Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Purple Dog

"Look at the purple dog" I say.
"Purple? That dog is brown" says my wife.
"Brown? Are you crazy? That dog is purple" I say.
"I think I know a brown dog when I see it" she says.
"I said the dog is purple, the dog is purple!" I say, my voice rising, rage taking over.
"Well, I see that it does look kind of violet when the sun hits it..." she says, making peace, trying hard to understand and accept the twisted thinking.

Conversations like these take place regularly in our house. Both myself and our 23 year old son suffer from Bipolar Disorder. And my wife, my lifetime love, companion, and the rock in my life, makes sense of it all. She calls my son a "unicorn in a home of thoroughbreds" and tells me I'm like living with a purple dog.

It all makes sense to me.


Anonymous said...

I know you said you are Bipolar which is a sort of manic state you get in from time to time? I am diagnosed as Bipolar 2 which apparently means I have a lot of ups and downs that is controlled now by Symbax. I just feel I'm a really high energy person but I have days when my brain is so dark that I can't imagine getting out of bed. I 50 years old and am married with 2 labradors -- anyway my point is I have been on just about every medicine made and it does not help for long. Except Prozac but that love affair was over after 10 years. Does your life get disrupted? Do you know where I can find info on Bipolar2? I am a normal person except very sensitive to animals and people that suffer - I think constantly about things that other people just acknowledge and get on with life. I really don't like feeling like a failure. Anyway, my husband is working so I started looking up websites and of course PURPLE DOG stood out because I wear purple, love purple and most of all, love my dogs.
Merry Christmas to you and your family. Sheri

Jon said...


That sounds very familiar. I was always just a "high energy" person also. But my bipolar(1) son got me thinking that there was likely a reason for my "energy" and mood swings. And I was also recently diagnosed bipolar 2.

I have not been on medication long enough to know how long they might be effective for me. But I will say the right doctor and medication can make a WORLD of difference. If you are not seeing a good psychiatrist, do so soon. My family physician is the greatest person in the world, cares for us all, delivered our kids, but on psych issues he's just not the person to consult. He's given me several prescriptions that really were not right, and one screwed me up for a while. My psychiatrist (Pdoc) expressed amazement that I would have been put on this medication.

If you are on a med that is not handling your symptoms, tell your pdoc it doesn't work and try something different. There's a lot of good meds out there.

For web sites, you might try this one:
or this one:
or this one:
or this one:

The above sites will link you to other sites, and you'll have several days worth of research you can do.

I wish there were some other words of wisdom I could offer, but it's just a day at a time around our house, with my son having serious bipolar disorder, and me having not so serious bipolar 2. I think you're doing the right thing, looking for as much information as you can find. Know about it, and how it affects you, and you are a step up on recognizing the swings that can be so devastating.

All the best, Sheri, and drop me a line anytime.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just jumped into the cyberspace realm and my first search was about depression. I am still struggling with "depression" plus injury from car accident a year ago. My problem is that I cannot find a physician who will work with my therapist nor a therapist that can help. I say this because my symptoms remain but the diagnoses changes. I know for sure I have PTSD. I may be bipolar. The problem with PTSD and Bipolar specifically, is that they are both only recently discovered and there is still a lot of data that needs attention and circulation. I know this from the professionals whose daylong seminars I attend in search for info. These people are doctors, researchers, psychiatrists, and pharmaceutics. There was one fascinating seminar given by a Psychoneuroimmunologist. Wow. The man has a degree in three related fields and tries to help. From what I have learned, it seems that Prozac helpd with bipolar over time. The drawback with bipolar, as those with it live, is the swings. Hard to make sense of something that comes and goes and returns or not. It is most difficult to diagnose and I hate to say it but many therapists do not have the training on it needed. An aside to menopause, I recently learned that out of all the med school courses, the female stuff consists only of one semester credit. And we wonder why women have those raging hormones and little help? I personally think our depression is in the same block. It is there, floating around in our system (head, body)
through messengers and the message is not delivered or understood or received. Kind of ancient Rome, didn't like the message, shoot the messenger. I wish society would be more at ease and accepting so we can talk and learn and get healthy and learn to live more at ease without those unpredictable or maybe predictable attacks of HUH?(no, it does not stand for anything, it is my word for all that stuff we experience)I wish to be in touch with you out there who would not mind contacting me at or through this blog, hope I can find it again. PEACE. moonchild48