I found a supportive community of educated, helpful and kind parents who love their children very much. I desperately needed to know that my son could find light at the end of the tunnel. I found optimism and helpful suggestions. June eUpdate. Read More. May eUpdate. April eUpdate. Peer Stories. Eleora Han. Meet Maggie. Dana Parker-Mathis. Living Successfully with a Mood Disorder. Goal setting is an important part of wellness, no matter where you are on your journey.
Setting Goals. Wellness Tracker. At Work. With bipolar depression and mania, you live with extreme mood swings. This is the major difference between bipolar I and bipolar II. I learned to cut back my cycles by learning how to recognize my triggers and how to respond to them. My mania was often defined by racking up credit card debt and reckless behavior. My thoughts when manic were often running a million miles a minute in my head, and I could go days without sleep. The crash was always the hardest for me.
To me, that brought to mind a pot of boiling water with the lid . major manic and depressive episodes and have come out on the other side. Dealing with bipolar disorder in the family isn't easy. They can't just snap out of a depression or get a hold of themselves during a manic episode. . Stress takes a toll on the body and mind, so find ways to keep it in check.
Depression and mania can happen in an instant with bipolar I. I have had moments of peace in my life, sometimes for weeks, before something changes in my life that leads to rapid cycling. I can be on top of the world one moment and unable to get out of bed, the next. My manic side never likes to sleep so when mania runs its course, it always cycles back to depression—my default setting. I never struggled with anxiety until my diagnosis of bipolar I.
Since then I have had to deal with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety, otherwise known as social phobia. Other issues that I have experienced due to my medication include major weight gain and weight loss at various stages of my life. Insomnia is a major factor that accompanies my daily struggles with bipolar I. I have also developed prediabetes. My official diagnosis is bipolar I with a seasonal component. What that means is my depression hits epic levels for during the months of November to March. As a result, I can be in a really bad depression cycle and it gets worse every year at the same time.
I can feel the changes at the end of October as the season gets colder.
As the temperature drops my depression increases and becomes a more prominent aspect of my daily life. In contrast, during the summer months, my depression is manageable, or even nonexistent. It is very easy to turn to self-harm when you live with bipolar I disorder. It also may help you, too, identify thought patterns that carry a higher risk of metastasizing if left unchecked. You can also give a loved one formal permission to speak with your psychiatrist if they notice anything off.
Taking a preventive approach may seem difficult up front, but ends up making your life easier in the long run.
Be yourself and remember, the ones that matter love you no matter what. I have suffered from bipolar ll for most of my life I have not been able to find a good combination of meds to help with depression I am currently on generic lamicital mg,effexor xr mg, zeprexa 7. I learned in college, I have an associates in human service technology that its not even legal to give someone a mental illness diagnosis without 6 months of sober time. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it. Finally my doctor said something like, you cycle into depression faster than those who have major depression recurrent. Hanna99 I found out about this website looking for any advice or insight on how to help my 16 year old son.
None of that is a reflection on you or a barometer of your worth as a human being, nor is the other party a villain for not being able to be present. Speaking with another friend, she made the very astute point that people who spend a lot of time with you already and care about you can generally notice when something is off; if, after a period of isolation, you come back to them and explain in whatever detail you feel is appropriate for the relationship what had been going on, they will generally understand.
If it feels hard for you to talk about the day-to-day of your mental health with those close to you, it may be a good idea to explore the possibility of joining a support group in addition to whatever other mental-health services you include in your care team. It may feel easier to open up to people with whom there is less pressure to explain the basics of your mood disorder; it definitely feels validating and helps combat the loneliness and shame that may accompany your disorder to hear people share stories that sound similar to yours.
You deserve it! From my experience as a high-function individual living with a co-occurring mood disorder and a personality disorder, I can understand the complexities of your experience.
Even though I always did well enough to get by and it seemed like I had everything, I was screaming inside. I normalized my feelings and fears and stuffed them deep inside.
I hid them very well on the outside , but they never went away and eventually got worse. I knew something was wrong, but I was scared to face it. Facing our fears is scary and difficult, but facing ourselves is even more overwhelming. I matter and my life matter and, more importantly, it was okay not to be okay and it was okay to get help.
