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  1. #1
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    Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    Hi all! I'm Sky.

    I will post more later and introduce myself better. But I look forward to posting with you here. As anyone who suffers from (or rather "lives with") cyclothymia knows....it is actually different from what those who are diagnosed with and dealing with bipolar...or bipolar II. Or so...from what little I know of those illnesses that I can gather anyway. From what I learned in counseling anyway...and from the posting I've done with those who have bipolar and bipolar II on past boards....I'd say that although we can have some similiarities....we do differ....our highs and lows with our mood "swings" differ. Our low points are not quite as "drastically" low...for lack of a better way to put this...and our highs are not near as high....we don't necessarily hit manic highs...more "hypo mania" then manic....again....from what my understanding and personal experience with cyclothymia has taught me at least!

    I am in no way a professional counselor...I'd like to make that clear as I post and share here. I can only offer up to those I post with what I have been through personally. I do look forward to getting to know people here....sharing with you...hearing how you deal w/ cyclothymia (or dysthmia too!) ...how you cope (or don't and where you need support, etc.)....I can tell you what works for me....hell I can tell you what doesn't and maybe gain some new insight from your support!!

    I'm a 31yr. old married mother of 2...stay-at-home mom. I've been through a lot in my years....had my share of struggles. I feel I can relate to many here. I was molested as a young child by an older sibling. I have dealt w/ bulimia (still struggle w/ that). I have dealt w/ the cutting and suicide attempts as a teen and in my early 20s. I lost a dear friend whom I miss and love dearly (that was 14 yrs. ago). I'm obviously summing my life story up in about 3 short sentences and making a lot sound like no big thing. Clearly not the case...but trying to gloss over about 15 years of my life or so in just mere sentences so you get the idea of what I have been there. I also am diagnosed as dealing w/ OCPD ...for me that equates to a strong desire for control in my environment....constantly cleaning....LONG story. Well....there is plenty of time for me to talk about me...from one forum to the next...thread to thread and over time.

    Again. I look forward to talk w/ people here and getting to know people's stories. I hope we can gain support from one another..........
    -Sky

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    Hey Sky

    First off I wanted to say that I like your new signature, butterflies are so pretty. Also, I was wondering if you could send me a pm explaining what cyclothymia is. I always wondered. I am sooo glad that you are here. It's nice to know people. Well I wish you the best of luck with what your going through write now and I hope you get better.

    Kayty

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    kayty there's a link that explains cyclothymia that might help. http://forum.psychlinks.ca/index.php?topic=5232.0

    sky did it take a long time to get diagnosed with the cyclothymia? how extreme do your ups and downs get? i'm trying to get a feel for how high high would be for someone like you
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    Thanx baseballcap

    Kayty

  5. #5
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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    I was diagnosed only a few years ago. It was very frustrating because I have been dealing w/ "depression" since my early childhood. I was molested by my oldest brother when I was between the ages of....??...about 5/8? I don't really know the exact age but I sure as hell can recall clearly what he did. Anyway....save those for another forum/posts!

    I can recall clearly at the age of 10 sitting at my kitchen counter and telling my mom that I wished I'd never been born and meaning every word. So yes. I dealt w/ these "moods" from little on.

