Down with Bipolar.

22 Apr

I lost my fucking mind today.

I’m serious.

Wellbutrin isn’t working. Or at least, it isn’t working at this level. I’ve been feeling this way over the last 2 weeks or so, slowly. It’s been like a hole being filled, and suddenly, it was at capacity.

I woke up cranky. We went for coffee, where oddly enough, people were nice and polite and held the door for us. The coffee was good, which I expected since I NEVER put cream in my coffee anymore. We went home.

The screaming started. Mogo was trying to sleep in, and Rosalyn just screamed and screamed over everything, nothing. Vivian instigated her, making it even worse. She wouldn’t stop and I swatted her ass, something I never do. I stormed inside, tried to do the dishes. Down Mogo came, complaining about the noise.

That’s about when I lost it.

I vaguely remember slamming one of my favorite melamine bowls into my favorite drinking glasses. I came downstairs later to find both shattered. I ran upstairs, slamming the door, scaring the crap out of the cat, and I flailed and beat my hands against the door frame. If nothing else, being a teenager taught me not to use my fists. (I got lucky never breaking anything then-I didn’t think I’d be so lucky now. Once a doctor couldn’t figure out how I didn’t break anything considering the amount of swelling)

Then I stood there, panting, shaking, driving myself to tears. Rage filled my ears, my eyes, and I held myself back from heaving everything I could put my hands on out the window, or better yet, putting my fists through the window. I wanted blood, I wanted pain, I wanted discordant chaos and noise. I forced myself on to the bed, to curl up against my pillows and try to calm down.

Mogo came to see me, and the dam opened, and I screamed. And I screamed and I screamed. I wanted so badly to hurt him, to throw my fists and nails and teeth against him just so I could hurt something, so I could vent off my pure rage.

As usual, Mogo knew how to talk me down, talk me through it, force the anger out through tears-usually it’s sadness, but lately, it’s been anger.

It’s scaring me.

I’ve been known to get angry during mania, but this is different. This is rage through mixed states, and it’s freaking me out. I contemplated committing myself today very seriously.

But I worry. I can’t afford to be off work. What happens if it’s for more than a day or two? What do we tell the girls? What do I tell work? I can’t imagine they would be as accepting of a leave based on mental illness as they might be of one for say, cancer.

I’m scared.

More than anything, I’m so fucking frightened of myself, and my own brain. This fucking crazy I hate it. I hate that it might get worse. I hate that I have to sacrifice something of myself regardless of the treatment.

And I’m terrified that it will only get worse.

For years I saw only blackness in my future after 30. I’m 30 in September. Is this the year I succumb to my disorder? Will I lose my strength and take too many pills? This morning I told Mogo that it felt that my life was up on stilts, and that I’m scared that a big wave will come along and wipe it all down. I worry I worry and I take pills that seemingly only make it worse.

I just want a normal life. I just want a normal brain. Hell, I’d settle for always wanting to be alive.

32 Responses to “Down with Bipolar.”

  1. JustAnotherMom April 22, 2007 at 6:26 pm #

    I’m sorry, I wish I knew what to say. I don’t. But I’ll try.

    Firtstly, I am really really sorry it is so bad right now. (((hugs)))

    Secondly, I do know, here, that a company would have a pretty hard time getting rid of you if you have a doctor’s letter saying you need time off work for a medical problem…regardless of whether it is mental health related or another health issue.

    Thirdly, I really don’t think the wellbutrin is right for you. My understanding is wellbutrin is an anti-depressant, an if you are anywhere near manic, an anti-depressant is just not gonna be right for you. I assume you have a p-doc?? If so, I really think you need to go for a med-review, now.

  2. thordora April 22, 2007 at 6:49 pm #

    I know that legally they cannot contest a leave. I’m thinking more about stuff like future advancement and perception within the company. That stuff is just as if not more important, especially where I live.

    I do take a mood stabilizer which might also need to be upped. Many times, bipolar patients need either a antipsychotic or an antidepressant to help level things off-sometimes they need both. Thus far, I had been doing great on the Celexa & Trileptal mix, BUT I didn’t like the side effects. So….

    so so so. I don’t know if it’s pms, the drugs or if it’s getting worse.

  3. deb April 22, 2007 at 7:36 pm #

    Hang in there. I don’t have bi-polar, can’t imagine what it would be like but I’ve done the screaming, breaking things, throwing things, smashing things. I want to keep doing it until every single thing we have is shattered. I’m scared of my anger.

