Bipolar disorder

When Someone Uses Your Illness Against You

Image of couple arguing

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I decided today to write about something that annoys me to no end. When you are having an argument or are angry with someone and they throw your Illness in your face… You are so bipolar! You are crazy that isn’t what happened, your bipolar is getting out of control. All the things that can be said go on and on, but at the end of the day they are simply refusing to take responsibility for their actions and blaming your illness instead.

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I am being Interviewed

UPDATE: You can now listen to the interview at the link in this post.. just click the link and on the page scroll down and there is a list of shows click play on the 04/01 show and I am the first 12 minutes!! 

HERE IS A DIRECT LINK TO THE SHOW, CLICK HERE

Image: On Air

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday I was contacted by Jordyn Goodman of Empowered, about doing a short interview on her Radio Talk show. Her show is on LA Talk Radio and it is called Empowered. It will be on tonight Tuesday April 1, 2014 at 7 pm PST. 

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Why do we pull negative back into our lives?

Peaceful-waterfall

Wouldn’t you love to be there listening to the sounds?

I have to say recently I decided to do something that pulled one of the most negative things in my life, back into my life. I allowed it to take over and fuel my attitude, turning my life into a big ball of negative. Why do we do that?

I can tell you I did it because I allowed myself to be angry about something that will never change and I have no control over. I have a hard time accepting that people I once felt I knew very well are not at all who I believed them to be. Was I in a fantasy land before, when I thought they were good people? Yes I was… I pulled myself from that fantasy land and attempted to accept the situation and I thought I had but I realize now I had not.

There are a few things I am passionate about in my life and my kids and their well being is one of them. Okay I am a mamma bear where my girls are concerned. I want anyone in their lives to accept and love them, treat them with respect and do what is right where they are concerned. In this life, you do not always get that. I have to remember that they will survive, I wanted better for them but I don’t have that for them, so they will survive. I will love them no matter what, they cannot say or do anything that would alter that love and acceptance I have for them. Not everyone in their lives will be that way with them, and they will survive.

I have taught them all I can about people and how the way they treat you isn’t always about you, it is about them, what they are not, or not capable of for whatever reason. I need to teach them to accept it and to focus on living their lives happily, but not drawing in negative that has left the forefront of their lives.

I have let it go at this point and have chosen to be the bigger person and back off. I will accept it for what it is and stop trying to make the people in our lives be someone they are not, or that they choose not to be. See I think we all have a choice in who we are and how we love and treat others, some people in this life have chosen to focus on themselves and are not giving souls, that’s okay as that is one thing that makes the world go round.

I used to be one of those people, not to my core but with my illness out of control it drove me in that direction, I let it make me someone I wasn’t until I learned to grasp on and fight my way to the surface. I worked and fought hard within myself to improve the level of love I put out into this world, these people I refer to cannot understand that and I accept that.  I find there are people who bring out that side of me that I hate with a passion, thank goodness I see it now and can stop it. I will not fight with them and I will choose to be satisfied with whatever happens from here on out.

The universe will send me what I focus on, so I will no longer focus on the old feelings I have for these people I speak of and will renew my thoughts with positiveness and happiness. Whatever comes will come, what doesn’t won’t, we will survive and we will be happy, it’s my choice no one else’s. Mistakes will be made but lets hope the are not gigantic in size, lesson learned!

Sending out much love to you all, Have an amazing week! ♥

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Smiling more, Depressed less…

My last post about my depression and feeling that I was sliding into a depressive mood, Depression on the Horizon?, was correct. I did slide into a depressive mood but it didn’t last a long time, thank goodness. I have to say the support I received the encouragement, the love I felt from readers, friends and family enabled me to fight off the depression in a relatively short time. I have my tools I use and things I do to try to keep it at bay or keep it from completely engulfing me but the support I received from others was extremely helpful. For that I want to say “Thank You.”

