Daily Archives: November 4, 2014

Wayne Brady Opens Up About Depression

The world is still recovering from the shock that Robin Williams had depression and committed suicide as a result. Now, TV funnyman, Wayne Brady, opens up about his depression and the impact it has had on his life.

The post Wayne Brady Opens Up About Depression appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Mixed episodes suck

I’m almost tempted to go on an antidepressant. I’m caught in a mixed episode with no mood stabilizer (well, I’m on 100mg of Gabapentin to make sure I don’t get bad side effects from it, and its pretty useless at that dose). Wellbutrin? It didn’t make me manic like the SSRI’s and SNRI’s did.

Sigh. I’ve been so agitated and irritable. And I’m out of Ritalin. Oops.

I’m so sick of this shit. I can’t function that well. I have a meeting with a client about a website Thursday. It was supposed to be today, but fortunately I contacted her on facebook and she got the days mixed up. Better than showing up to nothing. I don’t feel like going anywhere.

I’m working on my site Shock Out Of It! but I’m sick of researching, so I’ve been drawing a picture of my horse in Photoshop for hours. I might do another zentangle.. I do a lot of those. I got a new journal.

I knit my ass off and I’m sick of it now.

My roommate likes the apartment freezing cold and I need the heat. I’m almost under 100lbs again, not intentionally, just never feel like eating, except for after I take Seroquel. Seroquel makes me cold, too. It sucks. I need more blankets. Need to dig some out.

Had a good ride on Sully on Sunday. Did a bounce (jump, land, jump) bareback (no saddle) and didn’t fall off. Did it at the canter in a few directions. Yay me.

I got my helmet cam working. Yay for that. I spent $30 on an SD card and batteries for it. Could be worse.

Got overwhelmed at a social event last night and had auditory hallucinations while sitting outside by myself having a smoke. They followed me inside, so I assume they were hallucinations, since no one was around. I’m on 75mg of Piportil every other week.. Is it going to be upped to 100mg? Will this shit ever fuck off?

That’s my update. Sorry its so negative. That’s just life lately. One second I’m the life of the party, the next I’m negative, irritable and bored. Mornings are the worst for me. I wake up an just think “Ugh, I have to get out of bed and find something to do”. My hands and feet have been super sweaty in the morning too, which is gross, and it takes a while to go away.

It snowed Nov 1. My mom had gone away for a week before that. I missed her. I called her every day and I was terrified about her flying. Flying scares me. She’s home and perfectly fine. But I worry. Ugh.

So, that’s life right now. Therapy tomorrow, then going riding.

IBPF #MakeSomeoneHappy Challenge!

No doubt it is absurd to think that donning a red nose may lift someone out of bipolar depression, but perhaps it will bring a smile to someone’s face. Maybe someone will hear that they are not alone, that others are out there fighting bipolar disorder. I am participating in the #MakeSomeoneHappy Challenge on behalf of the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF). Follow and/or donate to them:

Want to participate? Here is how from IBPF‘s website:

#MakeSomeoneHappy Challenge!

Make Someone Happy Campaign

  • What: A challenge to make at least one person happy and to bring awareness to International Bipolar Foundation and our work to help the more than 165 million people with bipolar disorder
  • Who: Anyone interested in brightening someone’s day
  • How: It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3,
    1. Wear a red nose and video yourself telling them (at least one person) your wish for their happy day, then post it on your social media: “Hi [name], I want to make you happy today so I’m wearing this red nose. When feeling low or down in the dumps, remember this nose to relieve your grumps. I invite you to wear a red nose and make 3 more people happy.” Remember to use the hashtag #MakeSomeoneHappy and tag us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/internationalbipolarfoundation)  or Twitter (@intlbipolar) . Don’t have social media? Send Heather at hzupin@ibpf.org your video and/or pics and we will post it for you!
    2. Be creative; use a Rudolph or clown nose, lipstick, a sticker, ping pong ball…your choices are endless
    3. AND ask people to make a donation to us at www.IBPF.org/donate when you post your photo or video to social media!

Please forward to friends, family and colleagues and ask them to participate in this fun challenge!

Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, IBPF, Mental Health Tagged: #MakeSomeoneHappy, @intlbipolar, bipolar disorder, bipolar depression, IBPF, IBPF.org/donate, International Bipolar Foundation, red nose, www.facebook.com/internationalbipolarfoundation

Splat bears more gifts

I don’t often post twice in one day on this blog…But I figured this warranted it.
The original post was more about mood. I went so far as to say the anxiety was mild.


Wicked brain had other ideas. Around noon, the anxiety began to build to a crescendo. I need an IV drip of Xanax. Even picking my kid up from school was taxing. I imagined all eyes staring at me, judging me. I felt vulnerable and weak and a little unnerved. I am sure it’s just unwarranted anxiety attacking…It just feels so real,no matter how hard I try to convince myself I am being ridiculous. Time in the petri dish of public often puts me in that delicate mind frame, the panic bubbling under the surface, the anxiety rising up like an ocean tide washing over me. Drowning me with water so I can’t breathe and feel like I am drowning.
I also feel like I have this invisible target on my back.It makes no sense but it is very real in my mind. The physical responses are undeniable. They are not a figment of my imagination. I don’t fear physical harm. I just get this overwhelming sense of dread that someone is going to say something insulting. And when that’s been your entire existence…It’s a logical response on some level.

My mood is still abysmal but I am so numb on Xanax, it seems the least of my current issues.

So much ass trash.

I wrote a poem this morning to vent some of the toxins floating in my brain. Fuck it, I tried to link five times, I give up. If you’re curious, you can copy and paste. Sorry.


The Sad, the Glad, and the Boring….

girlfriendsSo I’m having a bit of trouble with a girlfriend and I could use some advice. Not that I normally depend on my blog readers to be an advice gang, but just in case you are so moved.

Anyway, I met Lori because her husband plays poker with my husband. I liked her right away. She is a bit taller than me, which I love because I am 5′ 9″ and everyone usually makes me feel like a giraffe. We started going to movies, out shopping, out to eat, and doing lots of talking.

Now this was a low point for me. My best friend and I had “broken up”. I was heartbroken over the situation and told Lori all about it. She said she understood because she and her sister weren’t speaking either and it really left a hole in her life.

Our husbands liked each other and we liked each other’s husbands. We did some traveling together. All was good. Then I got depressed. Lori called one day and I told her I was just feeling down and needed some time. She responded by writing me this LONG letter saying how she just couldn’t be my friend right now as she had so much on her plate. I got back in touch with her and told her I didn’t need any support….I just needed to put our friendship on hold until I felt better. So I texted her here and there to say hi.

Now Lori hated her job. She went through a lot of stuff…a bankruptcy, a foreclosure, two job changes because she hated them, the death of a parent, and the adoption of five LARGE dogs in a rather small house. I knew she was stressed and even smelled a little depression in there.

So her husband announces at the last poker party that she has found a new job five minutes away from our house. I know the office she’s working at and it seems quite nice. So I texted her, said congratulations, and asked about having coffee or getting together after work as she was so close. She replied that she was exhausted from work and not doing much socializing. She said she would “talk to me soon”.

Well, that hurt my feelings. My stinky bipolar feelings. What should I do? Drop her as a friend? (I have others and don’t totally NEED her…I just like her). Text her in a month and ask how she is? Tell her husband to say hi when I see him at poker night? What do you guys think?

So on to the “glad” part of this entry. When I was teaching and had to go out on a medical Leave, the union rep really helped us. She told us that if I would be out for more than 12 weeks, I should look into the district’s short term health care disability insurance. I didn’t even know they had such a thing. I had heard of being able to buy this for yourself, but did not the district carried it for employees.

So after my 12 weeks was up, my husband looked into this disability insurance. I can tell you they were the unfriendliest people you have ever dealt with. They were rude, sarcastic, and never returned calls. They continually said they never received paperwork. (We finally got smart and had them sign for everything.) They were a mess, and our caseworker, Maria, had horns.

Finally, finally they approved us for disability through April of 2015. Then, they immediately started harassing us to apply for Social Security Disability. Anything I got from Social Security would be deducted from their payment so they were eager for us to get an award. Suddenly they were friendly and eager to help.

So every six months this group has called and wanted more paperwork. And they’re not kind about it. But we put up with it. The money is good…really what I was making before except that now you have to deduct insurance premiums out of it.

