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Brutal swings


Athena
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I seem to be hearing that bipolar depression is worse than other types. I think I know why. You come off a high and it makes the low just so much worse by comparison. You get brutal withdrawal symptoms without even going off a drug. And you don't want to take a drug because that always seems to reduce the high and leave you ONLY with the low. Sure, it may keep you alive just by virtue of the fact that you are too unmotivated and zombies to bother taking the concerted effort to do yourself in.

Sometimes I think we engage in risky behavior simply to get out of the low. The excitement, the distraction, the adrenaline rush - kicks us out of our deadened state and back into action, back to life. I never thought I was much of a risk taker but it hit me today. Launching myself off cliffs, be it into water, or with wings holding me up. Hitchhiking across France. Scuba diving, high risk job, SI, running rapids. Walking on thin ice (and crashing through). Climbing trees, going out on limbs as a kid. I'd be a biker and a race car driver except I'm pretty sure those would result in serious injury.

I've been so low lately, I have an incredible urge to go back to the one thing that almost killed me 20 years ago. It may just get me through this period until a few crises can be resolved and/or therapy works a little more consistently. I just can't stand being so unmotivated and apathetic. I really couldn't care less about anything. Even my kids. I'm just going through the motions of a dutiful parent. The connection is fading. They are just annoying, loud, self centered, small greedy people who I am obligated to take care of. Their Dad was exactly the same, except a bigger version. I find myself preparing to replace myself. Getting finances in order for them in my absence, pushing them away so they won't miss me, giving in to the various people who say my extreme moods are hurting them emotionally and want to take them away from me anyway. My own damn lawyer said, "Suck it up, you never should have married him, you never should have had kids". Now I'm finally agreeing with her. Really no reason for me to stick around at all. Well, maybe - the ducks aren't quite all in a row yet for them. But I'm gradually getting there. I want to give them at least half a chance.

Nightmares are wiping me out. Ex and others are trying to. Nothing changes. Same SH-T every day. Nothing within my control. It's just a waiting game. Just a matter of how long others decide to keep the torture going. And that's just on top of my underlying problems. I wake up gasping for air. My heart goes into crazy racing beats, then back to normal. Still here. GP not that concerned about it. I ache all over. I'm so tense I'm cold in 70 degree weather and sunshine.

So, that's been the last few days. It could all be different by next week. Just waiting for the next high. (or the next shoe to drop).

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Hang in there, hang in there, hang in there.

I'm sorry things have been so rough for you.

I totally get the being wiped out by nightmares. I could do without ever having one again ever myself. Not only do the nights plain suck, but I'm so tired all day.

Do you have a therapist or anyone like that you see?

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Thanks Pseudome,

Yes, I have a therapist. I have a great deal of faith in him but my guess is that I'm by far his most challenging patient. I feel like giving up on therapy right now but I know that would be a disaster for me because that's all I've got. I kind of promised him I'd give him a year at least. That's up in October. So I'll probably stick it out til then, unless complete irrationality sets in sooner. When I do something really stupid, it is never planned, it just happens. But those are not attempts. I think we are all painfully aware of the difference.

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Hi Pseudonyme, You do indeed sound like things are difficult right now... Haven't been to the forum in a while so I don't know your past, but I do know those mood swings and feelings of despair. I was like that for a long time but finally found medication that has stabilized me and I can say that life if pretty normal now. There can be breakthroughs... mine took some 30 years but it happened...

From what I hear you are a single parent. That's difficult, I know for having lived it myself. Dealing with mania or depression while trying to keep it together for kids is extremely challenging, sometimes completely overwhelming. Hard as it was, I do consider now that it was a blessing that I had them though since I don't think I would be here without them... sometimes just the tiredness can trigger the feelings of despair, especially if you are having nightmares... Are you taking anything to help you sleep? Are you being treated for anxiety?

May your days ahead be easier, calmer, and more filled with hope Pseudonyme....

