Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Comments to Cyclothymia and Rapid Cycling Articles

Cyclothymia

Rapid Cycling

41 comments:

  1. I would like to hear how the story ended.
    My partner was diagnosed with cyclothymia and I would like to talk to someone about how to deal with this confusing disease. Are there any happy endings?

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  2. It annoys me when I see that cyclothymia is supposed to be mild.....Cyclothymic people have mild depression and hypomania?
    Thats just horse shit.
    I'm diagnosed with it and I have been very ill and suicidal.
    How can cyclothymia be mild if it can borderline on Bipolar type II and sometime develop into type 1?
    The moods people experience are subjective and fluctuate in life......

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  3. I have been experiencing symptoms of cyclothymia for my whole adult life. Doctors diagnosed PMT or depression. Finally at the age of 54 and having had a breakdown my psychotherapist agreed with me that I have cyclothymia and need referral for psychiatric treatment.
    This seems to be an unknown quantity to many in the mental health field and I have to thank you so much for the articles and information on this site.

    I am anxious about treatment, but nothing can be worse than living with this condition.

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  4. the big question for me is, "do we cyclots consider taking lithium?" i believe most of us who suffer with this turbulent disorder struggle greatly with feelings of failure.i
    vehemently agree with the previous entry...not
    much can be worse than this because we have
    such a difficult struggle even trusting ourselves, since the cerebral/mood dynamic is so out of our control.i take an antidepressant every day, but it just does't seem to be enough.help!

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  5. This story sounds a lot like my most recent relationship. My ex-girlfriend of nearly two years suffers from some form of bipolar disorder. When we first met she was the kindest sweetest and most loving person I had ever met. Then soon into the relationship I saw the depression for the first time. There was no external reason for it. She became insecure and often times mean in our relationship. A few times It was so bad I walked out on her. She always followed and pursued me. We tried to work things out but just as things started getting better there would be another episode. About a month ago It happened again. Only this time she stopped calling. After two or three weeks she told me she has moved on with her life. I dont understand this. She is the love of my life and now I dont know how to talk to her. My biggest regret is not doing more research on how to cope with this disorder. For the time being I am heartbroken and desprate for a solution. If you have any answers please contact me @ Jaydz@live.com

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  6. kellieann@iprimus.com.auSeptember 15, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    I've recently been diagnosed with Cyclothymia and whilst it doesn't appear to disrupt my life, when I sit and review life...it actually wreeks havoc. I've just read the rapid cycling entry......and I feel I'm not crazy finally. I seem to have the daily fluctations and they're getting worse....it's given me hope that I might be able to treat this illness...cause that is what it is...not me just being a f**k up.

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  7. Thank you for sharing--here is my account of over 23 years of rapid cycling.I hope this helps others understand what Rapid Cycling is like and how its managed. I have been cycling for decades. I noted a pattern of 4-6 week cycles for years split between depression and mania.Then diagnosed w/bp.My med therapy for the next 18 yrs.was a combo of lithium,tegretol,& bupropion. Now I am using lamotrogine alone F/oil that helps with cycling. I thought I could go it alone. I lasted drug free from one spring to summer by taking high levels of omegas w/epa level 1500 mg,but that changed in Sept. Even though fish oil wasn't the natural wonder it still holds true today that lithium and /or omega III's help protect the grey matter of the brain which bp contributes to deterioration of grey matter. Going back on lithium then became far less effective and the "kindling effect" may have contributed. By going off lithium for almost a year resulted in less efficacy when I resumed it. Any way I really wanted to try lamotrigine with or with or without lithium this time. It seemed to make sense for bp and most important to me,Rapid Cycling. Lithium always affected my cognition so I weaned myself off lith/lamotrg combo and went solo on lamotrg currently 200mg. My bpII depression coexists with seasonal affective disorder. As I aged the sad has become more relevant and the hypomania is much shorter lived,a few days only and the depressions are predominant (fall to spring). I have never used light therapy--I am afraid it will induce the mania side which will counter affect the mood stabilizing properties of lamotrogin which also has an anti-depressant effect without inducing mania to an unmanageable level. However being that I live in the north east--I should finally give it a try (light therapy)in small regulated doses.
    My pdoc for years has always said rapid cycling is the hardest to treat. I do consider myself fortunate when at the age of 29, the very first therapist I sought out--suspected bp when there was not as much info as there is today, and sent me to a reputable bp pdoc--whom was lecturing in nyc re: bp, as well as practicing, and prescribing combo-drug therapies (fairly new at the time) of lithium/tegretol back in the early 1980's. We did add wellbutrin which often induced an agitated mania when coming out of a depressed phase which needed to be closely regulated.

    I have tried relatively few different drug therapies over the years compared to most and although I am not satisfied with the med treatment options available for bp--and especially rapid cycling,.... I am still here.

    I consider myself as John M. does an expert patient--granted probably not on the same level. I have educated myself reading a few books (like John's living well, and Mind Moode and Medicine-Wender & Klein)and intense research on the internet by which I found John M's web site as many others.I have developed a good understanding of this illness. My pdoc and I together regulate my meds--and always shares updates re: bp as to what is available even though we have basically stuck to only two different regimens of therapy over the years.