There is nothing worse than feeling alone, and when depression sets in you feel so many different emotions, but the loneliness for me is one of the worst. I tend to pull away and I get quiet and when I do that, the depression can easily take over. This time I spoke up, shared how I felt and received some amazing encouragement, some great ideas and Love that I did not expect! I feel this was very helpful to me. It kept that lonely feeling at bay.

So today I feel pretty darn good, I am not fully over the depression but each day I feel better and to be honest I always carry a certain amount of depression so we are getting a bit closer to normal for me. This I will over come and it is thanks to all those great people in my life. Okay it is also due to my work at it! The combination of work and support makes me feel a bit invincible.

I am happy that this time so far it seems I am not swinging into a Hypo-Manic episode because for me that means anger, and frustration… I don’t want that happening. Those periods of anger and frustration are hard to over come and they always stay a while. But so far it doesn’t feel like I am headed there so that is something to celebrate.

Our Dudley

This is our little Dudley!

So these days I am smiling more, anxiety less and following my doctors orders and walking the dog (Dudley) more often. Good Times. Here is a pic of our little guy rolling in the grass while on one of our walks. He is so silly.

May you all find the happiness and balance in life that you so deserve! Remember you must fully love and accept yourself to change the negative in life to a positive. Check out my post Working on Changing your Life, Thoughts, Amount of Happiness?, this book I mention in the post has really opened me up. I love it and will be using it as a guide to further my happiness in life.

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Depression on the Horizon??

Masked Face

It looks as if I have a period of depression swinging my direction. :(  I really am not looking forward to a depressive period right now, I need to keep moving forward, there is a lot happening for me the next couple months and depression will hinder my ability to deal with it.

It doesn’t help that for the next two weeks we do not have enough money to keep gas in the car much less anything else, we will survive we always do but it is so frustrating. My anxiety is high my depressive feelings are high and I really don’t feel like I am up for this right now.

I will work on it of course but I very much dislike this feeling. Feels like doom slowly coming over me. ugh!!!

On the bright side of things, my daughter is doing so much better. Her anxiety is nearly gone and she is so happy. She is really enjoying each day for the first time since 2006. She is amazing, talented, beautiful and Smart, she will go far in this life!! I am proud of her.

If you are a praying person, please say a prayer for me, send me some positive energy, anything you feel you can spare, I must keep this depression from over taking!

Much love to you all!

Image courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Bipolar Disorder and Lacking Drive or Motivation

Frazzled

And Yes this does follow me to the kitchen.. ugh

I don’t know about you guys but I go through these periods of time where I have no drive, no motivation to do anything, I have things I want and need to get done but I can’t seem to push hard enough to get them done. It makes me feel less than successful, especially where cleaning and organizing is concerned.

I don’t feel a real deep depression at this time but can’t seem to concentrate enough or have any drive to accomplish the daily stuff that needs to be done. I know I am not the only one who suffers from this, but I go through very long periods, sometimes a year or more where I just get almost nothing done. It is so frustrating!!

I did manage to get my kitchen cabinets painted as you all saw with my review but that took a lot and I didn’t do it till I needed the review up, last minute of course. This drives me insane as if there isn’t a pressing reason to get something done, if I do not have to answer to someone else, I won’t do it. My house is a wreck majority of the time and I can’t stand it yet, I do nothing to stop it or change it. grrr Frustrating..

I do have  a lot going on in my brain, but nothing that I need to be thinking about, not getting a thing accomplished. I seem to find excuses to do something other than what needs to be done and at the end of the day its sad, depressing and FRUSTRATING.

Do any of you out there in the wonderful world have any suggestions on how to jump start yourself. This is one thing I have never gotten past. Help!!

Image courtesy of debspoons / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Life, Moods, Finances and Exhaustion

White-DoveI must say I am sorry I haven’t been around and posting at all for a while now. I just have so much going on in my life, between my spiritual path, learning and exploring that and my car breaking down having to replace it, my daughter and her anxiety, work, my sleep apnea, the list goes on…I am tired! I have very little motivation and I think that is just due to the fact that with all that going on in my life, my moods have shifted a few times. I wasn’t getting decent sleep at all.

