What were the first symptoms you experienced?


Patients Bipolar disorder

What were the first symptoms you experienced?

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My manic episodes began after the trauma of losing my father to suicide (he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder) when I was 16. I never knew at the time that I was having episodes, I too just believed that these highs and lows were something that every high school age kid experienced. But at times I would have severe mental breakdowns, or snapping points is what I thought of them. It wasn’t until I faced tremendous loss at the beginning of January, 2020 all in the same week. it sent me into the most severe manic episode I’ve ever yet experienced. I was acting like I was high... like on meth. But 100% sober. My mom kept accusing me of being high on somthing and I was just crying in frustration trying to explain to her that I wasn’t. I wasn’t sleeping for days on end and was staying up all night writing these awful short stories, and poetry that was barely even English at all. My sense of self-esteem was so heightened at the time that I even sent it to a lot of people. Really important people, like my musical theater director. I thought I made really good pieces of literature and god was speaking through me giving me this sudden ability to write pages upon pages. I go back and read them now, and it sounds like something that was written why an entirely different writer altogether. I would just go on the longest rants ever and not get to the point quickly at all. I would text my friends essay responses to their texts that were unwarranted and way too detailed. Coming down from that high and reaching one of  the lowest points I had ever come to made me choose to get on medication for my depression. This was the point that I started to suspect that I was bipolar and told my doctor my symptoms . They prescribed me abilify first which was so crippling it made me so sedated I couldn’t even stand up, then Zoloft that also made me severely fatigued and not functional and way more depressed, and then finally arriving at wellbeautrin, which also just so happens to treat bipolar disorder as well. And ADHD which I also have. I’ve been able to think much more clearly ever since and realize just how odd the things I did were when I was manic. And I’m still pretty full of regret about them. This medication has been a totally miracle for me though in how much improvement I have had since day one on it and I am not on 7 months on it. I was diagnosed at age 22 and now 23. Has anyone else experienced manic episodes similar to mine? What are some of the things that you guys did in a manic episode that made you or a loved one realize that something wasn’t right?

What were the first symptoms you experienced?

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@Lee__R My first symptoms of Bipolar 1 was that I wouldn’t sleep for days and I started getting hallucinations both visual and auditory. Typically after I slept and came down from my manic episode, I would fall into a depression episode. All I would do was sleep, but if I was awake I was extremely irritable, short with people, and occasionally I would be filled with rage for unknown reasons and I would essentially black out and had no clue I was being so hostile until my depression leveled out and people told me what I had done or said. This went on for about 3 years. 

At this point I decided to talk to my doctor to see what was going on with these major manic and depressive episodes. He asked a bunch of questions and ultimately diagnosed me with Bipolar 1. I was 35 when I was officially diagnosed. 

My doctor prescribed me Zyprexa. I took it regularly for close to a year and since I’d only had 1 or 2 manic or depressive episodes, that I was “cured” and stopped taking Zyprexa. 

I was mostly stable during my break from Zyprexa, but slowly but surely, my manic episodes came back 10x worse than before I was medicated. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when I had not slept in 6 days. I started having major hallucinations of bugs crawling on the floor, the walls, in my bed... everywhere. Then I started having auditory hallucinations on top of the visual ones. I could hear the sound of a TV and radio in our upstairs loft clear as day while I was downstairs. The sounds were either the TV or radio playing the news or a sports game. However, there was no TV or radio upstairs. I was convinced that we had a spirit in our house. But the worst hallucinations came when I felt bugs crawling on me and some of the bugs had burrowed underneath my skin and I saw these bugs pushing their way out. I was completely hysterical. 

After calling my parents In hysterics, they decided to go behind both my back and my husband’s back and they sent me to a mental hospital on a 72 hour hold. The doctors did an assessment on me and they agreed that I had Bipolar 1. They started me back on Zyprexa. I had started to come down from my manic episode while waiting to be admitted so after my assessment, I went to my room and slept for the better part of two days. 

After being released, I got my prescription for Zyprexa filled. From that day on, I’ve never missed a dose. Over the past year, I had several breakthrough manic episodes that lasted a few days. I decided to get some mental health counseling and to also speak with a psychiatrist to make sure I was getting the medications that would make my episodes few and far between. Talk therapy has helped quite a bit and my psychiatrist added the mood stabilizer, Lamictal. It really helped me by evening out my mood. 

My GP already had me on Xanax for my chronic anxiety disorder and Celexa for my major depressive disorder. With all of these medications working together, I’ve only had a manic episode twice and they didn’t last as long and were far apart. My depressive episodes came less often as well

I know that I would not be here today if it wasn’t for my medications, talk therapy, and my psychiatrist. 

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