General Question

lunabean's avatar

How do you deal with having a bipolar mixed state?

Asked by lunabean (630points) April 16th, 2010

I feel as though a mixed state with bipolar is very frustrating and hard to explain to people on the outside looking in. How do you come out of your episodes?

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6 Answers

gemiwing's avatar

I start my action plan. Mixed states are the most dangerous so professional help is usually required. Be careful with yourself.

I tell my support network how I’m feeling and what I feel up to doing. I check in with them daily- usually by texts because talking in person/phone is difficult for me during those times. We have an agreement that if I feel like self-harming (drugs, drinking, cutting, not sleeping, not taking my meds correctly) that I will tell someone immediately.

I update my journal with every mood change. It helps me get it out and helps me realize that I won’t be swallowed whole by my emotions.

I call my doc and therapist. If they or Hubbs is scared for me and wants me to go be evaluated- I go. No questions asked. When I’m in a mixed state I am the last person to see things clearly, so I let the pro’s take over for a little while. I’m busy enough.

I take my medications exactly as prescribed. No ‘oh, it’s nothing’; ‘I deserve to feel this bad for all the bad things I’ve done or ‘I’ll take it later’. If they aren’t working I call my doc immediately- any hour any day. They work for me, not the other way around.

I give myself permission to feel whatever I am feeling. No feeling is ever wrong- it’s what we do with it that counts.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@gemiwing Which state is the most dangerous depends entirely on the person and how they handle each state. For me, the depressive state is the most dangerous.

stratman37's avatar

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’m schizophrenic, and so am I!

gemiwing's avatar

@papayalily They are generally regarded as the most dangerous- partly because they are so difficult to treat and the patient has trouble self-identifying their moods. Of course different people will have different ‘danger states’, that’s to be expected of any population.

wundayatta's avatar

If I remember correctly, the variation in mood for a mixed state can have different frequencies. Some people might cycle several times a day. Others may cycle over days, still others might have a cycle that changes once a month. I’ve experienced both the monthly cycling and the daily cycling. Since I have hypomania, I never got very manic, but the repeated trips to the depths were quite exhausting, and inbetween, I was as irritable as hell.

At the time, I didn’t know I was bipolar, but I was still trying to control things in my own inept way. I knew the things I was feeling were unlikely, and most likely a product of my own brain. I’d done that before, earlier in life, and by giving into it and knowing it would pass, I was able to disable it’s power.

But that didn’t really work at the time of my first full-blown episodes. I don’t know if I was too anxious to be able to help myself, or if I just didn’t want to.

Now, if something like that came on, I know that my first line of defense is my psychiatrist. I am generally able to identify what is going on long before anyone else says anything. I know if I say anything about it, my wife or my therapist will each tell me to make an appointment right away.

But it’s difficult to know what is happening and whether it is happening for sure. It’s that perennial question of how long does it have to go on before you know it’s something you can’t handle on your own.

Last time, I think I was too cautious. As a result I got slapped back on Lithium, which I hate. I think I got scared too easily, and I probably could have handled it on my own.

What would I do? Well, the ideal would be to be in touch with my friends 24 hours a day. Being liked (actively liked), being hugged, and playing games with people (i.e., having fun) really helps me a lot. Of course, that’s pretty unrealistic (a thought that makes me tremendously sad). I use my mental techniques—mindfulness and some intellectualizing. Exercise would be good, but I don’t have time in my life to fit in more than I already get.

Love is also very healing. However that’s problematic because I need an intense expression of love (which usually means physical love) and because it leads me to a dependency on love, as powerful as any other addiction. That kind of thing tends to wreak havoc on marriages. But that’ll pull me right out of any mental problem I’m having.

Is this helpful? It’s mainly my experience and I don’t know if any of the suggestions would work with anyone else.

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

After hard work, I’m going solo. Sans meds, it’s the only option. I hate backing myself into a corner, but it’s time to dance.

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