I did realize that I could purchase some guided meditations on my phone and listen to some before falling to sleep at night and guess what I tried it and it worked. I have been sleeping better for the last 4 days, I use a guided mediation for relaxation and it calms my mind, allowing me to sleep. It is amazing. I say try it if you have a hard time with sleep.

My financial issues keep getting worse, when my car broke down and I needed to replace it I had to take on a car payment. I have no clue how I will make ends meet but then on top of that my ex decided he could split up the child support payments that he had been making on the first of the month. So here I am totally upside down and it will take me months to get things caught up. but that’s what he was hoping for I am sure.  Good news was I was able to file a motion to correct this problem with out paying any fees to the court, so by the end of September things should be straightened out. So much for the 8,000 dollars paid to the attorney. He did nothing didn’t even put in the agreement that he had to pay the child support by a certain time of the month. So he could do whatever he wants and pay on the last day of the month of  he wanted to.

Anyway, I haven’t been around and haven’t posting because I am thoroughly exhausted, my sleep apnea machine isn’t set right I don’t think as I haven’t been resting as well. The insurance company is taking months to approve a sleep study, probably hoping I will die before they have to pay for it. lol  Something was just approved I got a letter but of course its all in code so I have no idea what it is they have approved. :(

I have made some headway with my spiritual path, I am learning and growing in that department. I feel more at peace even though my moods are a bit out of whack. Hard to explain really.

My daughter is still struggling with her anxiety, it keeps coming and going and I think she may be reacting to the Lamictal the doctor gave her so we will have to change her medicines again very soon. Her anxiety is not as bad as it was for those few weeks but it is sneaking up on her slowly. She will need a medicine specifically for the anxiety to take daily in order to get it under control, we just have to get the doctor to accept that.

Even with all this going on, I feel very blessed. Carl has helped me immensely, I can’t explain on how many levels he is there for me. I just hope I repay a fraction of it. It is amazing to feel so close to someone to be accepted by them and to just feel at peace when in his presence. I am blessed also by several friends, most of them online, but a few in person. There are a couple online that I would like to meet in person so hopefully I can work that out.

So that is kind of it in a nutshell, the reason I have been slow to post and not here all that much. I have tried to stay up to date on Face book but haven’t managed anywhere else.

I could use a subject or questions to write about if anyone out there has any please let me know. I will do my best to post about it. Much love to you all.

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Bipolar Disorder, It is NOT Who you are

Faces Obviously with my life on this blog, Facebook page, Google plus etc, I speak to a lot of different people, who are suffering with Bipolar or affected by it in some way. I have noticed that especially before you are really in treatment, you think this illness is who you are.

I have seen so many ask Who am I?, other than Bipolar?? Honestly you are the only one who can answer that but when you are lost in the throws of this illness, it can be as if it has taken over and you are locked deep inside unable to get to the surface, barely treading water in a way.

I urge you all to realize, being diagnosed with Bipolar has nothing to do with who you are under it all. Yes Bipolar can take control at times in your life, most especially when you don’t know you have it and you feel like you’re this awful person, with these awful thoughts and feelings but I am here to tell you, YOU ARE NOT YOUR ILLNESS!

Yes you must look deep inside to know you are a good, loving human being who’s illness has taken control but please also know you can regain your illness and take control. Yes it is always there, but it doesn’t ALWAYS have to be in control. Yes there will be times in your life that you feel out of control but YOU ARE NOT YOUR ILLNESS!

It breaks my heart to hear what family members say to loved ones that are affected. Some of this may be familiar to you, I have heard, your lazy and using this as an excuse to act badly. Really? Because we enjoy being unhappy so much, we enjoy being embarrassed by our behaviors so much?  Get a clue people, your ignorance should embarrass you.

There are so many heartless, ignorant statements made by people who are supposed to love us, it baffles me. Let me tell you, if that person judging you and dismissing the difficult life you lead having a mental illness, they don’t love you at all. If they loved you they would be willing to do research on the illness to get to understand it a bit better and try to be there for you during the hard times.

