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CaitLinn's Achievements


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  1. I wanted to find out more about how rumination can negatively affect a person's health. I know that when I find myself rehashing the same thoughts over and over again, I don't feel so good. I discovered that there are studies which show that rumination can raise your cortisol levels, signifying a physical response to stress resulting from rumination. Cortisol? Cortisol is an important hormone in the body, secreted by the adrenal glands and involved in the following functions and more: Regulation of blood pressure Insulin release for blood sugar maintanence Immune function Inflammatory response Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as: Impaired cognitive performance Suppressed thyroid function Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia Decreased bone density Decrease in muscle tissue Higherblood pressure Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks,strokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems. So basically, my penchant for unbridled rumination is not only reducing my quality of life, it is also shortening my life. I don't like that at all. I came across an article on the internet called Again again again: hanging by the loop. It contains some good information about rumination and how it leads to stress, anxiety and depression. There is also a questionnaire that one can complete which can help to reveal the level of a person's tendency to ruminate. The following is from the article. If you want to find out more about rumination and its effects, you might want to check out the article for yourself. Just a note, some of what is contained in the article might be a trigger for some people. I found parts of it a little challenging but after all was said and done, it was certainly worth going through a few uncomfortable feelings to learn some very interesting and useful information. Follow HERE to read the full article Again again again: hanging by the loop.
  2. Thank you very much for stopping by LibraryLady. And thank you so much for liking my post. The words came to me that night after reading several posts on this website. I was feeling pretty low and what I read gave me a boost and helped to reinvigorate my courage.
  3. I am not this illness that is afflicting me, I am me. When I begin to feel that this illness is swallowing me up and trying to take my identity from me, I remind myself that I am me. When this illness makes me feel as if I'm forgetting who I am, I remind myself that I am me and no illness is going to take who I am away from me.
  4. I've been prescribed Buspar for anxiety and have taken it for about 3 years. I had been taking Ativan to go with it but the Ativan made me feel too tired and slow thinking. As has already been mentioned, it's very noticable when I miss a couple of doses. I still have anxiety but it's not as bad as it is without Buspar. In additon to the Buspar, I'm trying learn to manage my anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy. I've considered discussing with my doctor increasing the dosage of Buspar but I'm going to wait to see if I get some good results with CBT. It took about 4 weeks for me to feel the effects of taking Buspar. My doctor told me to take it with food because taking it with food makes it more effective. On a side note, I'm taking Neurontin for pain and Lamictal as a mood stabilizer. Actually, I'm taking all of these aforementioned drugs in their generic forms.
  5. Gosh Lise, I'm so sad to hear about the strain on your relationship with your sister. I have yet to tell my sister that I'm dealing with bipolar disorder. She's always been in denial about the state of mental health in our family and in our family lineage so I wouldn't be surprised if she would resist trying to understand my situation. As you mentioned about your sister, my sister also runs away from difficult situations such as illness and death. One day she made a post to her Facebook page saying that the meds that are prescribed for depression are useless and have been developed by pharmaceutical companies just make money. She said that the the idea that dysfunctioning brain chemcals can lead to depression is a lie. She also said the depression could be cured by diet, positive thinking and prayer (no oftense intended to those who pray. Personally I believe that prayer is an important component to healing of any kind) Anyway, I just rolled my eyes when I read what she wrote. I figure that if she chooses to remain ignorant then that's her burden to bear. I'm not going to shake up my serenity by trying to educate someone who is too closed-minded to be teachable. She has her life and I have mine. I continue to pray that both she and I will become compassionate as God has called us to be. I hope things work out for you. In the meantime, I also hope you'll always remember that taking care of yourself as best as you can is the priority and that getting healthy is the the most important thing of all.
  6. I've picked my face for nearly 50 years and my face is a scarred terribly. I can literally feel the anxiety fading away when I'm picking. Now I have a spot on the back of my head at the base of my skull that I rub and pick at when I'm wound up. The tissue has become so damaged that one of the adjacent lymphnodes has become persistently swollen. I've gone through episodes when I've picked at my gums and the inside of my ears. I've tried to rub a "worry stone" when the compulsion to pick flairs up but the result of the effort has been poor.
