People who are Bipolar or Depressed

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dan1
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People who are Bipolar or Depressed

First the Story:

Went to my psychiatrist and told him about this website and about starting this 12-step program. I told him that there are people here with horrendous stories of the damage gaming addiction has done to them, their families and friends, their lives. He asked me: How many of them are bipolar? (He is a national expert in bipolar disorder; he treats nothing else.) I said I didn't know (of course), probably more than just a few.

This will be a long post. I'm going to tell enough of my story to give people some information. And encourage people to read more if they feel it applies to them.

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. There were actually people who mentioned it to me years ago, and I laughed it off. They told me I was up and down. To me, I was just me. I was hypomanic (means "a little bit" manic) a lot, but I thought I was normal. It was just that other people were slow (not stupid, just literally slow), dull and uncreative. I told lots of jokes, I was often the life of the party. But when my life got very very stressful and difficult, I crashed. I went into a horrible depression. I went to my family doctor and he gave me antidepressants. They helped. Quite a bit. After about a year and a half, I felt like I was doing quite well and could wean myself off of them. I did.

My problems, however, continued. Many got worse. After another year or so, my therapist told me that she wasn't going to be able to do anything effective for me if I didn't get my bipolar disorder medicated. It was a shock. I went to a psychiatrist who specializes in it, took his little intake "exam", and walked into his office. He said, "well, you passed the bipolar quiz, 13 out of 16." I also passed the sleep apnea quiz (about half of the people he treats for bipolar disorder have sleep apnea also).

He started treating me with mood stabilizers, and antimanics (NOT antidepressants: it turns out that it's not a very good idea to give someone who is bipolar an antidepressant, because it can make things *worse*. Not all doctors know this, to say the least, and many family doctors tend to hand out antidepressants like candy). He is smart, and cautious, so we went up on the medications VERY slowly. I got better every time we increased them. VERY slowly. It took 3 years. I am now taking (I'm not happy about this, but I'm happy about how much better I feel) FIVE pharmaceuticals and THREE dietary supplements specifically recommended/prescribed to me. The doc says the average number of medications it takes to properly (NOTE: PROPERLY) control bipolar disorder is around 4. I have a CPAP machine for sleep apnea that helps keep my airway open at night. And I still see my therapist every three weeks (she is very good).

Here's the Scoop: There are many people who are clinically depressed and who could be helped by antidepressants. They should get such help. Depression is a brain, circulatory and blood disease and it damages the brain. Every month you spend depressed does more damage.

BUT, SOME of the people who are depressed actually have bipolar disorder. For these people, antidepressants are usually not the best choice. They can make the mood swings worse. They can put you in a mixed state, which is very dangerous (this is a state where you have the negativity of someone who is depressed and the energy of someone who is manic. NOT good). I've been in mixed states. Very nasty.

OK, you say, DAN WHY ARE YOU POSTING THIS ON OLGA??

Because bipolar disorder is an engine for addictive behavior. People who have mood disorders try to medicate them (of course, we are humans--smart problem solvers--we know our mood is #$^@#ed up and we try to fix it); and if they medicate with something that is damaging or addictive (alcohol, drugs, gaming), then they quickly get addicted. One of the indicators for bipolar disorder is having a lot of other bipolar people in your family OR having a lot of addicts in your family. !!! One day I asked my psychiatrist why we hadn't heard much about bipolar disorder until recently and he said "we used to call it alcoholism." He was only half-joking.

The BIG KAHUNA: DO I HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?

Well, I sure can't tell you. But if you have had several antidepressants not really work for you, if you have addiction or mood disorders in your family, if you have lost jobs and relationships, if you are sometimes way up and sometimes way down, then maybe.

Here is the BEST and MOST THOROUGH website on bipolar disorder. You will get much better info than is in this post, and lots of it, all based on the most current research:

http://www.psycheducation.org/

You can't QUITE self-diagnose from this website, but you can get close enough to know if you should go to a psychiatrist. BUT PLEASE, DO NOT just go to any doctor, and in fact, if you think you might be bipolar, you should go to a psychiatrist who SPECIALIZES in MOOD DISORDERS. This person will do a proper evaluation of your situation before they start throwing antidepressants at you.

