normal again, that being up and down just like always. Does any of this make any sense to anyone. I just dont want to go on medication unless I really am BP
26 Responses
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1382402 tn?1279732648
Well I'm on a AD and a mood stablizer at same time, to control both mania and depressive stage. Why you say its bad to be on antidepressents?
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Avatar universal
It's really important you do some research, find support groups and be completely frank with your pdoc. The drugs can help tons so then you can work on yourself too. Just think you are on a brand new path to stability and it's exciting and a new journey for you.
I was amazed at the difference one I became fairly stable, I still have my mood swings, but they are small in comparison. I hope you find peace like I do and hope the new year starts out fresh for you.
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607502 tn?1288247540
Its good to hear you are doing ok, Epilum is an anti epileptic which works well, right now you are all over the place and I know that well, hang in there it will get stable as the meds begin to work.
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603015 tn?1329862973
I had my appointment and have been diagnosed with bp2 and currently in a mixed state
I have finally after the 5th professional finally accepted my diagnosis, my new doc is a lovely man who i really connected with, he has my sense of humor so I think i will get on with him well.
he has put me on epilum and i will be upto theraputic levels by the weekend, i have to have my first blood test on xmas eve. considering i have the inlaws staying i think i am doing ok, have had a really bad day today with very strange swings in mood, i have upset my 17 year old and have just appologised now that i am in a different state, i feel like someone else holds a remote control for me and keeps switching channels, i feel really low right now and i hope that the medication works, i realise it may take several goes but i hope this doesnt go on for much longer , with the added stress of my inlaws im not sure how long i can keep it together.  
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603015 tn?1329862973
Thank you all again, I just want monday to come, I am so so scared and lonley right now and I just feel very fragile, monday just seems so far away, at least in half an hour I am off work and I can just go home and hide a little.
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607502 tn?1288247540
You do not need to justify yourself.  Friends either will accept this you or not and sadly you cannot control this.

I have learned the hard way to ignore well meaning friends and family , and it is quite possible to have had a nervous breakdown and be BP - this is infact how many bipolars manifest for the first time.

People love to air uninformed opinions, its a part of their minds it seems, this does not mean you have to listen, the best thing might be just grin and bear it until the doc can fully diagnose.

Hang in there ok.
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603015 tn?1329862973
I have my appointment, 8.30am monday so I dont need to hang in much longer.

My friend spoke to me this morning and said she has been thinking about it and she thinks I have had a nervous breakdown and that I am not BP. I dont know how to handle my friend and family, I dont want to feel like I have to justify myself, I am just coming to the acceptance of it myself and then they say stuff and it throws me into confusion, I dont feel strong enough or knowledgable enough to explain things. I said my husband needs to come and get the doctor to explain things but he cant make the monday appointment but I guess I will have another, its not going to be just one appointment is it.

I feel really scared and alone, I know Im surounded by people who care but non of them are really helping they are all putting in there opinions in and I cant take it all in and process it. I guess after monday I will have more of an idea but I feel like my husband and my friend are being needy towards me rather than being supportive, its like they are scared and dont want to accept it and are expecting me to tell them im ok and its all been a bad nightmare.

Helpful - 0
222267 tn?1253302210
Paxil did it for me.  Took only a couple days.
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698408 tn?1256958348
Diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to me. It has explained so much about some of my over the top (OTT) behaviours. It has also given me some control over my life.

What you have is a physical illness that manifests itself in your moods. It is no different to having diabetes or asthma. Each one requires a management plan. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Oh and yes some of your BP may be an extension of your personality. That's the interesting part. Finding out which bit is what.

I freaked at first when I got diagnosed 3 months ago because I suddenly thought 'Who am I then?' But it's all okay and you will come to terms with it and you will learn to manage it. Be glad that your ups and downs haven't been so OTT that you had to go around apologising to people for stuff you did.

Above all be proud of who you are!
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607502 tn?1288247540
Citalopram.. how did I guess.

Sigh.  And people wonder why there are calls for GPs to have their ability to prescribe these drugs removed or restricted?  There is a warning in MIMS for Citalopram and Bipolars BTW with regard to mania and hypomania - which most GP's do not bother to read.

