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Old 06-12-2019, 09:53 AM #1
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Default Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of it)

MsSunflower's recent thread sparked a slightly different thread idea in my mind. It made me think of the times when people clearly noticed my bipolar disorder symptoms/behavior and either showed concern, or wanted to rectify/change it in various ways. I guess my thoughts about this are mostly "pre" diagnosis (or before my acceptance of the dx). I'd be curious to know about such concerns and/or reprimands others received or heard about during such times?

There were more than I can possibly remember. It's amazing, too, how many I simply brushed off. Not long ago, I told my therapist that I had a "Teflon shoulder", in a sense. Friends got angry or even stopped being friends with me. Strangers stared or even made stern statements about my behavior in public. I got let go from some jobs (though quit many, too). I was reprimanded by several past bosses. Some of the primary complaints were about me being "loud", "out of control", "aggressive", being "disruptive in public" (a mild word sometimes), occasionally "violent" (though always to things and not people", "unhinged"...

A couple of years ago, my husband told me that early in our marriage, he called my mother without my knowledge. He told her that he was deeply concerned about my behavior, including anger outbursts. [Irritability is, frankly, often too mild of a word.] Of course my mother had seen such behavior countless times, including from my sister and father. She sort of laughed it off and asked "Is BirdDancer shoving her chin out and roaring?" My husband said "Well, yes". In response, she said "Ohhh, give it a little time and she'll be OK." To that, he just let it go.

In addition to having periods when I was extremely loud, over energetic, motor-mouthed, and generally outrageous, I also had major issues with impulsivity, disinhibition, talking over people, and when they did talk, not being able to pay attention to them...because I was only concentrating on my own racing thoughts. That really annoyed my husband, who would often get angry about it and tell me. But again, I'd either say "OK, I'm sorry" and then soon after repeat the behavior. Or get angry in response. Either way, I was unable to learn from this feedback. Most of the time, because I felt justified in the behavior. Other times, impulsivity was an issue.

Unfortunately, to this day I still have breakthrough episodes and hear concern/reprimands. But I know its source and usually try to rectify it with prns, communication to my pdoc/tdoc, or other strategies.

How about some of your feedback or stories about others expressing concern, that you're willing to share?
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

I was young when I started having problems. At 17 my teacher came up to me and told me I'm depressed. We talked about all my options and left it at that. She told me I could still have good days when depressed (she didn't recognize mania). She tried to have the D&A counselor talk to me and I flipped ****. Stormed out of there and didn't come back for the rest of the day.

I've know I've had issues since 11 but I was/am scared of telling the whole truth in fear of being hospitalized (when I was little I thought for months/years at a time) Also the idea hospitals would make me eat or get a feeding tube scared the hell out of me. One of the first serious conversations I had with my husband is if he force hospitalizes me or does anything to get me hospitalized it = Divorce. So he shares with no one (including his therapist) what living with me is like.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:24 AM #3
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

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Originally Posted by Miguel'smom View Post
I was young when I started having problems. At 17 my teacher came up to me and told me I'm depressed. We talked about all my options and left it at that. She told me I could still have good days when depressed (she didn't recognize mania). She tried to have the D&A counselor talk to me and I flipped ****. Stormed out of there and didn't come back for the rest of the day.

I've know I've had issues since 11 but I was/am scared of telling the whole truth in fear of being hospitalized (when I was little I thought for months/years at a time) Also the idea hospitals would make me eat or get a feeding tube scared the hell out of me. One of the first serious conversations I had with my husband is if he force hospitalizes me or does anything to get me hospitalized it = Divorce. So he shares with no one (including his therapist) what living with me is like.

Thank you for being willing to share that, Miguel'smom. I'm glad that you have been open about your fears and concerns with your husband.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:30 AM #4
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

I don't have anything in particular to share, but thank you BirdDancer for making this thread! I'm REALLY HAPPY that you're able to better manage your mood today! It seems like your husband is very supportive of you! That's WONDERFUL! Sharing our concerns with others is certainly very difficult! I'm also REALLY HAPPY that Miguel'smom was able to talk to her husband about ALL OF THIS as well! It is not easy to open up to other people! I certainly struggle with it A LOT myself! In fact I don't think I've ever been able to fully share what I feel to ANYONE IRL! I understand your struggles! It is important to take little steps towards it though! IT CAN BE DONE! It just takes a little effort! Keep trying everyone! Sending many safe, warm hugs to you, BirdDancer, and to EVERYONE!
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:55 PM #5
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

I was deep into researching some dark topics that I felt I needed to look into for some volunteer work I took on. I let it consume me for a while and my husband suggested I take a step back more than once. I didn't listen and kept going because I felt so passionate about helping the people I was working with. It polluted my mind though. Much of my psychosis centered around this topic when I had my episode. I so desperately wish I had listened to my husband. He is wise and kind and had my best interests and those of my children at heart. I just couldn't see it though. I thought I was fine.

