Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Hi I have suffered from bipolar disorder for the past 5 years or so but been untreated and un diagnosed until now. I tried to kill myself in November last year, I have been in and out of mental health hospitals for the past year. I would like to hear from people who have had a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder and how they cope with it day to day.

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  • Hello ashleyfarnden I have Cyclothymia which is a form of bi polar .. Mine is rapid cycling and affects me many times throughout the day. I have learnt it manage it now instead of it ruling me .. Has taken me many years to get to where I am. I use meditations and regular exercise. I keep myself busy to stop my mind from racing.

  • Hello Ashley,Presumably if you have been in hospital you are now getting treatment and are under medical supervision. Bipolar disorder covers a wide spectrum of conditions but can be considerably helped by treatment although finding the right drugs can take time. Your contact with mental hospitals should mean that you are well on the way to finding the right treatment.

    Many bipolar sufferers then lead productive lives with spells of happiness interspersed with painful periods of depression. I suffer with bipolar 2 and managed with the support of my wife and good GPs to work throughout my life until retirement with many happy spells and many very depressed spells . Some do worse some do better, it partly depends on luck but mainly one's own courage and resolve.

    Having a supportive partner is a tremendous help and I suspect is true even if both had bipolar as this could give deep understanding and result in mutual support.

    Successfully coping day to day, especially when depressed is difficult but helped by regular exercise (walking will do), regular sleep patterns , regular healthy meals, as much social contact as possible, support from friends and family,good medical support, and quite a bit of courage. Excess alcohol and recreational drugs must be avoided. I suspect having a religious faith helps,and will help with social contact but I did n't have that unfortunately.

    These things are easier said than done when depressed. The good news is that more help and understanding (including this forum) is now available but anyone with bipolar will tell you that life is not easy , but its not impossible either.

    I cope day to day by achieving as much as possible (never enough) during my undepressed periods and by doing the same when depressed although then I achieve far less. When depressed , and incapable of doing as much , I try to lose myself in reading, watching dvds, or anything to take my mind off black depressive thoughts. This is all harder than it sounds, but again not impossible.

    The fact that you recognise your condition and are receiving treatment means you have already cleared one of the highest hurdles and means you should have some optimism.

    Olderal

  • Hi there ashleyfarnden

    You may like to download a free copy of 'Bipolar Disorder' from the Shaw Mind Foundation, link below.

    shawmindfoundation.org/free...

    Take care

    Chloe

  • Hello Ashley, Olderal has covered absolutely every I would have said, so I won't repeat it. I have Bipolar 2 with Complex PTSD. I take what seems a ton of meds morning lunchtime and evening, but they work for me. I have also had therapy that helped to explain what is going on in the brain and what happens to our bodies when we experience powerful emotions. This all helped me understand what was going on. The more knowledgeable you become the better. Even my GP recognises that I know more about Bipolar than he does.

    It sounds as if you have had some disruption in your life due to spells in hospital, these are never particularly good, but the principle of keeping you safe whilst ill has worked, and we are all glad about that 🙂

    Bipolar has meant for me learning about pacing myself. When I am well I like to be busy and active, however if not careful this can trigger a hypomanic episode. Conversely if I get depressed, I can spiral really quickly from functioning to non functioning very fast. So how do I cope with this? I have a mood tracker app that I use daily, you can also get a mood diary template online. I am married and so my husband is one of the people who assesses my mood as I can be unaware that things are changing. I have a great GP who also assesses my mood, and if needed I pay for a private psychiatrist who I can see within 48 hours of requesting it. I try to eat well, my psychiatrist is a great advocate of Omega 3 oil and I take 3g per day. I keep my mind active without putting to much pressure on. I am doing an MA in Philosophy and Mental Health at UCLAN, I am very part time, and my professors are great if I need to pause my studies for a time. They are even beginning to discuss the possibility of a PHD!! I also have fun, I go to the cinema, go out with friends, watch rubbish tv especially box sets, and I read a lot because I like to find stuff out. The internet is a blessing and a curse for me, mainly because I try and read the whole internet before bed...lol.

    That is how I cope with Bipolar. I hope some of these idea are helpful to you and that my story gives you hope that bipolar is something you live with, just like some people live with asthma or diabetes, yes you may have to make some changes to the way you live your life, but that is your decision and you don't have to.

    Remember we are here to support you and share information, and we are a friendly bunch, so welcome to the site.😃

    Take care,

    Fi.

  • Thanks for everyone's comments so far. My ward review is on Wednesday so hopefully it will be official then so I move to the next time of my recovery. I am currently taking respiridone 3mg twice daily which is an anti physoctic medication with a mood stabiliser in. I currently thinking about studying health and social care at college in September as would like to help people with mental health problems or learning difficulties.

  • I think I have bipolar, I've been told by others I probably have rapid cycling bipolar type 1.

    I need help and there's no bipolar community on here, can you people give some info please?

    1) what must I do to get help?5

    2) I have an array of symptoms, does anyone have an idea what I could have? (If anyone wants to give it a try, I'll post them)

    3) how do I cope with the super depressive side ?

    4) How should I cope with anger (I punch the wall) or mania (I go absolutely crazy and say really violent gruesome things and become rude with no manners)

    5) any advice will be 110% appreciated 🙃

  • I personally have had difficulty in getting diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. The best thing to do is go to your gp about it first. I am now under the early intervention team and have a designated CPN who comes out to see me once a week. The past 12 months have been very difficult but I know I'm over the worst now. Good luck in your mental health journey

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