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A little Nuts sometimes

Bipolar Disorder

May 27 2012, 07:36
  • roseyroo Newbie

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    Hi People. First post on here. I'm having a hard time framing what goes on in my head at times and need a little contextual perspective. Most of the time I am pretty good to go, I am reasonably well accomplished and I work hard and am a highly productive and creative person.

    I also loose my shit sometimes and feel very messed up. When I feel like this I don't believe in anything good, or that anything will improve. I feel like moving around ( anything: car, train, rickshaw, taxi, to a cafe, on a walk, anywhere) will somehow fix the feeling I have so I usually do that. But when I feel this way I also feel really angry and scared and like something terrible is going to happen. I live in Mumbai, India (I'm from the US) and anyone can tell you that India is a pretty intense place. Some of my nuts feelings are triggered by some of the stress of big city life- where I live is a lot like New York only throw in a language barrier. I have been here for some time so this is not new, but the intensity of my freak-out level has been a bit more dramatic as of late.

    I am posting in the bi-polar section because I have long thought that my father was bi-polar and he seemed to have manic episodes that involved intense anger, extreme spending, and leaving home with no reported return time or destination.
    He is someone who is not very easy to like, though I think there is a decent person somewhere in there, and I do not want to be like him because he's pretty hurtful to people sometimes.

    Roaming around last night I felt like I would be killed or something, like I was ready to curse someone out or punch them if they messed with me. I felt like something was messed up with me and like people could see it and crazy things kept happening. I didn't feel like I could trust any situation and I didn't know what to do, and I felt ready to fight for my life- like I was in a life or death situation. Like I said it felt very surreal if you can imagine it, and I felt like I didn't know where I was even though I was in places where I frequently go and that are mostly safe. I did try to go and find my friends, but couldn't and I did end up in a safe place. I have a supportive group of people in my life and I'm in a very good relationship with someone who understands that I am very intense at times.

    Obviously this experience got my attention a bit. I have felt like this before at some other dramatic points in my life. I attributed those times to being younger and taking some more risks, but now this is my regular life. This just happened last night so I can't tell yet if I was really bad situations or if I just saw them as such and reacted accordingly-as I have done a few times in the past.

    I did take medication for anxiety once (sort of suggested it to the doctor and he simply followed suit) but I actually found that it added more to a feeling of
    justification when extreme things were happening: by which I mean I felt like whatever my read on a situation was (this is right, this is dangerous, this is fun) was even more true. So in retrospect I think I felt better but did more crazy things during that period of time, thus, a decision to end that medication
    and try to sort things on my own.

    Just looking for any insights and thank you for your time and attention.

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    May 27 2012, 11:40

    Hi Roseyroo, I like your post, I'm Ginny here in the States-Chicago Illinois. I'm 41 and I'm not a therapist, just a sometime patient.

    I really like how you started out your post with words of acknowledgment for your accomplishments and creativity. I want you to always hold onto that part of yourself-hold onto that ability to love and nurture yourself. You also express yourself very well.

    I had a psychotic break once and to me, this sounds like the beginning of a psychotic break. I'm not being this blunt to scare you, I am being this blunt because I know that you can handle it. But even if that's not what it is, even if I'm totally wrong, taking an anti-psychotic medication for a period of time (they take awhile to work) might give you a chance to see if things are better or worse on the medication. People make a big deal out of the meds but they're just there to help a person think. That's it.

    I'm glad you posted and glad to talk to you on the computer, but I do think it is time to see a doctor and get a proper evaluation too.

    One of the bad parts about getting sick psychologically is the possibility of losing track of your own feelings. I don't think even doctors are particularly good at helping with this. What happens- and it happens with depression, with psychosis, with trauma- is that people start to minimize or deny their own feelings because they have a mental illness and so they're not sure if their feelings are "right." But I think it is important to stay in touch with this part of yourself. That's my personal opinion. I just thought I'd tell you in case i never hear from you again.

    I have heard that India is so crowded and busy that you can't stand still, or you'll basically get run over. That sounds pretty bad.


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    May 27 2012, 11:56
    This is just from wikipedia, but I've read the same information on other sites as well. It's under the search term "Psychosis":

    "Early intervention
    Main article: Early intervention in psychosis
    Early intervention in psychosis is a relatively new concept based on the observation that identifying and treating someone in the early stages of a psychosis can significantly improve their longer term outcome.[78] This approach advocates the use of an intensive multi-disciplinary approach during what is known as the critical period, where intervention is the most effective, and prevents the long term morbidity associated with chronic psychotic illness.
    Newer research into the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy during the early pre-cursory stages of psychosis (also known as the "prodrome" or "at risk mental state") suggests that such input can prevent or delay the onset of psychosis."
    • roseyroo Newbie

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      May 29 2012, 02:01
      Hi Ginny-

      Thanks for your swift and thoughtful response. I appreciate what you are saying and I thank you for your extra nudge to go see a professional therapist. I have taken some suggestions of persons to see in the past from friends and I admit distance and money have been inhibitors to me really taking action on it.

