31 days of bipolar

Rules:
1. Do whatever you like, or don’t.
2. Do it over 31 days or any other number of days, or not at all.
3. Answer as briefly or fulsomely as you wish.
4. Do the hokey pokey. Because that’s what it’s all about. (Or not.)
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Questions:
1. What flavour of bipolar are you? What does your diagnosis mean to you?
2. What is your baseline mood/state? How does that impact your life?
3. How old were you at the onset? How old were you at diagnosis? How were you given the diagnosis and are you satisfied with the way it was handled?
4. How do you feel about people who diagnose themselves online and then treat themselves for bipolar?
5. What treatment, therapy etc do you do?
6.. What do you wish you’d known when you were diagnosed?
7. What are the worst things someone can say to somebody who is bipolar?
8. What do you dislike most about the disorder?
9. Are there any benefits to bipolar for you?
10. Do you tell people you’re bipolar? Why/why not?
11. What resources do you recommend and why? (Books, documentaries, websites etc … anything at all.)
12. Who was/is your favourite doctor (any kind) and why?
13. Who was your least favourite doctor and why?
14. What would you say to your younger self if you could?
15. What would you ask your future self if you could?
16. If you could plan the best possible treatment strategy for your bipolar self, what would it look like?
17. If bipolar was a real thing or being, what would it look, sound and behave like?
18. If big pharma was actually listening, what would you say about bipolar meds?
18. What don’t people without bipolar understand about people with it?
19. If religion and/or spirituality is a part of your mental health regime: what, how and why?
20. Do you consider yourself creative? How do you express that? What piece of work (or whatever is applicable) are you most proud of?
21. Are you content with it being called bipolar affective disorder, or would you rather revert to manic depression, or rename it completely? Why?
22. Side effects … what meds gave you the worst one/s, how did/do you treat it/them, and do you still get any side effects now?
23. Why do you blog about bipolar?
24. How much of your life has been stable/euthymic, depressed and hypo/manic?
25. What state are you in right now, when did it start and what are your goals and hopes about it?
26. How do you see your future beyond the state you are in currently?
27. What do you see as the most important thing in your treatment regime, and why?
28. To what extent do you tell people that you’re bipolar, and why?
29. Of all the famous people (dead and alive) who are allegedly bipolar, who would you pick as your favourite, and why?
30. What meds are you on now? Have you found your ‘magic cocktail’?
31. Have you attempted suicide? What, when, why, how and what did you learn?
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50 thoughts on “31 days of bipolar”

  1. Hello! I would love to answer all of those questions but it will take me a few days, I can’t read long texts for too long, my brain gets tired too fast.

    I found you, don’t ask me how, but I am fascinated but the way you express yourself here, finally I find a blog that it’s not “politically correct”.

    Thank you for making us feel Human instead of painting Bipolar Disorder as something cool because celebrities have it and their “fine”… I’ll be back for more; I still want to comment on the 1st post I red, I just loved it, again, thank you.

    Trinity

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahoy and thanks very much – and answer whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. Rules are annoying unless they’re keeping one safe from sharks or something.

      I’ll go visit your blog now.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love your quote “rules are annoying , unless they are keeping one safe from sharks or something” :) Very awesome and very true :) Rules are made by people who want everyone to comply with their chosen status quo reality. We should be free to think for ourselves :)
        Annie

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I played the trial and bought it. It’s pretty good. Great concept that could have been developed much further. It’s a very short game – took me about 30 minutes to complete. I didn’t mind that though as it’s quite a good feeling to complete a game in one siirgnt.Ptobably worth the asking price, but I can’t help feeling that more could have been done with it. It doesn’t quite feel like a complete game and the ending is out of place.Great art style and gameplay let down by a shoddy ending. The developer just seemed to run out of ideas.

        Like

      2. Bueno viendo lo visto me estoy planteando presentar mi candidatura para MINISTRA DE ECONOMIA, tengo la titulación suficiente, experiencia laboral, soy mujer e hija de pequeños autónomos sufridores….y las cuentas de mi casa cuadran al céntimo..jajajajja y mi pregunta es….¿por qué tenemos que aguantar y pagar designaciones como esta?Interesante. Te gusta? 5  0

        Like

  2. Out of curiosity… Which part of the world are you from? I get that people can diagnose themselves on the internet, but for the most part, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics are scheduled drugs, which means that online treatment (at least the pharmaceutical kind!) should not be all that easy to come by. Not that I see how anyone would want to in the first place, but it kinda points to a whole ‘nother problem!

