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Hmm. Identifying which 'state' you are in...??


DahliMOMMA
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A lot of my 'work' lately has been in just paying attention to thought patterns, moods, energy levels etc, and being AWARE of where I am and seeing if anything indicates where I am (on spectrum) and where I might be heading.

I am having a little bit of a hard time nailing down where I am at at the moment. Maybe, technically it would be 'mixed', the last patch of UURC has been over for a bit now and I guess maybe it's just wanting that comfort level of knowing where I am so I know what to expect of myself so to speak.

I have been doing some major cleaning projects, and feeling slightly 'spendy' (but without compulsions), however my mood itself is totally FLAT...if anything i might be a little quiet. My mood is even to slightly low.:confused: i am definitely behaving a little more introverted.

Part of it too I would guess is my body adjusting to the major changes I have been working on as far as caffeine, over the last week to 10 days I have cut caffeine down to under half-closer to a third of my normal (12 can plus daily intake). (yay!) hard slow work to cut this out but it's been needing to happen.:)

I know that making a big adjustment as far as caffeine is concerned have a big effect on energy, etc. while I am adjusting ~~~esp as I have been drinking the crap (diet coke) for over 12 years now. Hopefully the body will continue to straighten itself out working those chemicals out of my body.

How common are mixed states in BP??... I guess I am looking for anecdotal or personal answers, I know it varies so much person to person.:) anything?

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Hi Dahli

Well you know you would here from me here !! :)

Mixed states are very common I believe and the ones that for me get me into trouble. Trouble I mean a trip to the hospital. And ususally it is rising from the depressive side with agitation, frustration hoeplessness and helpessness and then feeling the SI during that time.

I find it unbelieable because when I am normal or hypo I absolutley can't believe my brain would think and feel as it did in those states.

So as my pdoc always tells me when I try to understand and find an answer to my thoughts and behaviors so unlike me that it is "the illness talking".

So as long as keep perspective and as long as I remember that I can keep shuffling through these states...

Hope this answers your question ? :)

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DM

What you've done on the caffeine issue is AWESOME. Well done! I'm sure it'll change things, most likely even you out.

If I remember right, you were only diagnosed not too long ago? I was diagnosed at 47, after 27+ years of “major depressive disorder, recurrent” which in retrospect was always bipolar. I only ever noted the recurring depressions. I had two states: depressed and not-depressed. Once dx-ed I had to learn to identify mania and hypomania, since I never saw them as any problem and never called them that. (I was just a bit ‘zany’,’eccentric’, ‘colourful’; some people said ‘weird’! – don’t know where they got that from?? :) ) So learning to identify states is new for me too.

I have the common 10pt scale 0 = normal, +5 severe mania, -5 severe depression. Somewhere online I found some descriptors of common steps along the scale that most BPs have. Over time I have modified these to include all the things I now know that happen at specific points and take out things that don’t apply. It describes energy levels, what types of thoughts, feelings and behaviours I have at the various points, what others say to me in that state and any other clues. It has made it much easier to know where to chart. I tick all that apply, so when mixed, I can have say 5 ticks over the range I have visited in one day.

My mood chart is my all-time favourite and most useful tool for managing my bipolar and I plan to continue to keep it forever. It is VERY handy when I see the pdoc as he can see what has been happening and what my responses have been to what doses of meds. It is also excellent for looking at trends and where I might be headed. I highly recommend it. I have the time taken to fill it in, down to a minute or two at the end of the day without dwelling on it.

Anyway, I can post the descriptors here if you’d like to see. Over time you learn your own patterns as I’m sure you already have. I have a sheet of paper with them all, glued onto the first page of my book. I don’t actually look at them much these days as I’m developing a sense of the numbers.

I find that whenever I have no clue where I am on the scale because I seem to be all over, then I’m mixed!

My pdoc said I need to take into account that when I’m heading towards mania, my judgement and insight become impaired and that because I always saw anything other than depression as normal, I probably underrate my manias. So he tends to think I’m higher than I think. :) When he pulled me into hospital for mania, I spent most of the time trying to tell him “Look, it’s very sweet of you to be concerned, but there is nothing wrong with me this is total overkill why am I here when I don’t need to be I’m of perfectly sound mind I think you have it wrong it's really nice here an' all but I need to go” etc etc, on and on, he couldn't get a word in edgewise. Silly man wouldn’t believe me! :D

I don’t know if this is what you asked?

