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    Taking Medication for Bipolar Mania Helped Give Me Confidence to Start a Family

    My knees and back ached from pacing the hardwood floors for hours on end without the support of my sneakers. The quality of my thoughts resembled cotton candy — thin and wispy, hard to grasp for longer than a few seconds at a time. My computer was a mess of half-finished projects ranging from new business ideas to writing projects that I lacked the mental clarity to finish. During my psychiatry appointment a few days prior, I made friends with the elderly lady sitting across the lobby despite my introverted nature. Together, all of these symptoms spelled one thing: my mania had returned. My husband urged me to take my emergency medication, prescribed for moments just like this one. I pulled the bright orange plastic bottle from my stash of prescriptions and sat it on the kitchen counter right in my line of sight. For some reason, I hesitated to twist the top off the bottle, tilt my head back, and let the two little white pills roll down my throat. I hated the idea that I needed to rely on pharmaceuticals to feel well again. I perched on the edge of the living room chair as if I were about to take flight, my eyes on the pill bottle. I wondered if I could squash my manic symptoms if I just tried hard enough to be still for more than a few seconds, if I could convince myself to sleep. While I chattered away to my husband sitting next to me, my legs jiggled and I found it impossible to sit still. It was clear that I could not do it, even if I tried “hard enough.” To my left, I saw my newborn child contentedly swinging in his chair with his blue eyes open wide. He watched me squirm and listened to me talk endlessly about all of my new ideas, even though he couldn’t comprehend a word. I thought about those little pills and how my actions were going to impact my son. Before he arrived in our family, I would often let my mania roll over me like a wave until low tide came again and normalcy returned. With this tiny person depending on me to care for his every need, I could not risk falling into a full manic episode. I took the pills. The truth is that I am inordinately grateful to modern science for the advancements that researchers have made in developing medications that curb my bipolar disorder. For some reason, I still find myself resistant to taking them regardless of how helpful they prove to be. But now, I had a strong reason to value my stability more than I ever had before. My family depends on me to take care of them, to be solid and steady as I can be. Medication is an integral component of my treatment plan, even if I do resist it when I feel the lure of mania. Medication is what has granted me freedom — the freedom to work, to rest, and to play with my son until my heart is so full it feels like it may burst. My psychiatrist and I have worked hard to limit the number of medications I have to take just to feel healthy, but there are some times when a little extra help is needed. I realize that medication is not a cure-all, but I also acknowledge that it is the reason I have been able to consider myself successful in so many aspects of my life. Perhaps the best gift that my medication has given me is my son. It allowed me to be stable for as long as possible, giving me the confidence that I needed to start a family. I take my medication when I need it — for my son and for my husband, even when I cannot convince myself to do it for me. While I know that I will never be “cured” from my bipolar disorder, I know that there are plenty of things I can do to minimize the effects it could have on my family. And it starts with taking the pills.

    Community Voices

    My Story is Important. Your Story is Important.

    Part 1 of 2 I have had depression and anxiety issues since I was a teenager, including a suicide attempt when I was 16. I was not understood. I was not taken seriously. I was told I was seeking attention. I was bullied, including being told that the world would be a better place if I weren’t in it.

    I had manic episodes in college, though at the time I didn’t know that’s what they were. I would engage in risky behavior. I put myself in sexual situations and struggled to find my way out. I had major depressive issues where I would stop eating. No one recognized my behavior as unusual for me. No one tried to help. I was ignored and made to feel that I wasn’t important enough to engage with. I was on the cusp of figuring out my future and I simply couldn’t see myself as a part of it.

    As an adult, I did what I was supposed to do. I got a job. I moved into an apartment. I married my boyfriend of three years. We moved into a house. I had kids.However, as I was having children, I seemed to get more and more out of control. With each kid I had, I progressively had a harder and harder time with depression. My first child had health issues, so when I was upset and crying it was seen and viewed as normal. I was told it was baby blues. When I was in the hospital after having my second, very healthy, child, a nurse was doing her job and informing me about issues such as PPD. My mother was in the room and I was told, “We are strong women, we don’t have those issues.” As soon as she left the room, I burst into tears and wondered what was wrong with me that I didn’t seem as excited as I should be since I now had a very healthy child I was going to be able to leave the hospital with. I was diagnosed with PPD, but without support from home, I didn’t do anything about it, except survive. When I was pregnant with my third child, my doctor recognized that I was having hormonal fluctuations that were not normal. During my pregnancy she told me that it would be a good idea if I did not have any further children. She was on maternity leave when I actually give birth to my third and was horrified to learn upon her return that the covering doctor did not follow up with my about PPD and learned I was imbalanced enough to have PPS. The doctor pushed me to get on some antidepressants and things looked better for awhile.

