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Feeling flat/Bi Polar

sheZZasheZZa Posts: 2Member Listener
edited October 19 in Mental health issues
I was diagnosed with bi Polar in 2016. I take 400mg Lamotragine every day along with other painkilling medication. The medications have all been checked that they are okay to take at the same time.

Why is it that I always feel flat. Occasionally my mood drops slightly but not really as low as it has in the past. My paranoia is and doubt about myself is always there and seems to be getting worse. Why do I never feel excited about anything? My daughter is in the early stages of pregnancy and I waited for a grandchild for a long time and am faking my excitement. I’m starting feel really fed up of feeling like this. Is there anything that can be done or will I feel like this forever?

Replies

  • PippaScopePippaScope Posts: 510Member, Administrator Scope community team
    Morning @sheZZa,

    As your concern sounds like it could be related to your condition and medication, it would be most advisable to speak to a GP or a medical professional involved in your care. They are the most knowledgeable on this subject and it could be that there is something that can be modified to address the issues you're having. 

    In the meantime, I hope that you find comfort and support within the community. If you'd like to use this space to talk about your feelings and experiences, please feel free to do so! 
  • Mia_ScopeMia_Scope Posts: 29Member, Helpline Whisperer
    edited October 19
    Hi @sheZZa

    I agree with Pippa that speaking to a medical professional would be a good start. It is important that your psychiatrist or GP knows how you are progressing with your medication and your mental health.

    Your diagnosis of Bipolar is still quite new, if you think about it. To fully understand the way your mood fluctuates day to day, week to week, or month to month, and then to understand the way your behaviour and thinking changes along with it, how you interact with medications, etc - it's quite a lot to figure out at first.

    You say you are on 400mg Lamotragine, which I imagine took a while to titrate up to. How did you find that? I have heard a lot of good things about that particular mood stabiliser, but it doesn't work for everyone. Is that the only medication you have been on? Have you tried anything else? That flat feeling won't necessarily persist forever. It makes me wonder if another medication could potentially help to reduce the flat affect.

    Keep in mind that while medication will help you to breathe, it won't cure your Bipolar. You will still have down days; that is the reality of this condition. Whether you have Bipolar or not, you will still have down days. In fact, feeling flat and depressed is a natural experience for everyone at some point in their lives. Good stress relieving techniques, good diet, good sleep, exercise, purpose, hobbies and activities, and good friends and family will all really help too.

    You ask why you never feel excited about anything. Sometimes when there isn't anything, we have to create moments and things that make us feel excited. What do you really enjoy doing? What helps you feel happier and more energised? If you don't know, try to explore new things. It's easier said than done, especially when you're in the throes of depression, but start small. If you can, join a Bipolar support group where you can meet other people with Bipolar and see what strategies or experiences they suggest. 

    Go easy on yourself. Try not to beat yourself up about not being excited about your daughter's pregnancy. Deep down, the real you is excited; it's likely just hard to experience those emotions in the moment because of your mental health. Understand that it is You vs. Bipolar. Distinguish between what is you and what is your mental health. You are not your illness. Try not to feel guilty either. If you can, seek some psychological therapy to help with your feelings of paranoia and low self-esteem. These things can be worked on and you can start to feel better.

    I wish you all the best and I hope you start to feel better soon.

    Take care of yourself,

    Mia
    Mia
    Helpline Information Officer
    Phone: 0808 800 3333
    Email: helpline@scope.org.uk
  • sheZZasheZZa Posts: 2Member Listener
    Thank you very much both of you for your replies.
    i have tried other medications and Lamotrogine appears to be the most suitable. I am very fortunate that I have had good support from my GP and mental health services where I live. 
    Bi Polar is very new to me and I must admit I have found it difficult to accept the diagnosis but am slowly coming round to acceptance. It is hard to accept the diagnosis and also how to understand and to get others to understand how quickly my mood can change. 
    I like ‘you are not your illness.’ I am not and I am going to try my best to own it and not the other way round. 
    I have recently started Tai Chi and joined a choir. Both are making me feel a lot more positive. Onwards and upwards. 
    Thank you for your support. It is very much appreciated x

  • Mia_ScopeMia_Scope Posts: 29Member, Helpline Whisperer
    @sheZZa,

    I am glad that Lamotrigine has been working for you, and that you have good support from local services.

    That's exactly right - own it, don't let it own you. You can learn about your condition and how it has an impact on your life, and you can and will find strategies and ways to cope. 

    Tai Chi sounds like a great start, and music always helps. Use a mood app like Daylio, or some kind of tracker that tracks your mood... it will help you learn what your triggers are and what helps you to calm down when a mood starts up.

    If you have anything else you want to talk about or ask, you're always welcome.

    Take care, 

    Mia
    Mia
    Helpline Information Officer
    Phone: 0808 800 3333
    Email: helpline@scope.org.uk
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