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Just been diagnosed with bipolar. Feel utterly grim about it all

(184 Posts)
LeGavrOrf Wed 14-Aug-13 18:23:10

Bipolar and elements of PTSD apparently.

Have been off work for 8 weeks and initially diagnosed by the GP as depressed, am on 225mg of venlafaxine which hasn't worked at all. Last week saw CPN and now have been given quietapine to take as well, 25mg.

I feel so low and have had suicidal thoughts mixed with feeling very down, and then other days where I am dashing about feeling as if I have had 20 double espressos.

I am just so down at having bipolar and worried about work and what this all means, I have also looked on the Internet and seen that 25mg of quietapine is a very small dose and should have a higher dose, I haven't been told to increase this at all. Plus I haven't seen a psychiatrist at all. Is it normal just to see a psychiatric nurse? I am seeing her again tomorrow, she is coming to my house as when I spoke to her yesterday I was so low and worried.

It's just a bloody horrible thing to come to terms with.

Crawling Wed 14-Aug-13 18:56:51

Only a psychiatrist can diagnose you so please please don't worry about that yet. My cpn said I have perperul psychosis when in fact I have scizoaffective bipolar type 1. Also its just a label though I understand a very scary one it hasn't changed who you are.

Also remember there are lots of different types of bipolar with varying severities it doesn't mean your life is over.

SnowyMouse Wed 14-Aug-13 19:01:34

Hugs LeGavrOrf It takes time, for meds to work, and for the right ones to be found. and for you to find what coping methods work best for you.

Quetiapine is given at different doses depending what it's for. 25mg can take the edge off things without being too sedating.

Who diagnosed the bipolar? Sometimes people's diagnoses change, lots of MH issues are similar.

Your CPN should be able to refer you to a psychiatrist if needed, but people are referred to different professionals depending on their presenting needs.

fedupandtired Wed 14-Aug-13 19:05:08

Please don't worry. Even though you feel utterly dreadful at the moment you can (and will) recover from this and feel "normal" again. It's also perfectly possible that once you've recovered you might not have another episode, ever.

It is a low dose of quetiapine but with quetiapine you do need to increase the dose slowly.

Everyone's different with regards how different meds affect them but personally I was a lot more stable off venlafaxine than on it, with most stability when taking just quetiapine. It is generally a case of trial and error with meds though although you will get there.

HoopHopes Wed 14-Aug-13 19:11:29

A nurse cannot diagnose you and certainly not if she only seen you once. Ask her to get you an appointment with a psychiatrist in her team for official diagnosis and correct medication. They will start you on a low dose and increase it but the psych may give you different medication depending on diagnosis.

So until you have an official diagnosis by a dr, which so far is depression no issue with work. Many people work with bipolar and depression. Particularly when treated with medication.

MrsWolowitz Wed 14-Aug-13 19:13:27

I have bipolar.

It's a scary label but its one dimension of who you are. It doesn't define you.

It took me a while to come to terms with it as it is big news but try not to worry. There's lots of us around to chat to and hold your hand through this.

LeGavrOrf Wed 14-Aug-13 19:29:12

Thank you everyone.

It is just a shock really to have the label. And now I just want to try and get to the root of it. I will speak to the CPN tomorrow and see if she plans to refer me to a psyhchiTrist if she thinks that is necessary. If not I might plan to see one privately.

I am wondering if the venlafaxine is doing anything at all. It just hasn't worked at all, it has before for depressive episodes. I wonder if I should try something else. I am lucky in that I can just come straight of venlafaxine and I don't get any of the side effects.

I have never felt like this, I have has 6 months of awful stress at work and in June just couldn't stop crying, shaking, feeling like the walls were breathing and feeling everyone was looking at me. It felt as if I was in The dreams in Inception! And now I have these awful periods of mad dashing about. And my mind goes ten to the dozen at night, I get to sleep then wake up at 2 or 3 with awful thoughts. And I am so ashamed to admit it but last week got up in the middle of the night and cut my thighs with a Stanley knife fgs. I just felt utterly compelled to do so and I am scared of that happening again. I have some Valium which I will take if that happens again but I just wonder why I didn't take them last week. Christ I feel like a mess, and I wonder where 'me' has gone.

Thanks for listening to my witterings.

LeGavrOrf Wed 14-Aug-13 21:34:37

I must admit I am feeling a bit drowsy with that level of quietapine and think if I take a higher dose I will be half asleep all day! Does the tiredness feeling wear off?

The tiredness does wear off yes, although I always found it helpful to take it at night and it did seem to help me sleep. 25mg is a low dose but I think they try to keep you on a low as possible dose, as you have only just started it they will probably tinker with the dose a bit once you get used to the 25mg. I was on 50mg of quetiapine for a bit and it did the job.

It is always hard getting a diagnosis, give yourself time to process it and it is normal to be upset and angry about it. I try to remind myself that I am still the same as I was pre-diagnosis, only now there is something that helps explain how I feel and more specific stuff out there that can help me. The Mind and Rethink websites are useful for information.

You can talk to your CPN about your feelings about the diagnosis. How often do you see her? It is worth writing stuff down before hand so you don't forget (I know this is stating the obvious!!)

I would def ask to see a psychiatrist for a chat about the diagnosis and long term plans. It might take a little while for the appointment to come through though.

Take care of yourself.

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 10:09:02

Oh lovey, I understand feeling a bit blindsided, but this is good. Now you can get yourself back. I completely understand the compulsions, even though I have no experience of bipolar.

Anyway, I'm just wittering. What I really want to say is: you're ace and <<squeeze>>

anna891 Thu 15-Aug-13 15:22:46

I have a family member with bi polar.
Anyone got ideas on what causes it, is it inheirited, is it caused by enviroment?

Silverfoxballs Thu 15-Aug-13 15:31:28

There is a genetic component but no one is certain, one of my dsis has bi polar and we have three diagnosed schizophrenics within our family. We did have a very chaotic childhood though and that is being kind about it.

I can't remember but there is some model regarding your natural risk of conditions like this coupled with life experiences that can be triggering. Stress often brings out people's physical and mental ill health issues

Don't be scared op but do push to see a consultant.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 17:34:37

Thanks everyone.

The CPN came today and has referred me to a psychiatrist, she has said for me to up my dose to 50mg. Said it rather off hand but will give it a go until I see the psychiatrist or GP. She did say it would be a couple of weeks to see the psychiatrist which is crap, I might ask to be referred privately anyway to have a discussion about what drugs to take.

I just feel as miserable as sin today, I don't know whether that is bloody better or worse than hearing noises or dashing about from room to room.

I have also been thinking about my upbringing which I try not to do, but was speaking about some of it last night when watching who do you think you are. I try not to even think about it, sod that, but certain memories are coming up today. I just want it all to stop, be me again and go back to how I used to feel.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 17:37:39

And I am not eating much. Which started when I went on venlafaxine (it always c,pletely makes my appetite go for a bit at the beginning) so I eat very little. Every loss on the scales feels like an achievement which is stupid I know but it feels like a challenge now. And I know I am too thin, 9 stone 2 and 6 feet. Still look fat though, FFS. I feel like a complete nutcase.

RegainingUnconsciousness Thu 15-Aug-13 17:55:28

Hi, I've not got a lot of value to say, but wanted to offer sympathy and good vibes.

A good friend of mine has bipolar. She's had it since her teenage years. She was well for a long time but in the last 5 years has been unwell several times. She's needed to be strict when she's well to make sure she has a team in place so when she feels she's becoming unwell (it's taken a while, but she's learned to recognise the early onset symptoms) she can be seen and start the medication as soon as she can to minimise the episode. The last one was only 3 weeks in total! (A huge improvement!)

She has had sufficient understanding from her employer and colleagues to enable her to maintain her professional position. But she does still need family support when she's ill.

What I mean is; let people help you, and as far as you are able, insist that people pay attention and get everything in place to help you maintain wellness. It's just a chronic condition (like a physical one) that flares up and requires you to have time off and help. You should be able to continue doing what you do.

My friend has recently learned that as well as needing a regular sleep pattern and low alcohol, she should be aiming for a constant level of hydration. Apparently the recent super hot weather was a contributing factor. Also, it's usually stress and emotional changes that send her over the edge.

You'll get through this. Remember if you're in a depressive phase it's hard to believe, but you will get through this and you will be well again. And the diagnoses and medication and support that is being put in place for you will keep you better for longer in future.

And everyone here is here for you whethe well or not.

(I hope some of that rambling is useful!)

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 17:58:00

Oh thank you so much. That is a lovely post. I really appreciate it.

