Living With BiPolar 2

About 15 years ago I was diagnosed as Bipolar Manic Depressive. I was given some antidepressants with one refill. By the time I was half way through the bottle of pills, I was feeling fine, so I decided to quit taking them. But I knew I should not stop all at once, so I wrote out a schedule that would wean me off them, and by the time I took the last pill, it was safe to stop. I never got them refilled. I also never experienced such deep depressions again. I was never suicidal.

About six years ago, I was Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was given antidepressants, namely Paxil, for mild depression. after a few times of running out of my prescription and being unable to get it refilled right away, and experiencing wicked head zapping and bouts of emotional instability, I decided I was better off without that nasty drug...and I made a huge mistake. I went off it cold turkey. I was going through early menopause during this time as well, which did not help matters at all. After dealing with my issues for about six months, I finally told my doctor. He explained that no one can just quit Paxil...you can't even be weaned off it, you have to be switched to another antidepressant, then weaned off that if you want to stop taking antidepressants completely. So he put me on another antidepressant, I can't remember which it was. and I took it to keep the head zapping at bay and my emotions under control. for the next three years, if I missed even a single dose, my head would get sapped. It felt like someone took an electric cord, like from a lamp, cut it away from the lamp, plugged it in and stuck the cut part into my brain.

But finally the zaps began to disappear and the emotions got under control...maybe to much so. My mom would complain that I never smiled, never responded to jokes and rarely interacted with her anymore. One day I told the doctor I didn't think I needed the pills anymore. He asked me how I was feeling. I told him ok, but something made me tell him about moms complaints. He told me that depression shows up in different ways, and sometimes we can be depressed and not even know it. I asked him if he thought that instead of quitting i should actually be raising my dosage. He thought it could not hurt to try it. And it did help.

But after a time, I was taking around 18 different pills a day for my different illnesses. I really hate taking pills. finally I stopped and analyzed my problems and the pills I was taking. I decided I would quit taking all but the most needful ones. That cut it down to around 7 or 8. When I told my doctor, he was ok with it, but said he would leave the pills active in case Ifound I needed any of them after all.

One thing that would get me frustrated is that I would get these "spells" where I would become very creative. During this time, I would have overwhelming urges to write, play music, draw, paint, carve...anything that was creative...even if I didn't really know how to do a thing, I longed to do it. Then, and sometimes right in the middle of a project...the urge would just die out. All inspiration, all motivation...gone, poof, just like that.

It is like going on an adventure. You are traveling through a varied, rich land, full of beauty and ripe for exploring, indeed, just begging to be explored...Then suddenly you come to a dead wasteland. There is no shortcuts, no way around it, you simply must go through it, hoping for, looking for, more rich and beautiful land ahead. Like the pendulum above...When it swings to one end...extreme creativity...when it swings to the other...extreme nothingness.

I did a few foolish things before understand dawned. Like buying a synthesizer for 150.00 dollars. It is a great keyboard and i do mess around with it sometimes. I might have more interest in it had I not realized just how bad my memory problem was. I took piano when I was 19. I did not think it would be so very hard to relearn it. I cannot even recall the keys from one bar to the next. I even wrote the names of the keys on them, and tried other tricks as well, but to no avail...The best I can do is make pretty noises on it. I bought a carving kit. It rarely gets used. I finally quit giving into temptation to buy things to create things.

One day I was thinking about how my creativity seemed to come and go...And when it went, it was gone so completely. I realized it was a great deal like Bipolar, in extremes. I wondered if it was connected. So I did some research. It seems Bipolar 2 IS connected with creativity.

