Movement On An Energy Continuum: Bipolar Disorder, Mania And Manic Episodes

Although popular culture tends to equate mania with happiness and depression with sadness this isn't really the best way to think about what is happening in bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder involves not so much a swing between happy and sad states, as it does a swing between high and low energy states. When in a high-energy state, people appear happy because they are motivated and excitable, whereas in a low energy state, people feel sad, and lack motivation and enthusiasm. As the energy level of a manic episode increases, the early happy mood tends to degenerate into a more agitated and psychotic state which may be experienced more as terrifying than happy, but which is nevertheless very energizing. Similarly, as a depressive mood state increases, people may go from merely feeling badly about themselves to literally not being able to leave their bed. Thus, the happy and sad moods that are thought to characterize mania and depression respectively are results of different energy states and not necessarily primary features of the disorder.

The high and low energy states characteristic of bipolar disordered moods are often thought of as places that exist upon a continuum of energy levels. Manic moods are characterized by high energy states, while depressive moods are characterized by low energy states. As bipolar moods shift from depressed to manic and back to depressed again, part of what is happening, according to this way of seeing things, is that there is a smooth shifting of the bipolar person's energy state moving up and down the energy continuum. Each end of this energy continuum can be considered to be a pole, or end point (in the same way that the North and South Poles are the end points of the earth), hence the origin of the term "Bipolar" (meaning, involving movement between two poles).

Mania and Manic Episodes

Because high-energy manic states exist on a continuum, it is possible for someone to be a little manic or very manic. People who are very manic are said to be experiencing a manic episode. People who are only a little manic are said to be experiencing a Hypomanic Episode. The term 'hypo' means "under", so the term "hypomanic" translates to "less than fully manic".

There are defined criteria (in the DSM) that must be met in order to say that someone is experiencing a full manic episode. For example, manic episodes must be present for at least one week's duration before they can be diagnosed (although they may last far longer than that). Up to several months duration are possible.

A variety of symptoms are possible during a manic episode. At least three of the following symptoms need to be present before the diagnosis can be made:

  • an inflated, expansive, grandiose (and possibly delusional) sense of self
  • reduced sleep needs compared to normal
  • pressured speech (talking so fast the words don't have time to get out the mouth)
  • subjective sensation of racing thoughts (often called a "flight of ideas")
  • distraction or derailment of thought occurring significantly more often than normal
  • an increase in goal-directed activity (purposeful behavior), or physical agitation
  • a marked increase in participation in risky but pleasurable behavior (such as unprotected sex, gambling, unrestrained shopping, etc.)

Manic episodes typically do not come on all at once. Rather, there is a progression of manic symptoms that occurs over a period of time. During an early manic phase of a bipolar condition, a person may become highly energetic, have a million ideas, become very talkative, stay up all night, feel sexually and generally potent, and become very productive. As the manic episode progresses and gains in strength, manic individuals tend to lose their inhibitions and whatever judgment they might normally have, and pursue one or more ill-advised and risky, but immediately pleasurable courses of behavior. Severely manic people may become sexually promiscuous, for instance, leading their becoming pregnant (or impregnating someone else) or becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease. They may spend impulsively on shopping, travel, gambling, or drugs, causing massive credit card debts, and leaving a trail of bounced checks and large cash withdrawals from the ATM in their wake. In their enthusiasm to socialize, manic people may chatter on and on about things that are inappropriate to share with strangers, (e.g. personal beliefs, sexual experiences, etc.) They may also display inappropriate anger, or agitation, and even lash out and become violent in some cases. For example, a manic individual in a bar might pick a fight with little provocation. In the most severe cases of mania, hallucinations, delusions, and outright psychosis occur, further complicating the situation. The inappropriate and out-of-control behavior characteristic of people experiencing a manic episode makes the costs associated with mania sometimes devastatingly high.

Comments
  • Linda Meyer

    After the stress of a divorce after 37 yrs of marriage, retirement, my mother's death and a move to my home town in Minnesota from North Carolina occurring within one year, I have accepted my new diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Until now I was aware of being energetic, fast talking and thinking and a happy person rarely depressed which never lasted very long. I am on Welllbutrin, Lamictal, and Clonapine and for the first time in more than a year have found the right medication combination and dosages. Hopefully, I will never become psychotic. Talking therapy has also been helpful. The clarity of your article has given me a better understanding of this disease. The level of writing has made it easy to understand the aspects of the disease and I do not disagree with anything you wrote. I have had many of the behaviors you described and hope to be carefully aware not do them anymore. Thanks!

  • Carolyn

    I've recently realized that my 51 year old sister has got to be manic depressive. For over 20 years, she's been full of quick, MAJOR decsions, that leaves my family with constant worry. Although, she is very responsible, works professionally, pays bills on time, etc... she's constantly off on a new whim. She ran the gambit of the personal ad's in search of love, which she knows within minutes of meeting someone, that she's "in love". Shes been very promiscuous, all with men just looking for sex, not relationships with her. Recently she fell "in love" with a 78 year old crippled man, that she flew to Florida (she lives in MI) to meet -- who she met 2 days earlier in the personals...during her meeting him, she met his friend (also 78) and declared love for him also. The next day, after filling my ears with all of this ridiculous detail, she called to tell me she "broke up" with the one guy, quit her nursing job and is taking a temp job in FL and oh... scheduled a full face lift next week, "can I take her?". She's just going to charge the $12,000 face lift, and deal with it later... How does a sibling or parent deal with this kind of behavior? That is only the tip of the iceburg with her history. I've found your writings to be interesting and has helped me to understand things more. I just don't know how to deal with her, or NOT?

  • Bob

    I met my love partner 6 years ago and immediately fell in love. I knew she had bipolar disorder and we made a pact that she would always stay on her meds. We had a daughter who is now 4.5 yrs old. My love is bipolar, but has always been on the depressive side. She quit a med approx. 1.5yrs ago after a horrible car accident, but replaced it w/ another med, which worked very well for her. After quitting her original med, she lost over 70 lbs. I have always seen her as beautiful, and now anyone would agree. I believe the weight loss was the big thing that convinced her to go off of all of her meds entirely. We bought a house in August, and I just recently found out that she went off of her meds at this time. She has been so loving and warm these last several months and has not been depressed at all. She has been telling me how much she appreciates me and that she'll never love another man, etc. She convinced me that she's been misdiagnosed. I was wrong. I have never previously seen mania but she is in the middle of a manic episode. Her talk, walk and entire demeanor have changed, like she has changed into another person. We work together and I recently discovered that she has been having an affair w/ a coworker. Her spending is out of control and she is constantly bouncing checks. I told her I'd forgive her for the affair, and she states that she hasn't loved me for a very long time and never will. We have to continue to live together for another month or two, for financial reasons, and it is so difficult. She won't get it until she hits bottom, and I am afraid she won't survive it. I am completely helpless. Our relationship will never be mended, but I still love her. It is so hard to just have to sit and watch the this oncoming train wreck. Thank you for letting me share.

  • Anita

    My sister was diagnoised with maniac bi-polar disorder, she is 43 yrs old, she was hospitalized, she did well on Risperdal and Depakote, she went to the regular hospital, she says she has had mini strokes, she says she was misdiagnoised, she just had a breakdown, she has been off her meds for 4 days. I'm concerned, she is talking fast, talking about God, and what he has told her. i don't know what to do, I'm afraid for her.

