Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

Bipolar support thread?

(513 Posts)
Crawling Sun 03-Feb-13 19:04:00

Ive noticed there are quite a few of us and thought maybe a thread for us would be good. All are welcome those diagnosed and those awaiting diagnosis.

Ill start with Ive been depressed so long now I dont remember how I used to feel, yet id still prefer this to mania as the havoc I reaked last time was very painful to clean up after my episode. If I had to chart my mood today between 1-10 1 being I cant think how to make a cup of tea and 5 being good 10 being the tv is talking to me and I must go out now im about a 3 today what about you guys?

Crawling Sun 31-Mar-13 11:47:48

Jellyhandsandfingers I wouldnt mention that you think its bipolar. Its a very popular illness for people to pretend they have particularly type 2. Also people with borderline also seem to prefer to have bipolar than borderline. As one is biological but the other is seen by borderlines as a personality flaw.

Personally I reccommend writing all and any symptons you have in bullet points and give it to your gp. He will then refer you and a pychiatrist will decide if it is bipolar. I also advice you that unfortunatly waiting lists for pychiatrist can be very long.

In the meantime if you get dangerously ill either contact crisis or go to your local a and e. HTH

Crawling Sun 31-Mar-13 11:59:11

Although just to make clear im not saying you are pretending only that you may be treated with suspicion and doctor may consider other attention seeking illnesses as likely if you say I think I have bipolar. Maybe im just paranoid though.

Scheherezade Sun 31-Mar-13 12:40:16

The GP would need to refer you to a specialist for diagnosis

Scheherezade Sun 31-Mar-13 12:41:36

I half agree with Crawling, it depends on the team.

Scheherezade Sun 31-Mar-13 14:53:23

Sorry was posting on phone so couldn't write much.

I have had good and bad experiences with self-diagnosis. I moved area, went to the GP, referred to CMHT. Told the Doc I had a previous diagnosis when I was a teenager of bipolar, I thought I had recently had a manic episode, and wanted meds to make sure it didn't happen again. He out and out accused me of lying "there must be a lot of medical books in your uni library...." and refused any input until I had another episode and they could assess me 0 which was like a death sentence to me. Imagine asking a cancer patient to relapse to "prove" their illness!

Then I moved area again. Again, GP then onto psych. I told the psych what my symptoms were, how the disorder manifested in me, that I didn't want psych team input, I just thought I needed meds - I didn't want or need talking therapy. He seemed very impressed with the manner I conducted myself (think informed, intelligent, reasonable) and agreed, prescribed me lithium which saved me from the horrific manic episodes I had experienced.

nenevomito Sun 31-Mar-13 15:06:03

Just to agree with Crawling - the best thing to do is make a list of your symptoms and ask for a psyc referral. They can look at your full history and decide which diagnosis fits best. Going along and saying "I think I have bipolar" doesn't really leave things open for a proper assessment.

Its also best to keep an open mind as well. I was diagnosed as Bipolar type 2 after a hospital admission, but in my case I have a very clear history of deep depressions followed by mania / hypomania. Some of the things I've done include sticking a pin in a map and moving to a random part of the country "to see what it was like", blowing over 30k in 18 months on partying and having nothing to show for it apart from a massive debt. During my last manias I spent over £1000 on pushchairs in 2 days as I wanted one for each kind of outing /weather / colour and the one before that, I went for a job 350 miles away from where I lived and relocated my family - then had a massive depression again with no support as I knew no one around me.

They ruled out Borderline personality disorder as when well, I am very stable. I've never self-harmed, have held down long term relationships and jobs and a lot of the other criteria don't fit - e.g. I've always had a good sense of who I am, don't ever have feelings of emptiness and I am only symptomatic when I am in a deep depression or manic. From what I understand, with Borderline PD, its a continuous thing. I'm open to being corrected about that though.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 31-Mar-13 15:14:17

Hi everyone,

I'm glad this thread popped back up, I'd lost it.

I'm doing okay at the moment. Still constantly checking the doors and windows, I even have to get up in the night to do it, but I'm okay. I have my first psychiatrist appointment in the new place next week, and I'm supposed to have an operation the next say...

Although we couldn't get any blood on Thursday, so I was going to go back Friday, and the unit was closed on bank holidays. And weekends. So I'd have to go Tuesday, and that'd only give them 24 hours.. I'm so worried that they'll tell me off, and I'll have been so upset about the surgery for nothing, and I'll have to go through all this again.

There was no one there to talk to me yesterday or Friday, so I don't think there will be on Monday either.

Other than that, I'm trying to muddle on okay. I'm glad everyone here seems okay, too.

nenevomito Sun 31-Mar-13 15:28:26

Hi Caja - what op is it that you're having?

