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About freefawl

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 04/02/1966

Profile Information

  • Biography
    I am a 44 year old woman diagnosedwith bipolar 1. I live with my husbandand 16 year old daughter.


  • Location
    Northern California
  • Occupation
    Worked in healthcare until going on SSDI 9 years ago
  1. Hi Shannon, I am sorry I have been slow to respond. I am really busy right now. I just started a program for people who have chronic pain. It is all day, four days a week, so I am adjusting How did your mom's doctor's appointment go today? Is she doing okay? I am sorry you are feeling flat. That is how I experience depression. Emotions are blunted (or at least the happy ones ) and colors fade to gray. I don't know about your depressions, but mine are atypical for the most part. I oversleep and overeat and feel like above. I know you said you see your doctor at the end of the month, but can you call him/her if things get worse for you I just worry for you because you carry so much on your shoulders.
  2. Hi everyone, Sorry I have been MIA. It has just been a very hectic day and a half. My daughter is doing better, a little less depressed, but complaining about being "fat". Linda, I can so sympathize with you. Sometimes I just want to shake her and tell her to "wake up!". It doesn't help that I am fighting my depression as well. I have to really fight to find the patience and the positive words she needs right now. I am sorry to say, I am not always successful. Hotspot, I am sorry to hear about your frustrations with your therapist. I think this push and pull dynamic is really a big part of therapy. Sometimes having something to fight against that you know isn't going to strike back at you is very freeing, and brings up buried issues. I really hope you stick with it. I am glad you are getting sleep Shannon, and I know what you mean about to much. I am good with six hours. Anything over eight and I am dopey and sluggish. I know of no medical basis for this, though my migraine doctor explained that the brain gets set for your regular sleep and wake cycle. If I throw it off I get a migraine. I wonder if the oversleeping has other effects that are related. Well I am off to have a therapeutic cup of tea. Everyone is invited. I promise to have cookies.
  3. Shannon, Your mom sounds like a strong woman with a beautiful personality...not unlike yourself:)
  4. shannon, My daughter will be 16 at the end of December. I showed symptoms at the same age. I am adopted but I met my birth-mom and she is dysthymic. Her mom was a severe alcoholic with a mood disorder that was difficult to fully diagnose. I believe she was bipolar. Her sister was also bipolar. I am sad but not surprised my daughter is suffering some type of mood disorder. The eating disorder also goes through the generations. I wasn't officially diagnosed as bipolar until I was 30. It must be so difficult waiting to see the neurologist. I hope your regular doctor will have some ideas for you in any case. It sounds like you are doing all the right things if your mom quiets after you reposition her. You are a wonderful caregiver. Many people become frustrated and stop responding to things like that. It is difficult to respond over and over again. Incredible job!
  5. Hi all, Linda, I can understand why your friend was concerned. It sounds like you are in a really dark place. I am concerned for you too. I am sorry I am just getting to know you, so excuse any silly questions. Are you in therapy right now, and do you have people who can check in with you periodically until you are feeling a little better? I know you talked about your minipress. Are you not able to tolerate an antidepressant? I wish there was something I could say that would help and not sound to trite. I hope that you feel better. Depresion is sometimes slow to improve, but hang in there. I hope your vascular problems improve too. Hotspot, I am so glad you found such a great therapist. He sounds like a rare find. I think the journals are going to be really helpful. I have done the same in the past, and it was really helpful in spotting my defenses, and triggers. I hope it will be a valuable resource for you. Shannon, I am glad your mom continues to be more oriented, and I hope the Doctors appointment on Monday helps explain what is going on. It is amazing how you have held it together through all of this. I am so glad you were out with your horses this morning...even to do chores. Animals always make me feel better. I only have a little cat, but he is my best friend when I am feeling down. I am having a better day, but things are not all well here, as my daughter is in crisis mode today. I felt horrible sending a distraught crying teenager to school, but she just missed a day last week for the same reason. Her moods are up and down all over the place. I am almost afraid to think it, but I am beginning to suspect she is showing early signs of bipolar. Her therapist has her diagnosed with an eating disorder and depression. That was how I was my first diagnosed as well, so I have to wonder. Whatever is going on is making my husband and I feel distressed, confused and helpless. Unfortunately her therapist is away this week so we just have to make it through. Next week we need a better plan, because we can't go on this way.
  6. Hi All, Thanks for the welcome I am having kind of a shit day. I am sick, thus tired,and on top of that the medications I am on are making me sleepy and slow. I had a bunch a things I wanted to get done, and instead I snored on the couch. I guess I will have to put up with this for a while. It happens with every dose increase. Linda and Shannon, you know I had huge mood swings with hormonal changes. After talking it out with my GYN she put me on the pill continuously. I never take the week off, and never get my period. It made my life much easier. I don't rapid cycle, but a period when I was depressed made me practically suicidal. I don't know if it is something that would help either of you or not. Just figured I would put it out there. Shannon I am glad your mom seemed more with it today. I hope tomorrow will be a good one too. Hotspot, I would love that cocoa right about now. I know it is not really cold here in the Bay area (I grew up in Vermont) but tonight I am freezing!