    When I first met my pdoc on the very first visit he showed me a book he contributed to regarding a graph depicting rapid cycling--it was so reasurring to see at that time that I wasn't going crazy. The road to managing our illness is to have it diagnosed correctly and to know you are not alone.
    I have been probably like so many men have kept my illness to myself--only my wife and one sibling knows of my illnes. In fact this is the very first time I ever blogged period as well as sharing my experiences. I hope this give others some relief that knowing those of us who suffer silently and do manage.

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    1. Here's an update to my post three years ago. I decreased lamotrogine to 100g & bupropion 100mg daily as maintenance. In the winter months I gradually up the bupropion dosage. The lamotrogine is stable the cycling for me and the bupropion is a tolerable anti depressant with out actually being one. All in all doing well--good sleep cycles, nutrition etc. need more exercise.

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  8. Hi. I like a lot that story. I think I have cyclothymia :/

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  9. Hi, Yes a long story--that is my life--not so bad.

    You should keep track of your moods/cycle---write it down; it helps a lot to know the pattern. Lamotrogine works very well for cycling and depression....speak to a Doctor they can help if you work closely with them. Knowing and doing something is empowering. I wish you well.

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  10. I have been out of sync my whole life with people. At 16 yrs I was given my first sleeping tablet (my mum who was a pharmacist saw that I was in difficulties coping with high school exams despite being a very bright high achieving student the res of the time and took my to the family GP for review.). No university for me as I couldn't cope. Diagnosed with cyclothemia at approx 28 ys - doctor thought it was likely I had been symptomatic for years. Came off medication after a few months and thought no more about it. Until I had two nervous breakdowns in rapid sucession in my early 40s triggered by severe verbal abuse relationship, and 4 yrs later total melt down from workplace stress and long hours over extended period. Lengthy treatment with Zoloft bought no cure and made depression worse. Eventually temp GP convinced me I needed psychiatic help. Psychiastrist did not believe I had every been cyclothemic Zoloft, Lithium, Effexor all made me suicidal. Something else caused me to lose lots of hair (fists full) and suicidal. Finally given diagnosis of rapid cycling Bi Polar II. I am case book. I'll never get better and will be medicated until I die. And yes I get those thoughts often. I now take only 25mg Seroquel and 200mg Epilem EC each night. AND I finally am at peace with who I am. It feels good to be not on a rollercoaster but on a ship that sails in both rough and calm waters - but is nevertheless sailing, not wallowing stranded and imploding. I'm now 54 years so a lot of my life has been wasted in anger, despair and the hell of nothing. Thank goodness I ignored social pressure and went to a psychiatrist. PS Not all psychiatrists are good, so be prepared to ask for another if he/she is not sympatico. I also recommend work hard - do homework advised by the pychiatrist - you have got the key to unlock the door to improvement (sadly not recovery) inside you - and a good psychiatrist will recognise it when you don't.

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  11. My Story

    I have always been referred to as a moody cow by the people closet to me. At 18 I attempted suicide by o/d - I woke feeling very ill and it took some days to recover. I chose not to tell anyone! I picked myself up and dusted myself off and over the years have become very in control as this is how I have managed my moods.
    At 24 I became very low. I went to a party and someone accused me of drinking a bottle of vodka that had been hidden - I hit the roof, flew into a made rage then locked myself in the bathroom and tried suicide by another method. The friend who thought I just needed a good night out to make things better rang an ambulance and didn't speak to me for 2-3yrs! The doctors saw that I had drank alcohol that eve and dismissed my plight.
    I again dusted myself off - gained control and carried on. I have sinced gained a partner and two young children. After some ups and downs I started using an illigal drug and felt that I was dealing better with my moods - I felt like I was seeing things clearer than I had for a long time! I finished the relationship with partner as I felt he aggravated my moods and I would be calmer without him. I then experienced a complete breakdown and attempted suicide again,something I did not think I would do since I had my children. I was taken to hospital whereby I discharged myself and threatened my ex partner with violence. A MH Home Treatment Team were called and they told me to attend my GP and get anti-depressants - I explained that the way I felt I would just take them all at once! I was taken to a friends house as I was deemed a threat to my children (by ex-partner). I ended up back in hospital 2 days later from an o/d after arguing the previous night with ex-partner about being able to see my children. I was seen by a Psyc Doc and told I just needed a good rest. I was in hosp for 2wks and then discharged to a MH facility (voluntarily). I went to pieces and convinced everyone I was did not have a MH problem and I was discharged the next day. I ended up going back to ex-partner as felt this was the only way I could be around my children, I was advised to seek counselling myself which I did and found somewhat helpful - although the counsellor did say he'd never met anyone like me!
    I continued to see a psyc doc every 3-6 months for 10mins. I presented him with a self diagnosis - which he accepted without question and I was prescribed a very basic anti-depressant (citalopram 20mg). I missed an appointment whilst experiencing a period of Hyper (I'm ok stage) and received a letter discharing me from psyc doc.
    I continued taking the antidepressant but felt it wasn't quite hitting the spot! We have sinced moved house and am under a different GP and different PCT - so I attended my GP and asked for a referral to the Psyc Svc for the Area. Attended one appointment whereby he withdrew my self diagnosis and stopped medication - attend again in 1mth approx and told not to drink alcohol (not that I drank to excess!).
    I'm writing this today because I have been looking on the NET to understand my moods as I have been feeling very low for the last couple of weeks and felt a rage building that I was beginning to lose control off - partner said something wrong today and off I blew!!!
    I feel very frustrated as the diagnosis and peoples experiences of Cyclothymia seem too close to home I feel my cycles are coming closer together and may be in danger of progressing to BP1. Why are the professionals not listening!