  • Anonymous-1

    risperdal didnt do shit for me
    it f*ed things up worse
    there lucky i dont sue their ass
    not that i would win with today's cracked out justice system

  • ken

    I have been having Mood swings since 1972. I had a car accident and recieved a head injury. Since that time I have been so deeply depressed I thought I would surely die, though I never did, I have often Imagined life after this with longing and fear. Though these things seem to be eternal in duration, Ican bet if I hold on that I will be Free, Free, at last. Imean to say, I know my mood will change,I am just not sure it will happen soon enough some day. Each incident of mania and depression take their toll on you and seems to be harder to deal with . You feel as though your a pain to all, I did not understand before . I would come out of the barrel at the bottom of the falls declareing all is well! Not sensing things like others, as I beheld their doubt. I am mortified when I behold my children, and wifes horror as I go through life in a bubble or barrel pick your choice. I recommend to all who suffer as I have, to seek competent help and to stay the course no matter what your thoughts are . If you do not trust who cares for you keep trying. Be true to your own self. May God Bless each and everyone.

  • Wizrd9

    Anita I have dealt with Bi-Polar for 30 years now personally and I understand what your sister is going through! Definitely get her back on her Depakote or a product from a doctor called Cymbalta it will help her, but definitely get her back on the meds. It will help stop the dillusions side of thinking, I have experienced similar aspects and worse and had it get out of hand till it has literally destroyed parts of my life before. I hope you get this before it goes too far. Lots of Love and Good Luck.

  • yrime

    My Dad is havinng a severe manic episode induced by taking prendisone. He is now off that and is takign antiphychotic meds. He has only been on them for a couple of days. I am starting to worry he will never be normal again. I miss him.

  • Michael S, Vancouver BC

    yrime - Your Dad probably misses you too!

    To all who are struggling with depressive or manic loved ones...

    I'm a father, and speak from experience. I struggle with a "bipolar spectrum disorder" - doctorspeak for "they can't quiet nail down a diagnosis". I've been depressed, manic with suicidal ideation, and violent thoughts.

    I am under a physician's care (and pray that you would find a good one), with some periodic counselling and on low maintenance doses of several medications, morning and night. My wife and son have lived with my rollercoaster, and it's my living prayer that I may one day be "well" again, live a "responsible" life, and stop being a burden on others. I am plagued with self-doubt (though I don't believe in self-reliance - we all need others) and guilt.

    My biggest worry and care is the attitude that I get from unsupportive friends who don't or can't understand what this is like.

    What your loved one needs (in addition to competant care) - is your constant encouragement, love and support. Never give up on them. God doesn't give up on anyone, though we often may give up on ourselves, or on others. The Bible has something to say about "those parts that lack" (people who don't seem to have it all together) - it says that they are worthy of more honour than the seemingly more important or significant parts (people who seem to have their poop in a group all the time). I never knew what that meant until I experienced my break with reality and subsequent fall from society's approval. Those people around us who seem to be falling apart and never able to pull themselves together...they are stronger than you or I. Stronger, not on account of their own abilities or qualities, but because they are held up by Divine hands. What they (we...I) go through on a consistent basis is terrible to imagine or describe, but if we do it through the strength of God's eternal son, who died for our sins - we somehow can take that next step.

    Never let them _not_ take that "next" step - even if it's only the next ten seconds that they (or you!) can see into the future. With the right treatment, support and love - they can make it. Yes we need help. And true help does not give up. Remind them of all that they hold sacred and valuable. Keep doing it. When the light breaks on their crisis (as it always does if we wait long enough - or get help sooner) they will always look back in gratitude to those who stood by them. They will have another day. They will smile again. They will acknowledge that they love you once again.

    Life may not always be "good" - but it can be enjoyed in moments here and there. If we are all honest, life is always like that. There are the times we "tolerate" and the times we "gravitate" towards. There is always something we would like to have and things we don't wish to have - only with those whose brain chemistry is faulty, it is more acute, more agonizing at the "poles", at the "extremes". Yes, there is an "energy continuum" and we all fluctuate plus or minus around a (usually fixed) point, but for some of us, it hurts more when we bounce off the edges.

    I wish I could give you my contact information, so I might give you some additional encouragement, but in today's world there are some decidedly malicious people out there who really enjoy giving others a bad time in life. Seek out people to help _you_ as well. Don't forget your _own_ self care. Always be carefully honest with your loved one, and if they truly want your help, they'll be honest back (though you may find it sometimes blunt or painful). Never give up on them, and don't be afraid to let someone else care for them if for any reason, you can't be the one to care for them right now. If you let them know you'll still be around for them, they'll thank you after the bad episodes are over when they can think clearly again.

    God Bless You! (And sorry if I'm a bit long winded...)

  • Kenza

    I really need help!, i been mis-diagnosed for over 20 years now. I guess i'm going through what would be called a Manical State as i type this (sure is a lot of "I"'s in that sentence, please excuse that). My diagnosis has been from Mild Pschizophrenia to just plain Depression and was even given a drug last year for it that was $600 a month (of course paid by the state through the pharmacist, to the drug company). I'm low income and can only get the Dr.'s that are approved by the "System", hence i feel i have been used as a guinea pig most of this time and have mostly taken drugs that was new and still in the "testing stage". An Example of this is when Paxil was prescribed for me in 1994, I only realized many years later how bad of road it took me down. The Paxil was prescribed to me through a program at the hospital that catered to low income people and all the "Doctors" were actually Intern's.

    Actually i'm going to stop there....

    Ironic i should be the happiest person in the world! Even though that might conflict with what you think a poor person should feel, i have everything i need and more! "But Life is Not how you Live it, It's how You see it"

  • will

    i dont know were to start but i need help ive been depressed for more than 20 years the more i read about bipolar disorders im convinced that i must get help ive moved around all my life since i was 3 years old as a teenager i started experimenting with drugs and i let my family down in the end my mother was forced to abandon me because of my drug habit after that i had such a strong feeling of guilt because i let my mother down but as the years go on i realize there is more to it than just my drug abuse since i was a child i have a problem with anger i get so angry that i start trembling and i cant breath this has caused me to lose my family and friends im divorced now i have a 6 year old daughter that i never get to see but im convinced this is because of my anger and inability to control my impulsive behavior i had a relationship that ended recently because of my depression i want to be happy but every morning i when i wake up im angry im angry when i go to sleep i ve been victim of racism all my life i always feel like a victim and i often feel i have to get even if i percieve ive been wronged im not a violent person by nature but i have made many bad decisions and it has cost me my child and my job my loved ones can never relax around me because there are afraid i will have an outburst or start arguing with them for the slitest thing i will never have a good relationship with them againim drug free now but so much has happened that i cant change......help me

  • Jewel

    I have a family history of mental illness on both sides of my family as well as alcohol and eating disorders. I was diagnosed at the age of 27 although looking back I think I had symptoms at age five. It is a tragic illness for both the individual and family as we are very high functioning when in a so called " normal " state which leads to many people including family into thinking that you just want to be this way. I have lost many friends due to this illness also my husband as I had an extra-marital affair.

    I myself began to wonder is this an illness or just me. Thankfully my doctor reassured me it was the illness. You are trapped as you never know what mood is coming next and if your judgement will be right. You start to question everything you do and why. i am artistic and that helps sometimes.

    If you are suffering from this illness you are not alone and the gift you have been given from this illness is EMPATHY for others suffering from any illness as at times you would rather let them have your healthy body and take there dying body so your mind could be free from suffering.

    If you are a friend or family member just listen be supportive you are unable to " fix " this. the worst thing you could do is abandon your friend or family member as we feel alone already. I know I have been suffering from rapid cycling bi-polar disease for 27 years and I'm still trying to stay alive. I have already lost 2 family members to suicide and do not want to leave that legacy to my children.

    Show love and kindness please and help support the empowerment for people living with a mental illness we are able to achieve greatness. Look at Winston Churchill and many others who have contributed to society that you may never have known had endured this illness.

