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Happy World Bipolar Day

Bipolar is a mood disorder characterised by periods of intense mood episodes.

Generally Bipolar mood swings last several months at a time, and rapid cycling Bipolar is characterised as someone who has 4 or more mood swings in one year. The idea that people with bipolar are constantly up and down, with moods changing many times a day, is generally untrue and more associated with other conditions, eg Borderline Personality Disorder.

The mood episodes caused by bipolar disorder are not ‘just’ feeling happy and sad, although that is a common mistake.

People with bipolar 2 have episodes of major depression and hypomania. People with Bipolar 1 have episodes of major depression, hypomania and mania.

Some people only experience mood episodes when they have experienced a ‘trigger’, whereas other people can recognise triggers that cause episodes, but are also hit out the blue. Common triggers for mood episodes are:

  • Late nights (eg. going out to a party)
  • Lack of sleep
  • Bright lights (eg shopping centres) or busy city centres
  • Chaotic life events, from losing a loved one to Christmas
  • Physical illness

What do these feel like, if they aren’t just being happy / sad?

Major Depression

This is far, far more than feeling sad. It’s having no energy to do anything, and spending days in bed because you can’t force yourself to get up, eat or shower. It’s feeling entirely hopeless, thinking there is nothing to live for, and everybody would be better off if you were dead.

It’s crying for hours every day, or feeling too empty and disconnected to cry, and so you just lie and stare up at the ceiling, wondering if you’re already dead. 

It’s planning how you would kill yourself, to the very last detail. It’s trying to kill yourself.

Hypomania

Hypomania is feeling a rush of energy, confidence, creativity and power. It’s thinking you are the best at everything, and that everything you think or say is amazing. It’s not sleeping for nights on end. It’s getting frustrated when people don’t agree with your outlandish ideas.

Some people experience a feeling of elation with hypomania, whilst others feel incredibly irritated. Hypomania often includes visible changes, such as talking super fast, darting from one subject to another, and being unable to sit still.

Mania

Mania is the same as hypomania, but cranked up. People can usually continue a ‘normal’ routine with hypomania (eg. going shopping, to school, work etc), albeit with difficulty, but mania will smash that routine to pieces.

When I am manic, my sleep is reduced to practically nothing. I will sleep 3-4 hours a night, for weeks on end. My appetite will be non-existent, I can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds at a time, and I’ll think all my ideas are genius. I’ll go on huge spending sprees (or would if my partner didn’t take control of spends!!), and instead of buying things I want / need, I’ll buy things that are most expensive. Before we knew how to deal with manic episodes, I would often leave us virtually penniless. I try get jobs, create my own business, sign up to university. Before I experienced psychosis outside of a mood episode, manic episodes were also when I would hallucinate.

Bipolar disorder is a very individualistic illness, it can vary so much from person to person.

Some people with bipolar experience a mood swing every few years, and are able to lead fairly ‘normal’ lives. Others swing from one episode to another, and are ravaged by the illness.

Treatment generally relies on medication, at least in the UK, although a two-pronged attack of medication and behavioural therapies works best. Medications range from mood stabilisers (including anti-epileptic drugs) to anti-psychotics and anti-depressants. There is controversy on whether or not ADs actually help those with bipolar.

Different medications work for different people, and all carry a range of potential side effects. For some people with treatment resistant bipolar disorder, they will try a vast number of medications with barely any improvement in their illness.

Bipolar disorder is an incredibly hard illness to live with, and today is dedicated to spreading awareness and smashing stigma.

Please excuse if this post is crappily written, I’m living off very minimal sleep for the past week, am full of cold and have had a rough day for seizures.

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No Mother’s Day for you

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know how my relationship with my parents upsets me, and how it always has.

My childhood was awful, and I’m confident a lot of their behaviours pushed me towards a fair chunk of my mental health issues now. Since leaving home at 18 they’ve been just as bad, but thankfully I don’t interact with them much anymore.

My parents entirely lack support for any of my issues.

It’s always me chasing after them to talk with them, making sure I phone on Mother’s Day, remember birthdays etc. They never get in touch with me to ask how I am, and for the longest time when I tried to talk about seizures I was met with silence or whistling as they watched TV. Insulting…

I am hugely pissed off right now because today is Mother’s Day.