I have had people tell me I was just going through a creatively lazy period. But I knew me and I knew better. It was definitely a cyclical thing. Even though I have yet to talk to my doctor about it, I know in my heart This is my problem. It fits me to a T. And now that I understand it, I have learned to live with it. When the pendulum swings back into the creativity extreme, I work, mostly at my writing, but also I do other things to, taking advantage of the creative high while I have it, knowing full well it won't last...And sure enough, it doesn't. When it runs out, I settle down to wait for its return. It doesn't matter if I was in the middle of a story, I can't think of a single word to add to it, so the story gets put away, waiting for that creative high to return. Knowing what the deal is has done a lot to helping me deal with it. I don't feel so guilty anymore. And if anyone else is experiencing the same thing, maybe now you to will understand what is going on and can rest better knowing it isn't your fault.

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Comments 13 comments

MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 5 years ago from Henderson, NV

And what Medical Test was used to diagnose your condition?

Have you ever asked yourself why your brain has a Paxil Deficiency?


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

Mike, I will be talking to my doctor about this, but I am sure he will tell me what I already know...sometimes things are just to obvious.

i have no clue what paxil deficiency is. i do know that what happened to me has happened to thousands of other paxil users. not the going cold turkey...the head zaps and other bad side effects. my mother was given paxil when she came out of surgery to counteract depression and she became violently ill. paxil is bad news no matter how you look at it.


Nat Amaral profile image

Nat Amaral 5 years ago from BC Canada

My heart goes out to you. I know all too well how these kinds of medications can affect you. I'm on antidepressants as well as I have this--it's especially worse in the fall and winter months. I hope things get better for you.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

thank you Nat. at the present, i am not experiencing serious depression and am not taking any anti depression. my biggest problem is in dealing with the creativity/non creativity issue, and sometimes in dealing with certain people. i thank GOD for HIS help, as I know I would be a lot worse off without HIM. if you ever want to talk, feel free to contact me, i am a good listener, and i know sometimes it helps just to have a friend who will just do that for you. thank you for coming by, and for following me. have a wonderful evening.


rosettaartist1 profile image

rosettaartist1 5 years ago from United Kingdom

A friend of mine has this and leads a normal life.


saccharyne profile image

saccharyne 5 years ago from London

This is an amazing article, I really hope it helps some others


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

rosettaartist, i imagine it is much like Fibromyalgia..some people have it so bad as to be one disability, such as myself while others are able to still work and live fairly normal lives with it. I was amazed when a friend told me people can actually die from complications with fibro, she witnessed a friend of hers do it. we all know that bipolar 1 can be fatal. with bipolar 2 i fight sleeplessness because i cant stop thinking. i have gone as much as a week and a half without sleep or more than an hour or two at a time, and that is bad as with epilepsy i need my sleep. so i guess it just depends on the person and the degree to which they have the illness. thank you for coming by and reading my hub.

saccharyne, thank you. if it does, it will have been worth the writing of it.


Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 5 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I suffer from bipolar myself and the mood swings are pretty bad. I also find that I am creative when I feel better, but never to the extend you say. I do have a lot of unfinished projects though but I have stopped feeling guilty about them.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

hello Hendrika. it really is the best thing to do especially once you realize there is simply nothing you can do about it. you just have to go with the flow of it. as to the difference between you and I...it will be different with everyone...because all are different., thank you for stopping by and reading this. have a great night.


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

What a brilliant article. A friend of mine is bipolar and works as a voice coach on a certain TV show. He is very creative and he has his uncreative times. I'm glad you wrote this article as I'm sure it will give encouragement to sufferers and their families that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that you can learn to live with it. Great story well done Voted up plus UIBA.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

Thank You molometer. i do hope it brings encouragement to others who suffer from this. half the battle is understanding there is nothing to feel guilty for, and learning your own particular pattern. once you can accept those two things, and accept your limits, it is easier to learn to live with BP 2. Thank you for reading this and for your votes. have a wonderful day.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

tlmcgaa, this is a succinct explanation of bipolar creativity issues! very good!! thank you so much for putting this all into words! molometer is right/this will give hope!!


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

thank you RNMSN, i truly hope it does. thank you for reading and commenting. have a great night.

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