I am sure I am just blindsided at the moment.

Dd is being ace about it, I am very lucky.

BIWI Thu 15-Aug-13 17:59:44

Oh bloody hell, LeGavrOrf - I'm so sorry. I haven't any experience of this, so can't say anything helpful, but just wanted to say I'm thinking of you.


PicturesofParadise Thu 15-Aug-13 18:02:02

Hope the psychiatist will do a review of your meds, I was on 300mg venlafaxine had a spectacular breakdown weaning off them and got a fast track referal to see specialist mh services.
My psychiatrist started me on 25mg titrating up to 100mg of quitiapine and started on clominpramine (sp) to take together.
I feel fantastic but somewhat cross that it took a different gp to the one I usually saw to make the referal to the cmht .I had been hideously depressed for years!
I am sorry things are so difficult atm for you, if you can afford to do the private option then i'd go for it, no point waiting around.
Fwiw, different situation and circumstances but my psychiatrist said that he didn't like prescribing venlafaxine there are other and better drugs around.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 18:10:05

Bloody hell where did that cake emoticon come from? grin

Thanks biwi. It's a bit bloody grim but thanks for your kind words thanks

God that sounds promising pictures. I think I will give the Nuffield a call tomorrow, they have a psych there who also is a NHS psychiatrist as well. I just hope that they can refer back to the NHS, iykwim. I don't want to pay private forever.

Waiting list for NHS psychotherapy is 6 months and the CPN said I will need that, but not yet until she comes out of what she calls the psychotic stage. That's a crap word to have to use about myself. That's what I shout at the cats when they run around and/or bring in another headless bird.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 18:10:45



BIWI Thu 15-Aug-13 18:12:20
LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 18:14:10

Oh bless her, I did post on that thread but haven't looked lately, will have a read, thank you.

vitaminC Thu 15-Aug-13 18:20:24

I know it's a shock to be "labelled" with a condition, but it doesn't define who you are and it may turn out to be a relief to finally have a diagnosis and access to treatment. You will hope fully find it will improve your quality of life in a big way.

I would really encourage you to get into psychotherapy ASAP. IMO, the meds are there as a band-aid to get you over the worst flare-ups, but psychotherapy should help you treat the cause and develop coping techniques, which over time will hopefully reduce the frequency and severity of the manic/depressive episodes!

Just be warned that starting psychotherapy will feel like opening Pandora's box! You will get the most benefit if you're willing to delve into the most traumatic elements of your past, but it also means putting yourself in a vulnerable position for many weeks/months/years.

Make sure you have a good support network around you and be kind to yourself flowers

MinnieBar Thu 15-Aug-13 18:23:46

Well the 'good' news is, that once you have a diagnosis (whatever it ends up being) then you will get the right help and the right meds.

Can you afford private therapy?? You've mentioned a fair bit on here about your difficult family (not a stalker, honest) and it sounds like it might be time to think about looking at that stuff. (When you feel up to it.)

If you get the urge to cut again, what I suggest to clients (I'm a counsellor) is to try safer alternatives, e.g. pinging an elastic band against your wrist, or holding ice cubes in your hands. It hurts, but without the infection/scarring risks.

Good luck

RegainingUnconsciousness Thu 15-Aug-13 18:33:13

Oh, my friend also finds it helpful to keep a diary. She finds it easier to spot symptoms, and later patterns.

There may well be an app to track mood, etc, these days.

I have always seen a psychiatrist very quickly on the NHS btw, within two weeks certainly so hold on to see if your CPN can organise it. IME it is easier to have your psychiatrist and CPN working in the same team because when your meds get changed around it makes things easier to organise.

Oh and (I will stop posting after this) psychotic is a horrible word isn't it? I don't think it is ever easy to hear so of course it is upsetting. The good thing is that you are on meds now to help stop that and stablise you. The CPN is right that psychotherapy won't work with you until things are more stable, so I would focus on the here and now and getting through each hour/day/week safely and moving forward in that way.

CogDat Thu 15-Aug-13 18:58:11

The thing that has helped me the most is regular hours and routine. Lists, alarms through the day, early nights, early mornings. Sounds silly but it seems to keep me more flat instead of highs and lows, iyswim.

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 19:11:10

mini, I do the hairband on my wrist thing, it's really, really helpful!

WRT the eating, it's natural for you to not feel like eating, you're in a fair bit of upheaval right now and I would bet my big toes that you don't look fat. it's your mind messing about. eat little and often, rather than struggling with three big meals.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 19:34:01

The CPN said that if I ever get the urge to self harm again to fill a sink full of icy water and plunge my face in grin well that made me laugh anyway.

I have never done so before, it felt like a dream, and was compelled to do so. Fuck knows why. It didn't even hurt (it does now though). I have just been getting progressively worse thoughts in the middle of the bloody night and that was the culmination of it.

I had a crap childhood and alluded to it to the CPN, I have just dealt with it by thinking of myself pre 16 as someone else, and I feel really sorry for that little girl but I don't see it as me iykwim. My life started in September 1994 when I left home. I have just put all the thoughts aside as much as I can.

Yes I can afford therapy, but i am worried. I tried it before years ago and went to one session, I just sat there furious and didn't want to speak about it and didn't think how it would help.

I am just watching One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest, ironically.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 19:35:36

I will have a look for a mood app, that is a great idea. I think that would be really useful. I HATE being so introspective though. I wish I could just fucking get on with it.

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 19:42:46

* I have just dealt with it by thinking of myself pre 16 as someone else, and I feel really sorry for that little girl but I don't see it as me iykwim. My life started in September 1994 when I left home. I have just put all the thoughts aside as much as I can.*

I did that too, for a long time. To the point where I genuinely didn't remember anything about my childhood. Sadly, the walls start chipping away in time.

Mirages Thu 15-Aug-13 19:43:01

I would bother about the diagnosis that much. They diagnose bipolar pretty easy these days. I have seen couple of manic bipolars in hospital. I have never been like that but I have bipolar diagnosis :D

Who did diagnose you bipolar and psychotic? Your CPN? Sounds really odd, especially the latter one.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 19:50:24

Yes,it was the CPN, Diagnosed with bipolar and she said elements of PTSD last week, and now she said I was displaying elements of psychotic behaviour. So referral to psychiatrist who will presumably confirm it or perhaps diagnose me with something else, galloping dandruff or something. Gawd knows.

TheCrackFox Thu 15-Aug-13 19:54:34

I don't have any experience of this but over the years I have learnt that you are a kind, funny, intelligent person and I wish you well in your recovery. Xx

HoopHopes Thu 15-Aug-13 19:57:03

Personally in my CMHT no Cpn would ever diagnose or be allowed to prescribe medication like the one you are seeing. Only the psychiatrist or a gp can do medication and diagnosis in my area.

A few weeks for NHS psych appointment is not long, really. I have just had mine cancelled as dr ill and next slot is 16 weeks and when I needed an urgent appointment again I waited 3 months. It might be worth seeing the NHS dr maybe and if you not happy then seeking a private referral? As others said CMHT's have their own psych so it is useful to have one in the team of your Cpn unless you go private for everything.

Hope the psych referral is helpful and they do not diagnose simply on what a nurse has seen but on a proper assessment of you

RandallPinkFloyd Thu 15-Aug-13 20:02:29

I'm so sorry your going through all this.

I have no clue about anything like this at all but couldn't just ignore you. Be gentle on yourself, you're dealing with an awful lot. It's ok to not be ok for a while. Give the meds time to work.

Have an awkward hug that starts with a hand shake, leans in slightly then ends with back slaps. <helpful>

RandallPinkFloyd Thu 15-Aug-13 20:03:46

* you're blush

SirBoobAlot Thu 15-Aug-13 20:05:08

Firstly I would be hesitant to swear yourself entirely to this diagnosis right now. Mainly because a diagnosis of something like bipolar cannot be given after just meeting someone; it needs observing. And then is normally only formally diagnosed by a psych.

Secondly, I know the label is scary. But try and look at it like this: It doesn't change what you're going through, or who you are, it only explains why certain things happen in certain ways. As I say very freely - in RL and on here - I have Borderline Personality Disorder. It get's a right variety of reactions, because of the name. But without the name, I would still have all the same symptoms, just no answer for them. As much as a diagnosis can be scary at first, it can also be comforting and reassuring, once you can use the awareness you gain from it to your advantage. Knowledge is power, after all.

Finally... And this is the important bit... Any diagnosis does not define you. You are still the same person you were before you had this conversation, and you will still be the same one after seeing a psych, and hearing their take on things. Whether this suggested diagnosis is confirmed or not, when it comes to who you are, it doesn't matter. It's so easy to let a diagnosis rule your opinion of yourself when it's one of these big scary mental health labels. But that isn't the case.

