Thursday, August 26, 2010

Medication

     As most of know it takes time to find the right medicine.  It can be frustrating in dealing with the side effects. I feel as if I am at the end of my journey. (Zyprexa, Efexxor, and Klonopin) However I do miss the late nights.

I would only need a few hours of sleep. I would clean the house, and draw untill the picture is finished. I am now in bed at 9 or 10 pm. I have heard individuals diagnosed with Bipolar stop taking there meds and trying the natual route. If anyone is taking the natural way, what are you taking to help with the depression, highs, lows, hallucinations and psychosis? Do you feel your medication is helping with your diagnosis of mental illness?

Hugs and strength to you all

 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Acceptance

     My immediate family does not believe that I have Bipolar. I accept the diagnosis, but at first it was difficult. To be honest, at times, I still do question my diagnosis of Bipolar. My husband was wonderful and supportive. He filled our bookcase with books about Bipolar and spoke to a few doctors. I was diagnosed three times by different psychiatrists.

   It was very frustrating for me that my Mom and Dad would not read about Bipolar. I gave them recommended reading. I guess it was hard for them to hear there daughter has a mental illness. It was a strain on our relationship. I couldn't reach out to them. Now that time has passed (3 years) wounds have healed.

   My husband and I separated for four months. He started to become more like my caretaker then my husband (overprotective and controling). I didn't need someone to take care of me I needed to gain my independence back.. My husband saw a therapist and it saved our relationship.

   Was it difficult for your family, spouse/partner to accept your diagnosis of a mental illness?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sharing

I found this poem in a magazine by Donna Torrey



It's my Time

It's my time to take control of my life.
It's my time to run my life,
Not let life run me.
It's my time to dream big,
Set lofty goals,
And achieve those dreams and goals.

It's my time to be healthy and happy
It's my time to continuously be grateful to God
  for all the gifts he has given me.
It's my time to open and explore those gifts-
Many of which have sat on a shelf, collecting dust.

It's my time to finish healing the old wounds-
To put balm on scars and move forward, without looking back.
It's my time to be a survivor, for that is what I am.
I refuse to be a victim any longer.
I refuse to let circumstances of the past cloud my present.
I refuse to let clouds of the past affect my future.
It's time to be me!

It's my time to be open to the adventure of new possibilities.
It's my time to sing out with joy in my heart.

It's time for this butterfly to let go of the branch and soar.
IT'S MY TIME

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rehashing Auditory hallucination

Having Bipolar also includes hallucinations for some people

Where do voices come from? One theory is the brain processes language differently. When the brain is supposed to receive language it is intern sending it.

-The voices gave me commands
-They told me they were not voices/hallucinations but spirits
-I could have conversations with them
-I could here familiar voices (Dad, Grandmother, Sister etc.)
-They told me to commit suicide
-They are the loudest through machinery (fans, A.C., dishwasher etc)

I do not hear the voices/hallucinations anymore. When I am manic, hypo-manic, extremely stressed, or my anxiety is over the top I will hear them. What does your voices say? or do you hear them?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Triggers

     The depression has lifted. I am feeling better about myself. I joined a community center in my town. They have an activity each day. I never know when depression will take control of me. I have to watch out for triggers.

     Triggers will intensify the disorder. Some of my triggers are insomnia, stress, certain people, and my structure schedule disrupted. Stress as we all know will happen but there are ways to control it. Learn the word "no". I have a difficult time with that word. I have a tendency to take on too many projects at once.

Do you have triggers that could effect your disorder?

hugs and strength to you all
   

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bipolar

      I am still depressed, however I have an appointment with my therapist in two weeks. I like seeing her as she teaches coping skills. Each time I am depressed it is different. I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday (7/30) and he did not want to increase my anti-depressant due to a possibility of a manic episode.

When you have bipolar it is not recommended for some to be on anti-depressants due to a possibility of becoming manic. For some that do not know what a manic episode is, here is the definition: distinct period of abnormally and persistently irritable, elevated, and/or mood, lasting one week. (Wes Burgess, M.D.,ph.D.)

During this period, three or more of the following symptoms have been present to a significant degree: decrease need for sleep, very talkative, may interrrupt or finish others and has difficulty stopping the flow of speech, has rapid thoughts, very distractable, overfocused on work, school, personal activities, takes risky chances such as recklace driving, overspending, and inflated sense of self-esteem.(Wes Burgess, M.D.,Ph.D.

Since I have been on the right medication, which took a while to find, I do not have any of the above symptoms except the depression now. There are two types of mania, Hypomania, and mania. Hypomania is less severe then being manic. In my opinion, medication and being proactive in your community as much as you can handle will keep you stable.

I can do all things through Crist which srengthen me (Philippians 4:13)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quote

Praying to the lord and knowing he is with me at all times gets me through the tough days.

God bless

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Depression

I am depressed. I have already made an appointment with my therapist. Why am I depressed? "not sure". I am finally driving, I am taking an art class, I belong to a gym where I am meeting new people and I belong to an eating support group. I am also  loosing weight. "why am I depressed?" well that is partly because of Bipolar.

What do I do when depressed? I push myself to become more proactive. Sometimes, I may just need a medication tweak. How do I know when I am depressed? I describe it as watching a movie. I am here pysically but not mentally. The racing thoughts are bad and tough to concentrate.

hugs and strength to you all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who am I?

I have Bipolar and Fibromyalgia but who am I?

I am kind, a Step-Mom, creative, funny, a sister, a wife, tenacious, an artist, giving, caring, out going (I love being around my friends and meeting new ones), non-judgemental, and loving. At times I have low self - esteem, however making a list helps me.  Make your list, who are you???

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Voices

Continuation of having Bipolar

I started hearing voices in the year of 2007. At first I thought it was the neighbors talking. We lived in a duplex. Each night the voices became louder and scarier. My husband did not hear what I heard. The voices (I like to call them auditory hallucinations because voices are from people) would say some of these phrases"we are not voices, we are spirits"; "you are psychic";"your neighbors are watching you"; your neighbors are brain washing you"; "people can read your mind".

At first I did not believe any of these phrases. However each day I would hear them and withdraw to my own little world. The voices/hallucinations became my friends. I would have conversations with them. I was in acute psychosis. I wasn't able to sleep due to the voices/hallucinations. I became sleep deprived which made them louder. Some days were so bad I had suicidale thoughts.  Even to this day, if I am sleep deprived or with medication tweaks, I would hear the voices/mumbles/hallucinations.


Anyone out there hear voices/hallucinations? Sometimes, I would hear the voices through machines(fans, computer fans, car A/C's, house A/C's, washer and dryer machines and fans in the bathrooms,etc) Once I turned the fans off the voices/hallucinations would go away.

hugs and strength to you all

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bipolar

My last blog was about being your own advocate when visiting your doctors. I feel it is sad that we have to do this but this is reality. My next visit is the end of July. I will have to double check the prescription to make sure it is correct and legible. I was very anxious and did not feel grounded. My husband took care of the situation. When an incident like this happens it makes having bipolar worse.


The nutrition support group is going well. I am loosing 2 pounds a week.. When I shed this weight I would like to start my own group.I have to be very careful due to my medication. The medicine I am on changes my metabolism.

Hope you all are well. Sending strength your way. hugs

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Doctors

   Continuation of my story having Bipolar


  As we all know it is important to have a psychiatrist you can trust. I have found it has been a battle finding the right one. I have been through three different doctors and going on my fourth. I believe I have said this before but you have to be your own advocate. Check you prescriptions before you leave the office.

Recently, I saw my psychiatrist's nurse and she wrote the prescription out wrong. I did not realize this until I arrived at the pharmacy. I was frustrated and anxious about the situation. We went back to the office, however they were all on vacation for the fourth of July.