I wont comment on Seroquel as its a bit off to me for someone to suggest a drug without a face to face and Seroquel would harldy be a first line choice for an MS for most PDOCs - its not reccomended in the treatment guidlines for the Aus NZ college of psychiatrists who recomend lithium and lamacatil as first lines.  

Seroquel is often only used here if the others dont work due to its (big surprise to you I bet) sedating qualities.

Ok you have a path in sight.  Just hang in there.

Also, just my personal opinion here mind, get a new GP.  Just my thoughts mind.
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Avatar universal
Hope you are hanging in there. monkeyc has good advice.

My sister in law works at a hospital in NZ. We were discussing calling or emailling her to see what your options might be and if there is any place you can go on the weekend. She's not in nursing any more but in admin, so should know the system. It's after midnight here, so hopefully will hear from you again soon with an update.

Take care!
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603015 tn?1329862973
The story of how I got here is very complicated but yes GP prescribed Citalopram, I went hypomanic within 4 days came off after two weeks, Daughters therapist and her physciatrist then said I was BP and called my GP as he was concerned that I would end up in full blown Mania and told GP to give me the Seroquel and get me refferred, since been assessed on wednesday agreed with diagnosis of BP told I need lithiam or something similar but cant be done through GP must be done with the Adult Mental Health Doc, waiting for this appointment, they were reveiwing my case yesterday to allocate me the docs I need and then I should be seen by next week. Gave me 24hr help line if I need it. They have all been very good, a little dramatic I feel at times but I guess that is just because I am still what ever it is I am.
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607502 tn?1288247540
Ahh I see now.

Your GP prescribed you an AD and you went manic - can you remember the name of it? (im betting Zoloft or Prozac but I am prepared to be surprised) and the seroquel made you feel sedated - Sedation is the number on side effect of Seroquel and any comptent GP could have read his MIMS NZ book or online and seen it - its not hidden.

It doesnt sound to me like you are sensitive to drugs it sounds to me like your GP cant read before prescribing and knows nothing about Bipolar beyond what he/she has read.

Lithium needs monitoring and to be honest if this was my GP I would not take anything else they prescribed in this area either.

Can you see another GP?  Do you have access to a pdoc any faster?  Private pdoc or health service?

I think right now the best thing you can do is hang on in there.  Seroquel isnt the best drug for you but you need an MS asap.  In the meantime a therapist is a good thing - talking about this stuff helps.
Helpful - 0
603015 tn?1329862973
My husband is being very good and trying to support me but he is also chasing his tail, he has not yet read anything about BP and I think he is in denial too. I had been feeling better but today I have started to feel the way I did when I was apparently transitioning. I dont understand all this stuff yet and I feel really scared. I run a shop and its xmas so its busy and I am the only one here, my husband popped in to see me and try to help me out but he has gone out with my son. I keep feeling panicked and then ok then emotional like I want to cry and then confused and so on, I dont want it to escalate like it did before. I dont know if this is just because I am feeling panicked about the fact that I am BP or if my moods are swing because of BP, I dont understand it yet. Do you think I should go back on the seroquel until I get to see the pdoc? it just knocked me out before, this is why they said I have to be seen by the pdoc and they cant do it through my GP, because of the reaction to the AD and then the Seroquel rection they want to start me on lithiam but I have to be monitored and it has to be done slowly.

Am I just having panick because of the situation or is this Bp I just dont know
Helpful - 0
607502 tn?1288247540
Ok first thing is that what you are going through right now is perfectly normal.

I think there are 3 things you need right now from my experience.

1. Support - you need someone to help you here.  You said you husband was gone - is he coming back?  Do you have any friends who you can turn too?  Family?  You need to have some support and assitance to get you through this but you also need to be honest with them about how you feel which is my next point..

2. Honesty - be honest with yourself about how you feel, with your doctors about symptoms and with others supporting you.  You do not need to hide anything anymore.

3. Treatment - you need to get some help with your current symptoms before anything.  The pogoing moods are not unsual and you need treatment.  Seroquel ***** as a first line MS - in reality Lamactil or Lithium are the best for a first line repsonse med - Lithium is still the most effective on both phases and this is what I would reccomend as it works well for most people but you will need to discuss this with your doctor, and you need to do this now.  If they cannot get you into a pdoc then my best advice is go to hospital - I think right now you need urgent help to get stable.

