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Old 09-03-2004, 08:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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List of bipolar symptoms/characteristics and resources


I just wanted to start this thread to see how many common traits we all have. Manic and depressive episodes are a given, but I'm curious if some of us are mostly manic or mostly depressive.

These are some of the things I think (or have been told) that I can thank my bi-polar disorder for: Do you agree or disagree with any of them? Are there any you can add?

I think I am mostly depressive with only moderate mania.

* creative/artistic (photography, music, crafts, etc)
* Paranoia (mostly that people are talking behind my back and spreading rumors)
* Insomnia at times and over-sleeping at others
* anxiety
* appetite changes
* weight changes (gained 75 pounds within a year after my first major episode in college)
* Irritablility (easily angered or hurt feelings)
* Increased/Decreased activity: depending upon which state I'm in. I've never had a bad experience with mania - I really enjoy it, because I can mult-task like nobody's business and I come up with all kinds of great ideas to improve my life and everyone's around me. (I'm keeping a list so that I can get my inventions patented some day and make like a gazillion dollars)
* racing thoughts (sometimes it's like a violent and incomprehendable set of pictures flashing in my head at the speed of light and I can't turn it off. I've also described it to people as like watching a movie in super fast forward and you have no idea what the movie is about). I appear normal on the outside, but inside my head is about to explode and if my body could keep up I would look like superman when he's zipping around faster than a speeding bullet.
* Confusion/unclear thinking/forgetfullness
* Unable to function - bills go unpaid even when funds are available, problems with work and getting out of bed. Feels like I'm drowing each day
* headaches
* spending money with no regard for future
* Driving problems - careless and often forget where I'm going. Or drive according to my mood (Depressed = too slow/Manic = too fast)
*short attention span
* I constantly say to people "I'm sorry" (Although, I'm not sure if this is a bi-polar or co-dependency issue?)
* I'm also bad at math (anything other than basic + - X or /) and spelling, but I don't know if this is from the bi-polar. I can generally do the English stuff pretty well.


That's all I can think of right now :bigeyes:
Jenna
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Old 09-03-2004, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I forgot to add 2 of the worst ones:

* suicidal thoughts/attempts :scared1:
* self-mutilation

Also here are some resources I found:

*www.bipolar.about.com (This is a great sight! If you look to the right side of the page you will see a link about the "Red Flags of Bipolar Disorder." It gives a list of symptoms and activities for the different stages. Bunches more info on bipolar)
* www.manicdepressive.org (This is the Harvard bipolar research Clinic and Research Program site. You can find daily, yearly and 5-year mood charts)
* www.nami.org (National Alliance for Mental Illness - most areas offer free bipolar support groups. Find out more at the site.)
* www.bipolar.com (also another good site offering life charts and mood charts.)

Hope these help,
Jenna
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Old 09-03-2004, 11:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think I am mostly depressive with only moderate mania.

Me too! That's why Im classifed as type 2.

* creative/artistic (photography, music, crafts, etc)

many many creative thoughts, yet no motivation to accomplish any most of the time - I love photography, and I had hobbies of crocheting and have done many parts of wedding decorations/planning for friends.

* Paranoia (mostly that people are talking behind my back and spreading rumors)

Mine is mostly that everyone thinks I'm a complete idiot and a nutcase and talking about that to everyone behind my back - not sure if that is just because I have severely low self esteem or is a bi-polar trait

* Insomnia at times and over-sleeping at others


Definately oversleeping. I can sleep for 24 hours and not think anything of it.


* anxiety

CONSTANT worry!! CONSTANTLY analyzing everything! Told that was Generalized Anxiety Disorder though *Shrug*

* appetite changes

Nope, always the same, always wanting to eat!

* weight changes (gained 75 pounds within a year after my first major episode in college)

Gained 50 lbs because of my depression, lost 20 lbs during an up period, and all right back when put back on meds!

* Irritablility (easily angered or hurt feelings)

ALWAYS! I am always on edge, my feelings are "on top of my skin", touch me and you hurt me.

* Increased/Decreased activity: depending upon which state I'm in. I've never had a bad experience with mania - I really enjoy it, because I can mult-task like nobody's business and I come up with all kinds of great ideas to improve my life and everyone's around me. (I'm keeping a list so that I can get my inventions patented some day and make like a gazillion dollars)

85% decreased activity, 10% increased activity, 5% anger induced activity level

* racing thoughts (sometimes it's like a violent and incomprehendable set of pictures flashing in my head at the speed of light and I can't turn it off. I've also described it to people as like watching a movie in super fast forward and you have no idea what the movie is about). I appear normal on the outside, but inside my head is about to explode and if my body could keep up I would look like superman when he's zipping around faster than a speeding bullet.