Wishing you much love and sending recovery vibes. It will be okay. x

sideshowbob2 Thu 15-Aug-13 20:13:13

hi you do realise that you can self section your self, to do this you take yourself to the nearest mental health unit and ask them to put you on a 28 day section, they will either do this with the police involved or ask you whether you want to self section your self, as bi-polar can generally only be disgnosed by a brain scan as bi-polar is a chemical inbalance in the brain, whilst you are sectioned under the mental health act they will find out which medication is the correct medication for you, they will also monitor your mood and any side affects the medication has on you, i know this as my brother was put on a 28 day section about 6 years ago by the traffic police when he had a strange episode of hanging his laundry all round a very busy roundabout and he then decided to let his tip up truck tip whilst the back was open therefore breaking it, this was while he had the tip up truck full of random things that he had collected during the night including an IV drip and stand!! after his 28 day section he self sectioned himself for another 28 days then he was released back to us with a care plan in place and regular blood tests to monitor his levels and appointments, he is fine now and he also knows when his stress levels are starting to overflow and to take a break, he works very hard with his own business and until recently he also recieved DLA, hope this helps and please do seek halp from your local mental health unit as they are the people that have the answers, don't wait til the traffic police have to section you!!

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 20:24:45

Oh bloody hell sideshow, that sounds terrifying.

Sorry, I wasn't clear, the CPN recommended the quietapine and then spoke to my GP about her findings after she met me, and to see if my GP was happy to prescribe it to me or If they would prefer to go via the recovery team (which is what the psychiatric team is called around here presumably). GP then prescribed it, she has seen me every week since this all kicked off (June) and has also seen me when depressed, she mentioned before I went to CPN that some of my behaviours did sound bipolar ish,

I haven't got a GP appointment until the 30th but I would like to talk it all over with her really.

Crack you are lovely, you called me and dd beautiful the other day, I was so chuffed! Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice, this means the world to me as I can't talk to anyone in RL about a lot of this (the self harming particularly, and the suicide thoughts and plans). And thanks Randall for the very British sounding hug grin

nenevomito Thu 15-Aug-13 20:25:53

sideshowbob2 -
- You can't self-section. You can agree with your hospital to stay on informally once your section has ended, but you can't go to a MH unit like that.
- You don't need a brain scan for Bipolar to be diagnosed.
- The symptoms you are describing are extreme and only happen in a small number of cases.

GetOrf, I second what people have said about waiting to see what the Psych says. A CPN can't diagnose and at the moment it will be hard to know what are the side effects of the medication you're on and what is the illness itself.

SnowyMouse Thu 15-Aug-13 20:28:33

I just want to second babyheave's points re: sectioning and treatment. Try to take care of yourself for now, find small ways to treat yourself.

Portofino Thu 15-Aug-13 20:30:08

SirBoobAlot talks much sense. I have no experience/advice but wanted to send you a big hug. Xx

reelingintheyears Thu 15-Aug-13 20:42:36

So sorry to read this, I too have little experience of this but wanted to send love and best wishes.
You are one of the lovelier of all the MNers.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 20:45:11

Sirboob thanks so much for that. It is so difficult not to give myself a label. But you're right that I should wait until I see a psychiatrist and get a formal diagnosis. As someone said upthread she was diagnosed with postnatal psychosis when she had something else entirely.

And thank you for saying that it won't define me, it's hard to remember that when I feel 'me' has gone forever, and this state is the REAL me, if that makes sense. I feel like the person who I was before was made up. I said this to my GP (in tears) and asked if I could be a sociopath!

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 20:48:08

Oh thank you. You are all being kind. It's making feel very ashamed which is DAFT. But thanks for your kind words.

BOF Thu 15-Aug-13 20:48:37

Oh my darling girl sad. I am so sorry you are going through this hideousness.

You have been through so so much in your life, yet have made an incredible success of it, and raised an amazing daughter who has all your wit and charisma.

I think that perhaps this has been brewing for a long time, as you have displaced all your darkest thoughts to concentrate on being the best mother you can, and now that dd is on the brink of adult independence, you are having a humungous brainfart of terror about what comes next. Your unconscious mind is properly fucking you up the arse now, as it had been biding its time for years.

This is all going to be a huge challenge for you, but drugs (the right ones) DO work. You need to be very brave and get some therapy though- I totally understand that you will feel a bit of a tit at first, but I really think it will do you the power of good. Please please keep talking whenever you need to- you can call or message me any time, day or night- I hate to think of you being so low.

Much much love to you.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Thu 15-Aug-13 20:52:41

Oh, love. I've just seen this. I'm so sorry you're going through all this.

babyheave is very wise and definitely knows her stuff, as do the others.

And I agree, therapy sounds a very good thing.

I'll be thinking of you.

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 20:53:02

BoF has said exactly what I was going to say. And, you are lovely. In fact, you are one of my favourite mners. So there!

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 20:55:28

Oh BOF sad I'm bloody crying now. And now I am one of those mumsnet twats who says on threads that they are shaking and crying grin

I was supposed to come to yours this weekend to get royally pissed as well! I was so looking forward to it as well.

I think you have a massive point about dd growing up. My entire adult life has been spent as a mother to her. And she is now nearly 18. And what is the point of me then? I have a job and other interests etc but in the main it has just been me and her. I looked at her last week and thought that at her age I was about to give birth. As I think about how CRAP I have been sometimes, how I have been distracted with work, when I have snapped at her for losing all the teaspoons, haven't listened to her because my mind was elsewhere. I just want to go back and do it all again but do it PROPERLY.

Thanks so much xx

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 20:56:13

Look at me now putting xxx on my posts.

Lol at so there!

I may as well go the whole hog and call you all Hun xxxx

piratecat Thu 15-Aug-13 20:58:25

can understand you must feel so shocked and sad about it. I hope you get to see the right doc soon.
It's very (understatement) to get a grip with it all and carry on. I am waiting to be diagnosed too, after a bit of a spiral.


BOF Thu 15-Aug-13 20:58:33

(((((((soft hugs))))))))


BIWI Thu 15-Aug-13 21:00:15

Fuck off with the hunning.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:00:16

But I want FIRM hugs <OO Err missus> grin

BIWI Thu 15-Aug-13 21:00:25

<said softly and gently>

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:00:34

Hahaha biwi

piratecat Thu 15-Aug-13 21:00:54

bless you. my spiral has also come about from seemingly having a mid life who am i crisis this yr, like you all i have done is be a single mum for 10 yrs.
I suddenly thought, what happens now, as she is about to start secondary, and it felt too much.

I am very sure you will get there. x

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Thu 15-Aug-13 21:01:17

<feathery strokes>

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:02:13

I love that on mumsnet fuck off is said with kindness grin

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:03:14

Perhaps it is a mid life crisis.

I should buy a Porsche, a leather jacket and go and chat up whippersnappers in cocktail bars.

Actually that sounds fantastic. grin

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Thu 15-Aug-13 21:03:35

I will say, getorf, your DD is going to need you for a heck of a lot longer yet. I know that's not an answer to you feeling as if that's 'who you are' - but you've still got the bits to come where she gets soppy with you looking back, and tells you how lovely you were (honestly, she will ...), and when she has her own and needs you around to tell her it's going to be ok.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:06:03

Thank you all again.

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 21:09:01

Ooooh, you should def do that!! My friend's mum had a mid-life crisis. She bought an MG and picked her up from school in a red leather catsuit. She was fabulous!

MinnieBar Thu 15-Aug-13 21:09:14

You could shop around a bit with therapists - you don't have to stick with the first one you try. It's really important to feel safe and secure, especially if you're going to go back over long-hidden (with good reason) and painful stuff.

I don't think we're on hugging terms (awkward or other), but I'm shoving a virtual box of balm-coated tissues in your general direction…

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:11:47

I used to have a red MG! It was a bitch to drive, clutch really sensitive and I stalled it all the time. Which was embarrassing at traffic lights when you are there looking like a twat with convertible hair all over the place.

And then the gasket blew on the M5 and I had to sit on the hard shoulder with a mini skirt on.

Lol at the balm coated tissues.

BIWI Thu 15-Aug-13 21:12:22

Maybe you should have a gap year? Reclaim a bit of your youth back?

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 21:13:10

BIWI, that's a great idea!

MinnieBar Thu 15-Aug-13 21:21:10

Was it like that scene in Bridget Jones when she loses her scarf and her hair is like a bird's nest by the time they get to their mini-break?

