I was diagnosed with being Bi-Polar a couple of months ago, I thought my constant mood swings was depression which I had since 2002-2003. I hate feeling like this, my mood cycles so fast, from being angry, sad, irritated, depressed, and crying alot, I usually dont feel happy, that is one mood I really miss. I cant remember that last time I felt happy. I am on medication, it slows the mood swings but i dont know what to do to feel happy, I guess only time will tell.
The severely bipolar people I've known would sabotage themselves constantly, destroying any type of contentment with anxiety, drama and lies because they couldn't handle any situation that wasn't frenetic like their mood swings. Those people in particular also felt the need to be victims in every circumstance. Instead of always brooding over what it means to be truly happy and getting stuck in a self-destructive cycle like them, work toward reasonable goals and appreciate all the little things around you. If happiness could be easily defined, most people would have figured it out by now.
In addition to effective medication, I'd recommend the most balanced diet you can manage, regular exercise, enough sleep and an outlet for your negative feelings (anything from boxing to painting), as a generally healthy lifestyle will help regulate your body's chemicals. In the end, only you can control how you feel.
You comment makes a lot of sense, Peelander. My daughter was diagnosed bipolar as a teen. Medications calmed her down, but the doctors never really got to the root of her issues and tried to fix them with a "bandaid". Turns out she is more borderline personality disorder v. bipolar, which is not treatable with medications.
Hi JJMargaret, I'm not even going to comment on Peelander's post. Your daughter was diagnosed as a teen, just because the doctor never really got to the root of her issues, did you try? did you talk with her as well? I always look at (s) the parent and the doctor has to act as a team to try and find out what the problem may be, and another thing I have learned is that maybe sometimes people might not know exactly what is going on that has the problem, all they know is that something is wrong and they feel sad, angry or depressed. My mother has never been there for me since I was diagnosed with depression, she told me "go to the doctor and get some medicine". that was 10 years ago. I tried talking out my issues, but I continue to feel the same way. I dont act as a victim, why should I? victim of what? I do wish to feel better. I hope your daughter feels better or is better.
Peelander, I think your response comes across a bit harsh, though it's good advice. If I was a depressed person or the poster, and read the first paragraph, it would make me feel worse, like I was being labeled and "shamed" into falling into a category of "less-thans". Although addressing the 'severely bipolar people' that you have known personally, it just came across a bit shaming. Sorry, but it did.
On the upside, your advice is excellent. And very true. she will need a caseworker or mentor to help her along the way and show her how to accomplish this. Being that 'those people', or anyone else for that matter, don't come equipped with on/off switches and 'get into action buttons' that allow them to automatically know what to do and give motivation.
Livingwithbipolar, bless you ! and I wish you a healing touch in your recovery.
You can be happy, and be bipolar. Bipolar does not evaporate joy and happiness. There are some concepts regarding people who do not have a chemical imbalance. They too do not have happiness all the time. Many people are not happy. Many people become stuck in a victim role. Being diagnosed with any chemical imbalance takes time to adjust to the verdict. When you reach the point that this is not a disease but just a condition, you can begin to work on self-love. That is needed first in everyone's life. How do you go about gathering self-love? Love yourself and take responsibility for your actions. There are some great meds for bipolar, and there are a lot of successful people with this diagnosis. You would be surprised at how many are living fully with their ailment.
Take responsibility for how you live. Learn forgiveness of others and yourself. Eat properly, and find some form of exercise. Dancing in my mind is the best exercise and frees the soul.
Smile at yourself, and be the best you can be just for today. If it is just getting out of bed, that is an accomplishment. As you get out of bed, make your bed, a second accomplishment. Put on an audio-book tape for self-improvement..3rd accomplishment and you are on your way.
You are right....only time will tell. Remember, it won't always feel this way and you won't always be depressed. The darkness will fade; you've acknowledged it, you feel it, but it doesn't own you.
There's a light coming your way!
Just like one needs to learn to live with themselves after any major life change, receiving a diagnosis requires adjustment. First, you have to accept the changes in your feelings and thoughts, then accept what you have to do to deal with them. It is not easy. Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are of worth as a human being, no matter what your diagnosis. Don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise!
You think you got problems...?
One day, in line at a company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, "My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I better see a doctor."
"Listen, you don't have to spend that kind of money," Mike replies. "There's a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong and what to do about it. It takes ten seconds and costs ten dollars... a lot cheaper than a doctor."
So Joe puts a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Wal-Mart. He deposits ten dollars and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits.
Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout: You have tennis elbow. Soak it in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart!
That afternoon, while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled. When he got home, he mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter and his own sperm sample for good measure, and hurried to Wal-Mart before it closed, eager to check the results.
He deposited ten dollars, poured in his concoction, and awaited the results.
The computer lights up, and ten seconds later prints the following:
1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener kit. (Aisle 9)
2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant, Twins. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer.
5. If you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better.
Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart!
Hi Paradigmsearch, I'm really not sure if you were being sarcastic , mean, or making a point. I like the whole Wal-Mart scenerio, but, like you said, we al have problems, thats why people need to stick together and care for each other. Honestly, I've been taking care of people for 10 years, been an LPN for 10 years, but I never knew how well I needed to take care of myself until I started getting sick. I thought the people in this world was more caring and loving instead of being so cold-hearted.
Congratulations on getting correctly diagnosed!
Yes, your mood swings all these years were depression. But, apparently something more, as well.
I would hope that there is some relief in knowing what's really going on.
In reading the comments and advice you've gotten so far, I think there are some very helpful suggestions. May I add a few from my experience?
1. Since your bipolar diagnosis is new, it may take a few tries to get your "cocktail" of mood stabilizers + antidepressants right. I hope you are working with a good psychiatrist that you like and trust.
2. Drugs can help control the moods. But we can't rely on them to do the whole job for us.
Sure would be great if there was a magic pill that made it all better. Not realistic, however.
3. Be gentle with yourself. As I was told by someone very wise, "Make friends with it. Don't fight it."
That simple concept really helps. Whatever mood you're in, know it will pass and you will feel better in time.
4. The suggestions about diet and exercise are spot-on. Get your endorphins going! Yoga or other spiritual practice also great. It's called "self-care" and it's really important (and I'm guessing something of a foreign concept if you're one of the burn the candle at both ends bipolars!)
4. Redefine happy for yourself. You can. It may be in only small bursts -- but it's still in there.
Good luck to you.
Keep us posted as you go along, k?
For the depressive phase of this
illness, anti-depressant medications
can relieve depressed feelings, restore
normal sleep patterns and appetite,
and reduce anxiety. Anti-depressant
medications are not addictive.
They slowly return the balance of
neurotransmitters in the brain, taking
one to four weeks to achieve their
During acute or severe episodes of
mania, several different medications
are used. Some are used to calm the
person’s manic excitement; others
help stabilise the person’s mood.
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