    I’m having a bit of a day from hell as well, I have PMS and my youngest started her period today so she’s a little cranky. Me too.

  4. JustAnotherMom April 22, 2007 at 7:41 pm #

    If you are PMSing, maybe give it a few more days if you cen, to be over the worst of it? I have read a lot about Wellbutrin and keep seeing over and over that agitation and irritabilty are comong side effects, but generally resolve. Maybe the combination of starting WB and the PMS are throwing you into this anger??

    I know my brother has found Valporic Acid and Lithium, with ativan PRN, is the best combination for him. It took a while for him to get the right meds though, and there are, of course, side effects. He also doesn’t get depressions, just manias, sop he has never needed an anti-depressant.

    I know a few people who have recently found Zyprexa to quite effective, though it really seems to up the appetite.

    Hope your day is getting better.

    You are right about work, it could affect your reputations/advancement etc…and it would be hard to actually prove that a Mental Health leave is why there are not promoting you. But. Your mental health matters more. You know that.

  5. sweetsalty kate April 22, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m sorry for the rough spell thordora, that just sucks. I’ve got no experience with what you’re grappling with (except for the occasional rage, slamming doors and wanting to put my foot through the wall)… uhh, well, I guess we all have our moments of despair.

    No matter what other health issues we have stacked up against us, being a mother and feeling that despair is so much more intense than at any other time – because you can’t just be selfish (like you want to and like you should) .. you can’t just lock away from the world and create whatever peace or retreat you need to feel better. Because before long someone’s going to poop, or cry, or demand you to be Theirs and not Yours.

    And on so many days, that just plain sucks no matter who you are.

    So I can certainly relate to how that feels. And then pile stepford-guilt on top of that to boot. Do your best to be kind to yourself, and try, try so hard, to not think too much. Have I said that before? Forgive me if I have, but I’m a criminal over-thinker. I make everything MEAN SOMETHING even when it doesn’t.

  6. Barby April 22, 2007 at 9:05 pm #

    It would feel so good to just break everything and go completely nuts and scream and cry and hurt someone, whether it be yourself or someone else. I’ve felt that so much lately. And I’m always afraid that the next time i get angry Jay’s going to leave me for good. Hang in there. I really apreciate reading what you have to say. I feel that you’ve clarified a lot of the feelings that I have so often, and just know that you’re not alone. Don’t know if that’s any comfort at all, but I kinda sorta know what you’re going through.

  7. Jennnifer April 22, 2007 at 9:56 pm #

    I’m sorry Thor. I wish I knew what to say, what to advise you. Please, please please go see your doctor. Tell him/her that things need to change. Fast.

  8. Eden April 23, 2007 at 12:29 am #

    I would put money on a combination of the bi-polar and PMS. Plus, let’s face it, you were being antagonized. Maybe not on purpose but you were. I think that’s why you snapped in a fiercer way. Just go through the night. Then tomorrow, say you just need to make it to lunch, to quitting time, to bedtime, etc. and do it every day — small steps. If after the PMS subsides you’re still feeling out of control, I’d say to look at other sources for the emotional pull. And, of course, we’re all here for ya. 🙂

  9. mercurial scribe April 23, 2007 at 1:48 am #

    You have all kinds of compassion from me. Think about getting that mood stabilizer upped, because if mine isn’t “matched” to the strength of the Wellbutrin XL, i become a rageoholic, picking fights and yelling (when that’s totally against my nature, but thanks to the bipolar, most of the people i’ve known wouldn’t agree).

    Try to get a good amount of quiet time in the meanwhile. i know it’s hard as a mother, but if you’re not taking good care of you, you’re not giving all you can to your kids.

    Hugs, love and prayers for you. And an ear if you ever need to vent.

  10. bine April 23, 2007 at 3:13 am #

    oh my. that sounds very bad. and it sounds like more than pms.
    i have next to no experience with anti-depressants but yes, i’d say see your doctor. i’m not sure if this rules wellbutrin out, since you’ve just started it, maybe the dose isn’t right yet.
    at one point of your post i thought “oh, i wish i could just cry and scream for an hour and get it all out”, but it doesn’t sound as if you’re getting any relief out of it.
    i’m so sorry. i hope you’re feeling better already. i hope you get some quiet time. outside and inside your head.

