mania and manic episodes

Another Mania

G.J. Gregory Community Member March 05, 2008
  • It seems like I'm always whining about something, doesn't it? I'm actually a very positive person, but when writing it's like opening the vault. All the stuff I've been holding inside comes to the surface. That's a very good thing - for me. But thinking back, a lot of my shareposts have been negative in nature. I try to give an accurate picture of how this disorder impacts my life, and for me there's a lot of negatives. I admit to being guilty of the "it's a gift" mindset at times, but that's confined to prolonged periods of hypomania. Here's a belated New Year's resolution to stay more positive in what I'm writing. But moving on (and not exactly positively...)


    I've been beating myself up for an inability to write recently. Even a short SharePost has been completely outside my grasp. Believe it or not, it significantly impacts my life. I feel like I can't make any plans in case I finally find the ability to write something. I sit at work and try to write. I get up early, stay up late, but I end up doing other things beside writing. This isn't a job for me, it's what I do for enjoyment and therapy. So when I lose the ability to write even a short blog post, it's upsetting.


    This is due to a period of mania. It's probably more accurate to say it's more of a significant hypomania, as there has been little psychosis. Some, but not a lot of psychosis. This is a textbook example - racing thoughts, high energy level, and many of the stereotypical behaviors that go along with the hypomania. For me, the worst part is the insomnia. I'm averaging 4 hours of sleep a night, and have been for several weeks. A lack of sleep feeds the hypomania / mania, and does some very strange things to the mind. Surprisingly, the body works just fine with a lack of sleep. I continue to work out, albeit not as often as I'd like. I have the strength and energy I have under "normal" conditions. But the mind does some very strange things. For the first time ever, I've had "auditory abnormalities". Heard sounds that weren't there, either whispering, or more often voices mixed in with other noise that didn't belong. For example, a newscaster type of voice during a TV movie. It's a little unnerving. But there are 2 thing that are major issues due to insomnia. First and foremost, my memory is significantly impacted. My memory is fading fast anyway, but this is really embarrassing when I can't remember major things I did at work just a day or two before. If this keeps up, I'll have a hard time keeping my job. I've lost jobs before (several), and while painful, things always work out. Another major side-effect of insomnia is the lack of creativity. That's obvious from the lack of posting I've done here over the last month.


    But there I go again with the negativity. I actually have a SharePost in progress about the best ways to handle mania, therefore avoiding the dangerous behaviors that go along with them.


  • So let's get positive:

    I absolutely love the interest being shown in the US presidential race, especially from younger people. No matter who they vote for, I love to see them involved in the process.


    In our state (and maybe all states), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) received a significant grant to expand their community support. This includes a huge increase in support groups. They hope to have support groups meeting at almost any time, in various parts of our area. So anyone needing face-to-face peer support can get it almost immediately. It's an aggressive undertaking, and I hope there's enough acceptance and use of the program to keep the money coming in. I've applied to be a peer facilitator, facilitating support groups. I'm excited about it, and hopeful they'll consider me worthy of the position. I'll post updates to this.


    On a personal note, one of my boys has just started a job as a newspaper reporter. He's fulfilling his dream to be a career writer. How many people can say their career is their dream and passion? I'm very proud of him.


    Kyle, my 24 year old son with bipolar disorder has been doing well. Ditto his girlfriend, who suffers similarly. He is working very hard at staying healthy. Keeping his pdoc, assistance, and attorney appointments, going to a day program, and so forth. He doesn't yet appreciate the benefits of the day program, as he wants to immediately learn things in the classes they offer. I hope he comes to realize the benefits are often in the environment, and the process of going through their program. One thing happened that I think really scared him. A "friend" of his provided drugs that caused an OD and killed another friend. It was a horrible thing, and the "friend" that supplied the drugs is out on bail facing murder charges. They may not get a murder conviction, but they'll get manslaughter, and that kid may be going away for a LONG time. Truth be known, I hope he does. But the event shook up my son, as it should have.


    My other kids are doing great, as is grandma and the new beagle. Good days in our home.


    Thanks to all who sent emails and messages, I'm OK, and when I can slow down my mind and start sleeping I'll be back to more regular posting.

4 Comments
  • alwaysthere
    Jun. 01, 2009

    I just read a comment you made to the person who had a question to all the people that left their spouses who had bp, thanking them and saying that you were very thankful that your wife has stayed by your side.