Hugs and strength

Monday, June 28, 2010

Part 2 with Depression

My last blog was about turning to food when depressed. I discussed how I joined a support group called TOPS (take off pounds sensibly). The first meeting went well. The group meets once a week and weighs you each meeting. For me, having the extra support gives me the strength not too over eat when depressed.

The group has rewards and a magazine which talks about healthy eating. I am back in the gym and hope to shed this weight. I like this group, and it is very inexpensive.

I am sure others can relate that the medication increases your appetite and changes your metabolism. I have to fight that hunger and redirect myself to forget that I was hungry.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Depression

     When depression occurs I turn to food. My therapist gave me a name of a support group that I can turn too when that urge happens. "It is called Take off Pounds Sensibly" TOPS. I can not have peanut butter, butter(I place butter and sugar on top of toast with cinnamon), chocolate, and ice cream in the house.

When I feel depressed those are my comfort foods that I turn too. Today is my first day going to the meeting. I am very nervous. I never had a weight problem before or had problems with food before. When I eat my comfort food, I am on a high and feel awesome. After, I feel extremely guilty. They have TOPS in many states. I will update in how the meeting goes.

Have a blessed day

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Living with Bipolar

I am not even sure where to begin in describing my life having bipolar. I will start with what I am struggling with now. I have chosen not to have children. For one, it is unsafe for me to be off my medication. I sometimes cry when I see children in stores, commercials or am around my friends children.

What makes me strong is I know God has a plan for me. I know this may sound bizarre to some of you but I believe my son or daughter is an angel in heaven waiting for me. I also have three wonderful step children. I may not be in their lives as much as I would like but I treasure the time I am with them.

Before I was diagnosed with bipolar all I wanted was a family. I was a teacher to children with special needs. I wanted to have my own children and also adopt a child with special needs. What is ironic, my step-son has special needs and his father and I help him with his developmental skills. He is a blessing in my life. I just wish he could be in life more often.

I am also struggling with my weight. I became ill three years ago and the medication slowed down my metabolism. The changing of all the medicines to find the correct dosage and the side effects (hair falling out, rash on the face, weight gain etc) is straining on my body. On the flip side it is worth the struggles which led me to the right medication.

Hugs and strength to you all

Friday, June 11, 2010

People with a mental illness

     The list below are people that have a mental illness (depression and bipolar). This list helps me on my bad days and shows that others can function while having a mental illness. People with a mental illness vary, some can work and some can not. I want to show how many can work on having an illness and have many gifts. I have met teachers, artists, and teacher assistants that also have a mental illness.

Sopie Anderton: model           
Adam Ant: musician
Andy Behrman: author
Russell Brand: comedian and actor
Georg Cantor: mathematician
Dick Cavett: television journalist
Connie Francis: singer
Alan Garner: novelist
David Kelly: English weapons inspector
Eddie Griffen: American NBA player
Buzz Aldrin: astronaut
Joe Budden: American hip hop artist
Edvard Munch: artist
Kay Redfield Jamison: clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Push day

      Today I feel like a wilting flower. These are the days having bipolar I need to push through. I am adapting to a new medication and my energy slowly fades. I was able to do most of my chores but slept  most of the day. Days like these I take it slow. I do a little bit then rest and that continues throughout the day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My days

Continuation of my life coping with Bipolar Disorder

Thank you all again for taking the time in reading my blog and leaving helpful comments. I thought this blog will be about my good and bad days to inform others diagnosed with disorders you are not alone.

Good Days
  • sleeping 6 to 7 hours
  • following my schedule
  • racing and negative thoughts are minimal
  • no crying spells
  • I am not anxious
Bad days (two to three days a week) 
I am still not in remission with my disorder. I saw my Psychiatrist yesterday and he increased my anti-depressant medication (Effexor)

  • sleeping over 10 hours
  • anxious (wandering around the house)
  • I don't feel like showering
  • crying spells
  • my mind is filled with negative thoughts which leads to paranoia
  • pushing self to exercise and following a schedule
On my bad days I talk out my negative thoughts to my husband. However, some days I have to work them out alone until he arrives home from work. On bad days, I push self just to get through the day and night.

hugs and strength to you all

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Medication

     When first diagnosed with bipolar I was immediately placed on high milagarms of many types of medicines. Their technique was to slowly decrease to the right dosage. In my opinion, I wish they would of started with a lower mg and gradually increase. What do you all think?

     Due to the high dosage I slept through out the day, gained weight and my hygene was poor. I know everyone is different on medication, however when I met the right pyschiatrist, she started on a low dosage and then increased. Below I will list what I learned about medicines through experience:
1. buy a book on medications to see all the side effects
2. if the side effect is mild, stay with the medicine as it may dissapear while your body adjust to the mdication
3. try different times of the day
4. see a therapist to help you cope with the disorder. The medicine is only one part to help with the disorder

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Remission

Continuation on my story of having Bipolar

     First I would like to thank and give out many hugs to you all that take the time to read my blog and leave helpful comments. "Should I write a blog about my disorders" I asked a friend. "no, people will make fun of you and some may be cruel" she said. I am speechless at the response I have been getting. Everyone has been kind, supportive, complimentary, which helps my mood and self-esteem.

   I see my psychiatrist once a month and therapist every two weeks. I had some bad news my last appointment with my psychiatrist. "you are not in remission with your disorder bipolar" he said. I started to cry. He increased my medication and now the waiting game starts. I still am having the crying spells and anxiety is high certain times of the day. I went through the motions after I heard the news, sadness, anger and then acceptance.

I felt empty inside and exhausted after he gave the news. I have been working so hard in becoming proactive, and healthy. I have one more year on disability and I want to work next year. I am not sure if that will happen. Sometimes I really hate this disorder and how some days it consumes me. On the flip side I need to look at all the positives in my life even if they are as little as drawing a picture to get me through the day.

hugs and strength

Friday, May 14, 2010

Support system

     Continuation with my story having bipolar and fibromyalgia

When first diagnosed with bipolar I was searching for support other than my family. My family was in denial and I could not lean on them in the beginning. I found excellent online organizations. www.dbsalliance.org (depression and bipolar support alliance.) www.nami.org and www.dailystrength.org . Each online organization will help you find support groups in your area. They also have chat rooms where you talk with others diagnosed with the illness along with professionals that you may discuss issues with.

What I learned was to lean on people that have accepted the illness and not discuss the disorders with others that have not. Currently I can lean on my husband and of course my therapist. I will be honest though, it was difficult for me to find the right therapist. Don't give up on searching for one. The web-sites I listed above list questions you can ask a therapist when you first meet.

Hugs and strength to you all

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fibromyalgia/bipolar 3

It was very difficult explaining fibromyalgia since you can not see it, just like bipolar. I joined an online support group and found many people having both disorders. I always wondered if there was a link to each one. As most of you know I was diagnosed (w/fibromyalgia) when I was nineteen and bipolar when I was thirty three years old.

 Having fibromyalgia and dating was complicated. If anyone is reading this and is wondering when to tell about the disorders, I would wait a few months. If they end the relationship, well, as my friend always says, that is one way to wean out the bad ones.

I am on an antidepressant to help with my cognitive skills but the pain each day was still there. I finally found a medication that relieved some of that pain called Lyrica. I am very sensitive to medication and had to go slow on the medicine.  I am now on 200mg and only have pain in my shoulders and it is bearable.

Some books for both disorders that helped me and hope they help you:

ISBN #: 1-57224-12-7 The Fibromyalgia Advocate by Devin J. Starlanyl, M.D.