Balm tissues = essential therapy tool. Fact.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:21:42

That would be fantastic. Dd and i have said for years that we would love to go inter railing around Eastern Europe.

I am worried about my job, but they have been really supportive (after being arseholes for 6 months).

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:23:01

Yes that is exactly what my hair was like grin

If you saw a blonde woman in Bristol driving a red MG looking like someone from Bananarama after a hairspray explosion that was me.

reelingintheyears Thu 15-Aug-13 21:24:36

A gap year?

What would I give for just one of them.

Get an old fashioned red mini instead, much nicer. grin

MinnieBar Thu 15-Aug-13 21:29:34

Could you take some kind of unpaid sabbatical??

Bridget Jones is on ITV2 right now grin

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:32:07

Someone at work took a 3 month sabbatical to go travelling around China last year, so there is a precedent. It's the thought of not being paid though for 3 months, I would have to save like mad and I am an extravagant twat.

It would be lovely to plan something like that though for next year before bloody dd joins the bloody ARMY.

BOF Thu 15-Aug-13 21:34:54

You could make a stealth trip to wherever she's know, like those crazy people who book into a b&b next to their Year 5's school trip grin

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:39:28

Can you imagine?

Dd on manoeuvres in the Brecon Beacons, up I pop 'hiya' from behind a bush like something out of a terrible 80s sitcom.

I am at home a lot at the moment, there is nothing on the telly. I need something terrible to watch like Quincy or the House of Eliott. I have to make do with watching Alan Partridge repeats and the Apartment for the millionth time.

BOF Thu 15-Aug-13 21:44:53

Have you got Netflix? You get a month free, and can cancel whenever you want. I haven't looked for HoE, but there are loads of tv shows on there.

lissieloo Thu 15-Aug-13 21:47:44

I have just discovered Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. its awesomely shite!

reelingintheyears Thu 15-Aug-13 21:49:41

Pity Judge Judy's never on anymore sad

reelingintheyears Thu 15-Aug-13 21:50:15

lissie, those Real housewives are hideous! grin

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 21:52:40

I LOVE judge Judy,

I will have a look at Netflix but dd will have to show me how to access it on the play station or the laptop and how to plug it into the telly. <clueless>

BOF Thu 15-Aug-13 21:53:54

Oh my good sweet Jesus I have so, so much to say I don't even know where to start.

GetOrf I clicked on this thread because I tend to read anything with bipolar in the title and did the most massive double take when I saw you were the OP. I'm so sorry. It does kind of suck.

First of all I am glad to see and think it's fab that you have not lost your wonderful sense of humour.

I'm bipolar too and it nearly meant the end of my life at one stage. More about that later, but I was diagnosed in 2008.

I'm on 500mg of quetiapine and 1200mg sodium valproate daily. It did take a while to get my meds right. I take most of my quetiapine at night because it does knock me out. The tiredness and impact on blood pressure (already have low blood pressure and it lowered it even more to the point where I fainted once or twice) have lessened.

Here's the important part: I have been completely, 100% myself since 2009. That is four years of gorgeous stability, going through life's normal ups and downs, no depression, no anxiety and no mania. It's awesome. I came so close to losing everything and now I have it all. I went back to work in Jan 2010 and have not had one single day off because of my illness since then. Well, apart from keeping appointments with my CPN or psychiatrist. My therapist and our marriage counsellor we saw outside working hours.

Advantages of the meds apart from keeping you stable: you gain weight (advantage for you, not for me. I'm almost as tall as you but I weigh, um, 17 stone), you sleep really, really well and I swear my hair and nails are nicer grin

I keep careful track of sleep, I take my meds religiously, I only drink to excess sometimes, I'm careful with jet lag, I talk to people about stressors.

Ok enough of an epic post. I'm going to PM you.

garlicagain Thu 15-Aug-13 22:06:38

Darling, I'm not surprised you feel a bit startled by this interim diagnosis! I've nothing better to offer than everyone else already has, but do have some more cake (how fab is that cake?!) and remember the bad days always pass.

Actually, please do eat cake biscuit cake biscuit. You can't possibly be fat, you're just looking wrong at yourself. Being undernourished ain't too good for your health, physical or mental.


garlicagain Thu 15-Aug-13 22:15:04

four years of gorgeous stability, going through life's normal ups and downs, no depression, no anxiety and no mania - - - envy!
I'm really tired of having to manage my mood all the time - it literally does exhaust me, and then of course I feel depressed. Getting to where you are now is my holy grail. You've motivated me (an achievement in itself, heh) to push harder for a meds review smile

Portofino Thu 15-Aug-13 22:24:15

If china is too far, you are always welcome in Belgium.

SirBoobAlot Thu 15-Aug-13 22:24:26

Sending copious amounts of chocolate.

Also re eating - both DS and I have been on ready meals in the last few weeks. I find I'm more likely to eat if I don't have to think about it. Maximum of 20 minutes if you oven cook them. Means I'm eating at least.

Here are the things i find / have found hardest:

I struggled at first with what was me, and what was my bipolar? I've mostly sorted that one out now - my diagnosis does not define who I am.

Why did I get bipolar at age 38?? What on earth happened that it all of a sudden reared its ugly head in almost-middle-age? I have a few ideas, several years of PND and anxiety disorder, and I think I was undiagnosed for a couple of years.

Depressive episodes are harder and more dangerous for me (suicidal thoughts etc). My manic episodes are hugely, massively fun and amazing for me, but more dangerous for everyone else. And dangerous for me being able to keep my "normal" life - as in, if my husband had pressed charges against me, and decided to divorce me, I probably would have lost my DDs, my marriage and life as I know it. I met so many women in hospital who only had like an hour supervised access to their kids once every two weeks. That was so close to being me. That scared the living daylights out of me. As a result, health professionals tend to worry more about keeping you from being manic rather than being depressed I think. This is not a scientific thing, just my observation!!

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 22:39:22

Jesus hearts that sounds so frightening. I am so glad that you have your husband and dd s supporting you. I don't want to be defined by this either.

I have no idea how I will go back to work, the thought of doing what I normally do makes me panic. I can't imagine being that strong enough to do that again. And yet I was omly doing it two months ago.

And two months ago dd took me to Le Gavroche, I look at that photo (which is on my profile incidentally) and it is like a different world. I was so happy that day. And yet I am thinking back and doubting myself, I went on a massive shopping Spree that day, really quite reckless and mindless spending. Was that me, or was that my behaving as a bipolar?

Portofino I spent new year in Brussels ages ago, strange sight was the Christmas tree in the Grande Place which had pink elephants all over it. I swear to god that's true and I wasn't pissed (much). Had a LOT of warm wijn or whatever they called it. The strongest memory is having a terrible row with my XP and storming off and trying to find Avenue Louise whilst plastered at 3am on New Year's Day. grin

nenevomito Thu 15-Aug-13 22:52:21

You love Judge Judy too? I love that show. Judge Judy via CBS Reality and me were tight while I was ill.

Don't worry about going back to work right now. That will fall into place when you are better.

Love the photo smile

MinnieBar Thu 15-Aug-13 22:55:26

Aww, gorgeous pic of you and your DD.

Hope you get a decent night's rest.

TheSecondComing Thu 15-Aug-13 23:08:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Thu 15-Aug-13 23:09:56

Cor, you are gorgeous, the both of you.

I don't know anything about bipolar, but I can't see that worrying about whether or not a shopping spree was in character is helpful to you. It sounds as if you had a great day, and for goodness' sake, going to a restaurant that posh is surely not everyday behaviour either ... so I would just file it away in your memory as a lovely treat and not keep second-guessing (ok, I am assuming here you're not on the verge of admitting hand-to-mouth penury of the direst kind and debt collectors knocking on the door, but ...).

I am sure the medics will be able to tell you more about how to understand what you are doing in terms of a diagnosis, but it shouldn't take away from your good memories of what sounds to me like a one-off spree which was for a special day.

TheOneAndOnlyFell Thu 15-Aug-13 23:11:29

Oh bloody hell LeGav, shock that is just crap. sad

I can't believe it. Not you, surely? You always seem so consistent and so together. You are certainly the least mad mad person I know. grin

I completely agree with what BOF said - they do say that people who have to be really strong to get through stuff can hold up the world single handedly when they have to, but the minute the weight is taken off them they go into wobble mode and can't cope. I think it's a normal pattern - not that knowing that helps you much, I'm sure.

I wish you'd go back to gets some proper therapy/counselling. Honestly, it's so helpful for exorcising all your demons. Have you got people around you (apart from DD) you can talk to? ex-MIL for example?