I think you are just hearing my mind!

* Confusion/unclear thinking/forgetfullness

When they aren't racing, they aren't clear

* Unable to function - bills go unpaid even when funds are available, problems with work and getting out of bed. Feels like I'm drowing each day

This is why I am applying for Social Security Disability and got approved last week!

* headaches

Every day

* spending money with no regard for future

Never have been able to save anything, always impulse buy. If I go to the store I MUST have a list with me to get out of the store safely. When I am down I feel the need to "treat" myself to make me feel better. Only to feel worse when I have no money to eat at the end of the month

* Driving problems - careless and often forget where I'm going. Or drive according to my mood (Depressed = too slow/Manic = too fast)

Ever wonder how you got somewhere sometimes? But you were the one in the driver's seat?

* I constantly say to people "I'm sorry" (Although, I'm not sure if this is a bi-polar or co-dependency issue?)

I do this too, but I think it is again poor self esteem or co-dependency

I think my attention span has gotten the best of me because now I forgot all the things that I had to add to this list. I will come back and finish when I remember.
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Old 09-03-2004, 11:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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LOL

yeppers, many a times I have arrived at a destination and all the sudden I "woke" up! I remembered leaving for the destination, but had no recollection what so ever of the process or route I took to arrive. Very scarry. I wonder how many stop signs I ran, pedestrians I almost hit, etc....(Glad you mentioned this. Up until now, I just thought it was because I had been to that location so many times that I kinda just went on "auto-pilot," but now I think it is related to the bi-polar).
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, great info. My therapist asked if bi-polar ran in my family and I could only find memories of depression. Now I'm wondering if my emotions, thoughts, etc are related to bi-polar.

* creative/artistic (photography, music, crafts, etc)
I've had many of the signs and thought that my creative outlet that recently surfaced at full-throttle was just a balancing act I was doing since I have a very analytical job. I'm extremely into photography, scrapbooking and card-making.

* Paranoia (mostly that people are talking behind my back and spreading rumors)
I experienced this for years and one time found out I was right, which didn't help! Although I do generally feel like people are talking about me when they walk out of a room that I'm in, or that people are constantly judging me. I know it's irrational and I don't know how to stop it. Other than to tell myself it's not about me.

* Insomnia at times and over-sleeping at others
Massive insomnia since my mom died, and was dealing with it before that due to some other life changes.

* anxiety
Gads, if I could go to a friend's house without feeling anxiety I don't think I'd know what to do. I barely call people I've known for years because of anxiety.

* appetite changes
I hate eating and used to love food. I'm surviving off of rice and cheese these days.

* weight changes
I dropped almost 20 lbs right during a stressful period, started to eat again, another very stressful period came on and I have now dropped the weight I've gained (about 10 lbs)-- in 2 weeks.

* Irritablility (easily angered or hurt feelings)
I was often told as a child that I was over sensitive. I generally have a long fuse but am incredibly sensitive and my feelings are hurt easily.

* Increased/Decreased activity:
I don't think I've had this one. If I have it's usually channeled through computer work or housecleaning, which my dog hates. She'd rather I take her for long walks. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with ideas of what to do I get drained and just wind up on the sofa.

* racing thoughts
Gads, sometimes I think so fast I can't keep up with my own typing and I type 80wpm!

* Confusion/unclear thinking/forgetfullness
That has been an understatement from the last year and it's only recently that I've figured this one out. I've looked at work I've done and wondering where I was when I did THAT. I can't recall simple things like eating, drinking water, exercise, all the healthy things I did up until about a year ago. I can't decide where to stay on vacation without getting input, it's ridiculous.

* Unable to function - bills go unpaid even when funds are available, problems with getting out of bed. Feels like I'm drowning each day -- ditto, although since I've started the prozac I feel like there's some hope. I've recently realized that I haven't honestly smiled in about a year.

* headaches
Not too many headaches, those dissipated about 10 years ago.

* spending money with no regard for future
I used to do this and my friends thought I was a shopping addict. Now I'm wondering if it's bi-polar related. While I may want to spend money, once I get to the store I feel a sort of repulsion and don't feel well going into the store, even if it's for groceries. I ask myself if I need what I'm buying or if it's to fill a hole. I also try to make room by getting rid of something if I buy something. I really hate spending money.