Now April 2015 was a few months off but we still worried a bit. Would they cut us off then? And sure enough, here came a HUGE packet of crap to fill out again. We got busy. We made long appointments with both my therapist and psychiatrist to do nothing but fill out paperwork together. We bribed the office staff with nice cards and cookies so they’d help us fax stuff in promptly. And it all worked. We got the paperwork in in record time.

There’s a little recording you can call that tells you the status of your claim. So my husband calls the other day to make sure it said “decision pending” and not “paperwork needed”. And the darned little thing said “Your claim has been approved through June of 2021.” My husband called it again so I could hear it. We about fell over.

I will be 62 in June of 2021, so I am thinking that must be why they picked that date. And Maria called yesterday to tell me I would have a new stalker,er, representative, from the company. But we are mighty happy so far.

So off to the “boring”. I am still struggling with the stringing together many days of normalcy and follow through. It’s like I can do two or three days well and then need to lay down for three days. Ridiculous. So let’s look back over the week so far. Saturday: went out to garage sales, came home and cooked chowder. Went to a couples group dinner. Sunday: Went to Sunday school and church, came home and watched a football game, made dinner. Monday, did light stuff around the house, went to women’s support group. Today: am finishing this blog, but not going to bipolar group or out with friend tonight (too tired). Also cancelled an appt for tomorrow and won’t do book club.

I’d sure like to string together a whole week of normal days. I’m starting to think this is my new “normal”. It’s sort of scary.

Thanksgiving is coming together. I have the menu made. We have 11 people for sure with a bunch of maybes. I did manage to invite that one guy from group so now everyone is invited. Progress.

hugs to all,



Yesterday I have a severe breakdown. It started with a argument with my husband, then my mind was angry and then sad and then….depressed! I have been feeling seriously depressed since Halloween and I can not shake it. I HAVE THING TO DO DEPRESSION!!!!!! Hence, I started taking my meds again… How are you?

USA: Vote Today

Mental Health Care gets my VOTE!  nami.org/election

Filed under: Mental Health, NAMI Tagged: Get Out the Vote

Hello, Florida!

Three long days of driving have brought me to my destination: St. Petersburg, Florida. My winter home. My attempt at staying out of the mental hospital this winter. I had a wonderful drive with my sister and then a day at the beach with her yesterday before putting her on a plane (sob). I am now here with my friend and her boyfriend, I have no idea how this is going to go. It’s time to start a new life, oh boy. It’s a tad bit overwhelming so I’m going to make a list of things to do today, including making an ECT appointment for a month out, finding a lab for my Clozaril bloodwork, finding a pharmacy, and following up with my goddamned insurance company, which is trying to pull a fast one on me and all of a sudden saying that treatment for ECT at the last hospital is Out Of Network, after it’s been considered In-Network since last February. I HATE that shit!!

It is very beautiful here and I can ride a bike to the beach. We rode bikes yesterday, just about blowing out our lungs riding them (cruiser bikes, no gears) over the causeway which is a very high hill. It was good exercise I suppose. The beach is beautiful, covered in shells, sea birds walking around close to us, pelicans diving in the water, and not a scrap of trash anywhere. I believe I will go exploring today and try out another beach, and have a nice walk with my feet in the water J.

Hope everyone is faring well as Winter begins for many of you, if it gets too bad then come on out to Florida to escape! Peaches!

Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Depressed, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar ECT, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Escaping Winter, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Manic Shopping Spree 2014

I sometimes think in terms of musical lyrics. When I think about my addiction to shopping, this Kanye West line comes to mind: "Single black female addicted to retail" ("All Falls Down").

There are a number of symptoms that come along with being manic. The following list comes from the WebMD website:
  • Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
  • Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
  • Restlessness, increased energy, and less need for sleep
  • Rapid talk, talkativeness
  • Distractibility
  • Racing thoughts
  • High sex drive
  • Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans
  • Tendency to show poor judgment, such as impulsively deciding to quit a job
  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity -- unrealistic beliefs in one's ability, intelligence, and powers; may be delusional
  • Increased reckless behaviors (such as lavish spending sprees, impulsive sexual indiscretions, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or ill-advised business decisions)
When I'm manic, I experience nearly every symptom. Yes, the mania feels good. And the mania has saved me from depression twice (2007 and 2014). By that, I mean, I was depressed and there was no sign that the depression was going to end. The depression only ended because I swung into a manic episode. This is why I love the mania.

