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mattdriver200


Member

Posted Sat Feb 24th, 2007 9:49pm Post subject: If you can help then please take the time to read.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you can help me.



The other day I stumbled across this here forum, and was gob smacked to find the type of people that were to greet me there. This entire forum is seemingly devoted to Manic Depressives. And the relief I experienced in finding this, was like the Endomorphic reaction that I’m oh so used to.



I am finding this so hard to write down, let alone knowing that it’ll be submitted on the World Wide Web. Please bear with me, it may seem like endless ramblings but I assure you, read between the lines and you may find some meaning in all this.



For some time now (I have mentally documented the last 18 months but it may be longer) I have been extremely concerned for my well being. As I said, I’m not sure when this all started, but there must have been a particular point in time, mustn’t there?



This is my story: (The chronology of this may be a little obscured but it’s roughly as it happened)



For how ever long it had been, I had experienced severe depression, raging anger, utter despair, self worthlessness, all the usual things people just experience as part of life, right? Where I could I’d try not to show how I was feeling to society as a whole. I would talk to friends or colleagues occasionally, but I would always find it hard to open up entirely.



Talking helped, definitely. I was able to take a long look at my self, assess why it was I felt so low all the time. At the same time, I had access to people’s opinions of me. They hadn’t necessarily noticed how depressed I had been, but often noticed irregular patterns in mood. Saying that I’d go from one extreme to the other, seemingly at the flick of a switch. I took this on board and continued researching in to my situation.



It’s around here I can start putting some dates in to this troublesome tale. It was around February 2006 and I was experiencing the worst anger I’d known. It was weird because I was feeling relatively happy, not depressed or anything, but then certain situations would present themselves, and I’d almost have a panic attack, my heart would start to beat really fast, I’d feel like I’d lost complete control of everything around me, and flipped out. This happened perhaps once a week for 3 or 4 weeks. If it didn’t scare other it certainly scared me. I managed to cover it up, its stress, or its or that. People suggested anger management therapy, but I insisted I was fine. I somehow controlled it all. I taught my self to chill out in these situations, or where possible just avoid them. If the problem had been psychological then it was obviously easy to cure. Had it been something more it may still be around, manifesting it’s self as something else. Something else that is more to the point of this post and which I’ll hurry up and get to.



Perhaps a month or so of happiness followed, and then it early April I hit rock bottom. A complete state of depression. I didn’t know what to do. I thought I had gotten over all of this. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. I wanted it to go away, or at the very least, I wanted to forget about it. For a short time, I felt that what I needed to do was take drugs. Not until you come into contact with a couple of people who choose this route do realise a) So many people are doing it, and b) So many people are ruining their lives. Luckily, maybe thanks to fate, or destiny, or what ever may be controlling me (because it certainly isn’t me), I never did drugs. I never touched the stuff, and I kind of feel proud. However, it was at this time that one night ( Saturday April 15th), somewhat drunkenly I started to poor my heart out to a friend. I made the comparison that my mental state, the way all the troubles in my life balanced out was just like… Manic Depression.



I used the term not as a diagnosis, it was just because of the way the two words contradict each other, and it’s seemed like every emotion I experienced contradicted what I was supposed to be feeling. I kind of came out of this depression (not sure how) and I tell you the phase of happiness that followed is one of the longest I can remember. Maybe 3 and half months of bliss. If you ask me why, I couldn’t honestly tell you but I could have a guess. When I so bluntly summed my life up, saying it was Manic Depression, it scared me. Labelling people seems so horrible. I’m not sure if it’s possible to be labelled in such a way that it’s a positive thing to everyone you meet. That sounds vain I know, but wars have been fought over as much.



Comes to mid August then, and I’m feeling down again. Mid summer blues? Something like that. Was getting a bit pissed of at this point. Really needed some answers. As the “storyteller” I feel that I need to explain what feeling down is to me: Feeling down is when my overall mood is that of depressed. I feel that life it’s self is pointless, that really as a human race we have absolutely no purpose, and if we do, then maybe it’s just me who’s pointless. Feeling down is - not wanting to get out of the bed in the morning, not because I’m “tired”, but because I didn’t want to wake up, ever. Feeling down is then also going out and about, acting like normal, pretending everything is fine. But the strangest thing is, whether it’s a result of the condition, or due to what I’m doing to myself by pretending I’m fine, often I will find that I am fine, more than fine. Absolutely forgetting that there’s anything wrong with me. Hyperactive seems derogatory, but that’s how I’d describe it. People honestly thought I was on drugs. The fact that when I got like this my pupils dilated quite severely heightened there beliefs. I swear that I still hadn’t taken drugs, even to this day. I don’t know why my pupils dilate like that, be it another result of the condition, or just something completely unrelated. However, as quickly as this hyperactive state will come the next I’ll be totally closed up and having problems with self confidence that were destroying friendships, which in turn damaged my self confidence… a never ending loop.