As for games, I'm quite sure I would NEVER have been able to quit without having had my rather severe mood disorder treated. I don't encourage people to just take a bunch of drugs--people who go to five different doctors, get all sorts of different things and then take them randomly, have serious substance abuse problems. But IF you have depression, or a bipolar disorder, then getting it carefully treated could be an important step in recovery.

There are enough addicts on this website that someone besides me who is reading this is bipolar. I'm sure of it. I hope this helps you. Go to that website and start reading about yourself.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

EVE_OFFFline
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Dan, This is a very good

Dan,

This is a very good story and very true...but there is always a BUT,,,It can also work opposite.

I seem to be extremely vulnrable to depressions and that is genetic as the family has it. That is why I try to live as a saint as that works for me the best.I am on anti depressants for 12 years and they give me the space to live a normal life.

But as I explained, I was during a depression 14 years ago seen and concluded to be bipolar. But I had doubts as I dont seem to experience "true"manic periods. However I was cycling rapdly in extreme moodswings. I now know what I did as I gamed my depressions away eith Dopamine. what was not known at that time, So it can be that depressed gamers can simulate bipolar whilst they are not.

Bipolar is a condition being feed by dopamine , like addiction.

The problem why shrinks miss this, is that game addiction is not in the dsm-IV, so this means when you do the addiction test in the intake, video game addiction is not in the list of the intake!!!.

So please mention this when you see the psych for the first time and keep repeating this.

I think bipolar conclusion should only be given once people are clean from video gaming for at least 2 months. , and When you were diagnosed with Bipolar before, I would recommend to ask for a reevaluation, unless you truly feel manic episodes followed by depressions and vv.

I dont say that no one is bipolar, but sometimes shrinks may be mistaken between cause and gaming can simulate biplor, but also bipolar can cause addiction,,,,that is why this job of psychiatrist is so extremely hard. (and 14 years ago the affects of gaming seemed less hard -all was 2 - and the research was just about to start of the results of long time gaming)

So those who still play and see a professional for therapy, PLEASE mention the hours you game each day to that specialist.

Also Anti depressants DO NOT Cure depression. They will help to grow the hippocampus, what is needed to level stress to normal portions, what will avoid chronic stress and chrnoic stress leads to depression. Playing games for 16 hours also leads to chronic stress so here is a relation again between gaming and depression on chemical level.

Anti depressants are also very good in stopping panic attacks given the users more confidence...and that confidence cures depression..the medics normally stop the symptoms, not the causes... To avoid depression, (when not bipolar) best meditate, dont use anything stimalating apart from prescribes drugs, read, and relax a lot in nature

pre- diagnosed with Autism.

dan1
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EVE. Thanks for all of

EVE.

Thanks for all of this. You are so right--withdrawal symptoms are very strange and strong, and someone should probably not try to go get diagnosed during the first month, unless the practitioner really understands gaming withdrawal. And I agree that many do not. The infomation I shared with my doc yesterday seemed new to him, and he is a big bipolar expert.

You are right about the concept of being cured as well; psychoactive medications don't cure illnesses, as far as I know, they just treat them. In the case of depression, however, as you say, they help to prevent further damage and may even allow the brain to repair some.

I hope the day comes soon when the mudphud's information (in his book about gaming addiction) is well-known among mental health practitioners. Until then, we must be ery thoughful and careful as we seek the proper care for our difficulties.

Also, I think it would be a serious mistake for someone to get their depression medicated and keep gaming. It will just create a need for more of the medication, leading to side effects and more imbalance, more damage.

No perfect solutions. And once again, I'm not the expert but I point everyone to the website where much of the very latest research on bipolar and depression is summarized:

http://www.psycheducation.org/

And I wish everyone the best in finding the support (psychological and medical) that will help them heal.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

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I agree. I think that I hit

I agree. I think that I hit rock bottom in gaming 14 years ago, but with the anti depression meds..I was somehow able to add another 14 years of addiction to it. And I never realized this for 1 single second...only now with reading all there was to be read I finally understand. I think I need my meds as without them waking up in the morning is a very stressful event each day..so stressed it can build up to panic out of nothing, unless I walk like 20 kilometers a day...what is atoo hard to combine with a job. So to me its a addded value to have a house, kids, a career and future...But it also enabled game time. I fI would have known 14 years ago what I know now, I would have quit...but I didn't so it continued. I dont't feel bad about it. Just want to express that I would do it different if I would have known.

pre- diagnosed with Autism.