Good that you have a psych appointment. My care-co appears to have dropped off the face of the planet. She was going to call me to organise a meeting, but its not happened. I should text her, I suppose, but I keep forgetting.

Sorry to hear you're still getting up to check the doors, but these things take a lot of time to get over. It was such a horrible thing to happen.

Good to see you back here and I'm glad the thread is still going.

Scheherezade Sun 31-Mar-13 17:33:17

You're right baby, my current team agree with my bipolar 1 diagnosis as I have had long periods of stability after taking lithium. Only became unwell when I stopped due to pregnancy

Jellyhandsandfingers Mon 01-Apr-13 10:36:07

Thank you everyone for your comment - especially your own personal stories of diagnosis. It has helped to hear.

I'm going to make a list of my symptoms and go to see my GP.

I'm so scared by the way I feel right now. What scares me the most is going back to my standard 'normal' state of living and forgetting my latest occurrence of whatever it is that is going on has happened because I know sooner or later I'll feel the same again. Although at the moment there is no risk of that as I am spending every waking moment worrying about every little thing I've done that could be construed as nasty (this includes standard things such as only offering once to do the washing up at my mother in laws, not talking enough and mentioning a friends opinion of stereotypes of her religion). My anxiety is exhausting sometimes!

Crawling Mon 01-Apr-13 12:10:18

I keep diaries when im manic (usually written just after when im on a come down as I forget to write them) that way as I forget the manic episodes anytime im doubting myself I re read them they are not pretty and upset me alot.

No one else is allowed to read them they are for me so I can see just how messed up I was. It means that when im going through a period of doubt it reminds me.

Crawling Tue 02-Apr-13 09:11:21

Wish me luck ive gained over 4 stone on olanzapine so ive asked to be put on Geodon we will see what my doc says. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

GoddessofSuburbia Tue 02-Apr-13 16:58:18

Hello again guys. I haven't posted for ages because I've been well, and getting on with life. I haven't been doing so well recently though, so I hope it's alright for me to post here in a rather needy way for a little hand holding. I'm back in a depression, and have been since the start of March. My hypomania wasn't very extreme, which is typical for me, and coincided with a much anticipated trip away. I guess it kinda skulked in under the radar because I thought I was excited and stupidly happy about just me and DP being in a place I love for a few days away with no DCs. DP didn't spot it either, which he's a bit upset about as he's normally really good at seeing my soft markers; even before I do sometimes. Meh.

Anyway, so I'm stuck in the fug that is major depression. Oh the joy... I think what's kind of making it worse is that I'm still, on the surface at least, functional. So I can force myself to go to work, go to the supermarket, etc- I don't 'look' depressed. But all the joy has gone, and with it all my sociability. I haven't seen friends for ages, not even been able to text them, though they know I'm ill as DP told them. I just don't know how to face them; everything takes so much energy that I just really don't have. My body feels like it's been hit with a truck, because my thighs ache like I've just run a marathon. I know it psychosomatic pain, but it hurts; does anyone else get this too? It takes me everything I have to be able to go to work and be as normal as possible for the DCs; there just isn't anything left. I feel totally flat, irritable, low, downright sad; there's lots of emotional shitstorms and sobbing when it's safe, ie the kids aren't around and I don't have to interact with anyone other than DP.

My twin 'helpful and friendly' demons of self harm and anorexia are poking their charming little heads above the parapet; almost like they're taunting me. However, they are not paths I'll be going down anytime soon. Disordered thoughts are telling me that I don't deserve DP too, though I know from what he tells me that's rubbish, and that I just need to hold on until I feel better and it will all make sense.

As I said, meh. There are times when I hate my feckin' neurochemistry...

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 02-Apr-13 21:09:55

Goddess - I'm sorry you are so down. It sucks. Everything you've written could be exactly how I felt a month or so ago...I'm trying to ride it out. It's got a bit better. Psychosomatic pain hurts just as much as regular pain, remember...

Please be nice to yourself. Keep talking to your DP, and remember that this will pass. I know that feels so short, and worthless, but your days will have color again soon. Look out for it.

Crawling - I hope the tablet change goes okay! I used to do diaries too. My mum stole them all when I was kicked out, so I burnt them when the police retrieved my things. Never again.

I went to hospital for the pre-op today. Left the house at 8.30, and thought I'd be there and home by 10. Nope, it took til 2.40, and I blubbed when I got in. I can't face the outside world.

Tomorrow I have my new psychiatrist. It's in a very awkward place...very residential and in the middle of nowhere, so it'll be very tough to get there. I will try. I think I need to tell them that I'm so very afraid.

Crawling Tue 02-Apr-13 21:20:48

Thanks Caja I was switched to abilify and good god I feel like shit.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 02-Apr-13 21:24:26

Oh no sad

I'm rather worried about what will happen to my meds tomorrow. I'm on Depakote because my kidneys are so broken, but have had to stop taking it because my kidneys have deteriorated, and I'm having surgery on them tomorrow.