    I didn't actually go into counseling until the 9th grade. My grandfather passed away in '89 and it was recommended to my parents that I get some counseling for my depression over his death. What they didn't know, because I hid it so well, was that I had been in a deep dark depression for a long time before that. I just never understood WHY. The ONLY thing that ever happened to me "bad" in my life was the molestation and that had ended. My brother and I actually got along by this point in our lives. We didn't think about that anymore. It's like I knew if I really gave it thought but yet in our every day to day lives we didn't focus on it? So here I was feeling this deep dark and intense depression and I couldn't figure it out. Now back then it was different for me then how it is now. It would last sometimes 3-6 months. And then I could come out of it. I might go 2-4 months...3-6months...and I'd be "normal". But while in it...I'd spend a large part of a day depressed. And I simply didn't understand why. Outside of having been molested as a young child...I had a GREAT home life. Great parents....good friends. Good school life. So here I am trying to figure out where this depression came from and I simply couldn't. I knew enough from "after school special" type movies that having been molested could result in depression but yet I always felt like it didn't fit for me. I didn't suffer from flashbacks, etc. I always felt like...come on...how can that be what is driving this depression??? Anyway. Try to move this along. I started cutting in the 7th grade. I had this intense emotional pain that I didn't understand. I cut as a way to deflect it. I hated living. I wanted to die. I felt like if I could end my life I'd go to heaven...be reunited with loved ones past and I could escape a life I didn't want to be a part of. I truly believed I wanted to die. Fast forward a bit again here. Getting back to going to the counseling. I went for a few months. We mainly focused on my grieving over my grandfather's death. I had a problem with not being able to let go of that pain. I also got into the fact that here I was depressed but yet didn't have a clue why. I told them I was molested refused to let them devulge that to my parents. Basically I was told I was dealing w/ a "chemical inbalance". Now....I eventually stopped counseling. I did not go back to any sort of couseling until the 10th grade. My parents just assumed that I was ok after that. I was the BEST little actress in the world! I continued cutting all that time. I tried to take my own life 3x. Obviously I only made half hearted attempts. Basically I very much wanted to die...but wanting to die and actually being able to commit the act are to very different things! Knowing that I wanted what I felt came AFTER death...that's one thing. But to actually END your OWN life....to take yourself from living and breathing...well some of us may feel they can easily do that....others of us...not so easy! It is scary...no matter how much you believe you want to DIE! I couldn't do it. So again. Fast forward here. I'm in my sophmore year. My latest attempt and I realize that I simply can't do this anymore and I realize that either I stay stuck in this depression or I finally find the courage to talk to my parents. And I did. I talked w/ my parents. We did outpatient counseling for a few months and then when that wasn't enough I went to an inpatient program for a month. After I was through with that I continued with outpatient counseling for about 8 months. My diagnosis there were basically "chemical inbalance" and "PTSD". I pretty much had these types of diagnosis all through my life up until about 3-4 years ago! That is when I was diagnosed with cyclothymia and OCPD.

    Basically I was told that I was dealing w/ more then just a clinical depression or "chemical inbalance" (as it was considered years ago). At first, before the diagnosis of cyclothymia....my counselors were looking at everything from bipolar II to borderline personality disorder! But after several sessions they were able to rule those out and get down to the cyclothymia. Now what I find interesting is that in one session the counselor was considering bipolar II....I commented that god...where was all this information when I was younger. Life would have been so much easier had I known this for myself back in highschool, etc. It sure seemed to make sense for a lot of things I did and a lot of the things I felt, etc. He said to be honest....to diagnose bipolar you really can't do that until adulthood because you need to have a person's history from childhood thru adult. So I guess I really don't have a full understanding of these types of mental illnesses becaues I don't understand then children and teens being diagnosed w/ bipolar??? Well at any rate.....as I said....they narrowed things down and finally came up with the diagnosis of cyclothymia (and OCPD).

    Now one of you asked what my moods are like and how I cycle. That's interesting. Basically my counselor said that I don't totally fit the criteria for cyclothymia...I don't fit it for Rapid cycling either. I sort of fall in the middle but for the sake of my diagnosis....they went w/ cyclothymia.