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Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for posting this Dan. I'm going to read as much as I can about it because I think it may be a family disease in my family (untreated of course).

Thank you again, hugs.

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Dan, I was diagnosed with

Dan,

I was diagnosed with cyclothemia which is a "mild" bipolar disorder- could have fooled me lol. Sometimes I wondered if I was crazy. It felt like I did many things on impulse and had no brakes. Sometimes overwhelming sadness. My brother committed suicide (devastating) as did a grandfather.

On the positive note most members of my family are very talented and creative - and not afraid of hard work either- just a bit driven so to speak!! My other brother is very successful in his career as was my own dad.

The good part of this was that my addictions or obsessions usually burned out very quickly, although they could consume me for the time. My best bet now is to try to steer toward creative pursuits that have a goal. Also I have become committed to meditation and Qi qong which have helped me though I haven't "formally" done the 12 steps.

I think addiction and depression often go hand in hand. But then often people who have suffered terrible trauma suffer depression. So for some it may be a chemical disorder they are born with and others have had external influences that caused it.

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I hear you.  And

I hear you. And cyclothemia is not mild--just less severe than full-blown Bipolar I where people get hospitalized for getting psychotic during their manic phase. My therapist admitted to me (after I was a bit better :) ) that when I first went to her she came very close to having me involuntarily hospitalized. I was so close to crazy; I was looking over the edge at the churning darkness. There is nothing mild about any form of this disease. It is too often fatal. I'm so glad you have found ways to cope. Thanks for sharing them.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

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Famous bipolars are :

Famous bipolars are : Alexander the Great and Napoleon. Their manic phases causes millions to die. Dan is right. Manic phases are a true danger, and so are depressions. I have read many people saying they keep their mood swings under control by running a few miles a day.

Although I have no biplar I am very sensative to depression. I must hike 30- 40 miles a week to keep my moods lifted..what works best for me..but its always working hard to stay sane. Like Staryeyed I am also fortunate to reach points of burning out pretty quicky due over- obsessions.

I even was able to get obsessed to my job..

pre- diagnosed with Autism.

starryeyed
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not entirely true

not entirely true Eve.

Other famous people were Mozart, Beethoven, Van Gogh and many others who produced great works during manic phases. Sometimes it's the ensuing depression that was a danger but mainly to the sufferer.

Dan

thanks for all your info. I know meds and trying to get them right is so difficult.

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One thing my therapist said

One thing my therapist said once was "A little hypomania never hurt anyone." When I am (was) up, I was fast, clever, creative, intense, passionate, competent and, well, fast. The problem is not so much the ups (unless they get into true mania, where you begin to lose touch with reality) as the downs. And the downs are the price you pay for the ups. Those who play, must pay. And as we get older and have less energy overall, the downs are more down, there are more of them, and they last longer. Ugh.

So the price of stability is, well, stability. Much less up as well as much less down. My psychiatrist says of his patients (all bipolar) who are being effectively treated, "almost everybody misses the highs." I do miss them, but only a little. I'll take the stability, thank you.

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

starryeyed
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I can relate Dan. Hypomania

I can relate Dan.

Hypomania can be very creative and exciting.

The rest of the time can be like living underwater but not on a tropical reef. lol.

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What I have gleaned from my

What I have gleaned from my recovery is that one should never neglect one's mental health.

Excessive gaming, and quitting gaming is tough on the psych.

The work I have done to take care of myself has been a real lifesaver.

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You make some great points

You make some great points Dan. My mother suffered from depression for decades, and I've had several rounds of it too. I've often wondered if that's what kept me gaming all those years. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Stopped Gaming: June 22nd, 2014.

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Bipolar disorder provokes

Bipolar disorder provokes depression, because when you are not dominated by the anti-conscience you understand how sad your life really is, while when it dominates your conscience you are euphoric, believing in false promises based on what is unreal, and making absurd plans for the future. When you go back to your human conscience you understand that you are suffering and you need a solution for your problems, and this is why you feel depressed, but then the anti-conscience dominates you again, in order to keep you busy and prevent you from finding a solution to the basic problems of your life, One can consult a Professional  for help and can tell about the problems that keep torturing you and making your depression become always more and more unbearable.

Dorothy J Witherell

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