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Could we have a support thread for those who have manic depressive illness / bipolar disorder?

(186 Posts)
electra Mon 24-Aug-09 21:47:33

I don't see it talked about much here but it is quite common - I can't believe there are not other Mners who have it? Even if you name change it would help to hear how you manage your lives with it, etc.

I take medication, having had times where I didn't want to /self-medicated with alcohol etc....I find that it helps but I do still have relapses and after dd3 was born had to go into hospital for a month because sleep disrupted nights and stress with family made me get unwell.

All in all I find it exhausting to live with as well as frustrating.

electra Mon 24-Aug-09 23:05:58


electra Tue 25-Aug-09 19:18:44

ok, one more bump...

mrspuffshat Fri 28-Aug-09 21:52:12

I have just joined this site. Hope it is ok to post here.
I was diagnosed last year with Bipolar Affective Dissorder. It is very hard to live with. I am always exhausted and mess everything up and make bad choices. I am currently married with 3 children and work but it is a constant struggle.
Thank you for talking about this.

electra Sat 29-Aug-09 00:51:30

Thanks for posting mrspuffshat. There aren't many threads about this on mumsnet but increasingly I feel it would help to be able to talk to others in the same situation. I also have three children and find it a struggle too. Sometimes I come across people who seem to think that if you're bipolar it's a shame to medicate yourself because it hinders creativity, but for myself I get to a point where I can't function and people think I need to be in hospital if I don't....So I am currently at peace with taking medication, though I can have lapses even on it.

mrspuffshat Sat 29-Aug-09 13:14:08

I am not currently on medication although I am getting to the point where I can't get through the day without going to pieces. I put on 2 stone in weight last time I took medication and have still not lost it. I also had zero sex drive. You really can't seem to win. I had a really bad day yesterday and finding your post really helped to know I am not the only one in this situation. I am sinking a bit today as I have lots of little things going on all at once and can't seem to focus. Am going to have a shower and do my nails and see if I can chill out a bit. Thanks for replying

Rones Sat 29-Aug-09 14:19:23

Hi both - I have not been diagnosed with bi-polar but I feel that I know in myself that I might well be.... I definitely suffer from depression and have had very severe bouts in my life (about 5 including PND which I've suffered on and off since my dd was born 16 months ago). I would like to say to you both that I think that you're amazing to carry on and have 3 dc too.... My dh and I have decided not to have any more children, at least not for a good few years until I feel I am able to cope and feel more stable and our situation (financial/work etc.) is better.

Do you have any kind of support as far as caring for your dc is concerned? I have no family near by at all and I find that very tough.

I understand all too well how it feels to not feel like you'll even get through the day and for everything to look bleak and pointless.

Can I ask you if you have episodes of mania and if so how does your behaviour change? I'm interested to know if relation to my own behaviour....


electra Sat 29-Aug-09 17:03:05

mrspuffshat - it is hard because all the medications have side effects and I don't like that. Actually the one I take, quetiapine seems to be ok and doesn't cause me many problems but it is quite a 'new' drug and not much research has been done on it.

Hi Rones, I do have family but my relationship with them is quite complex though on balance I am probably better off with them than with nobody - it must be awful for you if you don't have anyone to lean on at all.

I've had episodes of depression and mania - usually hypomania. Typically, if I have a big emotional upset one day I wake up the next, hypomanic and I'm also triggered by too much alcohol or lack of sleep. During a manic episode I have these symptoms;

talking very quickly and jumping rapidly from topic to topic

I don't sleep or if I do it's only for 3 hours a night. I also tend to stop eating.

a feeling of very high energy that I need to expel - I spend hours walking and if at home I pace. I can sometimes channel the energy to get a lot done.

if I get very unwell my thoughts race but I haven't had this when on medication

increased sexual drive - chatting up random guys

a feeling of unreality

I make unwise decisions

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 17:24:32

hello,i am not bi-polar but my sister is and i have posted about her on this site before.I am glad to be able to tell you that for the last couple of years she has remained stable .She went through her own hell for a long time and had many manic episodes ,both high and the lows ,which were awul lows.She attached herelf to me and at times would not speak to the rest of the family if she was here in my house and a sibling or our mum came round she would hide in the bedroom .We agreed to disagree on things without it causing a huge rift,as she had some very weird ideas.The marriage broke down and the day before their silver wedding my sister left the family home.Now a couple of years on ,her ex has remarried ,my sis is working part time ,she has a boyfriend and is very happy and very stable .When you are in the pits of despair ,its hard to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel,but there is.I cant really offer any advice to you but my sister said the one thing that helped was that i was never to busy to listen or give her a cuddle at any time day or night,if you have someone like that,maybe it will help anyone else who is suffering this terrible ilness to cope

PurpleOne Sat 29-Aug-09 18:09:01

Had my dx in June.