Do we tend to be somewhat abusive when our illness is out of control? Yes we do, but I think one of the most important things we can accomplish while fighting and living with this illness is to recognize when we start to lose control and get ourselves out of those situations so we do not abuse anyone. This is something else our so called loved ones should attempt to understand. Don’t follow us if we walk away from a fight. We need space to keep from blurting out things we really do not mean.

I know people say, You say what you mean when you speak whether it is in anger or not. That simply isn’t true for someone with a mental illness. To be honest I think people say things in anger they don’t mean at all but when you have an illness like Bipolar you tend to blurt out stuff that even surprises you. Also When I get really angry and blurt hurtful things out, I tend to know I was mean and hurtful, just by past experience, but I don’t always know what I said. I can get into a rage and blurt out all kinds of stuff but by that point I am not in control and I tend to not remember what I said. It’s not a choice, this is because the illness has taken over and I am not able to stop it. It is kind of like an out of body experience for me.

I will be in a rage, screaming ridiculously who knows what, and I will feel as if I am above myself watching this happen and totally out of control. It is the strangest most frightening experience this illness has brought to me. I am both angry and tormented by what I am doing yet unable to stop it. Then I tend to feel trapped inside this dark angry scary place and unable to break out and stop the behavior. The most I have ever been able to do is leave the room close a door behind me and attempt to stay in there until my rage passes and then I break down to this exhausted emotional heap. I will usually continue my rant while behind closed doors and maybe even hit walls etc, but I am trying to stop it the entire time. It takes days to recover and when this happens I pray I don’t relapse in a short period of time. I need time to recover or the next rage will be worse.

I know there are a ton of people out there that can relate to this, and to all those who have people in their lives with this illness I say, PLEASE DO RESEARCH, GO TO CHAT ROOMS, LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE GO THROUGH, OPEN UP AND ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND. You can’t help your loved one by dismissing their illness as a choice for poor behavior or calling them lazy is not an option. It does nothing but cut them to the bone, and makes them feel extremely alone, depressed and sometimes suicidal.

People with mental illness are PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU. Treat them as you would want to be treated. With a bit of understanding, listen. be there for them and love them for who they really are. Attempt to look beyond the illness.

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Update on My Anxiety Filled Daughter

Happy-teenagerI wrote a couple posts recently outlining the issues my daughter was having with Anxiety. If you want to read the whole story start with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety in a Teen, then read Anxiety Please Go Away, My Poor Daughter, this is the final update on her saga.

We finally got the doctor to listen and they gave her a new medicine (One I also take) Lamictal. Unfortunately she has taken trileptal for more than 8 years and they told her to stop it cold turkey. Now I knew that was strange but these are doctors right? NO don’t ever fall into that trap. You cannot stop taking Psychiatric medicines without weening off them or you will have serious withdraw symptoms. Certainly not a medicine you have take for 8 years. Yep the bells went off that isn’t right but did I listen to them, Nope.

So we start the new medicine and halt the other one, and what happened? My poor daughter got really ill, she was ill for days and we knew it was the trileptal leaving her system. She was over heating, nauseous,exhausted and unable to sleep at all. So did I call the doctor that had enough brains to tell me to stop the meds all together, heck no. I put her back on half a dose of the trileptal and continued the new medicine, with in a week or so she was feeling better. The anxiety and the feeling of being ill left her. Now when I say “left her” I mean it is tolerable. We all know if you have anxiety you have symptoms no matter what medicine you are on but they are tolerable.

I have my daughter back. She is happy, joking, smiling again and I am so relieved. It took some time but each day things seem to get easier for her. She had been very negative and crabby for months on end and I told the doctor on more than one occasion that her anxiety was increasing and she wasn’t doing well. She has bipolar and well moods shift and the meds either work or they don’t. They are now all at work again so we are relieved.

I will continue to ween her off the trileptal, later this week we will try a quarter of a pill instead of half and if that goes well hopefully in a few more weeks we can take her off it all together. I will not increase the dose of Lamictal at this time as the 12.5 mg she is taking seems to be doing enough for her. I don’t want her over medicated.