Edited by Symora
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Hi Symora,

I think you meant to address your comments to me (Athena). I share custody of my 2 kids with their Dad. Right now, he's getting more time with them. I'm mixed on that. I'm losing my connection with them because I've only got them 1 night (which is nonstop extracurricular stuff) and one weekend day per week. On the other hand, I was finding it hard to cope with more as we all have emotional regulation problems.

I've got mild and heavy tranqulizers as well as sleeping pills. Right now I'm not on any of them as 2 are addictive and one depresses me more plus throws off my energy and metabolism. It does work quickly however, so if I really need it I'll take it. What I really need is for something to go right in my life. I have a marital lawyer, civil lawyer and employment lawyer helping me deal with my various crises at the moment. Needless to say i need a life where I never see another lawyer for a long, long time. Everything just drags on forever. It's like I'm trying to recover from childhood traumas while under current ongoing major trauma. I'm not sure it is even possible. Just trying to survive for now.

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Why the hell did your lawyer say that to you? There is no way you can quote suck it up. Yes it's a bitch with having Bipolar I right now am just phasing out to the maybe sad maybe very high sometimes I switch so fast that my daughter will literally stay in her room because I don't know what to say or when to say it. I also have other issues with having Bipolar 1 I lately have been sleeping late, crying hysterically but, today I am just mad to the point when my cable co. called I screamed WHAT!!!!. When you say your ex. & kids are they happy to see you? [i didn't mean ex whoops] Is it hard for you because you can't see them that much & when you do is that when you get depressed when they leave? Or when they are with you are you in high Mania? Please don't say what I think you are. Don't even try. Believe if I could try what I use to do I would of started Sept. 23 2010. It is a form where you don't care. Please don't do anything rash. Are your lawyers talking to each other to keep your case mutual for your behalf?

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Why the hell did your lawyer say that to you? There is no way you can quote suck it up. Yes it's a bitch with having Bipolar I right now am just phasing out to the maybe sad maybe very high sometimes I switch so fast that my daughter will literally stay in her room because I don't know what to say or when to say it. I also have other issues with having Bipolar 1 I lately have been sleeping late, crying hysterically but, today I am just mad to the point when my cable co. called I screamed WHAT!!!!. When you say your ex. & kids are they happy to see you? [i didn't mean ex whoops] Is it hard for you because you can't see them that much & when you do is that when you get depressed when they leave? Or when they are with you are you in high Mania? Please don't say what I think you are. Don't even try. Believe if I could try what I use to do I would of started Sept. 23 2010. It is a form where you don't care. Please don't do anything rash. Are your lawyers talking to each other to keep your case mutual for your behalf?

The mediator and my lawyer are both type A women without kids. Both the type that would probably support the rapist in a criminal/victim situation. What she should have said is "he's a rotter, he's the type that would rather give all the money to the lawyers than not get his way so just treat him like a mugger and when he puts the gun to your head, just give him what he wants because there's no winning for you". I fired the mediator - she set the tone. My lawyer is my second one so I didn't feel like changing again. I was working at the date of separation. I had been supporting him against my will for 5 years (because he refused to work despite his exact same level of education and professional qualifications). So he used the threat of making ME pay spousal support to HIM, ie: half my income to get more than half the assets and to weasel out of paying half the kids' expenses.

My kids are difficult when they are with me - fighting, defiant, freak out over minor things. My 6 year old's therapist even gave up on her one day. I had to get her out of the room screaming and kicking me. When they are acting up like that it triggers me, although they are getting better these days since we see each other less. When I don't see them, I'm not missing them anymore, I forget to call them, it's like I'm not even their mother. It's horrible to go from adoring them to complete apathy, almost not wanting them with me at all. And it just gets worse with every passing day. I'm hoping things change when my ex gives me my freedom, if there is ever such a thing after being married to such a narcissist. Of course, if I don't ever see my kids again, I'll never have to see him again. Sometimes I wonder if that's some subconscious plan.