Although if you are anything like me (and I think you are in many ways) you'd probably rather put a brave face on it and keep it all to yourself in RL because you hate being seen as vulnerable.

PMing you.

Thanks LeGavrOrf. DH has been amazing. A lesser man would have run for the hills. I am very lucky in so many ways!! As are you with your gorgeous DD. Le Gavroche is amazing.

garlic again it can be exhausting, I know. I don't know exactly what it is I'm doing right to keep this stability but a lot is to do with support systems and monitoring how you feel.

I think I said upthread that I had not had a day off work since 2010 related to my bipolar, well that is not strictly true... every once in a while, if I feel myself getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I will treat myself to a "mental health day" and spend the day in my jammies eating chocolate and watching crap TV in between naps.

DH and I also have a written crisis plan in place that spells out what we do if I start to go off the deep end again. It's comforting to know it's there.

But I do think the most important is getting your meds right and taking them religiously at the exact same time every day.

Un MN-hugs, to you and everyone on this thread.

RandallPinkFloyd Thu 15-Aug-13 23:15:13

Perhaps it was the start of a manic phase. Or perhaps you were just feeling frivolous because you were having such a lovely day. Who knows, would it really make a huge difference either way now? You cant go back and change it. Don't tar the memory, you had a fabulous time that's all that matters.

I can totally see why seeing your daughter become an adult is bring all these feelings to the fire. BoF's post summed it up perfectly. You were a single parent, and so young, you've been a mother your entire adult life, and a bloody good one! Of course her joining the flipping army is hard for you.


Look at the relationship you have with your DD. Look at the success you've made of your life. You did that. You. On your own. That's pretty blimmin impressive stuff.

TheSecondComing Thu 15-Aug-13 23:17:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandallPinkFloyd Thu 15-Aug-13 23:18:08

Fire? Fore.

I give up.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 23:21:46

Oh you are all being so nice. It is making me feel very ashamed and think that you don't know the real me, I have met quite a few of you and chatted to lots of you on here for years, I feel the real me is someone wicked. I can't look at myself in the mirror. And yet you are all being so bloody lovely.

TSC you are in Wiltshire next week aren't you? I read on a thread a comment about Wiltshire entertainment this week, someon got really arsey with you haha.

Sitting in bed now waiting for Valium to kick in and quietapine, it can't come too soon, the sound of the rain is driving me mad and I saw sme beetles in the laundry hij just a minute ago, they weren't there really. Spots of light in the air. Perhaps I am Yvette fuxking Fielding.

LeGavrOrf Thu 15-Aug-13 23:23:08

Dd is an angel but she was born in a good mood, she had that personality from birth, I am very lucky.

TheSecondComing Thu 15-Aug-13 23:23:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOneAndOnlyFell Thu 15-Aug-13 23:24:14

Wicked? Good grief I don't think I've ever heard you say anything remotely wicked in years. Hilariously mischievous, yes, but wicked no. grin

garlicagain Thu 15-Aug-13 23:35:45

Thanks, Hearts. Managing any kind of routine seems beyond me most of the time - med times included blush Must have more faith it'll make a difference!

LeGavrOrf, you are pretty high on the FabScale™ and I very much hope you'll soon find the ability to appreciate that for yourself!

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Thu 15-Aug-13 23:38:55

It is making me feel very ashamed and think that you don't know the real me, I have met quite a few of you and chatted to lots of you on here for years, I feel the real me is someone wicked.

Now this is a load of bollocks, for sure.

Don't be so daft. There's a fair few people on this thread who have an excellent sense of when someone is being 'real' and when they're not, and if they think you're lovely, they're probably right.

GetOrf - am so sorry you are feeling like this. As crackfox says you are one if the good ones.

My sis is bipolar and we are going through hell right now as she'd thought she knew better than everyone how to cope with it and we believed her. She is thousands in debt. Tens of thousands. Her DH is very close to walking. But they have five dcs. So how would that help? You sound quite self aware so I hope you will be ok. I'm sure you will. Sorry this is rambling but I'm in a state of shock tonight. We thought we had hit rock bottom ten days ago. Apparently not.

Keep posting. There is lots of good informed advice on here. I wish you well.

(Am not a million miles away - am in Taunton)

BIWI Thu 15-Aug-13 23:43:35

You are wicked, only in the sense that 'wicked' means 'great'

RandallPinkFloyd Thu 15-Aug-13 23:49:09

Well, you might be wicked I suppose. We've never met so I don't have conclusive proof either way. I find it very hard to believe though.

Personally I believe you are a good person who is having a rough time. Nothing more nothing less.

Hopefully the meds will kick in soon. The main thing is that you know the beetles weren't real and you know that it's just a symptom of the illness, no different to having a fever in a cold room. An illness, that's all. You wouldn't feel ashamed if you needed to take antibiotics for tonsillitis would you? So no need whatsoever to feel ashamed now. That's easy to say I know, but it's true.

TheOneAndOnlyFell Fri 16-Aug-13 07:10:40

I don't think I've ever heard you say anything remotely wicked in years.

I don't think that came out quite right. confused

What I meant was, I don't think I've ever heard you say anything remotely wicked in all the years I've known you on MN.

MinnieBar Fri 16-Aug-13 07:38:43

Calling Peter Andre a giant nobber isn't wicked, that's just insightful commentary.

Had a thought on the TV front - 4OD have got quite a lot of old stuff backed up haven't they? You could maybe try Curb Your Enthusiasm (it's a bit marmite, but you might take solace in the fact that you'll never be as socially inept as Larry David) or both The Good Wife and Scandal are quite fun, in a slick but utterly unrealistic American drama type if way.

nenevomito Fri 16-Aug-13 08:46:07

Morning LeGavrOrf.

Just checking in to see how you are this morning and to offer you a ((slightly clammy and creepy hug)).

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 11:52:19

Sorry for just disappearing last night, fell asleep and woke up at 3 dribbling on my iPad.

Feel very calm today, last night was a bit scary and looking back I was talking utter bilge. In the cold light of day I can't understand why I get so panicky. I am very tired today, combo of Valium (which always knocks me sideways anyway) and the increased dose of quietapine.

Thank you all for listening to me and for the lovely PMs you have sent me.

I am now going to get in the bath. I have had a healthy breakfast of a cornetto and some party rings which I saw in dd's bedroom and pinched.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Fri 16-Aug-13 12:02:29

I talk utter bilge all the time. smile

I expect meds will take a bit of time to settle out. Panic isn't something you can understand, that's why it's powerful. But you can always come and chat on here.

H2Ointolerant Fri 16-Aug-13 15:03:17

Yy, what better place to come when you're getting those panicky feelings? I think the internet is great for that - there are always people around to ground you a little. And in this case, people who care about you as you have been such a pleasant and funny contributor smile

garlicagain Fri 16-Aug-13 15:05:22

What a great breakfast! grin

DollyTwat Fri 16-Aug-13 17:36:48

Big hugs from me darling, I don't know anything about Bipolar have no useful words to say, but help I' here for you. Always a welcome in Prestbury if you need an ear to bend - welcome to stay too if you fancy it.

Ledkr still has our box of wine too, so that will need to be drunk grin

I reckon a red leather cat suit would be perfect for you, or one of those very shiney ones at Wychwood!

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 21:17:39

Ill bring over all five seasons of the wire when I come over. that should keep you going.for a bit. grin
If you don't like the story don't worry cos it's got that fit Idris Elba in it. Innit? grin

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 21:29:09

Ledkr I just text you!

I tried to watch the wire and all it did was made me say motherfucker a lot! I gave up halfway through the series when I realised that Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale were not actually the same person.

But yes you are right, I have just watched the latest series of Luther and am OBSESSED with Idris Elba. What a beautiful man. The way he walks and talks <swoon> so I need to try again with the wire and actually pay attention to the plots this time.

BIWI Fri 16-Aug-13 21:31:46

Hands off Idris. He is mine.

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 21:33:42

Thanks very much dolly.

I loved those blokes at the festival in those terrible cat suits. I also loved that that group were having a domestic and we were all watching and wondering what the domestic was about.

That was a great day. We just parked ourselves, drank a wine box, ate nachos, blew bubbles and shrieked.

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 21:34:58

I just can't cope with him. The way he WALKS. Bloody hell I was practically salivating when watching Luther, I only watched the last series, didn't see the others so need to find them on DVD. He is beautiful.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 21:56:23

Me too. I'm ashamed at the effect he has on me. It's really impure!!
He was dh ing in chelt not so long back.
I have never forgiven ds for not telling me.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 22:05:14

Of forgotten about those cat suits. Yes it was funny to see the one trying to look serious during the argument.
We are defo going again next year. I'm already looking forward to it. What good times.

garlicagain Fri 16-Aug-13 22:32:10

Hah, my meds have reduced my ability to lust by at least 90%! Idris is safe from me, he'd no doubt be relieved to hear.