There is hope OK.  there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  You are not being a pain to anyone here and you need to stop thinking like that, we know its hard but trust me on it, blaming yourself wont help.

Some other advice is do something you enjoy, take a walk, get some fresh air - this can help a lot you know..

And on snappy and mean - thats a BP symptom and my wife could write a book on it - if you need to find out how to tell people around you there are excellent books and web resources - Beyond Blue are an Australian Group who educate on Depression and Mental health and they have some excellent fact sheets and information on bipolar at this page -   http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=91  

You have just started a course of education in life which none of us expected but its vital to learn and read and study the illness and medications.

You will also find that a therapist or psychologist is invaluable - having someone to talk to who is not part of your day to day life is really important in keeping you going.

And of course we are here, we can offer you advice and help as much as we can, you can post in the forum, PM us or leave us a note. We have been there, some of us are there now.
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603015 tn?1329862973
Thanks heaps

I am getting really panicked at work, I seem to go through periods where I feel I cant cope. My husband was here and he was trying to help out and I was really snappy and mean. I feel really bad now hes gone, I know im unstable at the moment but I dont know how to stop it, im not sure when my pdoc appointment is going to be. Is it normal in BP world to have your moods to come and go in waves like this. They have said they are going to try and get me seen b4 xmas so it should be soon. I dont want to be a pain to anyone, I have seroqel but I only lasted on it two weeks and I know it stopped me transitioning to full blown mania but it knocked me out and I cant afford to be like that so I dont know what to do.
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Avatar universal
Hell1971

As usual, Monkeyc is exactly on the money.... he is awesome!

Welcome to the group!  It's not fun having bipolar and we know that all to well, but hopefully, you will find comfort in expressing yourself to those of us that truly know what you are feeling and experiencing.

For myself, personally, I have been helped through some rought episodes through the friends on this forum.  It's scary to be diagnosed and also relieving to know that it wasn't all you causing the mess surrounding your life.  

Congratulations on the first step to getting stable!

Racheal
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Avatar universal
I wish I could say that cleaning caused hypomania. I'd have an excuse to never clean again! But no, sometimes I am fine. Other times, I do start getting hypo and obsessive. Since I'm feeling especially fragile at the moment, I'm trying not to do anything that I know could set me off. I'm hoping that the lithium kicks in soon and I can avoid some of the mood swings.

I'm sorry your inlaws are being so insensitive. People sometimes look at me as the condition instead of as a person and that makes them behave in ways that dehumanize us. It's like we're objects and they forget that we should be treated at least as well as anyone else. Maybe you could tell them it hurts your feelings? Or maybe not. I know I can't say a word to my mil without risking a volcanic eruption. Vent away right here if you need to!!! I know what it's like to be stuck for weeks at a time; my mil stays between 4 and 6 weeks when she visits us, too. We're in your corner; don't forget!
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603015 tn?1329862973
Well as im reading through I am recognising stuff you say, so I guess I am BP

So if you start doing stuff like cleaning are you saying this makes you hypomanic? you say "im affraid to start as you might end up going off the rails" ?? what do you mean

sorry so many questions but this is such a support for me I have no one to talk to, except my inlaws who are really pleased I have been diagnosed with a mental condition. it seems they are the only accepting ones of my diagnosis and are too happy to tell me all the times I have made them feel unconfortable, when ive been hypo ect.. ect... and in two days have read all the books and keep making comments like "umm yes" while they give me a sneaky look, its one big joke to them with the added bonus they think suddenly I dont have feelings and they can say what they like.. sorry just needed to rant that off they are staying with us for 6 weeks and its just really bad timing that it happens to coincided with coming to terms with my BP.
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Avatar universal
We've got a lot in common. My family thinks I'm funny when I'm hypomanic - that is until it stops being funny or when everyone wants to go to bed and I'm still going strong. Then sometimes they will try to "reason" with me and things will really go to pot. My husband pretends not to notice anything. He doesn't comment on my mood unless I'm agitated or way down in the pit. His thing is he just wants me to be happy, so sometimes he likes the hypomania, too. His mom is nuts, so he learned denial to deal with her. He has almost no visible affect because as kids they never knew which reaction was the correct one. I feel bad for him, but it is still frustrating. There have been times where my mom said, "Take her to the hospital NOW" and he never has. Sometimes I wonder if he is waiting for me to self-destruct so he can start a new life with someone who is lower maintenance. I'm not sure if I'm paranoid or if that isn't a secret hope that people have and would never say out loud.