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  12. I read the RC blog then carried over to the Cyclothymia. I'm glad I actually exist somewhere relevant in medical text. I transition so easily and I realized now too late that this is what ruined a 6 year relationship. My mania conquering, my depression anchoring, those goddamn moments of irrational anger and blind rage.... they're all glued together with odd moments of "normality". I'm really into writing music, lyrics, creating 'art' and writing stories... and although it all helps to deal with myself.... I hardly ever see the end of anything. I basically have a room full of half cooked meals... its so damn intolerable to live with this. I'm the king of the earth that dwells in the dark corner of the room. I'm sleepless tonight.... if anyone finds this and wants to contact for whatever reason: gj2mil@gmail.com thank you for writing this and being aware I exist. - Fernando

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    1. I have cyc as well, and am also a songwriter. But although I can finish writing a song, I never get around to trying to do anything with them. I either get depressed and give up, or get all pumped up about something else, and move on. Sound familiar?

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  13. Insanie in the Brainy LaynieApril 1, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    I am officially diagnosed "Atypical Bipolar I with Rapid Cycling" having had two full-blown manic episodes but that didn't last
    long enough to fit into the requirement of seven days for a "true" manic episode.

    ANONYMOUS SAID....
    "It annoys me when I see that cyclothymia is supposed to be mild.....Cyclothymic people have mild depression and hypomania?
    Thats just horse shit.
    I'm diagnosed with it and I have been very ill and suicidal.
    How can cyclothymia be mild if it can borderline on Bipolar type II and sometime develop into type 1?
    The moods people experience are subjective and fluctuate in life......"

    Cyclothymia bipolar lite my ass. I was originally thought of as cyclothymic & it was NOT light by any means. I still think of myself as largely cyclothymic.
    I can't believe that it's taken so long for this to be recognised.
    It makes me feel so little when I read diagnostic criteria, alot my of my episodes haven't lasted long enough to meet any of their damn criteria. Thank god I have a psychiatrist who also thinks rapid cycling is under-acknowlaged & time criteria for depression & mania is too strict. Mania is mania, depression is depression period.

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  14. I feel very sad @ the moment all my life I've struggled with the fact that I'm nothing - I've tried to take my life many times - I met a beautiful man 14 years ago = we will be married 10 years this year - through my illness it took us IVF to have our child (because of years of my self abbuse) I'm probably not getting to the point - I've held down a good job in a bank 4 26 years (they are very supportive) - about 11 months ago I again became very ill I self referred back to the Unit I could not understand - once again (alough I've been on medication for 36 years) I had to find help - I honestly believe that bi-polar does not only mean Highs it can also mean constant lows - I have to live with this at the moment its too much to bear

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  15. I have been married for 12 years to a man who has been diagnosed with cyclothemia. He is very intelligent, witty, the life of the party..but to live with, he is moody, mostly depressed, irritable, angry and he can be very mean. He tried a mood stableizer and all it did was stabalize his bad mood. I do see temp calmness with fish oil, but it is short lived, we are going to try a antidepressent next to get him out of the constant state of despair. This is my final attempt to a normal stable marriage as I feel myself slowly nearing my breaking point.. wish me luck.

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  16. sounds like me (the man). if it helps, we are conscious of acting differently at home and out, but honestly can't figure out how to control it and overcome it, other than drinking (which keeps the depression longer). it sucks for the person with it and the spouse dealing with it. the mood stabilizer kills the highs (which we thrive on (which you love) and don't last long enough), the antidepressants kill the sex life (which is the worst out of anything). it's like a no-win. I feel like shit everyday when my woman calls me moody and I just can't help it. I wish I was the life of the party all the time. a low dose of lexapro may help with low dose of depakote or klonopin. pot actually works the best. god bless you for living with a spouse with it. men are stubborn enough, then add moody, oy vey! it's alot, it sucks, but we love you girls, no matter how down we are. Wine probably works best for you to cope! good luck

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  17. Hi all, i was officially diagnosed with cyclothmia on the 8th of june after being a mess for the last 23 years (since i was 6) i have to point out that my moods can be an hour long to a week or more, i never complete things even though i have the best intentions at heart and sleep for hours or dats ar a time. I also have OCD and seasonal affective disorder, i thank my phsyciatrist for all his help so far as if it was not for him i would not still have my two children and fiance just talking about it with someone who doesnt think im a crack pot helps. I hope anyone who goes what i have been through finds the light at the end of thier tunnel too. Im not there yet but time will tell xx