  • Cory

    Im so lost in what all this means. I know I have most of the manic symptoms but I never get too down to be in bed all the time. I seem to always be manic. I have no idea how to control it when I start to get mad and I usualy go off the handle and sometimes get violent. My Fiance and I fight quite often and I just take it to the extreme yelling and screaming for some stupid little thing.I have a 5 month old baby who seems to be the only one I dont take it out on. My mom (who was my best friend) passed away on New Years eve. I feel like although I have my Fiance I have no one who understands me. Ive started seeing a Phsycologist and have an a apt for a phsycyatrist on the 28th. Ive been on effexor and xanax since i had my beautiful daughter but it has done nothing for the mood swings. I dont know how to control myself at times. Its just so confusing

  • W.Stiles

    Hi- My Name is Will and I am afraid of my girlfriend. She was diagnosed with Bi Polar II about 6 months ago. It helped explain a lot regarding her behaivor. Pathological Lying, promiscuity, violence, agressive mood swings, over zealous drug use...she is being treated by a doctor here in Seattle, but I am afraid the treatment is not working. She has become honest and sweet. But her tendancy to hit, bite, scream (in the context of what should be a normal discission, or conflict) I find myself in a impossible situation (totally dedicated to our love...and unable to give up (as her good qualaties are better than anyone's I have ever met. bit the situation has become dangerous...she hits at the slightest provaction---she hit me 3-4-5 times while I was driving last night...I was so angry I said hurtful things...which led to more violence...she contiually goes from hyper agressive to (what I feel) is a a projection of bad behaivor retelling the events with me as the instgator, never even apologiseing for hitting or biting...kicking) she took a phone last week and hit me in the mouth twice puncturing both lips (in front of my 18 year old son. I want her to get a place of her own. But I fear she will slip into heavy drug use and be unable to care for herself...she constantly tells me she is ok...she tells me to stop blaming her condition for the violence. but instead tells me that this her hitting is a result of my me being unloving and treating her poorly...I wake up every morning hoping...but I can feel it emanating off of her...and I become uncomfortable...she stares at me and tells me that I am acting wierd...10 15 20 25xs a day, usually resulting in me becoming irriattaed and verbally lashing out...which always results in another episode of her screaming, then her becoming violent with me. I have never been physical in our arguements. I am losing all my self-respect. My son has witnessed me being hit oner a dozen times. He does not want her in the house...although he cares for her feelings. please help me...who is out therte that can offer help or advice and what can I do to help her and us.

    I feel helpless...I am unable to reason with her...reason makes her angry...also I can be very punitive in regards to her erratic behaivor (being a jerk) it makes things worse, but the compulsion to be truthful abouit events, leads me down a dark road of berating her with the reality of her actions...it doesn't help...her reactions are explosive and violent.


    Thanks in advance,

    Will

  • BB

    I am also bipolar, with a wonderful wife and three daughters. I have made life miserable for them until I was diagnosed and got counseling and was put on depakote. It is safe and effective. Talk to your doctor about it. I am not saying it's the right thing, just an option. There are different types of bipolar disorder or similar things and I was misdiagnosed at first and put on the wrong medicine, which cause auditory hallucenations of a horrible nature. I have kept a journal which made me begin to realize when I was going into a certain phase. This helped to recognize the symptoms and get more control over myself. When i started to feel angry, overly sociable, out of control in my thoughts, I found a way to be alone and safe and work it out. When I felt myself getting depressed, I found a way to work out at the gym or work myself silly in the yard. This helped me. I avoided things I knew would lead to serious consequences. I got help doing these things by being frank with my family and asking them to help me recognize the symptoms. NOT ALL MOODS SWINGS ARE DUE TO MENTAL DISORDERS, and my family still has to recognize that everyone has bad and good days. Even they do and they are not mental! -) Good luck.

  • Anonymous-2

    I have bipolar 1 life was some what fine until I turned nineteen then all hell broke loose, I became so depressed that all i could think about was how to kill myself. I lived with my older sister at the time and we had a Forty four in the house so I took it out into the county and practiced shooting it hoping to get the nerve up to shoot myself but all I could think of was what if I messed up and I ended up in a care facility for the rest of my life. I didn't want that so the gun was out and before I could think of a better way I had intered a psychosis I was so delutional that I actually believed that I was dead and decomposing but my spirit wouldn't leave my body so therefore I would completely decompose while actually still alive but really dead. I guess the undead. Crazy I know but it gets worse I started hearing what I thought was the voice of the devil in my head telling me that I should worship him because I was going to hell anyway, well in the state of mind that i was I certainly believed that it was a nightmare that I wouldn't wish on anyone. To keep this story from going on forever I will scip to the next big thing I ended up spending the next three years of my life in and out of the state hospital for repeaded suiside attemps and over all being too delusional to take care of myself. Well they thought that I was schitzophenic but it turned out that I'm bipolar with psychotic features that just means that if I'm not level I'm going to most likely become delusional

    The good news is that I am level now and I have a wonderful supportive husband and two daugters that I really love and I want peaple to know that there is hope that meds really do work if you will stick to it, and theripy can make a big difference in understanding ones self so that you can watch out for the signs and be ready and willing to do what needs to be done before it gets worse. I know that this illness hurts like hell the depression kills the highs destroy marriage and friends but there is help and true friends will understand if not they were not worth it. Good luck to all that suffer.

  • Roxy

    Hello to you all,

    I am bipolar, that is what the doctor tells me, an opion that I comfortable with. I believe that I am a human being like everyone else, that love the many things life has to offer. Yes, I love to spend money, gamble, have sex, travel, think of new ideals that will help me get ahead financially, etc. Why to I have to be labelled, because I have an interest in the things that I have just listed. Yes, it is a challenge staying motivated, positive in thoughts and physically active (exercise).

    Why, Why, why is a question that I have always held dear since I was a child, now I am twenty-six, no children, no boyfriend and a few friends. I have high hope to one day break threw this re-occuring feeling of being alone. My child hood very very painful for me, could his be the cause of what I feel now? No father around, a mother who was always busyon the phone or away, stayed with my mean granny, watched by my grandfather who's interest was not watching children. The oldest of three, I took care of everyone, even the adult, cooking cleaning, etc. Do, I feel this way because, I feel like I lost a lot of my life, now that I am more liberated, I know not to do with myself?

    My party if over...chat with you later, Roxy.

    P.s. Everyone keep faith and hope for a better day...I love you even though I don't know you.

  • james

    you can create great things on your upswings use your time wisely prepare for the crash smoke marijuana stay away from pills if at all possible

    Editor's Note: Best to stay away from all recreational drugs, actually, including marijuana.

  • Hawaii4Life

    I have been treated for Bipolar for 7 years, and I am currently on Trilpetal 30 mg Morning and Wellburtin 300 MG XL in the morning. But nothing has worked better for my treatment than natural Marijunana. What makes me furious is all these shrinks saying to stay away from Marijunia if your Bipolar I or II. I agree and disagree with them. If you have pyschotic features, by far means stay AWAY from Marijuana. It MIGHT evtually put you in the hospital. But if you have no history of "pyschotic" features and get only to a "hypomanic" level, I think Marijuana is a WONDERFUL God send for people with Bipolar. Most of are medications are to "prevent" manic epsoides but none seem to help with the depest lows of depression. If Medical Marijuana is regulated to those with Bipolar, I would LOVE to see that day and laugh and all the shrinks that say it won't happen. BUT I WILL TELL YOU WHAT, they don't know the depressed lows we go through and I love the "Well, if we put you on an "anti-depressent" you might go manic excuse. Most suicides in Bipolar Disorder are not in the manic state, but depressed state. Yes, Medical Marijuana should be given more study to those who suffer from Depression and Bipolar, but with those with Schizo-Affective or Schizophrenia, it will never happen. I pray to God that Medical Marijuana will be allowed for those with Bipolar and Depression. And for those who say Marijuana is a drug, shut up. The FDA approves DESOXYN, a legal methamphetamine for ADHD which I was put on 2 years ago and I almost died. Desoxyn is 100 times more deadly than natural Marijuana yet the FDA still approves Desoxyn, not Marijuana. Explain that one smart ass shrinks. God Bless.