Bloody meds.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 22:34:31

garlic I'd suggest with Idris that 10% is sufficient grin

garlicagain Fri 16-Aug-13 22:49:14

Good point grin

DollyTwat Fri 16-Aug-13 23:18:11

I've joined Netflix just to watch Luther from series 1, so I know who the fuck Alice is!
how are you feeling lovely? I've got my 'ticket for life' for wychwood so am committed to it now!

DollyTwat Fri 16-Aug-13 23:20:22

Lol yes forgot about the drunken domestic in shiney catsuits!
That will NEVER be you Getorf

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 23:24:34

Haha we were looking at them and drunkenly wondering what they row was all about.

Dolly I was completely nonplussed by Alice as well and started a thread on here 'who the fuck is Alice?' grin

I am definitely going to wychwood next year, might actually camp. Actually that is a lie. I am not going fucking camping for crying out loud.

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 23:25:45

OH MY CHRIST was Luther in subtone?

I don't forgive your son either.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 23:26:07

I've got Luther on DVD dolly. You could have borrowed it. Tonight we have communicated by three mediums.
Mn,text and twitter. Tee hee.

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 23:30:09

Lol at three mediums, you sound like Derek Acorah.

I STILL don't understand twitter.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 23:30:55

You must gav its good and we can make tea in my van and drive to one of our houses for poohs and showers but still camp. It's not exactly glasto is it?
Wonder who's headlining next year.
Hope Idris is dj ing and no he was in ku Kuee
I could barely speak to ds. I think it was mean of him not to text me at 2am for his mum to rock up in her pjs with hair in a ponytail to lust after the dj.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 23:31:43

Me neither, I only tweet dolly ha ha

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 23:34:59

What in the name of Christ is ku kuee? Is that what they call mightclubs nowadays? grin

Your ds should have text you, so you could have let us know,and there could have an embarassimg contingent of mums turn up at the gig, can you imagine,a wonderful way to show ds up.

Ledkr Fri 16-Aug-13 23:37:50

It's that chavvy place by weather spoons. Used to be Lorraine's in my day.
Yes I can just see us all crashing in. "Idris Idris we are here, yoohoo!" Barging those young uns outta the way.

LeGavrOrf Fri 16-Aug-13 23:44:53

Hahaha at a nightclub called Lorraine's, and there I was thinking Cheltenham was sophisticated. Yes I can imagine us lot rolling up looking like mums going to a Take That concert shouting for Idris.

Christ he is a perfect specimen of a man.

DollyTwat Sat 17-Aug-13 12:04:58

I'm old enough to remember Lorraine's, had a reputation for ladies of the night working there! So my dad said anyway!

I've got camping tickets for life, god help me, so I'll see how I feel at the time. If its sunny maybe, if the kids are with me we may camp for one night. Maybe

I think my jet lag must be worse than I think because I don't understand this thread at all now. Lorraines? Ku kuee? And weatherspoons in cheltenham and Luther and shiney catauits? Wtf?

I did get the part about Idris Elba though. Mmmm yummy.

GetOrf hope you're doing ok! Don't worry about talking bollocks, that's the mania as someone else mentioned. If talking bollocks is the worst that's not so bad! My worst bout of mania involved all sorts of dangerous crap with me thinking all the while that I was invincible.

My mum was also diagnosed a couple of years ago. She had quite a lot of fairly harmless psychoses - thinking that squirrels were talking to her (there are a lot of squirrels in Toronto), thinking there was a Facebook & twitter conspiracy against our family, there were messages on the radio and in newspapers for her that she had to decode, etc. Now I come home to find another classic OCD / schizo / psychotic symptom - she has taped EVERYWHERE around the house with sellotaope, masking tape and 3 colours of duct tape. Ostensibly it's to keep the cold out. It's fucking 30 degrees here mum, and it's um, August?!?

I might start a thread actually, I'm quite worried.

Ledkr Sat 17-Aug-13 18:10:12

Sorry. We digressed. It cheered le gav of up though a d confused hearts so that was good.
Right back to bi polar now.

LeGavrOrf Sat 17-Aug-13 18:22:25

Oh shit hearts that is so bloody worrying for you. Does your mum live on her own? That's hard for you to deal with when you are only there for a while. That sounds really scary.

Sorry for the complete digression - me, dollytwat and ledkr met up at a festival in Cheltenham in June, we parked ourselves in chairs, drank a wine box and watched the world go by. It was great fun, and we said to each other how surprised we were that we had drunk wine all day and weren't plastered. We were a lot more tiddly than we thought and ended up singing and dancing along to the Human League. It was great fun.

Yamagirl Sat 17-Aug-13 18:32:43

Hi there, my grandmother had bipolar. She was diagnosed aged 20 and lived to the ripe of old age of 82. She was on meds since she was 20, she had her levels checked fairly regularly and kept her balanced most of the time, so try not to fear the medication too much, get it right and it will help you. She definitely had her ups and downs too - she had a good support network around her to help her through the lows but also to make sure she didn't go too gung-ho during her highs. Do you have family members or friends who you can really talk to about it? I remember her having some bad times during my 20s.....she would ring me up in the middle of the night when she was trying to harm herself, I would just keep talking to her....we got through it. She was an amazing woman, who achieved a lot, was very successful and who taught me a lot about life, she definitely wasn't defined by her bipolar and I'm sure it won't you either.

OMG shit no! I was not complaining!! Digress away, as much as you like! I was only trying to be funny blush I could tell it was cheering people up which is a great thing!

Yama that's a lovely post. Medication is right - someone told me at the beginning that it was like a diabetic person having to get their insulin levels right and I think that's a very apt comparison.

LeGavrOrf Sun 18-Aug-13 00:14:17

Thank you much Yama. That is really reassuring and thanks so much for posting that. I am scared that I will be a burden to dd, I had a funny five minutes today and she was frightened. But she is being so cool in comforting me and saying this is not me and I will get better. But I don't want her to see this at 17 and I don't want her to worry.

Hearts you would LOVE tha festival, it's a family festival and loads going on. It's called Wychwood and is held on the Whitsun bank holiday every year in Cheltenham. It was fantastic fun.

That is a really good thing to think of re a diabetic person, it is quite difficult to think of it as a physical problem, because it is a mental issue people think you should be able to control it and snap out of it. I just bloody wish I could!

Hearts how is your mum?

DollyTwat Sun 18-Aug-13 00:37:05

Getorf I'm sure I've told you this before, but I take citalopran as I get very stressed out otherwise. I think depression etc is a chemical imbalance so once I've changed everything in my life I can and its still no better, I know I need ad's to help.

Tiredness is a big trigger for my depression. So I try to watch my late nights if I'm working full time. I also recognise better when I'm feeling depressed as its starting.

I'm sure once you get your meds sorted you'll feel so much better, and your dd loves you to bits, it's ok for her to be there for you too. She's lovely and very sensible so I'm fairly certain she's proud to be your rock for a bit

I've heard of Wychwood before, it sounds great. Whitsun is right around my birthday and DD2's so would be a great thing to do! DH would take some convincing...

My mum's ok. She is the main carer for my darling Dad who has stage 4 cancer, in the middle of chemo etc, so not ideal for either of them. She refuses to admit anything is wrong, but her OCD behaviours are getting worse. Fortunately none of them are dangerous and they don't seem to interfere with daily life too much, unless you count the number of minutes (hours?) she wastes every day wiping down surfaces and washing the floor. Actually, it's funny, she won't talk about her bipolar, is still VERY angry about her sectioning in 2010/11, will not see a psychiatrist or therapist, BUT she is religiously taking her meds. You would think with my diagnosis (and she was there on the front lines for me when DH kicked me out) she would be able to talk to me and lean o. Me a bit.... But no.

Enough of a highjack!!!

GetOrf, when you get your head around all of this, you could think about talking to someone together with DD. DH came to a therapy session or two with me, and then we also involved the (very young at the time) DDs. It came out that DD1 thought I had been in hospital because I had cancer sad Anyways my point is, I think it's good to be open if you can, to an age-appropriate level, because the unknown is always so much worse for kids.

MinnieBar Sun 18-Aug-13 07:50:09

Having worked with a few people who've had a bipolar parent, I'd say the most scary thing (from their POV) has been when a parent has refused help/stopped taking their meds and then had a manic episode.