    Faye from essex

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  18. I am most grateful to you for this honest and helpful website. Thank YOU for being YOU. You are a luminous candle in the dark. You see, I was first diagnosed in March 1998 with Cyclothymia. My diagnosis was changed to Bipolar Affective Disorder Type 2 in May 1998. I was on medications from March 1998 to June 2003. Then again from March 2007 to August 2008. My Consultant Psychiatrist thinks that in view of everything that has happened in my life (I watched people kill each other when I was five and many more times since then, I have been physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally and financially abused since my earliest recollection to the present) and in view of how poor the medications have been in helping me it would be unwise to put me on psychiatric medications again. I have never been psychotic and although I have been on various mood stabilisers (e.g. Carbamazepine, Lithium, Lamotrigine) and anti-depressants (e.g. Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escetalopram) and I even had 9 sessions of E.C.T. (electro-convulsive treatment) during March to April of 2001. None of these helped me. On the 17th of June 2010 my diagnosis was changed from Bipolar Affective Disorder Type 2 to Ultradian Rapid Cycling Cyclothymia. He also told me that there is no cure and no treatment. He said he was sorry that I had such a difficult life so full of past and current suffering. He also apologised for the fact that the National Health Service of the U.K. has so far failed to help me much with my mood disorder and my chronic pain. I thanked him for that. I know that doctors are not omniscient and are not omnipotent. They can only do what they can do just as I can only do what I can do. We are all prisoners of causality. For example, I want to sleep but I can't sleep. That's why I am posting this at 3:06 am! I have not slept at all tonight. Any tips?

    The triggers for my mood swings tend to be stressful incidents. Positive events and acute stress can trigger elevated mood while negative events and chronic stress can trigger depressed mood. Please feel free to ask questions and make comments. Thank you.

    +3: Very high mood. Inflated self-esteem, rapid thoughts and speech, counter-productive simultaneous tasks.

    +2: High mood. Very productive, everything to excess, charming and talkative.

    +1: Happy mood. Self-esteem good, optimistic, sociable and articulate, good decisions and get work done.

    0: Mood in balance. No symptoms of depression or mania.

    -1: Sad mood. Slight withdrawal from social situations, concentration less than usual, slight agitation.

    -2: Low mood and anxiety. Feeling of panic and anxiety, concentration difficult and memory poor, some comfort in routine.

    -3: Very low mood. Slow thinking, no appetite, need to be alone, sleep excessive or difficult, everything a struggle.

    Thank you again for being YOU. YOU are a LUMINOUS CANDLE in the dark. http://www.CanWithCandle.org

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  19. i wrote this short piece of mind the other night when i couldnt sleep... its an honest and creative interpretaion of my cyclothymic struggle ...


    i wish i could sleep. just to close my eyes and gently fall asleep. Oh to feel natural repercussions of tiredness. For the last two months ive been in recovery. And still am. I'd like to say i feel better, that i feel 'myself' again. Momentarily i do. Momentarily, i feel good. i feel content, but attached to this feeling comes the feeling of doubt. This doubt causes worry, this worry causes anxiety. This sends adrenaline running through my tired body. Resulting in another sleepless night.
    The truly crazy thing is i have some pescribed sleeping pills in the drawer around 16 cm from my restless, little mind. But i just cannot take them. Im actually scared to take them. My little zopiclone the non- benzodiazepine hypnotic agent comes in brilliantly on these long nights.
    It all started with a tad drug interest. it began strictly recreational and ended in a nervous breakdown. Everything that happened in between was fun but difficult.
    Nights of sniffing, swallowing, sweating, twitching, talking, irregular breathing, pacing, gurning, rushing, smiling, laughing, crying, stirring, racking, crushing, rolling, splitting. You probably know the rest. Piano fingers. Click- blink routine. And more promenantly, The battle with attemptive sleep. i often pretended to sleep, i dont know who to exactly. But i would lay in a bed, on a sofa, on the floor wrapped up in a curtain, even in an empty suitcase semi- zipped up.
    Nothing works unless you stop trying. Kind of like happiness.
    ..... to be continued ...

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  20. continued....

    Now, six weeks into my journey of recovery, ive managed to stuff some broken yet successful nights of sleep under my dressing gown belt. But when i sleep, i find it disturbing and usually an oppositionally expectedly draining. Instead of waking up revitalised, refreshed, rested and recharged. My energy has been channeled to the intense and uncultivaed dreams. The disturbing and destroying rapid eye movement. The intrusive thoughts that race through my exhausted mind. The lingering pain that inhabits in every corner of my preoccupied memory.