  7. Hi all:), I am new here though I have been following the thread and posting back and forth with shanrucas over in the new member's forum. I am 44 yo woman with Bipolar 1. Just came off an episode of dysphoric mania and am now fighting a battle against depression. I felt comfortable with you all after following your thread, but please let me know if I am butting in. Shancrus I am so sorry to hear that your mom's disease may be progressing. This must be heartbreaking for you to hear, though I know you have suspected. You mentioned to me you were taking medication. I don't think I asked if you were bipolar 1 or2 or if you rapid cycle. How likely is your disease to be triggered by all the stress you are under? Do you mood chart? Does anyone in this thread mood chart? I just started after being manic, and I love it. I can see what my trend is and know when to call my doctor, and when I do see him I can give him hard data to back up my feelings. I wish I had known to start years ago after I was diagnosed. I might have seen the mania or the depressions coming and reacted a whole lot sooner. It would have cut 2-3 weeks off my manic episode, and recently I noticed a deepening of my depression very quickly and my doctor changed my meeds appropriately. I recommend it to anyone with a mood disorder, not just bipolar. I hope I will get to know you all better. I am really happy to have found this forum. It is just the kind of support I was looking for. I was posting on another one, but there were no moderators and thus inappropriate suggestions and hurtfulness. I am glad to see there is a much better alternative.
  8. Hi Soccercoach, I am sorry to hear you are suffering so much. I too have chronic pain in the form of migraines and myofacial pain syndrome. What has helped me is treatment in a clinic dedicated to chronic pain. They use medicine, physical therapy, and psychology along with other treatments offered in intensive programs that also include education, movement and relaxation. As people have mentioned already, depression and chronic pain seem to go hand in hand, so the mind and body approach seems to work best. I don't know if there is a program like this near you, but if you can find one, I highly recommend it. My migraines were the most difficult challenge. We tried everything from botox to occipital blocks and nothing seemed to work. Finally there was a study that showed a daily dose of amerge along with a breakthrough dose seemed to be safe. We tried it and my life changed, so don't give up hope. I felt like nothing would ever work, but eventually something did.
  9. Hi shanrucas, I am so glad your mom is resting more comfortably and that you have a running dialog with the health professionals responsible for her care. I hope the nurse coming out today can give you more information. After this last episode of dysphoric mania I was put on lithium which did the trick as far as taking care of the mania goes. Unfortunately I am breaking through it with some depression, so we increased my lamictal, Hopefully that will do the trick. If not I see my psychiatrist in two weeks, and he is always very responsive by phone or email. I am very lucky in that regard. I did start posting in the forum for people with relatives who are mentally ill. My daughter has an eating disorder and depression with severe irritability and anxiety. It has been heartbreaking for my husband and I, so I was looking for some support around that. Would it be okay to start posting in the thread where you have been posting in the bipolar forum? Is it okay to just jump into a thread that is that long where it seems like a conversation between three people? I am not sure of the etiquette here.
  10. Hi Allen, Thank you for responding. I hope your daughter is doing well now. I am sorry you had to go through all this, but it is nice to talk to someone who understands. My husband and I are different in how we cope. I also had, or have ( some of that body perception and fear of gaining weight never goes away) an eating disorder. I am a recovering anorexic bulimic. I am now seeing an adult eating disorder specialist to get a handle on the feelings my daughter's eating disorder brings up. She also offers suggestions on how to respond to my daughter. My husband is angry and confused about my daughter's eating habits and body perception. We attend a group for parents of children with eating disorders lead by my daughter's therapist. It has been very helpful for both of us, and has changed my husbands attitude somewhat. My daughter's therapist also works with us as a couple. My daughter thankfully has maintained her weight though it is too low and as I mentioned, she does not have periods. She is weighed monthly by her medical doctor so any anger over not knowing the number is not directed toward the team treating her. She also sees a dietitian every couple of weeks. Her therapist has not suggested an antidepressant so far, but did refer her to a psychiatrist for sleep aid. He suggested Seroquel. He also seemed suspicious that her mood swings may be an early sign of bipolar (much to my dismay). My daughter refused to take that or any medication flat out. Obviously we can not force her. Her lack of sleep, stress level and anxiety are interfering with her performance in school which further upsets her, so I am baffled s to why she refused help from this doctor. It seems like a vicious circle with no end in sight, and no one is reassuring me that things will get better. I get the feeling that her therapist is as frustrated as we are, though she would never say so. The truth is that mu daughter is at an age where she can refuse treatment. I am just thankful that she is willing to see a therapist at all.
