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Mania & POTS does not mix well…

Full of energy & drive to get up and GO, in a body where when I stand my heart rate increases to 140+ and I have seizures or pass out…I mean it’s just not a good mix, is it šŸ˜‚

My partner was out in the garden today, so I vacuumed the living room without his knowledge – nobody to tell me off & make me sit down!!

This is the first time I’ve managed to vacuum an entire room in like 2 years. My rate got to 168 and my symptoms were AWFUL – entire body trembling, gasping for breath, nauseous, sweating a ton, visual auras, brain fog. Fun times šŸ˜…

It took me about an hour to feel better. But hey, I helped tidy!!

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manic

I. CAN’T. SIT. STILL.

This has come out the blue I ahven’t been manic in so damn long and yep the last few months have been really stressful and this week has been really really stressful, but really, I haven’t been manic 8in so long so what the hell?!

This week one of our dogs was killed which was awful obviously. Yesterday I took my assistanc dog in training to a puppy obedience class, our first time, went with my partner of course…first time I’ve been actually outr in public in nmonths and months, and I guess that combined with grievbeing = manic me.

My partner’s podcasting and there has never been anything as hard as trying to hold rthis energy in

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I’m a mess…oh wait, I feel okay

This mish mash of symptoms is driving me crazy. Literally I guess.

I’m dealing with so many bloody fluctuations a day I can’t cope. What one hour might seem like a good day the next seems like the utter worst.

This isn’t down to Bipolar symptoms entirely, as my Bipolar mood swings tend to last weeks or months. It’s a combination of Bipolar mood swings, psychosis, anxiety, sleep and medication side-effects.

At the moment I think my Bipolar mood is tilting towards hypomania, which means I’m antsy, bored and wanting to spend more. It also adds towards my irritability.

My psychosis leaves me on edge, but at its’ worst it can make me entirely zone out and become unresponsive or leave me too panicked and terrified to talk. I also struggle to concentrate and can get antsy because my brain’s fried and trying to do too much at once.

Anxiety obviously always makes things ten times harder, but thankfully this hasn’t been *too* much of an issue recently.

Lack of sleep leaves me in a variety of states, ranging from utterly exhausted and unable to do anything, to pissed off and hating the world, or manic. The worst thing is, because I’m so bad at sleeping, catching up on sleep takes a long time and napping is impossible.

And then we have medication side-effects. A weird out-of-touch woozy head (dissociation), often tinted with a far away rage and inability to calm myself.

Ah, joy.

All this spinning around madly inside me, fluctuating by the hour. It must be so nice to be able to react normally to things and know who you are as a person…

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Listen: it’s mania

Gog here.

It can be so hard to get the person with Bipolar disorder to understand that they’re manic.

I’ve found that with Anon, if I point out why I think she’s sliding into a depressive episode, she can recognise the symptoms pretty easily and admit she’s falling.

When she’s in a really intense manic episode, the worst of the worst, I can get her to recognise symptoms even if I can’t get her to understand she’s extremely ill…it’s kinda hard to ignore the fact that you’re sleeping less than two hours a night, I guess.

Hypomania or lower on the mania front is harder for me to explain to her.

When she’s hypomanic it honestly is easy to mistake her for just being a happy / energetic person. It really is. It’s only the persistence of the mood and when I’m falling asleep trying to keep up with her that I know for sure.

Milder mania, I can tell she is unwell, but she really can’t.

Her sleep is reduced but not drastically (down from 10 hours a night to 7), she is on the go all day, she is impulsive, extremely irritable, she wants me to be on fast speed like she is, and she will spend more money – but usually on things that she does want, or is interested in. It’s not like when she’s sky high and will buy absolutely anything.

At the moment Anon is on the upper end of hypomania.

Reduced sleep, terribly energetic, spending, active, irritable, productive, creative…tiring!!

The other tricky thing is that going out too many days in a row often triggers a manic episode in Anon, or worsens one she’s already in. I don’t mean going out and partying all night, I mean literally any time she leaves the house it pushes her towards mania…shopping, doctors appointments, visiting family, anything.

