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.
- Intellects and Artists
The innate intellectual and artistic aspects of many people afflicted with the Bipolar Type 2 Disorder make it as difficult to diagnose as it is to accept
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.