* Driving problems
I seem to be on auto-pilot a lot and was told it was probably a sugar low.

*short attention span
Yes, definitely! I can handle sitcoms and that's about the extent of it. Anything longer and I can't handle it.

* I constantly say to people "I'm sorry" (Although, I'm not sure if this is a bi-polar or co-dependency issue?) -- ditto. I never used to say I'm sorry, now I say it all the time. I said "I'm sorry" to a co-worker last week, he called me on it (I thought I made the mistake during one of my non-focusing periods) and I almost cried right there. It's so hard not to say it though!!

* Math has never been a strong suit, but I did manage to get through most of calculus with a lot of help and generous instructors. I'm rather nervous about taking statistics this fall at the university.

* Suicide ideation -- I have a relative who committed suicide after going through similar life changes and for the first time I understood why. I didn't think it meant anything by just empathizing, but apparently this is important. Again, the thoughts have been much less since starting the prozac.

After this enlightening info I'm thinking of going back to my dr and finding out more about bi-polar and the meds. I wish my mom was still around so I could find out if any of the meds she was on was for bi-polar.
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Princess,
I think visiting your doctor would be a very good idea. If you are bipolar then it will only get worse in time if not treated. I'm pretty lucky to be realizing it and taking steps at 28 years old. This is my second major episode, but each episode (I've read) affects your brain and the episodes get more frequent and stronger. My dad is bi-polar also (as is his mother and his sister was too before an accidental overdose of prescription drugs). I talked to him about it the other day (he's out of state right now) and he said he agreed that he may be bipolar...um, I KNOW he is because we are so very much alike accept I am not an alcoholic. Although if you ask him, he's not an alcoholic either. Anyway, I went over to his house Friday to take a bath (since my gas has been off since May) and I saw a huge box of Lexapro in his bathroom. Now the first time a doc told me I was bipolar and tried to medicate me, well that is what he put me on - so I know this to be a mood stabalizer. So either my father knows he's bipolar or he's just so addicted to meds that he is taking the Lexapro and doesn't even realize what it is for? I don't know. My family is pretty screwed up. But now that I'm realizing this long past of mental illness and substance abuse...NO WONDER!!!

(Did I mention that I have read that 85 percent of bipolars have problems with substance abuse...they think it has to do with trying to self-medicate)
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Princess, might I suggest that you print a copy of your reply in this post and take it with you to your doctor. It might help him/her to know more about how you are feeling and what you are going through. Keep us posted.
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Old 09-06-2004, 08:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 09-06-2004, 08:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granolaprincess
* Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with ideas of what to do I get drained and just wind up on the sofa.

* racing thoughts
Gads, sometimes I think so fast I can't keep up with my own typing and I type 80wpm!
LOL, I do both of these. When I'm manic, it's like someone has turned the switch on in my mind and it's now off and running. Ideas flow in faster than anyone could keep up. I've often tried to fiqure out ways to get them all down before I forget them as the next set comes in, but the ideas are too fast for me to write, type or even audio record them! But if you could hook a computer up to my brain and record everything at these times...well I'm sure I'd be a millionaire by now.

I try to get the ideas down on paper and make lists to prioritize what project or task i want to do first and well...I too (about 70 percent of the time end up on the sofa with nothing done, except for the list that will probably never get even close to being accomplished.

And maybe I have the wrong definition of racing thoughts because what I've just said could be described as such. But what I consider to be my racing thoughts are the ones that I don't even know what they are about, they are going SO fast that I can't even comprehend them. And forget trying to sleep during this. It feels like my head is about to explode and it feels like I should be up running around the block or something.

I enjoy first kind of thoughts, the latter are very uncomfortable.
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Old 09-06-2004, 08:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I also have trouble recalling words I know well...anyone else???? Like terms I use regularly in my profession and then when I need to know the word...blank, totally blank. I know what I need to say, I just can't find that word to say it.
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Old 09-07-2004, 08:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am treated solely for depression. I've had some hyper but that is my body getting used to change of anti-depressant.

I drive on auto-pilot, no radio or anything, get so busy talking to myself in my head I drive by the exit.

Absent-minded....totally! I just forgot to mention I am also treated for anxiety

Attention span? I haven't had a tv for years...which I could care less, but one time I really tried to watch because it was part of a world lit class, I found that my mind couldn't stay with it for 60 seconds. I was in my own world before I knew it. I can and do like concert dvds, for some reason I like musicals and can watch them without interference.