When she’s manic I try to limit her to two dog walks a day, and nothing else. We’ll go out and do things twice a week, but I try and encourage her to stay as calm and chilled as possible.

Of course this is really difficult when a person is manic, because all they want to do is go out. All. the. time!

I am a carer; it isĀ my job to care for Anon.

A lot of people do not understand this, my dad asked just the other day “you not thinking about getting a job, then?” They don’t understand: IĀ have a job. My job is to keep Anon safe, happy, and as mentally well as possible.

It’s a full-time job and I throw my all into it; I love Anon, she loves me, and to say how ill she is weĀ do well. Even hypomanic, which is her least severe mood episode, I have to be there.

I have to persuade Anon to stay in, and keep her entertained without letting her be too active / stimulating. I have to watch her, prevent her from buying things online, remind her to eat, try help her sleep, try prevent the mania from climbing.

All the while I have to try keep up with her and match my sleep to hers’.

I love her so much. Bipolar is such a fucking ball-ache.

 

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Up or down? Low or high?

Gog here.

For all the world it feels like Anon has to beĀ having a mixed episode…either that or she really, really doesn’t have Bipolar disorder anymore.

She’s switching so quickly, especially a few days ago; for hours she wouldĀ be hypomanic. She wasĀ energetic, active, she would sing, laugh, train the dogs, work on them with all sorts…and then she would be low. Maybe not truly, seriously depressed; but certainly angry and with some sadness, triggered by all sorts.

The lower spurts don’t last too long, rarely moreĀ than an hour, and as I said it’s usually anger over actual despair…we’re so confused by her moods at the moment.

Her psychosis is back with a bang.

Looking back at her mood chart we had over a week where she rated her psychosis 2/10 or less – severalĀ days were even a 0! That hasn’t happened in close to a year now šŸ™‚

Then the stupid guy tried to talk to her on the phone, and since then her psychosis has been really bad…her paranoia seems worse out of everything, and brings with it a lot of racing thoughts and, of course, intense anxiety.

That’s another thing, are her racing thoughts caused by the paranoia or mania? Or is the paranoia caused by mania, or is the mania caused by the paranoia? It’s all very confusing…

Basically, we’ve been struggling.

We took everything right back to basics – if Anon had any doubts about leaving the house, she had to stay home. No walking the dogs, no trips to the supermarket, no appts, no socialising, nothing.

The result? The last few days her mood has been noticeably more manic than low-manic-low-manic-low.

Her daily physical pain (which is a huge issue when her mood isn’t good, and somethingĀ NO professionals take seriously) has gone from being between 8 and 9 out of 10, to firstly a 1 and then 0’s šŸ™‚

Today she surprised me by turning up on a dog walk (bit of a shock and slightly concerning, but it was nice!) and she’s also done some training with our dogs we’ve wanted to do for months but never got round to.

Hopefully we can keep this manic episode fairly manic, fairly predictable, in the hypo stage rather than full blown mania…

And we’ll the stress as low as possible.

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What am I?!

This past week I’m doing better than I have in a long, long time – last time I was this close to good was over 3 years ago.

(I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing better because we have given up trying to get help, so the constant stress of that is gone. We’re putting no pressure Ā on ourselvesĀ & areĀ trying very hard to listen to what my body is saying)

I’m slightly hypomanic, but I am doing good.Ā It is amazing, and 50% of the time I’m actually enjoying things šŸ˜€

A fairly other significant chunk is spent worrying and spotting things that *could* be symptoms of an incoming episode:

“Oh god I feel sad about a pet being really ill, am I going to fall into a terrible low?! Oh god I’m stressed as we have no money after the last manic, will it trigger an episode?! Shit I got hardly any sleep last night, am I manic??”

And then I’m also having a few shitty symptoms…I still have this spacey head.

It’s been going on about two or three weeks now, but we thought it was because I had been taking just oneĀ Codeine on an almost daily basis, to deal with physical pain – when I took three Codeine we thought the really bad spacey head I had that same day was a result of that.

