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Sep 1, 2011 · Diagnosed with bipolar 2, wondering if in early-stage hypomania? in Mental Health

My diagnosis is "cyclothymia with BP2 tendencies", which means I tend towards depression and mixed states. You will not know if you are hypomanic until it is too late, sad to say. Well, if you are anything like me and most of my members. You get up high and then can't get down when you want to and then crash and then comes the depression.

As the years have gone by I have increasingly come to believe that Cylothymia is Bipolar (so many doctors present it as separate) and that true Cyclothymics can pretty much manage without med as long as they do CBT. Technically the difference is that someone with BP2 has had a Major Depressive Episode.

I am on Lithium, Depakene, and Wellbutrin. I am supposed to be Cyclothymic but my meds are the same meds as they take with full BP2. I think it is best to think of Bipolar as a spectrum of intensity and that it is enough to accept that you are on the spectrum and take responsibility for your health and your relationships. Keep a daily mood journal that includes what meds you took and how you feel, and work with your doctor. Be your own health advocate. This is very important.

Oct 4, 2011 · How to remind him he's sick? Boyfriend delusional, violent,destructive in Mental Health

Run. You are not married. You are not required to stay with him or help him.

I know this sounds harsh. I say it as a Bipolar person who has run a forum for Bipolar people for 10 years. We sometimes have the loved ones of Bipolar people show up and we tell them the following:

1. Tell him if he does not see a doctor and get a solid diagnosis, you are out of there.
2. When he gets the diagnosis, tell him if he does not comply with treatment 100%, you are out of there.

Relationships go two ways. If he is not willing to do these two things for you, then he puts himself first and you really do have a problem on your hands. I take my meds every day, twice a day. I do it for my husband and my daughter. I do not have extreme Bipolar, yet even so I am committed to staying on top of this illness. He needs to take responsibility for his own life. He needs to decide when enough is enough and he will submit— but you cannot do that for him.

For you:
1. Draw a line. It can be a deadline. “If he does not get to a doctor/start treatment by x date, then I have to accept that he is never going to do it.” And then get out.

You are talking about being afraid that he will kill you. KILL YOU. This is not normal, this is not a normal relationship. You cannot save him– you can only save yourself. You deserve someone who loves you and can be stable in that love, dependable. It might be him, who knows, I hope so, but it will only be after he has made up his own mind that his life would be better under treatment than it is right now. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

Oct 4, 2011 · Low Functioning Autism in Autism (ASD)

“Low functioning autism” would mean that you were barely able to connect with any humans, which is very different from being on the Asperger’s Spectrum. Are you saying you had severe autism and then cured yourself? If so, that is a wonderful story.

I also am a great believer in positive thinking and looking at things from outside the box to get a new perspective on a situation. I have Bipolar, ADHD-C (severe) and test as having asperger’s. I am extremely high functioning and spend my spare time as an advocate for the mentally ill.

I am very happy for your success, yet I think your next step should be to work on your Emotional Intelligence, otherwise known as Empathy, and to read up on the neuroscience of mental illness so you can understand why you people just can’t “control” their mental illnesses. Believe me, we wish we could. Every time I have an episode I feel like I have wet myself in public. I can’t help it.

Please write a book so we can all benefit from your wisdom!

Oct 4, 2011 · How do I overcome my social anxiety disorder? in Mental Health

If you are not already doing it, I would suggest finding a psychiatrist who can help you with whatever medications are appropriate— and then find a therapist who can work with you one the self-esteem and social issues (which are interrelated). Find someone who practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. And always, always remember, like a mantra, that YOU ARE ENOUGH, just as you are.

Oct 4, 2011 · Are mental illnesses inherited? in Mental Health

I am Bipolar and have had it for 35 years and have run a website and forum for it for the last 10 years. Bipolar is almost always genetic. You may not know someone has it because they are very good at hiding it. No one knows that I have it and I suffer terribly– I just bite it back. Actually meds have helped tremendously so I feel much better. Look ?nto your family tree for people who were known for being eccentric, or real bastards, or people who had substance abuse issues. Those can be markers.

Families will deny it exists. My mother’s step-sister has been hospitalized for Biploar many times. Their shared parent, my mother’s father was a hugely talkative man who would talk and not notice that the people around him were about to fall out of their chairs from exhaustion (pressured speech is a marker). I remember his mother was an incredible grumpy woman who scared me. Even with these clues my mother REFUSES to consider that my Bipolar comes from her side of the family. She points to a great grandfather on my father’s side who was an itinerant preacher during the Depression. My mother I think has ADHD. She has never been able to sit still and is hugely non-empathetic.
Bipolar tends not to show up until the teens. I have run a forum for people with Bipolar for ten years and poll after poll has shown teenaged presentation.

You are welcome, by the way, to join our forum ( and ask as many questions as you like, or your son is welcome to come. Please know that you are not alone, and that medications can really make a positive difference.I started meds when I was 38 and it was only after that that I started writing novels, designing web sites, doing photography and riding horses. I have been married 25 years and have had the same job for 20 years. You can live a full life with Bipolar.

Oct 4, 2011 · dissociative identity disorder (DID): anyone with this diagnosis? in Mental Health

I don’t but I have less severe versions of it, called depresonalization and derealizatin, whenever I go through a depressive phase of my Bipolar Disorder. Are you seeking treatment for this. It is a very uncomfortable sensation but it can be treated.

Oct 4, 2011 · Depression & anxiety, problems with finances, work and marriage in Depression & Anxiety

I am sure most of us can relate to at least some of your problems. You are on anti-depressants, so that means you are aware of a problem and have sought help for it. This is a huge step forward in dealing with anything brain related. If things seems unbearable you might go back to your doctor and talk with him or her about changing your treatment plan. Another very helpful thing you could do is start counseling for yourself, and your marriage. Find a counselor who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (basically it teaches you to identify unhelpful thought patterns, challenge them, and replace them with more helpful ones). Your wife could come, too, for some couples therapy. It could only help. Don’t give up, whatever you do. Things will get better 🙂

Oct 4, 2011 · If you are a compulsive gambler, how do you manage it? in Mental Health

As a woman with her own compulsions, I would recommend seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and maybe Bipolar disorder (especially if your gambling is not constant but comes and goes, in cycles). I am Bipolar. When I am stable I do not do anything compulsive but when I get a bit manic they all come jumping out of the closet. OR depressed. Compulsions can release endorphins in the system, which öake you feel better, and thus can be a way to self-medicate for depression.