Bipolar and PMS-My personal Axis of Evil

11 May

The last few months have been unpleasant. 26 days of the month are normal, copacetic, happy, sometimes sorta down, tired days.

3-5 days of the month are not.

My natural state is one of fairly rapid cycling. I can, literally, go from giggling uncontrollably to crying in a minute. I’ve done this. I hate it. Mixed states are my favorite either-being agitated and manic, really not a great combination.

So lately, with my menstrual cycle being it’s usual insane clusterfuck, I haven’t been enjoying the accompanying swings. Vast swings. Yesterday I was peaceful getting a manicure, then panicked getting a pedicure, then wistful, the manic and happy dancing with the girls then sad and weepy, turning into full blown suicidal urges by 10pm. I kept hearing things and seeing things, flashes out the side of my eyes. I spent the day repeating “This isn’t real.”

My doctor claims it’s normal, and I believe she’s right. For years I’d have what we called “freakouts’, and they always coincided with that time of the month. I, in my paranoid state, always assumed it was Mogo’s way to not taking any blame. Now I know that isn’t the case.

It’s disorienting, because you think you’re ok. You feel ok, until you don’t, and suddenly the persecuted thoughts start, you start staring at yourself thinking you’re too fucking fat to live, you’re useless and it hurts to much and then suddenly you’re ok, like a tornado came and went and you’re laughing and you can’t believe you felt that way! except for the lingers delusion that something is going to go terribly terribly wrong.

The delusions I can handle. I have a grip on them, even though my doctor didn’t seem to care much when I mentioned them-maybe I didn’t make them clear to her. But these intermittent spurts of DIE DIE DIE I want to DIE! are a but much to handle, and they worry me. What if they linger long enough? What if the lithium stops working? What if the illness overcomes me and wins?

I shouldn’t fear as I do, but I can’t help it. Once you’re out of the storm, you cannot imagine going back in and surviving. Maybe if my manic periods were more satisfying, or longer, maybe then I’d not mind the thought. But they aren’t long enough to make anything feel good. They are short, and angry and brutal, and the depression always feels like it lasts for months anyway.

I want this to be easy. I want it to stay shut behind the lithium door and leave me be. But it won’t.

21 Responses to “Bipolar and PMS-My personal Axis of Evil”

  1. Sara May 11, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    I do know exactly how you feel on this one. I could have written the same exact thing. The last few months have been ridiculous for me with this bipolar crap, up and down, rapid cycling (which tends to be what I do most the time) until I’m exhausted. Halucinations so bad that, I have bed quilts hanging over the windows in my house. Paranoia that um, everyone hates me, like everyone, to the extent of pretty much beliving it and almost messing up one relationship for ever, twice.

    I know the fear, I live it. I have my way out, in my bathroom, feet from my bed, I spent this morning trying to talk myself into, then out of using it, I have the boys, it just wouldn’t be right. I know what you mean, what if the Lithium keeps working. Sometimes I think it already has for me. And the Haldol which used to be a miracle drug and now I think I could take 10x and experience no change.

    I’m going to print this off and take it to my mother. Sometimes I feel like she isolates me by making me feel like I’m the only one experiencing this, and that I need to do x (walk more, get out more, go out with friends, do things with the boys) and I’ll magically be cured.


  2. Marcy May 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    My mom says eat chocolate, drink chamomile, sit with the kitty.

    I do think that exercise makes a difference, but I still hate it / lack motivation to do it, especially when I most need it.

    Not bipolar, but boy do I relate to the suddenness of the wacky unreal feelings, the meaninglessness, the panic, the how can life possibly go on when I’m like this.

  3. thordora May 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    Exercise doesn’t help too much. It might pull me out of a low level funk, but if it’s really bad? Bubkiss.

  4. Marcy May 11, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

    I should have added, exercise makes a difference *for me* — I tend to not believe it, but when I do exercise, surprise, I do feel better — the funks are less likely although not dispelled completely. I don’t know, though… it’s hard to study oneself! And I don’t think I’ve ever made myself exercise when I’ve been in deep pits.

  5. Hannah May 12, 2008 at 7:24 am #

    This sucks. Don’t know what else to say. PMS is bad enough without having the added complicating factors that you deal with.

  6. bromac May 12, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    I’m so sorry. I don’t have mixed states, but they sound terrible. Ugh.

    I did just come off a multi-month hypomania. It was not fun either. Thankfully, I do not have suicidal thoughts with mania, just with depression.

    Please tell me you tell Mogo whenever the delusions start? I think that would be your best defense against fulfilling them. Especially if the damn dr doesn’t take them seriously.