I struggled for so many more years than I needed to because of fear. Once I started reaching out to people I trusted and allowed myself to be vulnerable, I learned where and who to turn to. Even though I lost some friendships along the way, I gained real relationships and I uncovered a beautiful me I never knew existed. What is important that you never stop trying and utilize your resources. I surround myself with positive people and things, take my medications, and visit my therapist regularly. I exercise frequently, eat healthy, and follow a routine.
It took time to find what worked for me.
No one is perfect, but we all deserve to be happy. DBSA has great information and resources to finding support. This is definitely a question that you should ask your doctor or pharmacist. Most medications will have warning labels that caution you to be careful about consuming alcohol while taking the medication.
However, only once you have discussed drinking while on medication with your psychiatrist should you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to have a drink. If your psychiatrist gives you the go-ahead and you do decide to drink, I would suggest limiting the number of drinks that you have and being cautious because medication can cause our bodies to process alcohol in different ways you may metabolize it quicker than your peers who are not taking medication so it may affect you faster.
Also, sometimes certain medications can interact with alcohol in dangerous ways—leading to higher levels of alcohol in your blood, so always be careful. After discussing drinking while on medication with my doctor, and making the personal decision that when out with friends I would like to occasionally have a drink or two, I soon learned how the combination of alcohol and my medication impacts me. I have figured out what type of drinks I am able to handle a glass of sparkling wine is my favorite!
The good news is not all mental health concerns and diagnoses require medication. In fact, there are many functioning and successful people who manage mental health conditions without medication. By discussing this, you and your doctor can explore alternative options.
That way you can have an idea of what the effect should be if you were to take it. Keep in mind it often takes time to determine the best dosage and combination of medications before you find what works best for you. Communication is key! You might be afraid of receiving bad news. If your life feels out of control or if others have talked to you about getting help, seeking professional help might end up providing some relief. It can be tough to open up to a complete stranger but keep in mind that mental health professionals help people for a living; there is very little you could share that they would find shocking.
There are different types of professionals too, from your primary care physician, to a therapist, to a psychiatrist. Try contacting the one you would feel most comfortable with. You can also have someone you trust go with you to the appointment. Seeking professional help is a way for you to be in control and become involved with your recovery. Many people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are put on numerous psychiatric medications to help with symptoms. Most would recommend that there should be some sort of line of communication between your therapist and other mental health professional s that you see.
As a whole, all of those different professionals play important but very different parts in improving or assisting with your mental health needs. Therefore, it is helpful for all sides to be on the same page, up to date and aware of your mental health needs, diagnoses, medications, etc. After an episode or period of uncertainty, your loved ones want a way to help you. There are plenty of professional resources available now for your family and friends. But I think another important resource for your loved ones is yourself! I believe there are important details that only YOU can communicate with your support system.
Having something to look forward to makes all the difference. By tracking your moods to identify your own patterns and keeping an open line of communication with your supporters, you can avoid some of your triggers and feel that support. Mood disorders can be very alienating. It can be uncomfortable to rehash your episode with others. Having a conversation and adding perspective can guide you on your way to wellness. The ultimate goal is to keep you safe! Your support system should help you feel less alone in your struggles and celebrate the daily triumphs with you.
The first step is to open up just a little bit, and let those that love you the most help you. Each and everyone of us has an unique story to tell—and mental health recovery is no different. I can relate to how you feel. Most of the time, this is hard.
Your life matters. Your story matters and the world needs to know you and hear it. You deserve validation; your feelings, emotions, experiences are real and no one can take that away from you. That being said, you can use your own feelings to relate to others and show empathy to your friends. You can use it as a learning experience from all of you to support each other, no matter the circumstance, and draw you closer in friendship and love.
Remember to take care of yourself, too. I would encourage to explore some options and get help. You deserve to be happy and become the best version of you-who you want to be! If you are worried about yourself or someone else, it is important to reach out to an adult you trust and if there are thoughts of suicide, call for help immediately. Being vulnerable and putting yourself out there especially in the context of needing help can create feelings of intimidation, nervousness and anxiety. However, I can assure you that if you are feeling this way, you are not alone.