  • jamie

    I have a brother that was diagnosed with bipolar manic depression. His whole life he was shy and kept to himself. I am not exactly sure when his disorder started but it seems like it was when he decided he didnt need to work and could gamble. After a while he started hearing voices and thinking our neighbors were out to get us, he wouldnt let us take him to the doctor so we had to call the police. They came and took him to a mental institution where he was diagnosed and let go and given his medication. It seemed like for a month everything was fine and that he was taking his medication well later we found out he wasnt following up with the clinic he was supposed to follow up because he is nowhere in the system. He will not talk to us (his family) so we dont know how he feels, he doesnt believe that he has a disorder. So now it feels like we are at a dead end. Cant force him to take medication cant force him to go to the doctor. He is in debt doesnt do anything and we have no idea what to do. If anyone has any ideas please write them

  • Celeste

    Hello, I have a few family members diagnosed bi polar including myself, though mine is very mild compared with my father, brother and sister, who all have full manic episodes, involving police and hospitals etc. I have found over the years and I know it may sound to easy (its actually very hard) that to just be there for them when they need you, to listen without judgement (I know its hard after hours of ranting) and to be prepared to care, feed and love without expectation, and know deep in your heart that it is aknowedged even though they may never be able to let you know in words. They may just come to trust you. This can take years. I have found this personally to be a much better approach than being confrontational, as I think when you are in a sensative state you respond to emotion, maybe not even capable of listening to whats being said. I have been attacked and beaten by my loved ones. One time in response to me raising my voice slightly, a misunderstanding and I could see how scared they were as they were hitting me, fear overides every thing. we are not a violent family normally, we were not hit as children.

    violence can be devastating when it happens.

    Once trust is established you can have a much more positive impact, getting involved (not intrusively) in their life and generally helping out when you can. I know for myself I have to be active (walking, gardening, swimming, anything) every day, even if its only half an hour and eating and sleeping well. Its vital. This really helps level out my mood swings. Good, consistant family support can really help in this regard. Spend time with your ill family members and always let them know they are loved. Their trust will be your reward.

    Best wishes for all out there with loved ones who are struggling.

  • Julie

    My husband suffers from bi-polor. We have only been married one and half years. Problem is he denies it. It has been very help to read the stories from both sides. I can understand what he is going thur more and I'll try to be more supportive but he makes me SO mad its hard. He will not except any blame for the fights HE starts. I am better off not to say anything back, it just makes it worse. Its hard to do that though. I love him but I can't image living this rollar coster the rest of my life with him not admitting it and getting help. Neither one of us could have even mad it this far without God. He is my strenght.

    May God bless each of you.

    Julie

  • Cecil

    Recently my wife and I have seperated due to the fact that I have been having continious affairs in our marriage. I have episodes of terrible mood swings, Little things just sets me off. I am not sleeping more than three or four hours a night. I cant seem to stop having sex with this other person although I know it is wrong and will kep me apart from my wife whom I love more than life itself. I have been lying to her and I want to stop and fix all the bad relationships with my children. They are so tired of me going from hot cold with my behaviors. My wife was the one who noticed my behaviors are becoming worst. She tells me that it seem that I don't have a conscions anymore and my attitude is as if I dont care. I can feel myself doing wrong but I cant help or stop.AThese are other thing she say Iam doing.I am spendig on unnecessary things, I am always planning on how to get rich and never accomplish anything. I am scared that she is so right.

  • selfproclaimedmuse

    Understanding bipolar disorder can be tricky. Living with it can be a challenge especially while the doctors are finding the right meds. I find that peer support has helped me the most. Join a local mood disorder support group! As well I highly recommend www.ourbipolar.com. Its more than just an online support group. There are forums and a chat room as well as a special art section for all the creative bipolars out there. It has helped me through the deep depressions and also gives me a chance to help others going through the same thing. We are all in this together.

    Please if you are bipolar check it out. It could change your life as it has done for me.

    muse

  • Anonymous-3

    I have been feeling unhappy and having mood swing for a period of times, nothing seem to be able to let this mood swing to get over. Although i will laugh and joke in front of friends but soon the mood swing will haunt me again. I feel moody, feel paranoid, feel stress at times. I have lost interest in sex and my relationship. i feel something is not right with me.

  • moodygal

    What does all this sign mean? Signs of depression (downs)

    Any medication for me? I have been having mood swing for months.I couldn't sleep well.

    I am really sad most of the time.
    I don't enjoy doing the things I've always enjoyed doing.
    I don't sleep well at night and am very restless.
    I am always tired. I find it hard to get out of bed.
    I don't feel like eating much.
    I feel like eating all the time.
    I have lots of aches and pains that don't go away.
    I have little to no sexual energy.
    I find it hard to focus and am very forgetful.
    I am mad at everybody and everything.
    I feel upset and fearful, but can't figure out why.
    I don't feel like talking to people.
    I feel like there isn't much point to living, nothing good is going to happen to me.
    I don't like myself very much. I feel bad most of the time.
    I think about death a lot. I even think about how I might kill myself.

  • TM

    I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years. I didn't know he was bi-polar and didn't know very much about it. He was in a manic phase at that time and stayed there for many months and we started living together and he had his first depression but it didn't last but a day or two but he was very verbally abusive and then he was back to himself (manic). As time went on he would have strange conversations with me about just knowing things or having superhuman powers and I just blew it off not realizing it was all part of the condition. He told me his previous girlfriend said he needed to be on medication for depression but other than that brief episode I hadn't seen anything to warrant mediation but I would of course. As time went on he would become more and more depressed and stay longer and longer - I thought I would go crazy waiting for the one I loved to return. He would do crazy things, dangerous things and he lied and cheated also of course. He also has a huge problem with apologizing for anything, at times his ego and selfishness rule everything. He has no ability to be sympathetic and life is always about him. Eventually I learned about bi-polar disorder and also learned that he used to go to counseling and be on medication. He agreed to go back for help and they diagnosed him as bipolor. He takes wellbutrin and a mood stabilizer and sometimes they seem to work but not great. He is pretty unstable all of the time and I never know what his mood will be but it is usually some level of depression lately. I don't want him to be manic but I also don't know even who the REAL person is. I have always wondered if there is any way that a person living with someone bi-polar can somehow help to manage the disorder by somehow empowering positive behavior and disempowering the horrendous depression and abusiveness. I have learned the more you try to reason with him the angrier he becomes. I am seeking tools to help me - any ideas and suggestions please respond. Thank you, TM

  • Carrie

    I can relate so well to all of the comments I have read. I have done things (regretably) that I can not explain why.

    I have been with my Loving husband for 20 years and married for 15. I have a beautiful family and wonder why am I hexed with this terrible illness?

    The entire thing for me is nothing more than a vicious circle!! I have these days or sometimes weeks of extreme highs where my world is great and then at the drop of a hat, for no particular reason, BOOM!! I crash. Just like that, my happy little world is destroyed.

    I am very aware of my situation and would really like to stay in control, but it doesn't always work out for me. When I lose control, I get even more angry!! My family really suffers along with me and that breaks my heart. So there I go again, having feelings of despair.

    When I'm feeling manic I wonder when will I crash. When I'm depressed, I wonder when will I feel better. ( usually gets much worse before it gets better) Sometimes it really is to much for me to bear. Suicide may be the only way out. The real medicine is to just END the vicious circle.