  7. thordora May 12, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    I rarely mention them anywhere except here. I can mostly control them-it’s like being on acid and knowing you’re hallucinating-I know they’re wild, but I can sometimes feel them trying to slip from my fingers. Most of them aren’t self harm worries, just crazy paranoid thoughts, worries about the world around me and the safety of my children. Scary, but not too freaky.

  8. Erin May 13, 2008 at 9:07 am #

    I wish your door was thicker…

  9. Jenn May 16, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    As the partner of a person with bipolar these mixed states can be so frusterating and heartbreaking. For a moment you think this day is going to be a good day and you start to plan all you will do together, then the aggitation begins and you are a little confused. When depression rolls its ugly head that is when my heart breaks, I feel helpless and useless. I start worrying about her meds… are they working? Should I stay home from work? I cant afford to miss work but even more so can I afford to leave her at home alone? What good is my job if she desides in her depression to end the ride? She insists I go and I make her promise to be safe, she does but still I cant fully trust her to be safe, so I email. If she doesnt respond I get worried, I email again, still no responce then I call. I feel guilty that I am smothering her, but I get scared. This illness is no fun for anyone.

  10. loretta September 20, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    i just wanted to say thanks for sharing. i found your post today while i too am riding on this shity rollorcoaster! i am also a rapid cycler, pms is also in full affect on top of it all! i am so tierd of my grouchy self and i am dumb to have to wonder why i can’t find someone to share my moody life with! HA! i also am trying to take my fat ass to the gym in a bit, to see if i can excersise my demons out for a little while! i got this lovely gift from my dad and his side of the family. lots of people dont understand that we cant just snap out it! i too get the cry spells and not just around that time of the month. it is more like that time of the month or close to it all of the time! i dont know what else to say -guess like they always say at work-“what loretta is gonna be here today?” HA wish i knew too then we could all just plan accordingly!
    well good luck to you and we must roll with the punches and not give up! we are also very strong spirits-we have to be!

  11. newlydiagnosed October 30, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    I’m relieved and shocked. I used to think I had really bad PMS then I heard of PMDD and was for sure that was more me. For years, I was sure my mom was bipolar she is crrrrazzy. I didnt want to believe it then I assumed there could be no other reason why one would try to physically hurt their mother ofcourse I was a victim of her manic episode-never diagnosed and because I had it I lost it!! Now at 36yr old. I can say I think I’ve had it since early teen years. I’ve snapped in ways that if not by the grace of god, a few boyfriends, family members might not have survived it. I have to take lamictal and seroquel. My 16 yr. old son has exhibit some signs and was prescribed the same. Life really sucks right now. It is a genetic disorder. WTF

  12. mom of bipolar child November 13, 2008 at 1:40 am #

    I have a 11 year old daughter diagnosed as Bipolar in July’08 after 6 mnths of hell where here ADHD was out of control and then a new med started in November just made everything worse. Rages, hitting and biting self, throwing furniture around the house, wanting to die….then so happy and giddy she could float. All this mixed with agresssion, easily agitated, no focus. The doctor kept upping her ADHD med which just made it all worse. The good side to this 6 month night mare was a trip to the emergency room after a 2 + hour rage, depressed period where she started pummeling her whole body and biting at her skin trying to rip it off. So obviously most of you know this horrible state. The good thing is thanks to the meds making it worse she got diagnosed and help. Kids have to meet the same criteria as a adult to be diagnosed. After meeting with the psychiatrist she explained that some kids diagnosed as ADHD are actually bipolar. In my girls case she is ADHD and Bipolar. The ADHD meds didn’t work because the mind wasn’t stable. Now with the biploar meds the ADHD meds are working. She is suffering as a social outcase and having to rebuild relationships due to the behavior at the end of last school year.
    All this to say she started her menstrual cycles in August. Mid cycle into her 2nd period she was extremely agitated, angry, sad, happy, crying, agressive. It only lasted a couple of days so I started a calendar where I plug in her start date and it calculates her mid cycle point and when she should start on a 28 day cycle and the number of days from her last cycle. I also check off a list of 25 + moods, symptons, actions to track her PMS. This mid-cycle has been three times as bad as last month. Monday she was convinced she couldn’t go to school. A gour of crying, rambling thoughts later she was calm and able to go and did well. Monday night was good and she made it through Tuesday day. Tuesday night she got cross with herself and the rest of the world. Yelled at and hit a cousing. Started beating herself up. Threatened all kinds of mess. Tried to knock a wall down and hit me. After a hour the rage was over.
    Her psychiatrist warned me she would be likely to have a bad time mid cycle but I wasn’t expecting this. She is seeing a counselor. I don’t know if it will help her or not.
    I guess the good thing is after the storm the calm settles in and she is reasonable and you can revisit the scene and talk about what went right and what went wrong. I don’t know that it helps but the counselor says she needs to see it before she can deal with it.
    Maybe I need to talk to the dr about supressing her cycles?
    Thanks for the information you all posted. It helps to see some of her in others.

