Talking About Bipolar

Sharing Bi-polar moments

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Home with the sunshine within

I came home this week while the sun was still shining within.

During the short time I was away, there were brief moments that felt like the sun was setting but it did not.  I am truly thankful that it kept shining.  I made it back at the right time.

In the past the sun would go down while away. Each time that happened it would take longer to come back up.  This time I stayed in tune with myself and kept checking in to see how I was feeling.  I stole mental moments to get my footing back and kept the sun in front of my mind.  That got me through.

Now I am back home and the sunshine is still bright within.  I still have to keep checking in with myself and how I am feeling.

I have learned to try to examine why I am feeling a certain way and address the issue instead of letting it fester. The festering is what causes the sun to start going down and if it continues depression sets in.

I also have to be aware of my thoughts when I start to feel down.  What am I thinking?  Are the thoughts based on facts or is it stinking thinking and how do I put my mind on something different?

Staying well requires a conscious effort.

I cannot afford to let my thoughts or my emotions get out of hand. I must check in with myself throughout the day and make sure the sun is still shining within.  I cannot afford to let clouds hide the sun.

Stay well and let the sun shine on the inside everyday.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter


Check-in time

I am still away but trying to make it back home.  The weather has not been favorable for travel back home.

I know it is time to get back to my routine and psychotherapy.  I have to take an anxiety pill every morning, which I had stopped.

Despite this, I am managing to have a good time and holding strong.

I am trying to get back while the sum is still shining on the inside.  It seems to be shining strong and I am expecting it to last.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

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Getting to the top of the world

Laughing more and more.  Enjoying my grandchildren tremendously.

The sun is steady shinning on the inside.

I am venturing further away from home, away from my comfort zone.  This time though I have to make a change.

I have to make my trips shorter. The time to return is before signs of mania or depression start to show. I need to leave while still feeling good before the switch is turned in the opposite direction.

I must know my indicators in case I get caught up in the sunshine and miss the moment it doesn’t shine through.  One indicator is when I stop laughing or get to anxious, then it is time to get back to the comfort zone, psychotherapy and my support system in order to head off a relapse.

The last episode of depression made me realize that I do have limitations and must acknowledge them and work and live within the confines of them to stay mentally healthy.  Sometimes it is discouraging because I want to keep doing what I am doing.  I have to be aware of my mood at all times so I recognize when there is a shift.  That means stop and get help now. Don’t continue and let things get to mania or start spiraling down to depression.  It takes longer to get back to living in the sunshine when that happens.

Taking care of me and getting back to the top of the world without going over the edge.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

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Three for three

The last three mornings I have been wide awake between 3 and 3:30 am regardless of what time I go to bed.

So far there are no signs of mania but I do feel like myself.  A self that I am ok with.  I’m not setting fires and impulse control is better.

I get a little irritated here and there but it lasts for a moment.  I am keeping a check on it such as why, how often and how long it lasts.

Although I feel good, I am not feeling on top of the world.  I am not taking on projects but learning to focus on one thing at a time.  I can even read a book.

Is this what normal is supposed to feel like?  I could stand just a little zaniness to spice things up but I’d better stay in the safe zone.

However, I do miss the adrenaline rush I get when I have more than one project on the burner at a time.  It gives life an extra boost.  My days seem so exciting and every day is sunshine.

I’m at the party, but not the life of the party.  Learning to have a good time without the craziness of mania.

Anxiety is down and I am able to get things done.  I’m okay

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

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It’s good to be me again

It’s good to be able to laugh and joke. It’s good to be me again.

I have not started back on my book yet, but I am laughing more than I have in a while.

I am dealing with the sleep issue as well as I can and I am getting out of the house every chance I get.

The anxiety also seems to be under control.

I am observing how fast my speech is and if I am feeling unusually high on life.  I also take note of my driving speed.  These are a couple of my signs of mania.

I am above even keel but not manic.  I feel like I am living again and not just existing.

It feels good to be out of the fog of depression.  The lower dose of the anti-depressant patch is working.

I am alive.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

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It’s getting better

Since the dosage change with the anti-depressant patch I feel more like me is coming back.

I feel lighter than I have in a while.  I was beginning to feel heavy.  Not in body weight.  It is a heaviness that I cannot explain but I am glad it is going away.

When I get dressed I am ready to get out of the house.  It is not becasue I am trying to escape depression, but because I want to do something fun.  Even though I am tired of seeing snow, I still want to get out of the house.

Right now, with the weather, I am trying to think of fun things to do indoors.  So far, not successful but at least I am thinking about fun.

Hopefully, I will pick up where I left off with my writing. I feel that it will be soon although not just yet.

One fun thing I did was to build a new bookcase.  I have not felt like building anything in a while.  It was good to do something with my hands again.  I am trying to think of something else to build.  I love using power tools.

Well, I think the real pb is coming back.

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

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The Pharmacist is your friend

The best thing you can do whether bipolar or not is to get to know your pharmacist.  They provide valuable information about your medications.

Case in point: I was experiencing muscle/ nervous system problems, called EPS-extrapyramidal symptoms.  My feelings of anxiety were off the chain. My anxiety medication was not working.  I could not stop pacing. I had a constant need to move about.  I could pace in my house for hours.  I could not sit still.  I would try to sit for a minute and pop back up like a jack in the box.  I was restless the whole day and started getting irritated.  I would try to read but could not sit down to do it.  I would walk and read even though my attention span was short.

When I fell asleep at night, I would only sleep for a couple of hours.  When I woke up I would take my saphris (an antipsychotic medication) and that would allow me to fall back asleep for until between 4 and 5 am.  When I first started taking this medication, I would fall asleep right away and sleep through most of the night.  It was great.  Then it stopped working.  So I stopped taking it when I first went to bed.

