I live in Australia.  I am married and have two children.  Ten years ago after the birth of my daughter I was diagnosed with Post-Natal Depression when she was eight months old.  I was hospitalized and heavily medicated.

The whole incidence was frightening and bewildering.  It was also a relief to be treated with care and have medication to control hallucinations of a eeire nature.  Eventually I left my husband for about three months as I found life unbearable for a whole variety of reasons.  We reconciled and had another child.  When he was about two or three I was diagnosed with Bipolar.

I remember the psychiatrist telling it will be a long road to recovery.

Sure is.  We have been through two more separations, three suicide attempts and many many mood swings.  My husband is never too sure what Iíll be.  But we are together and do love one another.  If we can survive this we can survive anything.

I have recently been having panic attacks (the last year) and I do not like this little one coming onto the scene.  Iím a rapid cycler and have tried to educate myself the best I can with as much literature as I can.  I also take respite care every two to three weeks to ďstay wellĒ. I have been hospitalised about twelve times - whether its depression, or starting different medication and Iíve demanded hospitalization, or a manic episode.

I take epilem and zyprexa.

Also I having my son assessed to see if he suffers from bipolar, one thing I am sure of is he does have depression reoccuring.

I really have been put through a wringer.  Itís taken a long time to accept my condition and even longer for my husband to understand.  He still doesnít understand and I think its perfectly normal for him to feel frustrated and angry at times.

We communicate after the storm has hit.  Usually its difficult when Iím manic as Iím near impossible when its the irritable manic state.  My husband reckons he canít tell me to take medication for it.  A lot of my different medications are taken when needed.  Over the years Iíve stopped certain ones and I find I react more with side effects as I get older (I am nearing 40ís).

At the moment life feels normal but believe me about a fortnight ago it wasnít but that is what its like being a rapid cycler - never ending mood changes with paranioa thrown in.

Whilst its not fun, itís a learning curve.  When Iím ďhappy manicĒ (Iíve never been fully blown manic but nearly there) Iím the best, Iím brilliant etc.

Good luck on your own journey of the agony and escasty of bipolar disorder.

Please read and educate yourselves on anything you can grab on bipolar, ask your doctor thousands of questions, demand your rights etc.

I have had my ďpits of hellĒ and donít wish it upon anyone.  There is never any light at the end of the tunnel when its like that, but with anti-depressants at least I can get relief and itís never ever fast enough.

Zyprexa is really helping me at the moment and I am feeling more ďnormalĒ than I have for a long time.  If you suffer from bipolar you will know this is a big statement.  Iíve got to admit Iím scared some sort of side effect will mean I have to come off it but I hope not but the fear is there.

In the past Iíve had problems remembering to take my medication but now I am so religious about it - its crucial.



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