SRS At what point can you throw the towel in on a terminal mood disorder?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Tard Carnival, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Tard Carnival

    Tard Carnival New Member

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    I have no idea what the official diagnosis would be, some sort of bipolar I'm sure, but that doesn't even matter.

    I always reacted poorly to stress, but major surgery just as I was turning 21 seems to have completely broken me.

    The following school year (my third in college), I failed my first class ever, and in fact failed every one that semester. Did medical withdrawal but the second semester went about as well, so I just dropped out and moved home. Previously I was an A/B student and was on a full ride scholarship, so this was quite a change.

    Ever since then I've had cyclical depression issues, with them becoming gradually more frequent and severe from age 21 to 25 where I am now.

    At this point the mood swings have progressed to several a month up to a few times in a day, and the swings themselves have increased in severity such that I've had my first genuine manic episodes in the past few weeks. I believe I owe a lot of the last month's accelerated degeneration to the wellbutrin I've been on for just over two weeks now.

    The mood swings are so fucking severe now it's difficult to even hold down my shitty pizza delivery job, and forget about any serious commitment like school.

    I cannot describe the inconceivable feelings of shame, hopelessness, despair and just plain sadness I experience during the downs, even rationally knowing I've done nothing wrong and am plenty capable, and during the ups I've come to dread the quickly approaching depression such that I can't even be productive during periods I used to be. It's causing ever more trouble in my relationships which just feeds into the cycle of mood swings and extreme negative emotions.

    At some point my broke-ass brain is going to see to it that I destroy everything that's ever mattered to me, and modern medicine has no good solutions for mood disorders.

    What the fuck do I do? Suffer in silence, counting the days until I can die of natural causes? I've been going through the motions since gradeschool, and now things have gotten bad enough I can't even do that anymore, and I only see one eventual result, so why wait right?

    I'm so fucked. I always have been, and I always knew it, but it feels like things are finally hitting a stopping point.
     
  2. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Have you sought professional help?

    What are your alcohol/drug consumption habits like?
     
  3. Tard Carnival

    Tard Carnival New Member

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    Just recently went to a doc and he put me on the wellbutrin which has made things... more swingy. Calling him tomorrow but I don't anticipate anything beyond him tossing different antidepressants at me.

    Alcohol is 2 beers in last 2 weeks, last year extremely light, previous years moderate to heavy use as it was the first drug I tried (and failed lol) to self-medicate with.

    Weed is mostly daily. Helps with occasional insomnia, kills dreams (which are usually nightmares), helps anxiety, and can usually temporarily pull me out of a down phase. Light social use during 'good' times.

    Half-pack a day smoker. Started at 19, became regular smoker around 21. Attempts to quit cause extreme IBS symptoms and baaaaaad depression.

    Plenty of other random ones in the past, but never had the use of any have any obvious effects longterm, except maybe some anxiety relief after one particular mushroom trip. My urge to do drugs, get any sort of altered consciousness, goes from nonexistant during the best days to near-compulsive if it's an especially bad day.

    There's some possible long-term consequences of weed, but I firmly believe I'd have killed myself during one of my previous depressive episodes if I didn't have it to numb and lift the spirits.

    All symptoms have been present since around 5th grade (is the earliest I can remember anxiety ever getting bad enough over school to think "I wish I were dead"), well before exposure to any sort of substances.
     
  4. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Is this doc your general practioner...the one you call when you're sick and need antibiotics? Or is this some other type of doctor?

    IMO you would benefit from therapy but finding the right therapist can be very, very difficult. It may take time for you to find one that you can be 100% honest with. This is what you want in a therapist. When you hold back in therapy, you're limiting it's benefit. You need someone that can get down in the trenches with you and help you find a way through. You may have to switch therapists many times before you find this person but the benefits cannot be underestimated.

    I found such people and they saved my life. I would have been dead long before now because of all the confusing shit that goes on in my mind.
    Alcohol is a depressant. It's probably best for you to stay away from this.

    Also, it's possible you're dealing with complex brain chemistry issues. Adding additional chemicals to the mix can really complicate diagnosis and treatment. Does your doctor know about your usage? If not, I would suggest sharing it with him/her.....all of it.....all of the messy details. It really is important for your doctor to have a clear picture of what's going on in your life.
    Ya know, I certainly can't disagree because I've been there man. Just realize that it's probably best to limit your intake.
    All the more reason to limit your intake.

    It's quite possible that you're dealing with a disease that can be treated with medication/therapy. Hang in there man....I wish I had better advice for you.
     