ISBN #: 0-553-56072-7  A Brilliant Madness living with Manic Depressive illness
Patty Duke and Gloria Hochman

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, What on earth am I here for? A must read. This book helped me through the acceptance of my disorders.

To be honest it was difficult for some friends and family members to accept both disorders. I am blessed to have my sister,and husband wanting to understand the disorders. My Mom and Dad are still in a bit of denial but trying. Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog and God Bless

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fibromyalgia 2

   My precious Grandmother
I posted a definition of Fibromyalgia in my previous blog.

Having fibromyalgia you become forgetful which could be from the insomnia and achy which leads to breaking prior commitments with friends. "Don't forget to buy me milk" my grandmother would say. I would forget to buy it after work. My Nan (grandmother) would become frustrated with me "why are you so forgetful" she would say.

I would give her an explanation of the disorder. Like I said in my last blog I was fighting insomnia, body achs, exhaustion, exteme fatigue and headachs. My Grandmother saw a book called "Fibromyalgia Handbook". She bought the book and was amazed at what she read. She called my Mom and explained how she finally understands what I have been fighting each day.

Our relationship changed. She became patient and helpful. It brought tears to my eyes when I found out what she did. It is very important if you know someone with a disorder to research the information, it will make your relationship grow.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fibromyalgia



My other diagnosis

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I was nineteen years old. I felt an achy pain throughout my body. My Mom took me to several doctors. Some thought the pain was in my head. "if my daughter says she has pain, she has pain" my Mom said. We finally found a specialized (Rheumatologist) doctor and he gave us the diagnosis of "Fibromyalgia" "Fibro what" I said

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points places on your body where slight pressure causes pain. (Mayo Clinic)

Some symptoms I had were:
1. flu-like pain
2. exhaustion
3. muscle stiffness and pain
4. insomnia
5. fatigue
6. mental malaise and confusion,
often refers to as fibro fog
7. headaches, however I experienced
migranes

The doctor recommend an anti-depressant. He explained people with this diagnosis didn't receive enough serotonin throughout there body. I felt I was too young to try the medicine and to go the healthy route. I ate healthy (foods that had serotonin) foods, and exercised (running).

The running helped somewhat with the sleep, however  my sleep cycles were inconsitant. I finally gave into the medication in my late twenties. It did not help with the pain but with my cognitive skills. My sister noticed a difference in how attentive I was.

I will continue my story tomorrow on how I and others coped with my diagnosis with Fibromyalgia




                                          

Monday, May 3, 2010

Honesty

First I would like to thank the caring people that have been following my blog and leaving encouraging and sharing comments about their disorders. You all are in my prayers and thoughts.

     I would like to be honest about some challenges I face with this disorder(bipolar). I have had sucidal thoughts, which happened last year. I believe it is the help of the medication and prayer that has eliminated the thoughts. I am impulsive and perseverate on several different subjects, which sometimes pushes people away. I fight each day not become impulsive. I obsess over my weight, friends, art work, etc. It is difficult for me to turn it off. My husband will remind me of it, but I am sure it wears on him.  I will choose a subject and talk about it through out the day. My therapist is teaching me techniques in how to limit the obsessing.. I believe in therapy and support it.

I drink too much coffee to gain energy through out the day. Somedays I try to limit it. I am tired of seeing doctors every week. I am tired of not working. My husband's family does not think I should work again. On the flip side my family supports my decision to work.  Each day is different for me but I will never give up.

hugs and strength to you all

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In the begining

I was shocked with the intial reaction of the diagnosis of bipolar. My husband and I did our own research on the disorder and it is comparible to ADHD, however that disorder does not have auditory hallutionations. The psychiatrist explain I was in acute psychosis. I felt like I was in a dream. Each time I awoke from sleep I was hoping it was gone. Each day I would get down on  my hands and knees and pray for God to relieve me from the halluncinations (voices, tactile and olfactory)  I then went through the stages. I was in denial. "this can't be me, we don't have mental illness in our family"

I was frustrated "why me and why now in my early thirties" Deep down I knew there was somthing odd about me. I spoke with my doctor back in my early twenties and she suggested a clinic. I was there all day taking tests and here are the diagnosis when I was twenty eight: ADHD NOS, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Cognitive Disorder NOS. NOS means all the characteristics of that disorder are not there.

As we all know now I have bipolar added to the list. I read a story about a man that heard voices as well. He felt if he kept moving from state to state they would eventually disappear. I felt the the same in the beginning of the diagnosis. When the voices became loud and unbearable, I felt that urge to leave the house. My husband and I stayed at hotels, thinking it was the house. During that time in beginnning I believed it was spititual warfair and spirits were in the house.

It was really hard on me receiving the diagnosis at first. My family did not believe it. I went to one psychiatrst after another hoping they would change the diagnosis. I have accepted having bipolar and with God's strength I know I am not alone.

hugs and strength to you all

How did you all feel when you first received a diagnosis of depression, Bipolar, Generalized Anxiety disorder or any other disorders etc? Only if you care to share?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Coping skills

Coping skills in having Bipolar

I am going to list in how I cope with Bipolar along with medication.

Anxiety: I have medication for panic attacks, however I am only limited to a certain amount. When I have an anxiety attack, my voice sounds like a cartoon character, chest hurts and sometimes hands shake. I will lay in a dark room and breathe from my stomache.

They always pass. If I am away from a dark room and have an attack, I will do my breathing techniques. Since I have an exercise routine my anxiety attacks have decreased. My goal is to stop taking the anxiety medication, however for now I need it.

Depression: I keep a journal and track the length of sadness. I take the journal to my Psychiatrst and see if I need a medication tweak. I try to become proactive, which I believe will decrease the depression. I have to feel like I have a purpose in life. As most of you know, I volunteer, take a night class, and exercise. Too be honest there are days where I have to push myself to do daily activities.

Obsessive thoughts: when I begin to obsess I have to talk it out with a friend or my husband. Sometimes I draw/clean/or go on the computer to redirect my thinking.

Racing thoughts: I will draw/talk with a friend or husband/ and chores etc. Racing thoughts are rough to redirect. I have to keep busy.

I also pray to the Lord for strength.

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog. hugs and strength to you all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

update

My Coping skills for bipolar disorder

As most of you all know my friend died. I also suffer from OCD. My friend was murdered and in having these disorders I need a method besides medications to redirect my mind from fixating on her death. They have not found a suspect yet. When I begin to put the pieces together in my head repetively, in regards to her case, I redirect back to pictures of her and I. The pictures calm my mind and happy memorires occur.

Family and friends have created a group site where we can write stories about her and reminise. The site is therapy for me. When the obsessions in my head begin I refrain back to the group page and pictures. Sometimes my obsessions will interfere with my everyday life and I need to find other coping skills to redirect my thoughts. I will think of one topic in my life and focus on that throughout the day until I find another way to refocus.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life

   Continuation with my story about having Bipolar

I have been thinking about how I have progressed.  I am taking a night class four days a week and driving as most of you know. I am also looking to volunteer during the day. I joined a gym and exercising five days a week. I thank all of this to the Lord, family, doctors, and medication. It has been a battle, However right now I feel stable. Hugs and strength to you all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Visit to the Psychiatrist

Visiting my psychiatrist has its positives and negatives. He wants to increase my medication (mood stabilizer). I have tried several types of medicines. He was going to place me on one that did not agree with me. I typed up a history that listed all my medications and have him refer to the document. It is very important you write up your past history that list all your medications, diagnosis, doctors, hospitalizations, etc. My doctor is forgetful and even with the best of psychiatrists, you need to be your own advocate.

