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Pretending to be “normal”

B

Bibibi

New member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Colorado
Hi! I’m new and I have so many thoughts/questions. My mind is racing and my thoughts are chaos but I think I’ve recently had a huge breakthrough. So here’s the deal. I’ve been in therapy a number of times over the years and I’ve seen a psychiatrist twice in my life. Once many years ago for PTSD and have now been seeing someone since last Spring. The thing is that I don’t think I’ve ever really been honest with any of my mental health professionals. I’ve always withheld a LOT of information. I don’t really know why I do this. I’m not trying to be intentionally deceitful but I think I’m just doing what I’ve always done in every aspect of my life which is trying to appear “normal”. My current diagnosis is PMDD because that’s basically what I handed to my psychiatrist. I started taking Fluoxetine in April which I believed to be life changing. I had energy and motivation. Every time I had an appointment I would tell my doctor how great I was doing and how much better my life has been. I’ve been self medicating for insomnia (unisom and cannabis) for years but recently I have had to increase these things and have now come to the point that even on massive amounts I’m still waking up for hours at a time and can’t shut my mind off. So I moved my April appointment up to this coming week to address the insomnia. I always rehearse what I want to say to my doctor in my head but today I started writing things down and it is literally pages and pages of mostly things I haven’t told anyone. I’m so embarrassed about hiding things all this time but I’m desperate for help. Seeing all of my concerning behavior over the years written out makes a bipolar diagnosis seem obvious to me but I still have the urge to rationalize each individual behavior. I’m 41 and my Dad wasn’t diagnosed with Bipolar until he was 60 but we all knew he had it all those years even if he didn’t. I just feel like I’ve been putting all of my energy into trying to control and hide my mental health because I’m so afraid of such a major diagnosis.
 
Prettyroses99

Prettyroses99

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Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
52
Location
California, USA
You are who you are with or without a diagnosis. The only thing a diagnosis does is open the door for medication treatment. Which has it's pros and cons. I've been treated with medications and also gone without but neither are wonderful. High sucide rates doesn't suprise me because it's exhausting being bipolar.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
73
Location
England
Hi Bibibi. A few things on what you've said:

First of all, the professionals will bend over backwards trying to tell you that there is no such thing as 'normal'. Personally, I think they're full of shit for saying such things and are only saying it so we don't feel 'abnormal'. We all know what 'normal' is. It's the typical person being able to live a typical life. They work, they have relationships, they have friends and a social life, they watch TV or movies and don't have any problems of the sort that those with Bipolar can have. I know I'm not normal because the aforementioned things are extremely difficult for me (yes, even watching TV). But I accept that. I have this thing and it makes me different. I no longer care.

Secondly, just because you have Bipolar in the family doesn't necessary mean you will have it. It may well turn out that you do, but don't try to pigeon hole yourself, let them figure it out, because you can convince yourself that you're something when you're not. I've fell into that trap myself.

Thirdly, are you still taking the fluoxetine? If so, I would assume that you may well be at the early stages of seeing just why it is that Bipolar and antidepressants do not go together. If you've been struggling to sleep more so since April then you've got to be looking at those meds as being the cause. You've felt better with lots more energy but what have others said about how you seem? Have you felt better for any identifiable reason or do you just put it down to the antidepressants working for you?

(PS: what's PMDD?)
 
Passionflower

Passionflower

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Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
2,109
Location
UK
When I took fluoxetine it turned me manic. I felt wonderful and untouchable. When I stopped it, I went back to a normal state. I then went on to Sertraline and that has not made me manic.

What I am trying to say is, just because fluoxetine turns you manic, don't assume you have bipolar, you may not have it.I don't have a bipolar diagnosis and I have bipolar in my family too.
 
B

Bibibi

New member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Colorado
Hi Bibibi. A few things on what you've said:

First of all, the professionals will bend over backwards trying to tell you that there is no such thing as 'normal'. Personally, I think they're full of shit for saying such things and are only saying it so we don't feel 'abnormal'. We all know what 'normal' is. It's the typical person being able to live a typical life. They work, they have relationships, they have friends and a social life, they watch TV or movies and don't have any problems of the sort that those with Bipolar can have. I know I'm not normal because the aforementioned things are extremely difficult for me (yes, even watching TV). But I accept that. I have this thing and it makes me different. I no longer care.