It is important to first find someone to talk to that you feel will not judge you, will be ready to listen to you and will be open to trying to understand what you are feeling. Taking the first step can oftentimes be the most difficult, and while it may be uncomfortable at first, the connection and support that can be created as a result can be worth it. If you still are having trouble finding someone to talk to, DBSA does have some local chapters that have peer-led support groups. You can go to our Support Group Locator on our website, find your state, put in your zip code and it will show you the group that is closest to you.
We also offer an online young adult support group which you can access here. If you need immediate assistance, call or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. First Name Email What is your question? Filter this List Question Topic:. Mental Health. Friends and Family. Bipolar Disorder. Answered by Christine. I am the mother of a beautiful 21 year old daughter who is struggling with rapid cycling bipolar disorder. We have been working with great doctors and counselor for about 4 years. My daughter has never had more than 5 weeks of stability. Is this what she will live with forever?
She always takes her meds and follows dr's orders. She totally gets that she has bipolar 1, but there is not a lot of info out there about rapid cycling. Any info others can share would be helpful. Answered by: Marty. My significant other goes through major episodes of bipolar depression, having anger outbursts, and says and does things he normally would not.
It is hurtful to me, and he does not seem to think that he does anything wrong. I struggle with anxiety myself, so it makes it a little harder to cope with. Any suggestions or advice on how to deal with him during an episode? Answered by: Megan. I have felt depressed for about a year now and have also been extremely suicidal. I feel weird because some months I am so happy and I feel like I can accomplish anything. I feel manic and I stay up till 5 in the morning as I have too many thoughts racing through my mind. But other months I feel so suicidal and depressed for no reason.
I have been really badly bullied at school in the past and it has affected my confidence a lot, but I am really confused about what I'm feeling as my emotional changes come out of nowhere. I'm wondering if I have Bipolar Disorder, but I don't want to tell my parents and they think I am crazy.
What do you think? Do you think I have the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? Answered by: Lauren.
I have been in treatment for more than two years finally stable on medication. I have returned to school but I am too frightened to return to church. There have been brief hypomanic episodes where my expansive thoughts are full of religious ideas. I don't want them stirred so I have avoided going back to church, I avoid prayer, which was such an important aspect of my life in the past. Have others been able to bridge this issue and return to a healthy spiritual life? Answered by: Danyelle. How can I best support someone who has depression or bipolar disorder?
Answered by: Keith. How can I cope with feeling behind my peers? Answered by Emily. I tried to explain to my family my issue; they get so angry with me and say to change the way I am. They hurt my feeling every day, I get compared to others all the time. I feel like there is no hope. How can I see life happier?
How can you make your way in the world in light of a diagnosis? Answered by: Chelsea. How do I get through a quarter-life crisis? Answered by: Jessica. How do you decide whether or not to have a baby if you have Bipolar Disorder? What are some of the risks involved with pregnancy specific to having a mental health condition that people who do not have Bipolar Disorder may not face? Answered by Jenna. How should I deal with failed expectations? I am a girl that has three older sisters, and I am starting to have really bad mood swings.
My mom thinks I have depression, it runs really heavy in my family. I think it happened when I was 5 years old after my parents divorce. I want some answers but I can't trust my family or best friends to give them to me. Answered by: Jared. I just found out I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and feel like nobody will ever love me, or I will find a successful relationship because most girls look for the perfect specimen…. I often struggle with the feeling that I have no control over my body because of my bipolar disorder. How can I conquer this? Answered by: Taylor.
I recently left an inpatient program after a particularly bad manic episode. While having the episode I alienated a lot of my friends and family and had to take time off my job.
How do I get back to my life, now that I left the hospital and am feeling better? Answered by: Holly. I struggle with finding a therapist that I feel like I can truly open up to and trust. How can I overcome this and connect with a professional that can help me? Answered by: Adam. When and why? Answered by Chelsea. If I am depressed, how can I find motivation to get up each day?
I have bipolar I and am taking several different medications. I am so flat and feel like a zombie. I feel no emotion at all. Has anyone experienced this?