It is a bit hard to navigate this site...but I am trying to post my first of hopefully many. I am a tad disappointed as it seems that this group is not really alive and kickaing. I have already come across a couple of sites re Bipolar with the same problem. My desire is to connect to others like me.
So, I'll introduce myself: I have been diagnosed with BP in January 2007, but looking back I had my first major depressive episode when I was 15. I am pretty sure I have showed symptoms before then, but since I am disconnected with my highly dysfunctional family, I can't go ask. For me it is partly genetic, my mother and her mother are undiagnosed BP's. For years my GP thought I had just depressions. No-one noticed the hypomania's. It was after I got diagnosed with a serious burn-out in April 2006, ended up in the USA and received help from an amazing counselor, that it slowly became clear we were dealing with more than trauma's, depression and burn-out. I was also severely suicidal, had very real plans, where I would not be found alive. I can only say that God has spared my life, otherwise I would not have been here today.
In December 2006 my GP added another anti-depressant to the one I was already taking and as you all might know, I went of the deep end. I went to psych hospital and wanted to be admitted, but they decided I was not suicidal enough! Right... Because I was plainly going nuts with my thoughts racing 24/7, trouble sleeping, etc. I took myself off of the second anti-depressant. My counselor got me in to see a psych early January 2007 and I got my diagnosis. Blessedly the sorting of which combo of meds work for me was relatively short. I have been under good psych care since and continue to see my counslor on a weekly basis.
I am Dutch, but have lived abroad since July 1994 when I became a missionary to the Ukraine. I have lived in Poland, England, Ukraine and USA. End of June 2009 I had to renew my paperwork in order to stay in USA. I went to Canada for a day and when I returned to the USA border, Uncle Sam would not let me in again. The lawyer I had consulted gave me bad and wrong advice. So, there I was, without my meds, with just the clothes I was wearing and with my car. At the Canadian border. Where they did not let me go, unless I could prove I had a plane ticket leaving Canada. And... I júst didn't have enough money available on my credit card. Talk about stress. They nearly put me in detention. Boy, was I glad my cell had a full battery! In the end I had a ticket, no meds, no sleep for a night. Friends came over to bring me clothes, meds and take my car back with them. And I tracked back to Holland where I hadn't lived for 15 years. Talk about stress! Thankfully, I had immediate treatment for my BP upon arriving in Holland.
While in the past my moods would last even up to a couple of years, since I reached the state of being severely suicidal I am all over the place. Even with meds! My episodes will break thru them, unfortunately. I am an extreme rapid cycler now, had even several days where my mood would spike up and down several times each day. That was so horrid!!
Right now I don't have my own apartment. It is extremely difficult to find one. I am living with a family from my church. We don't know one another very well. My time here is limited, so the anxiety and stress is mounting. Because of the changes (I had temporarily housing on my own for 5 months till March 31)I went hypomanic to the extend I needed to take Seroquel to temper it down. Now I have entered a mixed state where I am insanely irritated with everything and nothing. Seroquel effectively makes me a zombie. I have dry mouth, obstipation, a memory that won't work, bloating, lead in my body, trouble talking (moving my mouth to form the words), drooping eyelids, being extremely tired. And oh, did I mention it zonks me out?
At the same time I am also working with a new pdoc. Even though he is good, it also increases my anxiety. I am exhausted after I've seen him. And there is no therapy involved, mind you! We are working on an action plan. I pretty much know the symptoms of the onset and development of my moods. The question is: when do you do something about it, and what. A good friend is involved with it, what a blessing!
Well, I've got to stop my rambling, dinner is calling!