I haven’t had Codeine in six days, and the spacey episodes continue…

Out the blue I get lagging vision, feel the entire world isn’t real, I feel pressure behind one eye sometimes, I can’t think / talk / focus on more than one thing at once…so if watching TV I can listen to what the characters are saying, but I can’t watch it at the same time, or process it. If I’m thinking inside my head I can’t concentrate on anything else.

These episodes last 1 – 4 hours, and they freak me the fuck out.

They’re different than anything I’ve experienced before, the closest I can remember is when I don’t believe the world is real, a psychotic symptom, or when I feel absolute terror and dissociate.

It’s been happening 1 – 3 times a day usually to the point where I can’t do anything for several hours…and it IS scary.Ā (don’t think it happened badly yesterday though)

Because I also have a lot of health anxieties (anxiety never sounds strong enough, it’s terror) it has me so scared I have a brain tumour.

I keep thinking a lot about dying, getting sick, my partner and dogs being left alone, not having enough time with him or making the most of it…it’s extremely scary and I cry a few times a day through fear and sadness.

My partner is being awesome at being supportive and reassuring me, and we can go to the GP to check…but I’m scared about that for several reasons:

  1. As I said I’m doing well now, and as appts are terrifying for me one simple GP appt could easily trigger a bad episode
  2. We might have to get further help, further stressful investigations (blood tests, scans etc), and that would most certainly trigger an episode
  3. What if the GP didn’t take me seriously? What if they said it was just a symptom of my MH, and something is actually seriously physically wrong?

The last point really scares me, and it’s something a lot of people without mental illnesses don’t understand.

If you go to the Dr with physical symptoms and you also have a chronic / serious mental illness, it’s almost always blamed on your mental health.

Tight chest, headaches, neck pain, back pain, rapid heartbeat, constant hallucinations…these are all things that have been blamed on me being Bipolar, with no further testing.

I just want to be taken seriously. If a ‘normal’ person went in with these new symptoms (and they are new to me too) they would be taken seriously…whereas for me we’ll probably have to fight for that right.

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From the murky depths to the skies

For the past month I have been very depressed; before that I had three weeks of mania. Now that I keep a chart, I have exact details of my episodes.

On 1st April we went to A&E (which was horrifying) because I was struggling with the suicidal depression…then yesterday, 4th April, I woke up heading towards mania.

Completely out the blue, with absolutely no previous symptoms.

Because the A&E trip was so traumatic, I guess it could have been caused by that – but still: yay, rapid cycling Bipolar…!

I’m not manic yet, just hypomanic.

Symptoms include lack of sleep (because of course – atm I’m getting about 6 hours, but not good sleep, I wake A LOT during the night). I have the energy, the irritability, and I feel fairly happy. I know Ā that as this manic episode continues I’ll get more psychotic, more angry, my thoughts will race and I’ll end up not sleeping at all. Until then, I’m trying to enjoy it.

The day-to-day differences with Bipolar is something I struggle with most.

I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that a few days ago I wanted to kill myself.

I was in extreme emotional pain, and everyday I was in physical pain too.Ā I didn’t move off the couch. I cried, I slept a lot, I self-harmed andĀ everything was a struggle.

Then the very next day I woke up, I leapt out of bed and began *doing* things. In one day I did three dog walks ranging from 45-60 minutes – I hadn’t managed a 15 minute dog walk a day prior to that!

I carried a heavy pet cage upstairs. I fed all the pets (something I hadn’t been able to do for weeks; my partner had taken over responsibility) and cleaned several cages. I went from struggling to getĀ to the toilet to barely sitting still…in just 24 hours.

How can that happen?! And how are you supposed to be able to cope with that, orĀ understand it?

Although I’m better off now, I’m still nowhere near okay, and I don’t want anyone reading this blog to think “well she’s fine now!”

I still have psychosis all the time. I am still planning to kill myself (don’t know how, don’t know when) because it is the only option – I KNOW this hypomania will turn into full-blown mania, and I also know there will be another horrific depressive episode following it.

My sleep is fucked (I’m nocturnal again…) and we can’t afford to let me spend any money – which I WILL want to do – because after the manic episode a month ago we still barely have any.

I can’t live like this.

But right now, with me hypomanic, this is as good as it ever gets with my illness, so I’ll enjoy it while I can šŸ™‚