    During a standard yearly appointment with my OB/GYN, I was expressing manic thoughts of depression, overwhelming anxiety, the inability to control my thoughts, and my doctor sat there and listened. She then suggested she walk me across the parking lot to the ED to be checked into the hospital. She was concerned that I was going to harm myself or my children. This was a wake up call.

    I started getting some help. I went to my family doctor and she began to prescribe a series of anti depressants, which all worked for a time. We would increase dosages. We would try new medications, and combinations of medications. My family doctor reached a point where she was uncomfortable with my mental health care and set me an appointment with a psychiatrist. I was placed through a battery of physical and mental tests and came away with a bipolar diagnosis. I was finally placed on the proper set of medications. However, as mental health care works in our country, I struggled to find a new psychiatrist when mine stopped practicing and it took another crisis to get back into treatment.

    Fast forward several years…October 2019, I have been married for 19 years and my children are 17, 15, and 13. I am in a very dark place. I am having destructive thoughts. I know that my family is going to be better without me. They would be able to live life without me holding them back. All the kids are old enough to be self sufficient and they just don’t need me. The family could use my life insurance pay out far more than they could use me. I was no longer necessary in my family unit. I knew these thoughts were out of control and not rational. I also knew there was nothing I could do about that.

    In addition to all of my destructive thoughts, I was having physical medical problems. I was having menstrual cycles every 15-16 days. My hormones were once again out of control. In an effort to stretch outlay cycles, my new gyn places me on a low dose birth control for two weeks out of the month. The thought was if I could stretch out my cycles, my hormones would have time to plateau and I wouldn’t always be all over the place. My iron levels would also have time to return to normal. And the medication did all of that. In the three months I was on the low dose birth control, my cycles stretched out, my hormones settled and my iron levels returned to something close to normal. What I was unaware of until much later, is that the birth control interacted with my main mental

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    Community Voices

    The View Is Great

    Yesterday I posted a thought titled "The Beginning of Hope." It was a thought of mine that I was once suicidal and self-harming at one point but had made it out to the other side, I am now happy.

    First, I would like to apologize. I never want anyone to feel the way that I have felt- alone, rejected, and abandoned.

    Second, I am not a trained psychiatrist, and I sincerely apologize if I triggered anyone in any way, shape or form in my now-deleted post.

    Third, I want you to know that you are not a burden. You are beautiful. You are loved. No matter who you are or what you believe or what you do or what you've done. You are loved.

    Fourth, it does get better. Sometimes life feels like an uphill battle. Please keep climbing. The view is great. Make sure you're here to see it.

    #Depression #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #SuicidalIdeation #Selfharm #Mania #BipolarDisorder

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Hey all👋

    Hi there, I'm new here. I came to try and utilize the support here and maybe meet some people who struggle with mental illness and also be a support to them. I have bipolar one disorder and I'm currently having a manic episode. Not looking forward to the depressive episode that follows. I think I need to be equipped with new coping skills. I love music and exercise, but I'm getting burned out. Any ideas? #bipolarasf *@k..... Also I started a chat group if anyone wants to join! It's not limited to anyone, so come join with your comments and questions. I'd love to talk to you! I delt with this for a while now and I'm a certified peer support specialist, I'm so excited I found the mighty!

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices


    I am really struggling right now. I was diagnosed as Manic Depressive (now called BiPolar) at the age of 18 and I am now 60. I am on medication that causes me to require more sleep than a normal person. I am so sick and tired of my mother and father in law making remarks about me sleeping late or anything else to do with my disease. I would think that she more than anyone would understand living with a mental illness because her mother had mental illness. I am only able to work now because I have a very understanding boss and friend who is very familiar with mental illness because she is a Mental Health Counselor. My husband is having to close his business because of the FDA. She has made some very ugly remarks that she feels like I could have helped a little bit more...WTH???!!! I do work and I do contribute to the household funds. This is making me feel worthless and very angry that my husband continues to let her say these things and not defend me.

    21 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    For just one moment?