  5. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    Everytime I read one of your threads, I keep thinking you're just finding all kinds of excuses and ways to justify your shortcomings. I may be wrong. :hs:
     
  6. Tard Carnival

    Tard Carnival New Member

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    I think therapy is the last thing I need to worry about right now lol. Without a stable mindset I'd stop going even if I worked up the resolve to go, and I sincerely doubt this is something I can talk out.

    Doc didn't even ask any questions about them yet. Seems like a fairly hands off kind. I have very low expectations and am going to ask for a psych referral as a sort of last resort.
     
  7. Tard Carnival

    Tard Carnival New Member

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    OT is just a great distraction from whatever bullshit happens to be weighing on my mind on any given day, same as friends and weed I guess.

    I do always get a kick out of people's armchair analysis, and wouldn't wish this on any of them. on anyone.
     
  8. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Your logic is very similar to, "I need to get in shape before going to the gym".

    Good luck. I hope you find help for dealing with these issues.
     
  9. Aviv

    Aviv OT Supporter

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    If you're bipolar (and it sounds like that's worth exploring with a doctor), then there are bipolar-specific medications that can help. Depending on what's prescribed, anti-depressants can be just part of the puzzle, but there are also meds that have been found to work on the manic as well as depression side of things. I'm treating my bipolar with one medication and it's not an anti-depressant.

    If you have such little faith in your doctor, maybe you should see a new one? Try finding one that specializes in mood disorders. And a therapy appointment wouldn't help. Making that initial call is very hard, but the first therapy couple sessions will be very productive. Sometimes just talking with someone who's trained to listen can help, even without that person making any suggestions yet.
     
  10. wizurd

    wizurd TRUE OT OG BRO

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    What exactly goes through your mind during the day?

    Would you say you have worse problems with depression or anxiety?



    I'm kind of the same way. I have bad mood swings a few times a month but I generally have bad anxiety daily. Most of my anxiety issues are health related in my mind. I really don't get depressed unless I do something that'll make me that way. After being on Lexapro and Xanax for so long a lot of things that normally would've made me mad/angry/upset really don't anymore. It usually only stems from things I do to myself that make it worse, so in a way I can fix them, but anxiety I have yet to find a way to rid myself of.

    I think if I quit smoking (I smoke a lot) and stopped drinking caffeinated beverages it'd get a little better. But sadly I enjoy those two things. :o :hs:


    Sometimes the stress and frustration from my job makes me wish I could go back to an easy job and make half of what I do now but at the same time when I am extremely busy and running around I tend to feel better.


    Who the fuck knows man...I have no real answers here.
     
  11. Tsunami

    Tsunami New Member

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    Tard, print out your posts this in this thread and take them to your psychiatrist and psychologist
     
  12. Tsunami

    Tsunami New Member

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    Dude, seriously, if you want to be happy and functional, get working with a psychiatrist and psychologist.
     
  13. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

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    Honestly dude, having been in similar emotional/mental positions to you in the past....

    lay off the booze and the drugs. Go clean and sober.

    Take stock of your life, what you like about it and what you don't like about it, and then make peace with it and accept that that is who you are at this point in time. Then if you want to change something, work on changing that one thing, but treat it like trying to beat a really hard song in guitar hero or some shit, not a flaw that you're trying to erase, but a trait that you're trying to improve.

    That was my secret to beating it
     
  14. MudRacer4x4

    MudRacer4x4 New Member

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    all i can say from someone who has the same shit. dont do drugs make things a million times worse and cause u have had surgery u can probably get them easy
     
  15. Effervescent

    Effervescent New Member

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    .. Or you could just do fun things and worry less.

    Pretty simple.
     
  16. RyRy

    RyRy Active Member

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    Good luck! It sounds like you need to see a Psychiatrist for sure. Also did your doctor explain to you that Wellbutrin (or any anti-depressant) can send you into hypo-mania or full blown mania? Bipolar runs in my family and it scares the shit outta me! Seeing people go thru all of this, finding the right "cocktail" and then sometimes them just being a zombie. Also checkout dailystrength.org they have Bipolar forums with people who you can ask questions and such, it's like OT for the crazies (but without the bickering and porn) I've received a bunch of good info from that place that has helped me with my depression, panic attacks, and insomnia.
     
  17. I Flogged Molly

    I Flogged Molly New Member

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    The most key word in that entire sentence being the second "and."
     
  18. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    The keyword is using your dissatisfaction of not wanting to be in the place that you are now as a power to get you where you want to be. Throw everything that is negative like a garbageman out of your life.

    Everything went wrong when you stopped going to school and dropped out, or in other words you need to climb up, go back to school and finish what you started in order to get out of your depression.
     
  19. LT4Justin

    LT4Justin New Member

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    +1

    That's the most logical route. If things are really bad you may have to put yourself out there a little bit and let a parent/sibling/close friend/whatever in on what you're going though so they might help make sure you keep at it.