      I did have a friend who had a sort of melt down though, and I was right there for it all. It was a very tough thing to watch and to know that your friend's sense of logic was out to lunch. I had never really considered that something along those lines might be a possibility for me though, and had always just sort of chocked it up to this bi-polar label.

      But I hear what you are saying. I will try to connect with someone on this and hear a professional perspective.

      I did feel like I gave the medication (in the past) some time to work though, and I did tapper off of it slowly. It took me a long time to actually try it and after some friends suggested it I made the leap and I was very much in an "I am open to this working" frame of mind. There may be something out there that is right for me, but I would approach it differently the next time, maybe asking what I should do of a doctor who's focus is in mental health rather than self diagnosing and specifying the treatment (and getting it!)on my own.

      I have also seen positive effects for medication in some of my friends, though I am sure you can appreciate that is is also pretty intimidating, as I have also seen those friends have trouble getting medication a few times... they seemed to feel terrible without it. A person doesn't like the thought of that sort of dependency unless it is absolutely necessary so if there are pathways to health that don't involve medication I'm up for them.

      Again, thanks for your thoughts. I'll try to use this exchange as a reminder and catalyst that professional help could be very important for me at this particular point in time.

      take care,

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    May 29 2012, 09:21
    Yeah, I hear what you're saying, I've been there believe me. I don't know what resources are available in India as far as free or low cost prescription assistance and counseling. I did contact a National Institute for Mental Health in India just to try to get a community resources list. I'm waiting for a response. I did notice that in India it appears the family takes a much more active role helping than in the States and that the National Institutes have a section on their homepage dedicated to yoga. That is not really the way it is here, but I think they've got something, there.

    In the States the pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance to those with less money and a valid prescription. I got a year's worth of meds that would have cost me $600.00 a month for free. The best way to find out if such programs are available is to either ask your doctor or contact the pharmaceutical company directly. I did ask the National Institute I got in touch with if such programs are available but as I said I have not heard back yet. We get lots of posts from India so I'd really like to know.

    Yes I do believe you are right about letting a doctor, ideally a psychiatrist or a specialist, but at least a doctor figure out what meds you need. But I've been there too, with self-diagnosing and medicating myself.

    If you hear of any good helpful organizations in India, will you let me know so I have them for the future?

    I'll let you know if I find anything.



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    May 29 2012, 11:10
    I poked around on the internet. There is a medication called olanzapine. It is available in a generic form in India. So it should be less expensive. Your doctor probably knows that already- I just looked it up and found it is a popular medication in India, as far as anti-psychotics go. So I thought I'd mention it.
    • roseyroo Newbie

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      May 31 2012, 16:17
      Hmm. I think you mis-understood. It was a doctor who prescribed something to me in the past. I suggested what he should do though. I specifically do not self medicate. I also try to avoid "internet solutions", and I'm not wanting to have a name of a medication in mind to tell a doctor. I think that's too much leading.

      As far as mental health care in India it is a bit of a mess. The "Yoga" solution is nice,but, um too much of a band-aid at times. This is a country where numerous people I know have been laughed at, criticized and given very ( and I mean very!) bad advice about mental health in relations to medicines within the group of people I know who are a mix of locals and expats. I can't say I trust this place very much with my mental health.

      At one point I lost a prescription (paper) for the low dose anti-anxiety I was taking here and asked the doctor to re-write it: he accused me of taking it all at once? Oh man, I have no idea what that would have done but I had no interest in doing that and what an awkward situation. He kept telling me I was poisoning my brain with toxins that would be "stuck there forever". And he kept saying I should be doing Yoga instead. Huh. So yes, I can't offer advice of any mental health resources here, but I can imagine a strong outcry for a solid one.

      Let me know if you find anything and I will certainly post if I find anything.


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    May 31 2012, 19:58
    No, I didn't misunderstand. I mentioned olanzapine not as a specific solution, but as an example of an anti-psychotic (not classified as anti-anxiety, although it may aid in that as well) that is available in generic form, thus less expensive. I mentioned that because you mentioned money is an issue, I just wanted you to know that generics are cheaper and also to give you the name of one in case you wanted to call a pharmacy to see what the cost was, to give you some of idea of what to expect. I also mentioned olanzapine because for the data I could find, it was the most prescribed- thus, easier to get than perhaps other medications.

    It is very disturbing to me that i was not able to find the level of community help organizations that I expected...particularly from the pharmaceutical companies, who are a huge industry in India. They have great programs in the States, so I don't understand it.

    A lot of the time things I post are not written for an individual specifically but are sort of meant for the whole audience, which is why some of the information is so broad.

    :-) Hope i hear something from the emails I sent. Ginny

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