Oh oh oh…it’s my turn!!!

That’s right! It’s Friday, which means I totally get to ask the question. Are you jealous? Cuz you should be! Asking questions is fun! (And if the jealousy moves you, feel free to submit a question of your own….just sayin….)

Which lasts longer for you (or the person you know with bipolar), the mania or the depression?

Bonus question… What is your BP diagnosis (BP I, BP II, etc.)?

14 thoughts on “Oh oh oh…it’s my turn!!!

  1. I’ll start with the bonus question – I have bipolar II. As for which lasts longer, it is definetly the depression. My hypomania usually only lasts for a week, give or take a couple of days. It was before I was diagnosed as bipolar, but I most likely had a mixed episode for several months at the end of last year/beginning of this year. There was definietly hypomania involved. That was the longest I’ve ever been hypomanic. Except for when I’m hypomanic, I spend most of my time depressed, so usually for months at a time. Although my treatment is finally starting to work and I’m neither depressed or hypomanic at the moment!!

  2. Definitely the depression for my son. In fact, I used to think the mania/hypomania was him being well. 🙁

    He’s recently diagnosed with Bipolar II, but for some reason the psych was talking about Bipolar I today… I should have asked why but only realised that he’d said it later.

  3. I’m BP II. My hypo-manic states once lasted the longest. I wasn’t even diagnosed then with BP II. I thought I was just a really happy person, that at times would vent at my husband. Now, at age 45, the depressions last longer. I don’t see hypo-mania any more. Or at least so far. And, it’s my understanding that this is the usual progression. As we age-ugh-I can’t believe I’m 45-we see more depression and less hypo-mania.

  4. I too and bipolar II and to be honest, I think I only RARELY experience the high end. Depression is definitely where I lie. I think Bipolar 1’s experience much more mania than II’s. But that just might be me. Trish, I’m so not a fan of depression either!

  5. I’m Bipolar1/Mixed Episodes, Panic Disorder, ADD. My poor brain doesn’t know from up or down when I’m having a mixed episode. I can be depressed and manic at the same time, but the mania is more the agitated kind, not the “oh I’m so happy!” kind. Throw in a little panic, and we have quite the combo going on my friends! LOL I’ve noticed, just as Trish has, that as I’ve gotten older the manic episodes have lessened and are shorter. The depressive episodes seem a little more dominant, and when they come they seem to be more intense, and are lasting longer. And yes Trish, certain aspects of aging really BITES! 🙂
    Also as I’m getting older, I seem to need more frequent med adjustments. Nothing like every couple of months, more every year and a half to two years. However, my mainstays have been Lamictal and Klonopin. These two have worked vey well for me for quite some time. I just need my antidepressants changed up a little more often. I was on Wellbutrin for several years and did so well. I had much longer periods of stability. It was wonderful! Unfortunately, I had a seizure in September of 07 and can never take this drug again (sigh). It’s a fairly lesser common side effect, and tends to happen at more higher dosages. I was taking only 100 mg’s daily. Oh well, it is what it is as my husband likes to say.
    But I will continue to soldier on through the ups and downs of this journey through bipolarland, as I refuse to give up and let my mental illness “win” and get the best of me! 🙂 🙂

  6. I am Bipolar I and without a doubt the hypomanic side lasts much longer. In fact, I hadn’t experienced true depression until my doctor had me on too high of a dose of my medication in an effort to bring me out of hypomania. For a long while I wondered whether or not there was such a thing as “unipolar hypomania”. I have only gone through two depressive cycles (both because of medication) and they only lasted about two weeks. The sad thing is I believe I am addicted to hypomania. I am extremely productive, happy, and my usual cheerful and bubbly self when I am in those moods. I am more “me” hypomanic than any other time. I do know how dangerous that state is and why my doctor doesn’t like me to be there. I am adjusting to being in a more normalized mood on the medication (I take Geodon) and will not stop taking it just because I miss hypomania.

