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Rapid cyclers/ Mixed state...


DahliMOMMA
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Firstly, I am glad to have found these boards as I have always found I struggle with things tenfold if I am feeling isolated/ misunderstood.

I have been bipolar II (w/ probable ADD) my whole life w/ long periods of depression and one of primarily hypo mania that I can recall but with a lot of mixed states...Had issues with this as early as 5. However it was never diagnosed as Bipolar until 6 months ago, and all the attempts to treat depression with antidepressants would result in me feeling 'imbalanced'...so I hated taking them. And would only take if crying jags were bad enough I couldn't deny "depression", I always hid my hair-trigger irritability and rage and loved the super focused, self confident hypo manic side. Hind sight being 20/20 I am surprised anyone put up with me at all. It's sad almost to think the time I thought were good despite the careless things I did were all a lie: I still continued to drive away those who cared with my actions and behaviors, as much as I did when I was self pitying and depressed.

***Sorry guys, I really want to post and get to know you all. However, even though the irritability of my recent rapid cycling (48 hour repeats) has gone way down, my lack of focus and tiredness in the cycle is hitting me this moment. I will come back soon.***

Does anyone else deal with feeling like their mental focus, physical and mental energy and moods are several pendulums swinging back and forth over "normal" ...not at the same time or as hard sometimes but never slowing or settling enough to give you peace and feel like you can have a 'normal life'??? I want this inner peace so badly, no just for myself but for my family. My kids deserve to have the mom I am capable of being and I hate that this imbalance in me is depriving them of getting to know her.

I am particularly interested in what you have tried and are doing re: the mixed states/ rapid cycling...ultra ultra rapid is new thing for me (last 6 months) and the whole reason I was diagnosed.

Edited by DahliMOMMA
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I can relate. Esp in the last two years following trauma. But I don't think most people are as peaceful as we think, they just don't admit it that much. Have friends who have been honest with me in response to asking, they just seem to manage the feelings better, in turning it off and doing other things. They have found comfort in knowing they are not alone, but typically don't have the mood instability and reactivity i now have. Well, i can see parallels with my thoughts and emotions and moods, but can't typically see til it happens. Am trying to learn when it's coming. Primarily around abandonment issues, it seems. Gee, I wonder why...

Don't believe I am psychotic, just in my willingness to be transparent in a complicated world. I have been reaching out more, guess it isn't going to be in perfect ways and will deal with consequences as they come as I am able.

Do think I am a bit oppositional disorder in that I see question my behavior coming, but act anyway at times. Have a life of beleiving things about me that later proved untrue, so am trying to live true to myself.

If mental illness is truely biologically based, why aren't we treated as if instead of as if we lack character. I realize new info about people is what advocates change, and more effective treatment policies, so here I am. Have children with issues and certainly hope their way is easier.

Don't give up.

love

katleen

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Katleen,

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I too wish there were a little more understanding when it comes to people living with 'mental illness', as if we ARE our disorder. It bothers me that I see my son, at 11, showing signs of depression and my 3yr old girl will need some extra attention as she matures as well (I'm watching her for ADHD/ mood disorder but am being cautious about jumping to conclusions considering her age). But I plan to be proactive and teach my kids, by example, how to be advocate for their own (and loved ones) mental health.

I think a lot of what I have been struggling with most recently is that with the ultra ultra rapid cycling that it is like there are 3 different versions (more or less) taking turns at being me and I'm along for the ride. Tearful (sometimes angry/irritable) me, usually tired, mentally foggy...Energetic, focused but thought racing, happy-go-lucky (but can snap into anger at drop of a hat), and in the middle mental clarity, energy for projects, patience. All I want is to live there, right in the middle...{okay maybe just a little toward manic because I like the extra energy and focus and I'm wrangling 4 kids! :) }

I'm choosing to look at this a mixed blessing, it gave me the diagnosis and the short turn around time between shifts lets me seem them more clearly. I've been able to really feel and notice the beginning of 'shifts' and the clues to them and the red flags when it's starting to really get over to one extreme or the other. At the same time it's so frustrating to be briefly in the state of stasis where you ARE WHERE YOU WANT BE with physical, mental energy and focus and on the spectrum of mood and feel it starting to slide back out from underneath you. A couple times I have wondered, how can I be able to clean and organize half my house one day, run all over with the kids, take care of everyone's want and needs one day & the following be unable to get out of bed, to make anything more than toast and mope out to the couch to let the boob tube play parent for the morning while I try not to blow up at anyone. The juxtaposition from one day to the next is infuriating. The flux in physical and mental energy and focus is almost worse than the changing moods.

I guess the flip side is that you know that you can ride out the rough patch, it feels a little less hopeless when you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, if only because you've been driving back & forth, in & out of the same tunnel for days! LOL

Edited by DahliMOMMA
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Wow, I can really relate to all of that. I am now at a point where I feel it's better to not be with people for very long because I don't know how I will be. Overall I can control it pretty well on the outside, with the occasional manic out of place comments :(, but on the inside what a roller coaster ride. I'm lucky in that my kids are grown and I can pretty well live my life at my own pace now, and I live with my daughter, but she is never here so nobody has to be subjected to what feels to me like crazyness. I've had such beautiful things reflected back to me from different people lately and it has reminded me that there is more to me than these eternal mood swings, and that overall I do look like a normal person to the world :) That was a relief because sometimes I worry about that, but that's part of the problem isn't it...