    i am cyclothymic. Which is a relatively mild form of Bipolar type II. Its taken a few years to establish this. And will probably take even longer to deal with it. Although never conquered, and possibly never cured. When viewing the disorder in my positive perspective,during an episode of low intensity or mania, it seems tolerable and endurable. However as the disorder is characterized by moods swings which by the offset appear almost within the normal range of emotions, comes dysthymia and depression, this negative perspective, perceives it to be unmanagable and cruel.
    And in between these episodes is normality, yes normality! But believe it or not, its not as easy as that. The normality comes with irritability and anxiety. And the biggest trouble of this would be the consistent worrying. The minds cognitive conundrums i get myself tangled in. The irritability is the segment of my personality that conveys the emotionally instability and explosive traits. The numerous nights of staring at a wall, and crying. clenching my fists so tight. Wrapping myself up in a blanket like an unwanted gift of insanity, and then imploading with utter fustraition.
    My brain aches, my mind burns, my eyes are sore, my nose is running. And when all this irritablity passes over like a plague on a derilict villiage i fall 'flat' on my side, and that is where i lay untill the gloom and tearing tears subside. Within moments this unattainable feeling of glee pricks from inside me, and cheek to cheek i display none other than a smile. I want to talk, i want to hug, i want to communicate, i want to travel to dance, to write, to play, to walk, to smoke, to live. And for the very life of me, i instanstaneously forget the unmanagable low i had just endured.
    Now not only do i suffer from cyclothymia. It interwines another element, rapid cycling. My mood swiftly and uncontrollably changes in a matter of minutes, hours or sometimes days. Its so confusing, and so bewildering. Its ruined a relationship i was in, as my partner didnt know where he stood. He didnt fully understand my condition, and the time, neither did i. I was accutely aware of my feelings and deteriation of a concrete mood. But i just could not define and understand why.
    My Dad suffers from Bipolar type II, he has a personality disorder, tested for schizophrenia. He feels very tortured, and for years i have witnessed his personal struggle with mental health, and even my mothers own struggle to support, secure and survive through this. Thank goodness she is the strong, honest and understanding person she is, or else, sad as it is, i don't think he'd be here.
    I am only an 18 year old girl from south of England, but through all my so far experiences its provided me with the ambition to become a psychiatrist when i am over the recovery of my breakdown

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  21. You are brilliant...
    Very intelligent and insightful...
    I have not once posted a comment until now..
    I felt that you should know that I believe that you may have the power inside to truly help people like us...
    Please do continue...
    Thank you

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  22. To all of the above: The interesting thing about this disorder is that is seems most of us are of above average intelligence and very insightful. I am 51 yrs young no degree...due to un dx'd and untreated ADD unti 3 yrs ago)with cyclothemia(once thought to be comorbid anxiety and depression.) I too am returning to school as a Psych mahor I want to be involved as well as conduct research on this and other disorders.
    I would welcome info and knowldge of research programs on this matter.

    I self dx @ 22years old 45yrs ao ADDHD was realitivity new.

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  23. My husband was diagnosed with cyclothymia several years ago by his M.D. He has a history of alcohol and substance abuse but has been clean for over two years. Sice then he has been treated with several regimens of meds including zoloft for depression and depakote for mania. His constant prior relapses always coincided with the cycles of his cyclothymia. Clean for three months then relapse. His manic episodes now clean consist of severe agitation and denial of diagnosis. It is constant drama. There is no reasoning , begging, or loving that truly gets through for any amount of time. The depressive cycles are withdrawn. No job lasts, no personal relationships last, and our marriage is in ruins. This illness leaves no room for anyone elses emotions except for the one with the illness. Sure, the cards and gifts and charming behavior in level cycles seem to rev the relationship back up but then it all comes crashing down even further. Those of us on the other side of cycothymia are left broken hearted, broken spririted and helpless as we watch our loved one tail spin time and time again. We become the enemy because we care. We give extra, we try extra, we cope extra, we hurt extra to try to protect any normalicy of the relationship we can remember during the level cycles. Then it starts all over again. Those of you reading this that have this illness, those of us that don't are trying to help you. But you have to trust us and start believing that you don't know better than everyone else. You have to let the ones that love you help you so you can learn to help yourselves. These words are not meant to hurt you but to open your eyes to the love that surrounds you.

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  24. I wanted to post a comment in order to congratulate John Mcmanamy on what is the most comprehensive and articulate website dealing with Cyclothymia/Rapid Cycling that I have come across. I've been meaning to for a while but continually postponed as is my nature (waiting to be in a better mood of all things, so that I might write something decent) - in fact I'm only doing this now as I avoid a school assignment.

    I have read all of the comments above and was relieved (backspace: very intrigued and moved) to find so many scenarios that I can identify with. People have already written about being unable to finish projects so I'd like to finish the thought:
    > I ensure that it is impossible for me to complete something to the best of my ability by deciding to do it at the last possible minute.
    > When I am not commended for my efforts I comfort myself with "That's because you didn't try. If you tried then you'd be one of the best".

    I suppose we do this so as not to have to deal with our insecurities. I always regret it.

    > At times of mania I am my most creative (writing, drawing, philosophising)I am self- assured and absolutely convinced that I am capable of anything I put my frazzled mind to. My poor Mother has to contend with me interrupting her word search in order to exclaim excitedly that I have everything "figured out" and am "fine with it, by the way". Dilated pupils and frustrated speech to accompany what ever pseudo-revelation I've had.
    The next day I read a garbled sheet of paper and have to shrug - "What a knob".