But that's not what you're doing. I agree about trying to explain it to her (in as much as you can, given that your diagnosis hasn't been confirmed, and also only as much as she needs to know) and also explain that you might not yet be on the right meds, but if not, then you will be soon.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Sun 18-Aug-13 10:14:11


I was diagnosed a few weeks back (June I think) with the same, Bipolar with elements of PTSD, after talking to my psych more and more (I see him every 3/4 days just now) he thinks I am/have Bipolar and he is unsure about PTSD.

I was terrified as I am a single parent but Psych has been really nice and told me he just needs to stablise my over thinking (hypo mania) and I might not be on the anti-psychotics for longer than 12 weeks (if I am better).

I also asked how this happened but he couldn't answer me, he had been to see a 91 yr old that very day and she had her first diagnosis.

It good the Quetiapine are making you sleepy, I got up to 750mg and they didn't work (which worried me even more) but I'm now on another anti-psychotic and praying it works.

It is horrible to come to terms with but now you can get the treatment your need.

Pawprint Sun 18-Aug-13 11:48:57

Hi there OP - Apologies, I haven't read through this thread and may well have already replied lol!

Anyway, I have bipolar type two and was diagnosed a few months after my son (now eleven) was born. I think I had it before but it wasn't diagnosed. I had a very bad nervous breakdown several years previously and was in hospital.

What I would say is this - BP is a nuisance of an illness but one that can be managed successfully. I have been on various medications over the years because some didn't work well and others became less effective over time.

I would also say that medication and management of the illness brings liberation from the ups and downs. It isn't very nice to wake up each morning and not know how one will feel that day.

Suicidal thoughts are, sadly, very common with BP. They are also serious and need to be monitored by you and discussed with your psychiatrist. Obviously, if you feel you might harm yourself, then that is a medical emergency and you will need help - you are perfectly entitled to call for an ambulance in this situation.

I am mainly well nowadays. I do have bad days still but life is better, by far, than it was. Hope you are okay.

LRDPomogiMnyeSRabotoi Mon 19-Aug-13 18:14:07

Just popping in to see how you're doing - and to say I'm sure 'burdened' is the last thing your DD will feel. I know it's not at all the same, but my mum obviously has some kind of mental health issue, and steadfastly refuses to see a doctor, as she has done for years, although quite plainly there is something wrong. It makes me much more cross than knowing any diagnosis ever could - I guess I'm saying what minnie is saying, but it doesn't hurt to repeat I hope.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 22:13:00

Hello everyone and thanks very much for telling me about your experiences, especially the information about the drugs. That is really helpful. God knows if these things are working, the venlafaxine isn't certainly and I don't know about the quinoa pine. I don't feel at all sleepy any more. Plus with the venlafaxine reading about it I see that it has a very short half life, most people have to take it at exactly the same time each day or they get horrible withdrawal symptoms. I never have, I just take a couple in the morning, so any time from 6 to 11, and another in the evening before I go to bed so that can be anything from 9 to midnight. So perhaps it doesn't work.

I had a lovely day yesterday, I met up with ledkr and dollytwat and sat in a lovely sunny garden. It was so lovely to get out and talk to them, they were angels and really helped.

Today has been crap. Feel really down and have spent most of this evening crying and feeling really grim. It all just feels bloody hopeless. Luckily I have a house full of kids at the moment which at least keeps me occupied thank god. And dd has been brilliant. She is now a LOT taller than me, bloody hell. She says I will have to sit on her lap now for a cuddle. grin

LRDPomogiMnyeSRabotoi Mon 19-Aug-13 22:14:50

Sorry to hear today was bad.

Not being sleepy any more sounds hopeful, though? <clutching straws ignorantly>

garlicagain Mon 19-Aug-13 22:24:39

In the UK they nearly always prescribe slow-release venlafaxine. It has XL after the name, at least mine does. If yours isn't, by any chance, ask your doctor to change it. I've seen people on forums exchanging complicated charts to map their venlafaxine levels at various times of the day: slow-release drugs were invented to save you doing that!

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 22:37:56

That's strange, I was on XL originally but the GP said that they advised that it was not appropriate to dispense anymore, so moved me back to the ordinary ones.

I know it sounds crazy but could it be that they have never worked. I remember before I was on 300mg and I just stopped them dead, no withdrawals symptoms at all, and I have read that people have to usually withdraw really slowly, cutting up tablets to really small particles.

Oh I don't bloody know grin

BIWI Mon 19-Aug-13 22:42:04

How is it possible that your DD is taller than you?! Did you give birth to a bloody giraffe?! grin

Ledkr Mon 19-Aug-13 22:45:47

Hang in there my friend.
It's all temporary and will be ok soon.
You will never be alone remember.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 22:51:09

I know. Perhaps I have shrunk! She is a good inch taller than me now. Se loves it of course, looks all smug.

Thanks ledkr. I know it's momentary. It just feels all so real at the time.

I am now cooking fajitas for a load of teenagers, hmm grin

TheOneAndOnlyFell Mon 19-Aug-13 22:55:56

Glad to hear you've managed to meet up with some lovely MNers LeGav. It's so nice to have people outside of our 'real' lives that we can be completely honest with. I'm sure you will not be short of offers to meet and chat - you are so lovely, probably up there in the top 5 of most well liked MNers, so everyone hates to think of you suffering. It's a good job we are spread so thinly, geographically speaking, otherwise you seriously risk being crushed to death in a giant motherly hug. grin

garlicagain Mon 19-Aug-13 22:58:29

smile You are so lovely, true.

It's perfectly possible for a drug not to work with your metabolism.

I think by "not appropriate", your GP may have meant "expensive"! They cost a bloody fortune.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:10:15

Oh thank you fell blush what a lovely thing to think and say.

I have had such lovely texts from people on mumsnet who I'm in contact with, and people who I have never met PMing me with their phone numbers to call if I feel bad.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. I am lucky in that I have got a lot of RL support but this thread (and mumsnet in general) has been a bloody huge support. I think I would have felt incredibly isolated without it. Plus so much practical advice as well.

DollyTwat Mon 19-Aug-13 23:10:46

Sorry you've had a rubbish day, ledkr's right (as always) it's just a temporary thing, you will get past this.

You know when you described your normal working life to us, I'm not surprised at all your body has told you to slow down. I'm sure they call it burn out. No-one over the age of 30 could keep that up, seriously.

I have a mediation cd for you which might of use, I like the plinky plonky music even if the woman gets a bit irritating! Anyway borrow it and see!

Take care of you lovely lady

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:12:26

Bloody hell at not prescribing it for cost reasons! I had never thought of that <naive> oh well I don't suppose it matters really, I don't have the horrible effects that others suffer with on them anyway.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:15:06

I think you might be right dolly. I remember when I first stopped work in June after my project finished I was walking like an old lady, I remember thinking 'work has broken me'. But Christ I thought work burnout was for people in the city earning thousands doing insane jobs, not normal (albeit long houred) jobs for a twat like me.

DollyTwat Mon 19-Aug-13 23:17:47

I dare you to post what your normal working week was like. You'll be surprised at how many people faint with the mere thought, let alone bringing up your lovely dd who is a credit to you.

Taking a break from it must be alien in itself let alone feeling unwell into the bargain

katehastried Mon 19-Aug-13 23:30:46

We knOw each other of old.

I have a similar diagnosis. It's something I know I will always struggle with. But it never defines my life. No one knows I have this diagnosis. I have found that therapy, exercise and a healthy diet all help me manage.

You've had a period of stress - you might well just be reacting normally FOR YOU to shit times. They won't last forever and nor will this.

You will need to take care of y

katehastried Mon 19-Aug-13 23:31:53

...yourself. Don't fuck about with food. Eat well. Try and get a walk every day.

You are FAB. You will get past this. I promise.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:38:14

OK. I had an outsourcing project to manage which I had worked on since September, pretty much a full time job. That's in London and I live in Gloucester, so had to get the 5.20 or 6 o clock train to London (2 and half hrs to Westminster) then get home at 8.45 or (if I missed the train, often because of the FUCKING circle line) an hour later.

I had a team of people inSwindon to manage as well.

My manager left at Christmas. I applied for his job (as did a colleague) but in the end they decided not to appoint, and said they would review it in June and would be based on performance (so basically work well for the next 6 months and then we will see).

Then in late January one of the head honchos said I should become an interim head of department (FT role) managing a bunch of (inexperienced) people in Birmingham. So I went there sometimes, sometimes went to Birmingham for the morning and had to then go to London, which was fun. But mainly in London but having to deal with day to day issues for the Birmingham job, as well as do this outsourcing project which was really high profile and after the west coast mainline franchising debacle people were crawling all over it and if I had managed it wrongly/illegally it would have gone to court.