He is increasing my mood stabilizer since my moods have been shaky. I still have the crying spells and since my freind pasted away, depression is right around the corner. Thank you all for your support and encouraging comments. How are your visits to your doctors office? Through your experience what ways have worked for you that made the visits easier, any advice?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Friend

My friend that I have known for over twenty years just passed away. She was murdered. I am very shaken up over this. My heart aches for her family and her three year old daughter. When a tradegy happens and having bipolar, I have to watch for symptoms. My body does not heal compared to a typical person.

My other friends are handling this well and now we wait for a suspect. I also have OCD. Right now the negative and obssessive thoughts seep in. I try to rediect my thoughts by thinking of the good times and the wonderful memories I have of her. Now is the time to see my therapist to help me cope with her death.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rollar Coaster Ride

aContinuation of having bipolar

It's 5:45 am and I feel as if I could run a marothon. There is a 7am fitness class at my gym and I will attend. However, I never know when I will crash. I compare my highs to a rollar coaster. The anticipation of waiting for the ride. You finally get your turn and the ride begins and then ends in 3 minutes.

I am trying to reprogram my brain to think rational, but somedays it is difficult. I have not worked in three years as some of you all know and my brain wants to work again but my body tells me something different. "Rome was not built in a day" a friend of mine said. I really dislike that phrase. Another phrase I hear is "one step at a time" or "take it slow". Those are great phrases to follow and I do need to look at where I was before and where I am now. We all need to do that, even if it is the smallest step, be proud of that.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Depression

This month will be three years since my diaganosis of bipolar. I have developed coping skills to relearn about my body. The medications I am on changes your metabolism and have other side effects. To avoid upsetting my stomache I can't eat the foods that I use to.

Curently, I can feel depression creeping up behind me. I went to my art ministry and was happy seeing my friends, however came home and had a crying spell. I joined a gym to shed some of these pounds but come home and sunk into the couch. These are signs of depression. I called my therapist and made an appointment for next week. I now know the red flags. I didn't always know the flags.

In July of 2010 I went back into psychosis due to missing the signs of depression and didn't see my psychiatrist sooner. Know your body and the signs. I may need a medication tweak or it may become worse. I will push myself tonight to visit with friends.

Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always (1Chronicles 16:11)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blogging

    

When I was diagnosed with bipolar, I felt alone. I could not find a conveniant support group near my home. I did find one on line, however since bipolar varies in severity, finding a match to my disorder was difficult. I wanted to find someone that also hears voices. I could not find anyone that hears voices compared to mine.

I decided to blog my story that maybe there is a person out there that feels alone like I was feeling. It is my objective in these writings that I can be of assistance to someone who is in search of answers like I was in regards to what is ailing them.

Support is the key to this disorder and also knowing that others have gone through the same issues that you went through. It took over two years for me to find the right support and finding others I can relate to.

Thank you for your encouraging comments and taking the time in reading my blog.

©2010M.M.



  

Monday, March 22, 2010

Struggle

Continuation of my story and the struggles I faced when diagnosed with bipolar

As I said before, I was diagnosed in 2007. That year I spent most of my time in bed. I didn't take care about my hygene. My husband had to help me with basic living skills. The voices/hallucinations became my friends. I moved away from my home town to be with my husband and it was difficult meeting new friends. My father has a fear of flying, however he did call everyday. I would sit at my art table and stare at the paper for hours.

My short term memory was poor and I bagan to put on weight slowly. My husband would take me shopping and people would stare and laugh at me. I have no memory of this. I was on a strong medication which made me sluggish and I would stare off in the distance.

I felt like a puppet. I would do what the voices were telling me to do. "eat more toast","you didn't eat today, eat more" the voices/hallucinations would say. At times I would come back to reality and ignore the hallucinations. I was fighting for my sanity, but not by myself. I had Jesus in my heart and a loving husband. I would have my husband read the bible, and bipolar books to me. I couldn't read myself as the auditory hallucinations would repeat the words.

As I was laying in bed I looked up at the ceiling and saw moving shapes. I began to have visual hallucinations. "there is an angel in your neighbors window" the voices would say. I went outside and saw a shape of an angel. Paranoia struck and I thought my neighbors had put a spell on me. I pretented to take the trash outside and knocked on my neighbors door, however he was not home. The next day I admitted myself into the hospital.

Anyone reading this that struggles with a mental illnes or other disorders you are not alone. What helped me was seeing a therapist, leaning on family that has accepted the illness, leaning on the Lord, support groups, journaling, exercise, and healthy eating,

©2010M.M.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Strength

When diagnosed with bipolar I was speechless. I prayed about it and one sripture came to mind "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2Corinthians) I did go through the why questions "Why do I hear voices/hallucinations?,Why am I depressed?, Why can't I be the happy, energenic person I was before?

Now I have accepted the illness and ready to share my story by blogging. I never thought I would meet such wonderful people here when I started writing about it.  Thank you again for all your gracious comments. I go back and read them when depression kicks in.

I can remeber my third time in the Psychiatric Hospital, thinking how awkward I felt being an the other side. I used to teach children with mental illness, special needs, austim and other emotional disorders as well. I tried to act happy, coherant, intelligent in front of the staff. I always felt I had to tell them my work history.

One of the therapist gave me a list of famous people and other professions that had the diagnosis of bipolar. I felt at ease. "Its okay that I have bipolar" I said to myself.
Hugs to all and prayers



©2010M.M.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grounded


When I am feeling depressed my body feels heavy, sunked in the couch. The phone rings but I do not answer. The doorbell rings and I don't open the door. I drink one coffee after another to gain some sort of energy. By the end of the day I push myself to put on my sneakers and out the door I go with an ankor feeling on my waist.

I am exhausted and my feet feel like they are sinking in the ground. I walk pass a lake and see one of my beautiful birds. I love Great White Heron's and Blue Heron's. I smile and I believe it is a way God is comforting me. I begin to feel grounded by looking at all of God's beautiful creatures. God is my favorite artist. What do you do to cope with the depression?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Starting Over

First, I would like to thank everyone for leaving the most wonderful and encouraging comments in regards to my last post. I look at my life now new beginnings. I have not worked in three years and currently going back to school for a new degree. I have not driven in three years and have compensated not diving for a bike. Just recently I have started diving again and it feels wonderful.

After trials of medications I believe we have found the correct one that keeps my moods, energy, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and appetite controlled. Don't give up and eventually it will happen for you. I still have to see a therapist a psychiatrist to keep myself in check. I met a few wonderful friends here in this new state I am living in and they accept me for me. However, I have learned the hard way also. I lean on God for strength.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Phone call

Continuation with my story having Bipolar

I am having a small procedure next week. It isn't serious. The nurse called to confirm the appointment. The moment I mentioned bipolar, her intonation in her voice changed, like she was speaking to a child. I have had this happen to me many times with other professionals. I was sad throughout the day. I am usually careful whom I tell, however in the this situation it had to be told.

Last year I told a few new people that I met and noticed a change in how they teated me. I also told a few family members. In my opinion be careful who you tell, and trust your instincts. I am feeling much better about the situation from today. Stay strong and always remember you are God's child first, an individual and a special person before the diagnosis.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Therapy 2

Contuation of Therapy

A three year old relationship in my early twenties (90's) ended. I was not diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at this time. I found a therapist through my insurance. I saw the social worker for over a year. I wanted to work on the questions we ask ourselves "Why did it end? "Did I do something wrong?" How do I not make the same mistakes continuously?" I began to feel dependant on her. I never made any decisions in relationships without asking the therapist. One relationship after another. Why can't I get this right?