  7. Mine’s a bit odd. I cycle on a day to day basis a lot of the time, so I can have normal (or normal-ish) days interspersed with longer episodes, plus spikes either way. So if I’m in, say, a predominantly hypomanic episode I’ll have days where I’m functioning and days where I’m really not, but looking back overall I can see the start and end date for an episode. It’s not quite like a mixed epidode – I get those too. i don’t know if that makes much sense. My longest episodes are usually hypo/manic and can over a year, generally in a bell curve. I almost wish it was the other way around, fallout from depression is usually much easier to deal with. My last manic episode lasted almost 12 months and two years later I still haven’t picked all of the pieces up. Although, it did give me the courage to make what turned out to be the best decision of my life so far, so I suppose it wasn’t all bad. :o)

    I’m diagnosed Bipolar I and am currently actually taking my medication properly. For a change.

  8. well first off I’ve never been officially diagnosed BP I or BP II but I very rarely experience manic episodes and when I do they usually last a few days. I am 35yrs old. when i was younger (in my 20’s) My manic episodes lasted longer. IF I had to venture an educated guess I would say I was BP II but that is self diagnosing and I will leave that up to the professionals….anyway back to the question. yes, my depressive episodes definately last the longest. It seems I am in a constant state of depression with moments of here and there of “happiness” that turn in to mania for a day or two and then back to depression. but its not wollowing depression like i want my world to end, cant get out of bed ….just the – i dont want to leave the house, face the world, so detached, uninterested kind of feeling…. I’m on geodon & a pretty high dose. it keeps me pretty stabilized. I dont rise and fall. I stay pretty much the same most of the time, i just stay on the low side. I am on wellbutrin also for that…a pretty high dose of that too…it helps a little…i was at that really low point – didnt want to get out of bed, hated my life, wanted my world to end- before i started the wellbutrin. Now i’m making progress. I’m just not “FIXED” yet. But then I dont think i will ever be that person I use to be before the bipolar got me. I remember her, she’s in my head, in my memories, haunting me, driving me crazy, teasing me….but i know….i know….i wont ever be HER again.

  9. Bipolar I and depression. I just read on BetterMedicine.com that it’s common for people with Bipolar I to have more depressed time than up time. I wish it was the opposite, but that’s how it is. Anybody find anything (besides the meds) to help?

  10. I believe (from my research and experience) that it is actually the opposite, kinda. Those with Bipolar II experience a great deal more depression with only bouts of hypomania instead of full blown mania, but those with Bipolar I spend a great more time manic (especially when untreated). I have yet to find a whole lot to curve my depression. Mostly exercise, abstaining from alcohol and a regular practice of cognitive therapy is usually helpful. However, when depressed, it’s hard to be motivated to do any of those things 🙁

  11. I am almost always up. I’m Bipolar 1 with aniety. All my life i have never really dipped to low into depression. No I am heavily medicated (10 pills in the morming, 14 pills at night) and the meds function is to keep me down. Now i actually get a little depression, but my manic phases, though controlled, make me feel like an whole different person stuck in my body clawing to get out. I spend most of the time in an uncomfortable state full of aniety. And when I come down I just want to sleep alot. It keeps me out of the hospital, but without those meds, I’d be manic 8-9 months out of the year.

  12. I have rapid bp 1, and i’m turning 22 in a week. I’ve been diagnosed since I was 19, and before that I was diagnosed with severe depression since I was 8.

    Having the rapid part, it’s much harder to recognize what’s going on with my head. When I was in high school, I used to think that I had 2 lives. I had my school life, which was where I got to be overly enthusiastic (people call me a dork all the time because i’m so scatter-brained), charming, a real go-getter. I was a leader in 4 different music groups, member of 4 clubs, and really fun to be around.

    Then I had to home home at the end of the day (usually at 10pm due to all my school activity). That’s the place that gave me the depression diagnosis. I was stuck in my room all the time, no family or friends to talk to or at least hang out with. My father and I lived alone together and avoided each other like the plague. He never told me, but I’m pretty sure he had bipolar, too. I knew he at least had PTSD and anxiety issues. It was likely.

    Because of this almost, split-personality seeming situation, I would often think that I had relatively no stress. At school, I was full of energy. At home, I was just a blob in the bed all the time. What did I have to stress about?

    Obviously, something was wrong, because I was constantly under suicide’s shadow. Secretly, I knew something was wrong, but I was too afraid of other people’s judgement to do anything about it (avoidance monster! what an old friend).

