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tam talks

this entry contains some personal information about me. nothing scary, at least not to you, but because i realise that this might not be everyone's cup of tea, i'll give you the option to skip it..

a long long time ago, my mum accompanied me to the doctor. our regular GP was on vacation so we saw the very young doctor that replaced him. i had two sprained fingers (don't ask) and he wrapped some kind of elastic compression bandage around them and i believe i got ibuprofen or something like that. this has nothing to do with what i wanted to tell you, so let's not dwell on it.. when we were about to leave, he made a somewhat casual remark (to my mother! like i wasn't even in the room!) that she shouldn't be worried, but that there was a chance that her daughter was ever so slightly bipolar.

later, we talked about this of course, my parents and i. none of us ever took this 'diagnosis' seriously. sure, i was a bit of a tomboy. very active, some might even say hyperactive, but nothing that anyone would ever classify as a mental disorder. when our own GP got back, my dad had a talk with him over the phone, and even he agreed that his replacement might have been a bit too eager and had jumped to conclusions.

you might remember that i mentioned some time ago that in a misguided attempt to bring some regularity in my life, i started going to bed at a 'normal' time. i would lie awake for hours, but i thought things would get better once i got used to this routine. well they didn't. i was forcing myself to stay awake all day while i was barely getting any sleep at night. apparently this is causing so much stress, it's driving me crazy and there's no amount of meditation that can take care of that after a while.

i have no energy, i'm apathetic and i'm gradually losing all interest in the things i used to love doing. i go to work and do the things i'm supposed to do. i'm just going through the motions. i fix dinner, because we need to eat, but i used to love cooking! i don't really leave the house anymore, except for work and grocery shopping. i'm becoming more and more of a recluse. i really liked being part of the livejournal support team but i feel i'm the least suitable person to help out anybody else right now. my self confidence is at an all time low. i'm feeling lost. i'm losing touch with so many things.. and then somewhere along the way i started thinking that all these signs may be an indication that i really have a bipolar disorder.

of course saskia had noticed that there was something wrong, but she didn't push me and gave me time to get my thoughts together. we had a good long talk yesterday. i had no idea how worried she had been, the dear.. things got quite emotional. i sort of broke down. i had a good cry, while she held me tight.

i regret that i haven't told her sooner that i had been so freaking scared. saskia convinced me that what i was experiencing right now had nothing to do with a bipolar illness and that i should get that idea out of my pretty little head. her words, not mine :)
she told me that we should focus on ways to get more sleep first, because i looked exhausted. and in the unlikely event that this was more serious, that we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

funny how everything she said seemed so logical. i like to think i'm rather intelligent myself, so why couldn't i have come to the same conclusion?

i received an email of someone who thought this was a relationship problem. i may have given people that impression myself. i haven't been very clear about this up until now. i can assure you all, my relationship with saskia is one of the good things in my life. i wouldn't know what i'd do without her.

so yes, right here right now i'm abandoning this silly plan of going to bed 'on time' and i'll just take it from there.. when i get tired i will take a nap. if i can't sleep at night, i will just do something else. oh and my job.. i need to work something out. i'm not really concerned about that now. for those of you who are really interested in how i'm doing; i'll keep you posted. those of you who don't care: go fuck yourself! :D i mean, feel free to overlook entries like this one if you so wish..


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
Introspection is always healthy as long as you open your findings to external sources so that you don't end up self-absorbed and oblivious. I've had a long string of horrible relationships with bipolar women, so I don't envy anyone having to go through it.. but I have met many people who were able to live through it with grace and style. There's a lot of creativity and life that can be generated from emotional stress, so it's not that the disorder would undermine your character... it might just cause complications.

It might just be that you are one of those people with messed up internal clocks... I know I get sicker and more depressed when I have to get up every morning before a certain time. There is a million things that could be causing your malaise. Go talk to someone, keep yourself from wallowing, and remind yourself that you can bounce back from anything and you should be fine.

Thanks for sharing.
May. 25th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
Good luck!
May. 25th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
I don't know whether those are signs of bipolar, but the messed up sleep patterns? The loss of interest? The recluse-ness? They are classic signs of depression. (If you used to love food, and now it just sort of tastes like cardboard? That's another potential sign.)

Even if it isn't bipolar, it could still be depression. And, like many things, it's worth getting checked out. Therapy and medication are awesome. Managed properly, for some people, depression can end up being merely as annoying as allergies or a cold. It's still good to get it checked out. It may be nothing, or it may be something that could get a lot worse, so it's worth getting it checked out and talking to someone about it (even a significant other, at first!) so you can better judge what's going on and how severe it may or may not be.

But yes-- first, get some sleep, and get some food. You need to take care of those most basic needs *first*. After that, you'll have more energy to try to think through the next steps. Good for you for talking to S. about it-- it's much easier to deal with stress, depression, emotions, etc. if you have someone that you can share them with.
May. 25th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
We don't know one another that well. But I recently added you and I've been reading in your journal a lot and I feel I'm getting to know you quite well. I hope you don't think this is too weird, but I would like to pray for your strength and wellness and that you will start feeling better soon. It's something I really like to do for you and I hope you don't mind.
May. 25th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
You hang in there, you'll get it worked out.

