Monday, October 01, 2007

The Stages of Bipolar Disorder

Hey all – looking for some input.

I’m looking for ideas for the stages of bipolar disorder. For example, we’ve all heard of the stages of grief – denial, acceptance, and so forth. How about for bipolar disorder? Apprehension, acceptance, excitement about better drugs, disdain for pharmaceutical companies, and so forth. These can be serious or humorous. It can be an entire list, or just one or 2 items.

If everyone could leave a comment with their idea(s) we’d have a great list. Even if you don’t think your idea is good, comment anyway as it may motivate others. Anonymous comments are absolutely welcome. If reading other comments triggers another thought, comment again with that thought.

I’m still depressed, but trying to keep my mind occupied and stimulated enough that I can function. If I can stay motivated or excited about a project, or even an article idea, it makes my depressions so much easier to handle.


Tony said...

I have one that rings most true with me: Uncertainty

BamaGal said...

My stages went like this---

Confusion-- as to why I was feeling the way I was

Denial---no I ain't crazy

Anger---why me

Apprehension---ok so this is me maybe, now what

Acceptance---best way to deal with it

Advocacy--fight back against stigma and big pharma

Research--look into research on alternative means of treatment like nutrition

LIVE---self explanatory

right now I'm in a combo of the last four---it is an ongoing process

Jon said...

Perfect - This is just what I'm looking for. Thanks Tony and bamagal.

Maybelline Jones said...

How about dread? When my meds stop working and I have to be the guinea pig at the shrink's office AGAIN and who knows what kind of side effects will happen this time.

Also, before I go into a particularly bad episode, I get nastier than a starved wild dog - my combative stage.

Stephany said...

I vote for DREAD. It's how I wake up every day. If I'm asleep, I dread that, becayse I might wake up w insomnia like last night. DREAD season changes, med changes, all of it in one word. DREAD.

jane said...

dread. But also right now, anger. While we care about each other online, I don't think the psychiatric, medical or pharmaceutical companies give a damn about us, our minds & our futures.
I am honestly wondering if we're like we are cuz we're bipolar or cuz of our medicines. If I were on what my pdoc wanted me to be, I'd be on at least 5 psych. meds & I would be stoned out of my mind. I think that's how they want us to be. Like I said, I'm angry.

Just Me said...

My mind isn't in a good place to be thinking and I'd do better to construct a decision tree, but that's hard to do in comments.

*Denial: I'm not taking meds!!!
*Self-pity: I'm not better even with meds. Nothing ever works for me.
*Stages of Acceptance:
-accepting help
-being honest with my doctor
-accepting more help
-taking the first lithium
-realizing I was cycling
-discovering my MD was a moron
-taking control

*Knowledge Gathering
*Learning to be proactive
*Partial control

I think there are also stages within the illness (cycles having stages?). But those are the things that help me get through the day to day stuff. Those things are dependent on too many other factors to describe them (and my Seroquel just hit hard) but it's a series of "if I feel this way and this happens then I need to prepare for mania, but if the 2nd thing doesn't occur then I'll get another 2 days before I'm ill".

Jon said...

Maybelline, Stephany, and Jane all agree on "dread", and I'm with you all. Also on the anger and irritability. Jane - I think we all share your anger about the pharmaceutical companies. On one hand they make our wellness possible, yet with the other they perpetuate a cycle that precludes our wellness.

Just Me - a great list. I agree with you that cycles can have stages.

Polarimbi said...

Here's my take:

First, unsettled-Something is not quite right but don't know what. I feel hormonal, something chemical is going on.

Second, I get increasingly agitated - I want to slow down, mentally and physically, but can't. If it's mania, I am flooded with ideas. If it's depression, I feel unmotivated and can't focus.

Then, I begin to get exhausted - I am tired but keep going. I feel down, but I want to get up. I want to sleep but there is too much going on, too much to do.

Next, I am Irritable - The exhaustion and frustration begin to get at me. Someone posted/used the word combative.

Next comes the rage -- That's when I know something is about to take a very bad turn, in the past I would have horrific, emotionally draining fights with my husband.

Fear comes next -- I am worried, I have to do something. I call my pdoc.

Finally, I recalibrate -- Before it would pass. Now there is a readjustment in my meds, I get some rest, I start to feel better again.

sara said...

How about shame and shock? Those were big for me. Took me months - I mean, the minute I went and read some stuff, I knew the diagnosis was right. But that seemed to put me into a whole new class of people, disability, whatever. The idea that I was seriously broken...that was hard to take. I kept trying to tell myself that nothing was different than before the name, that I was the same person. But I really wasn't ever the same again.

Anonymous said...

im expierencing it too. i was recently diagnose with the disorder i suffer from depression than anger and then i cant sleep and it cycles a lot