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Need some encouragement, please?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, I haven't written about it much here, but the past several months have been a horrible fight with depression, anxiety, insomnia, medications, doctors, etc. It wasn't something that I felt right about posting here, and the illness itself had such a hold on me, focusing on anything wasn't easy.

There is finally a concrete diagnosis (Bipolar II), the symptoms are being treated, and I am beginning to feel human again. (Although it scares me to be labeled with a "mood disorder" that has quite the social stigma attached to it.) It means I'm taking way more medication than I ever have, but the realization that it is necessary hit me pretty hard.

Anyway, during this time, I have managed to put on at least 25 pounds. Ugh!! I am so disgusted that I can't even talk about that!

Yesterday, I decided it's time to fight back, and dragged out the treadmill. They always say exercise is helpful when fighting depression, right? Oh. My. Gosh. I am so out of shape, and so sore, but so determined to keep this going.

I lost almost 30 pounds on that stupid thing a year ago, surely I can do it again. It's too cold to walk outside, and too rural. Besides, if I'm on it, I know my feet have to keep moving, or I'll fall on my face. Makes for some great motivation when you know there could be pain involved, let me tell you!

So, as much as I feel like a hamster, I'm using the treadmill. At least I'll be a thinner hamster!

Thanks all for listening, I guess I finally just needed to get the other stuff off my chest, as well as ask for some support during this treadmill hell! And, since TCS is one of the best places for vibes and support that I have ever seen, where else would I go?!
post #2 of 23
Wow, good for you!! I know you can do it, you said you've done it before right? I'm so happy for you that you're trying to sort everything out and set goals, that is awesome, especially after being struck so hard with that 'label'. Just try and forget about that. We'll always be here for you any time you need to get something off your chest or when you need support!

Also, have you been watching tv while on the treadmill? I think it makes it go by a lot faster. TONS of good luck, you are a very strong person you know!!!!!!!

[by the way, love the new signature!]
post #3 of 23
Good on you for getting back on that horse!!

I know what its like to suffer depression and anxiety - Its the most horrible thing!

So keep well and remember there are always people on TCS to talk to - No matter what time of day!!!

And I think there is another weight loss thread around somewhere, so you can join with the others to encourage each other!!

And don't forget, you always have your kitty for support!!
post #4 of 23
hey thats great going!!

its great that your not letting this 'thing' get you down,

it is just a setback and god knows we all have them at sometime in our lives,
society attatches a label to it and then we think we are tarnished for life.

good for you forget the label

keep pounding that treadmill to your fave album and lose those pounds
post #5 of 23
You can do it! Im sending massive postive vibes your way.
Your already winning by not giving in and move move move!
post #6 of 23
I wish you well!!, dealing with a bi-polar disorder must be very difficult and I think you are very brave to be so open about it, I am so happy to hear that you are starting to feel a bit better though..and I send you many stay strong vibes to continue in everything you are working to accomplish! **hugs**
post #7 of 23
I am surprised to hear about this. You have always seemed so positive and happy on here! I never guessed. I hope you get the ambition you need!
post #8 of 23
I am relieved for you, that you found a name for what is happening with you. With that knowledge, you CAN go forward! And I think, too, that you will begin to find energy again, and that will make working out on the treadmill, that much easier for you. OMG--I am SUCH A KLUTZ! I tried out the treadmill, at a store, and did not know it could put you flat on your face.... YEP....I landed, and almost bashed my face right in!! My DD's were with me, and they immediately helped me up. But, it was all they could do, to contain themselves, as they KNOW I am just not the most coordinated person around!!! So, I give YOU a lot of credit, to just be able to stay upright on that thing!! My oldest DD watches TV while she used her treadmill. She said it makes the time go by quickly! Just remember you ARE stronger than you really think!!!!
post #9 of 23
Well yay yay and yay for you!

I have Bipolar Type II, and trust me, from someone who was diagnosed 15 years ago it does NOT have to be a life sentence. There will be times when it is so hard you curse whatever gave you this horrible illness, but mostly (once it's under control) you will have a happy life and it won't impinge on you much at all.

