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So Confused!


journeyupward
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- Hi all. I'm new here and am glad to have found you. I'm struggling a bit and I need to vent it and I need some input. This is longwinded but please bear with me because I feel overwhelmed with confusion.

- I was diagnosed in Fall 08 with Cyclothymia and Major Depression. I've since read up on it and read the DMV IV as well and discovered that if you are Cyclothymic and in addition are diagnosed with Major Depression, your diagnosis is really Bipolar II. I'm wondering if my Pdoc feels I would become upset and resistant to a Bipolar II diagnosis? He has said he isn't concerned about the hypomania--his concern is the depression. For me, feeling sad, physically slowed and hopeless isn't as painful as feeling like I need to crawl out of my skin to escape; it's deadly active pain. So what gives with treating depression?

- I've been a very good team member with my Pdoc, taking my meds, journaling for his review, following his suggestions--working hard on his recommendations, etc. But now, I'm wondering if maybe this is just a matter of not disciplining myself, allowing my thoughts and feelings to get out of control, maybe subconsciously looking for attention and I'm really normal and so on.

- If I'm not "normal", what is normal? Doesn't everyone have intense moods at times? Doesn't everyone have regrets? Doesn't everyone have thoughts or behaviors that they would feel greatly embarassed about if anyone found out? When I am criticized, intense feelings well up inside and I become argumentative, agitated and when they peak I am overwhelmed with the desire to flee. I want nothing else but to leave, escape. It must be a lack of disciplining myself to think before responding; a matter of learning self control in this area.

- All these things and others are how I've felt since I can remember. They are how I am and how I feel. Some reactions or behaviors I've learned to control so I must be able with time and great effort to control all of them. It has to be I'm just not working at it hard enough. I shouldn't need meds to do this even though I want to blame the medication for the recent intensity of some of this.

- I want to believe my Pdoc. He has helped me gain confidence in my ability to examine my thoughts, feelings, gut instincts and then discern what it all means; what is of value or what is stinkin' thinkin'. But I have difficulty with the idea of needing meds to help me overcome when its a matter of disciplining myself to think and react properly to the world, people and situations around me.

- My Pdoc said I have made great progress in a short time; that I've worked very hard and succeeded. All I need to do is keep up the work, keep taking my meds, and go for followup appointments to be sure the meds are still working. If the meds are "working" and changing me while I'm working so very hard, then how does anyone tell what progress I've really made? Where's the line between what the meds are doing and what I'm doing to become more centered? If I'm doing great, then why do I still need the meds? Why can't we slowly wean me off now? He said he wants me on them for FIVE YEARS before he'll consider weaning me off!

- I know everything I've read says that my feelings right now are typical. What I don't understand is how I feel okay but need meds because I'm "sick". I don't see myself as having a problem serious enough to be medicated; counseling or therapy--yes but not medication.

- Thanks for "listening" and Sorry to be so long winded but I need to vent to someone who understands. And I need some input, please, if you have the time.

Edited by journeyupward
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I apologize to everyone. When writing my last post (above) I was going through a phase I go through every once in awhile. I really do dislike having to take the meds BUT I do understand that they are necessary. I don't like it, but I've accepted it. Yes, it's taken work and an act of will to trust my Pdoc. He has proved himself worthy of trust in that he has kept my doses to a minimum, just enough so I can work through learning to manage episodes. And he listens to me. We can have discussions on equal ground. He doesn't talk down to me. Occasionally, depression or hypomania breaks through nearly full force but I have come to understand it is a temporary intrusion; I just need to hang on and do my best to pray to God I remember what I've learned. Other times, doubt or denial takes hold and I have this overwhelming belief that I am fine, I am right and everyone else is wrong--I don't need meds and probably don't even need therapy--it's too embarassing and I'm too self sufficient. Sound familiar anyone? When this kind of episode plays itself out (usually in 1/2 or a full day), I come to terms again with the fact I do need my meds and Pdoc. And he has helped me to see I can depend on myself if I stay consistent. I've learned with his help that I really do have a lot to give back to society, to my community and to my family--it's not just wishful thinking or a daydream. BUT I know from experience it is only if I continue to do what I have learned this last 10 months when in a reasonable and "normal" state of mind: I must take my meds and turn my negative thinking around into positive thinking so I can keep anxiety and anger at bay. I have to relearn how to think so I can evict the beast before it gets a toehold in my mind and emotions. Breaking this cycle also seems to help cut down on the hypomanic episodes--I don't know how but it works. Why would I want to stop the energetic "highs" even though I love them when they're happy? (They can also be energetic, dark, angry and irritable-for me, sometimes these are more dangerous than depression.) Because the highs are always followed by a crash--a very deep, low--depression. So please forget my last post and argument against meds. I do need them as I learn to live a better life.

Edited by journeyupward
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journey upward- I am completely with you, so no apologies needed! I'm sure nearly everyone here feels the exact same way so often, and it's almost scary to see your own personal private experiences in someone elses words, but your post has inspired me to possible take a step I'm a little afraid of taking! Thank you for sharing.

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Hi journeywupward! Welcome to our community! I'm not bipolar, but everyone I've known with it have shared your feelings about it:

"Other times, doubt or denial takes hold and I have this overwhelming belief that I am fine, I am right and everyone else is wrong--I don't need meds and probably don't even need therapy--it's too embarassing and I'm too self sufficient. Sound familiar anyone? When this kind of episode plays itself out (usually in 1/2 or a full day), I come to terms again with the fact I do need my meds and Pdoc."

There is something that temporarily takes over leading you to think you are fine when you're not, and later you "remember" you need help... sometimes after a disastrous crash.

As humbling as this cycling must be, there is a deeply human truth in it. None of us, really, is sufficient unto ourselves. We all have to realize that, and those with bipolar can lead us with their courageous acceptance.:)

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