    I truly am desperate for an answer

  • NJG

    I just want to say thank you for all of the comments that you have shared with us. I'm sure that it has increased all of our awareness of Bi-Polar. I had once been in a relationship with someone who had a lot of these same behaviors. We are no longer together, but I pray that all people would be willing to get the help thats out there and available for them. Why go through life hurting when you can be happy? It is my prayer that everyone will find the strength to get the help that they need.

  • kaitlin

    hey i am bipolar and i have been living with it since i was in 10th grade i think i had it all my life but never knew it. i got diagnosed when i was a 10th grader.

    I had tons of boyfriends i had a relationship with a guy in high school we dated 11 months then he raped me long story.

    I have had a lot of mood swings and changes of mead's hosptial visits at my mental hospital meadows.

    i have a strong urges of sexual activity with myself i don't like boyfriends right now because all the want from me is sex.

    I hear voices and have hullicinations and delusions.

    That's all,

    Kaitlin

  • Peter

    I have been married for nearly 7 years and finally, after uncontrollable manic episodes, my wife has been diagnosed as Bipolar. Through out or marriage ihave always held fear of her reactions which has in turn destroyed alot of me. We seperated after five years because I could not take it anymore, but all I knew is she was someone with a very bad temper.

    At that time she had to verses of manic episodes or large scale buying, simply the anger side. We got back together after 2 months and started a new life, but she seemed very unsettled. She went through bouts of depression and was perscribed Cypralex for depression and Triazolam for sleep. *Beware, unless you speak to a mental health professional, this is very dangerous. You see, my wife, in her first marriage, went through post partum psychosis during the birth of her son. Her G.P in knowing this perscribed the antidepressants nearly 14 years later, we were told by doctors that this can cause and heighten high degrees of the disorder, like being like a ticking time bomb, and thats exactly what she was.

    We were struggling through our marriage with trust issues of abandonment. She left me many times through the first 5 years, and looking back, it definitely was not normal, looking back I now know, but the damage was already done. My wife's behavior after getting a new job she loved became suspicious. Her "highs" were off the charts, and her "low's" were even lower. Then one day she snaped. She had a big panic attack and felt she couldn't breath, she literally changed infron of us. Her mother, Father, myself and her brother. She went into a state that was only what I can explain as "dual personality" she was acting like erratic. She was hospitalized and thats where treatment began.

    Now it gets interesting. During her stay in the first hospital, she was given Haldol and Attivan, to which she reacted poorly to. Having huge halluscinations of rape, ect...and memory loss like not remembering she just ate. She was getting even more depressed because of the memory loss. After a week, the doctor changed her to LOXITANE and that seemed to help, but she was pacing alot. They gave her COJENTIN for the pacing and the locked fingers. Yet the whole time nurses that seemed to develop a great bond with her told me that it could be part of the mania, yet the doctor said on day 17 and I quote, "Your wife is like a computer, just hit the restart button and go." I said, "what? So what about medication or outpatient care?" He looked at me and said, "She know's what to do, eliminate stress just live every day."

    He discharged her with nothing, I though, "He's the doctor." When she got home, the pacing and unsettledness was still there. But of course we are all saying its her coming off of all these drugs, right? After all, the doctor know's best, right? WRONG...at least not this one.

    It was about the fifth day home, she seemed to be setteling and getting "better". Then one evening, for no apparent reason, after a coment I made about the dog crapping in the grass, all hell broke loose. That evening was what I could only describe as "leaving my own body" just like the first time I had left her when I had enough.

    I went to my parents. She called in anger and said how dare I do this to her in this state, how much of an A**hole I was to do this. All I said was I just wanted time to think. The next phone call came an hour later where she said everything was fine, she even asked how I was doing, I said I was o.k. She asked if I had decided to leave her long ago, I told her nothing was ever planned, I just wanted to think in peace. From that day, there has been nothing but chaos. She quickly became "independant" didn't need me anymore. She was going to fight this system and that system, her system and his system. Money was being spent left and right, she got arrested, hired lawyers with money we had to borrow from her brothers line of credit, manic,manic,manic she became, until finally in the hospital is where she is again, this time diagnosed as Bipolar, this time in a different hospital, taken care of by a doctor wh really seems to care. This time I hope she see's her true "inner home".

    She has taken all of our money from the chequing account and opened up her own account, all from within the confines of the hosptial. She wants a divorce and I am ok with that, she wants to sell our home, I am ok with that too, but the market right now in Canada will show nothing but a huge loss of still owing the bank alot of money. Sometimes I just think I should tell them to for-close.

    She is in and out of realities, all created from within her mania. She has been on medication for about a week, the doctor says it will be a while. She has been in there for 2 weeks now, at first refusing treatment, but now seems cooperative. She goes from being ok in talking to me, then telling me to go to hell and hangs up.

    All I know is I will always love her, but my emotional journey has taken a different course. I am not a failure and I have not abandoned her as I have many times felt. This has been a struggle for many years, long before she was diagnosed, now the only difference is that the struggle came attached with a name. I want her to be ok, and she will be. Living her most beautiful life, she deserves it, she is such a beatuiful woman and glorious Christian woman.

    God has shown and brought me to y places of strength within that are imeasurable. I thank him everyday.

    God bkess you all dealing with this. Remember, to you that have it, it is NEVER a failure, only a greater test to endure on the greater task of life. For those of us that live with some one or have lived with a loved one in the illness, you are NOT failures either. When your thinking, "what could I do better to not set them off?" Why do I feel so helpless?" "Am I abandoning my loved one?" The answer is this, follow your heart, not your minds reactions. That place of stillness and silence where God tells us lay our greatest of strengths. Don't listen to the voice, hear the heart that beats and it will always lead you correctly.

    God bless us all on this journey of life.

    Peter

  • Mom of 7

    I have just found this site and I really appreciate reading what other people share with "strangers" But we are all not a stranger to this terrible illness and it seems we all share the same issue, fears, and reality of what we feel and how it affects others.

    I too have another story of what I thought was a normal life and I believe it was but the Bipolar was very mild so it seems. I did manage to marry my highschool sweetheart, finish college, raise a very wanted large family of 7 children and do the volunteer softball coach, girl scout leader , PTA president etc...

    Then I crashed 3 years ago. The depression I believe became worse because of "triggers" and alot in a relatively short time which seemed to have been a sign of the underlying PTSD. 2 and a half years of MANY meds, side effects and 13 hospital stays, and the change in extreme of the old me with mild hypomania and lows to full Jeckyl and Hyde depression and mania.

    Although productive mania and not dangerous the depression though went straight to suicide and many attempts. And I feel the same as another person, this seems to be the only answer to a life we can't get back and accept because of these cycles and what we see in the eyes of our family who always wonder when they look into our eyes, are we whacky with mania or will this be the last time they will see us.

    Now to top it I have had memories of childhood trauma and that seems to complicate my intense need to understand my ultra rapid cycling to what is from the PTSD and dissociation with paralysing episodes of almost being catatonic.

    So Nami support and now womens trauma support, Psychiatrist, therapist and now DBT therapy and I am still struggling and so is my family. I see the toll it is taking on my husband to care for the kids, schedules, housework and 2 businesses while I feel guilty in the ability to continue with the life I created and now can't complete.

    What is even harder is knowing that my 3 oldest kids have turned into "parents" and although very helpful it is guilt I feel that they have to do my job. And my olderst seems to not understand and tells me she can't TRUST ME because I react with running away when I cycle.

    This mental disabilty is only understood by others who have experienced it and even Dr's don't get it. They have the knowlege but not the emotional disability to FEEL it.