    Relationships:
    I have six people that consider themselves my close friends, but I keep a large part of myself private. They certainly have never seen me depressed, though they have known me to be "mean" (never malicious. Just defensive. E.g. "What crawled up your arse and expired?") and "low". They think I have exacerbated PMS.
    As a result of being unable to commit I have I can only be affectionate, but could never say that I "loved" specifically. This is confusing - I recognise that today in a state of form/normality.

    Otherwise they know me as very confident - "You're so lucky J. You can just go up to some guy and tell them that they are sexually attractive. I could never" - flimsy?Translucent. When I'm in one of my GOOD moods it appears to be quite infectious. There's much amity and laughter. I am their lovable idiot : "Very retarded and chiefly stupid" for those of you who also like Salinger.

    I've gone off course. I just put this down in case there was anyone my age - 16 - reading who hasn't got anything as serious or devastating as a fractured marriage to draw upon.

    I have not actually been formally diagnosed with Cyclothymia/rapid cycling disorder as yet (please do not think me a charlatan or hyperbolic child), but again want to give this website kudos. I found it months ago on a grim afternoon of soul and internet searching and the list of what would make an eligible candidate has been invaluable in aiding me to understand my formerly inexplicable feelings and motives. Irrational anger at the forefront.
    In fact, my mother read it (she herself a depressive. I'm fortunate to have someone so wonderful who can empathise - I love you if you're reading)and we quipped/concurred that I could be the poster girl.

    This has been a huge comfort to me and a welcome change to just putting it down to being a perpetual f*ck up. Thank you again and to all of the people who've made posts before. Invaluable.

    I've rambled on for a grotesquely obnoxious length of time, but lastly, to the person that said "I'm the king of the earth that dwells in the dark corner of the room." I thought this was an excellent way of summarising it. Similar to when John Lennon said "Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty".

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  25. I only did that once, by the way. The "sexually attractive" thing. And I'm still cringing. I'll stop bombarding now, I just felt compelled to add this lest I be perceived as brazen. I know I shouldn't obsess (I'll be mortified tomorrow) but I can't sleep. Spent the day in front of Frasier making anaemic excuses.

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  26. My mother (the afore mentioned depressive) has come to sit by the foot of my bed. I can't see her slumped frame but heard her defeated exhalation. Her typical salutation and eternal exaltation. I exaggerate of course (of course) but, she is deflated tonight. It's easy to describe this languid scene so tenderly, and yet so difficult to engage. My back is hostile. "What's wrong with you then?" - begrudging. The reason I post this: how can we - I - be so selfish? The constraints of this unassuming little box has become a confessional. I'm ridiculous when I'm like this. Frivolous. It seems that my normal mood has brimmed over *pause* or under.
    She seeks comfort in our monochrome cat with the two-tone face. "Get some work done. Please" Don't plead with me.
    This is going to become a fiction if I go on. Is this a common scene for you too?
    "Are you going to prohibit me from going out tomorrow?"
    "No." Not forbidden but still foreboding. I know that I'm going to be irritable with no sleep. Or will I just be dull? Certainly not effervescent. Flat. Less self-deprecating and more self-destructive. I'm being terribly, idiotically, mundanely dramatic.
    She has just kissed my head. "I love you too" someone says. Vacant eyes directed at the screen, but so alive with conflicting thoughts.

    I've clearly gone off on an absurd tangent. I was rereading the comments above. It is interesting how we speak of "conquering" illness. My father has struggled with Bi Polar disorder for as long as I've known him (certainly since the suicide of his mother) and I'd always considered the former and latter to coexist. That seems like a terrible thing to say, but that is nonetheless how I have known him.
    I love him very much, but do think it's fortunate that we live apart, considering what a fragile family we'd be. How tentatively nuclear. For those of us who've inherited whatever it is that we endure from a parent - or both - it is interesting to look at things from both perspectives.
    My father has had two major break downs in the passed 12 years. Each has lasted two years (thus far). He is charming, witty and my friends' parents would nudge me - "You're Dad really is great". Polite smile. Then they get him on a bad day. An explosion. I blush. He indulged my fleeting interests as a child but has failed to invest in anything more permanent. The word "failed" seems harsh.
    My mood hasn't soured, (because I am not embittered at this moment) though I was dissatisfied with a text - of all the trivial things to disconcert/-content me. "We are...". Well how nice for you. Yes I'd like to come, thank you ever so much for considering me. How charitable. I'm being horrible. Apologies for banging on and on.

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  27. First off I would like to Thank the person that posted this for the rest of us.I had know idea that cyclothymia ever existed in people. As far as the story, I can very well explain the story didn't end well.

    I was in a relationship that described this story to the tee. We were so much in Love that it was the perfect relationship. Unfortunatelly for the both of us the relationship ended. After reading this, I now understand what we were both faced with. She has moved on with her life and is now engaged to be married. I'm glad today that she has finally been diagnosed with this and can make the proper changes within herself to have a normal relationship. She will always be a wonderful woman that deserves the very best that life has to offer.

