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Coping with the aftermath of manic episodes

InterruptingGirl

InterruptingGirl

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Jul 14, 2020
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UK
Hi, I'm new here.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I about 4 years ago after a major manic episode 2 years prior. I've been depressed pretty much my whole life, very low self esteem due to bullying, just always been a super sensitive, insecure person.
I was wondering how you all manage with the aftermath of manic episodes? What sort of support - if any - do you get, in particular from your family and friends? How do you cope with it and carry on with life...do you enjoy it anymore? Are you happy, do you find joy in things? I can't seem to find light at the end of the tunnel...
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

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I've only been proper manic a couple of times in my life and that was before I got on medication. Now it's mostly hypomania with some mixed epsiodes in between and a a bout of rapid cycling last year. I remember no one caring when I had the first manic episode. I didn't think there was something wrong until my dad forced me to go to a psychiatrist. He didn't help much, just proscribed me some antidepressants and sent me on my way. It wasn't until my 3rd psychiatrist I got my diagnosis and the road to proper treatment began, but it took years to find medication that worked. When my psychiatrist died I only had my regular doctor to lean on and he didn't have a clue about my issues so I just continued to take my meds until I had a breakdown last year and sought out another psychiatrist to get some help.

My family had lots of mental issues on both my mom's and my dad's side. While she was never diagnosed I strongly suspect my mother to have been bipolar and my aunt on the mothers side was bipolar and commited suicide and my abusive grandad on my fathers side also suffered from bipolar disorder. I also suspect my sister to be bipolar but she refuse to be diagnosed. My dad had a plethora of issues ranging from extreme anxiety, PTSD and drug and alcohol abuse. I really didn't have any family to rely on and I didn't want to burden my friends either withdrawing or treating them like crap during my mania.

I won't lie, life has been a constant struggle, mostly joyless with few moments I would call happy or even content. But I'm pretty down right now so it's probably not the best time to reflect on happier days. 😛
 
InterruptingGirl

InterruptingGirl

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Thank you for responding UpnDwn, sounds really tough - you sound tough too ✊
There are a lot of mental health issues in my family too, quite possibly a narcissistic mum, alcoholism, depression, and one aunt who is the 'family cuckoo' 🙄. No one talks about these problems though. I haven't been able to tell anyone about my diagnosis, only my husband knows but he doesn't believe in it...
I'm just wondering how people deal with all the crap, is it with medication, is it due to understanding, forgiveness from their loved ones? i just keep punishing myself, I think I'm literally destroying myself every day, mentally and physically, i am in chronic pain.
 
Cherub786

Cherub786

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Canada
I won't lie, life has been a constant struggle, mostly joyless with few moments I would call happy or even content. But I'm pretty down right now so it's probably not the best time to reflect on happier days. 😛
Hello. Do you mind if I ask you a question? I see that you are from Norway. Now I've been hearing since childhood that Scandinavia is the happiest place on Earth, and people there are the happiest and most satisfied in the world. But I was always skeptical of this claim, even if I couldn't initially put my foot on it. Now I realize that Scandinavia may be some kind of socialist utopia (personally I hate socialism and prefer freedom), but considering the weather there is often gloomy, and that socially people are extremely isolated and there isn't much culture or energy and activity, I believe the surveys that keep coming out annually are deeply flawed. In my view, Scandinavia is probably one of the most depressing places on Earth. As a Scandinavian, do you concur with my conclusion? Thanks in advance
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

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Norway
Hello. Do you mind if I ask you a question? I see that you are from Norway. Now I've been hearing since childhood that Scandinavia is the happiest place on Earth, and people there are the happiest and most satisfied in the world. But I was always skeptical of this claim, even if I couldn't initially put my foot on it. Now I realize that Scandinavia may be some kind of socialist utopia (personally I hate socialism and prefer freedom), but considering the weather there is often gloomy, and that socially people are extremely isolated and there isn't much culture or energy and activity, I believe the surveys that keep coming out annually are deeply flawed. In my view, Scandinavia is probably one of the most depressing places on Earth. As a Scandinavian, do you concur with my conclusion? Thanks in advance
Scandinavia is more than one country, but as for Norway it is a very good land to live in. We have some of the best health services, schools and social security. We also sit on a ton of oil and are one of the wealthiest lands in the world. Norway isn't that socialist and we certainly value and enjoy our freedom, but as in any Western society the pressure to succeed is exceedingly high and if you're unlucky may end up on the outside. While even those society fails have some security there's also great shame in not cutting it. Further up North we have months of darkness and the area is mostly desolate and very sparsely populated. Life there can be lonely and isolated so while Norway is mostly a happy place it's not perfect. As for the rest of Scandinavia your guess is as good as mine.
 
Ramson mash

Ramson mash

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I go witthh the flow. I may be manic sometimes but the flipside is somewhere which i don't want to be. Trying to manage it is tough work
 
Cherub786

Cherub786

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Scandinavia is more than one country, but as for Norway it is a very good land to live in. We have some of the best health services, schools and social security. We also sit on a ton of oil and are one of the wealthiest lands in the world. Norway isn't that socialist and we certainly value and enjoy our freedom, but as in any Western society the pressure to succeed is exceedingly high and if you're unlucky may end up on the outside. While even those society fails have some security there's also great shame in not cutting it. Further up North we have months of darkness and the area is mostly desolate and very sparsely populated. Life there can be lonely and isolated so while Norway is mostly a happy place it's not perfect. As for the rest of Scandinavia your guess is as good as mine.
Thank you kindly for the enlightening reply. In my perspective, public health service, schools and social security are not the ingredients necessary for happiness. True happiness is internal to the individual, though we tend to focus on external factors to achieve happiness and serenity. This is the fundamental error made by the surveys that put out those annual happiness index reports, and tend to grade Scandinavian countries as belonging to the top of the list. As I understand, Scandinavia is one of the least religious places in the world, while religion is necessary to find inner peace and meaning in one's life. Therefore, it seems so counter-intuitive to me that Scandinavia should be considered a utopia. Although I have never been there, the descriptions I have read and heard concerning it give the image of a dystopia to my mind.
 
