Hypomanic - Irritation Go Away!

So...I'm almost positive I'm hypomanic - the incredibly irritated kind, not the "spring fever" kind.  I mentioned it to my husband last night and he said he had noticed I had been agitated for the past few days as well.  The last time I was like this was I think exactly this same time last year (I could check in my blog if I was so concerned), so maybe it's seasonal.  I had gotten a speeding ticket in my own neighborhood because the neighbors had complained that people were driving too fast (the cop told me) and I was convinced the neighbors were focused on me.  I just knew they were watching me get the ticket inside their houses behind their curtains/blinds with glee - I had been caught finally.  I couldn't stop thinking about it because I was so incredibly mad, for DAYS, and even had to leave school because I couldn't concentrate.  What I did to remedy my agitation was to add an extra Lamictal in the morning until I was better, which was in about a week or two.  That is the dosage that my psychiatrist originally gave me - one in the morning and one at night.  I just can't remember to take it in the morning, so I skip it and normally I'm fine.  It was not something I kept from my psychiatrist, he knew I was skipping it, but as long as it was working for me,  he was okay with it.  When I went to the family doctor as a requirement to be cleared for surgery and felt like I should tell him I was bipolar and what medications I took (because I had told the GYN), he asked me how many times a day I took them.  When I said just at night he looked up at me and said "Is that what you're supposed to be doing?" Who is he to question what I do?  So I told him the truth - about how I was originally prescribed Lamictal in the morning but I always forgot and had been fine for a long time now.  I started mumbling something about my psychiatrist saying how I was a depressive "unspecified" bipolar, not enough bipolar symptoms to classify me, who knows what I said, I just wanted to move on, but I was telling him the truth, although I don't know what that had to do with how often I took medication.  I mean, I didn't HAVE to tell him I was bipolar and on any medication at all, like I didn't on my first visit to him, so he should have taken the hint that it was a sensitive subject.  He has no CLUE what my psychiatric history is, what kind of concern there should be, if any.  It's not like I'm walking in with something physical he can measure or determine by looking at me or touching me.  He's a doctor of the physical body, not mental health.  Actually, he's extremely nice.  I had forgotten that comment until just now and am probably over-reacting.

So this is NOT GOOD and I need to remedy my situation quickly.  The first obvious reason is I don't want to make a bad judgement decision out of anger, but that goes without saying.  I haven't...yet.  I threaten to and bitch a lot, but haven't done anything.  The next reason is I'm having major surgery in about two weeks.  I can't predict what sets me off, it just happens.  I don't want to say the wrong thing to anyone, perhaps storm out of the hospital and not have surgery because I take something the wrong way, who knows right now!  At the moment, I'm very limited to the people I am in contact with which is normally not good for me, but right now, it's actually a very good thing.  I play a game on an app on my iphone and I've gotten offended for something really stupid and said a few things that probably would have been better left unsaid, but it really didn't amount to anything - no one was hurt by it, it was no big deal, I don't think I offended anyone, I just felt like I was sticking up for myself and said nothing bad about anyone or anything.  Yet, my temper flared quickly and I reacted without thinking.  That's what I mean.  I make bad judgements and don't realize it until later.  I'm totally in the moment and don't stop and think about what I'm doing or saying and feel justified, which maybe I am, but I'm not thinking of any consequences.

The last reason, and it may sound like a good thing and not a bad thing, is that almost two weeks after my surgery is my first appointment with my new psychiatrist.  I do NOT want to be hypomanic and irritated when I see her, I want to be totally in control, balanced, doing well and healthy.  The VERY LAST THING I want is a med change.  New meds bring new side effects, typically being weight gain, but always SOMETHING negative, and I just don't want to go through that!  If I can fix this with what I have and what I'm currently taking, that would be awesome.  Right now I am hurting no one emotionally (yet), and while I'm not happy and content and I don't like how I feel, it would be worse to have horrible side effects with a new medication. 

Taking an extra Lamictal in the morning has worked before, I have no reason to believe it won't work again.  I just hope and pray that it does.  And that I can keep my mouth shut and my fingers from typing something I'll regret.

6 comments:

jenji said...

Hey,

I take Risperdal for agitation. I know exactly what you're talking about in that you're right on the edge of decapitating anyone or anything in your path for reasons that would seemingly remain a non-issue at any other time.

Lamictal didn't work at all for me. And I take Risperdal only when I feel the agitation come on. I don't have any side effects from that med aside from sleepiness, which is why I will take it at night before bed when I need it and it lasts into the next day.

My hypo episodes are almost always agitation and anger, very rarely do I get the "fun" hypo, which is a kick in the pants.

Anyway, hang in there. At least you're aware and cognizant of the fact that you're agitated. That's a good thing. Breathe and take a minute before reacting to others online, even if it means staying offline for a few days. That way you won't do anything that you regret. In person, it's a bit more difficult and so I usually keep to myself for a few days until my meds kick in when I'm really agitated.

best,
jenji

KansasSunflower said...

Hey Jenji! : )Risperdal sounds awesome! I haven't had any luck so far requesting a medication from a psychiatrist. Maybe they get suspicious as to why I want that particular medication, I have no idea, but that is one I haven't tried, and I have tried so very, very many, I lost count years ago. I'm sure most of us have. I don't know this psychiatrist yet and have no clue what she is like and she doesn't know me either. If she wanted to ADD something to the mix, that's great, I'll try it because I can always quit. But if she takes something AWAY, well, whatever it is, I obviously need it because it's been working for so long. I don't think I trust doctors right now. Sometimes I wonder if they actually keep listening after a certain point, and it's not long, maybe a minute or so - like they make up their minds quickly and tune you out when you still have important symptoms to discuss. I suppose they are busy and have to make a living like everyone else.

jenji said...