I had to carry two laptops as each were encrypted, so would work on emails and assorted crap on the trains, and would work when I got in in the evening.

It was just a lot of juggling of balls in the air and I was always worried that I would fuck up. That's when I started waking up every morning at 2 and sitting there fretting about it all.

I cried down the phone to my interim manager at some point and said that this was a bloody stupid and reckless thing to do and I felt I had been set up to fail. Still do actually.

Some time in June I just cracked up in the office, I had completed the outsourcing with no legal challenge (thank fuck) and this was the first day after the challenge deadline. A nice colleague came and sat on my desk and said 'hello sunshine' and I just started crying like a KNOB in the office. He took me down for coffee and was lovely. I then had a meeting with my interim manager and just cried and cried. I NEVER cry at work ( well I used to when I was young and got shouted at by fat men in factories but I used to go to the loo and cry). Couldn't stop crying. Manager gave me a week of lieu time and said to chill out. And that was that. Haven't been back since.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:38:49

Fuck that was long.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:42:27

And for a few weeks before I finished was when I had the stupid thoughts about just jumping in front of the bakerloo line train as it hurtled out the tunnel, people would think that I had just tripped over and not jumped iykwim. This seemed like a really good idea at the time.

Not the circle line, that would go too slowly to kill anyone.

LeGavrOrf Mon 19-Aug-13 23:42:56

Christ that's a macabre thought grin just made me laugh though, sick minded twat that I am.

katehastried Mon 19-Aug-13 23:43:09

Erm well if you DIDN'T have a total breakdown after that, you would be a total abnormal FREAK.

katehastried Mon 19-Aug-13 23:47:22

Sounds like you had a fairly normal reaction to totally abnormal levels of stress.

Dont fret too much about a label. We all react in different ways. I'm not sure that labels tell us much more than that. X

TheOneAndOnlyFell Mon 19-Aug-13 23:49:56

Not the circle line, that would go too slowly to kill anyone.

Well you still have your wicked sense of humour in spite of everything. grin

Bloody hell, that all sounds grim. Sometimes people are off work with 'stress' and you think 'WTF have you got to be stressed about - you're a postman' or whatever. And other times you think 'Christ on a bike, no wonder.'

You are in the second category, obviously.

lissieloo Mon 19-Aug-13 23:50:54

Jeez, no wonder you're stressed shock

LRDPomogiMnyeSRabotoi Mon 19-Aug-13 23:54:58


Yeah, what kate said.

Seriously, that's a stupid amount of work and stress. Your managers fucked up.

LRDPomogiMnyeSRabotoi Mon 19-Aug-13 23:59:16

Oh ... I've just noticed you're in Gloucester. I'm driving from Malvern to Oxford on Sunday with DH, which goes past there. You may well feel you will have MNers coming out of your ears soon, though.

DollyTwat Tue 20-Aug-13 00:13:28

Can you see now that you couldn't possibly keep this up forever. Your work have a lot to answer for imo

No-one could do all that, and care for a dd, and still be standing. No-one. The fact you did for so long is a miracle

You've been so busy for so long that being relaxed isn't going to be easy either. You are so loved here on Mn and in rl too, you must take it easy and take the time you need

Shaky Tue 20-Aug-13 00:50:58

Blimey Get Orf no wonder you are feeling shite after dealing with that amount of stress. It sounds like you are completely burnt out. I'm sorry you are feeling so bad and hope that your new meds start to help you very soon.
It is very possible that your medication does no agree will you. If I may share my experience with you? I suffered crippling PTSD and PND after the birth of my ds. I didn't admit the problem until he was 1. Went to see GP and started paroxetine. Stayed on it for a year and gradually weaned of it. Then 6 months later realised I was struggling again and went back to GP. He advised restarting paroxetine, we wanted another baby and I knew paroxetine is difficult to stop and not ideal to take in pregnancy. I started Prozac. I felt absolutely dreadful for weeks, knackered, nauseous, dizzy, disorientated and feelin like I had to hold my head on otherwise it would fall off. I went back to gp and asked to change my medication as I felt so dreadful. The options were, to wean off the Prozac over 6 weeks and then start something lose OR double the dose of Prozac, hich would work quicker.

Again, I felt dreadful due to the double dose of Prozac. I could hardly move, it completely flattened me, however, I did eventually start to feel better and went back to work. Unfortunately, I started drinking too much and this was noted by a work collueague and when questioned about it I admitted that I was it stopped me killing myself and I had started to self harm. I had cut my stomach with scissors, pinching the skin to make a snip and cutting long it. Picking my toenails so badly that I completely pulled off 2 nails, leaving exposed nail beds, fucking excruiciating lay painful the next day.

Anyway, on that awful day my boss made me make an appointment with my GP and actually dropped everything and came with me. I had to be very honest and was completely cringing at what I had done, totally mortified. The doctor changed my meds to mirtazipine, I had to take half dose o Prozac and mirtazipine or the first week and just full dose of mirtazipine for the second week.

As soon as I stopped the Prozac, I was a new woman. I felt alive or the first time in 3 years. I had lost 3 stone in weight and was wearing size 8 jeans, whereas I was a good size 14 before pregnancy. Now I feel normal again, like I have just woken from a coma. I realise now that the reason I felt "better" before was just the lessening of side effects of Prozac rather than an improvement in my health. I no longer have the suicidal thoughts and urges but still pick my toenails. I didn't tell any of my family about my recent episode (except DP) but all my family and friends have commented how much better I seem. Have also put on loads of weight but I would rather be chubby and healthy than skinny and considering diving my car into a wall.

I'm sorry for the epic post, I just wanted to share the impact that the wrong medication can have. Also apologies for crap spelling and any other errors.
I really hope you start to feel better soon. Talking really is the key, nobody knows how you feel until you tell them. We are all here for you xxx

Shaky fat 'n happy honey, that's me. I have gained about 50 lbs (3 stone I think) since I went on my meds. At least I blame my meds and not all the medicinal chocolate.

GetOrf you are insane. Christ on a bike, I used to have a ridiculous City job etc and twas not a quarter as stressful as what you described.

Keep a little eye on the not sleeping - for me that is a clear sign of the start of a manic episode. But could hopefully equally be a sign of you getting used to the quetiapine.

How were the fajitas? smile

MinnieBar Tue 20-Aug-13 07:52:35

Jeez GetOrf, no wonder your work have been supportive - they bloody well know that they are (to a large extent) responsible angry

It's utterly ridiculous to expect any one person to do that much. My friend is a lawyer in a big city firm and she doesn't work that hard (and she regularly gets ill when it gets too much - more physically, but also v v stressed).

So combine that with the stuff about your DD, and yes, it's no wonder your mind/body has decided enough is enough.

BIWI Tue 20-Aug-13 08:42:21

I ended up in hospital after a period of incredible stress and long-working hours. My work knew how much I was taking on/how much responsibility I was dealing with, and nothing was done until I fell apart.

I was 28. And not working in the City, but in a small marketing consultancy.

Thankfully it didn't trigger any long-term issues (I don't think - you may need to check with DH about that grin) but it really was a wake-up call for me that no-one else was going to look out for me, sadly. No matter now much concern was expressed for me at work.

My point is that you have taken on so much, for other people, that you have lost sight of you and what you need. On top of your personal circumstances, which have added stress to your life, it's not surprising that things have gone awry for you.

Whatever your immediate/short-term plans are re work (and I still think you should take a gap year!), please make sure that you think through how you are going to go back, and what you are going back to. Hopefully your HR team will have been talking to you about this as well? If not, you need to sit down and discuss this with them. You simply can't return to such a ridiculous workload. Whilst it sounds like they are being very sympathetic now, they certainly weren't before - anyone with half a brain would have realised that you were under intolerable pressure.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 20-Aug-13 10:53:18

Holy crap GetOrf, no wonder!

That's a bonkers way to run a business. Damn right they should be being supportive. They dropped the ball big time there and they know it.

They broke you angry. The utter bastards angry angry

You will be ok though. Honestly you will. You rock remember thanks

RegainingUnconsciousness Wed 21-Aug-13 13:05:00

Hey LeGavr

Just popped in to say hello and see how you are.

A friend of mine had 6 months off with depression earlier this year. It takes time to heal.

We discovered there's not much in the way of "sorry you're mental" cards, I've got an idea for one but I'm about as artistic as a slug.

Anyway - hello, and how are you?

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