    Love Always,
    J

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  28. This disorder is not mild by any means. It disrupts every aspect of a person's life. You feel as if there is a constant battle going on inside you. You never feel at peace with anything. It ruins relationships of all types, friends and lovers. How can you expect others to understand you when you don't understand yourself. It leaves you lost and alone.

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  29. These posts are beautiful and powerful, beyond the immense suffering they reveal. I can relate to them so much, yet I'm supposed to be Bipolar I-mixed-rapid cycling (+ ADD & epileptic. The emotions and their ability to create & destroy is what all this seems to be about. Thank you for thhis site.

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  30. Okay, has any of you actually tried nutrition/lifestyle changes and CBT?

    I am perplexed by this need for meds and chemicals...!!

    In my case (and from talking to some other people too!!) the moods and 'cycling' can totally be related to nutrition and exercise!! There's lots of info online, at least get informed and try stuff!! :)

    I'm still learning about all this, but I think our health is in OUR hands, not hands of doctors who sometimes don't have a clue!! :)

    Good luck everyone!! :)

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  31. Re; 5/5/11 post;.....you can do all of the right things...nutrition, exercise, good sleep habits, fish oil, talk therapy---but at the end of the day....many of us will need a drug to combat a biological/chemical imbalance to further alleviate the symptoms of cycling and depression.

    For many of us "its too complicated of an illness" Not to throw everything we have... at it! So if you can do it without drugs, that's great, but for many that isn't an option.

    I 100% agree get educated about your illness don't put your health regimen blindly into a health care provider's hands. With knowledge you can optimize your personal care with your Doctor and be in more control of the outcome.

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  32. Hey,

    Good luck people. I am as sure as I can be that I have (what is described as) ultra-ultra rapid cyclothymia - I've been this way for 20 years & luckily only been locked up with (primarily) schizophrenics 4 times. I have a saint-like rock of a wife and two beautiful children. Times are very hard & the strain it puts on our relationship is phenomenal. It was refreshing and also concerning to read this article. I really feel that at this point in my life (I'm 39) I need more help, or at least access to quality information that can help me maintain a healthy relationship with those around me. I fear that I completely understand why many of 'my kind' simply give up & end their lives. Here's to us 'problematics' - may we continue to confound and bewilder those who are truly too ignorant or lazy to accept that our reality is not theirs. I am truly a Very lucky man to have made it this far, with a loving partner & the ability (albeit diminishing) to co-exist with a society that clearly wants little to do with 'people like me'. I'm happy to be me & would never wish to be anyone else. A diet of Depakote, Lithium & all the other poisons I have been prescribed, is definitely Not the answer. I wish I knew what was. Perhaps they'll discover a naturally occurring substance that gifts one the ability to spend extended periods of time as a medium-to-low functioning drone for the purposes of effective social integration.

    Peace.

    Joz

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  33. i think i have this too... But i guess the story dosen't have a good ending....and that is my biggest fear and worry... Would my story be a happy ending.... Guess am a little depressed right now....

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  34. Hi - nearly 2 years since I visited here (9 Jan 2010) and I have continued the learning process. I am sad that seldom are we told the success stories of being BP II here. Here is my latest. I stopped seeing my psych and just took meds from a GP but we both knew I needed a proper review. After diagnosis of hypothyroidism got excited that I wasn't bipolar II - just misunderstood. New psych took one visit, and confirmed at 2nd visit that I was indeed bipolar II ultra rapidcycling - and that I had been under medicating for the past 2 years (that didn't surprise me). We have discussed my bad sleep and tried a couple of meds without success. I find that Panadol relaxes my muscles + no mental stimulation 1 hour before proposed sleeptime helps me sleep. Of course other nights I can take 2 sleeping tabs at 2am and wake up 2-4 hours later! We are now raising Epilem dose and I seem to be functioning OK - still high functioning at work. For the past 4 years I have maintained a good work profile - but as suggested by another writer I do not go to work when BP is winning. My employer and workmates know and have shown fantastic support and understanding when I have mental health days. I do not treat my illness as a shameful secret but rather as something that has to be worked around and sometimes that involves people voluntarily cutting me some slack. I do not have to ask - they just know. I am no different from others that suffer ongoing illnesses and I KNOW that I am entitled to be given the same considerations. I have managed to not overuse my sick leave entitlements (10 days pa) and actually greatly underuse them. I have been careful in choosing work that will not stress or bore me. Similarly I am selective about the people I work with. I will not stay in a workplace that places undue stress or psychological pressure such as bullying or backbiting. Did that once and it nearly killed me. In case you are wondering I have been with my current employer 11 years. I have often kept detailed journals and speadsheets of my food intake, exercise, sleep, stress, activities and I can assure you that whilst some highs and lows are reactive, the vast majority have no rhyme or reason - they just descend on me several times a day. Usually preceeded by painful squeezing of my temples, or in the centre of my forehead. Every moment of the day I practice congnetive therapy to test whether MY REACTION to something said or read is reasonable - before I react. OK I'm not the life of the party with repartee - but I'm not slaying friendships and work relationships either. I still think that Epilem and Seroquel are the ants pants for my case of rapid cycling Bipolar II.
    Keep on sharing stories readers - it helps to share burdens. I also belive that it helps to share what treatments worked, and which didn't so other readers can find their 'imperfect balance' that much sooner. God knows it takes long enough to find out you are BP - let alone the right treatment.