    I read your article about those who diagnose and treat themselves online and it struck me as very true when you said that if a psychiatrist thought they had bipolar, they would probably see a psychiatrist about it. It is supposed to be a complicated process to confirm such a diagnosis.

    However, you mentioned that the average time it takes to establish a diagnosis is 13 years? I personally am aware of instances where licensed psychiatrists have made a bipolar diagnosis in less than three weeks. In fact, they do so on a frequent basis. It is the rule, not the exception.

    Not only that, the average age of diagnosis is 19 around these parts…
    (Luckily) psychiatrists here are not allowed to diagnose children under the age of 18 with a number of mental disorders, although they are informally treated for them at times. I don’t know of any such cases, but I have read about a disturbing trend in the U.S. to medicate children as young as two for depression?

    It seems to me personally that a diagnosis from a large number of psychiatrists (perhaps even most) at least locally (I cannot speak regarding global trends) is not really any more authoritative than an internet-questionnaire…

    Patients deserve better.

    I have one more question / prompt for you, although I do realize it does not quite fit in so nicely with the whole idea of 31 days… And naturally, you are under no obligation to answer, although I would very much love to read your perspective.
    * Can you imagine a time when you will go through 24 hours and not think about your disorder, your diagnosis or your treatment once?

    Adel
    All Rights Reserved. Modifications Strictly Prohibited. Take It As It Is, Or Take It Down.

    Like

    1. You still haven’t mentioned your connection with/interest in bipolar disorder? I’m in South Africa, are you here or an expat or do I have it completely wrong?

      I actually haven’t heard of anyone attempting to self medicate with pharmaceuticals, I can’t imagine why they would either. Frequently the self diagnosed people I read simply talk about being bipolar, not about treating it.

      Average age of diagnosis seems to vary globally. Internet questionnaires are definitely not accurate diagnostic tools. I’m not quite sure why you say they’d be as authoritative as being diagnosed by a psychiatrist? Or did I misunder stand?

      24 hours without thinking about bipolar, ptsd, adhd will definitely happen and I’m looking forward to it. Bipolar diagnosis was only 6mnths ago though – I started this blog to educate myself and work stuff out. I’m sure that getting on to the right regime of meds and not having to deal with quite such horrible side effects will facilitate my being able to “file” bipolar into a more integrated role in my life. Cool question, thank you.

      Thanks for mentioning the average diagnosis time, I went back to have a more serious look. My bad.

      http://www.clinical-partners.co.uk/insights-and-news/bipolar/item/why-its-important-to-seek-professional-diagnosis-and-treatment-for-bipolar-disorder

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jun/27/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis-survey

      https://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=eJDDVJDPKIvkUrumgKgE&url=http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk/assets/uploads/documents/information_leaflets/bipolar_uk_could_mood_swings_mean_bipolar.pdf&ved=0CDgXQFjAJ&usg=AFQjCNHWGEoPAz0QPa84fvo1uRamKBZZSw

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945875/

      http://www.maryahornbacher.com/bipolarfacts.html

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bipolar-you/201002/bipolar-disorder-snapshot-the-diagnosis

      Like

      1. Well, having at least one person close to me is accurate. As I indicated previously, due to the fact that I blog using my real name, I will not disclose the exact nature of their relationships with myself.

        I am a South African, but I do keep up with news from around the world, when I can.
        My research has not been done online. Actually, someone who is an occupational therapist by profession told me the average age of diagnosis once.
        In relation to the use of medication in children, the details are sketchy. I know that some psychiatric centres around the country have built special “teen wards”. Depending on where in SA you live, you may be aware of them.
        Here are some articles in relation to medication use in children, but again, although authoritative, there are very few true details – like how many use them and what the criteria for prescription are:
        http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20081201/which-kids-need-antidepressants
        http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/teen-depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20047502?pg=2
        http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/Should-children-and-teens-take-antidepressants/
        http://www.sasop.co.za/D_UC_TheFoc_003.asp (actually, that one is pretty interesting, it is by the head of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, but it only deals with the very limited studies that have been done in terms of safety of specific medications).
        https://www.mdwise.org/MediaLibraries/MDwise/Files/For%20Providers/Behavioral%20Health/gl-depressioninchildren.pdf (This one deals with the actual diagnostic criteria employed. I will leave you to decide for yourself, but the criteria does not seem particularly strict to me.)
        http://www.drugs.com/mtm/lamotrigine.html (Lamictin can apparently be given from the age of two, if given in conjunction with another seizure medication. Seems it is only used “on label” for seizure disorders, but I wonder how much “off label” use is happening for psychiatric diagnoses.)