I talked to my therapist about it and she was super surprised I was able to dig in as long as I did without breaking down. She informed me that most people who work in the field I was investigating are forced to take regular breaks and have to attend mandated therapy sessions. I had no idea what I was doing to myself. People who work in the field are usually only staffed in it for 6 months before they are assigned to something else. I was hyper focused on it for 2 years. It definitely contributed to my severe break with reality.

I've stayed completely out of it for the last 7 months since my episode. I am able to focus on the good things in life again and my priorities are straight. I thought it might be hard to walk away, but it has been the easiest choice I've ever made. My family is too important. There is no other choice. I learned coping skills and there are infinite ways I can spend my time and give back without breaking my mind in the process.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:01 PM #6
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

Quote:
Originally Posted by fern46 View Post
I was deep into researching some dark topics that I felt I needed to look into for some volunteer work I took on. I let it consume me for a while and my husband suggested I take a step back more than once. I didn't listen and kept going because I felt so passionate about helping the people I was working with. It polluted my mind though. Much of my psychosis centered around this topic when I had my episode. I so desperately wish I had listened to my husband. He is wise and kind and had my best interests and those of my children at heart. I just couldn't see it though. I thought I was fine.

I talked to my therapist about it and she was super surprised I was able to dig in as long as I did without breaking down. She informed me that most people who work in the field I was investigating are forced to take regular breaks and have to attend mandated therapy sessions. I had no idea what I was doing to myself. People who work in the field are usually only staffed in it for 6 months before they are assigned to something else. I was hyper focused on it for 2 years. It definitely contributed to my severe break with reality.

I've stayed completely out of it for the last 7 months since my episode. I am able to focus on the good things in life again and my priorities are straight. I thought it might be hard to walk away, but it has been the easiest choice I've ever made. My family is too important. There is no other choice. I learned coping skills and there are infinite ways I can spend my time and give back without breaking my mind in the process.

I'm sorry that you got to the point of a break with reality, @fern46 . I'm happy, however, that you now focus on things that are better for your health and family and know that a certain amount of moderation in passions is important.

I am so glad you mentioned a tendency to hyperfocus in bipolar disorder. That is not discussed much at all from what I've seen, and when you google it you almost exclusively come up with only ADHD-related results. Do you also have ADHD? I definitely don't meet the criteria for that disorder, and yet hyperfocusing was/is a common symptom in my hypomanias and manias. Like you described, it often increased my mental acceleration to the point of a psychological car crash. It's amazing also how one can become totally "deaf" to other major things in life.
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PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

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Old 06-12-2019, 02:56 PM #7
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

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I'm sorry that you got to the point of a break with reality, @fern46 . I'm happy, however, that you now focus on things that are better for your health and family and know that a certain amount of moderation in passions is important.

I am so glad you mentioned a tendency to hyperfocus in bipolar disorder. That is not discussed much at all from what I've seen, and when you google it you almost exclusively come up with only ADHD-related results. Do you also have ADHD? I definitely don't meet the criteria for that disorder, and yet hyperfocusing was/is a common symptom in my hypomanias and manias. Like you described, it often increased my mental acceleration to the point of a psychological car crash. It's amazing also how one can become totally "deaf" to other major things in life.
I don't have ADHD, but I've taken a couple of tests for Asperger's and I might be on the spectrum. I'm odd in a funny and playful way and learned to do well socially, but I am hypersensitive and tend to hyperfocus. I grew up not even knowing Asperger's was a thing, but it fits looking back.

Hyperfocus can be a powerful tool for good, but you have to be really smart about where to focus your energy. I normally choose well and I was fighting for something good so I just didn't see what it was doing to my mind. My husband said I'm like John Nash from A Beautiful Mind or Carrie from Homeland when I get dialed in on something. Not sure if you've ever seen either one of those, but they are decent examples of obsessive hyperfocus behavior. I think John Nash was a schizophrenic and Carrie from Homeland is bipolar.

It starts out well and spirals out of control. I had never had it backfire on me until it did, so now I know better. There are limits to what I can do. Its kinda like mania in low gear that exploded all of a sudden.

My doctors are still leaning toward me not being bipolar, but something is wrong...
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:22 PM #8
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

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Originally Posted by fern46 View Post
I don't have ADHD, but I've taken a couple of tests for Asperger's and I might be on the spectrum. I'm odd in a funny and playful way and learned to do well socially, but I am hypersensitive and tend to hyperfocus. I grew up not even knowing Asperger's was a thing, but it fits looking back.

Hyperfocus can be a powerful tool for good, but you have to be really smart about where to focus your energy. I normally choose well and I was fighting for something good so I just didn't see what it was doing to my mind. My husband said I'm like John Nash from A Beautiful Mind or Carrie from Homeland when I get dialed in on something. Not sure if you've ever seen either one of those, but they are decent examples of obsessive hyperfocus behavior. I think John Nash was a schizophrenic and Carrie from Homeland is bipolar.

It starts out well and spirals out of control. I had never had it backfire on me until it did, so now I know better. There are limits to what I can do. Its kinda like mania in low gear that exploded all of a sudden.

My doctors are still leaning toward me not being bipolar, but something is wrong...