T

TyFence

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I’m not bipolar but maybe I can answer some of your questions. I am schizophrenic. I enjoy my life a little. I cope by being with people when I have to, isolating, talking to my wife, reading and volunteer work. I look for meaning in life rather than thrills. Do you mean that mania is so good nothing else compares? @InterruptingGirl . I have mostly been down so anything is an improvement.
Yes I use medication to cope and have growing patience and silence to cope because in an emotional state I can only make it worse by reacting. So I keep my center and trust for it to be ok. It usually passes. Trouble that is.
I feel that self destructiveness it happens. it is natural. But my life on the other hand is being built and strengthened. The disease works against me and I am crushed sometimes but I keep going and it gets better, even stronger the next day. I have it under control but when I don’t want to control anymore it sics me. God is the reason for my success.
 
InterruptingGirl

InterruptingGirl

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Thank you for your responses. @TyFence my manic episode about 6 years ago was the darkest time of my life and destroyed so much (my marriage, my husband's life - my life as it was). I realise i wasn't clear about it in my op. So, almost every day since, I have been trying to restore what is left of my life and try and deal with the devastation, guilt...I'm wondering if it's possible to ever feel like you deserve to be alive and happy (?) , do you ever get to enjoy life again? Or is this it?
 
manicmonday

manicmonday

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Thank you for your responses. @TyFence my manic episode about 6 years ago was the darkest time of my life and destroyed so much (my marriage, my husband's life - my life as it was). I realise i wasn't clear about it in my op. So, almost every day since, I have been trying to restore what is left of my life and try and deal with the devastation, guilt...I'm wondering if it's possible to ever feel like you deserve to be alive and happy (?) , do you ever get to enjoy life again? Or is this it?
I've been going through this after a manic episode that ended four months ago but I'm having a good day today and clinging to the thought that it does pass. I've found I've improved by focusing on the things that make me feel the worst and taking small steps to change the situation where I can. As for the guilt and the aftermath I focus on the fact I was ill. I think about it it were someone else that did and said the things I did and if I could forgive them knowing what they were going through. It's easier to forgive myself that way.
 
T

TyFence

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It’s sounds like a manic state is no fun. I met a guy who had manic depression. He staid he made millions on a manic and lost it all when he got depressed.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I have been in depression following a mania for almost a year now. I keep replaying the stupid things I said and did during this mania over and over again in my head. I am still paying off some expenses I accrued during the mania and dealing with some legal issues that resulted from being manic. If I weren’t living with my parents I would be in very bad shape and likely living out on the streets. This past mania lasted about a year until I crashed last August to October when I was hospitalized for suicidality. I don’t really foresee this getting better. I feel that the depression will never end and neither will me replaying every action in my head forever. It’s probably not very healthy but it is just where my emotions and mind go with this so I don’t know what else to do. xo, j
 
UpnDwn1978

UpnDwn1978

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Thank you kindly for the enlightening reply. In my perspective, public health service, schools and social security are not the ingredients necessary for happiness. True happiness is internal to the individual, though we tend to focus on external factors to achieve happiness and serenity. This is the fundamental error made by the surveys that put out those annual happiness index reports, and tend to grade Scandinavian countries as belonging to the top of the list. As I understand, Scandinavia is one of the least religious places in the world, while religion is necessary to find inner peace and meaning in one's life. Therefore, it seems so counter-intuitive to me that Scandinavia should be considered a utopia. Although I have never been there, the descriptions I have read and heard concerning it give the image of a dystopia to my mind.
While I disagree that religion is necessary for inner peace and meaning ( it may be for some but not everyone because everyone's different), i do agree that external factors won't bring happiness at least for the long run. In my experience being an atheist doesn't affect ones ability to find meaning and happiness in ones life and I know plenty of atheists that are happy with their lives and religious people that are not. People are different and we are defined by more than our beliefs. Here in Norway we don't tend to focus that much on what people believe in, in fact it rarely ever comes up in conversations. That doesn't mean however, that religion and faith is important to some peoples lives. Just that we tend to keep our beliefs private.

I wouldn't go as far as to call Norway a utopia, we certainly have our problems just like any other country. I think a contributing factor to why we are so high on the happines scale also is because of our low population number. I don't know why exactly, maybe it's because it's easier to find a job or its harder to get lost in the system if something should happen. I have no idea how you got the notion that Norway was a dystopia, in my opinion thats as far from reality as it could get and I invite you to visit my country to see for yourself that we're not that different than any other western country. What gave you the impression that Norway was a dystopia?
 
InterruptingGirl

InterruptingGirl

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I keep replaying the things I did in my mind too JessisMe, it's the hell I live in...
manicmonday I can sometimes rationalise it and remind myself that I was very ill, it was completely unexpected when it happened (I had never had a manic episode prior to it). What makes it more difficult is seeing how it has affected people around me...they will never forgive, never accept that I was ill. It makes me question my sanity even more.
 
InterruptingGirl

InterruptingGirl

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Whilst i would like to keep the convo on topic 🙃 I agree with you UpnDwn1978 - religion does not equal happiness and inner peace nor does not being religious mean you cannot be happy, peaceful, righteous. IME people in less-obviously-religious cultures can indeed be 'quietly spiritual' and as you said, keep their faith private. They don't necessarily wear their faith publicly or use it to identify themselves with.
 
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