        I am not suggesting internet questionnaires are in any way authoritative. I am saying that a large number of psychiatrists aren’t so great either, if they are willing to make a diagnosis within three weeks of first contact with a patient.
        So, no, internet questionnaires are not as authoritative as psychiatrists. But at least some psychiatrists appear to have as little authority as internet questionnaires.

        Interesting resource, this:
        “Most of those were wrongly told they had depression. Among the 85% whose diagnosis was delayed, 71% said that their symptoms had become worse as a result of receiving inappropriate treatment, such as antidepressants or sleeping pills.”
        from the http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jun/27/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis-survey link you gave.
        I wonder how many of these patients considered the fact that perhaps their diagnosis of depression was accurate and that pharmaceutical treatment and drug interactions actually caused their bipolar symptoms. Mania is a well-known potential side-effect of anti-depressants. Not to mention that psychosis is a really well-known side-effect of sleeping tablets…
        I actually have a draft that is basically ready to be posted on my blog that addresses this issue, but it will not be posted for a while. Perhaps you would find it interesting.

        I wish you all of the best and good luck, especially since your diagnosis has been so recent.

        Like

      2. Well, having at least one person close to me is accurate. As I indicated previously, due to privacy considerations, I will not disclose the exact nature of their relationships with myself.

        I am a South African, but I do keep up with news from around the world, when I can.
        My research has not been done online. Actually, someone who is an occupational therapist by profession told me the average age of diagnosis once.
        In relation to the use of medication in children, the details are sketchy. I know that some psychiatric centres around the country have built special “teen wards”. Depending on where in SA you live, you may be aware of them.
        Here are some articles in relation to medication use in children, but again, although authoritative, there are very few true details – like how many use them and what the criteria for prescription are:
        http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20081201/which-kids-need-antidepressants
        http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/teen-depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20047502?pg=2
        http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/Should-children-and-teens-take-antidepressants/
        http://www.sasop.co.za/D_UC_TheFoc_003.asp (actually, that one is pretty interesting, it is by the head of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, but it only deals with the very limited studies that have been done in terms of safety of specific medications).
        https://www.mdwise.org/MediaLibraries/MDwise/Files/For%20Providers/Behavioral%20Health/gl-depressioninchildren.pdf (This one deals with the actual diagnostic criteria employed. I will leave you to decide for yourself, but the criteria does not seem particularly strict to me.)
        http://www.drugs.com/mtm/lamotrigine.html (Lamictin can apparently be given from the age of two, if given in conjunction with another seizure medication. Seems it is only used “on label” for seizure disorders, but I wonder how much “off label” use is happening for psychiatric diagnoses.)

        I am not suggesting internet questionnaires are in any way authoritative. I am saying that a large number of psychiatrists aren’t so great either, if they are willing to make a diagnosis within three weeks of first contact with a patient.
        So, no, internet questionnaires are not as authoritative as psychiatrists. But at least some psychiatrists appear to have as little authority as internet questionnaires.

        Interesting resource, this:
        “Most of those were wrongly told they had depression. Among the 85% whose diagnosis was delayed, 71% said that their symptoms had become worse as a result of receiving inappropriate treatment, such as antidepressants or sleeping pills.”
        from the http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jun/27/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis-survey link you gave.
        I wonder how many of these patients considered the fact that perhaps their diagnosis of depression was accurate and that pharmaceutical treatment and drug interactions actually caused their bipolar symptoms. Mania is a well-known potential side-effect of anti-depressants. Not to mention that psychosis is a really well-known side-effect of sleeping tablets…
        I actually have a draft that is basically ready to be posted on my blog that addresses this issue, but it will not be posted for a while. Perhaps you would find it interesting.

