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Bipolar Disorder Message Board

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Hi all. This is going to be a long thread....bare with me please. I will try to shorten it up - just seems like there's no detail that is unimportant.

First, I have NOT been diagnosed with anything - will be seeing a therapist after Thanksgiving. Wish it could be sooner. I am 39, married 12 years 2 kids.

I have been reading a lot on bi polar disorder - I guess there's many "grades" from mild to severe. I have always had some of the symptoms, horrible moods, rage, depression. I am a recovered (recovering) alcholic (7 years sober). I was also bulimic for many years in high school. I have never had such a deep depression as I have been on and off this past year. Now that I look back at some things, I'm wondering if something I'm very ashamed of happened during a period when I was possibly hypomanic.

My marriage has been missing some emotional intimacy this past year - I've always had a hard time with it - and so does my hubby. But this last year I fell into a "crush" with someone. I never acted on any of these feelings. In my opinion the opportunity arose when the guy asked me to breakfast in a very casual way - then asked me for my cel #. I graciously declined both - and also an invitation to his home for more "harmless" interaction. The problem is, at this point and for a couple months prior, I was feeling extremely good about myself - moreso than any other time. I was very inflated and filled with grandiosity. This interaction between this guy (who knows I am married) fueled my feelings of the "crush" and it for the past months has become an obsession. It's a long, long story. I never acted on any of this but because of my obsession with the "hidden romance", I have been feeling so guilty and lost that I ended up confessing some of it to my husband the other day. I am deeply ashamed of letting my thoughts get this out of control. I didn't confess all my thoughts, but that I had a "crush" and it's been bothering me.

Anyway, I've realized that over the years, I've had these dark spells that in the past I have self medicated for. I also realize that I get into these moods where nothing could go wrong - I drive around with the music blaring, thinking I'm the most wonderful person in the world. Embarassing - is it just a feeling of freedom or is it more? I feel attracted to men other than my husband - sort of flirting through the window of my car.....oh gosh it's embarassing because I am not normally flirtatious. I always thought it was my way to escape, but this fantasy that I was living this past year got out of control in my head - and because this is a real person - the OM - and I have to see him once in a while, I am scared. I have mad a conscious decision NOT to act on any of this - and now my husband knows something, so hopefully the attraction will fade away.

My lifelong stuggle with moods I have always attributed to hormones or just being the creative artist. (I am a musician and an artist).

Over the years, I've had bouts with bulimia, alcoholism, gambling, insomnia, other harmless obsessions, anger, depression, self inflation. Also, I am OFTEN very easily distracted by my thoughts. There's probably a lot more I'm not remembrering right now.

I know no one here can tell me "YES, you are bipolar", I will be going to a therapist soon - but have any of you had sort of mild "highs" - where you think you are the greatest person, filled with talent, filled with gift? But not actual manias that will end up in a hospital?

I know this depression of this past year is differnt than before - I wake up earlier than I ever have and I have a hopeless feeling in the pit of my stomach. When people are talking to me I try to listen and be in the moment, but my mind strays constantly to "what's the point to any of this, we're all going to die one day anyway". It's horrible to think like that - I have two young kids who I try to be strong for. I get so irritable around people I love - I dont' know how they can put up with me.

Also, is it possible to be manic and depressive at the same time? I thought I had read something about that.

I am almost 39, and the thought never in a million years occured to me that it would show up this late in life. I just don't understand what's going on and this darkness is darker than ever before. I have been thinking it's because of a difficult marriage, difficult spouse, difficult self, but I never thought maybe it is something deeper.

I started taking fish oil thinking it would help with my moods - and it seemed to for a little while. And if definitely has alleviated the headaches I was getting constantly. But now I am in the darkness again...can't stop thinking it's hopeless and what's the point? I know this is NOT normal thinking. And I also have no appetite during the day - just at night.

I've noticed my depression lifting a bit in the late afternoon - it's the worst in the morning.

I was just wondering, any of you who could shed some light on this. Could you tell me how your manias present themselves - mild or extreme. Whether it's mostly in irritability or excessive creativity.....just trying to see what the heck this is. Maybe I'm just another hopeless romantic - but this year my life has been a living hell inside my heart and head. I'm so tired of it. I come to this site to see how others are coping, which makes me feel better sometimes.

Thanks everyone who wishes to comment...:)
Thanks for your replies. I went on a vacation this past week - some of it work related. Thanks for sharing your stories. I just can't seem to figure out why I feel the way I do. It's frustrating to go through these thoughts - I've been so focused on age and how time flies and how we will all die someday. It's morbid, and I can't stop. It's like a looming depression, or a strange emtiness I carry around all the time. If someone asks me what's wrong, I can't even really answer.

I'm actually feeling in a good mood now - these last couple days have been a lot better. I was surrounded by the people I love, which helps with the empty feeling. My mother seems to think I need to focus less on myself, which I know is true. Maybe I've started this thing in my head by obsessing on it - what comes first, the chicken or the egg sort of thing. I don't have a clue if I'm hypomanic, but when I try to reason with myself about all this, my moods, irritability, sadness, all my past drinking, binging, acting like a fool, staying up much of the night doing artwork. I would like to think there is an answer. I would like to think it's just my "tempermental artist" emerging.

I always thought that bipolar disorder was where there were extreme ups and extreme downs. I know I get extremely down, but my ups are not "manic". Now I've read so much on it, I guess there are different levels. On my "highs" (which I'm not even sure are highs - have not been diagnosed with anything...) I get a lot done, feel a bit of a rush. I also tend to think I'm better than everyone else - hate to admit that, because I know in my rational head that we're all the same - but I get sort of high on myself, so to speak. I don't think of myself as a vain person. And when I'm in an elevated mood, I don't really want to be at home. I feel the need to be driving around or shopping or something around other people. I'm normally quiet and withdrawn, so it's weird. I have attributed it to boredom this last year, but I've got two small kids (9 and 5), work as an artist, and have lots to do. Well, I need to talk to a therapist or someone about it - now that I'm feeling better I'm reluctant to call....this always happens when I start to feel the depression lift....don't want to deal with it.

I will definitely look into the books you mentioned Sammoris - thanks a LOT!

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