Thanks for reminding me that people with autism spectrum also sometimes have hyperfocus. I am familiar with Asperger's Syndrome. It's certain that I do not have it, but both of my nephews were diagnosed with it and exhibit/ed the symptoms quite clearly, especially my youngest nephew. I would say that both exhibit/ed hyperfocus to varying degrees, but my eldest nephew (with the milder Asperger's) more so, though he has ADD (inattentive type). He is very interested in the brain and studies it and creates 3-D printouts of it. He has even had a journal article published about some of his work on 3-D images of the brain. I told him he should create a business out of it, but I don't believe he is able to handle a business by himself. That reminds me. I promised to give him the copies of my past MRIs and PET scan images.That would really excite him.

My youngest nephew also had bipolar disorder. My family lost him two years ago, June 10, 2017, to suicide.

I think I only watched the show "Homeland" once. I have seen "A Beautiful Mind" and know a bit about John Nash. John Nash was a local. My husband even gave him a ride to the train station once. John Nash was hitchhiking, and my husband, being a Czech, often picks up hitchhikers. It was sad to learn that he and his wife tragically died in a car crash a few years ago on the way home from the airport. He had received another award. My husband and I also saw he and his wife a few times at local eateries and read about him more in local papers. One of his sons, who also has schizophrenia, is apparently a math whiz, too. I've seen him walking. They lived within walking-distance from my past workplace.
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Diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1

CURRENT BIPOLAR MEDS: Tegretol XR (1200 mg), Lamictal (100 mg), Seroquel XR (500 mg), Latuda (20 mg), Klonopin (0.5 mg)

PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

OTHERS: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), multi-vitamin

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Old 06-12-2019, 03:36 PM #9
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

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Originally Posted by BirdDancer View Post
Thanks for reminding me that people with autism spectrum also sometimes have hyperfocus. I am familiar with Asperger's Syndrome. It's certain that I do not have it, but both of my nephews were diagnosed with it and exhibit/ed the symptoms quite clearly, especially my youngest nephew. I would say that both exhibit/ed hyperfocus to varying degrees, but my eldest nephew (with the milder Asperger's) more so, though he has ADD (inattentive type). My youngest nephew also had bipolar disorder. My family lost him two years ago, June 10, 2017, to suicide.

I think I only watched the show "Homeland" once. I have seen "A Beautiful Mind" and know a bit about John Nash. John Nash was a local. My husband even gave him a ride to the train station once. John Nash was hitchhiking, and my husband, being a Czech, often picks up hitchhikers. It was sad to learn that he and his wife tragically died in a car crash a couple years ago on the way home from the airport. He had received another award. My husband and I also saw him and his wife a few times at local eateries. One of his sons, who also has schizophrenia, is apparently a math whiz, too. I've seen him walking. They lived within walking-distance from my past workplace.
That's really cool about John Nash. He went through so much and still accomplished a tremendous amount. He serves as a good reminder to us all that we can achieve anything even though we have our struggles with our minds.

My brain is really well suited for analytics. I'm able to sift through piles of seemingly unrelated data and find relationships that most people cannot. I'm good at breaking things down and putting them back together with an improved big picture. I did very well at my career before I left to have children and stay home to raise and homeschool them. My brain needs complex projects to focus on, so I plan to make sure I choose healthy outlets in the future. Right now, I'm running everything past my therapist and my husband to make sure they agree I'm spending my time well. Having a support system to double check my instincts is working and feels appropriate. I'm not sure I'll ever fully trust myself again.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:43 PM #10
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Default Re: Concerns and/or reprimands expressed/addressed before your dx (or acceptance of i

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdDancer View Post
Thanks for reminding me that people with autism spectrum also sometimes have hyperfocus. I am familiar with Asperger's Syndrome. It's certain that I do not have it, but both of my nephews were diagnosed with it and exhibit/ed the symptoms quite clearly, especially my youngest nephew. I would say that both exhibit/ed hyperfocus to varying degrees, but my eldest nephew (with the milder Asperger's) more so, though he has ADD (inattentive type). He is very interested in the brain and studies it and creates 3-D printouts of it. He has even had a journal article published about some of his work on 3-D images of the brain. I told him he should create a business out of it, but I don't believe he is able to handle a business by himself. That reminds me. I promised to give him the copies of my past MRIs and PET scan images.That would really excite him.

My youngest nephew also had bipolar disorder. My family lost him two years ago, June 10, 2017, to suicide.

I think I only watched the show "Homeland" once. I have seen "A Beautiful Mind" and know a bit about John Nash. John Nash was a local. My husband even gave him a ride to the train station once. John Nash was hitchhiking, and my husband, being a Czech, often picks up hitchhikers. It was sad to learn that he and his wife tragically died in a car crash a few years ago on the way home from the airport. He had received another award. My husband and I also saw he and his wife a few times at local eateries and read about him more in local papers. One of his sons, who also has schizophrenia, is apparently a math whiz, too. I've seen him walking. They lived within walking-distance from my past workplace.
And I meant to add... I'm so sorry about your nephew. That's a tragic loss. You've shared some details about it previously and my heart goes out to you and your family.
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