Bipolar and "taking things personal"

Q: i seem to have trouble with taking my problems and problems of those i am close to very personal. i have always had a problem with worry and letting things go. this is a part of my personality. the doctor that i was seeing thinks that i can just dtop doing this. i know it is not good for my well being but i do not know how to just forget about things that concern me. i also have a problem with relaxing. i have tried baths with candles, my husband bought me a clock radio that has nature souuuuunds on it. this has helped a little but not much. i wish with all my heart that i could be one of these people that just lets things sllide off there back, but i just can not do this. do you have any sugesstions. i have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, mixed depression (which i thought that is what bipolar was) and panic disorder. i do not know if this contributes to anything but my mother was a person who constantly worried. i am taking seroquel and have been told that it is to help clear my thinking. alot of the time i just wish i could go to sleep and stay that way so i would not have to deal with like. thank you for listening

Dear Ms. J' --
You are describing two things here that I see all the time -- meaning, you are definitely not alone.  First, there is "thin skin" -- what you call taking things personal.  Looks to me like many of my bipolar II patients, women at least, are like this.  If often goes along with being extremely sensitive to sensory stimuli of any kind, like loud noises -- and crowds of people, especially strangers, are the worst.  I wonder if it's like that for you.

Second, you describe "constant worry".  This often seems to behave like a "manic" symptom in that using mood stabilizers and medications for sleep, when people begin to slow down a little bit this gets much better.  Sometimes Zyprexa is excellent for this (but if you use more than 2.5mg, watch out for huge weight gain from huge appetite). 

I'm sure other people will read your letter and be relieved to hear there's someone else that experiences things like this.  Keep working on treating those diagnoses just as you list them and that should take you in the direction of getting help for the symptoms you describe.

Dr. Phelps

 

Published January, 2001