    So I am on no meds, they don't work and I seem to be allergic to the very meds that are suppose to help, the mood stabalizers.

    3 years may seem like a brief part of our lives but it can also be the length of time that we get frustrated enough and decide to end all the efforts of trying to find a cure to our illness and do what we need to do to end our worries....

  • J.R.

    What is a breif psychotic episode? Can you recover? Can you be weaned off the medication?

  • JR

    J.R. is not JR. Just to be clear,

    JR

  • Anonymous-4

    I am 15 years old. I go to school. My mother is mentaly ill. my father and mother are devorsed. I live with My grand perants. my mother always gets in troubles and end up in jail, no one cares enough to take her out. her main problem is that she doesnt want to take her medicen. she dont want to be treated but sometimes she is forced to go to the hospital. the reason i hate my life is cause i always think of how badly my mother has been treated. she was always fighting with her hasbund, mother, sisters. no one realy loved her. she was forced to take ect. she has no one to watch out for her. i cant stop thinking of her. now i am paying her loans from my savings, soon it will be finished. it seems like there is no happyness for me till one of us dies. i feel that my life is unfair. i pray to God every night to cure her with his devine powers. but it seem as God wants me to be patient. after all she is my mother. i love her no matter what. and i believe that no one can enter haven unless your parents (spiecialy your mother) truely accepts and loves you. even though she seems like she dont her me and understand me, but im sure she can can feel something. i hope that one day god will aswer my prayers and cure my poor mother.

  • A concerned mom

    I came on this website because I was concerned about my short fuse these days. Upset because people don't treat each other nice anymore. But when it happens to me, directly, I let them know loud and clearn. And then I came across the message "I hate my life." Left by a 15 year old. My heart breaks for you, wherever you are. I have no doubt that you have many lonely days and nights and I wish I could help some way. You should keep writing. You have alot to say. Just keep it in a notebook. And then when you get older, you can look back and use that information. It is very important that others learn from kids like you. I have 4 kids and I always tell them to befriend the quiet kids, or the ones in the corner that seem bummed out or upset. I have been there for my kids but I know there are many kids who don't have parents that can be there for them.

  • Louise

    At 15, you are facing a difficult challenge and as unfair as life may seem, please remember, life isn't always fair, but it's still good!

    Remember nothing stays the same, everything always changes, problems come and go. Everyone faces challenges, for it is our soul's purpose for being here on earth. Interaction with others creates the greatest opportunity for growth. You may feel very down while in the midst of the storm but after you have gone through it, you can look back and recognize the lessons you learned. It is all about growth. In that respect, you are an advanced spiritual being because you have learned so very much in a short time. Stay with your grandmother and work on yourself, to improve yourself, through completeing your education so that you can one day be self-sufficient.

    Your mother is on her own path it is good of you to be concerned for her and love her and try to understand her, however, realize that each day shapes our lies as running water shapes a stone. Everything happens for a reason and your mother is learning her lesson too. Sometimes, if you love someone, you must set them free. Life is a beautiful and fantistic journey that we have all chosen to make on a soul level. For now, take care of yourself. That needs to be your primary focus until you have the education you need that can make a difference. You are kind and that is good. Continue to pray for protection for your mother. Remember everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. That is what life is about, challenges that create spiritual growth and knowing. God's love onto you.

  • MICHAEL Concern and love for

    I am 61, a father and grandfather. I was diagnosed as MD in 1986. I have known the rollercoaster horrors.

    3 points:

    1) Psychiatrists are human, fallible and usually compassionate. They are in a fix: they want to heal or help, but it's hard for them to admit their ignorance. The profession requires them to evince "certainty" to patients and public.

    2) Psychiatry is the Greek word for "soul healing". Few psychiatrists recognise soul. Brain chemistry is an easier ball game to play.

    3)Manic creativity has this benefit for many of us - it brings us a consciousness that is sometimes close to tortured genius (see Jamieson "Touched with Fire"). And genius reaches out to the "divine". I am not a proponent of any religion. However I would embrace the therapist - or confessor - who is open to the intuitive validity of mysticism, and not just bio-medical mood stabilisation.

    I am well and happy as I write. I wish the same for all of you with all my heart.

  • megan

    my boyfriend and the father of my child started acting very unusual a year and a half ago about two weeks before i gave birth to out first and only child. To make a long story short his unusual behavior progressed into full fledged paranoia, delusions, and his face was oddly "stone cold". It was hard having him enter the psych ward after pulling his pants down and flashing the security guard at the hospital on his way up to take the baby and i home from the hospital. He was diagnosed with bipolar and stayed a week in the hospital. Over the course of the week he seemed to get worse before better, walking naked out of the room, trying to choke a huge man because he thought "that was what he was supposed to do", this was not the man that i knew and loved. As soon as we got home from the hospital, his manic symptoms seemed to have disappeared and he stopped taking serequel after a week or so. He has mood swings, and i guess i can call them highs and lows, but no mania.....until a couple of days ago when i noticed the stone cold look on his face, he hasnt slept and he paces around and smokes a million ciggerettes. I am worried for him and for my child. Does anyone have any advice? I am 24 and i feel like this is alot of stress for me to handle. We have been together for ten years and he really had me fooled that the stint in the psych ward was just because of built up stress. Right now i am on my way to the hospital to speak to the psychiatrist to see what he has to say about this episode. Any advice

  • Anonymous-5

    My husband is suffering with this - highs and lows - help me deal with it - how to reach him

    and yes its all about him.

  • Anonymous-6

    I dont know where to start... I love my husband so much but there is a side to him that I resent and fear.

    When we met he showed signs of having bipolar which I ignored (aggression followed by depression) and then as we became more involved we had a fight and he physically started to hit me and push me around when he got angry. He takes mood stabilisers but this doesn't take away his violent behaviour. Once we had a fight in public and somebody called the police and they took out an violence order on my behalf.

    This disease has destroyed friendships and made me isolated. I avoid seeing my friends or family as I dont know what mood he is going to be in. I get anxious when we were together as I want to make things perfect so that he is happy but it never seems to be enough. I dont like to plan things as he is negative and complains or gets angry at me and it is embarrasing and makes me feel inferior.

    What scares me the most is that know he justifies his violence and he tells me that as long as I dont change (its not what I say its how I say it) then he will continue his behaviour towards me. I have tried to leave when we fight but I fear for my life and my children as he has threatened to kill my family until he finds me.

    He refuses to go to councelling or see a doctor again. I would like for him to get anti phsycotic meds so that he stops becoming so angry at normal things that happen in life. He tells me that the diagnosis is all in my head and that there is nothing wrong with him.

    When I read back at this I know that this is a domestically violent relationship and that I need to get out. No one would understand if they were not in this situation. This is the man that I love who is very ill and needs help. Behind all this pain is the man who told me that he would love me and take care of me for the rest of my life. It is the mental illness that I despise not him.

  • Steffy

    I had the most wonderful life, not so much anymore. My Fiance is definitely Manic. We've had 2 meetings with the Dr. who agrees. My fiance thinks there is no problem. When I researched everything was right on the money. His behaviour is completely out of control and everyone is noticing! He's embarassed my at company events and weddings so badly. Everyone is talking about him. What do I do? Our Stag n Doe is soon and wedding is in less than 5 months. He's started medication but only for me, he doesn't believe there is an issue. My question for everyone who has a manic partner is 1) has your spouse stayed on his medication 2) did the medication work 3) has your life ever been somewhat back to normal?? PLEASE HELP!!!