Currently taking 40mg Citalopram and REALLY not feeling well.
My landlord has really upset me by shouting in the street. I have rent arrears, due to me spending money and having mad sprees to make me feel better.
Can't stop sweating and crying. Am shaking and haven't eaten proper meal since Monday.

I am coping with all this alone. Self medicating with alcohol all the time. Christ, I really don't feel well.
My DD's are due back tomorrow and they can't see me like this.

Just want to lock the door and run away. Leave it all behind.

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:32:17

hello purpleone ,i can talk to you on here but you really need to call spmeone who in the medicalprofession if you are feeling so bad.I understand about the spending spree.part of bi-polar is that it can give you delusions of grandeur.It is your illness making you do this.Can you call your medical people and tell them how awful you are feeling ? or can you get anyone to come and sit with you and maybe help you to get something to eat ?

PurpleOne Sat 29-Aug-09 18:53:09

I nearly rang the CMHT people on Friday night, but bottled at the last minute.
I wosh someone would come and hold my hand for a while. I have been alone all damn week. I am alone all the time - there is nowhere to go for some comfort and solace.

I want some help with kicking my landlords arse too. I can;t deal with her alone. She is threatening to throw us out.
House is a bombsite, can't be bothered with the housework.
Can't be bothered doing anything of much at all the past few days...

electra Sat 29-Aug-09 19:12:10

PurpleOne - I am sorry to hear that you are feeling bad. I started off on Citalopram as well but my current psychiatrist thinks it is inappropriate for people with manic depression to take SSRIs on their own as they can make you more unwell without a mood stabiliser. Do you have regular reviews?

Rones Sat 29-Aug-09 19:32:22

Hi electra - thanks for telling me about your manic smptoms, I can relate to some of these especially the racing thoughts and talking quickly going from one conversation to the next very quickly. I'm convinced that I suffer from a maybe a milder form of bi-polar (which I believe exists from speaking to a psychiatrist I had an assessment with earlier in the year) so although I don't have delusions of grandeur and go on spending sprees etc. I do tend to feel that I can achieve a very unrealistic amount in a small amount of time and do so much sometimes that I have a real downer after although I'm learning to spot the signs and try not to do this.

Yes it is very hard not having any family around at all and I find myself getting very envious of friends who have their family close by to help although I'm more than aware that it's not all wonderful in such cases especially if family relations are strained. My parents are in France as are the rest of my family as my mum is French and has a large family. My dad is English but all his side of the family (which was small) are no longer with us. Anyway, I suppose there's no use pining for something I simply can't have although I'm lucky to have a friend who is like a surrogate granny to my dd.

Mummylin - thanks for your post - it's good to know that there is a light and I do know this rationally but hearing about someone else's story makes things feel better somehow.

PurpleOne - I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time alone and whilst dealing with such a difficult and distressing mental illness too. I'm sorry I don't have much useful advice for you but really thinking of you and hope you find someone you can confide in and meds that can work for you. xx

PurpleOne Sat 29-Aug-09 19:48:38

I only started the Citalopram a few weeks back, and tbh, I feel much worse now than before I started them. Never really wanted them as I don't like having pills in the house, for obvious reasons.

One psych said Bipolar II and my current psych says Dysthymia.
Have rung CMHT just now and there's nobody there, so rang the community co ordinator....he told me to go and have a bath!!!
I would go to Casualty, but can't leave the cat as she's busted all her stitches open from an op.

There are letters from my landlord which have sat downstairs for three days, unopened. Every time I walk past them, I break out in a cold sweat and the panic just rises up from my gut.
Been drinking too much for far too long. The psych tries to blame the booze for the way I feel...but yet, I've not been helped for the underlying symptoms. No counselling, no CBT...absolutely fuck all help.

I'm sorry. I'm getting so frustrated as they seem to think that cos it's bh weekend, then nobody gets ill. Just cos it's bh it doesn't take away the feelings of wanting to pack a bag and run like hell away from here.

Rones Sat 29-Aug-09 20:13:34

PurpleOne - is there anyone at all you can call on? a neighbour, a friend, family member? Are you open about your illness with people you know? who are you dd's with at the moment? could you call them and maybe delay them coming home until you're feeling a little more stable in yourself? I really do feel for you as you really need someone to help you at the moment. If someone could just watch your cat you could go to A&E if you really feel you need to, is there an out of hours number you can call for your doctor maybe or consider calling a helpline such as Samaritans? Sorry for all the questions and suggestions, just trying to think of some options for you whilst you're finding it hard to think straight. I notice you're thinking about all your issues at once which is probably making you feel even more panicky if you're anything like me. Try to figure out your priority issue right and focus on that before all the other things although I do understand that you have a lot of things mounting up which is why you're feeling like this. How much have you had to drink this evening and do you feel your drinking is out of control?