Secondly, just because you have Bipolar in the family doesn't necessary mean you will have it. It may well turn out that you do, but don't try to pigeon hole yourself, let them figure it out, because you can convince yourself that you're something when you're not. I've fell into that trap myself.

Thirdly, are you still taking the fluoxetine? If so, I would assume that you may well be at the early stages of seeing just why it is that Bipolar and antidepressants do not go together. If you've been struggling to sleep more so since April then you've got to be looking at those meds as being the cause. You've felt better with lots more energy but what have others said about how you seem? Have you felt better for any identifiable reason or do you just put it down to the antidepressants working for you?

(PS: what's PMDD?)
PMDD= Premenstral
Hi Bibibi. A few things on what you've said:

First of all, the professionals will bend over backwards trying to tell you that there is no such thing as 'normal'. Personally, I think they're full of shit for saying such things and are only saying it so we don't feel 'abnormal'. We all know what 'normal' is. It's the typical person being able to live a typical life. They work, they have relationships, they have friends and a social life, they watch TV or movies and don't have any problems of the sort that those with Bipolar can have. I know I'm not normal because the aforementioned things are extremely difficult for me (yes, even watching TV). But I accept that. I have this thing and it makes me different. I no longer care.

Secondly, just because you have Bipolar in the family doesn't necessary mean you will have it. It may well turn out that you do, but don't try to pigeon hole yourself, let them figure it out, because you can convince yourself that you're something when you're not. I've fell into that trap myself.

Thirdly, are you still taking the fluoxetine? If so, I would assume that you may well be at the early stages of seeing just why it is that Bipolar and antidepressants do not go together. If you've been struggling to sleep more so since April then you've got to be looking at those meds as being the cause. You've felt better with lots more energy but what have others said about how you seem? Have you felt better for any identifiable reason or do you just put it down to the antidepressants working for you?

(PS: what's PMDD?)
PMDD= Premenstral Dysphoric Disorder (like extreme PMS- I get angry and irritable when people do things like breath).
I’m still taking the fluoxetine. I thought the fluoxetine was working but now I’m wondering if I’ve mostly been manic the whole time. It just seems so much worse lately. I’m constantly problem solving in my head. Like every thought that comes into my head is a problem to be solved and now it’s turned into Have a thought, Ask self if that’s normal, research and make lists to come up with the answer. Like, “Have I had more jobs than most people?” I make a list of every job I’ve ever had and for how long (25 and all for <2 years), find references for the average number of jobs in various categories. I’ve filled up half a full size notebook with these things in the last few days. But the weird thing is that I also can’t get out of bed, which is new. I’m able to get my kids where they need to go but then get back in bed. And on days where I don’t have to leave the house it usually takes me about 10 HOURS to get up and in the shower and I don’t even eat some days until my husband gets home from work in the evening. I’ve had plenty of times before fluoxetine that I couldn’t get out of bed, but not paired with the chaotic thinking. I also used to have a lot longer stretches of what I considered productive days when I first started taking it (Cleaning every bit of the house top to bottom, painting my garden fence ombré after dark while my son holds a flashlight) but now it’s once every 7-10 days for one day then back to not getting out of bed. I know that just because my dad has Bipolar doesn’t mean I do, but my daughter was diagnosed with it at 14 too and of all my sibling it seems like I’m the lucky winner. They all mostly have their shit together.
 
B

Bibibi

New member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Colorado
When I took fluoxetine it turned me manic. I felt wonderful and untouchable. When I stopped it, I went back to a normal state. I then went on to Sertraline and that has not made me manic.