  • Anonymous-7

    i live with my girlfriend and she is bi polar and sometime i have a hard time dealing with it ...i dont know how to ...she will be in a good mood for a few days and she is wonderful but then the other comes in and she gets mad at me for anything...i have problems with all this but i love her and dont want to leave her just cause she has a mental illness...so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

  • Annie

    Steffy and "living w/ a bp", I so know where you are coming from. Quick background-- my dh and I are 43, have 3 great kids, a nice home, and dh holds a steady 'white-collar' job. We have been together over 20 years and other than the usual curves life throws at you, things were wonderful. No hint of mental issues at all. Not even a family history of them.

    Then 7 years ago, dh had a "manic-psychotic breakdown". Recovered, life went on. Three years ago, another psychotic episode and he has had 4 hospitalizations since. We are attempting to "manage" one right now. He was just released from hosp. last Mon. still 'hypo-manic' but not a "danger to himself or others" at this time so they let him go. I, too, am sitting here wondering where do we go from here. I love him dearly. He is a great man, when the illness is not wreaking havoc on him. But, like your loved ones, he cannot see right now that he is not himself nor the damage his actions are causing to his relationships and lifestyle. I have not yet found or heard of a way to get thru to a person experiencing mania. Unfortunately, you have to wait it out until the episode has passed. And when it has, my dh clams up and does not want to "re-hash" it. "It's over, won't happen again, let it go" he tells me. *I* know that it will never be "over", just managed.

    Steffy you asked will he stay on the meds? That is a hallmark of bpd, once the person starts to feel good,they think they don't need them and stop taking them. Every person is different, but the statistics do not favor it. Do the meds work? Well... once you get the right combo, I've heard the transformation is amazing. I've seen glimpses of this in my dh but we have yet to find a long term solution. Will your life ever be normal? That depends on your definition of normal. o) I mean what is "normal" anyhow? Do you know anyone who has a truly "normal" life? Trust me, even those who seem to, have things going on. They just don't choose to share them publicly.

    I felt compelled to respond to your post because I saw that you are planning to get married in a few months. I would never attempt to tell someone what they should/should not do in that area. I can say that, knowing what I know now, I would not rush into it. We had a large, wonderful wedding and I know how hard it would be to post-pone if that is what you have planned as well. But the health of your fiance' is most important right now and will directly affect the health of your marriage. I personally would want to see some results from the medication, some recognition on his part that there is a problem, and some serious therapy both for him alone and for you as a couple before I took that big step.

    My life w/ dh was already "made" when he started having problems. Our kids were born, our course was set. I am now in the process of deciding if I can continue that course w/ dh as he is. The vow "in sickness and in health" rings thru my mind everyday. How can I abandon him? I know I would never forgive myself but I do have to look out for the well-being of my kids and myself, too if I am to be there for them as they grow up. Don't get me wrong. My dh is not physically abusive or violent even during his "episodes". In fact he becomes more docile. But the mental and emotional anguish the illness is taking on my family is truly hard to bear. I am insisting on couples therapy to hopefully get thru to him but I have to be honest, I'm not sure how much longer I can deal w/ the insanity.

    Bottom line... it's so hard loving someone w/ bpd. You know what wonderful person is inside and how can you quit loving them because they have an illness? You can't! But at some point, you have to think about yourself as well. And if your loved one is not willing to give any consideration to your well-being, then I think you have to look out for #1 on your own. I'm sorry, I know that's hard to hear.

  • Anonymous-8

    I, too, am bipolar...I've hid it so well over the years I am soon to explode. When I seek the help of family & friends, I am told "everyone feels that way". I don't think so. I've been completating suicide but I have children that love me. I've been in the hospital twice and it is simply not an option. Can anyone help?

  • Crafty Bernardo

    I am married to someone with what I believe is borderline personality disorder, but it sounds very similar to what is described in here... violent mood swings, long periods of irrational anger and irritability,emotionally manipulative behavior... blaming me for her emotions.... constantly fomenting conflict everywhere she goes and then blaming everyone else (but most often me) for being "assholes".. Constantly threatening to divorce me and constantly calling me names, telling me how much she hates my guts, telling everyone who will listen what a terrible guy I am.. but then whenever I have had enough and get close to leaving, she begs and pleads and clings for me to stay, followed by just long enough of a period of decent treatment of me to make me believe things are changing.. but it never stays that way..

    And I cannot reason with her, or ask her to seek help... despite her constant anger, anxiety, and resentment for everyone and everything, it is ME who needs help. It is all because I come from a family of assholes (I don't, by the way)... Of course she's constantly angry, she's married to me! How could she not be!

    Of course it never sinks in that she's told me prior guys she's had relationships with have noted her over-the top anger.. and she was pretty much this angry from day one of our relationship... not sure how, given those facts, her anger and misery could possibly be my fault.

    It's soul crushing, day in and day out being mistreated like this. I've gotten to the point where I've emotionally disconnected from her and avoid having any meaningful conversation with her (they always end in her being angry) in order to protect my own sanity, which, of course, makes the whole dynamic worse (and is possibly abusive?)... but it does protect my sanity to a degree... We have small children who we both love dearly, which adds to the heartache and confusion for me...

    It is conforting to know I'm not alone.. and it is inspiring to hear how strong many of the people in here living with BP are... to see so much love and compassion.. I try to be compassionate and loving (although she would laugh at that statement... and then get infuriatingly angry about it...), I know that compassion and love is the best way to help someone like this, but it is just sooooooo hard to have compassion for someone while they are engaged in a long, protracted campaign of emotional torture against you. To show someone love while they're screaming at you "I hate you, you come from a family of assholes! I can't stand you!". How do you do that?

    Ahhhh.... It's been over five years... I'm glad I haven't quit yet... but can I take five more?

  • Jaime

    There is a sibling of mine in my family has this condition. He went through a lot of things in his life. Some years ago, he had an accident which he hit his head pretty hard that made him change moods from happy to upset really quick! I sometimes don't know how to deal with it, when he is in the upset stage. I also have a medical condition called Hypothyroidism and one of the symptoms is depression. He doesn't want to go anywhere and being with other people because he has the fear of rejection. He also does not want to go to any social event.So i am trying really hard not to invite him to stuff and staying out of his way when he wants to be alone. Somedays, i grew kind of scared of him because i don't know what he is going to be like when i see him again. He would freak out and get nervous about things too. I mean, sometimes he feels obligated that he has to do stuff he doesn't want to do. I am his sister and only sister of his. What i was hoping that he knows that he doesn't have to feel that he has to go out on a nite in town with me and my husband. It's just a yes or no type question. We were pretty close as brother and sister, and i feel he somehow lost his memory about knowing who his sister is and how she is sometimes. I am the type of person that doesn't want to exclude people out of things, and here, he wants to be excluded and i don't have the heart to do that, but i got to because i want to keep the cool with him! I don't know how to say this, but he doesn't know i am talking about him, but i was curious to see what other people think of this and how i should deal with this situation, because mentally and emotionally, i have no clue what to do or what to feel! Here, i got to worry about not crying about this and knowing i am a big girl...then making sure he doesn't tell anyone else because he thinks i don't care or understand about him not wanting to do things.

  • Madi

    Hello I am Madi and i want to say people make fun of me cause somehow someone figured out i was "Bipolar" They called me...(Fat,Stupid,moodswings,fugly even bad names.) I am also going through a bunch.I have been in so much depression.It is really making me very worried.I am starting to talk to myself.I cry for no entire reason.I lost my bestfriend and nobody cares about it.But listen Tomorrow is a Mystery,Today is the past going on to the future.I have Very quick moods that change quickly,and i can read people on what they are feeling i can sence how and where they are.I know from a distance if someone is talking biut me thats another thing I get MAD about! People hate me. I my friends never I mean Never get treated the way I want to be treated.I want to live a long happy life,But what i have been going through no not now.I wish someone would understand...Itry to get friends that are bipolar but u can't go to a support center where there is like 7 other more bipolar kids because if you are a kid or an adult and you are with a bunch of bipolar kids all together then you read peoples mind on emotions all of the kids that are bipolar around you are feeling the same way you are so all of you would get paronoide and mad and we would all scream and go crazy because we are thinking the same emothions in are head and looking in there eyes feeling the same the other people feel...Does anybody understand that?