If you could just call someone who you can be open and honest with, that would give you some support for starting to makes the moves you need to start alleviating the issues in your situation.

Do you think maybe drinking with the ADs is making things worse? I'm not even sure if you're 'supposed' to drink on AD's but do know that alcohol is a depressant and definitely makes things worse for me when I drink too much so I stick to a limited amount these days. However, if you're feeling very depedant then obviously that's another issue you will have to work on....

I hope I'm not giving you too much to think about, just want to offer you a bit of support whilst you're obviously in need.

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 20:25:23

I am sorry you donthave anyone to be able to sit with you ,i kow it helped my sister very much.She also had the same feelings you have right now and several times wanted to end it all and in fact she did try it.She had the added help in tha she was sent to the priory[ her then dh was in bupa] where she had to stay for 3 months.She was not allowed to have very much contact from any of us.Whilst there she metanother patient and had a very torrid affair with him ,as electra said ,my sis also had increased libido. Of course if we had known any of this at the time i dont think we would of ben too happy with what was going on as until then she had been faithfull to her dh.Im not sure looking back if it actually helped her by being sent there.During her bad times my sis went to various people looking for help ,the trouble is ,she would go to one person one week and believe what they told her ,then the next week she would go and see someone else[ psychic or someone like that ] and they would tell he the exact opposite ,she would then believe that person and so it went on ,she was always seeking solutions,she saw counsellors and loads of various people.She spent money like water,money she didnt really have.When she was on one of her highs she would show up her famil by getting drunk,one particular time they were out for a meal and she ended up being really loud ,giggly and dancing around the restaurant.She then met a girl who was also having problems and they decided to go on a holiday together ,where my sister met up with a man of about 70 and within days she told me[ after a drunken call in the late evening ] she was going to live with him ! It was all very traumatic at the time ,but she knew whatever she told me ,whatever she did i would still be here for her.Its a very hard thing for family and friends to understand this illness as on the outside it dosent always make any sense to us.I read up on it ,so that i could help her and also to understand why she did the things that she did .Purpleone,do you have msn ?? i am willing to chat when you need to

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 20:26:23

i would second going to A&E

weegiemum Sat 29-Aug-09 20:27:06

I'm not bipolar but have unstabel moos as part of my overall psych diagnosis. On a mood stabiliser (when I remember to take it!) and feel better for it!

PurpleOne Sat 29-Aug-09 20:27:38

There is no one I can call on, nobody at all.

DD's are currently on a plane with exh coming home from a weeks holiday.

Not had a drink yet tonight.

I am totally alone and isolated - and that makes me cry so much.

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 20:32:49

purpleone ,as your children have been on a holiday with your ex,surely he could mind them [ and the cat ] whilst you go and find help.Does he know how bad the situation is with you.Are you able to look after the children at the moment.Do please go or at least phone your local hospital,just be honest with them and tell them how you are feling.

PurpleOne Sat 29-Aug-09 20:39:30

Can't even be bothered to put a hoover round, let alone look after the girls.
Ex won't take the cat as his MIL is blind and she 'might' trip over the cat FFS And they def won't have the guinea pigs in the flat as his DW doesn't like rodents hmm
We've had that convo many many times before.
The bloody git turned around to me once before, that if anything happens to me, he would have to put them in foster care...

I know everything sounds like excuses at the moment...but they really have happened.

He's told me many times before that I take him for granted and take the piss out of him too.

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 20:47:06

but the main thing here is to get help for yourself.your ex would have to sort out something for the cat and the pigs.They are im afraid only minor details .Your children are a different matter and your ex obviously loves their companty or he wouldnt take them on holiday ,so in an emergency he very well may step up to the mark.But for now ,this minute you need help and someone needs to see you whilst you are feeling so awful.Remember it is an illness that you have ,you havent asked for this but you do need help.

mummylin2495 Sat 29-Aug-09 20:49:06

is there no-one in your family who live near ? or if there is have you not told them about your illness ? My sister tried to hide it from us all,but i knew there was something wrong ,but didnt know what it was until she told me in the end.

PurpleOne Sat 29-Aug-09 21:08:49

No family.
Mum buggered me off about 2 years ago..and my dad took her side. There are no siblings, aunts or uncles.

I don't think the ex likes DD1 very much. He text me last night, from Spain...telling me DD1 has ruined the holiday and I quote 'behaved like a little shit...can't wait to get rid'.
Already know I'm in for grief tomorrow, and another sodding headache.

Have just rung the community co ordinator at the hospital...he told me to keep taking the meds and to go and have a bath. Hmm I might throw in an electrical appliance too, for good measure.

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