    Through all the chaotic thoughts within my head, I find one that seems to repeat over and over; quiet, could you be quiet for just one moment?" My degree in Psychology would say focus on that thought, use it to calm the rest. But
    my Bipolar 1 disorder tells me focus is what we are doing, with the 50,000 projects I have going simultaneously. Looking for a nail to hang that picture, while reading about the case study im researching, and wait...did I ever clean the shower? Shoot, I need to go to the store for cleaning spray.
    But, I'm not just a person with Bipolar and a Psychology degree, I am also Mom!
    Shaking my head in an attempt to calm the chaos, I attempt to reason with two preteen boys....
    "QUIET, could you be quiet for just a moment!?!?" Focus, chaos, kids. Oh, hey Anthony's home!! Thats right, Bipolat mom with a Psychology degree, fiance...and two barking dogs!
    Chaos, chaos, bark, chaos...through my thoughts and what I describe as tunnel hearing; I hear one of boys "Mommy don't look so good."
    QUIET, COULD YOU BE QUIET FOR JUST A MOMENT!?!?!" Bark, chaos, chaos, and before I am able to be the fiance or the mom with the Psychology degree, Bipolar 1 takes full control.......agitation and frustration turn to over-stimulation.

    How do you deal with the irriation and becoming overwhelmed without adding to the chaos with anger, in your everyday life?
    #Bipolar1Disorder #Mania #Anxiety #overwhelmed

    Community Voices

    Kinda Struggling

    I just need someone to see that I'm struggling. I'm dealing with being in a mixed state because of #BipolarDisorder . I'll get random bouts of energy where I'll think it's a manic episode but I'm also depressed. Does anyone else with Bipolar experience this?

    The mood shifts tire me out. Then there's #PTSD which causes intrusive thoughts about what I survived which doesn't help the Bipolar. This then leads to emotional instability which is a hallmark of #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder . I've been in therapy for years now and take meds for the #PTSD and #BipolarDisorder but I don't think that helps with my struggle all the time. All this leads to emotional spiral which once I start, it's hard to stop. Especially on a high anxiety day like today. What can I do? Taking an anti-anxiety doesn't make it disappear.

    #MightyToegther #CheerMeOn #CheckInWithMe

    13 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Apple playlist for us who sre Bipolar

    Would love to have a. Playlist ofmisic when I am at the opposite side of my manic episodes or when K sm so depressed. Please help # bipolar

    Community Voices

    I must’ve been manic for a while but I didn’t even realize it and no one close to me noticed it either to tell me to get help. I just have not been taking my medications the way I should’ve which is a common mistake we do when we think we don’t need our meds but of course we do. I remember Friday and leaving work and going home without eating lunch to take my Dad to the dr appt just to take him to a wrong location. Then we had family visit on Saturday am. Then the rest becomes like a fuzzy haze of what was real and a hallucination saying I had kids (when I have never had a baby before) to a friend was gonna come and marry me I told my parents that. To not going to be buy sweet bread like I said I was going to. To omg good thing I did not drive during this time. I didn’t have the mind to charge my phone and oh I have work the next day I thought I was in a different year let alone what was happening I thought someone was recording my every move like a reality TV. I had gotten my hair even matted and I cut it on one side I have never cut my hair not even during the pandemic. Needless to say when I came to… life was so depressing I lost my job because I didn’t call in…. In my defense I was out of my mind how could I call. This had never had to me before. Not sure if this common with bipolar but I sure felt embarrassed and all kinds of confused and sad and just like I can’t trust no one. Tell alone tell someone else what just happen to me. Definitely need more self care in place and then I should’ve called the crisis center but I was like I’m not suicidal…. But for sure having psychosis. Has this happened to you? Please share and let me know.

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    Community Voices

    Overwhelmed by multitudes of problems

    I’ve been away from the Mighty for awhile due to numerous issues. Nothing has changed with my housing but honestly I haven’t had the strength to deal with it. I was bedridden because of a slipped disk in my neck, had surgery 7 weeks ago and much better with that. But I’d been fighting depression all that time and it caught up with me about three weeks ago. I admitted myself to a psych ward and was released after about a week slightly improved. But I’ve noticed my dark days alternate with a couple of days of feelin good. Not manic just okay. Like a weird sort of rapid cycling.also being depressed and angry really makes depression much worse. Anybody else feel this way? I lost my brand new case manager who I felt a connection to, now waiting to be reassigned and start over. Therapist offered me access to a DBT online group…is very hard I’ve heard. Don’t know if I can muster strength to do the work. Sorry to be so long, thanks for reading.

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