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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.

fluffydressinggown Thu 15-Aug-13 18:34:37

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.

fluffydressinggown Thu 15-Aug-13 18:36:27

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!

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