He hates it when I clean too much - and I've spent 16 hours cleaning the kitchen with a toothbrush, LOL. He says he likes the clutter, but lately we think he has ADD or something. I've been telling him for years that all the chaos and disorganization does my head in, but he won't listen. We've had cleaning people, off and on, for years. It is a train wreck in here and it has been for a couple of months. I'm hoping to get some stuff done this weekend while he's here to help with vacuumming and lifting. I am almost afraid to start because I might end up going off the rails.  

Sorry - I always go on and on.  
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222267 tn?1253302210
I hear you there.  My partner likes it when I become hypomanic.  He even likes it when I talk non stop and run around the house like i'm on drugs or something.  I think he just likes it when i'm happy, really happy!  Even thought there's a price to pay, I think he thinks its worth it to him just to see me happy.  I think he's the sick one LOL.

Hell1971-  Ask your friends and husband what Bipolar is.  I bet they couldn't tell you specifically.
I hope you are getting as much information as possible about this disorder.  It will put things into prospective more.  There are many different variations of BP.  You don't have to be suicidally depressed, or manic to the point of psychosis.  There's anything and everything in between and also mixed together.

I was in denial for so long.  I was irrational, promiscuous, partied like a rock star, cheated, tried to kill myself, shopped like the world would end tomorrow even though I was a poor college student, I never slept, just to name a few.

My family is still in denial about it, except my Aunt.  I have a big family too.  My mom never talks about it.  That hurts.  Everyone acts like life with me is bliss.  Denial.  
My sister is bipolar and really sick.  She's in denial.  She drinks to be happy till she blacks out and becomes violent.  Then she wakes up and does it all over again.  She refuses to take her medication.  She says she's not sick.  Her psychiatrist of 6 years can't do anything for her anymore.  She won't listen.   She's 27 years old.  She has a 7 year old child who is scared of her mood swings.  They used to be so close.  My family is denial about that too.

The longer you wait, the worse it will get.  It will do permanent damage to your brain.  Dementia and so forth.  It wouldn't hurt to try the medications.  Tell them  you want the ones with the least side effects.  All come with some, but it's really not bad.  It goes away after your body adjusts.
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Avatar universal
It is only obvious if someone is willing to acknowledge it. Even though my husband knows, he still ignores as much as he can - beyond reason. Had an incident a few years ago with a razor blade. He caught me and wrestled it away from me, but I was bleeding heavily from a hand gash, getting dizzy, sweaty, weak and sick, etc. Basically going into mild shock. The man got on a conference call for work. I kid you not. He put the phone on mute so they didn't hear the commotion, but he kept doing what he "needed" to do. I could give you a lot more examples of the same type of thing where I am out of control and he has his head in the sand. It's all in whether someone wants to see something or not and if they don't, you have no control over that. Good luck to you!
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603015 tn?1329862973
Thank you all for your support, many of you told me I was hypomanic when I was on the drugs and asking for advise and I guess if I add everyone who thinks im BP then the odds are stacked against me. I do have a couple of close friends who dont think I am BP and think im normal and just think ive been stressed out, I think this is why I am so confused. I thought BP was extreme, how could I have gone 37 years and not known that something was really wrong with me, I thought it would be so major that I would have been diagnosed long before, I guess I have never asked for help for me before but still wouldnt it be really obvious to my husband that something was very wrong.

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Avatar universal
Hi,   I agree with everything monkeyc said!

I was in denial for years also and there are still times I think that maybe I am ok afterall.  I always thought my behaviour was normal, it was just my personality blah blah.  Its been hard and very very emotional.  Like monkeyc i have found this site to be the biggest help to me and to be very honest it has been by coming on here and talking to others and getting their support that has helped me with accepting what I have.

:-)
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