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Old 04-19-2019, 03:55 PM #1
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Default Focusing when manic

Hey all. So I have bipolar disorder, type 2 (as well as BPD and GAD, but those arenít the problem right now, really). Unfortunately, the weather change this time of year weirdly plunges me into a hypomanic episode...every year...Iím managing it for the most part, havenít done anything awful yet, been using skills. But...Iím having an AWFUL time focusing and Iím ridiculously behind in school because of it. I canít get my brain to just quiet down and focus. I just got an increase in my Lamictal 2 days ago, so hopefully that will help, but for now...what skills or techniques do you suggest? Anyone with bipolar figure out how to regain focus during mania? Taking more time off from studying isnít an option. Iím a med student, school is too rigorous for that and Iíve already lost so much time. Iíve tried meditation and stuff, but honestly I canít even think of which skills would work here...I am not particularly distressed or emotional. Probably mindfulness, but Iím so bad at it. 😕 Adding to my anxiety is that my therapist is out of town for the next week.
Anyway...any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:25 PM #2
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Default Re: Focusing when manic

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much, MRT6211! I have never experienced this so unfortunately I don't have a lot of advice to give to you I hope your meds will be able to help you focus a little bit more! I understand why you'd not want to take a break from studying although I'd suggest to think about it if you can and want to! I'd suggest to perhaps study a little bit and take some breaks between sessions. You can decide how long should you study and how long the breaks should be! Anything that may help you and work out for you! I hope you'll be able to see your therapist soon! Hopefully he/she will be able to help you! Perhaps he/she will be able to suggest you some coping strategies and techniques to you! I feel like that's REALLY important! I hope things will get better soon for you and your studies! Remember that there's NOTHING wrong with taking a break if you need it and want to! Please DO consider it if you need and want to! You're a STRONG, WONDERFUL PERSON! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT! Remember that we're here for you if you need it! Feel free to PM me anytime! Let us know if there's ANYTHING that we can do to help you! ANYTHING AT ALL! Just mention it and we'll try our best to do it and to help you! I PROMISE YOU THAT! Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes! I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this, MRT6211!
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:55 AM #3
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Default Re: Focusing when manic

In my experience Lamictal is slow to take effect. Do you have anything like benzodiazapines to help in the meantime?

Focus is the hardest thing for me and meditation can be impossible. I find that using a mantra is much easier for me than trying to empty my mind. Try to exercise, if you can, to burn off excess energy right before you study. Study in short bursts. Do something creative in between study sessions. I love those adult coloring books for that purpose. Different colored highlighters are helpful for me too, and writing notes by hand instead just typing. What works for might not work for you though.

Edited to add that fidget toys help me too.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:25 AM #4
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Default Re: Focusing when manic

I can relate to your problem. Dodger toys are good. When I had to study a lot I would read a few pages and then juggle while reciting what I memorized or summarizing the pages I just read and then study some more. The brief breaks and juggling helped occupy the overactive parts of my mind and the rest of me was able to consolidate memory. Weird, but it worked.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:29 PM #5
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Default Re: Focusing when manic

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRT6211 View Post
Hey all. So I have bipolar disorder, type 2 (as well as BPD and GAD, but those arenít the problem right now, really). Unfortunately, the weather change this time of year weirdly plunges me into a hypomanic episode...every year...Iím managing it for the most part, havenít done anything awful yet, been using skills. But...Iím having an AWFUL time focusing and Iím ridiculously behind in school because of it. I canít get my brain to just quiet down and focus. I just got an increase in my Lamictal 2 days ago, so hopefully that will help, but for now...what skills or techniques do you suggest? Anyone with bipolar figure out how to regain focus during mania? Taking more time off from studying isnít an option. Iím a med student, school is too rigorous for that and Iíve already lost so much time. Iíve tried meditation and stuff, but honestly I canít even think of which skills would work here...I am not particularly distressed or emotional. Probably mindfulness, but Iím so bad at it. Focusing when manic Adding to my anxiety is that my therapist is out of town for the next week.

Anyway...any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
You might see another dr. BP2 cant have a full blown manic episode but only hypomanic and depression. Its literally the core symptom of BP1 to have manic episodes over just hypomanic episodes and to be BP2 you cant ever have had a manic episode. See below.

Specialty: Psychiatry
Synonyms: BP-II, type two bipolar, bipolar type two

Overview

Bipolar II disorder is a bipolar spectrum disorder (see also: Bipolar I disorder) characterized by at least one episode of hypomania and at least one episode of major depression. Diagnosis for bipolar II disorder requires that the individual must never have experienced a full manic episode (unless caused by an antidepressant; otherwise one manic episode meets the criteria for bipolar I disorder).
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