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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:04 pm 
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I did a quick skim to make sure I’m not just submitting a reboot here, though considering the proposed subject matter, it seems impossible that I’m not covering familiar territory for some of us here. Anyway, here goes:

I’m a broken clock. But, like any broken clock, I assume I’m right twice a day. I don’t mean this literally, of course, and I’d argue that the number of times per day I’m correct has gone up since starting Suboxone (Zubsolv, actually, but whatever) but it doesn’t change that I’m a broken clock. My relationship with my wife, what’s left of it anyway, is a constant reminder to me of just how broken a clock I am.

What I mean by it all is that I’m type II Bipolar. The more I find out about the disorder, the more I realize what a lifelong struggle this has been for me. Angry outbursts, “going psycho” as the kids who pretended to be my friends—likely for access to my grandparents’ swimming pool—used to call it; getting ditched at recess because I was perhaps a little too overzealous about the passing fancies of my fellow sixth graders. It was tough, and it instilled in me a lot of trust issues that persist now into middle age. I don’t say that as an excuse for any of the horrible things I’ve done, only to note that I’ve noticed that I’m not particularly good at being good, and that I started early.

Before I went on Suboxone, I was all about any and every substance that could bring me to an altered state. Vicodin (and eventually Norco) was always a favorite, but not in regular supply. Alcohol then became my most reliable means of achieving oblivion. I drank until I couldn’t financially afford to do so anymore. Then I started putting it on the credit card.

I thank Zubsolv for my sobriety. I think I’d still be chasing highs from the depths of my lowest lows if not for its effects in my life. Too, it’s ability to ease my anxieties is a welcome change from those horrible moments between fifths of Bacardi.

I have a point to all this, or I think I do, and I think that point is that I’m profoundly pissed off. I’m pissed off at my wife and my mother for treating me like a child. I’m angry at my dad for not really treating me like anything. I don’t blame him—he’s had a hell of a time dealing with my severely bipolar mother—but he could at least say something. Anything. I’ve long held a suspicion that I am loved by my father but not liked. That’s lessened as I’ve gotten older and become at least superficially different, but when I was a teenager, he might as well have had it painted on my bedroom door. I say my wife and my mother treat me like a child, that’s not quite it. I don’t feel like anyone but me has my side. I’m a broken clock, remember, so if I’m angry, it must be one of those twenty two other times in the day where I’m wrong as hell. I feel like my right to anger is self declared and sustained. And what do you think that does besides just make me even more angry?

Most of all, I’m angry that I’m broken. I used to think of Bipolar Disorder as an asset, something that made me different—not necessarily better, but different; unique—from everyone else, but the older I get, the more I see it as my worst liability because it makes me untrustworthy, whether I’m lying and sneaking or not. Zubsolv has made my highs a little lower and my lows a little higher, but it hasn’t cured me. I’m angry about that. I’m angry that nothing ever will cure me; not even me.

Even now, take your own considerations of me from this brief introduction. Some of you know me already, or know at least my version of some of the specifics as I have written about them in other threads. How do you see me? Does being bipolar lessen my credibility overall? If no, are you possibly answering the question from the vantage point of your own dance with this terrible Disorder? It’s not a label I ever wanted slapped on my can, for sure. And I don’t mean to impugn anyone else’s credibility here. As I’ve said, I’m angry, and sometimes say the wrong thing when I’m in that state. I’m standing here watching a version of myself burn another, more palatable version of myself to the ground. I am a liar. I am untrustworthy. I’m angry and afraid. This feels like a cancer diagnosis except I am the cancer.

Anyone else relate? I’m sorry if you do. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

B. Byrner


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Your post makes me sad because I see my brother in you. The comment about his father loving him but not liking him. That is my brother. He demands so much of others that they just cannot give. So he is broken too. Also an addict, but you my friend are ahead of the game compared to him because he is still self medicating at 50 years old and will not stop using because dope is now his best friend.

I can feel your torment through the screen and it's painful on my end. My brokenness is different than yours, it's too much empathy that causes my addictions. I need to drown it out. And i need to distance myself from others pain which makes me a bad sister. And sometimes a bad friend.