  • Connie

    Your article on Manic Episodes best describes what I have seen my 23 year old son going through. I have been very worried and scared for him over the last month. He went from being a pretty laid back guy to staying up for days at a time. Saying God took all of his depression out of his head and he can think for the first time. That he went from being a child to a man. That he can figure anything out now. That he is the best at the game of pool and pool is life. Never was a drinker and started drinking and things got really bad when he did. He would start hitting trees with his fists. Say things like noones going to kill my mom..I will kill them. Lining shoes up against the wall. Cleaining all the time. Cleaning his truck out for 7 hours. Putting the hose on the house for 3 hours. Talking all the time but not making much sense. At other times still talking alot but making ALOT of sense. Thinking deeper than I've ever seen. Meeting a girl and instantly thinking she is the one for him...Twice in a week. I am still scared for him. I have him in therapy. On medication. Moved him from his apartment in with us. (not sure if it was wise or not). Not sure even if he is bipolar. I just know that one day he was my son and the next month he became like the opposite almost, but not exactly. This all happened immedialtely after he went to the hospital to see my sister with a tube down her throat and hooked up to a ventilator in a coma after trying to take her life. Is this Bipolar or just a temporary breakdown from that event? I am concerned of having him on meds for bipolar if thats not what it is.

  • Mandie

    Your son is on drugs...that's why the seven hour cleaning of his truck, and staying up for days.

  • PeterP

    I'm torn between my son, and the girl I love, I feel her anger and jealousy will end us soon, years ago I cheated with an ex- because I thought she was cheating when I caught her sexting and hanging out with other guys that she lied about, yes I'm wrong for being revengeful, but she always threaten to cheat and since she was moving out I assumed and when I seen her phone with messages from other guys .. True or not I went on with life, and cheated, then we stayed in a relationship but my ex was pregnant and gave me a little boy, I love him more than anything in the world, she hates me for it, so much that she went and slept with another guy, and lied even though I walked a straight line and placed a promise ring on her finger she was still revengeful and so I accepted her acts and was willing to move on .. Again we worked things out but continue to fight about the past, her attitude changes when it's time to visit my son, she says she's mad because I don't include her on the visits but I only get to see him twice a month for a day each, she have said mean things about him and his mother, like killing them, etc. because I put them first, well it's important for me to be part of his life, and she don't understand the mean things that was said out of anger makes me feel uncomfortable and I want her no part of my sons life, I know shes jealous that his mother is a successful psychologist and gave me a son a bundle of joy, I love her but I need to end this relationship ASAP because I became an abusive bitter person towards her, and I never been this way towards any girl in my life, I hate the fact this all started with her texting guys I didn't like, and when I felt like I was trying to work things out she still wanted to explore but when she found out the guys were playing her she then wants to work things out, I hate her for this but when I think about it I'm glad because my son is everything to me, bottomline she's not happy and the last time she said that she cheated, I'm not happy because she's mean and I don't trust her, she don't want to see a counselor, I need help so if some can advise me please email 411pbf@gmail.com thank you

  • Tina

    i recently found out i am bipolar. i seriously get high on happiness every other day. then the other days i am gloomy and depressed. whenever i am out in public with my sisters i am very publicly inappropriate. i talk and go crazy. i am running and gretting multiple strangers. i am super high on happiness in a manic episode.

  • Boo

    Psychs are kicking around the bipolar diagnosis for me (age 56) and suggesting I've been having mild mixed episodes lately and they don't seem to understand why I'm not convinced I have bipolar, and am not comfortable with the diagnosis.

    I've read up on abnormal psychology all my life as it is one of my research interests. Everything I'm reading now about bipolar does not seem to match my behavior.

    It sounds like episodes are extreme. Mania, etc.

    My behavior is not extreme at all. I am naturally a night person so going to bed early is a challenge. Daylight savings time kills me and throws me out of whack for months.

    But the manic high energy stuff - that doesn't describe me at all. I'm never a high energy person,never have been. I'm slower paced than most people and except when I'm in a love relationship, I don't get all that exhuberant.

    The fleeting thoughts I do experience. That is why I like to wake up slowly and have my coffee and sort out my thoughts. Sometimes it seems in the morning I have so many thoughts that enter into my head, I must take it slowly to wake up.

    Never been suicidal. Have had some depression and have S.A.D., which I get light box therapy for.

    I know about denial and don't think I'm in denial. I just don't see all of the criteria matching my behavior.

    As far as spending sprees, I spend some cash on ebay, but thats more like a hobby to me as I make arts and crafts, and can't get clothes here so get them online. Do I spend hundreds of dollars at a pop? No. I've maintained current job over 5 years now and have no debts.

    Suggest please samples of behavior.

    I see very few samples out there other than binge behavior, extreme manic behavior.

    What would be mild behavior in bipolar disorder I might be able to identify in my life?

    Thanks

    Boo

  • rob

    i get so irratated at anything and then my mouth goes, i dont remember what i said, then screaming out loud , later i ashamed and embarassed and the way i reacted.

    At work i go through ups and downs with my moods, irratated, then ok, i go on verbal tatrums, belittle the people around me. but make sure no ones around, im sure they could here me!! then again the embarassed, and feeling like a fool, i begin to feel bad, and thoughts off suicide enter my mind.

    Everyday is like a roller coaster, i don,t know whats wrong with me. Im not happy, my tv my best freind when at home, im antisocial, i have no freinds, i dont associate with my family, I smoke marijuana cause i think and feel it grounds me. Don't know how much of this roller coaster i can take.

  • Anonymous-9

    I have an adolescent who recently attempted suicide after a failed relationship with a boyfriend. I am so relieved that she is alive today. After being hospilzed for 5 days and treated with an anti depressant, today she continues to experience anxiety and depression. She has extreme highs of wanting to attend school and socialize with friends, also extreme lows of sleeping and not wanting to have contact with the outside world. She is currently being treated with a psychiatrist and psychologist, but i feel that she is not being daignosed correctly. I believe she has symptoms of bi polar but is being diagnosed with depression. Before the suicide attempt when she attended a public school she was getting in trouble with defiant behavior, leaving school grounds, excessive absentisms, excessive tardiness, failing grades, risky behavior, and she was a victim of bullying. After meeting with school counselors and principle I sent a request for a section 504 plan under mental illness forwarded to the school district. In this request, the school must provide special circumstances for my child to leave the classroom when experiencing anxiety or depression. Having counselors and staff on the school grounds available for her to help in case of need. My daughter was no longer getting labled as defiant and she had laws and school guidelines to protect her rights and my right's as a parent. In order to request a section 504 plan for mental illness, you must get a diagnosis by the psychiatrist.

    My child was easily provoked by bulllies who targeted her in the classroom to a point where she cried, she reacted, and did not want to attend school. The public schools failed to protect my daughter in this area. I decided to her best interest to choose an alternate home school setting where she was able to catch up in her classes at her pace, and be on track to graduate from high school. My goal as a parent is to provide my daughter with the tools to be a functioning human being and that she can live a succesful life of independance, social skills, work ethics, finacial stability, spirituality, and successful relationships.

  • BlondeBubbles

    I am in a depressive state, so I don't feel like giving as much detail into my experience as I wud like. Especially since I am using my cell phone to cute this page. Still,I feel obligated to post. In a deep despair I typed something about bipolar or mental help & started on this site. The medical info is a good