Paranoia...one time I told a shrink what all I was worried about, he said I was paranoid..and then it all happened just like I was worried about. And I know people think I'm a bit crazy and odd. I'll admit to that, all though just last year I asked that I quit being referred to as crazy, because I am not. Odd, sure. So what? Does anyone of them want to know all that I think of them?

I have a great vocabulary but can't use it verbally. I, too, lose words and more aggravating.... important things!

People underestimate my intelligence because of some of these symptoms. Some times I just go along with it and laugh about being ditzy.
My family knows I am gifted in that one little way, so they prefer to attribute my eccentricities as part of it.

I am narcissistic enough to not care what other's think of me. Sometimes this hurts me because too much of jobs are about politics and I can't/don't/won't play. This caused me to be in the first cut in the lay-offs.

My anxiety is well masked. Because I am a risk taker. I will not let fear stop me from doing the things I want to do. I take a pill and go for it!
Few people see how when my printer won't turn on I come so unglued I get physically sick. Actually the machinery thing is my temper hot spot. The anxiety is an underlying thing always there, susceptible first because I am a high strung personality and then triggered into a real constant thing because of traumas. So I take a Xanax every morning. and if something happens that I start having anxiety attacks, I dissolve one under my tongue. My shrink taught me that trick, gets it into the blood stream much faster.

People say, well maybe some day you won't take all those pills. God! I hope not. But they don't understand and how could they? Those pills give me back my life!

BTW, lexapro is one of two of the antidepressants I take. I worship it!
Most important thing I do everyday is make sure I take it. I am done fighting the will vs pill issue. very simple no pill, I get sicker each time. I don't get cured when I feel well and get my life on track, the only way to stay well is to stay treated Learned that the hard way too many times. I surrender.



Weight...when I am sick I look like I just walked out of a concentration camp. Last year I ganed and out grew my clothes....you have never seen anyone so proud of their belly bulging!!!
Well, I am not too thin yet, but the old clothes are fitting again. Eating is a bother unless it is chocolate in the middle of the night. I have always wished they could put a meal in a pill like a vitamin. I've just always got something better to do (or I think so) and that contributes to headaches.

Headaches are my nemesis. They are horrific migraines associated with the release of a certain hormone that starts my period. They used to give me shots of demerol and send me home. It knocked me out but my head still hurt. I am on new meds that are a miracle.

But I still get chronic low grade headaches due to stress and not eating right. And I never learn! Some days I think I am really taking care of myself by eating 3 slices of bread.

That's the secret question I hate to be asked..."What did you eat today" I don't want to talk about it!

The biggest mind and best values person I have ever met was bi-polar. Severely.
The manic thing may feel good, but for those of us on the outside looking in it is scary!
He got really delusional. and If I tried to talk reason to him, I was just another one against him. The pills flattened out his affects but if he stopped taking them he would be way out there and in the ER within 3 days. Always on the manic side.

But, shutterbug, you are ding what you need to do, arming yourself with education.

Take care!
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Old 09-07-2004, 02:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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liveweyerd said: I drive on auto-pilot, no radio or anything, get so busy talking to myself in my head I drive by the exit.

LOL...that's a cute way to describe it. I do the same thing all the time. I even miss the turn to my own house all the time. One day, I took a new reporter on a spot news assignment and it took us about 10 minutes to get there. Well, ummm, I was talking (outloud) on the way back and missed every exit and turn...missed some of them more than once!! It took us more than 1/2 and hour to get back to the newsroom. I just joked it off by saying that I kidnapped her to give her a tour of the town.

liveweyerd said: Attention span? I haven't had a tv for years...

Sometimes I watch T.V. for hours and hours, just zoning out. Other times I don't bother.

liveweyerd said: I have a great vocabulary but can't use it verbally. I, too, lose words and more aggravating.... important things! People underestimate my intelligence because of some of these symptoms. Some times I just go along with it and laugh about being ditzy.
I totally hear you.

liveweyerd said: My anxiety is well masked. Because I am a risk taker. I will not let fear stop me from doing the things I want to do. I take a pill and go for it! Few people see how when my printer won't turn on I come so unglued I get physically sick. Actually the machinery thing is my temper hot spot. The anxiety is an underlying thing always there...

yeppers...I'm typically such a tranquil person, but I do have rare moments that few have seen. Usually it's a full-blown temper tantrum when I can't figure out anything to wear or the things I try on don't fit anymore because I've gained so much weight. I'm getting angry just typing about it. Although, over the last few years I've come more to terms with my weight issues and just don't give a hoot much anymore (I put on almost 100 pounds after my 1st major depressive episode hit me 7 years ago so my food problems are just the opposite. And because it's so unacceptable, people don't say much when I'm over-eating, but I know they are thinking it - which makes me want to scream and cry all at the same time).