Hey,

I've been lucky when it comes to psychiatrists. The first one I had was through a clinic and he put me into a bipolar study wherein I filled out very specific forms every week detailing my feelings and impressions. I wasn't a lab rat per se, in that it wasn't a medication study. It was more of a cycle study and it taught me a lot about my condition. Anyway, he was really fantastic, as was his nurse. Then he left and I was assigned to someone else and I was so very fortunate to have found her. Generally appointments for a psychiatrist last a maximum of 15 minutes, however, we spend about 30 minutes together talking about medication options, updates and she's also very versed and interested in my other medical issues, which is really fabulous. She's gone to bat for me a few times and it's so funny because online at rate my doctor she has generally negative reviews-that she's cold, crazy herself, dismissive--and I find her to be the absolute opposite. So, when it comes to medications she does take suggestions if they're applicable. Sometimes we just get caught up chit chatting and exchanging gluten free recipes.

I was dx'd in '99 and I've been through most of the medications as well, however, my Mother was finally dx'd in '07, which was remarkable because she didn't know that I had been diagnosed because I kept that to myself. So now, my experience helps her in dealing with her own cycles and her own doctors. I've gone with her to appointments and suggested certain drugs before and her doctor listened and merely explained the pros and cons. She was very engaging. Generally, I've found that physicians like an informed and engaged patient. My mom is on risperdal too, although the dose she takes could put a rhino down in its tracks and she takes it everyday as opposed to as needed. Also, as I keep reminding my mother, drug therapy is much more effective when used in conjunction with CBT/talk therapy. There again, one has to find the right therapist.

Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about asking about certain medications whether it's a new doctor or not. So long as it's not a narcotic/benzo/sedative it's not really drug seeking behavior because there's no "high" with most stabilizing bipolar medications.

And if you're not comfortable with having a medication withdrawn say so. You may find the doctor is very interested in why and engage with you in a proactive sense or you may find that the doctor takes utter offense to you speaking up. You never know what you're going to get because there are a lot of physicians out there in all fields that shouldn't be working anywhere but in a toll booth where you don't engage with people. Having said that, there are some really fantastic physicians/therapists out there and you just have to be true to yourself. If you don't like the treatment or attitude of someone, find someone else. Life is too short to endure incompetence or dismissiveness.

to be continued due to too many characters...

jenji said...

....
By the way, I was reading some of your archives and I have to say I'm having the same issue with my new neighbor. I've just moved into the neighborhood this past Monday and even before she ever set eyes on me she had quizzed my parents, my aunt and uncle and a friend about me (it's a new build so people were stopping by just to see the progress) whether I had kids, pets and here's my favorite: what I do for a living. Really? Isn't it sort of an unspoken civility that one has to oh, I dunno, temper their impulsive, selfish queries when it comes to a new neighbor? In other words, be a grown up and wait until you meet the neighbor to ask these questions, or just observe from the window and garner your answers. It's so rude and speaks to her overall character. Any time I was on the property assessing progress she never came out, when I was moving in, she never came out and now that I'm here, she's outside and I wave and I get nothing. I waved to her son and I get nothing. So you know what? I'm a very private person and the fact that I've thrown up the peace flag and waved at you first after you've insulted me before ever even meeting me means I'm done. She has a dark vibe, I can feel it and want no part of it. I've always just stayed friendly with past neighbors in that polite hellos are explained, the weather is pontificated upon, but numbers are never exchanged. Polite, to the point and full of boundaries is the way to go.

Sorry for the digression, I just thought it was funny that we had the same nosy neighbor going on.

best,
jenji

KansasSunflower said...

Jenji - YES! Isn't that so weird? I think it's very rude. In our last house which was a new build as well, our neighbors came right over, told us they'd been waiting a long time to meet us, were just incredibly, incredibly friendly. We had another neighbor leave a basket of chips, salsa and a mug on our porch - these are just different times! I'm sure that neighborhood has changed as well, I don't think those same people do those things anymore, and I'm not sure why. I *have* gotten the lady, I guess the mother, I have no idea, to speak to me once. My dog was barking right in front of her in our backyard. I had just come in from a run and peeled off all of my clothes and just had on a long-john shirt (well, my bra and underwear too, of course) and had to pull my running pants back on, went outside in the freezing cold, barefoot, with hair messy and sweaty from running (in others words, the worst I could have ever possibly looked), and there my dog was barking right in front of HER! I apologized, grabbed my little dog, and she was nice and smiled and said he could bark at her all day, she didn't mind. I turned around, thought about it, then went back and said "Oh, by the way, my name is...", and she then introduced herself and I can't even remember her name it so so insignificant to me. That's it. Over one month, the only interaction between my husband and I and them and we live right next door. SO WEIRD! I don't think it's the state, I really think it's the times, but I'm not sure why?

KansasSunflower said...

Jenji - I hope I will be as lucky as you with my new psychiatrist. Since being dx'd with bipolar, I've had a super horrible one that I couldn't commuicate with and I blame for being in the hospital because she wouldn't listen to me, and I've had one that was good with medication and figuring out what would work on me, but horrible comminicating back to me. Why is it so wrong to want EVERYThING? Why should I have to pick and choose, give up this for that?

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