I am thankful that I am able to treat my girls for the symptoms that went untreated in me and I am proud of them for working through the problems I didn’t even know or understand at their age.  I just wish we had better doctors to go to, Kaiser does not suit our needs to say the least. If we have to stay with them I am going to have to get a medical degree so my kids can get the proper care.

Thank you all for your support and good wishes. You are all always so kind. I share these stories so it may help you all in someway, even if it is just to show you YOU ARE NOT ALONE.. Love to you all..

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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New Bipolar Drugs/Fewer Dietary Restrictions

Guest Post By Becky Wilcox

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by episodes of mania and depression.

During the manic phase, patients exhibit reckless behavior and poor judgment, excitability, and agitation. Patients could also experience emotional outbursts, extreme insomnia, and several other symptoms.

During the depressed phase, patients exhibit sleep disturbances, loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities, and loss of self-esteem. Patients can also experience suicidal thoughts, isolation from friends and family, and extreme sadness.

Many patients try to control their symptoms with dietary supplements, like omega-3 fatty acids, but bipolar disorder can’t be controlled by diet and supplements alone.

The best solution is a combination of diet, therapy, and prescription medication.Medicine-Bottle

Early treatments for bipolar disorder relied on drugs like lithium, Depakote (valproic acid), and a class of drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These early drugs had a lot of side-effects and restrictions that made taking them akin to playing Russian roulette.

People on lithium could not take ibuprofen because the combination would cause a toxic rise in lithium blood levels. Lithium also damages the thyroid, and prolonged use can contribute to thyroid disease.

People on Depakote, were cautioned not to take aspirin because the combination could cause stomach ulcers. And certain antibiotics would render the drug less effective.

People on MAOIs were cautioned to avoid several foods that contained a substance called tyramine, because they caused elevated blood pressure. These foods included aged cheeses, fava and green beans, soy products, and liver. Some sources also recommended removing yogurt, avocados, and raspberries from the diet. Many of these foods provide essential vitamins and nutrients.

Newer bipolar drugs still have side effects, but they don’t have nearly as many dietary restrictions. With some, like Effexor, the manufacturers recommend that you do not consume alcohol while taking the drug. With other drugs, like Abilify, the manufacturers indicate that certain drugs could intensify drowsiness. However, unlike lithium and aspirin, these are not potentially life-threatening contraindications.

If you have been living with a bipolar diagnosis for several years, chances are you were initially diagnosed one of the older medications. It is also likely that, over the course of your treatment, your doctor has adjusted your dosage, and even changed your medication to one of the newer drugs.

If you are still taking one of the older medications, consider talking to your doctor about changing. You can only buy Abilify, and other bipolar medications, with a prescription, so you will need your doctor’s approval to change drugs.

Use caution, however, because not all bipolar drugs are the same. Different drugs work on different brain chemicals, and changing could disrupt your treatment. If your symptoms are well-controlled with your current medication, it would be best not to alter your routine.

But if your current medication is not controlling your symptoms, or if you are unhappy with your treatment for other reasons, you might benefit from changing medication.

Do not attempt to stop taking your medication without your doctor’s knowledge or supervision. Not only will your symptoms worsen, but some medications have serious withdrawal effects.

If you do change medications, you might have to wean off your current medication before you start the new. During the weaning period you could experience a worsening of your symptoms, including suicidal tendencies. If you notice any change in your condition, contact your physician immediately.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Anxiety Please Go Away, My Poor Daughter

Upset-teenager

 

I wrote a post the other day about my daughter and her anxiety, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety in a Teen! Here we sit, with extremely high anxiety, tears, nausea, throwing up and the medicine they gave her didn’t even take the edge off, so they say take more.

She took two pills this am and what happened, her nausea was so bad she is home from school. Ugh, this child has a sensitive stomach so when we took 2mg of Lorazepam this morning she immediately started throwing up and couldn’t stop, 2 hours later she is still in pain and nauseated. I put in another call to the doctor and am currently waiting.