A clinician once told me that mania is worse than depression in terms of life consequences. Manic people quit their jobs, have affairs, use high amounts of drugs and alcohol, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and spend lots of money. All choices that can wreak havoc on your life, finances, and relationships.

My mania manifests in me shopping a lot. In 2007 I charged $10,000 in two or three months. In 2013 I didn't charge anything. But in 2014 I charged $20,000 in three and a half months. That figure is just ridiculous. (I have really high credit card balances; this is not necessarily a good thing for a person suffering from bipolar disorder.) Note: my $20,000 isn't an unreasonable amount of money to have spent during a manic spree. I met a bipolar man who charged $150,000 in a week; he bought three new cars. His number made me feel a whole lot better about my damage!

But the truth remains, I am in such credit card debt.

I am not worried though. I have a plan to pay off the debt. And I bounced back from the 2007 spree. I know I will bounce back from this one too. My credit score was excellent the last time I checked it a few months ago. I know now that that is definitely no longer the case; I checked today. But I won't be making any big purchases (like a house or a car) anytime soon, so I'm not concerned with my credit score.

I know medicine isn't for everyone. But I couldn't imagine me manic and unmedicated. I spent this much money while medicated. I'd be totally out of control without the medicine.

In the future, to protect my finances from my manic self, I'm going to lower my credit card balances once I get the debt paid off. I might even give my credit and debit cards to my mother the next time I feel the mania coming on. Lack of impulse control and credit cards don't mix. I have certainly learned my lesson. Only took two spending sprees.


I am low today. It was inevitable. Cyclothymia is a bitch that way. Good day here and there, just enough to give you hope that things might be improving…Then from out of nowhere, no trigger at all…SPLAT.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the rain and gloom today. Much as I loathe the sun, I can’t deny my moods tend to be brighter on sunny days. Though there was a time (when I was manic) that gloomy days cheered me up. My brain doesn’t know what the fuck it wants. My brain pisses me off.

And when I am low, I start swearing more because the moods are all consuming and taint everything and curse words seem necessary to depict how disgusted and frustrated I am with it all. Kinda like saying “purple dress.” This mood is “fucking shit.” Yeah, yeah, foul language is the tool of a weak mind…As is sarcasm. Guess my mind is anemic.

Today I want to pop my brain out of my skull and shake it until it obeys me. I want to be up and feel good, for fuck’s sake. No one wants to fall down a flight of stairs. And that’s what cyclothymia is, rather than missing a step or two…You miss them all. SPLAT.

Yesterday I felt so good. Even thought, hey, maybe when I see the shrink, I won’t even bother to complain and mention the issues I’ve been having. Because yesterday the mind frame was up and I had this glimmer of hope it might stick.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Color me delusional.

Tis the ups and downs of bipolar. I just get more downs than ups, very little stability, and because my moods cycle so rapidly, no one takes it seriously. Not even the doctor. Sometimes I wish I had straight on bipolar one or bipolar two. Because at least the highs and lows last more than a day. How can I ever gain stability if the instability is in my own mind?

And no, I don’t mean, “it’ all in my head” as in I can just snap out of it by adopting a different attitude.
My brain has strings like a marionette and the bipolar gets to pulling them randomly and cruelly so I don’t know if I m coming or going.

On the plus side…The anxiety’s not so bad. Of course, I’m too low to get upset about anything. I just want to curl up under a warm blanket and vegetate in front of tv shows.

But R said he wants me to come in today. I’m not seeing it happen any time soon. He hates my low moods so I best ride it out until it lifts so I don’t make him uncomfortable. (That’s such bullshit.)
I can plead illness. I have the cold from hell robbing me of my voice, sore throat, hacking up a lung, faucet nose. (I paint some attractive pictures.)

This sucks.
To go from so hopeful to hopeless.
I know it won’t stick but for the moment, it fucking blows goats.
SPLAT is not my favorite.