    I wouldn't throw in the towel without making a genuine effort at professional help for at least a couple years. The "suffer in silence" method never works out. It's kind of fucked up how so many people will kill themselves before they'd admit to somebody close to them they need a little help.
     
  20. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    Wellbutrin is going to make things swingy, but you need to ride that out for a few full weeks before you can actually feel if it's working or not.
     
  21. JudyVu

    JudyVu New Member

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    However, a therapist who is knowledgeable can tell your regular physician what anti-depressant would be most effecitive for you. Please go!
     
  22. skierd

    skierd Member

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    Save the medical issue, you and I had similar college experiences. I did really well in high school and failed out of my first college in 3 years due mainly to cycling in and out of severe, occasionally suicidal, depression to what looking back was probably a mild to moderate hypomanic state every 3-4 months. I'm amazed I made it as far as I did considering most of the time I could barely retain any information in class or studying or even read clearly. I've never liked the idea of taking medication, especially since you mostly read about the stories where it doesn't work or the side effects are worse than the thing they're trying to cure but...

    The best thing I ever did for myself is while one of my slightly "up" periods I for some reason enrolled myself in community college about 2 weeks before classes started, on a whim.* Did really well and applied to the four year school I'm at now. Then the inevitable crash came and I barely struggled out of my second community college semester taking one class. I still made it back to a 4 year school, which right now imo is the most important thing I've ever done for myself because my grandmother died in the middle of my first semester back taking classes full time. I was already sliding into the deep winter awfulness I knew always awaits me around the New Year, but that nearly sent me over the edge.

    But I went to the campus counseling center first. Talking to a psychologist was weird at first, but it started peeling back the layers of everything I had heaped onto myself over the years to get towards the heart of what was bothering my mind/heart/soul/whateveryouwanttocallit. I fought medication until I cycled again, hard, this time having a full manic episode and more or less tried to kill myself twice. I was 25 when that happened fwiw. It scared me enough to get me back into therapy and to see a p-doc. So far so good now that I'm taking something, but it hasn't been all that long yet so who knows if its really working but so far so good.

    CN - The point to all that is yes there is hope if you can still struggle to see some light in tomorrow, or if you can just hold on that extra minute longer to see how much darker the next one is. After all, you never know when you hit bottom until you bounce (bad analogy I know... please don't take that literally). Of course once you've bounced, you've got no where to go but up so you might as well keep living! At least, that's why I eased the hammer down...

    1) Go back to your GP and explain to him that the medication you are taking is not working, that you're feeling/getting worse, and you want to get a second opinion.
    2) Have him recommend you to a psychologist (therapist) and at least one psychiatrist. If not, start cold calling local offices through the yellow pages. Maybe try a large state university's counseling center, preferably the one in which you were enrolled, they should at the very least be able to direct you in the right direction.

    3) Get yourself to said recommended therapist and/or p-doc asap.
    Remember, you're just crazy like the rest of us. :wavey: :hug: If your chest started hurting or a tooth started aching or falling out, you'd go to a regular doctor or dentist as soon as you could right?

    Regardless of the efficacy of the medication I'm on ultimately ends up being, I'm here to ponder that fact because I went and had a chat with a nice lady about why I was very sad.

    *come to think of it, it was more than that thinking back maybe but this isn't the time or place for that
     
  23. Car1

    Car1 New Member

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    Don't throw in the towel. I know about depression and mood swings caused by Bipolar II (worth Googling). Bipolar II is not Bipolar I (obviously), and isn't the same despite the name.

    There are effective medicines for mood disorders. One is Lamictal (lamotrigine). Antidepressants can actually 'push' you into some Bipolar cycles. That's why the fairly recent 'black box' warnings on antidepressants says they're not for people under 18. Some of these kids were taking antidepressants (SSRIs) for depression, but their depression was Bipolar II-related, and the SSRIs 'pushed' them into Bipolar swings, some with tragic results.

    A psychiatrist, in my opinion, is the only way to go. Talk therapy, as would happen with a psychologist, is of limited value with Bipolar II (again... my opinion only). Psychiatrists are the only ones who can prescribe medication, and medication is the only real way to help any Bipolarity.

    Lamotrigine takes a while to help, but it does definitely smooth out the swings. There are some "black box" warnings with Lamotrigine, but under a psychiatrist's care they shouldn't affect you.

    Do_not_give_up. My experience was crash-and-burn at 18, get a little help at 40, and experience relief at 52. It won't take you that long, so don't despair, because you have the internet and OffTopic forum for support and info. Giving up is not an option.
     

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