What I am trying to say is, just because fluoxetine turns you manic, don't assume you have bipolar, you may not have it.I don't have a bipolar diagnosis and I have bipolar in my family too.
I was wondering about this. I had horrible self-esteem my entire life and have been extremely introverted, shy, and socially anxious. Now I feel invincible and perfect (which feels pretty great). I don’t post on social media often but lately I’m getting into arguments with strangers even when I know people can see it and I get embarrassed. My brother sent a screenshot to all of my siblings of me telling someone to fuck off in every time zone.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
650
Location
London, UK
I was in denial about my mental health problems for a long time, remained undiagnosed and untreated for the better part of a year since developing clear symptoms. During that time, my life pretty much fell apart and it was the single worst year of my life. If you have a parent with bipolar disorder means that you have a higher probability of developing it yourself. I understand the fear of the label of being bipolar and all that comes with it, but keeping it all inside you is only going to make it worse. Without a correct diagnosis, you will not receive the right treatment and become very sick. You are currently on an antidepressant which is contraindicated for bipolar disorder as it can induce manic episodes. Please be honest with your mental health proffesional and see a psychiatrist. They can prescribe you a mood stabiliser and you will feel better. Don't be afraid of this illness, many people go on to do very well with the right treatment. A friend of my mothers who is also bipolar, has 2 children and a high powered career in the city. But she wouldn't have been able to do that if she didn't receive the treatment that she needed.
 
T

toto

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
934
Location
München
Will antipsychotics really help ?!
I was told as a minus that I share everything. I was told I was jumping from topic to topic. I think that judging what to say and what not to say means that you are thinking, you have critical thinking. It also occurs to me that maybe you don't like the psychiatrist enough? In fact, what worries you the most? That you can't sleep or what?
 
T

toto

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Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
934
Location
München
Besides, if you can pretend to be normal, then you are normal. Being able to behave as the environment requires is a quality of normal.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
73
Location
England
PMDD= Premenstral

PMDD= Premenstral Dysphoric Disorder (like extreme PMS- I get angry and irritable when people do things like breath).
I’m still taking the fluoxetine. I thought the fluoxetine was working but now I’m wondering if I’ve mostly been manic the whole time. It just seems so much worse lately. I’m constantly problem solving in my head. Like every thought that comes into my head is a problem to be solved and now it’s turned into Have a thought, Ask self if that’s normal, research and make lists to come up with the answer.
But the weird thing is that I also can’t get out of bed, which is new. I’m able to get my kids where they need to go but then get back in bed. And on days where I don’t have to leave the house it usually takes me about 10 HOURS to get up and in the shower and I don’t even eat some days until my husband gets home from work in the evening. I’ve had plenty of times before fluoxetine that I couldn’t get out of bed, but not paired with the chaotic thinking. I also used to have a lot longer stretches of what I considered productive days when I first started taking it (Cleaning every bit of the house top to bottom, painting my garden fence ombré after dark while my son holds a flashlight) but now it’s once every 7-10 days for one day then back to not getting out of bed.
Regarding the PMDD, maybe I'm the first man in history to have that too then, because I get like that. I put that down to irritable moods associated with Bipolar. People breathing too loudly, eating (any kind of noise), taps dripping, clocks ticking, TV noise, people speaking, anything knocking or banging repetatively etc. I believe it's a kind of hypersensitized state where things seems louder and more noticeable than normal. Anyway...
Regarding the other stuff: I'd be very wary of antidepressants. I had a problem with them that got very bad but it was a real slow burning affair, not instantaneous. I was depressed but lively at the same time, you'd get people saying 'mixed state' at that, but I would say probably only towards the end, the final few weeks or so, for sure anyway. That, for me, is the worst state to be in, even worse than the worst depression I've had because it felt like I was being pulled apart, like my whole body was exploding in one direction and the other at the same time. I didn't know up from down. Looking back I'd say you could be describing an early stage of that. The problem I had, which you hopefully don't, or won't, is that I kept trying to feel better by going to the doctors for higher dose antidepressants, so i poured fuel on the flames and got worse and worse instead of better. Maybe staying at the same dosage is keeping you at a level that's a problem but not yet too big of a problem. I'd speak to your doc about all that you're experiencing and see if you can get your dosage at least lowered, if not stopped (gradually).
 

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