  13. Ragnor March 30, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    So what are you supposed to do when you are the husband of one of these women???
    She wants a divorce because I made her a smoothie and it had pineapple pulp in it.
    Granted I did tell her it hurt my feelings that she didnt want it…. but dang man……

  14. Kerri April 8, 2009 at 12:05 am #

    I am so happy that i found this page and read it. I have been suffering for the past 4 months since I found out I was bipolar. My life was chaotic before I found out, but at least I didnt know what was happening. Now I feell so helpless, even though I know what is going on. its nice to relate to you guys, cause I feel very isolated sometimes.
    I have mixed episodes, I go from excited, to content, to angry at EVERYONE, then I get so sad that it actually hurts. I cry all the time. My lithium helps I guess, but I feel like Im never happy for more than a couple of hours.
    I hope it gets better. My doctor says it’s a “journey”. But, I must say this journey is exhausting.

  15. Jo December 2, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    I am so sorry for all the suffering that is represented in these posts. It is not this way for everyone. My CPN said that when she first met me I had one of the worst cases of Bipolar she had ever seen. I have a good (not perfect) life, where I have a sense of worth, identity, family and purpose. Little by little things are getting better. I work part time and am a single parent caring for my two children.

    It is difficult to share how I see it all as I do not really “buy in” to the medical model of mental illness and always felt very strongly that my times of breakdown were due to things that were going on in my life at the time. I take Sodium valporate reluctantly but then get on with life as best I can.

    I don’t want to be smug and am really sorry if it comes across like that, but want to offer some hope for anyone who may be recently diagnosed that it does not have to be awful for everyone all the time.

    Lots of love and hope for better times around the corner for all of you

    Jo x

  16. dominique December 18, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    i was diagnosed bipolar 2 years ago. i stopped taking my meds almost immediatly because i felt no difference. i just recently destroyed a relationship with someone i wanted to spend the rest of my life with. i couldn’t see how selfish i was acting. i became irritated about absolutely everything. i knew i was wrong, but i couldn’t help it. the last straw was when i shoved him into a wall. i was going to kill myself at that moment… i then realized that this wasn’t me. i loved him, and i was hurting him against my own will. i knew right then that it wasn’t me, it was the bipolar me. the next day i went back on meds, but it was too late to save the relationship. i’m doing way better now except when i have pms. i keep getting scared that i will go back to how i was. i hate that person and so does everyone else.

  17. *Wanda Mitchell June 13, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    I was diagnosed 3 months ago with BiPolar at age 40. Tried antidepressants to no avail just made me more aggressive. Always feels like there’s a fire to put out somewhere in my imagination. Any advice will be welcomed.

  18. wishjoy July 7, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    I can relate to the rapid cycling and severe pms. I am trying to gather as much information as I can. I have heard that Seraqual can help. During my time of the month I get paranoid, agressive, teary, hyper, and fatigued.
    Here’s a tip see if you can find a doctor smart enough to put you on the right type of meds-some sort of mood stabilizer and possibly an anti-psychotic.

  19. S.J. Snook December 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    I am the same when it comes to PMS. I’m mostly rapid cycling.mixed or whatever they can’t figure it out. It always seems to be changing. At least I can count on, 1 or maybe 2 weeks sometimes before my Aunt Flo comes to visit, I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m wanting children like a dog wants table food..yes more! Mostly, I’m angry as all heck. I’m not a mean or argumentative person, but my bipolar makes me such a b****. I hate it. I feel in control of myself when I’m not PMSing. I can come down or get up back to a safer spot of emotions with little effort. Then, out of nowhere, I’m a MONSTER. I feel like I should just get my parts taken out! Maybe that would help? BiPolar is stupid and so is PMSing. haha Not eloquent I know, but it just makes me want to smash my head into something to make it stop. Good luck.

  20. Eve January 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Thank you. every time I end up in the hospital the next day I have my period. I just stopped taking prozac because it makes me cycle faster I thought it would help my pm dd but it didn’t do jack I am on the road again to funding new meds. I am bipolar 2 and am coming out of borderline personality disorder. I experienced the I want to die I want to die please god just take my life thing too.thank you for sharing!

  21. catharina January 24, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Very bad PMS, like an evil that wants to come out!!!!!!!! Its bad. Like max 4 days before my period!! What can I do, its like I am not myself, every little thing that’s not my way … Ooohhh its a bad feeling!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: