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Thread: Bipolar II

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626

    Bipolar II

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    Hi everyone.

    I've been having a really hard time of it lately and even when I thought I was improving, I have been struggling. It is starting to effect my riding in a major way again and I really need some help for someone who has dealt with this.

    I have recently been diagnosed BiPolar II. I have been diagnosed with chronic depression since I was 18 (so 5 years). I have been in pretty consistent therapy and working with a psychiatrist for all of this time. It runs in my family and we just don't talk about it.

    I've been on a hypomanic episode for about a week (now I finally know what to call one, I always thought this was normal) and haven't slept for more than a couple of hours all week. Thinking that maybe my SSRI would help my low a few weeks ago, I was slowly titrating up on Zoloft to 150 mg. I have been there for the past week and have been throwing up, chilled, upset, you name it. So, I am coming down off that and starting Seroquel today hoping it will level me off and get me some rest. I am on about 12 mg of it to start.

    Anyone else suffer from it? No one in my family talks about Bipolar II at all, even though several of my cousins and aunts/uncles suffer from it. It's very taboo and I still feel like a freak saying it, but I know I am not. It's just a disease. I feel comfortable enough saying it on here, so I thought I would ask. I mean, if we can talk about labial relief in a saddle, then I suppose this isn't weird at all. HAHA.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    ((((colorisnt))))

    My mother has it, and it's not easy for her or for the people who love her. I have no advice, but I just want to say that I'm very proud of you for speaking up and acknowledging that it's a disease. Good for you for sticking with treatment all these years.

    Nothing you can do about your family's reticence to talk about it. Remember, you cannot change their actions, you can only control how you respond to them.

    Best to you, and keep us posted. You are right about talking about labial relief--that was very funny!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    What Tulip said times a billion. I don't have BPD, but it also runs in my family. I wish it wasn't so taboo to talk about mental illness and, in particular BPD. You might ask your docs if they can refer you to a local or online support group to help you connect to people who can directly relate. Of course, we're hear for you, too, with lots of virtual hugs, empathy and, hopefully, some good advice.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Thanks, ladies.

    And you are so right, Tulip. It has been hard for me to learn this.

    It's been weird these last few days. And I thought I was doing "great" yesterday until my therapist told my I looked like I hadn't slept in days. I hadn't, of course. But I thought I was fine even then. And I was going to ride to work today despite spending the whole morning being sick. I finally just had to get it into my head that this may have been normal for most of my life, but it has to stop now.

    And indy, I will ask about a support group in the area. I know there is an organization locally that works to help fight stigma. I bet that is one place to go. The other thing I can do is talk to one of my support system friends here and ask. He is also BPDII and really has no qualms talking about it, which has really helped me, I think.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    You might want to keep a log of the medication and the effects, whether positive or negative. Also, how cycling affects your moods or the meds. I have my clients do this, especially when starting new meds. I'm not a physician, but sometimes it takes a long time to find the one that works. A support group would be great; have you ever thought about group therapy? I mean in addition to your regular sessions. It gives you a window into how other people process the same thing and how they perceive you. A skilled group therapist is a wonderful thing! So, not a support group, per se, which may be lay run, but a real group therapy experience where you can work on your issues, just as in individual therapy. Ask your therapist.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    14,645
    (((((((colorisnt)))))))

    What Tulip said. It took courage to say that. Take good care and I hope you get your meds sorted soon.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Desert SW
    Posts
    95
    Realistically, we all fall someplace on the mood continuum. From depression to mania, we all reside somewhere on the scale, somewhere between the extremes. To think of it in this way, removes the stigma and shame. I don't think its just "feel good" explanation but a truth. Some experience a higher "high", some a lower "low" on the scale. Medication, stabilizes mood and keeps folks in a more neutral position on the mood scale that every human occupies. There is no shame.
    "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart...Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." Carl Jung

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    Depression runs in my family. My mom still can't say the word (even though she spent the 70s on Valium "for her nerves."). It has turned up in all 3 of our daughters as well. I'm fairly visible as a pastor's spouse so I bring it up (my fight with depression) when appropriate. I've been surprised at how many women come up to me later and thank me for talking about it. Diabetes runs in my husband's side of the family. Funny how that is equally devastating but much more acceptable. Sending lots of hugs your way. I was in my 30s before I really got help. You're starting younger finding out what works for you. As said above, a log of medications/exercise/therapies and your response to them will be helpful. Sometimes it's hard to remember what I tried and how I reacted.

    Deb
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
    Camp Stove Green Surly Karate Monkey (M) WTB Volt
    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    Colorisnt, no advice, but lots of good wishes, and I'm so glad you feel free to discuss it here. The more openness and understanding of such things, the better.

    Blackhillsbiker, as a pastor's spouse, I'm sure you have helped many people by sharing information about your depression. My father was a Methodist minister, so I know a bit about the visibility you mention.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    My mom is bipolar also. She just told me this. I always knew there was something going on. It is tough for all involved.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    {{{Colorisnt}}} It did take courage to bring this up, and good for you in doing so. I am not bipolar, but do deal with depression and back when I was still on medication we found that SSRI meds create a "faux" bipolar problem as a side effect (bipolar is found in my family). That gave me a small taste of what it might feel like and it wasn't pleasant. Thankfully there are non-SSRI meds for depression but that is another topic.

    Sadly mood disorders, and mental illness in general, are still taboo for many families to discuss, it is a hard topic. It sounds like you have been making some very positive steps and are working with some good people. Sending lots of hugs to you and a journal/log would be very helpful for you as you start to track what helps in this journey that you have begun.
    Last edited by Catrin; 11-04-2010 at 02:32 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    (((Colorisnt)))
    Bipolar is in my family, too. Keep track of the meds, and speak up to your doc if you feel the meds aren't doing the right thing. Don't be shy! My aunt went through quite a few different ones before she found what worked, and the one that worked is great for her. Her husband helped advocate for her and was able to tell the docs what he saw with each med she tried.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Colorisnt, how are you feeling today? Check in with us if and when you have a chance.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    I'm feeling a little better after taking my meds this morning. Got a lot finished this morning and by that, I mean making sure that I am ready to go to work and feel well enough to do so. I am keeping a log, so that will help a bit. Did get some sleep and am looking MUCH better this morning because of it.

    And as for group, I will have to find one that is not full of u-grads. I feel like that would be a bad idea seeing as I teach them and I would be petrified to come across one of my students. It would just be really awkward. If group sessions are affordable elsewhere, that is fine. But right now, it is looking like they will still be $30.00 a week, which I don't think I can spend right now.

    I am trying to just see if I can work it out. It all makes me want to go back to England price-wise because I wouldn't be paying an arm and a leg for care.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    I understand not wanting to be in a group with your students. It's important to keep it all separate. If you are working with your university counseling center, maybe you could suggest a group for grad students. There might be an intern (we need our hours!) who would be interested in doing this.
    Keep advocating for yourself.
    There's mental illness in everyone's family. My family is still feeling the effects of a trauma that happened in 1918....
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

 

 

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