Taking it at different times allowed me to figure out that I should fall asleep without taking it and then when I woke up 2-3 hours later and could not fall right back to sleep to take it then.  This was now working.  I had longer blocks of sleep.  Then the side effects started but I did not relate it to this medication.  I should have gone back and read the pamplet for the saphris but I did not make the connection until I spoke with my pharmacist and read about the EPS.

I spoke to my Dr. and he thought it was my anti-depressant patch dosage, so he made an adjustment and added a medication to help with the side effects of the anxiousness, the constant movement (my legs would shake when I did sit down so I would have to get back up and walk/pace some more).  It was tiring.

I asked the pharmacist about the new medication and told him why it was prescribed.  He was the one who told me what the name of the symptoms were (EPS) and was surprised the doctor thought it was my anti-depressant since these symptoms were associated with antipsychotic medications.  The pharmacist did not know I was only taking the saphris regularly for the last few weeks, almost a month. He knew I was taking saprhis for a while and did not think it was it at first since I only started experiencing these problems. I went home and researched the EPS and made the connection to the saphris and confirmed it with the pharmacist.  He said this made more sense than relating it to the anti-depressant patch.

I could not reach the Dr. (left a voice message and never got a return call).  I took the new medication but stopped the saphris.  Now the symptoms have stopped and I do not have to take the new medication.

One problem solved becasue my pharmacist knows me and my medications.  He gave me the tools I needed to make the connection.

New problem: I am sleeping an hour at a time.  I sleep for about 2 hours then I am up every hour after that until I finally get tired of trying to sleep and get up.  This is a problem becasue sleep deprivation can lead to mania.

Now what?  Do I start back taking the saphris and the new medication to deal with the restlessness and the anxiousness and irritability?  Do I wait until the next Dr. appointment for new sleep medicaiton?  These are things I need to figure out for myself.  It is my body and I know how I feel with the symptoms.

I trust what my pharmacist tells me about my medications and I make sure I go back and read the side effects to confirm what he says.

Your Dr. may be unreachable when things start happening with medication.  Reading the pamphlets is valuable but you may not which side effect is for which medication and have to read all of them over again.   A pharmacist can help you pinpoint the problem.  They are valuable as part of your treatment team.

Try to use the same pharmacy so they can get to know you.  Ask the pharmacist questions when taking a new medication and when you start experiencing things that can be side effects of your medication.  They may know which one just by you describing the symptoms.

Don’t stop taking medication without first talking with your Dr. I could not reach my Dr. so I stopped becasue I knew which mediciation it was and checked what I might experience if I suddenlty stopped taking it.

Now that I know it is the saphris, I will probably start taking it again with the new medication until I go back to the Dr but I am very happy I spoke with the pharmacist.

Over and over again, the pharmacist has proven to be a valuable person for informaton for my symptoms and medication.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter


Will the real PB please stand up

Slow to respond to things, moving slower than i thought, not much laughter and no silliness that make peole laugh.

Constantly pacing for hours: back and forth, up and down the stairs, walking from room to room and then back again.

The day the snow was heavy, I had to get out of the house.  I was too restless to stay in the house so i braved the snow and went out.  I was glad to be out of the house but shopping at my favorite store, Home Depot did not put a smile on my face or joy inside of me.

i feel that i am just moving through life at a slow, boring pace.  I have no spark.

I have stopped writing and have lost the confidence needed to complete my book.  I seem to have no desire to do anything.  Even my collage hanging in my office, gives me no desire to start a new project or work on the ones I’ve already started.

The Dr. tweaked my medicine so we will see how it goes.  Hopefully I will be back to me in a few days.  Hope is what I have right now.

Where is the real PB.   I hope she comes back soon.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

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Mainstream is boring

I am truly thankful that I have not been depressed but it seems as thought I have not been completely myself either.

Anxiety still gives me problems in the morning and that I can do without.

I remember when things seemed to make me laugh so easily, now it takes effort to laugh.  Sure, I laugh sometimes but not nearly as much as before.

That laughter was energy and now even though I have the energy to function and do the things I need to do, I don’t experience the high energy of fun.  I don’t seem to make people laugh anymore and that is the part of me I miss and so do my friends.

I wonder if this is the mainstream just above depression and maybe the medication needs to be increased.

I miss the silly, high energy me, filled with new projects.  I haven’t thought of any new ones in a long time.  Even my home office doesn’t motivate me right now.

I wonder if it is bipolar or just the weather but I miss all of me being present everyday at 100 percent plus some.

Love to all

pb aka peanut butter

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Sleeping but anxious

I have slept past 4 am for the past 3 nights.  Yay

I am very happy about that.

Even though I am not getting up before 4:30 am, I am still struggling with anxiety.  It is frustrating because it now delays the

things I want to do.  I walk and I pace for a while until I can finally sit down.  It may take a couple of hours before I am able to sit or do something else but pace.  It also takes 2 instead of the 1 ativan to work.  I thought the anxiety would leave with the depression.  At first, it was still there but there were days I would not have to take a pill or just take one.  Today I had to take 2 and still I walked and paced for hours.  I don’t know what to do.

I constantly tell myself, I am not depressed and I proceed to use the anti-depression tools.  I dress the opposite of how I feel and I leave the house.  I try to get out and sometimes stay out for a couple of days so as not to be alone.  I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts right now.

Is there anyone else who has a problem with anxiety?  Do you walk and pace to try to calm down?  Does it take a while for you to calm down?

Let me know how you handle the anxiety and the restlessness.

I have also been told that I am flat.  I don’t seem to laugh or show much joy even though I am not depressed.  The jovialness that goes with my mania is not present.  I feel that something is missing.  Still, I am happy not to be depressed.

pb aka peanut butter


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