I stopped seeing her and wanted to try on my own and felt it was time to use the knowledge I learned from her. Well, another relationship ended. A friend of mind suggessted a psychologist. I went through psycho therapy (I believe it was called). He talked about my childhood to the present. I discontinued the therapy with him and felt ready to move on.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with Bipolar and off to another therapist to help cope with the diagnosis and changes that will happen in my life with the medications.  I did not feel she was intrusive.  I actually felt nervous due to her unstructured therapy. I didn't feel I was learning about bipolar at all. Another doctor that I knew, suggested a psychologist. He was structured and I felt at eased with him.

To be honest I am exhausted with all the psychiatrist, therapist, and other doctors I have to see. I am so tired of taking medications and dealing with all the side effects. "Do you feel you are a victim of medications?" my brother-in-law asked me. "I really never thought of it that way." I responded.

If you take many medications, do you feel you are a victim? If you have a mental illnes do have difficulties with relationships? I always wondered it was due to being diagnosed so late in life that I had problems with relationships.

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Therapy

Continuation of my story having the diagnosis of bipolar

I believe strongly in therapy. The medications help with the symptoms of Bipolar but a therapist will help you deal with the Diagnosis. I have been through two therapist and then found one that was recommended through a friend. Remember, you can obtain a descent therapist through referal services in hospitals, support groups and friends. I interviewed the therapist and brought my typed personal history just like I did with my psychiatrist.

I have a wonderful repoir with my therapist, but it took a while to find her. Don't give up and don't forget your questions. I would bring my journal to the appointment. Sometimes I would leave my journal so she can actually see how my brain works and how to help me with certain issues.

To be honest, it took about two years seeing bad psychiatrist and therapist just to find the right one. I also was not this strong as I am now. I was scared and insucure.

Do you have any questions about my diagnosis?
Thank you for your comments. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Psychiatrist 2

Continuation of Psychiatrist

I was on my second psychiatrist. I continued to try many medications. One side effect after another. My doctor did not believe that the medicines were causing serious symptoms (leg pain, nausea, senses were heightened). Stand your ground. I learned to educate myself about the medicines I was taking. We stopped seeing the Psychiatrist and on to the next. This time I was prepared. I am going to interview the doctor and have a book of medications.

I finally found a psychaitrist that listened to me and believed me. I brought my typed history and the book of medications. Sometimes it can take three or four psychiatrist to find the right one and many medicines. Don't give up finding the right physicians and drugs.

Find a psychiatrist that is recommended. Some hospitals have free referral services. They will help you find a doctor that takes your insurance and has been referred by many other patients. In can be exhausting and you easily want to give up. Support groups on line and  in schools, hospitals etc can also be a resourse.

Comments and questions are welcomed.


©2010M.M.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Psychiatrist

Continuation of my story being Bipolar


When I became ill in 2007 a psychiatrist was assign to me. After a year had gone by the psychiatrist became frustrated with my situation. We could not eliminate the auditory hallucinations and the depression. Most of the year I was sleeping throughout the day and fighting for my sanity with the voices/hallucinations.

The side effects of the medications were horrific (gaining weight, restlessness in the legs, bloating, rash on my face, hair falling out and many more) There were times I did not want to go anywhere(shopping, visiting family etc.). "who am I now", "this isn't my body" I would say to myself. The psychiatrist told me I just have to deal with the voices/hallucinations. After seeing her for a year we moved on to the next doctor. I was determined to get my life back.

A few suggestions when seeing a new psychiatrist would be to write your own history, list all medications you have tried and why they failed, explain in detail about your moods, sleep and how proactive you are. I wrote my own history and made it easy reading. Remember some psychiatrist only have fifteen or twenty minutes for each client.

I will finish writing about psychiatrists in a couple days

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog. Any comments and questions are welcome.

©2010M.M.






Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stigma

Continuation of my story having Bipolar


When I was nineteen years old I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (chronic pain/muscle disorder). At that time, they only recommened an anti-depressant, eating healthy and exercising. Some days were worse then others. The pain was from head to toe. I pushed myself to go to school, engage in sports, work and rest when needed.  I refused to take the anti-depressant, being so young.

At age 28, I just knew something else was just not right with me. I was then diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-NOS(Non OtherwiseSpecified). Also, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At this point I was placed on an anti-depressant which helped cognitively and my anxiety.

Now, being in my late thirties I was diagnosed with Bipolar. I was in such denial that I saw five doctors to see if I could get a different diagnosis then having a Mental Illness. One psychiatrist diagnosed me with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder without the compulsions in 2010. My family did not accept the diagnosis of Bipolar but they seemed thrilled to hear it was OCD. Why would they accept some but not others, especially they both are mental illnesses.
Why is there such a stigma on Bipolar/mental illness? Why would they be so accepting to OCD and not Bipolar? Well three docs out of 1, I am going with Bipolar. Or how about I place all the diagnosis in a hat and choose that way. Before I bacame married my friend suggset I write up my health issues and hand it to my date. Hey, its one way to wean out the bad ones.

As of now, I am not working and when the big question is asked "where do you work?" I use the easiest diaganosis there is "I have fibromyalgia". People are more apt to ask questions about this disorder and accept it. I could never do this with Bipolar. On the flip side I do have supportive friends and family however it is scary telling a new friend.

Education is the key. I wish my family read material based on the different types of mental illnesses and see they all vari.
What do you all think about stigma on mental illness?

©2010M.M.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Being Bipolar

I know what you must be thinking, "Oh my, she has bipolar!" "She must spend money like it grows on trees and shops like the all the stores will be going out of buisness tomorrow." Perhaps, you might have said, "those people buy new cars even though they don't drive or go and marry someone they met at last night's party." Or how 'bout this one, "they buy things even though they are on a budget"

This is what most people think. Bipolar differs from person to person. When I was given the diagnosis of Bipolar my family disagreed with the psychiatrist and thought of the general characteristic of the illness. They could not comprehend that bipolar comes in many degress of severity.

I didn't meet the standard criteria.. I had a bachleors degree, ran my own buisness, was excellent at saving money and married. I was able to maintain friendships and is very sociable.

What I described was a manic episode, people with this form of illness do outrageous, and outlandish things. This form of manic depression is the one we tend to hear most about, though it is not the most commmon. Amongst the more common symptoms of bipolar are the lesser issues such as depressive episode and hpypomanic (less then manic).

Bipolar disorder cause much more than mania and depression.  It can also cause feelings of irritability, anger, jealousy, resentment, anxiety, avoidance, embarrassment, fear, inadequescy, regret and confusion. In addition to mood swings, you may experience drastic fluctuations in energy, activity, weight, metabolism, and the sleep/wake cycle. Bipolar disorder increases your sensitivity to stress that you become more vulnerable to life changes.(Wes Burgess, M.D.PH.D.)

After my grandmother passed away in 2001 I crashed. I always worked two jobs, organized fundraisors, exercised consistantly, ran errands for her, and took care of her when she was diagnosed with cancer.I just could not do it anymore. I quit my profession that I worked for over 7 years and worked part time. I slowly faded from exercising, I slept less and drank alchohol every other night or so. According to the doctors I was in a depressive state.

I never knew about bipolar, only knowing the general characteristics of the disorder. I wondered how this could be me. The psychiatrist felt the first episode actally occured a few years earliar during the death of my grandmother. I did not return phone calls from friends or family, stopped playing sports, and instead drank extensively.

Please comment or leave any comments you may have. Thank you

©2010M.M.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Scripture about strength

fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

—Isaiah 41:10
 
  Continuation of Bipolar story:
 
Like I said before everyone that has Bipolar is different. The other day I was writing my blog at my husband's work. I tutor adult students there. Someone saw what I was writing " I didn't know you had Bipolar" a teacher said. "You dont look or acted Bipolar" he said  I educated him on Bipolar. This is why I am writing my story. Another individual may write there story and it will look completely different then mine.
 