You just have to be sure to really get to know yourself with this illness. For quite some time, you will be in a reasonably confused state with `Is this me or the illness?' thoughts racing through your head.

In a way, I have learnt to embrace the positive things about this illness. It is clinically understood that this illness usually affects more creative and artistic people, and it can really be an inspiration (especially in those hypomanic states...lol) and make your life more colourful and interesting. Of course, there are the days and weeks that you can't even get out of bed, but as time goes by they become fewer and fewer, and you learn coping strategies to deal with your episodes.

The main word of advice I have for you is BE COMPLIANT. Don't think you can dump your meds just because you feel better. You'll feel better BECAUSE your meds are making you stable. Trust me, I have done this so many times and always ended up in a gutter somewhere (both figuratively and literally) because of it.

There are changes that you will have to make to your life - for example, I don't drink much because it nearly always leads to depression, I am careful to maintain my exercise and I really try to monitor my `warning signs' that an episode is imminent. You will get to know these as time goes on.

I put on about the same amount of weight as you have, too, when I started taking Epilim. Luckily I don't take that anymore as the small amount of Seroquel I take is sufficient to ward off any hypomanic episodes, but don't get despondent - exercising will not only help your condition and your outlook, but will improve your appearance and as a result, most importantly, your self-esteem, which is very important with Bipolar because it can make you feel like a mutant.

Don't let people judge you, but at the same time, keep your confidence close, because it's something that many people do not understand and cannot cope with. I have lost a number of friends because of this illness, but now I don't care anymore because the friends I have now take it as a part of who I am, and are understanding, kind and supportive (even to the `have you taken your meds today?' jokes when you're being a bit kooky...lol)

And remember most of all - this makes you EXTRA special. People with Bipolar often have that extra special something that makes them more magnetic to other people, and you can really carry this illness, and not let it carry you. Good luck

PS - Upon re-reading I realise this TOTALLY sounds like a lecture!!! Sorry, just trying to offer some support from someone who knows how you feel...
post #10 of 23
Well, I don't know what to say, but if you could lose 30 pounds before you could certainly lose 25 again on your treadmill. Maybe that will help you feel better. Doing that in a year is quite impressive regardless.
post #11 of 23
I didn't realise you werent feeling 100% you always seem so cheery on here. At least now you know whats up you are getting the right treatment.
Good for you for digging the dreaded treadmill out! Thats fantastic! I hope you lose the weight you want to and gain confidence from it. Keep us posted
post #12 of 23
I do not know much about Bipolar but I do know about weight yo-yoing as it has happened to me several times. SO good luck with your aims, and we are all behind you!
post #13 of 23
Be GLAD you KNOW whats the issue is/was and that you're able to take a hold of it! I personally would rather be diagnosed with Bi-polar than be called highly-emotional all the time

definitely keep up the good meds. Like KitEKats said, you have to keep taking the meds because they don't cure you, they just keep you in balance.

For motivation of a tread? I would LOVE to have a tread mill. I currently do the DVD work outs (pilates), but I know its not enough for me. Running is the quickest way to lose weight in my opinion. It's horrible at first because everything bounces with you, but just keep the focus on. The more you work out the less jiggle on your body!
Even if you're fav show is on, place a TV in front of the tread mill. Then it gives you something to focus on while you're working out. Then pretty soon you've done a mile and not even realise it!
post #14 of 23
Hey sweetie, it's nice to know you've finally got a little bit of peace of mind with a solid diagnosis! And way to go you for getting up and picking up the bits again - that's some real strength and courage hun, and to get on a treadmill? Every time I get close to one of those my feet start to burn and I start making daemonic noises anything to get out of it!!

God bless you and keep it up - you're obviously doing MORE than great!!
post #15 of 23
I'm sorry you are affected by this awful condition. I applaud you for not just sitting back and letting it take over Maybe when spring comes, you can forget the treadmill and take some nice walks outdoors. Have you been to the katy trail? I've heard it's really nice. If you ever need to talk you can PM anytime, or e-mail me ( my address is in my profile ) Take care

PS- Don't worry about the extra "winter" weight- I think we all get down in the dumps in the winter time and food seems to fill that emptiness. I too have packed on a few come-on spring


post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva!
Well yay yay and yay for you!

