Bi Polar in adults

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tryinghard, May 25, 2008.

  1. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    This maybe a stupid question...but can bi polar look\act different in different people?

    Are there degrees of Bi Polar? I guess what I am asking is can someone have "mild" symptoms where it is hard to tell?
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    There are several people here who are bipolar and can give you a much better explanation, but here's my take:
    My understanding is that bipolar has a spectrum, just like autism, for ex.

    Also, you have a basic personality, so if you're a nice person you can still have high and low energy and mood swings, and if you're a mean b*tch, you can still have high and low mood swings. Underneath it all, you still have your basic personality.

    I know several people who are bipolar and their symptoms are similar in regard to energy levels (I have to admit, I love it when they're manic) but they are different in regard to how manipulative they are, or how they express their anger. Two of them strike out at other people and one is wise enough to tell people he's not feeling well, and then go into the basement and throw pieces of wood against the wall in his workshop.
    I think that's a very long "yes" answer. :)
  3. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Thanks Terry. It makes sense...
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

  5. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Thanks TiredMommy.

    I am not feeling well and all physical tests come back ok. Both my parents have some type of mental illness (My mom has major depression, I think my father is bi-polar) I have been fine until the last three- four years. Now I am not sure what is wrong. I use to think it was just the stress of a difficult child, marriage, work......

    Now I am not sure.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm sorry you are going through this.

    It could be any number of things: depression, bipolar disorder (depressive stage), PTSD, anxiety... the list goes on. You need to find a way to take care of you. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Start a journal to track your physical/mental/emotional symptoms and triggers.

    Keep us updated.
  7. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Thanks. Things are getting pretty bad and I am not sure where to turn. Is a psychiatrist a primary care doctor?
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    A psychiatrist is a psychiatrist. You should be able to get a referral from your primary care physician or difficult child's mental health care professional.

    Are you up to elaborating on your concerns and symptoms? You may feel a little better knowing you aren't the only one going through your particular type of problems.

    Most of the parents on this site suffer effects from raising difficult children whether stemming from their children's behaviors or from the genetic predisposition to mental health disorders that run in the family.
  9. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member


    Yes, I feel comfortable sharing because maybe someone else can relate. I think I am in a major depression but forcing myself to function.

    For the last four years I have forced myself out of bed and to make it through the day. I am tired constantly, I can't remember things said to me or things I am suppose to do, I cry at the drop of a hat, I physcially ache all over. I use to care about how I looked, how my house I care but can't find it in me to deal with it.

    Every time difficult child has an issue I takes EVERY ounce of strength to deal with it. There are times I don't because I can't muster up the strength.

    Every time there is an argument in the house I have high aniexty and feel like I am going to break into a million pieces.

    I saw someone post the other day that they wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. That is how I feel.

    I would never do anything because I would never want to hurt my family.

    I am just overwhelmingly tired of dealing with everything that you have to do to get through life.

    I guess I am scared to go to the doctor and take medicine because I feel on the edge already. What if the medications make it worse? I can't handle worse.

    Then I feel guilty for feeling this way because I have a good life compared to a lot of other people.
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    First off, no guilt. Your pain and stress in valid. It does sound like depression to me, but I'm just a mom. It also sounds to me like you been trying to just maintain for a long time and that's no longer working.

    Let me ask you this:

    What would you say to your best friend if she were feeling as you do?

    I can understand being nervous about psychiatric drugs, they are powerful and side effects are quite possible. They may, however, be clearing needed to alleviate your symptoms so that you can get back to living your life.
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    As someone who has struggled with depression for most of her life, here is what I would suggest:

    1. See your primary care doctor for a complete physical to rule out any physical health conditions (such as thyroid) that could be causing your symptoms.

    2. Get a referral from your primary care doctor to a psychiatrist and a therapist (therapist).

    It took me YEARS to try medications for my depression. I kept thinking that I should just be able to pull myself out of it, that there was no reason for me to feel this way. I had my first depressive episode at 11 - first major episode at 14. I didn't try medications until 27. I wish I hadn't waited so long. So much of my life was lost to this illness.

    The longer depression goes untreated, the harder it becomes to treat. The negative thinking that is part and parcel of depression becomes learned behavior. I highly recommend that you combine therapy (preferably CBT - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - with any medication treatment). It's the best way to overcome the depression.

  12. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    That is a good question. I would tell her that she needed to find out what was wrong and encourage her to go to the doctor.

    I know probably should because I am so tired of feeling this way and I think it is getting worse and harder for me to cope.

    Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. Not very many people around me seem to understand what I am going through.
  13. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Thanks Heather, I appreciate your advice. I just want to figure out what is wrong and get better.
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Not many people understand what life is like with a difficult child, and that alone (parenting a difficult child) is enough to ramp up the anxiety in ANYONE. And living for years and years with that kind of anxiety can also make you depressed.

    been there done that got the t-shirt and found out there's a pill for that, too!

    Ditto the advice on seeing your primary care doctor and/or a psychiatrist if your insurance allows you to get one on your own because they can prescribe medications if needed. A psychologist would also be good to see, even if it's just for a little while, to help regain some perspective and get your head back in a healthy place. However, a psychologist (or therapist/therapy doctor) can't prescribe and would have to work in tandem with your primary care doctor to manage your mental health care. I've found that primary care docs don't often have the time or training needed to help us cope with the complex problems we face as parents of difficult children. Just my experience.

    The good news is that you don't have to continue feeling this way and there are lots of options out there to help you cope more effectively!
  15. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Thank you.....

    Yes, that is why I am posting on this board, and reading it all the time. You are all the only ones who understand...thank you....

    I just want to feel better.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I struggled for years not knowing there was a name for what I was going through. I thought I was just a bad person or lazy or or or ...something! I knew there was something different about me because "normal" folks dont throw intense rages as adults or see blood dripping down the walls or even see faces in flowered curtains. I was lucid enough to know that what I was seeing wasnt real but I saw it but I was too afraid to tell anyone what I saw because I was afraid people would think I was crazy!

    So I mustered on and presented as pretty on the ball to everyone in the outside world but in my safe world in the home I lost it on a regular basis. I could only hold it together for so long. It got harder and harder the older I got.

    I tried dribbling little bits of the facts to attempt to get help over the years but no one picked up on the fact that I was really in dire need so that didnt work.

    Finally when Cory was diagnosed with bipolar at age 13, I read the book The Bipolar Child and had a breakthrough. That book was written about ME! It gave me a starting point and the freedom to go to someone and admit what I was afraid to admit to before. I got an intake appointment at mental health where they confirmed what I already knew by then and then one day when I was at the end of my rope...I called a private psychiatrist and went in on an emergency basis and got put on medications. That was the beginning of my road to recovery. Ok...not recovery...but road to hope. Before that I dont think I had hope. There are still days I dont have a whole lot of it but I keep on fighting on.

    I have a pretty nasty case of bipolar that wasnt treated for way too long. Its not helped by being co-morbid with borderline personality disorder and a couple of chronic pain disorders. Im a pretty grumpy gus quite a bit of the time.
  17. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Regardless if it's bipolar or not, you are definitely depressed. You may need to try medications for only short term to get you through this. Seeing a psychiatrist can definitely help. If you can find a therapist to talk to that would be helpful too.

    Are you taking any supplements?
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    How are you doing today?
  19. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    oh tired do not know how much you asking about how am I doing meant....

    Today I am better. No body aches, in a better frame of mind, not feeling as sad. Maybe posting how I felt last night made it a little better....

    Thank you so much for asking. I am going to call the doctor tomorrow.
  20. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm glad you're feeling better and following up with the doctor. :)