Do you know anyone with Bipolar?
Is there anything you would like to know about Bipolar/mental illness?
 
Thank you for taking time in reading my blog.
 
 

Friday, February 26, 2010

My fears

                                                     Continuation of my story having Bipolar


     I realized it was time to call disabilty. It had been almost a year and we could not find the right medication. We needed an extra income to help with my doctor appointments and medications. I felt like I was giving up. I prayed about it and the made the call.

   I dreaded meeting new people, even though I loved meeting new people before the disorder "Where do you work?" a new friend would say. Racing thoughts/questions would happen. "What do I tell her?" "Do I tell her the truth?" "What would she think?"'I look normal, but my mind is in another world. "Can they tell I am Bipolar?" "Do I act different?" "I am taking a break and may go back to school for another degree" I would say.

  I am an outgoing person and love meeting new people. I love to joke around. Since the disorder it has held me back from meeting new friends. My fear are those general questions. I have volunteered at many places and again here comes the questions. "Why hasn't this woman worked in two years?" Are they thinking this? 

I am an artist and would use this as an excuse. "I am blessed that I can work on my art at home and not work at this time" I would tell new people that I would meet. I wish there was not a stigma on mental illness and any new people I would meet would see me first.

I am taking some classes at a collage (graphic design). When I graduate and begin the search for a job, "how in the world do I explain why I have not worked in three years" "You are a well kept woman" my husband would say. I would just laugh.

On a positive note don't let the illness take over. I will work again, even if it is part time. I just started driving again and it felt great to be behind the wheel. So far this medication is keeping be stable. We are people before the Disorder.

Here are some resources that are recommended:
dbsalliance.org
nami.org
dailystrength.org (support group on line)

©2010-M.M.








Thursday, February 25, 2010

Going through the stages

Continuation of my story of Bipolar in 2007

When I was diagnosed with Bipolar, I was ready to fight and become healthy again, however not realizing the long road ahead of me. Below I will list what I went through.
  • Positive attitude
  • Depression (medication after medication not working)
  • Decrease in hygene (no showers, same clothes each day)
  • Positive attitude again
  • exercising, but was fatigued and gave up early
  • weight gain
  • continuation of the voices
  • depression increased
  • suicidal thoughts also called suicidal ideation (you think of it but do not act on it)
  • took too many anxiety pills to numb the pain of Bipolar
  • praying
  • Positive attitude again along with family, friends and husband to give me a push
  • driving a car was put on hold( I bought a bike)
  • working was put on hold ( volunteerd at an art gallery, and a hospital)
  • started another medication which again did not eliminate the voices/hallucinations
  • depression again
  • grieving my life before
  • grieving not being able to have a child
  • positive attitude again, I have three beautiful step children that love me
  • God is my strength
This may not work for everyone that has a mental illness but I bought a pet and I had to be responsible for him. BoBo (parakeet) lead me to not to sleep all day. He brighten my moods and was easy to take care of. I scheduled my medications each day and scheduled my day from house work to exerccise.

I am blessed I have a wonderful supportive husband. When my hygene was poor from the depression he helped me with clean clothes,manicures and pedicures. No, he didn't do the nails lol He would take me to a salon.

Support is very important. I would read up on the illness and go to support groups on line and in a group.. I would also recommned books about the disorder to my husband as well. It was very hard on my family to see me like this. I was always the life of the party. They are still in denial but in there own way giving me support.

My family wants me back the way I was. I am starting slow. I just bought a car and starting off slowly since it has been three years of not driving. I will continue to volunteer and pray to God for strength and always thank him for helping me get through these years.

What helps you get you through your struggles?
Do you know anyone that has a mental illness or bipolar and have questions?
Have you ever felt depressed and what got you through it?
Do you have a pet and what kind?
Do you like the black background, or would white background be easy reading?

Thank you again for reading my blog, God Bless

©2010-M.M

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Psychosis

Summer of 2007

Psychosis is the most severe stage of bipolar disorder.  Psychosis refers to a condition where a person is not able to discriminate eternal reality from internal experieneces. In psychosis, people begin to doubt their normal world view and suddenly anything is possible and fantasy becomes reality. This consept is alot easier to understand if you have seen real psychosis (or experienced it yourself). Wes Burgess, M.D,. PH.D.

Common psychotic experiences in bipolar disorder include the belief that you are omnipotent, invulnerable, and godlike or that rules do not appy to you (grandiosity), the belief that others are plotting to harm you (paranoia), the experence og hearing voices (auditory hallucinations) or seeing things that are not there (visual hallucinations), and a belief in stories and facts that are not evident (delusions). Wes Burgess, M.D., PH.D.

     I have expereneced psychosis as stated in many of my other blogs. I am going to explain in detail what it was like for me to be in psychosis. Everyone that has been in psyschosis is different. I first experenced the auditory hallucinations/voices. Next came the paranoia, I would constantly check the vents in the duplex where we were  living in for cameras. I closed the vents in the bathrooms where I felt the saftest. At this point I still trusted my husband.

   I started to become paranoid and believed the voices here and there. At times they were my friends. One time my husband gave a sleeping pill to me for sleep help me because I was going on two days without any. "no, stop, don't take the pills they are going to harm you" said the voices. At this point I was in full blown paranoia. I pretended to take the pill and then hid it in the couch.

 Now I am hearing the voices/halucinations throughout the day. Next came the visual hallucinations. I would see shadows at the corner of my eye. I would see large circular shadows moving on the ceiling. I would shake my head to see if they would go away. I would also see shapes and pictures on the ceiling as well and the pictures would talk to me.

Again, my safe haven was the bathroom. Like I said in another blog, I would take a shower, just to feel calm and all the hallucinations would dissapear for a moment.
I had gone out to lunch with my husband one day. "I know what is happening to me" I said "our neighbors are secretly brainwashing us through the vents". I said. My husband remained calm and held back his tears. He just changed the subject.  At this point I had not been to the hospital and we were waiting on my sister-in-law to come and pick me up.

I also experienced the tactile halluncinations. I felt as if someone was pulling on my body when I was trying to sleep. As of now, I was going on 4 days without any sleep and the auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations are geting worse. "what is that smell" I said "I dont smell anything" my husband would say. The psychiatrist described it as olfactory (smell) hallucinations.

I began to feel scared when I would come back to realaty and would read the bible outloud. The voices became scary and I prayed all through out the day. I began to have suicidal thoughts and told my husband. I then admitted myself to the psychiatric ward for the first time.

Currently I am stable and strong. Like I said before everyone that experiences psychosis is different. We are people before Bipolar. I stay on my medication and living a great life. I am driving again and may go back to school for a second degree.

Please comment or any questions are welcome.

©2010-M.M.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Staying healthy

Below are tips that keep me healthy:
This helps me with having Bipolar and staying stable, however everyone is different

1.exercise, yoga, stretching, walking, low impact arobics
2. medications on a regular basis
3.healthy eating
4.regular doctor appointments
5.family support along with outside support
6.being proactive (volunteering,hobbies etc.)
7.journaling
8.pets are great therapy to help with depression
9.schedule your day
10.schedule your sleep
11.praying

Please feel free to comment and any suggestions are welcome.

 © 2010-M.M.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Voices/hallucinations,and I

As we all know I was diagnosed in 2007 as having Bipolar with auditory hallucinations/voices. Currently I do not hear the voices/hallucinations. I am stable and the medication is leveling my moods. I am more on the depressed side.