  11. karrie April 23, 2007 at 8:18 am #

    I’m so so sorry. 😦

    FWIW I’ve been “rage-y” on Wellbutrin too–esp. the past few days with PMDD/PMS/Whatever the fuck this crap is . Actually, my doc mentioned that Wellbutrin generally works well for bipolar–although that is where the higher doses come in, and the risk of seizures. (I asked abt the risk of seizures.)

  12. Gwen April 23, 2007 at 9:22 am #

    Oh, Thordora, I am so sorry. I wish I had all sorts of wise advice, but all I can think to say is that my kids make me want to pound doors sometimes, too, even though I know what you’re talking about isn’t that at all. I am wishing for you that you find the right combination of meds to even out your brain chemicals.

  13. radicalmama April 23, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    So sorry that you went through that, dora. I am so glad that Mogo was there for you. Your relationship amazes me. Do you also see a therapist? Just wondering.

  14. katsplace April 23, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    Sorry you are going through this. I wish I knew what to say… most of me wants to urge you to get a call in to your doctor and be explicit about how you are feeling. Though I know from a friend that often it takes a while before these med changes take effect and whether you know if they will shake out on the good side or not. Her son is bipolar and the med changes themselves can really set him off.

    A lot of me says “This isn’t the time to be patient” at least if being patient means that there isn’t a strong support network around you that can hop in on your behalf if things get really dangerous.

    At the same time I get the fear you have of comitting yourself, having your work know explicitly what’s going on, what you would tell your girls.

  15. puddlejumper April 23, 2007 at 12:20 pm #

    Hey chick. You sound like you’re having a time of it.

    First off…I don’t know what employment law is like where you live. In the UK we have disability discrimination laws and bipolar is covered by them. If your company were to discriminate over here you could take them to a tribunal and get damages or whatever. Over there I don’t know. Is there a local Mental Health charity maybe who could give you the legal advice on this?

    Secondly. Get back to your doc and see if the meds need adjusting (sure you know this anyway) violent rages are scary especially when you have kids. I try and be honest with my kids when I’m having a bad day but mine are older. Maybe get your man there to help distract them or take them out for a bit to give you a chance to breathe.

    Third. Violent rage. Try throwing stones in the sea or buy yourself cheap plates to break in the backyard or rip up phone books or something. I don’t know about you but I also find I end up in tears when I get angry and I think sometimes women go down this route because its considered not ladylike to express rage. Tears yeah but not anger. Sometimes I think I heal quicker though when I just let it all out. Go somewhere and scream. Jump up and down. Buy a drumkit.

    Best wishes and hoping you’re feeling better soon.

  16. thordora April 23, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    I’m better today (it being 23C outside helps…)

    I’m trying to hold out until the end of the month, since I see him again May 1, and I do think it’s just the med change or med itself. I had read that Wellbutrin was well tolerated and useful for bipolar, but maybe it’s just not for me. I might also ask about raising the Trileptal as well.

    It could always be worse. And after the storm, it always feels better. Thank all of your for your words-everytime I think “fuck it!-I won’t write here anymore” I remember that I have me some peeps on the puter… 🙂 It’s noticed, and appreciated.

  17. bromac April 23, 2007 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m sorry.

    Do you know your cues? Do you know when it is coming? To quote a cheesy-but-awesome cartoon “Knowing is half the battle”. I have found that, through therapy, I am better able to understand these different terrors of moods and when they are going to come. They aren’t so overwhelming when you know it’s about to happen. Seems to lessen the severity of it for me. If you know, days in advance, that the rager is coming, you can help the meds by trying to take control over the event.

    I hope your week gets better.

  18. Jen April 23, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    As usual, I’ve nothing useful to say but that I’m glad you’re doing a little better today. Not like it’s easy, but don’t beat yourself up over it and please don’t wait to talk to your doc about this if it starts filling up again–no matter the cause, you don’t deserve to be feeling out of control about your own brain, and it’s his job to figure out how to keep that from happening.

  19. Marcy April 23, 2007 at 3:59 pm #

    compassion and hugs and respect and no-shame-allowed and all that to you.

    May you have some respite now, and some better stuff as soon as possible.

  20. Jason Dufair April 23, 2007 at 10:26 pm #

    Thor – our subconscious minds are very very powerful and find ways to get attention one way or another. I just have to wonder if it’s the whole April/Mom thing working its way out of you somehow. I know your post earlier says it hurts less every year. Do you have the sense that there’s some motherloss mixed in with all of this anyway? Especially since it was triggered by your kids screaming and fighting? Just wondering.