This up and down pattern continued for a while. Then I saw advertised on TV a documentary on Bipolar. Not only was interested in the topic for obvious personal reasons – that of needing to get some answers – I’m also a huge fan of Fry and so this was a must watch. So on Tuesday 19th September 2006 (and the subsequent Tuesday, the 26th) I sat, I watched, and I (could have) screamed. Finally, this looked like sense, the people in the documentary, what they experienced, was so similar to what I experienced, it was like it was all just magically answered. Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression, what ever you want to cool it, this was what was wrong with me. But you see nothings ever so simple. Although I then continued extensive research into Bipolar, I think I was in denial, I was lying to myself, I was interested in it, I wanted to prove or disprove that this was my problem, but all the time I’d never admit it. I was scared. Scared that if I was to seek diagnosis, and a doctor was to tell me that it’s not bipolar, that I’m back to square one. And scared that if I have bipolar, I’m on medication for life, I’m being labeled all the time by everyone, and how does this affect my job prospects. I was panicking, and although I thought I was coping, on 25th October (Wednesday the) I had a complete breakdown. I pushed away most of my friends, I didn’t want any one, I tried to disengage myself from the world as much as possible. The pills where there, just a reach away, but it was thanks to such a special friend, that I am now telling this. She managed to pull me through, make me realise how selfish I was being, how stupid I was being. I came out of this extreme low and was almost neutral for a while, a couple of slight upsets but to be honest loads of (supposedly) manic highs. And then December 13th (Wednesday,) something happened and I was in a down for the rest of December and most of January. That was when I had to find a new method. I pretended out right that there was nothing wrong with me. I was fine, it’s all psychological. This worked I suppose, for 3 or 4 weeks. Until we’re in the present. And I see this message board full of people talking about bipolar. It’s a wake up call. There are people out there that can help me, advise me, without making it so scary. I owe it to the friends that have tried to help me thus far.



And so, that’s it. That’s what I had to write. It’s there now, for people to analyse.



I do need your help. Anyone here who has been kind enough to read all this, could you please just tell me your opinion:



Do you think I have bipolar, I know it’s impossible for someone to just diagnose it like that, but does this sound like a reasonable explanation?



Is it advisable to come to terms with it sooner rather than later?



Are things like medication easy to get used to?



How much would this change my life making it official, I know it would certainly make me feel much better about things, but is there any negatives?



Any other information would be appreciated.



If anyone can give any help on all this then I would be eternally grateful.



18 months it’s taken me to start piecing it together; let’s just hope it doesn’t all end in pieces.





Thanks,



Prince Problematic

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Fourth Feline


Member

Posted Sun Feb 25th, 2007 3:03pm Post subject: If you can help then please take the time to read.
Hello P.P,

Thank you for posting that most articulate, recognisable and accurate narrative.

Welcome also to a forum where you are amongst friends.

Your feelings and experiences make perfect sense. I truly believe that you are Bi-Polar, but accepting this fact is far from a defeat or disaster, rather a necessity to reclaim an improved lifestyle in the years ahead.

For example, If I had been properly diagnosed earlier, I would probably still have a job/career and a partner.

By this I mean to say that accepting what you have is a very positive step, indeed it is an affirmation and a launch point from which you can level out (as best one can) and re-build. How might one rebuild ? you may ask.

A) Work:

Bi-Polar disorder is now recognised more than ever as a commonly recognised type of official 'disability', and so employers are often keen to employ an articulate yet Bi-Polar person such as yourself, as it:

1) gives them a potentially good employee (once your treatment has had time to level out the extremes)

2) Does so whilst satisfying the required percentage/number of "disabled" people legally required to be employed at any given workplace etc.

In this way, it can actually work in your favour.

B) Treatments/medications:

If chosen carefully and experimented with over time, quite palatable combinations can be found. I know of at least three people who have manifested the things of which you speak yet have been eventually been able to continue working as a teacher, a businessman and a Doctor etc.

I, unfortunately have had to retire with the condition at age 48, due to the diagnosis being (30 +) years too late to save my job and health at this time.

One however must remain as hopeful as one can, even in the devastating low periods, as new treatments are being found every year or two.

I also found that if people knew what I was dealing with inside, the sensitive and intelligent ones would take it as a positive sign of other 'gifts' and would forgive any extremes and help me monitor it's progress (for which I am eternally grateful). The ignorant need not be worthy of serious consideration anyway.

I know some people refuse medications, but I would recommend that you ask your G.P. to refer you to the Psychiatrist the NHS allocates to your area - in order to get a thorough assessment ( i.e are you Bi-Polar type I or II etc) and then get the help and eventual relief you deserve.