There was a point in time when I just had to laugh at the voices/hallucinations. I hope I do not offend anyone as I know the voices/hallucinations can be tormenting, and can try to take over your thinking process. My voices would commnet on my actions, tell me what to do and sometimes just be cruel repeatively.

As a christian I believed I would not be where I am today. Praying to the Lord kept me mentally strong. I had to pray outloud as the voices would repeat the prayers in my head like an echo.

Well, getting back to laughing at my voices. The psychiatrist could not find the right medication at that time to help, so I prayed for strength and humor helped. "so what should we have for dinner tonight" I would say to the voices/hallucinations. "am I wearing to much makeup" also speaking to the voices. Sarcasm helped me with the voices/hallucinations.

As you all thinking "did they speak back" well of course they did. I just know in my heart the Lord again kept me sane. I voulunteerd, and rode my bike having those voices in my head. I noticed if I redirected myself I did not hear them as much.

A few tips that helped me was ignoring them and keeping busy which also eliminated them for a few hours. I usually would speak to them when I was frustraed and uesd my sarcastic humor. Everyone that has them deals with them differently.

Humor about my disorder helps and the Lords strength.
"My grace is sufficienet for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"(2Corinthians 12:9)


© 2010-M.M.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Favorite quote

My favorite quote I found on line and not sure of the author: “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.

Even with the changes of my moods, attention and energy I try to laugh:)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life before Bipolar

I have read through many books that you are born with bipolar disorder and a traumatic episode will trigger it. I believe the death of my grandmother triggered the disorder. I have had a life before the bipolar arose into this life. I have a BS in Communication disorders/audiology. I have taught children with special needs for over 12 years.

I have worked in schools, residential homes for the deaf, home-based settings and had my own business. I always had two jobs, fundraising for children, ran the Boston marathon for children diagnosed with cancer. I also ran other races as well. I mountain biked, and played floor hockey.

You must be saying "why can't she do this now" well at the time we had to find the right medication and it takes days, weeks, months and sometimes years. My energy was gone.

Two and a half years later(2007) I was diagnosed with Bipolar. My job, running/exercising, and driving was placed on hold.

The toughest decision I had to make was to apply for disabilty at age 34. However, we needed the money for doctor visists, and medication. I was now home every day.

Sometimes, to be honest, I will go through a pity party, but I believe God is molding me into a new and improve me. Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog. My story will continue.

Any questions or comments are welcome.

© 2010-M.M.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Information on Bipolar

What is bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder is a disease of the nervous system that involves the brain and the body. Environmental, hereditary, genetic, and biological factors create changes in brain cells and an imbalance in the chemicals within the nervous system, resulting in abnormal fluctuations in metabolism, emotions, and thought processes, including attention.-Wes Burgess,M.D,Ph.D.


Through out my experience I have seen and read that everyone with Bipolar is different. Some may be more on the depressed side and some may not. Some may never experience auditory hallucinations as I do and some may experience other hallucinations (tactile, olfactory(smell) and visual).

I myself have experienced all those hallucinations. Bipolar is a mental illness and we all know that there is a stigma on mental illness. We are people first and some with bipolar can have careers (doctors, teachers, lawyers, advocates, plumbers, writers, etc) We can have families and have children.

At first I was very careful whom I told and still a bit cautious. Blogging my story I feel is different. I am ready to tell my story but behind the computer. I would like the stigma of mental illness to go away. Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog. Any questions/comments are welcome.

© 2010-M.M.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Voices

Continuation of the summer of 2007:



I would like to focus writing about my voices/auditory hallucinations that I heard during that summer. I heard them throughout the day and night. Medication after medication could not eliminate these auditory hallucinations. "you are being poisoned by your husband", "Your neighbors can read your mind". "Your neighbors put a spell on you" The voices would say these phrases repetitively.

Sometimes they were unbearable that I had my husband read me a book, due to the voices repeating my thoughts. It was soothing to me when my husband read the bible. I had him read my favorite stories.

I also had to sleep with head phones just to lower the voices/hallucinations so I could sleep. I would listen to classical music where they could not repeat the words.

There was a point where I became very angry and was not willing to give up the fight of sanity. Here is what I wrote in my journal and found writing in a journal calming when anxious.

"Refuse" summer of 2007:

"I refuse to call myself insane or crazy. I am not insane or crazy. I am me first. This is me first before Bipolar. I am creative, funny, affectionate, cute, innocent, gullible at times, socialable, sensitive, intelligent, tenatious at times, compassionate, strong and weak at times.

So what, right now I can't work. I will find something else to do that is fufilling. So what, I can't drive. I will buy a bike. So what, I can't use all the gifts God has given me right now. I know he has a plan for me. I will pray for people. Prayer is very powerful. I will pray for some of my friends and family. When I taught children with Autism I told the parents to look at their child as a child first before the Austism. I will look at me before Bipolar"


Now, Feb 2010 I do not hear the voices/ hallucinations anymore. I still have more to tell about my story with Bipolar and how God gave me strength to get to where I am today.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask away or a comment. The cliche, there are not any dumb questions or comments I am happy to answer. I was diagnosed with Bipoar 3 years ago.

Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog.

© 2010-M.M.

Another sad story

I wanted to start adding humor to my blogs but I just lost my friend (my bird). He was the sweetest, funniest, and smartest parakeet. He followed my routines. At night I would play my music and he would sing and dance to the songs.

When I became depressed from the Bipolar(mood disorder) I would watch him play with his bird toys. His favorites were spinning mirrors and wheels. I would let him out of his cage everyday and walk around the room and play on his bird gym he had.

How amazing that this small creature trusted a tall creature like me. He used to step up on my feet and walk around the room with me. He was one of God's creature and now he is back with him. He helped me with my depression and now I have to use his memories and speak to the lord.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Humor

Continuation of my disorder of having Bipolar:

I hope I do not offend anyone but in order for me to keep sane with having a mental illness I need to have a sense humor. Don't we all though, just to make it through the day, hour, and minute. I have been in 4 different psychiatric hospitals.

"What hospitals have you been to in the last two years" the nurse asked . After naming all the hospitals, I looked at the nurse and said "hey, I wanted to see which had the best food (shoulders shrugged, eyebrows raised)"

My friend has the same sense of humor as me. She bought me a sign that says "Gone to Therapy" ahahaha I believe strongly in therapy and I am seeing one now, but that sign made feel it is okay to laugh. I have it hanging in my hallway of my house.

Laugh, it brings those serotonin neurotransmitters to our brain which helps our moods

© 2010-M.M.

My bird

Feeling sad today. My bird is now in heaven. I was there when he passed and talked to him. I miss him. I don't feel like tutoring at night today, just being alone. I miss him saying good morning with his songs, It was like clock work. He was so happy when I cleaned his cage and gave him fresh water and food.

I will write more about my story having Bipolar tomorrow.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sad story

My step-son asked us to adopt a child many times. He has a brother and a sister but wants another to play games with. My husband and I have made a decision not to have children either way. I couldn't live with myself if my child was also diagnosed with Bipolar. Our child would have a higher chance getting Bipolar since I have the disorder. Adopting would be difficult to do from other personal issues.

I am sad every time he ask this question. How do you tell a 13 year old"I can not have children due to having bipolar and your farther and I can not adopt because of other issues and they are too difficult for you to understand"

My step-son has some special needs and him and I have a special bond. He would not understand any of this. Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog.


I must take time to come into God's presence, to feel my weakness and my need, and to renew my fellowship with him. (Andrew Murray)

Sleep

What is sleep? lol I didn't sleep much last night. Here is another little character I made. I am going on three days, I believe, without the voices/hallucinations. This medication is working.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Life

I feel a cold coming on.;) This is another one of the many flower characters I have made.