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Dam

I am so sorry you are going through this. Ah I can now understand why you're actions and thinking are the way you are. Not that I want you to act irrational I don't even know how to respond to this. Is there anybody on your side that is completely with you. Doesn't sound like the moderator is wrapped to tight. I can't figure this mess I wish I was a lawyer or psychiatrist I would be there for you & only you!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks Leo,

The only ones who seem to be remotely on my side are on this site and my therapist. I had to see a shrink the other day for a "second opinion" for my disability insurer. At the end of the three hour session, she asked, what do I see as my main problem? I said "persecution". In reality, it is probably more like "my inability to deal with persecution". I truly have no peers. I was mother, father, nurturing parent and sole provider. People see that as a very strong individual who can do anything. Nobody has compassion, they truly think she has it all. They envy her. If only they knew - They won't be the ones jumping off a cliff. In reality, that kind of person is somebody who doesn't know how to protect her boundaries and how to say "no" to people. She suffers in silence. She only stops once she can no longer function. She stays way too long in an abusive relationship just so she won't have to be alone. And the scary thing is the next relationship will be EXACTLY the same unless I can kick these tendencies. Already went half way down that road recently. My therapist is unfortunately absolutely right when he says I'm not ready for a serious relationship. So I have two choices - stay isolated or get the crap kicked out of me again. Pretty much no way out. It's kind of a race between the therapy working and me finding a permanent way out. I guess it all comes down to how much endurance I have.

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Hi Athena

I was wondering how you are doing. Thought about you all last night I sat here and racked my brain [yeah sometimes it does work] on anything I could try to help you with.

I was re-reading it over and over again the one thing I was also wondering about why are you having to go to another therapist for insurance purposes?

It won't take a rocket scientist to know how & what you are thinking,feeling, & doing

But the pain in the ass is you know how you are feeling but they think because they have college degrees that they know you better than you know yourself! I would love to slap some of them & say wake the hell up! Well I also have a college degree in trauma nursing but, that doesn't mean if you douse your self with fire or shoot yourself that I am going to save your life I''ll do my very best but if you die I don't know how to bring you back!

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Dear Athena and others:

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and challenges. As a non-bipolar trying to encourage and support a bipolar daughter, I am seeking insight. What I want to ask is this: What happens during crisis to the part of you who is conscious of what you are going through, lucid, and so good at expressing yourself to to others? Is there some way to practice staying in touch with that awareness and that wisdom, to tell yourself that you will get through it, that it will change, to warn yourself that you are having an episode and have to find a way to slow down and not act impulsively -- I suppose it's like falling into a dream....you don't know that you are dreaming..but with some practice maybe it's possible to learn. I suppose that is what therapy is for....forgive me for asking what may be a very stupid and insensitive question. I realize that the whole thrust of this condition is that the moods are beyond control, and yet of course there is always the hope or the faith or at least the attempt to learn to control it, after all -- the brain is amazing and capable of almost anything if we are determined. I am so confused about it. Do you feel that over time, your ability to have some control or at least know how to get through these episodes has been improving? Is there any hope for my daughter to learn to manage it? Sometimes I feel so saddened and overwhelmed by her condition that I start to sink into depression, but I tell myself it's nowhere near the suffering that she is having....

Thanks again.

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Dear Athena and others:

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and challenges. As a non-bipolar trying to encourage and support a bipolar daughter, I am seeking insight. What I want to ask is this: What happens during crisis to the part of you who is conscious of what you are going through, lucid, and so good at expressing yourself to to others? Is there some way to practice staying in touch with that awareness and that wisdom, to tell yourself that you will get through it, that it will change, to warn yourself that you are having an episode and have to find a way to slow down and not act impulsively

I am usually aware of when my rage is taking over. The ONLY thing that has worked for me so far is to try to verbalize my feelings. I have been so used to having my needs ignored, I stopped learning how to communicate them and just lashed out. So I would encourage her to talk about what's bugging her and how she's feeling. Then listen without judging. Try not to be defensive when she lashes out. Paraphrase what she says to you so she actually KNOWS you are listening. Then, I think she will get a better sense of what she is feeling and be able to deal with it better or help you understand what she needs.

