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Forums / Welcome and orientation / New to forums - Just diagnosed Bipolar 2

Topic: New to forums - Just diagnosed Bipolar 2

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. Joamy
    Joamy avatar
    2 posts
    15 December 2015

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post so I thought I would say hello and see how this works. After a period of severe anxiety and 5 months on medication, I have just been diagnosed as suffering from Bipolar 2 disorder. On the one hand it has come as a bit of a shock but on the other it makes perfect sense and explains so many things about my life. I work in a very creative field and am also a very driven type of person so my symptoms,which I have covered for many years, have gone unnoticed. I am very curious to know if anyone else out there is more of an extrovert who suffers from anxiety or Bipolar. It surprises me that no-one ever asked of I was ok or noticed that anything was wrong even though I was, at times, in the depths of despair. Medication has given me some breathing space over the past few months so I feel more stable but I have been told that I will need to go on a mood stabiliser. Not sure what that means?

    Thanks for reading and I hope to hear back from anyone else in a similar situation.

    Joamy :)

  2. Anroca78
    Anroca78 avatar
    30 posts
    15 December 2015 in reply to Joamy
    Hi Joamy, I too have just joined this site. I am bi polar 2 as well, diagnosed 3 yrs ago, and at 37, I have have also looked back over the years and went' OK, that explains why I did that or acted that way!!'.Mood stabilisers are the medications that can help the high/lows. I have been on medication for the 3 years. Some have bad side effects, tremors, vagueness, dry mouth, tiredness) but stop the 'high' like staying up at 2am cleaning, binge drinking, reckless behaviour e.t.c) and others allow my brain to rest and I can sleep instead of waking up 2-3 times a night.  I was put on a anti depression medication when I had my lows, but this I think is trickier to manage, I've been given a few and came off them as they seemed to make it worse not better. I went off medication for 3 weeks last year, thought I was better...a really dumb decision I was an absolute mess, so went back on then and have been ok since then, a few little breakdowns due to stress and tiredness due to work. It's not a cure but mood stabilisers can help. Hope my reply has helped. Anroca78
    2 people found this helpful
  3. Joamy
    Joamy avatar
    2 posts
    15 December 2015 in reply to Joamy
    Hi Androca78 and thanks so much for answering my query! It all seems a bit bewildering at the moment but I'm relieved to hear that medication can be such a big help. I have really struggled in my job over the past few years and been very close many times to either leaving or being formally cautioned for my behaviour (which until now I couldn't see any problem with - I just thought I was being assertive). I'm like you in that I am already mature (51 years old) and amazed that I wasn't diagnosed until now. I feel very sad for myself in a way as I have really suffered and knew that something wasn't right. Thanks again for your reply! Joamy x
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Kazooau
    Kazooau avatar
    1 posts
    24 December 2015 in reply to Joamy
    Hi, I have also been recently diagnosed with Bipolar type 2 at the ripe ol' age of 43!  For me it has been seriously overwhelming... not great to finally be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that has affected your entire life (unbeknownst to you) in your 40's!  Must be especially "annoying" (for want of a better word) in your 50's!  But I'm trying to roll with it as best I can... says me at 2:42am in the morning!  Anyhoo... I am actually desperate to touch base with others in my situation.  It doesn't seem to be a condition that is easily brought up in general conversation.   It also feels like a 'cop-out' when I try to discuss this with others I know, not even my hubby (although he's a beautiful human being & puts up with WAY too much).  How do you begin to explain to someone who has never had a mental illness that you have never lived up to your own (or to other's) expectations of what you thought & what they thought you were  capable of doing... luckily I have recently (in the last 2 years) found a mental health team that is helping me out this mess I call a life & mood stabilisers are also a massive help.  Apologies, but I've been net-surfing too long & have to work in 6 hours... a good sleep routine was never my thing!  Sorry, must finish this later.  Hang in there, chat again soon. x
  5. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9757 posts
    24 December 2015 in reply to Kazooau

    Hi Joamy, Welcome

    Like the other two posters I have bipolar 2 and depression dysthymia and used to have anxiety (that I conquered).

    The way I view this illness is that we have higher highs and lower lows than "normal", like a large wave coming and going rather than bipolar 1 that has unpredictable tsunami's.

    I to am on mood stabilisers with no side effects and a small dose of anti depressants (think the latter are for depression really). I've fine tuned my MS's to the best dose for me. One really has to accept that even the most ideal meds are still not going to stop the mood swings coming and going but they will likely place you with lower waves. As you mature more you will relax more and allow things to slide rather than react. But when I have a project (am building my own caravan ATM) I'm up till 6am for a few days then crash and don't feel well for a few days etc. This lets it all out of my system. Thankfully my wife of 5 years doesn't worry about it however my last partner was driven crazy by my late night hobbies and creations.

    There are positives in having bipolar. You are likely to be creative, artistic and entertaining. You will also be the type that will get things done - quickly!!. While your condition is nothing to get stressed out about you will be on a learning curve to understand it and try to fit in with those around you. You wont be suited to customer service nor high stressed deadline type work. I went on a self help journey also once diagnosed, moved further into the country away from the city and its millions of faces, changed employment to a job without contact with others and got rid of toxic people from my life. All those sort of things helped get me much more stable.

    I was diagnosed in 2009, I'm now 59yo. But when 18yo I began to buy and sell cars (with personal loans) and had 35 cars by the time I was 25yo. It continued well into my 30's. I now know it was my illness that took me on that road.

    You have insight into your condition. That means you are one of the lucky ones.