  11. shanrucas, My heart goes out to you. It must be so difficult knowing something is wrong, but having no idea what or how to respond. It sounds like you have done everything you can for the moment. When is one of the nurses going to make a visit next? It seems to me like you could really use some moral support and maybe some respite care if that is available to you. It sounds like SSDI is a good option for you. Sometimes it can be difficult to get and many people are denied in the first round. Just don't give up. When your doctor verifies you are disabled it may even be worth getting a lawyer. They take a cut for any back time you are entitled to, but it does make things considerably easier. It must be difficult to accept you are losing your career. I know I went through a whole grieving process, and I still hurt over it. Sometimes I have difficulty seeing my friends in the field in a group because they constantly shop talk, and I am so aware of what I lost. I never realized how much a part of my identity my career was. I had to redefine myself. I am glad to hear you went riding. I love horses! I can't think of a better therapy. Are you mucking stalls on top of everything else, or do you board them? I saw in the other thread that you actually have three. That must be a real mood lifter. Hang in there. I am definitely rooting for you. I wish I could do more.
  12. Hi everyone, I am hurting for my daughter. She is almost 16 years old and over the last couple years she has become more and more depressed and anxious. On top of that she maintains a low weight, does not get her period and has recently been diagnosed with and Eating Disorder NOS. When she has no stress in her life (summers) she seems to be a little less anxious though her mood can be all over the place. When she is in school (very demanding academically) she is in tears almost daily. It is heartbreaking for her dad and I. She has a wonderful therapist who is an eating disorder specialist. She works with us as well as my daughter and we have a lot of faith in her. She recently referred us to a psychiatrist because my daughter is not sleeping at night, and the exhaustion is just adding to her problems. My daughter went to the appointment but absolutely refused any medication. It is so frustrating to watch her become more and more miserable, and now refuse medication that could really help her. On top of that I am bipolar and my husband and I are recovering addicts. It is difficult not to blame ourselves. We just don't know where to turn next. It feels like we are doing everything we can but it is never enough. It is really scary when things just seem to be getting worse.
  13. Hi shanrucas, I am glad you have such supportive friends, and that home health is following up with you. How is your mom doing? I still have my license to practice but due to continuous bouts of depression and several mixed episodes early on my doctors decided that the stresses associated with nursing were in part triggering the problem. Since then I have been depressed to the point that bathing and just getting out of bed seem impossible sometimes. On a boatload of medications I am functional enough to clean and take care of my daughter. I have become a pretty good stay at home mom, but I don't think I could handle work on top of it. I have to schedule my housework and my daughter's events so I am not overwhelmed. I have a binder I keep it in along with my husband and daughter's schedule. I also have chronic pain with migraines and myofacial pain syndrome, so that gets in my way sometimes as well. In anycase I am on SSDI. This is why I am so impressed with what you do. You may not have the same exact issues, but you must have your own, and I am sure they make your life challenging, and on top of that you are a full time care giver which has it's own, sometimes overwhelming challenges. I know you mentioned a caregiver. (It is great she is studying to be a nurse. This must make her much more attentive to little changes that might be important.) Do you get some time away for yourself. I think self-care is so important for a caregiver. Not getting that time for you could be so stressful.
  14. Hi shanrucus, I have been following a thread in the bipolar forum where you have been writing about your day to day struggles. I am blown away by your dedication to your mom in light of your struggles with bipolar. I am pretty depressed right now and have no energy or motivation to do even the housework. Even when I am at my best I have to schedule out things like cleaning, appointments etc. so I do not get overwhelmed. Things must be pretty unpredictable and demanding for you, and I truly applaud the way you manage it all. I hope things with your mom go smoothly and that you get all the difficulties with the house ironed out. I wish there were more services available to you. I was a home health nurse for a while and I do have an idea how difficult things are for you. I wish you all the best.
  15. Hi Guy out there, Thanks for replying to my post. It sounds like it has been a rough road for you too. I can relate to the parental issues. My dad bailed on us when he divorced my mom, though we stayed in touch. My mom and I have difficulty getting along though we love each other. When my dad found out I am bipolar he cut all communication :mad: just like that. My mom began attributing all my day to day moods (especially if I was angry at her) to Bipolar. It has taken the last 10 years for her to even begin to grasp what Bipolar disorder is. Now she is sympathetic and I am able to talk about it with her. I visited her for two weeks recently and I was amazed how well it went. I think it is difficult for parents to get past the stigma around mental health issues. Then there is the fear that they may have done something to cause the problem. I think this leads to shame and anger and the need to separate themselves from something they find too painful to deal with. I know that my dad feels shame. I think he is also afraid that someone will ask him to help if I need hospitalization and my family can't cope financially or otherwise. He would avoid that at all costs. He really is not a very nice person I guess. Hope everything goes well for you
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