Actually, there are a few other things that work for me. 1) A very understanding, patient, non-judgmental therapist who understands self harm behaviors and 2) playing piano and composing music and 3) running and 4) tranquilizers for extreme anxiety (Ativan - unfortunately it is habit forming but once I realized how much I was using it I stopped cold turkey). I did go on Seroquel for a while after that which helped calm me down and definitely helped me sleep. But it knocked me out during the day too, which I find very depressing as I'm low energy when I'm not agitated and that made me a total zombie. Plus I never had any 'up' days while on it which is really depressing.

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Athena, I understand your pain and lack of as far as your children are concerned.

I myself have a son whom just graduated high school in Georgia. I live in Utah.

I signed adoption papers to his paternal grandparents when he was only 4.

I insisted that it was an open adoption. Then because it was too painful for me, I only visited on his birthday and holidays.

It took me 12 years to get over myself and try opening the lines of communication again. I tried and tried and tried, then he asked me to stop and said he will contact me when he is ready. Was that ever a kick in hind end?! I know it was only because of my own inaction, it still hurts. Even when I try to be "numb to it all".

So, I understand from the parent perspective. I also understand from the child perspective. You see my mom had me when she herself was only seventeen. When I was 8 or 9, she checked herself into a treatment center for alcoholism and depression.

Which left me "a ward of the state". I could on and on about this, maybe I will later.

Just wanted you to know that I understand all the parent child stuff. The harder one for me to admit is the husband part. He works and does what he can to provide, he also oohhh ssssssssssssooooooooooooooooooooo belittling! I am not yet strong enough to stop it.

Hey, anyone who has had their stuff get lost in cyberspace because you get logged out while typing your replies...........I just figured out how to retrieve it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Send a PM if you want to know I did it!!

Edited by Verbally abused?
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Guest ASchwartz

Athena,

Among the medications, are you on one of the mood stabilizers, ie, lithium, lamictal, etc?

By the way, its awful to have your moods controlled by these chemicals inside the brain, when their balance is off. I think you are doing all the right things to help yourself.

Allan

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Athena,

Among the medications, are you on one of the mood stabilizers, ie, lithium, lamictal, etc?

By the way, its awful to have your moods controlled by these chemicals inside the brain, when their balance is off. I think you are doing all the right things to help yourself.

Allan

No mood stabilizers. And I went off the Seroquel a couple of months ago. Just took 300 mg today. Gotta drive somewhere soon or I would have taken the max dose, which I think is 800 mg. but there ain't no drug for complete abandonment by your family in your hour of need. So the saying goes, "You're skirt was too high, you didn't run fast enough, you didn't fight back hard enough, there are no visible bruises, you 'let' him do this to you. So, therefore it's ALL YOUR FAULT! And just in case you didn't hear that, we'll say it again: IT's ALL YOUR FAULT!"

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Athena,

I am on Lamictal 300mgs. in the morning. I couldn't handle Seroquel it is a knockout med. for me. I just quit taking it for that reason. I am allergic to Ativan but I have been on Klonipin this is also a benzo. It is like ativan I have been on that since 1993 my psych. had put me on 6mgs. a day. I have weaned myself back to 0.5 a nite. With the help of a new psych. I also am on Aplenzin it balances me out sometimes won't lie to you because I can still snap. But I have been on these 2 now I am starting a new practice in June I wil not take the meds I used to the old psych. had me on 8 different meds. a day that is also when I was drinking bad with them she new so I didn't care. I have weaned everything off but these 2. Can you go on a mood stabilizer? Not anything will cure but, can this help?

I hope you are doing better & feeling better.

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The Seroquel helped.... or maybe it was the uncontrollable sobbing while in the shower....or maybe picturing putting my fist through a pane of glass....or dropping the TV set out my 3rd story window. No, didn't do any of those. I had a very strong urge to cut, but i realized my afternoon appointment was with an accupuncturist. Frankly, i'm not sure which hurts more. Anyway, the Seroquel definitely knocked me out. I'll stick to 150mgs next time unless i don't have to do anything.

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