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Anroca78
    Anroca78 avatar
    30 posts
    1 January 2016 in reply to Kazooau

    Hi Kazooau, 

    It is amazing how many people are diagnosed with bipolar at a late stage in life. Beyondblue has certainly answered a few questions I have been asking since I was 14. I thought I was a little quirky, mad fun loving youngster who just happen to hate social scenes, who cried at the drop of a hat etc lol

    I have a very loving and very patient partner( who suffers from severe anxiety.. Yeah I know he is a saint!) but family and friends find it hard to support bipolar, after all visiting you one day where you are all sunshine and rainbows ( ie manic usually) and then  the next time they visit, you are crying in your cup of tea and rambling on how your  cat might have cancer and your car has broken down etc lol. 

    Its exhausting for everyone, chuck in visits to the psychiatrists and it becomes very well exhausting. 

    My family have had trouble accepting my illness, my mum does have trouble still after 3 yrs asking questions, do you hear voices? How come you have only just found out? Ok you were weird at times but do you really need medication.? 

    If she had a mobile phone or a computer I would suggest that she come here to get family support but sadly can't. Oh well maybe in time. 

    I am also interested in talking to those who have found out about bipolar later in life. And you are one of many I would like to have a chat with, so hope to talk to you soon and others!😊

  7. Anroca78
    Anroca78 avatar
    30 posts
    1 January 2016 in reply to white knight

    Hi Whiteknight,

    Being new to this great place, I have read quite a few of your posts and find them very humorous but helpful. 

    I was just replying to another helpful older diagnosed bipolar person  and said I am amazed how many of us were diagnosed so late, I was told by g.p who originally referred me to a psych that it is usually diagnosed a lot earlier which left me thinking had she diagnosed me wrong? I'm  34 yrs old, are you sure? Years of  on off anxiety/depression diagnosed with only anti depressants( did not work) I just thought I had an addictive personality and loved to clean the lounge room at 4am after 2 restless hours of sleep oh and just happened to be Weird Al Yankovich and rewrite my own spoofs on popular songs and sit there laughing my butt off..on my own? Ok not so normal. ( yet I was stoked that I was being at least creative lol!)   It was your comment about basically at these times for you, days without sleep allowed you to release. 

    Me too, my partner over the years had seen me do this via alcohol, social drugs but stopped that 3 yrs ago but still made myself have no sleep and later on stop for a few days off meds( oh boy!) just to get that rawness. Self harming is not a nice thing not just for me but family can see the damage,so I had to seek a more harmless( at least a less disturbing and drastic measure) of releasing.To be emotionally  exhausted, physically exhausted strangely allows me to become calm. And I always went back on meds knowing that the first few days on them again gave me comfort that I knew they were working. Not spoken to many people( hardly at all) about this strange release  habit, so Thankyou for explaining it in your own words. 😊Ange

  8. Anroca78
    Anroca78 avatar
    30 posts
    1 January 2016 in reply to Joamy

    Hi Joamy, glad I could help, sorry for late response as you know we can get distracted, trying to reply to others as well in one go! 

    Look, I have gone 25yrs without knowing, and you have gone longer( you are amazing) I did not know what bipolar was until my first job working in age care, a 49 yr old man had bipolar1, and he was nuts, he would come out of his room when his meds were regularly stopped for a few days so they could do blood work and reassessment, totally butt naked stand next to my desk and laugh constantly cos he was having conversations in his head! I would have a giggle, and think this bipolar illness is nuts! And go home have an hour or two sleep and get up do a crossword whilst taking time out to clean  the floor with a dustpan at 4am! 

    Had not got a clue! Worked with him for 3 years and could not see my quirky habits were just a different type of mania. 

    We may have found out late but we know now, we can talk to others, and hopefully if we can understand it a little bit better, we can help others like family/ friends as well( baby steps I know) 

    Keep posting your  stories, it's a great way I find, to give those who fight our illness with us( family/friends) a little break and gives us a chance to  seek support and give support. 

    😊

  9. Johnno89
    Johnno89 avatar
    3 posts
    30 January 2017 in reply to Anroca78

    Hey is there anyway to private talk? I'm recently diagnosed and would some knowledge from people with experience.

    thanks.

  10. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6652 posts
    30 January 2017 in reply to Johnno89
    Hi Johnno89, we don't have private contact facilities here on the forums. We have many useful discussions in the threads here, anonymously, that you are welcome to participate in. 
  11. Kazzl
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Kazzl avatar
    1873 posts
    31 January 2017 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Johnno - I'm Kaz, and I also have bipolar 2. Like Sophie said we can't chat privately, but I'd love to chat with you if you want to start your own thread (sorry if you already have, I might have missed it, I'll have a better look).

    I also have a thread called This Bipolar Life on the Longterm Support over the Journey board. A number of we bipolar folk gather there to discuss anything and everything and share experiences. You are very welcome to join us.

    I want to extend that invitation to Joamy, Kazooau and Anroca too if you're looking in. Sorry I missed you earlier folks. I try to chat with all our bipolar members but don't always see everyone.

    I'm a late-in-life diagnosis too, diagnosed about nine months ago, age 53, after many years of treatment for depression. Like others have said, it was a revelation to me, both terrifying and welcome as it explained so much of my past battles.

    Best wishes to you all, hope to see you again soon.

    Kaz

  12. sectorsteve
    sectorsteve avatar
    2 posts
    27 August 2019

    Im 46. just been diagnosed, well about a year ago but just got the meds last week. too scared to take them. Reading about the medication scares the crap out of me.

    I left my partner of 10 years in feb this year , our house, animals, everything. Im moving onto a boat ive bought in another country in 2 weeks after dealing with our affairs. the last 8 months of the separation process has taken its toll so i got the meds. The thing is, how the hell can a psychiatrist know anything about me after talking to me for 20 minutes and prescribe what sounds like a really horrible addictive drug?

    My questions i guess are for those on these meds. How is life on these meds?

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