Bi-polar?

BrainI am back. Ever since I have been feeling so depressed, I have been doing some online research about the different types of depression. I have chatted with some friends about it and one suggested that I might be bi-polar. Of course, it was “only” a suggestion of a friend (who has had her share of depressions and all that comes with it), but still I found it worth to research. I am not someone who seeks out illnesses and then tries to steer them to myself. I am only checking to see what the most common symptoms are and if they can be applied to me. I am not sure what I wish to accomplish by doing all this research. But I want to know what is wrong with me. I want to know why I have been feeling so bad about myself and so many other things. I want to be able to explain my mood swings. I want to know what I have so I can defeat it, so I can beat it. I want to know what it is, if it is real or “just me” so I can find a way to begin a treatment. And when I visit a GP or a shrink (maybe in the near future, when I am finally off the waiting lists), I want to know what they are talking about. I don’t want to be someone who just nods her head in agreement and deep inside asking herself “What does that really mean???”. I know I will never become wiser than the GP or the shrink. Because, well, they had many years of study and all before they got to be so “wise” and educated on these topics. So now I am browsing Wikipedia and checking out the symptoms and all more that Wikipedia has to offer.

Wikipedia Quote:
Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder include persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, isolation, or hopelessness; disturbances in sleep and appetite; fatigue and loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities; problems concentrating; loneliness, self-loathing, apathy or indifference; depersonalization; loss of interest in sexual activity; shyness or social anxiety; irritability, chronic pain (with or without a known cause); lack of motivation; and morbid suicidal ideation. In severe cases, the individual may become psychotic, a condition also known as severe bipolar depression with psychotic features.

Now I am checking the Helpguide site. I have checked this site before when I was doing research on depression and I have posted about this in March. And the helpguide site has the same list on symptoms, both on mania and bipolar disorder, but a bit more neatly arranged.

Helpguide: Common signs and symptoms of mania include:

  • Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

Helpguide: Common symptoms of bipolar depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty.
  • Irritability
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Physical and mental sluggishness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Helpguide: Signs and symptoms of a mixed episode

A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.

The different faces of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder (mania or a mixed episode) – The classic manic-depressive form of the illness, characterized by at least one manic episode or mixed episode. Usually—but not always—Bipolar I Disorder also involves at least one episode of depression.
  • Bipolar II Disorder (hypomania and depression) – In Bipolar II disorder, the person doesn’t experience full-blown manic episodes. Instead, the illness involves episodes of hypomania and severe depression.
  • Cyclothymia (hypomania and mild depression) – Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder. It consists of cyclical mood swings. However, the symptoms are less severe than full-blown mania or depression.

I so recognize myself in so many of these symptoms. I hate it! I don’t mind it, because maybe I have gotten a step closer to knowing what illness has been bugging me for all these years. It might explain all the mood swings I have been experiencing since I was about 16 years young. I wish I had a better GP back then, maybe it could have saved me some troubles. It maybe could have explained so many of bad moments I had to go through, I dragged others through…

I even feel a bit guilty because if I really have this… I should have researched this much sooner than this. I should have done something to prevent it from getting so bad as it is today.

Owwwww…. The Helpguide site also has this online:

Self-help for bipolar disorder

While dealing with bipolar disorder isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to run your life. But in order to successfully manage bipolar disorder, you have to make smart choices. Your lifestyle and daily habits have a significant impact on your moods. Read on for ways to help yourself:

  • Get educated. Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know, the better you’ll be at assisting your own recovery.
  • Keep stress in check. Avoid high-stress situations, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
  • Seek support. It’s important to have people you can turn to for help and encouragement. Try joining a support group or talking to a trusted friend.
  • Make healthy choices. Healthy sleeping, eating, and exercising habits can help stabilize your moods. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is particularly important.
  • Monitor your moods. Keep track of your symptoms and watch for signs that your moods are swinging out of control so you can stop the problem before it starts.

Ah well, I will link the sites to a new link section I am now planning to create on this blog. It is so helpful, I want to help everyone with it by posting the links here. I know these sites can be found by using Google (that’s how I found them), but still. It feels like a good thing to do. So I will do it. Now!

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~ by Lonely Wallflower on April 16, 2010.

7 Responses to “Bi-polar?”

  1. Hmmm, nothing you have mentioned seems to fall under the realm of a manic episode. The mood swings are the only reason I would have any conception that you might be bi-polar. I have only heavily interacted with one person with severe bi-polar disorder, so my understanding is limited, but your symptoms are nothing like their symptoms. My vote is against bi-polar. Let me know if I am right.

  2. I’m in a similar situation to you, waiting for a psych referral to get a diagnosis and then try to get my life back to normal. It’s annoying not knowing what is wrong. Looking up diagnoses and thinking, does this sound like me?
    Best of luck getting a psych referral and finding out what is going on.

    • Thanks for commenting,
      I so know what you mean! I’ve been reading a bit on your blog (and I have linked yours to mine) and I also hope that you will find out more soon as well.
      Good luck and we’ll keep blogging!

  3. Well you know my situation, I knew for years I had a form of Bipolar but certain Psych would not agree with me and wouldn’t medicate me correctly here in the UK, after many years I went private at the age of 32. I got the correct medication, it’s taken 12 months to find the right combination of medications with a lot of talking, but the progress I have made has been remarkable, the wrong diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder has been removed by my private Psych and the diagnosis of Bipolar II applied. I still experience mood swings and periods of depression, but with the help of drugs like anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers as well as anti-depressants I am able to cope with the shifts in mood without the need to self harm, overdose or act on suicidal impulses. I am now considering seeking legal advice to claim back the money I have spent over the past 12 months on the private medication bills from my PCT (patient care trust) because for around five years I constantly asked them to provide mood stabilisers to stabilise my mood and they wouldn’t, I feel if they had listened I would have had a better quality of life in my late 20’s.

    • I do hope they can help me out soon. GF will call doc’s tomorrow, to check on how things are going. They said it would take a week or so to contact me. That’s two weeks ago and I still haven’t heard a thing. I feel like I am slowly slipping down. And even though I try to grab hold, it’s getting so hard to keep my grip. My hards are getting sweaty, my muscles are aching and my body is just getting so tired….
      I hope you can get (some of) the money back! It’s really too silly for words that you needed to live they way you did because they weren’t able to help you in the best way possible. I am happy that through the private sector, you finally got your life back on track.
      *hugs* LW

  4. […] still do think I might be (partly) bipolar though. I have blogged about that before as well. And I still feel that many of the signs are visible in me and my behavior. Bipolar […]

  5. […] out the Bipolar info, seeing she could see herself in several of my described situations. I did check it out back then and have always believed to suffer from Bipolar disorder myself. But it’s never been […]

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