  7. Hi Ella! I just have a few things that you might be interested in, I was taking citalopram and it didn't do much for me. I was then transitioned to Effexor and took that for 3 years. I personally had a terrible time with Effexor and wish I'd never taken it (I still suffer with Effexor related tinnitus even though I stopped taking it 6 years ago.) From Effexor I went to Cymbalta, which was a great relief. I have fibromyalgia and Cymbalta gave me relief from the related pain after a week. It took about 3 weeks before I could feel changes in the depression. While on Cymbalta I did not have excessive carb cravings like I did when taking citalopram and Effexor. Cymbalta was better than any of the previous meds I had taken for depression. But I was still having mood problems while on Cymbalta even after taking it for 4 years - getting really wound up and having mood swings. As it turned out, I had been being treated for depression but the condition I was really experiencing with was bipolar disorder. Cymbalta was really great for reducing fibromyalgia related pain- before Cymbalta there were days that I literally needed a cane to get up and down a flight of stairs. Now I'm taking gabapentin for the pain and it works good too.
  8. Hi LadyBugz! I'm so glad that you started this thread. I can relate to your post on several points, which is very helpful for me. Here are a few of my thoughts. I, like you, suspected that I suffered from bipolar disorder long before I had been given an official diagnosis. At first I thought what was going on with me might be cyclothymia. It was explained to me that since the depression part has become incapacitating at times, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder was indicated. Receiving the diagnosis helped to make sense out of a lifelong behavior pattern. I've been diagnosed with BAD II (bipolar affective disorder ii) and from what I understand is that in BAD II the depression end of the cycle is dominant and can hang around for quite awhile, While I'm not qualified to give you the best answer to this question, I do have some thoughts based upon my own understanding of BAD II. While depression alone is considered a unipolar disorder, in a bipolar disorder the depression episodes are understood in relationship to the manic episodes thus making the depression a component of the affective disorder (bipolar affective disorder). I don't feel like I'm able to communicate what I mean exactly but what I think what I'm trying to say is that in the unipolar disorder called depression, the depression is the big picture but in BAD the depression is only part of the big picture. Anyway, that's how I've come to understand it but others may have interpreted it diffrently- of course your doctor would give you the best answer to your question. I'm also taking Lamictal as a mood stabilizer (actually I use the generic lamotrigine to save a few bucks.). I think it's working pretty good. If I miss too many doses, I can feel the consequences. I tried a few SSRIs and an SSNRI but they exacerbated the manic episodes in an extreme way. You know the thing that I have always found interesting is that if we were suffering from disease that caused a tumor or a heart attack or something like that the diagnosis could be easily given and easily accepted. With affective disorders like BAD, our diagnosis is based on the criteria of our behavior as we report it (subjective info). You can look at a heart attack and can pretty easily agree that it's a heart attack. But the diagnosis of a disease based on how we feel and act is harder to quantify- you can't be hooked up to an EKG machine or get a blood test to verify your disease (objective data). Sure you and others can report how you act but these things are still subjective. So the doctor has a list of criteria that he goes down to see if a person fits into a DSM classification based upon what the patient reports and how they answer a set of questions. And based upon what the patient reports, the doctor finds a diagnosis that fits. Yet how the set of symptoms manifest can very unique to each individual. I think sometimes we who suffer affective disorders can lose track of how we feel. It's like things get distorted. For instance,if the mania episodes start to feel normal, even a small case of the blues can feel much more depressive than they might otherwise feel to someone who was free of a mood disorder. So in answer to the question how do I know if I have BAD II, here's what I've done. Most importantly, I saw a doctor who specializes in mental health. I took what he had to say and then I went to the DSM and looked up the criteria for myself, I thought about how I felt and fit that in to the DSM criteria. I found out what others who have been diagnosed with BAD II had to say. Based on all of that, I'm willing to accept the diagnosis of BAD II. BUT, that being said, I'll certainly continue to look for any new information about the disease that will challenge my diagnosis. .I pretty much share all the symptoms you mentioned. I was surprised to find out the irritability, agitation, frustration and the subsequent anger that follows is usually a result of the depression. I incorrectly thought my hot temper and propensity to fly off the handle was due to mania . And you mentioned how you procrastinate and wait to the last minute to do things. I do too! It makes me nuts yet I continue the behavior and can't figure out why. One thing I'm working on is to be able to notice when my mood is shifting from one pole to the other or from "healthy normal" into an episode. This has been a challenge but I'm not going to give up. Wishing you good health, Cait
  9. Lamictal: mood stabilization (working good) Buspar: Anxiety (working fair) Gabapentin: Pain, anxiety (works good for pain, not sure it really helps for anxiety) In terms of anti-depressants, I've tried Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, and Cymbalta. All increased manic symptoms. On a side note, my personal experience with Effexor was HORRIBLE!
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