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LUNA & LINDA,

Thanks, Ladies! (And yes, thank god for those that love and put up with our imperfections.) I would love your charting info, I want to get one going for myself. Will be Esp. helpful for seeing new pdoc.

I will try to pop in tomorrow to chat a little...headache and feeling really introverted and 'withdrawing' tonight. Also, I had a ? regarding SI thoughts/impulses. I noticed a passing thought in this direction tonight and I could probably use some advice in this area. But it'll hold 'til tomorrow. :D

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Well, If I wasn't sure before today clenched it~~ I am getting into a depression. :(Hopefully short lived. Last evening I had brief flash of suicidal type ideology. (With me this is usually while driving having thoughts of purposely crashing...AND i know it's not a behavior I would follow through on, and not necessarily as thought out as to be about dying, just crashing...but it does wake me up to being in a worse state than i thought. )

I was agitated a little irritable and this evening tearing up at 'nothing'...Okay definitely depression. Also, been introverting a lot over last days, wanting to retreat into projects to keep busy. I want to hide out. boo. I need to go for a run or something and get this aggression out. Something constructive. I am new at getting the depression etc under control especially without meds. Maybe I'll give in and try Wellbutrin again like pdoc wanted.

Just don't know. Hangin' in.:)

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yeah. I do think 'mixed state' is a definite possibility. This doesn't feel like simple depression. I have been having these agitated depressives before,a couple times the last couple years I can recall, usually when on unopposed AD (like with the combo for fibromyalgia with Lyrica and Cymbalta)

I also noticed yesterday a little bit of craving for prescription pain meds (not for pain for se, but "oh, wouldn't a little Oxycontin be good about now?"...I was on the max dose for this with kidney issues a couple years ago and learned that I just can't take the stuff. Works great, BUT...for me getting off it is hard. So I just don't take anything for pain, unless it's bad enough to send me into hospital, and then for a day or less only if I get way above my pain threshold . I don't know if the pain meds made the mixed agitation worse or vice versa but not a good thing for me. ***(added note: I mention this because I am noticing that these 'out of character' cravings, like for alcohol when going toward the 'deeper' end of manic are red flags that I have to pay attention to my states. I am not glorifying use of the things l sense cravings for (once in awhile) & work really hard not to allow myself to give into them. However I do think it's worth sharing and taking notice off because they are some of the clearest indicators to me that I am getting far enough off base that I have to make sure to bring loved ones to help me monitor my self/behaviors.***)

This is one of those mindsets I haven't built up the coping skills to really minimize or talk myself out of, so to speak. Also, in regard to the SI, I know what you mean...I'm just 'crazy' enough to do something stupid given enough frustration and agitation. So, I am staying out of the car for the time being.

Also, one of those times I don't parent alone, have DH or mom around to play buffer. Otherwise someone saying or doing the 'wrong thing' is likely to set me OFF and there is full Jeckl/Hyde, aka monster mom, aka the b!tch switch.:mad::eek:

I have filled DH in and he happens to still be off work recouping so he's around all day with me...Grandma has a visit planned for the following week, so I have my backups set up for however long this ugliness lasts. :)Fingers crossed.

I almost miss the rapid cycling.... at least there I know what I'm in for and I can kind of plan on having am up after the down and not as intense as this crud. "Somebody stop the ride....I would like to get off now."

Edited by DahliMOMMA
Adding note on impulse/craving
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Guest ASchwartz

Dahlimomma,

Those pain meds are evil and, in the end, they solve no problems. They are addictive and the "high" they give does not last and turns into terrible things. Resist any thought of returning to their use.

Allan:(

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Dahlimomma,

Those pain meds are evil and, in the end, they solve no problems. They are addictive and the "high" they give does not last and turns into terrible things. Resist any thought of returning to their use.

Allan:(

Allan,

I do agree wholeheartedly about avoiding these at all costs,:) I was simply noting thoughts of wanting/craving them. I know how hard they have been on me in the past when used for legitimate medical reasons, I wouldn't use them now with or without such reason. In fact I have declined prescriptions from docs on a couple occasions with my recurrent kidney issues for just such a reason.

I notice that when I feel these cravings it alerts me to be extra aware of my mental states mood etc. I only have craving for alcohol etc. when getting into more 'dangerous' states...either ragy agitation or more severe hypo-mania/mania.:D These are red flags that I have to be open with my loved ones that my ability to self monitor might not be the best (in near future)

Edited by DahliMOMMA
added note on cravings/impulse control
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