    I’m sure feeling for you and hoping you find the peace you deserve. April is almost over.

  21. Mamma Loves April 24, 2007 at 10:46 am #

    I’m voting for the combo of bipolar, PMS and your impending birthday. It’s sitting in front of you and you have yourself convinced it’s all down hill from there.

    I’m sorry you’re having to suffer through this. I know that rage. It is unbearable.

    What do your docs say?

  22. Netter April 24, 2007 at 11:09 am #

    If, in the States, we have to accomodate Mental Illness the same as any other illness, I would think Canada would have the same protections. A disability is a disability.

  23. thordora April 24, 2007 at 12:06 pm #

    Momma, I wish it was my BD. It’s my mother’s deathday on the 27th, which usually fucks me around. having mother’s day right after never helps either.

    And don’t get me wrong anyone-my boss is super cool, and the company would adhere to the policies. It’s the unspoken, hard to prove crap I worry about, since I’ve seen it happen. I’d like nothing more than to take a leave right now if I could.

    I see my doctor on May 1. Holding in there til then….

  24. crunchy April 24, 2007 at 12:34 pm #

    Hey! Me too! Which is why I am away to try something else because the Welbutrin does NOTHING for rage and mania.


    I have been EVIL to my family. Frightening.

    So you are not alone.
    Hang in there.

  25. Bon April 24, 2007 at 1:49 pm #

    i see this is a tough time of year for you…

    just reading the post i felt your rage. and some of my own, which has been all too with me today. it IS scary. the prospect of 30 looming and the thin line you’re walking keeping it all together is probably scary too.

    i have nothing to say that’s useful except that i’m listening and your words have made me give a shit. and i hope you can hang in okay til May 1st. April, i think, is better over.

  26. Magdalena April 24, 2007 at 2:32 pm #

    Well, I’ve done some mad shit before too. We all get to that place somehow or another, kicking holes in the wall or smacking objects around. I’m beginning to think its part of being a woman. I can remember my mom hurling a thing or two at me when I was younger and it seemed perfectly natural at the time.
    Not trying to downplay the seriousness of how you feel, just saying, you are largely not alone in this.
    I hope the weather can bring you up and out and you find the right medication.

  27. Heather April 24, 2007 at 3:12 pm #


  28. Missy April 24, 2007 at 4:49 pm #

    I’m hanging in there with you.

  29. kassie April 24, 2007 at 9:42 pm #

    aww.. I hope for better times for you. I know I have to take a larger dose of Wellbutrin. It wasnt working at the low dose. I had huge fits of rage, yelling, frustration and serious crying spells. I felt naked, vulnerable, so angry at everyone, distraught, you name it. I felt like there was knowone who cared or understood my feelings. I hit a serious low when a good friend of mine convinced me to tell the doctor. I remember waking up from a sound sleep wanting to punch holes in the wall. I am now on 300mg and its working. Its finally working. If you dont mind my advice, I would see a Psychiatric MD if you havent already. I work with one and I have seen what he has done for people. I went totally apeshit when I turned 30 too, for several months before and after. I think that is kind of normal. Dont lose hope, there is help out there.

  30. Maria P. April 25, 2007 at 1:11 am #


  31. Mom on Coffee April 25, 2007 at 8:52 am #

    I haven’t talked about being b/p on my site yet, but I really wanted to stop by and send loads of support. My vote is for med change and the season. Spring is notorious for being a tough time of year for those with MI. I remember this time last year I was completely delusional. Convinced my house was going to burn down and I wasn’t going to be able to get to my kids in time, so I was ready to set fire to it to get that control back.

    Anyway, I wish only the best for you. Truly. I hope that your mind quiets down. I know I’ve always hated mixed episodes. The head spinning, etc.

    My line is open, if you ever need to talk, a shoulder, or just a friend, I’m here.

  32. coolbeans April 26, 2007 at 3:05 am #

    I am being treated for depression with Wellbutrin. I told my pilldoc it was working but I was still having “The Rage” and wondered if that would get better with more time. He told me that WB can cause aggravation so he gave me Lamictal to balance. We don’t have the same diagnosis…but maybe WB won’t work for you because it can make you “aggressive”. I swear he used the word aggressive.

    “The Rage” did get better, but I can’t know if it was a side effect that wore off or if the Lamictal does all that work.

    I’m glad you have someone to hold onto and talk you down. Lean on the shoulders offered. They want you to.

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