If they can't think of anything else, it looks like I'll have to be med-free, and that's not good...

I hope you feel better after some sleep. Medicine-induced illness has to be the worst...I have to really fight myself to take my tablets.

Crawling Wed 03-Apr-13 08:32:48

Oh no Caja how horrid im sure they will find some med that doesnt effect your liver. I really hope your op goes well.

Feel a bit better this morning but ill have to take the tablet earlier as it kept me up all night I expected it to make me drowsy like most anti pychs but apperntly this one makes people restless.

Juneywoony Wed 03-Apr-13 08:52:38


Sorry to hear everyone's having a bad time, Caja did you have problems with your kidneys before all the medication? My auntie has the first stages of renal failure due to long term use of Lithium and is having to have her thyroid removed, they tried reducing the lithium and replacing with another but it just made her ill's catch 22 for her.

Crawling....4 stone, one of my biggest worries is weight gain through med's as i suffer with wonder you have asked to be changed, i really hope the new med's don't take too long to start working.

Crawling Wed 03-Apr-13 09:02:48

Thanks juney I suffer with anorexia and im afraid to admit I went off my meds. I then started going manic but lost 5 pound in a day.

I am on quite a strong anti pych which is known for its weight gainand is the second worse as far as weight gain goes. The reason I am on it is because I have scizoaffective which is is all the symptoms of type 1 Bipolar but I also have seperate scizophrenic episodes. I usually just say Bipolar as most dont know what scizoaffective is. There are meds which are not bad on weight gain geodon abilify and lamotrigine.

Juneywoony Wed 03-Apr-13 09:48:06

God i really feel for you must be awful.

I'm new to mood stabilisers etc over the past 20 years i have been treated for recurrent depressive disorder/until recent diagnosis of bipolar.Ive been on a mixture of anti d's, anti psychotics, anxiety med's over the years apart from a brief spell on quetiapine a few months ago which really didn't suit me, this is the first time i have been on a mood stabiliser, i am so scared of putting weight on....then feel so bad about being vain.

Crawling Wed 03-Apr-13 09:51:53

Its not vain at the end of the day it drastically effects your health to be overweight particularly for people who have ed and take drastic measures to lose weight. It effects your confidance your mood everything. What mood stabiliser are you on?

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 03-Apr-13 10:11:11

Juney - Yes, I've got long-standing kidney problems. When I was first diagnosed, the doctor didn't bother to look into the side-effects of lithium, and damaged them further. They are only just working now, and my liver is damaged too. Hopefully tomorrow's op will keep them going for a while longer.

My new psych just cancelled. Appt was in 40 minutes. The receptionist was very apologetic, but couldn't give any idea of when my new appointment would be, or what I should do in the meantime.

There's so much on my mind today that I've had to lock myself in to stop me running away. Tomorrow's op is scaring me, I've got family hassles and I'm very worried about money. Not to mention that I've managed to put a lot of weight on over the past two years, and I'm really having to force myself to eat. I want to look like the old me, at least, even if my head is completely shot.

I really wanted to talk to someone today.

I wish I could disconnect my head for a while.

Juneywoony Wed 03-Apr-13 10:14:42

I am on psychiatrist says this is one of the ones with least weight gain yet in the pamphlet it lists weight gain as one of its top side affects.

I'm glad you understand.......i just wouldn't be happy both ill or stable with being fat.....when i am well i like to exercise, jog etc..... i have no get up and go at the moment so haven't really exercised so i know this won't help my weight, instead i just sit and get upset with myself for not doing anything. My appetite has come back after a few weeks of rapid cycling where i barely ate anything, there is no happy medium as i just want to eat everything in site and admit i am starting to make myself sick again at times, it isn't quite daily at the moment but at my worst i will after every meal and i don't want to be there again.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 03-Apr-13 10:42:49

Juney - I'm on depakote too. The newer pamphlet does say weight gain is unlikely, and I haven't experienced any. No one in the medication group over Christmas had either, which reassured me, as there were a lot of people and some had been taking it for years!

I wouldn't worry about the depakote causing weight gain.

Crawling Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:48

Caja you must be so scared do come back and let us know how it goes I will be thinking of you. Its a pain that your doctor had to cancel have you done any research into what meds dont effect your liver or kidneys?

Juney im exactly the same I love exercise but when ill I have no get up and go. Mood stabilisers are better than anti pychs for weight gain. Except lithium thats not so good. I kind of do a mix I cut my food down but I take laxatives and I exercise in absurd amounts but my forms say anorexia. I was stable at 9 stone at my lowest I have been 5 but I was admitted at this point. Now I am 13 stone at 5 ft 1 thats not good.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now