        I wish you all of the best and good luck, especially since your diagnosis has been so recent.

        Like

      3. I wrote a reply and included some links for you. I think the comment is stuck in your spam filter as a result :( I forgot if a comment includes more than two links, Akismet holds it back. Oi. Have a look anyway.

        Like

    2. Well, having at least one person close to me is accurate. As I indicated previously, due to privacy considerations, I will not disclose the exact nature of their relationships with myself.

      I am a South African, but I do keep up with news from around the world, when I can.
      My research has not been done online. Actually, someone who is an occupational therapist by profession told me the average age of diagnosis once.
      In relation to the use of medication in children, the details are sketchy. I know that some psychiatric centres around the country have built special “teen wards”. Depending on where in SA you live, you may be aware of them.
      Here are some articles in relation to medication use in children, but again, although authoritative, there are very few true details – like how many use them and what the criteria for prescription are:
      http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20081201/which-kids-need-antidepressants
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/teen-depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20047502?pg=2
      http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/Should-children-and-teens-take-antidepressants/
      http://www.sasop.co.za/D_UC_TheFoc_003.asp (actually, that one is pretty interesting, it is by the head of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, but it only deals with the very limited studies that have been done in terms of safety of specific medications).
      https://www.mdwise.org/MediaLibraries/MDwise/Files/For%20Providers/Behavioral%20Health/gl-depressioninchildren.pdf (This one deals with the actual diagnostic criteria employed. I will leave you to decide for yourself, but the criteria does not seem particularly strict to me.)
      http://www.drugs.com/mtm/lamotrigine.html (Lamictin can apparently be given from the age of two, if given in conjunction with another seizure medication. Seems it is only used “on label” for seizure disorders, but I wonder how much “off label” use is happening for psychiatric diagnoses.)

      I am not suggesting internet questionnaires are in any way authoritative. I am saying that a large number of psychiatrists aren’t so great either, if they are willing to make a diagnosis within three weeks of first contact with a patient.
      So, no, internet questionnaires are not as authoritative as psychiatrists. But at least some psychiatrists appear to have as little authority as internet questionnaires.

      Interesting resource, this:
      “Most of those were wrongly told they had depression. Among the 85% whose diagnosis was delayed, 71% said that their symptoms had become worse as a result of receiving inappropriate treatment, such as antidepressants or sleeping pills.”
      from the http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jun/27/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis-survey link you gave.
      I wonder how many of these patients considered the fact that perhaps their diagnosis of depression was accurate and that pharmaceutical treatment and drug interactions actually caused their bipolar symptoms. Mania is a well-known potential side-effect of anti-depressants. Not to mention that psychosis is a really well-known side-effect of sleeping tablets…
      I actually have a draft that is basically ready to be posted on my blog that addresses this issue, but it will not be posted for a while. Perhaps you would find it interesting.

      I wish you all of the best and good luck, especially since your diagnosis has been so recent.

      Like

      1. Hmmmm … your info abojt drug induced mania is a little off – I know this because I have experienced it, but Princeton has a comprehensive analysis of it.
        http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Hypomania.html

        I actually haven’t had a bad experience with any psychiatrists in SA – I have in the UK though. Guess I’m just lucky (in SA).

        Aaaaanyway, you seem to need to be an authority on the subject, so knock yourself out. Yawn.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I am so grateful for you my friend and all other friends. To put it simply, you help me grieve my brother of blessed memory while imagining what he must have been going through with his BD. Secondly, I also learn a great deal about myself and life in general. You know you are my heroine right? :)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is an excellent piece. I liked it so much, I tweeted the link out today. I particularly like this question: “17. If bipolar was a real thing or being, what would it look, sound and behave like?”
    Thanks for the article.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m totally going to try doing this. I did something similar for the hospital, except they also involved things like, “write about your relationship with your mother, father and immediate family members.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Undvik öppningsbara.Stängs dom för löst med bara handkraft sÃ¥ läcker dom.Ner i väggen.Ju större diameter,ju större stängningskraft krävs.Mina är stängda med stor skiftnyckel.Annars är risken stor att nÃ¥gon “vädrar lite”och glömmer-fuskar med stänget.Kan läcka länge utan upptäckt.

    Like

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