I have Bipolar Type II, and trust me, from someone who was diagnosed 15 years ago it does NOT have to be a life sentence. There will be times when it is so hard you curse whatever gave you this horrible illness, but mostly (once it's under control) you will have a happy life and it won't impinge on you much at all.

You just have to be sure to really get to know yourself with this illness. For quite some time, you will be in a reasonably confused state with `Is this me or the illness?' thoughts racing through your head.

In a way, I have learnt to embrace the positive things about this illness. It is clinically understood that this illness usually affects more creative and artistic people, and it can really be an inspiration (especially in those hypomanic states...lol) and make your life more colourful and interesting. Of course, there are the days and weeks that you can't even get out of bed, but as time goes by they become fewer and fewer, and you learn coping strategies to deal with your episodes.

The main word of advice I have for you is BE COMPLIANT. Don't think you can dump your meds just because you feel better. You'll feel better BECAUSE your meds are making you stable. Trust me, I have done this so many times and always ended up in a gutter somewhere (both figuratively and literally) because of it.

There are changes that you will have to make to your life - for example, I don't drink much because it nearly always leads to depression, I am careful to maintain my exercise and I really try to monitor my `warning signs' that an episode is imminent. You will get to know these as time goes on.

I put on about the same amount of weight as you have, too, when I started taking Epilim. Luckily I don't take that anymore as the small amount of Seroquel I take is sufficient to ward off any hypomanic episodes, but don't get despondent - exercising will not only help your condition and your outlook, but will improve your appearance and as a result, most importantly, your self-esteem, which is very important with Bipolar because it can make you feel like a mutant.

Don't let people judge you, but at the same time, keep your confidence close, because it's something that many people do not understand and cannot cope with. I have lost a number of friends because of this illness, but now I don't care anymore because the friends I have now take it as a part of who I am, and are understanding, kind and supportive (even to the `have you taken your meds today?' jokes when you're being a bit kooky...lol)

And remember most of all - this makes you EXTRA special. People with Bipolar often have that extra special something that makes them more magnetic to other people, and you can really carry this illness, and not let it carry you. Good luck

PS - Upon re-reading I realise this TOTALLY sounds like a lecture!!! Sorry, just trying to offer some support from someone who knows how you feel...
I have been a psych nurse for over 10 years, and that is a wonderful post. It is always my wish that someone who has learned to handle things in "real life" could come along side someone who is newly diagnosed, to help teach them to avoid pitfalls.

Sunnicat, you now have a diagnosis for what has been happening for months or years. It is just a name, giving the doctor an idea of how to treat it. Bipolar is a medical illness, and is very treatable. And I agree with KitEKat, that often bipolar people have that social ability to HAVE FUN that the rest of us are missing!

I would warn you to try to keep you sleep pattern steady. Sometimes just staying up too late for a few nights can send your mood swinging. Or if you notice you are sleeping more or less, let your MD know sooner rather than later.

Kudos to you for getting on the treadmill! I wish I had your determination to get on my exercise bike! Remember, we are practically neighbors! Feel free to pm me any time. I have lots of experience in people of many different moods and diagnosis, and fully understand that saying you are bipolar is almost like saying you wear glasses. It gives me a sliver of info about you, but does not define who you are!
post #17 of 23
I am so glad you are gettign treatment. It can only get better from here! Noone on TCS is going to think of you any differently. I am glad you felt that you could share this with us! I am struggling with you on the losing wieght thing. If you need any extra help doing it I am here to cheer you on!
post #18 of 23
I'm glad that you shared this with everyone here, it does help to let people know because you never are alone with your feelings. I've been reading a lot on bipolar disorder for a while now, I even joined a message board on ivillage for bipolar since the symptoms sound so similar to myself. I seem to experience many of the things that people with biploar disorder have although milder than some experience, it really does hit too close to home for me the more I read about it. I really need to get myself evaluated, it's just you know when your feeling great it's easy to forget about it and think everything is just fine. Life does seem to be so much harder for some, doesn't it? I wish you all the best and I hope you start feeling better soon!
post #19 of 23
post #20 of 23
Sunnicat, I'm so sorry you haven't been feeling well lately, but like several others I'm glad to hear that you have a solid diagnosis and are getting on the right track.

It's too bad that bipolar disorder (and many other "mental health" issues) seem to still have some stigma attached to them. It's not any kind of personal flaw...simply a matter of body chemistry. It shouldn't be any more of a stigma than my allergies are. Fortunately more people seem to be aware of this now than in the past, but there are still some who don't get it.

Like others have said, be sure to stay on your meds. My BIL is bipolar and he was doing very well for quite a while. Unfortunately, finances got tight a few months ago so he stopped filling his prescriptions. Unfortunately, he's had a really rough time of it since then and it's been especially hard for him to get back on an even keel.

Keep in touch and let us know how you're doing, and if you need any support or help. There are a lot of very understanding people here who know a lot about these sorts of disorders.
post #21 of 23
I'm behind you all the way!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I would warn you to try to keep you sleep pattern steady. Sometimes just staying up too late for a few nights can send your mood swinging. Or if you notice you are sleeping more or less, let your MD know sooner rather than later.
You know, that is such good advice. It wasn't something I realised until just recently, actually, despite having lived with this illness over half my life. I know that disrupted sleep is a symptom of an episode coming on, but I never realised that untreated insomnia can push you into a manic state. My psychiatrist told me that recently, after I hadn't slept for a couple of weeks and felt that I should tell her about it. Most people would try to battle through, but she said to ALWAYS tell her if that happens, and she would give me a very short course of sleeping tablets, because of the risk of mania. I thought it was very interesting and made a lot of sense. Just another of the things that you learn to look after yourself!

PS - I forgot to congratulate you on the treadmill effort. When you are depressed, it's impossible to motivate yourself to do anything. When you're manic you might just stay on there for seven hours!!! I respect your determination. I am supposed to be going to water aerobics with my best friend in the morning and I've spent three days trying to find credible excuses to get out of it. Isn't that terrible????
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh my gosh! I've been gone all day and just logged in a little while ago. All I can say is, you are all fantastic!!!

You know, the funny thing is, for the past 8 years, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Unfortunately, I bounced around from medication to medication, trying to find one that would help. I have tried a total of twelve medications to treat depression, anxiety or insomnia. Sometimes one would help for a little while, then stop working. Since I never experienced the truly manic episodes, no doctor ever even considered Bipolar, even after going through several doctors.
After almost being involuntarily committed one night, I realized that the doctors couldn't possibly know everything. I began to research and research and research some more. One thing my new psychiatrist tells me is that she can't get over how self-aware I am. It's only because I know that I must know myself and understand the way this illness affects me, or no doctor in the world can help me. Even my new doctor has already tried me on three anti-depressants and three sleeping aids. (Btw, sleeping aids are a HUGE no-no with me, apparently. Ambien CR and Rozerem were tried. It was not pretty, let's just say.) While researching, I stumbled upon Bipolar Disorder Type II. Every single word rang so true to my life that it was eerie.
Finally, I discussed the possible diagnosis with my doctor. For the time being, she wants to treat my symptoms. I'm taking 300 mg of Wellbutrin XL per day, as well as 1 mg of Klonopin at night to sleep (it's primarily an anti-anxiety med, but has sedative properties). So far, so good. I'm much more level than I have been for some time. The next option would be a mood-stabilizer, which frightens me to some degree. But, I have to be honest and admit that, even on the new meds, I'm not always "okay".
Yes, it is a relief to finally have a diagnosis. For years I have thought that it was just me, not being able to fight this "thing" off. And yes, I can pull off a great job of acting as if nothing is wrong, unless you really know me.
I am very relieved to have finally posted this here. The support from all of you and all the kind words have made such an impact here tonight. I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.
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