I have only really touched to tip of the iceberg really in this initial letter, as I am myself currently very depressed, and anxious - which never helps me to write clearly.

In short;

Accept what is happing

Get a good professional assessment

Please consider taking the recommended medications

Know this will not be a quick fix

Know it will be worth it in the end. It sounds like you have a lot to celebrate and live for behind the cloud of this transitionary period.

Warmest wishes,

Derek.

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mattdriver200


Member

Posted Sun Feb 25th, 2007 3:16pm Post subject: If you can help then please take the time to read.
Derek,

Words can't express how grateful I am for your response.

It has most certainly cleared up some of my worries and I think I am now ready to move on to the next step - diagnosis.

I'm sorry (but obviously not surprised) to hear that you're currently depressed.

It's funny that you say this stops you from writting well, because for me it can add to my writing style, adding a somewhat bitter humour.

I will be certain to keep in touch here and let you know of my progress.

Again, thanks a million,


Prince Problematic

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simon7


Member

Posted Tue Feb 27th, 2007 1:37pm Post subject: If you can help then please take the time to read.
Dear PP

it took me the best part of 47 years to realise i had this illness. I recognised it in my early life and now refer to it as a hole in my soul. As i stumbled through life the hole got wider and deeper until and my life took a turn for the worse in every sense. Now i have identified the problem i can deal with it and hopefully lead a happier and more stable life.

Your illness is treatable. Please get some help and try to nail it before it becomes an ever bigger problem. It is a wicked illness that can be unbearably painful. Hence the high suicide rate amongst sufferers.

It will take time but be patient.

Alll the best






If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you can help me.



The other day I stumbled across this here forum, and was gob smacked to find the type of people that were to greet me there. This entire forum is seemingly devoted to Manic Depressives. And the relief I experienced in finding this, was like the Endomorphic reaction that I’m oh so used to.



I am finding this so hard to write down, let alone knowing that it’ll be submitted on the World Wide Web. Please bear with me, it may seem like endless ramblings but I assure you, read between the lines and you may find some meaning in all this.



For some time now (I have mentally documented the last 18 months but it may be longer) I have been extremely concerned for my well being. As I said, I’m not sure when this all started, but there must have been a particular point in time, mustn’t there?



This is my story: (The chronology of this may be a little obscured but it’s roughly as it happened)



For how ever long it had been, I had experienced severe depression, raging anger, utter despair, self worthlessness, all the usual things people just experience as part of life, right? Where I could I’d try not to show how I was feeling to society as a whole. I would talk to friends or colleagues occasionally, but I would always find it hard to open up entirely.



Talking helped, definitely. I was able to take a long look at my self, assess why it was I felt so low all the time. At the same time, I had access to people’s opinions of me. They hadn’t necessarily noticed how depressed I had been, but often noticed irregular patterns in mood. Saying that I’d go from one extreme to the other, seemingly at the flick of a switch. I took this on board and continued researching in to my situation.



It’s around here I can start putting some dates in to this troublesome tale. It was around February 2006 and I was experiencing the worst anger I’d known. It was weird because I was feeling relatively happy, not depressed or anything, but then certain situations would present themselves, and I’d almost have a panic attack, my heart would start to beat really fast, I’d feel like I’d lost complete control of everything around me, and flipped out. This happened perhaps once a week for 3 or 4 weeks. If it didn’t scare other it certainly scared me. I managed to cover it up, its stress, or its or that. People suggested anger management therapy, but I insisted I was fine. I somehow controlled it all. I taught my self to chill out in these situations, or where possible just avoid them. If the problem had been psychological then it was obviously easy to cure. Had it been something more it may still be around, manifesting it’s self as something else. Something else that is more to the point of this post and which I’ll hurry up and get to.



Perhaps a month or so of happiness followed, and then it early April I hit rock bottom. A complete state of depression. I didn’t know what to do. I thought I had gotten over all of this. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. I wanted it to go away, or at the very least, I wanted to forget about it. For a short time, I felt that what I needed to do was take drugs. Not until you come into contact with a couple of people who choose this route do realise a) So many people are doing it, and b) So many people are ruining their lives. Luckily, maybe thanks to fate, or destiny, or what ever may be controlling me (because it certainly isn’t me), I never did drugs. I never touched the stuff, and I kind of feel proud. However, it was at this time that one night ( Saturday April 15th), somewhat drunkenly I started to poor my heart out to a friend. I made the comparison that my mental state, the way all the troubles in my life balanced out was just like… Manic Depression.