You've realized that there is something that needs to change so you've started on the right path.

May. 25th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
I personally would get it checked out. If something is wrong you can nip it in the bud before it gets out of control. If for some odd reason you are diganosed with bi-polar disorder. They have medication to treat It. Being depressed is hard work, everything you do take twice as much energy. It just keeps getting worse and worse. So go get it checked out.
May. 25th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
hmmm, did the apathy, lack of energy, and loss of interest in favorite activities come first, or after the sleep? it may be due to the sleep, as saskia hinted at. sounds to me more like signs of mild depression, rather than bipolar, if it's a gradual thing[and there doesn't really seem anything in your entry that suggests manic behavior]...and from your entries that i remember reading, i don't think any major event has really occured to be a catalyst for depression...ummm, yeah. forget what i said. i'm just a kid myself, going off of experience and what little knowledge i have. but best of luck. it can be a hard road.

oh, and about the sleep thing...i say fuck conventionality. sleep when you want, when you're tired. trying to go on a 'normal' schedule might just make things worse, sometimes.
May. 25th, 2007 06:10 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear how bad things are for you at the moment, but I have every faith that things will work out for you. Somehow I know you're a fighter. Hang in there.

May. 25th, 2007 06:10 am (UTC)
I find it disturbing that that doctor would tell you something like that without a proper series of tests.
May. 25th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC)
Was this physician trained to make such a diagnosis? I find it unlikely. In this country it'd be unusal for you to run into a psychiatrist/psychologist while getting patched up at the hospital. Have you consider having an analysis done by a properly trained psychiatrist/psychologist?

Sometimes the intellegent answers, while obvious to others, may escape those of us evaluating our own issues. I hope you find your way back.
May. 25th, 2007 06:59 am (UTC)
whatever this turns out to be, i admire you for talking about it in your journal. i don't think i'd have the guts to do that. i know you said 'don't ask' but how the hell did you get two fingers sprained? yeah ok this is none of my business.

tamar, i want you to know that if you ever need someone to talk to, i'm here

May. 25th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
It's great to have support. So it's excellent and wonderful you have a friend like Saskia.

Work when you're awake; rest when you're tired! There's nothing wrong with that... in fact, that's the natural order of things. Fitting into a schedule is a man-made creation, and we all know how well those work out! Some people just function better during evening or overnight hours. And there's nothing "wrong" with that.

Thanks for sharing a bit more of yourself, and best in making life into what you want it to be.
May. 25th, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
I'm far from medically schooled, so we'll use some common sense here (in Dutch 'gezond boerenverstand' ;o)

Take it day by day, find things you take pleasure in.

No need to force yourself, just get your biorythm back on track again, you'll feel better already then.

...and don't worry about whatever the GP replacement said...worrying won't do you any good and in the end, it solves nothing.

And if you feel like it, have that good cry. Why not ?

And if you feel like it, have a good laugh too...or dance....or...make fun of me here for not making any sense probably :o)
May. 25th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)
You aren't bipolar. You have pretty much the EXACT same problem with sleep as I do.
As for the recluse thing? Happens to a lot of people for a variety of reasons. Stressing over it and fearing you have bipolar disorder won't help. As my lecturers LOVE to point out, doctors these days are VERY keen to hand out "easy" diagnoses like ADD and bipolar disorders etc.

The sleep thing I have adjusted to, I think. At most I get perhaps 5 hours sleep a night, often less. But I no longer feel the bone numbing tiredness that I used to during the day.

Advice? Stress less, take each day as they come and use friends as a crutch for a bit. It's what good friends do :)
May. 25th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
Tamar, this post broke my heart. I'm sorry I didn't notice what you're going through was so bad.
If you want someone to talk to other than your partner or parents, you can phone me any time, day or night.

May. 25th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
Oh dear! I was worried about you. Yes Saskia is right, get those thoughts out of your pretty little head!

We all go through times like these, at least I think most people do. I know I have highs and lows on a regular basis.
Bieng "normal"...I think thats impossible. What is normal anyway? Its not a concrete idea, only an aproximation really. So, to drive ourselves crazy trying to reach it is a losing battle.

You have a good heart and I consider you to be one of the most beautiful people I have ever met (of course by beautiful I mean as a whole, and be met I mean as close as we have met through lj).

I watched a show on PBS here in states. It was called A songs Best Friend...John denver Remembered. At one point his ex wife Annie (of annies song) said of John that he could be bright and happy one moment, then completely sad and depressed the next. She chalked it up to bieng 'the artists temperment'. I could relate to that personally, and I think your disposition is much the same. You are like that, as far as I know you. You have an artists heart and soul. I can be a fragile thing at times. But is who you are, dont worry about trying to normalize it.

with that said, I offer you a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Take care, dont worry, you are absolutley fine! (its the Normal people we should worry about!)

