Amy's Journey with...

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) ~ Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) ~ Focal Impaired Awareness (Complex Partial) Seizures ~ Fibromyalgia ~ Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) ~ TMJ Dysfunction ~ Bipolar Disorder Type I Rapid Cycling ~ Migraines ~ Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ~ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ~ Keratosis Pilaris (KP) ~ Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) ~ Panic Disorder ~ Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) ~ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) ~ Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (Self-Harm) ~ Piezogenic Pedal Papules ~ Hashimoto's Thyroiditis ~ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ~ Specific Phobias ~ Chronic Headaches

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bipolar stress

I've been forgetting to do my physical therapy homework lately, which isn't like me.  I'm usually really good at doing it, but lately everything seems messed up with all the stress.  I want to try doing it everyday except Sunday like I'm supposed to again.

I haven't talked much to my fellow EDSer friends on Facebook.  They did remind me that they care and that they are there, though, which meant a lot.  At the same time all this good stuff is happening I still feel like I'm holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to fall.  I'm waiting for something bad to happen, because for the last year life has been nothing but a string of bad things happening.

I'm depressed, anxious, sleep all the time, cry a lot, get angry easily, and am very moody.  I think that the stress, rain, hormones screwed up from PCOS, and anxiety are all getting too much for me to handle along with my bipolar.  If I could give up any one of my multiple medical problems, I'd give up the bipolar.  I hate being bipolar, and there is still so much stigma attached to it.  Some people actually don't believe in mental illnesses (like Tom Cruise and other Scientologists) and that makes me feel as if they are belittling the experiences I've gone through.  Some people mistakenly believe that bipolar is actually fun.  Trust me, it's at the opposite end of "fun."  Thinking it is fun couldn't be further off.  Bipolar is devastating and can ruin your life easier and quicker than any other medical illness I have.  I have lost years of my life to bipolar and the ability to work.

Most of the time I have pretty good control over it now, I take my meds and do pretty well, albeit moody.  Lately, though, I've realized that my bipolar is turning into a monster out of my control.  I have more anger outbursts, more tears, more pronounced mood changes, more thoughts of self-injury (SI).  That's the thing with bipolar.  You can't count on it to be up, down, both, or stable.  You never know what it will be like from one moment to the next, but you hope that it will be a moment under your control.

I think it is important to talk about mental illness to take away some of the stigma.  I have bipolar and a chemical imbalance in my brain.  I take medication that helps me manage that, but sometimes it still gets out of control.  Most people with mental illness are not violent, like the media wants you to believe.  I am a peace lover and am completely non-violent.  To be honest, some people can get their life back after their first major episode, some people get parts of their life back, and some people never come out of it.  I was one of the semi-lucky.  I have parts of my life back, but I'm still disabled by the bipolar and I can't work even if I didn't have EDS.  (By the way, Dr. W told me I'd always be disabled with EDS, too.)  If you ask my honest opinion, most people never regain the life they had or the level of stability they once enjoyed before their first bipolar episode, no matter how "good" they are doing.  You have to realize that doing good with a mood disorder is different that a "normal" person doing good.

I want to share a picture project I did of myself that I call "Manic Depression."  (Manic depression is the old name for bipolar.  They mean the exact same thing.)

"Manic Depression" by Amy

It is past two thirty in the morning so I guess I should stop writing now.  Good night all.

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