Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
There are many ways you can help yourself cope with a manic episode including:
Learn about Bipolar disorder- the more you know the more you can help yourself.
Understand when you start to feel manic episodes coming on- If you educate yourself and begin to understand more about your diagnosis, then you can start to learn the signs of manic and intervene earlier.
Be under the care of a psychiatrist and a therapist- I'm not sure why you are taking the medication you are right now, but it sounds like you need to see a psychiatrist for a full evaluation and the right medication. You also should see a therapist to help learn more about your diagnosis and to learn ways to help yourself. The support of a therapist is also vital to keep you on the right track.
Keep in touch with family and friends about your diagnosis- that way, if you feel a manic episode coming on, you can contact someone to help you. It would be better if you are not alone. Designate certain people you can call in an emergency and keep their numbers with you at all times.
Try to stay active and watch your diet- what you eat and how much exercise you get is important in keeping yourself healthy, involved, and alert. Get enough sleep and make sure you eat enough throughout the day to keep your energy up.
Maintain a good schedule and stick to it- the more routine you have in your life, the more control you have over your behavior.
There is also a book that can help you. It is called Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families, and Providers by E. Fuller Torrey M.D. and Michael B. Knable D.O. You can find it on Amazon.com or your local library may have it available.
I hope this has helped you,
Thanks for your answer.
The Promethazine was given to me to help with anxiety. I am also on Olanzapine 20mg and Agomelatine 50mg.
I have a psychiatrist who I am due to see mid-March. I also have a CPN but when I text her last Monday to say that I was manic and struggling she just text back saying that she was busy and hoped I would find coping strategies!
I have recently arranged to see a therapist and my first appointment with her is Monday. I was waiting to see if my CPN could arrange anything but there seems very little on the NHS.
Keeping busy is the only way I have got through this last week, but now my body is getting tired because I am not sleeping very well.
I need to find a way of slowing my head down a bit ... I am having to write everything down because if I don't then I forget whatever it was and the thought has been replaced by a dozen others!
My husband doesn't really understand Bipolar and is in denial that this is what I have got ... he just doesn't want to believe it. He struggles when I am manic because I seem to be cleaning non-stop, but he struggles even more with the depression. Nobody has spoken to him to explain what he can do to help and I'm not sure what the answer is. My saving grace has been a neighbour who also has Bipolar ... at least she understands where I am coming from. I have two young children and they don't know what mood I am going to be in from one day to the next.
It feels like I can't win ... when I am depressed I CAN'T sleep and when I am manic I don't feel the NEED to sleep.
I am scared that my mood is going to crash again. I find being manic is very uncomfortable but is preferable to feeing depressed, especially as the depressive episodes last so much longer. At least like this I feel 'well'. But what I really want is to find a balance and feel 'normal' (whatever that is).
The mental health team have tried so many different combinations of drugs but seem to be unable to find a combination that really works for me. It's so frustrating!!
Thanks for book suggestion; I will look on Amazon to get a copy.
I am sorry to hear that you got that kind of response from your health care professional. If you are contacting them with an increase in symptoms, then you need help as soon as they can manage it.
I am glad you are seeing a psychiatrist and soon, a therapist. It is very frustrating to not be able to find medications that work for you. Keep trying, don't give up. Oftentimes this is a struggle that many people go through when they have a diagnosis like Bipolar, so you are not alone.
Have you tried support groups? I know you have small children and finding time is difficult, but the support and education you could get through sharing with others in your situation may benefit you a lot. You may be able to find one through this site:
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home. Maybe your husband could attend as well so he can gain understanding and education as well.
Also, you can try NAMI for groups and for support for your family. The more they understand, the better it is for you and them. Here is the link: http://www.nami.org/.
Keep trying what you are doing already to keep your mood as stable as you can. Pull on all the support you have right now to get you through. I know it is hard, but you just need to make it to your appointments so you can try a new medication and have your therapist help you.
Normal is a good goal. You are right, there is really no baseline for normal (everyone goes up and down in moods) but I sense you have good motivation and drive to get there.