I tried to call them first thing in the morning to wish my mum happy mother’s day. With having seizures I never know how my day’s gonna be, or how cognitive I will be in the evening, so I try do important things as soon as the day starts.

Both my calls went unanswered, so I waited until evening to get in touch again as I knew they’d have sunday lunch with my dad’s mum, and then go to my mum’s sister for a family meal in the evening to celebrate mother’s day. It’s been this way for years.

I sent my dad a message at 7pm asking when they’d be home so I could ring, and he said soon.

We exercised our dogs so they’d be tired for a call, and I shut all the curtains and sat under a blanket so my seizures would hopefully not make an appearance (light changes at dusk and the added brightness of lamps and screens are a huge trigger).

We’re waiting and waiting, doing nothing but hanging about so I can wish my mum happy mother’s day.

At 9.15pm I send my dad a message saying we have stuff to do now; my puppy on crate rest needs toileting and sorting, my dogs need letting out, feeding etc. I can’t sit under a fucking blanket any longer and my dogs can’t wait any longer…we waited two damn hours and he didn’t even let us know when he’d be ready -__-

He messaged back saying he was ‘just about to message us’ and ‘would ring in five minutes’.

Too late. Sick of your bullshit. Wish mum a happy mother’s day from me, I guess. Or not. I am beyond caring…

Someone please tell me how to cut ties with my parents, because I always go crawling back to them and I just want all this crap to stop.

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Please share our go fund me

Hello everyone,

Our littlest was run into by a much larger dog on a walk yesterday, and after x-rays today she has completely shattered all the bones connecting to her toes in her front left paw.

The vet has given us two options, both of which would leave her with pain, lameness, and arthritis. After much research we think it would be kinder to have the leg amputated, but this is even more expensive than the operation the vet wanted to do.

Please if you could share our campaign it would be extremely appreciated, and if you can spare any cash at all it will go to a great cause!

Tolly’s fund

bagdog1

stoopidboo8

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Today, we coped

We had a rough day today.

Seizure rage / shitty mood in the morning. Then on a dog walk our smallest pup was badly injured when another much larger dog ran into her. She hurt her front leg badly and it was very scary.

This was obviously incredibly stressful; she was in a lot of pain, she’s the sweetest little girl so it was awful to see, and thanks to benefits stopping for no reason and without telling us, we have no money.

Our benefit was suspended for a mistake that a GP wrote in a letter, we weren’t told they had been suspended and so had already missed a month’s money, and now they’re making us jump through a hundred hoops before they restart it. And, because that benefit was suspended, another has had to stop until the first has resumed.

We have literally no money.

As soon as we realised we had virtually no income we bought some dog food in so the pups would be okay, and have been on zero spends. Our amazing friend surprised us with half a dozen bags of food recently, it was amazing and we were so grateful, so we won’t have to use a food bank. But an emergency vet bill is not what we needed right now.

Thankfully my partner met up with his grandparents last week and we were given some belated Christmas money. We have £200 thanks to my partner’s family, and can scrape together £100 from our bank accounts if we abandon rent / emergency money.

We phoned the vet at the time of the accident and made an appt for this evening, but they only do ‘non-emergency’ (ie. if the dog’s not going to die) x-rays in the morning. So now we have the exam AND probable x-ray tomorrow morning.

In the meantime our little pup has been having a ton of cuddles. She has done SO WELL. She bounced back super quick, she hasn’t seemed in pain after the first hour (although can’t bear any weight on the leg), and it’s her wrist / around the dew claw that’s injured and not her leg, thank god.

With all this massive amount of stress, I’ve amazingly not been lost to a day of seizures or fallen on a suicide attempt or being overwhelmed with panic. I’m wondering if this is the CBD oil helping my MH symptoms?

I’ve been scared and anxious and sad, yes, but I think given the circumstances that is totally normal.

I’m actually proud of myself. Which feels weird haha. Usually a routine vet appt freaks me out so…yeah, I’m proud. And so relieved that my little one is doing as well as can be expected.

Now just please let the appt go okay, because I love my baby so much…