I pray you get a therapist and also go to meetings. We are blessed to find angels in these places who can help us live with our brokenness. Those with very strong constitutions that can help us without falling under the weight of our torment. Who can guide us and help us to finda way through our mixed up thoughts.

i hope you find some peace.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Hi Sylvia,

I’m sorry to hear about your brother. The road was hard enough turning around at thirty four, I could only imagine what it must look like from fifty, having walked that much more of it. I’m doing what I can to get better. I’m reading books, identifying myself like an bird in the Audobon guide. I just left my psychiatrists office after my second visit in as many weeks. I feel like I’m telling them my house is on fire and all they can recommend is I turn down the air conditioning. I was no sooner out of the building than I was on the phone trying to book another psych. The one I’m currently seeing was referred by the rehab center I went through, their only recommendation that work with my insurance. This new doc isn’t taking on any patients as they’re booked through April. They gave me a number for another psych, the one I dropped for my current because they stooped taking my insurance. I don’t know what to except self medicate. I’m not talking getting high, but I can’t get help I can trust. I’m on trileptal which has done exactly shit. After describing my week, how it almost ended in messy divorce, the doc recommended upping my dose by 300mg. Mind you, I’m still not at a therapeutic dose of this nonsense. I’d love to see a doctor who takes me a little more seriously, but short of walking in with bandages on my wrists or bullets on my breath, their attentions are wrapped up in everyone else at present. My problems may be penny ante, but they’re my problems and they’re ruining my life.

I don’t know. I guess we’re all broken people trying to make the most of a broken system. If finding a Sub doctor had been this hard, I’d probably be dead by now, so there’s that to be thankful for as we head into Turkey Day next week.

Thanks very much for your response. Myself, I’ve never been guilty of overempathizing. And somehow that exteme has made me a shitty friend, also. I’m definitely a better acquaintance than I am a friend.

B. Byrner


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Please give your psychiatrist and the meds time to work. It's times like these that it's ok to let go of some control and let someone else do the heavy lifting. Your therapist doesn't know you so it takes time to develop a relationship. Please don't do anything drastic, you can't take it back once it's done. Listen to some music and try to get in a good place. Do you enjoy the outdoors? Sometime I find a long hike in the woods clears my head.

stay strong.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:28 pm 
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I’m not planning on anything drastic, I’m just annoyed that whether I had told her I’d had the best or worst week of my life, they still aren’t upping me—by their own admission—to anything therapeutic. Telling her about something I had done that very nearly ended my marriage this week got the same reaction as if I’d told her I saw a cool looking dead bug in the parking lot. I’m not looking for anything nuts, even if it’s all show, something a little less dismissive would be nice. Really, I think that’s my mistake and a huge part of what’s wrong with this kind of treatment. Psychologists believe in the mind’s ability to heal itself, psychiatrists in a drug’s ability to alter and mask undesired behaviors. There’s no real cross pollination of the two in a single office. I’m just bad enough that my life is clinging to the rim of the toilet, but just well off enough that they haven’t sent for the men in the white coats with their van full of magic.

Giving it time is the only option I have, whether I stay or go. My hopes aren’t high. My trust level in this office is pretty low. They haven’t betrayed me, perse, but neither have they given me any indication that they give a shit one way or the other what happens with me.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:25 am 
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UPDATE:

I’ve been going in good faith with the trileptal up to night before last. Yesterday morning, about 3:30AM, I woke up with a vicious itch on my posterior, and dry, swollen lips. Examining things more closely, I appeared to be having an allergic reaction. My lips had inflated to near Kardashian proportions, and I had a couple silver dollar size patches of what looks like poison oak in areas usually left covered in polite company. Looking it up, I found that rashes, in general, are a common side effect of trileptal, however, the areas my rash and other reactions were occurring, anatomically speaking, is not so typical and can in fact be life threatening. I went to the doc in the box down the street and saw a PA who was quick to ignore my concerns and template match my symptoms to a fungal infection. Which I can say categorically it is not. All of these symptoms came on at once within hours of having taken my new increased dose for the first time. In addition to its lack of efficacy in off label use for bipolar, I am now convinced that this is an unsafe drug for me to continue with. This morning I awoke about 4AM with painful blisters forming at the corners of my mouth. I have no recourse other than to wait for the psychiatrist to return my call on Monday. Just hoping it isn’t the onset of Stevens Johnson’s Syndrome.