Anyway, I can't hardly think about anything exept learning about my bipolar lately. And talk about forgetfull, my friend is on her way to get me and I should be ready by now - must go, fast....

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Old 09-08-2004, 09:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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hey. i am bi-polar with an extensive list of other issues, yet i never gain weight and i am good at math, and pretty much all subjects. i am extremly antisocial and you pretty much got it covered! bi-polar people often have more disturbing dreams than others, too. love to all my bi-polar peeps!
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I never did like the "new" name. When I was diagnosed, it was still Manic-Depression. And thats what I am-a manic who gets depressed every once in awhile. When I am relatively healthy, I can have productive, non-destructive manics. I'll go 2 or 3 nights witjout sleep and get a LOT of work done! But if Im even leaning towards bad shape and I go manic....start checking bad neighborhoods, psych wards, or police/fire/ambulance. If I use during a manic it only prolongs it and puts me at greater risk. The people that I hang with on the streets I wouldnt want next to me at a soup kitchen!

On the bright side, because my girlfriend knows me so well, I can do a shopping manic and she'll just take everything back later....


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Old 09-15-2004, 05:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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luckily I don't dream much anymore although lately I have had a few. A couple of days ago, I dreamed about my ex and another girl and although I never get into fights in real life...I was beating the crap out of this unknown person. My ex was never faithful to me so it was a realistic enough dream. But I woke up from it because I was actually kicking and had kicked the hard wood on my couch (OUCH).

With my ex-fiance, who also cheated but not as severly, I would have the same type dreams and one night I punched him very hard in the back while we were both asleep and another night I kicked him completely out of bed while I was still asleep. LOL ( I couldn't have lived with myself if I had ever heart him while I was awake, but seeing that it was my uncontrollable self-conscience I think it was hilarious!)

Princess, I know you said in another post that your doctor said you are not bipolar and he/her may be right, but you also said your mother was bipolar and I've learned through my readings that bp is a family disorder and if one family member has it then there is most likely at least one other in your family who is bp, if not many as in my family. So you might want to get a second opinion from a pychiatrist since you know your mom was bipolar and since you defenately have the depressive part of the illness. (I say that also because my general doctor has no clue about mental illness other than depression. He thought I was doing drugs a month ago when I came into his office and was barely able to talk or function from being in such a severe depressive episode. He's a great physical doctor, but just doesn't understand much about bp.)

Although, as I say that I must also say that you have to have at least suffered from one manic episode in your life to be bp. In my life these episodes were not really severe enough to cause me any real harm, because I was just working my butt off at work and doing so much and it made my bosses pretty happy (except when I turned in overtime). I also had not recognized them as manic episodes because they came on gradually and I just thought my anti-depressants were working extordinarily well. I was happy when I was at work. I was really happy. I also have had episodes where I stay up all night re-arranging and cleaning my entire house even though I have to work a 10 or 12 hour shift at work the next day. I would just go into work and struggle through the tiredness if it hit me (usually I'd get tired in the middle of the day and then I would get a second wind of sorts so that even when I got off work...I still couldn't sleep. When I'm in a manic state, once I get going it is hard for me to stop until I can feel a certain level of accomplishment. I really enjoy these times, so it's no wonder that I never suspected anything was wrong.

Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I am mostly depressed, my manic states are few and mild where my depressive episodes are rampid and very serious).

I would like to learn more about people who have extreme manic states though.

So Jon and any others who can tell me about their experiences I would appriciated it.

God Bless
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Oh, and the shopping!!!!!!! Well, I wish I had someone to make me take it all back later. I shop when I'm manic and I shop when I'm depressed. If depressed, I use that as an excuse to spend the money because at least I feel better momentarily.

I also use this excuse...I say, "I know it's only January, but if I buy this Christmas present for so-in-so now it will be better because I know it's something they will like and that way I won't be rushing at Christmas time and fearing that they will hate it."

:-) I have a room full of future Christmas, birthday and "just because" gifts. I think I could stop shopping now and have enought gifts for everyone for all occasions for the next 2 or 3 years.

HEY, at least I'm not selfish!!! I not only buy for myself, I buy for everyone else too!!! hehehehe

hmmmmm...I wonder if this could be why I can't seem to pay my bills and why my gas was cut off 6 months ago and I haven't been able to get it turned back on? I guess that could be why. Ya think?
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