Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In order to...

In order to understand this post, you need to read the post before this one that I wrote last night and that was a true confessional of sorts and took me some bravery to write. So, please go and do that first.

I am diagnosed with two disorders, namely Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. The rapid cycling that I talk about in the last post, and that I have talked about a lot previously, are very quick changes in mood that go from one extreme to another all in a day's time within the span of hours.

This opposed to the longer changes of mood which last for weeks or months when I get depressive episodes or hypomanic episodes that belong to the bipolar disorder.

My psychiatrist and my SPN and I have decided that the rapid cycling belongs to the borderline personality disorder, which I will call BPD from this point forward. Rapid cycling is one of the symptoms of BPD and one of the hardest ones to deal with. Your mood goes from one extreme to another during the day and can repeat itself several times.

It causes a lot of mayhem in your life and there is not really a medication for it to stop you having these moods. I take a mood stabilizer, but that one is really for the more longer term mood changes that come with the bipolar disorder.

Rapid cycling can be triggered by events or thoughts or perceived threats, but sometimes it is not at all clear why the sudden mood changes happen. It is like a switch gets flipped in your mind and you go from being cheerful to morose and depressed in the shortest amount of time and then, after several hours, you go back to being cheerful again and then it may happen again all in the course of one day.

It is very difficult to be caught up in this cycle and when you are at the lowest point, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because you suffer. Sometimes you suffer very deeply and you want a way out permanently.

My depressed episodes are accompanied by a great deal of self loathing, so that makes it extra hard, but I try to remember the period before that when I was still cheerful, although that is difficult to do at that time.

Yesterday, the option of committing suicide seemed like a very reasonable one to me. I just don't have a good method. This morning I don't want to be dead, but I also don't know my own frame of mind yet. I'm caught somewhere in the middle.

I just want to tell you that the medication doesn't fix everything, although it fixes a lot. I would be in such dire straights without it.

I have an appointment with my SPN this morning at nine. I will thoroughly discuss the situation with her and try to come up with some solutions, but there may not be any.

That's all I wanted to say.



Connie Rose said...

Oh Irene, please take good care of yourself. I'm really sorry to hear about the BPD but I'm glad you're conscious of it and are trying to deal with it and its impact on your life. I may have mentioned that my mother was borderline, but never diagnosed, and it wrecked havoc in her life and in mine.
I'm sending you a lot of love, especially right now -- this can be such a difficult time of year. Know that my heart goes out to you and that you're in my thoughts.

Maggie May said...

Oh Irene...... how awful that you have so much to put up with because of these conditions.
I think it has been triggered by the thought of Christmas on your own. Everyone else perceives that other people are all having a wonderful time and it isn't really as great for many as it would seem. We are all human and no relationships are that perfect.
You seem to have a very good grasp of what is happening to you.
Going to see your SPN is a sensible thing to do. Seems that the new medication is not as perfect for you as the one you were taking preciously. Can you appeal about the health Insurance's decision?

Having lost a close friend through suicide, I would urge you to get help immediately that these thoughts go through your mind, because it leaves such chaos for the relatives left behind and your daughter loves you and must be very frightened that you are contemplating such a thing. I know it is all because of chemical changes in the brain & that is not easy to control your thoughts.
The fact that recovery is ALWAYS round the corner...... hang on to that...... my friend. X

CC said...

Oh Irene, please don't leave us, I can't imagine what you are going though and how awful it is dealing with "fighiting" yourself each day due to this condition.

Maggie might be right with her thoughts that maybe Christmas may have triggered this, you were buying and doing Chritmas cards the other day and I myself sometimes look at those "picture perfect" cards and depress how my life, house, etc are nothing like the picture.

Please hang in there and get the help you need, you need to stay with us and please keep writing and let us know what we can do if anythign to help you.

You are in my heart and thoughts right now.

Frances said...

Take care of yourself, Irene - you know more than anyone what has worked for you in the past and can maybe work out some way of dealing with the extremes now.
Christmas is a huge trigger for a lot of people and maybe the fact that last Christmas was a bit of a horrible time might not be helping.
You have so much fun in you underneath this mood and it will emerge - are you making plans to spend time with other people sometime next week?
Sending you virtual waves of strength and love to help you through this, dear one. Big hugs

Mad Asthmatic said...

You are a very brave person, and by writing how you feel I hope it gives you some outlet. I have suffered from manic depression for many years and so have a small understanding of what you go through with your rapid cycling. I am glad that you were able to work through the suicide desire and not act on it.
The holidays are often a time when it is difficult to remain on an even keel but I hope that you have a safe and happy holiday.

laurie said...

such heaviness in your life, irene.

we are here for you. we all care. that should help keep you out of the hole....

Lori ann said...

Dear Irene, we've only just "met" but I could feel right away what a witty warm and wonderful person you are. I think you have so much to contribute to the world. Sending you love, Lori

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Thank you, my dearest people, for all the very supportive comments. It does my heart good. I am ever so grateful for them. I am glad that I could find my trust in all of you.

Babaloo said...

I'm sending a big hug right across to you! It all makes so much more sense for me now that you have written it down so eloquently.

I hope it helps you to see that you have so many friends who care about you, even though most of us are far away in the physical world. In terms of metaphorical closeness, however, I think you are blessed to have so many people caring and thinking about you. Hold on to this knowledge.

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