B. Byrner


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:31 pm 
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I know Lamotrigine - another bipolar med - has a particularly nasty side-effect called Stephen Johnson's Syndrome - which appears as a rash and mouth ulcers etc. Hopefully it's unrelated to that.

Bipolar can be a real bitch. To this day the only medication which really helped my bipolar depression long term was higher doses of lithium, which I unfortunately had to stop taking because it started to make my psoriasis unmanageable. These days I only take anti-psychotics as mood stabilisers, and low doses at that. But they seem to help me keep my sleeping regular, which is a big helper.

Bipolar itself shouldn't = sneakiness and deception. I tend to attribute those behaviours to things either learned from my addictions, or symptomatic of active addiction. Many people with bipolar can live upstanding lives as long as they don't get involved with drugs of addiction. Unfortunately at least half of us with bipolar end up turning to drugs. The self-medication hypothesis is strong with us types.

My doctor used to tell me that bipolar, over the years, gets both more severe and more depressive. I've noticed this myself. Also they say around 60% of us find it difficult to face up to work consistently enough to maintain full-time employment. I've recently found life better working self-employed than working 9-5.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:07 pm 
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Hi Bunson,
I hope that by now you have gotten off the Trileptal or have a plan (with psychiatrist) to get off. I have to qualify that I'm not a doctor but I do also have Bipolar II and also work in mental health field. Trileptal doesn't seem like a good first choice as a mood stabilizer to me. Usually used after other meds don't work. What other meds have you tried? Psychiatrists sometimes will just throw out medications and hope something sticks.
Lamictal has made a huge difference in my life, has really stabilized my moods and prevented depressions. This is the drug TeeJay was referring to about the rash, and it has a bad rap. The bad rash is rare, and lots of drugs can lead to Stevens Johnsons syndrome, but Lamictal has become tied to it. Trying it is not much of a risk because you are told to stop it at the first sign of any skin problem to be safe. It is an especially useful drug with Bipolar II, which tends to have more depression than other mod states. Lithium is a great mood stabilizer, but causes some difficult side effects for some people. Then you have Depakote, Tegretol, which are anti seizure drugs and then antipsychotics like Abilify. I would think all of those should be tried before Trileptal, or at least if it isn't working, ask to try something else. My personal recommendations would be Lamictal, Lithium, or Abilify. But again I'm not a doctor.
You definitely need to see a psychiatrist and get meds adjusted. I don't think you sound like you are in a good place. I totally agree with TeeJay that Bipolar in and of itself has nothing to do with sneaking and lying. That is addictive behavior, and like TeeJay said, Bipolar people have a huge risk of substance use disorder, thus the connection. Good luck!

_________________
"Life would be tragic if it weren't so funny"
Stephen Hawking


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:10 am 
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Hi Tragicom,

Thanks for the suggestions! My mom is also severe type II bipolar, which was instrumental in my being diagnosed with it also. I remember her being on Lamictal, Depakote, Lithium, Xanax and a host of other drugs in my formative years. Trileptal was the first mood med that had been prescribed for me, other than 30mg of Prozac from my back doctor to try and keep me from running out of Zubsolv early every month. I discontinued the Trileptal immediately, and the rash and lip issues have almost completely healed. Lips took a long time, and was especially painful. For the past five days I looked like I had made out with a uranium blow up doll. I haven’t picked up the Lamictal yet, but it’s waiting for me. The psych said to wait until the rash had healed completely, or about a week, which we’re coming up on. She also gave me a 14 day sample supply of a new anti-psychotic called Rexulti. I’m very familiar with the names and effects of the ones you listed, but have never heard of Rexulti, so I’m taking some time to research it before I dose up. It’s all well and good if it takes away the bad stuff, but a lot of these take away the good stuff, too, and I’d much rather be an un-medicated mess who can feel than an extra from a George Romero (RIP) zombie movie.
I really appreciate your input. You seem very knowledgeable, and as you also suffer/thrive in the same illness, I trust your opinions both implicitly and now explicitly. My psychiatrist may have studied bipolar disorder, but anything short of actually having it is an incomplete education, in my opinion. Obviously, an addiction doctor need not have been an addict nor an oncologist a cancer patient, but the disorder can come on so subtly sometimes, I always feel like I’m getting second hand information from my doctor. Thank you again!

B.B


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