The problem with Lorazepam is that you take it as needed. My daughters anxiety is so bad 100% of the time that she is so sick when it turns into a panic attack she can’t stomach the medicine. I tried to tell the doctor we just need to change her daily medicines to counteract the constant anxiety so she doesn’t get into a panic attack but they just don’t understand that I know what I am talking about. They won’t listen to me, how could I know what I am talking about?  Hello Doctors, I have been dealing with this my entire life and for her since she was 5 years old. I think I know what works for her and what does not.. grrrr

So she is now laying on the couch with a stomach ache and nausea watching videos on her phone, when she should be at school.  She is to work today and although I don’t think she should work when she didn’t make it to school, the fact is that if she hadn’t taken the medicine I would have pushed her out the door and got her to school so she has to get out to work. I now that at her age I had a case of Agoraphobia that kept me from leaving the house and I don’t want her to get to that point. It was such a struggle to get out of the house, I would go through a lot of what she is going through, emotional, throwing up, diarrhea  had to force myself out but it took a good 30 minutes or more to just get out the door.

I left another message for the doctor today, same as I did yesterday and we are waiting, once again.. Just thought I would share her struggle so you out there having the same issues realize YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

Hugs and love to you all…

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Physical Health and Mental Health

Strawberrys-on-a-plate

Where am I going with this.. Well honestly this last two years my energy level and mental stability has been on the decline. :(  I have a great doctor now so when I finally went to him (I am terrible about going to the doctor) he did a large amount of blood work. He checked some vitamins and well just about everything, and found my Vitamin B and D were “pathetic” as he put it and wanted me to take those two specifically.

Now you would think since I take numerous pills every day I wouldn’t have a problem adding a few vitamins and fish oils (all of which I own) but have I taken them on a regular basis?  NO! I went back recently and he reran blood work and did some different tests and well I am still not in any better shape and my energy level has declined drastically.

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Looking back at my Bipolar past

Sad-ballerina

I have been doing some reflecting on my past, prior to treatment to getting into treatment and the years of counseling, doctor appointments and medicines. I have to say there were many years that were rocky at best especially prior to treatment, when I had no idea what was wrong and why I was such a bitch sometimes. There is no other way to put it sorry!

I remember that lost lonely, angry, sad, hopeless feeling that I had day after day after day. The out of control emotions, the anger, the screaming (for no reason), the abuse I put my family through (verbal).

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Between Moods, Good, Bad, Indifferent

Moods

This post is about the symptoms that come with mood changes for me and how they affect my daily life. Not only the mood changes but the confused thoughts and other things…

At times I am happy, laughing and joking and other moments I am indifferent. My thoughts race and then will slow so much I lose my words. I stop mid sentence on a word that I just can’t get out. I don’t mean I stutter around it, I mean I open my mouth and nothing comes out. The word is floating in my head but not making its way to my lips. I say um as many times as it takes and it eventually comes out. It is strange but I can actually visualize the word but can’t get it out. I am not sure how often others deal with this symptom but for me it’s pretty frequent these days.

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Being Honest with My Bipolar Brain

Sad Woman Sitting Alone

So I am sure that most of you have watched me struggle this past year or so with the ups and downs of my illness. I was stable for a long time but that day has come and gone and its time to be honest and fully accept and admit I am not feeling very stable. Such is life with Bipolar Disorder!

I have truly struggled with being honest with myself about how stable or unstable my moods really are. I finally decided it was time to stop struggling and reach out for some real help. I met with my psychiatrist last week after having to move my appointment several times due to being sick, and we are starting on an additional medicine.

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Self Monitoring, Can you over do it?

stressed-woman

I am a firm believer that it is my full time job to self monitor. Meaning I need to know what is going on with me at all times, any changes must be noted. But do they really?  Should we just have a few things we are looking for? If we over monitor do we obsess? Do we cause symptoms by over monitoring ourselves? Does it increase our stress?

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