I've really enjoyed your input on the threads DahliMomma, it's nice to have you aboard....

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Dear DahliMomma,

Thank you. For sharing. I so remember being where you are, and seeing now how DBT skills could have helped me then. CBT was good, but left out the emotion part, and my feelings, denied for years, so needed validation. My husband helped care for kids, but refused to be involved with my care, though paid for a lot. I'm grateful for what he gave. We were together 18 yrs, we'd agreed to care for all the kids when we got pregnant. We both had families before that.

After the last one was in college we divorced. Survival's a bitch. Be sure and care for yourself now, in between kids. Whenever you can. Rest, do small things each day, put unnecessary tasks down the road. Learn about yourself and what you think and don't discount your feelings as wrong when they aren't resolved and keep coming back. Throw away guilt and shame, be forward looking to solutions for anything, yourself, your husband and your children included. Brainstorm crazy solutions, look at what you are afraid of for what it is, and know it's okay to do what you want if it doesn't hurt others. Know that your family can accomodate you at times, too. And find a way to be able to support yourself if possible. Life is change.

DBT helped me find tools within myself to start finding myself. To know the difference between moods and emotion, suffering and pain. How to get much more comfortable with myself and to realize that it wasn't anything outside of me that changed my feelings, it was me about myself that makes the difference.

Malign was right in another thread that I needed to realize I was the one deciding my fate, my thoughts and moods now. My outlook. This concerns me a little because I tend towards activism, but you have to have a pretty perfect life to achieve change in anything beyond yourself, i think.

Anyway

am working on answers to questions forum members posed for me in the other thread. Am writing a book. It'll be a bit reducing it. Trying to be as productive as I can when up, but relax time, too. Thanks for caring and sharing. Miss the kids little, and bigger. It was wonderful being priviledged to help them grow up, even though most of the time then I thought I was horrible. Turns out I wasn't perfect by any means, but we all still love each other dearly and like each other, too. For the most part. I'm okay with that.

Keep on truckin. Enjoy the happy thoughts and times. They're precious.

love

katleen

Hope we can keep talking. I don't mean to come across so strong, or even for a moment presume i might know what you need, Dali momma. Just reacted. But felt right. i don't know.

What parts of our guts can iwe trust?

love

katleen

Edited by katleen
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Katleen,

I really liked hearing more from you and am sorry I didn't get back with feedback a little sooner. I would have liked too, however I...like you..am negotiating the daily ups and downs and have felt it was a struggle to focus and post... and then had a irritable and self-doubting phase yesterday where I was just crabby and didn't want to attempt to interact with anyone unless necessary. So, today now that I am in a better point in my "flux" (for lack of a better word ~'cycle' sounds so menstrual, you know...:) ) ) I back on the boards and clear minded, for the moment :)

Please don't think it was necessary to apologize, I didn't feel you came on too strong nor were presumptive in your advise. (I also find myself self-monitoring trying to pay attention as these can be things I have been guilty of in the past, so I see this more as a sign of a kindred spirit than anything. It's totally okay!)

Currently, I am not doing any official CBT or DBT...Currently I am transitioning to different pdoc and therapist (getting ones that are within same clinic, instead of separate) that also offers individual/family therapy to help myself & kids with dealing with my mood issues, their own feeling as well as DHs. Hubby & I have had some real rough patches, due in part to my issues, & I think he has an undiagnosed personality disorder (with recently panic attacks, as well).

A lot of our past issues are from about 13 years ago when we lost an infant suddenly. He has finally admitted to himself the possibility of the personality disorder all though he discounts any doctor or therapist of being capable or understanding him any better than he already does himself. I am focusing, immediately, upon myself and kids and working (discretely) to find right situation to DH to work on himself and his issues. I think his recent panic attacks (began this last week) are what he may need to look for further help than what he was willing to look into before (which was nothing.)

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Thank you, DalhiMOMMA,

Really. Is so exciting seeing you in such a place of positve coping! You know, guys are funny about getting directions when they are lost. And I think lots of people don't realize that therapy is just directions to get through the maze of life's challenges in a less painful way. Therapists take no choices away from us.

And there's no voodoo. There is a lot of science.

Anyway, three cheers for you. And all of us.

love

katleen

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Hmm. Here it is 3 am, and I am up and wide awake & feeling reflective.

Hope we aren't on the way to full (hypo) manic again. Don't get me wrong l love the energy and like being able to feel productive. For now it's primarily the changes in sleep & being slightly 'talky', but I am really UP.

In the afternoon yesterday my good mood felt easy and natural and now I am feeling like I am moving a little past that. I guess we'll see where tomorrow takes us, hopefully it won't be starting a 180 down to sobbing tearful breakdown again like 6 days ago.

I am working, I guess, on not presuming a certain result (ie. oh, I'll be manic here) but staying in the moment of where I am and just 'paying attention' what I am seeing as signs of where I am heading mood wise.

I'm also trying not to judge good or bad...BP is what it is. It's not "good" when it's comfortable and then "bad" when it's uncomfortable. I'm BP on either day, and while I want and need to enjoy the small victories in everyday...I think I am just going to refuse to define myself by the kind of day I am having. I am no better person today than I was 5 or 6 days ago, just because I am feeling more 'together' today than I did then. And I will be no worse (or less worthy) when I have a low or irritable day in the near future.

Going back to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day.

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