The hardest thing that I went through while in psychosis(in and out of reality) was being separated from my husband. I went home (Mom and step-Dad) for 4 months to be with family. I was paranoid and didn't trust anyone. Once they found the right medication I began to think clearly again. I reconciled with my husband. He never gave up on us. This incident happened July 2010 to Nov 2010.

I was blessed I had an understanding and comforting Mom, Dad and my sister. I felt God's love around me while fighting through this episode. Have a wonderful Sunday all.

Today I feel great.

Happy Valentines!!! :) :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

happy

I am in a great mood. The medication is still working well. I have not had a hallucination all day. My step-son is here and he makes me smile. If any of you are not sure what Bipolar is, well it is a mood disorder. Everyone that has Bipolar, the symptoms varies. Some may have hallucinations and some may not. As well as some may go into psychosis and some may never experience it.

Today my mood is stable. I am more on the depressed side of Bipolar. I love art and that brightens my mood when I become sad. My husband also cheers me up when I am blue.

Thank you all for reading my blog. Have a good night.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine weekend

I hope you all have a happy weekend. Here is one of my Valentine Characters, more to come.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Medication

In March it will be three years having battling this disorder. I am thankful for God, family, friends and my husband. I was hospitalized in September this year(2010). I went back into psychosis. I admitted myself. I was again coming in and out of reality. I was home with family at this time and told them "hospital time". I think the reason for psychosis this time was trying a new medicine.

I am not afraid of going into a psychiatric ward. Actually, this one had many resources for when it was time for me to go home. At times I feel comfortable there, because the patients can relate to me, but again as always, I want my own bed.


I am on a new medicine now and today I did not hear the voices/hallucinations at all. I began this medication in September 2010. I finally had peace. Thank you all for taking the time in reading my blog and God Bless you all.


My bird is still sick and I just hope he overcomes what he has. He is the sweetest bird. I miss his songs. I miss watching him play with his bird toys and I miss him singing to music that I play. BoBo (my bird) loves loud classical music.



Have a good night all:)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life

A quote I came across while online. "Life is like riding a bicycle, you don't fall off, unless you plan to stop peddling.-Claude Pepper

Have a good night all:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Medications

Continuation of the summer of 2007,

The psychiatrist gave me the diagnosis of Bipolar. I am still hearing the voices/hallucinations and depressed. I am on my fifth new medication. They say it could take months or even years to find the new medicine to elimninate the voices/hallucinations.

I pray everyday. I fight everyday for my sanity, I will not snap and I will be me again. I know the reason I was not snapping was because I still have a purpose in life and I am leaning on the Lord more then ever.

I am on disabilty. I knew deep down inside God still had a purpose for my life,once I overcame this bump.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hospital Time Continuation

Continuation Of Hospital Time:(April 2007)

If you are just reading this, I have written several other blogs that talk about my experiences when receiving the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.

I did not know what was happening to me. I was hearing voices in my head that no one could hear. I began to visually hallucinate (seeing things that are not there) and tactile hallucinate (feeling weird sensations on my body that should not be there).

I felt sane being in that psychiatric ward. The patients in there could relate to what I was feeling. I felt at ease and happy. They understood me. I was in the hospital for a week. I went back 3 times to the same hospital due to medication changes.

I will be honest though, there were times, were I wanted out of that hospital and wanted to be home. I felt as if I was in a bad dream and I would just wake up and all of this would be gone.

Before I became ill and was diagnosed with Bipolar I had my own business as a Behavior Therapist. I was a specialized teacher. I taught children diagnosed with Autism and children with special needs. I also taught the parents the laws when their child would transition into the school system.

I was a Behavior Therapist for over twelve years and I also have a degree in communication disorders. I do miss it at times. I have not worked in almost three years, however, I am determined to go back to school for another degree.

The greatest happiness of my life is that I am loved by the Lord Jesus and can fellowship with him everyday (Andrew Murray)

God is definitely my strength but my husband was also my strength and pushed me to never give up. I believe God sends you people in your life that help you with your struggles.


© 2010-M.M.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hospital time

Continuing with my story about being diagnosed with Bipolar,


Like I said before paranoia struck and the voices in my head were very loud and I finally approached my husband to bring me to the hospital. I admitted myself. They told me I was in acute psychosis. I would come in an out of reality. When I was in reality I knew the voices were not my friend. Out of reality I believed them and did everything they told me what to do.

I am hoping I may find someone on here that I can help and knowing they are not alone. It doesn't have to be Bipolar but it could be any type of mental illness.

What I learned about having a mental illness is you are you first. Stay on your medication, go to the doctors on a regular basis.When the voices were loud I would stick my head under the shower and that was my peace.

They told me I could not drive while trying different medications so I bought a bike. The doctors said I could not work again, I then volunteered. This mental illness was not going to take over my body.

God Bless you all

© 2010-M.M.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Paranoia

Continuation of March 2007,

Now I feel anxious, tightness in chest and trouble breathing. I begin to pray. Eventually the panic attack went away. The Doctors explain anxiety attacks will go away on their own. Now I will list what feeling Paranoid is like and what I did to get through this.

Paranoid:

  • During that week I felt like the neighbors were always watching me
  • I checked for cam-corder's in our apartments
  • I started to have conversations with the voices
  • I felt like everyone that cared for me including my husband was trying to harm me

At one point I was not paranoid and confronted my husband "please place me in the hospital"

I admitted myself in a psychiatric ward to receive help.

Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always(1Chronicles 16:11)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Paranoid

Continuation of March 2007,

Paranoia and anxiety happened. "Could this really be happening, that me, I am hearing voices/auditory hallucinationns" I like to call them auditory hallucinations, voices are from people.

I was taking an art class at that time and enjoying it. My marriage was happy. Where did the voices/halluncinations come from. Am I having a nervous breakdown?

Each day they became louder and more personal. "we put a hex/spell on you" the voices would begin to say.
I will write more tomorrow

Night

This night happened March 2007


We lived in duplex and each night I began to hear the mumbles. I thought it was just the neighbors. Each night I lay in bed and the mumbles became louder and louder. "Do you hear that" I asked my husband. "no, just go back to sleep"

The mumbles turned into voices. "Daddy I can't sleep" the little girl would say. I would hear crying. I just shrugged it off as if the neighbors daughter was not sleeping.

It has been a couple weeks hearing the voices just at night. Well, now I am hearing them during the day. I could hear the couple talking clearly and they were talking about me.

I became paranoid. I approached my husband and again he would say "I do not hear anything"

Everyday I would hear the voices and paranoia struck. "Am I the only one hearing these voices!" I would say out loud. Anxiety struck.

Are you experiencing the test of fire and affliction? Thank God that he is there. "He sits by the fire." He is there to comfort, to strengthen, and to encurage. Reach out by faith and take his hand. Look up into his face and let his presence reassure you. (J.C. Brumfield)

© 2010-M.M.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today

My parakeet is very sick. I bought him in 2007 and at that time I was very depressed. At times I could not even get out of bed. BoBo (parakeet) gave me a purpose to get OUT of bed. I had to clean his cage, train him, feed him and spend hours just talking to him.

They say boy parakeets talk. Well, mine never talked, but he learned his named and his cute little noises were ways of him communicating to me. I took him to the vet and they don't think he will make it throughout the week. A friend told me "sometimes God places people or animals in your life for a reason and when their purpose is done God takes them back".

I would just sit and watch him play with his toys in his cage or while on his play gym which would make me smile. I believe strongly if you are ill get a pet and they will definitely lift your spirits.

Love leads me to prayer. (Andrew Murray)