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  35. I was diagnosed with cyclothymia bipolar II , ADHD, with OCD tendencies and anxiety attacks in Oct 2009 I have not got a medication routine worked out yet, the psychiatrist I had left town in the Nov 2010 and the psychologists are thin on the ground. I am unable to work sleep prepare a meal and my husband of 12 years just left as he can't handle "The Bitch", I have 2 young children at home and can't even leave my bedroom sometimes for days on end because pegs scare me. I see smell hear and taste things differently. I've lost 25 KG in a year as I don't eat for days. I can smoke 40 a day and shake the whole time.
    I cry constantly and never see anything as funny. I think I can cure world hunger and bring peace to the world but I don't shower for 4 days before I notice. Medication is so expensive I plummet into a deep depression again when I get Mum to pick up the scripts. My extended family and friends have GONE, "but that was her fault what can she expect after the way she spoke to me". WHAT I don't even remember the conversation. I've read every bit of information I can find as I only sleep 4 hours a night every night. WHAT THE F**K there's NO cure, but you will be able to maintain and know the signs eventually. Can I really last that long? I have to or whats the alternative? My kids do need me even if some days I can't stand the sight of them. Some one has to find The Cure. SOON..........

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  36. I have only just been diagnosed with Cyclothymia and I am 45 years old! After reading all the previous articles I am relieved at last that I am not mad or alone. I did not even know this condidtion existed, I thought I was just making very bad choices, my family viewed me as the entertainment but in a nice way not a horrid way, but things have come to a halt now its affected my work life that I face dismissal, I have already had to sell my house and lost a lot of money, it also did not help that a couple of weeks ago my daughter passed a comment "mum, can you not be normal for just one day"! It was not said in malice but it made me realise that there must be some embarrassment there when they are out with me.
    As previous comments about nutrition etc I agree and do have a good diet and moderate exercise as the docs dont know all again I agree, as my moods have been put down to major incidents in my life must be stress!
    I am on Citalopram for high anxiety and have now increased the dose as well as starting Cognitive Therapy. I want to thank everyone who has posted a comment about their experiences as i said earlier I feel better in the Knowledge that I am not mad or alone so thank you all and I am still doing my homework on this.

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  37. This is so crazy to me,I only just now found this article, and it is so exactly me,,, I have lived with these exact feelings for soo long and there is times that I can barely drag myself out of bed,,, then there are times,, like now, that i'm in a world that nothing can diminish my euphoria. But I'm waiting for that wonderful, happy go lucky to end any day now and turn into that miserable black cloud that is so familiar
    I'm so lucky that I have a husband that so loves me and he knows always when my mood is gonna change even before I do. And he is always by my side, not hovering, just tolerating,, dealing, thank you for giving light on what is going on.

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  38. Hi I've just been reading an inspiring book, "A Better Life" by Craig Hamilton (Australian) who has BP I. I found the following that may be inspirational to others too (I'm ultra rapid cycling BP II with Aspergers traits:
    'My greatest strength is the trust I have that I can and will get through whatever is thrown at me. There are going to be more trials and tribulations. There will be more depression and flights of crazy ideas. So what?.......Who I really am will be determined by my responses.'
    From the movie Braveheart he quoted William Wallace "Every man dies, but not every man truly lives."
    'What happens between now and my last day is entirely up to me. That's a powerful thought.....In closing consider all the things that wear you down, make you tired, stress you out. The things making you anxious, depressed and angry. Write them on a piece of paper. As you (and no-one else) is in charge of your life, make a conscious decision to get rid of them.... Consider all the things that energise you and inspire you. The things that engage you. The things providing laughter and relaxation. The sources of peace and calm in your world. Write them on a piece of paper. As you (and no-one else) is in charge of your life, make a conscious decision to embrace them like never before.'
    Basically I think that he said we should grab onto what empowers us and walk away from those things that activate the worst, or at least provide the breeding ground for our worst traits to blossum (like a fungus) from.
    In his case he suggested meds, sleep, alternative therapies, relaxation and exercise, and avoiding sensory overload and acknowledging the important and unimportant for what they are. I agree with his viewpoint wholeheartedly. The latest realisation I had was that noise overloaded my senses and caused me to stuck in a mire of not knowing what to do, or even how, no matter how many times I can do this usually. It could take as little as 1 hour in such an environment for this to come on. I used to think I was rapid cycling but now it may be the invisible and common was actually triggering behaviours. I have taken to using white noise to block out sensory overload in my workplace. And I also agree with him that it is important to separate myself from technology taking over every waking moment of my life. I have a basic mobile phone, I do not use Facebook. I refuse to dance to the fast dance dictated by industry selling their latest inventions - and destroying my natural body instincts.
    Not in the book, but it is my belief that technology has outstripped the human body's ability to adjust - and we now have epidemic mental health due to sensory overload.

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  39. " It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society "

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