     

    I've been with my guy for abot 2 years and I never want to quit on him. I've only recently started being proactive in doing some research on...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I just read a comment you made to the person who had a question to all the people that left their spouses who had bp, thanking them and saying that you were very thankful that your wife has stayed by your side.

     

    I've been with my guy for abot 2 years and I never want to quit on him. I've only recently started being proactive in doing some research on my own about how to manage a healthy relationship with bp. These message boards have helped a bit, but I need a REAL person that I can converse with and get some insight with. Is there any way that you could email me? If not, I completely understand, but I thought I might as well hope. Thankyou for yout comments and your time.

    -Anna

     

    annawthrs@yahoo.com

  • Joe Buck
    Mar. 25, 2008

    http://www.softconference.com/dbsa/sessionDetail.asp?SID=90743

     

     

    Dear G.L.

    The URL above ia a DBSA ( Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) audio podcast about Certified Peer Support Specialists. A lot of good information about peer support. Lisa Goodale is DBSA's Director of Peer Services. DBSA's phone number is 1-800-826-3632 and ask to...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    http://www.softconference.com/dbsa/sessionDetail.asp?SID=90743

     

     

    Dear G.L.

    The URL above ia a DBSA ( Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) audio podcast about Certified Peer Support Specialists. A lot of good information about peer support. Lisa Goodale is DBSA's Director of Peer Services. DBSA's phone number is 1-800-826-3632 and ask to be connected with Lisa Goodale.

    A lot of your questions can be answered by the audio podcast. http://www.peersupport.org/ This URL is the DBSA's Peer to Peer Resource Center.

    Certified Peer Specialist(s) are regulated by each individual state. Contact Lisa and she will give you information and contact persons pertaining to your state.

    I live in Wisconsin and the CPSS is working it's way through bureaucratic bullsh*t. The word on the street is July of 2008 this should be resolved. I'm not clear if your interest is involvement with a support group or becoming a Certified Peer Support Specialist. All in all (for myself) this CPSS is a ray of hope for me. A desire to support other BP's and great therapeutic value for myself. "What is the profit of gain when one loses their soul." Hope this information will help you.

    Truly

    Joe Buck

  • Angie
    Mar. 15, 2008

    Dear GJ,

     

    I just needed to let you know how much I sympathize/empathize with your complaint of hearing those types of sounds in the background.  When my manic moods and accompanying insomnia are at their worst, I, too, hear whisperings and what sounds like infomercials in the background.  Once I heard a baseball game being broadcast.  At...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Dear GJ,

     

    I just needed to let you know how much I sympathize/empathize with your complaint of hearing those types of sounds in the background.  When my manic moods and accompanying insomnia are at their worst, I, too, hear whisperings and what sounds like infomercials in the background.  Once I heard a baseball game being broadcast.  At first it was frightening and creepy, then weird, and now it's just a trick my mind plays when it's tired.  I joke "It's time for the Lithium Lullaby and Seroquel Slumber", along with an "Ativan Appetizer" when I start to hear this nonsense begin. 

     

    I am so sorry to hear that you're unable to work right now.  That has to be a huge stress for you.  I had to give up my career and I am still grieving and looking for my identity.  You must be feeling so much anger at the helplessness.

     

    I suppose the best comfort on some days is remembering the cyclic nature of the beast.

     

    You really are in my thoughts.

    Angie

  • Rusty
    Mar. 14, 2008

    HI GJ,

    I'm glad to hear you are bit better. Better times to come, soon we all hope. It certainly helps that the family is well. You don't need extra worries right now.

    My partner has BP and he is having "an episode" right now. He has been well for about 9 months and it has been the best 9 months of our relationship.I guess I saw the signs...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    HI GJ,

    I'm glad to hear you are bit better. Better times to come, soon we all hope. It certainly helps that the family is well. You don't need extra worries right now.

    My partner has BP and he is having "an episode" right now. He has been well for about 9 months and it has been the best 9 months of our relationship.I guess I saw the signs a few weeks ago.  I guess what I want to know is:

     

    What does you wife do and say when she sees you becoming unwell?

    Is there anything she can do or say to prevent/offset an episode?

    During an episode what is the best way she supports you?

    How does she cope with the irritable, irrational and sometimes delusional behaviour?

     

    I know he is unwell but I still find it really hard not to be hurt by what he says and does during these times. How does you wife strengthen herself to deal with that hurt?

     

    When you are feeling better, I would like to hear some of her ideas.

    Best wishes Rusty