    Then something happened. I got my first girlfriend. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel the daily burden of depression. Getting out of bed was easier, hobbies interested me again, and I stopped avoiding many aspects of my life.

    Then something happened. I was depressed again. This time, for no apparent reason. I just felt really bad, and I didn’t know why. My girlfriend had to deal with all of it, too since I moved in with her a year later. Even though on paper, my life was fantastic, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being worthless.

    When we broke up 2 years later, suddenly I was on top of the world, even though I had no job, no companion, and no family support. I started partying constantly, getting into drugs I shouldn’t have, sleeping with people I shouldn’t have, spending money I didn’t have. My closest friend who has stuck through it all since middle school finally spoke up about me…well… acting absolutely insane. I thought SHE was the one that was crazy. How dare she harsh my good vibes? Because I was depressed for so long, I have always felt over-protective of positive feelings. I never let anybody mess with my happiness. I had too much of that happen in the past.

    After that, every new week, every new month felt like I was a different person. I had the WORST identity crisis. I lost all sense of morality. How could I even know what’s right or wrong when happiness brought me so much pain and doing nothing seemed like the only way not to mess everyone’s lives up?

    It was all very sad, because in truth, I’m a very easy-going, laid back person. I love the idea of serenity. I like to be around people that don’t start drama, and for the most part I do a pretty good job with that. I love doing things like floating in the ocean or sitting on a high rock after a long hike just enjoying the scenery. I’ve finally learned that that’s how I REALLY am.

    I flt so at peace for a while during college, like everything was settled and dealt with. Things went smoothly, I was practicing healthy habits, and my friendships were stronger than ever. One sunday morning, I stayed up all night watching indie films on netflix, and by the time it was 6am, I was watching one about a heroin addict and the person that takes her in to help. At the end of the movie, it turns out the healthy, well-to-do care provider was an ex-heroin addict herself, and she died from a relapse overdose.

    And that’s all it took for me to instantly get into my car with shaking hands and crash it into my elementary school. After that, I had no option to avoid it all. I was finally diagnosed with bp1, and everything suddenly made sense. Knowing the problem didn’t fix it, of course. But my god, it has helped a handful. Unfortunately, I haven’t had health insurance since I was 15, so I was never able to get proper treatment. But since that day, I have done my best to educate myself on the matter, and to watch my own moods for signs of changing phases. And since then, I can definitely say that I get more manic episodes than depressive, although as kid, it was the opposite. I think me cutting ties with my family was the main reason for the switch in my behavior, along with natural growing changes.

    Sorry about the life story, but I just found this site and I just keep yelling at my screen saying, “I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!”. Thank you all for making this site happen! I still have so much to read!

  13. The mania normally last longer for me. But in the past few months and just losing my mother to a long battle with cancer. I have slipped into the depression side of my illness. I am not sure if it is the holidays coming up and knowing she will not be here. But my life is an emotional roller coaster. In the mornings I have the mania and everything in the world is great then by mid afternoon I feel myself start slipping into the depression. I just go to my room shut the world out, refuse to answer my phone unless it is someone that I want to talk too. Right now that is the routine of my life. Yes, we are changing medicines. To try to stablize the moods. But I have a huge issue with taking meds that have the side effect of weight gain. Just refuse to take them. So I am very limited on what I will take. I think right now in my life this has been the lowest I have ever been. Yes, people look at me and tell me to just get a grip and move on. My mother is gone and she is in a better place. She is honestly. But that does not take away the pain and the want to have her here with me. I have recently started reading your blogs and decided that it was time to come OUT OF THE CLOSET so to speak with my illness. Before I was ashamed of it. But now I have come to realize that it is me. I have had it all my life but was not dx until I was 33 just after the birth of my son. I have also done the things you have gave up my career when I was the bread winner. I had been there for 17 years. I had taken a leave of absence due to complications with my pregnacy and when it was time to go back. I just told them I would not be coming back. With my mania I tend to live my life on the edge. I have had an on going affair for 15 years. Been busted several times. But I keep going back. At this point the illness is controlling me. I am NOT CONTROLLING IT!

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