I used the term not as a diagnosis, it was just because of the way the two words contradict each other, and it’s seemed like every emotion I experienced contradicted what I was supposed to be feeling. I kind of came out of this depression (not sure how) and I tell you the phase of happiness that followed is one of the longest I can remember. Maybe 3 and half months of bliss. If you ask me why, I couldn’t honestly tell you but I could have a guess. When I so bluntly summed my life up, saying it was Manic Depression, it scared me. Labelling people seems so horrible. I’m not sure if it’s possible to be labelled in such a way that it’s a positive thing to everyone you meet. That sounds vain I know, but wars have been fought over as much.



Comes to mid August then, and I’m feeling down again. Mid summer blues? Something like that. Was getting a bit pissed of at this point. Really needed some answers. As the “storyteller” I feel that I need to explain what feeling down is to me: Feeling down is when my overall mood is that of depressed. I feel that life it’s self is pointless, that really as a human race we have absolutely no purpose, and if we do, then maybe it’s just me who’s pointless. Feeling down is - not wanting to get out of the bed in the morning, not because I’m “tired”, but because I didn’t want to wake up, ever. Feeling down is then also going out and about, acting like normal, pretending everything is fine. But the strangest thing is, whether it’s a result of the condition, or due to what I’m doing to myself by pretending I’m fine, often I will find that I am fine, more than fine. Absolutely forgetting that there’s anything wrong with me. Hyperactive seems derogatory, but that’s how I’d describe it. People honestly thought I was on drugs. The fact that when I got like this my pupils dilated quite severely heightened there beliefs. I swear that I still hadn’t taken drugs, even to this day. I don’t know why my pupils dilate like that, be it another result of the condition, or just something completely unrelated. However, as quickly as this hyperactive state will come the next I’ll be totally closed up and having problems with self confidence that were destroying friendships, which in turn damaged my self confidence… a never ending loop.



This up and down pattern continued for a while. Then I saw advertised on TV a documentary on Bipolar. Not only was interested in the topic for obvious personal reasons – that of needing to get some answers – I’m also a huge fan of Fry and so this was a must watch. So on Tuesday 19th September 2006 (and the subsequent Tuesday, the 26th) I sat, I watched, and I (could have) screamed. Finally, this looked like sense, the people in the documentary, what they experienced, was so similar to what I experienced, it was like it was all just magically answered. Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression, what ever you want to cool it, this was what was wrong with me. But you see nothings ever so simple. Although I then continued extensive research into Bipolar, I think I was in denial, I was lying to myself, I was interested in it, I wanted to prove or disprove that this was my problem, but all the time I’d never admit it. I was scared. Scared that if I was to seek diagnosis, and a doctor was to tell me that it’s not bipolar, that I’m back to square one. And scared that if I have bipolar, I’m on medication for life, I’m being labeled all the time by everyone, and how does this affect my job prospects. I was panicking, and although I thought I was coping, on 25th October (Wednesday the) I had a complete breakdown. I pushed away most of my friends, I didn’t want any one, I tried to disengage myself from the world as much as possible. The pills where there, just a reach away, but it was thanks to such a special friend, that I am now telling this. She managed to pull me through, make me realise how selfish I was being, how stupid I was being. I came out of this extreme low and was almost neutral for a while, a couple of slight upsets but to be honest loads of (supposedly) manic highs. And then December 13th (Wednesday,) something happened and I was in a down for the rest of December and most of January. That was when I had to find a new method. I pretended out right that there was nothing wrong with me. I was fine, it’s all psychological. This worked I suppose, for 3 or 4 weeks. Until we’re in the present. And I see this message board full of people talking about bipolar. It’s a wake up call. There are people out there that can help me, advise me, without making it so scary. I owe it to the friends that have tried to help me thus far.



And so, that’s it. That’s what I had to write. It’s there now, for people to analyse.



I do need your help. Anyone here who has been kind enough to read all this, could you please just tell me your opinion:



Do you think I have bipolar, I know it’s impossible for someone to just diagnose it like that, but does this sound like a reasonable explanation?



Is it advisable to come to terms with it sooner rather than later?



Are things like medication easy to get used to?



How much would this change my life making it official, I know it would certainly make me feel much better about things, but is there any negatives?



Any other information would be appreciated.



If anyone can give any help on all this then I would be eternally grateful.



18 months it’s taken me to start piecing it together; let’s just hope it doesn’t all end in pieces.





Thanks,



Prince Problematic

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mattdriver200


Member

Posted Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 5:13pm Post subject: If you can help then please take the time to read.
Thanks also to Simon7,

I'm deffinately starting to let things get sorted now, whereas before I would have freaked out and resisted.

Sorry took so long to reply, been a bit down recently. Just found out that one of my best friends, who knew my suspicions about my condition, has a friend who is Bi-polar, and forgot to mention it. God, if she'd known how much help it would have been to talk with her friend, I was so angry at her. But it's ok now, yesterday I went hyper/manic for a about an hour and that's left me kind of neutral now

Thanks again to all that have helped,

Prince Problematic

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