May. 25th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
my 2 cents - as most comments said, it's probably not as bad as it looks

i had a similar situation, and the only thing that was wrong with me was a lack of vitamin C ;) don't worry
May. 25th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
Take care of yourself, Tam... I hope things go better soon.
May. 25th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
So many of the comments here are what I was going to say.

1. Right now, just sleep and feel better.
2. It's great you have a support system in place (partner, parents, LJ...)
3. I think it's unprofessional for a doctor to casually mention a bedside diagnosis that was not performed or reviewed by a specialist.
4. Some people don't want to take drugs to feel normal. I understand this. But keep in mind. You MAY have mild depression, insomnia, bi-polar or lacking a certain vitamin. Who knows. The best thing to do is to get feeling better, and then have it checked out by a psychiatrist. Or start with a therapist and see how that goes.

On a personal note, when my wife and I started seeing a marriage councilor, the councilor noticed aggressive depression in me. I didn't think I had any problems. I was open to whatever would make the marriage better (my fault or not). I went to see a psychiatrist and started to use Lexapro and Lunesta. I wouldn't say I changed, but I think my thought process is more clear to deal with the problems now. I look back and see I had issues before.

Take it one step at a time and feel better soon. If you need to talk, I'll help.
May. 25th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
i like to think i'm rather intelligent myself, so why couldn't i have come to the same conclusion?
rather intelligent? don't forget i'm one of the few people who know what your IQ is, so yeah i would think so! :D

maar even serieus. ik denk niet dat het iets met intelligentie te maken heeft. soms krijg je ineens een ander inzicht door iets wat een ander zegt. ik hoop echt dat het beter met je gaat als het lukt een tijdje te slapen. eerst goed voor jezelf zorgen, de rest komt later wel. saskia is een verstandige meid. het heeft geen zin om je druk te maken over dingen die misschien helemaal niet gebeuren. ik bel je morgen, ok?

May. 25th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Not much I can say. I do care though, hope things are working out as you hope they will. Good luck!
May. 25th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
haven't had a chance to read or comment yet, been too busy at work

hope all is well though
May. 25th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
sincere good thoughts to you. most of all take care of yourself. nothing else matters, only the self. be safe. seamus
May. 25th, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
Since I don't know you very well, I'm going to use my psychology background on this one. We'll start with the very simple solution... sleep. Not everybody sleeps "normal" hours. Is it a pain in the butt to be one of those people? Probably. Is it a problem? Not necessarily. If you are averaging 7-9 hours in a 24 hour period, you're okay. If you have true insomnia and are sleeping less than that on a regular basis, that should be the first thing to check out. Lack of sleep can cause depression-like symptoms like what you are describing. Also, this was a key for me...

i like to think i'm rather intelligent myself, so why couldn't i have come to the same conclusion? You didn't come to the same conclusion because a) you're too tired for your brain to function the way it should and b) you're living it, you're not on the outside looking in.

Now, if you get 4 or 5 days of good sleep (whenever it is that you sleep) and the symptoms are still there, then I would really suggest seeing a psychologist. But like some previous responders have said, it could be something as simple as vitamin deficiency (Vitamin D is a big one for sleep).

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon! Saskia sounds like she's taking good care of you :D
May. 26th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
oh man that sucks! i'm sending you positive thoughts, energy and strength. :p
take it slow, get some rest now. take care!
May. 29th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
*hugs* i'm glad you were finally able to post about what is going on with you. I'm sure you're not bipolar or at least from what I gathered from you over the years you don't fit the profile at all. You may be feeling a bit depressed which is totally normal. Almost everyone experiences symptoms of depression at one point in their lives. Usually it will pass. I do agree that it probally does have alot to do with the lack of sleep you're getting. So do as you said and try to get sleep whenever possible. And hug Sasika tight and tell her how grateful you are that shes being supportive and caring. :)
May. 30th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
I am sorry I am just now reading this. I am glad you've come to a reasonable solution. Sleeping when you're tired and doing things when you're not simply makes sense. I am most interested in your health, physical, mental, and emotional. I pray for you daily and have for a couple of years now. So I am here if you need someone to chat with.
Jun. 5th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
As numerous other commenters mentioned, please do get this checked out. It could be any number of things—depression, sleep disturbances, thyroid problems, etc.—or even a combination of one starting to cause another. It's very easy to get into a nasty cycle of low energy leading to feeling worthless, thus not bothering to take steps to improve the situation.

In my amateur opinion, I'd lean toward calling it depression. Obviously I'm not there and observing you firsthand, but the apathy aspect doesn't tend to be there if it's purely a matter of low energy due to some other sort of illness.

I can't encourage you enough to seek help. I know you mention feeling better in a later entry, but the low point described here is worrisome and it can't hurt to explore possible causes and find ways to prevent it from happening again.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


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