    Apparently as my counselor explained to me....someone with cyclothymia will cycle with their moods. But typically they cycle from one day to the next...for example you might be in a depression but you'll maybe hang in that mood for a day or two. I don't do that. My moods cycle and they cycle (as I call it) HARD. Extremely hard. But I don't even really fit rapid cycling...I guess. I don't really understand rapid cycling....all I know is that my counselor said I cycle even faster then a rapid cycler. At any rate.....picture a rollercoaster. That is how my moods are DAILY. I can wake up in any given mood. Could be even tone happy....I might stay in that mood a half hour....might stay in that mood 4 hrs. It's like riding a rollercoaster though. It can be a slow gradual climb to the next mood or it can be like hitting a light switch to the next switch. I can go from happy to sad BAM! And I can go from a normal level of happy to BAM just a little sad or I can go from a normal level of happy to BAM...rock bottom sad. Sometimes I'm able to stay in that mood for just a short period of time and pull out quickly and other times I might stay there for a few hours. Like I said....like riding a rollercoaster. I never know how long I'll be in the mood and I never know which mood I'm going to jump too and from which extreme it's going to be. I never know what the day is going to be like either. I have good days....I can go the whole day sometimes at just a nice even level of happy. I have days like that. No real mood swings. Just a nice level of happy....only your normal expecations of sad or mad or whatever. No real "swings". What any "normal" person would go through. For the last 8 months or so I have been like this. Just recently though something triggered me. And I have been thrown into a full blown "cycle" as I call them. The last 2 weeks now I have been cycling HARD every day. It is like being on this never ending rollarcoaster ride every day. I've not been in a cycle like this for a long time. I had things under control for so long....it is NOT FUN to be this bad again. It's been about 8 months since I last cycled....but a few years since I last cycled this HARD.

    Honestly I don't know a lot about cyclothymia. I'm not one who really studies up on my mental illness. I basically went to counseling a few years back because things were once again getting too much for me to handle. I'm one of those who goes in and out of counseling. When things get bad...I go back. Sort of like a refresher course! At that point I had not been to counseling in several years. So they looked over everything and decided I was not dealing w/ things as my records indicated and they came up w/ this whole "cyclothymia" and "OCPD" diagnosis for me. I counseled for about 6 months. It wasn't so much educating me about what cyclothymia is. It was more about....hey....this is what we feel you have. Maybe 4 of my sessions we talked about it nad how it affects me. The rest of my sessions were talking about my specific issues and how to work with them. I've now been out of counseling for ??? 3 years? So I can really only sit here and tell you that yes....I am diagnosed with cyclothymia. I have never gone on the internet and researched cyclothymia. A little bit yes, in the beginning when I was first diagnosed. Enough to know that it IS different from bipolar, bipolar II, etc. I know how I deal w/ it and what it's like for me. But I don't really know anything about it text book.

    I'm not sure if my long and rambeling post helps you any. It's hard for me to sort out from my past and tell you things that gets to the point and heart of your questions! I've been through a lot of things over the last ...oh 25 years or so and they all intertwine you know?!! Bear with me! I'll try to help and answer questions as best I can and share in any way that might help you!

    One other thing. I do take meds to help deal w/ the symptoms. Topamax has been a GREAT med for me to be on. It helps calm some of my anger (though NOT all of it). It definetly helps with my racing thoughts....and you can probably tell I'm currently once again having problems with that as my posts are very unorganized...thoughts scattered and I jump from one thing to the next. On my good days I'm much more organized...although on boards like this I'll never care about spelling, punct., etc.! Anyway...also helps me with moods, etc.

    Anyway. Nuff for this post eh!

    Take Care,
    -Sky

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    My apologies. My post is very long and probably very hard to follow. If you have specific questions....please ask...I'll try to answer without so much detail! It's hard for me to get to the point sometimes! I have been dealing w/ depression since I was a young child. When I was a young child I was molested by an older sibling. In my early teens through my early 20s I was into cutting ....I deal w/ suicide ideation as well as made 3 attempts on my life. My sophmore year of highschool I went into an inpatient treatment program because of the suicide attempt (I checked myself into that) as well as I went to outpatient counseling off and on thruoghout my teens and early 20s/30s. (I'm now 31). I've been diagnosed most recently as dealing with cyclothymia and OCPD. I also have dealt with bulimia. (still struggle w/ bulimia). These are like the jist of each things. I'm 31 now...32 next month. As I think back over my life....think back as far back as when I was molested....back to when I was 10....back to my Jr. High years...my highschool years....my early 20s....just a few years ago.....there are so many things I could share! I try to think about what relates to just my counseling a few years ago when I was first diagnosed w/ cyclothymia! I think back to when I counseled in Jr. High/High school and then my diagnosis were just "chemical inbalance" or "clinical depression". I think back to when I started up counseling again about 3/4 yrs. ago now after a long absense from it and they were considering everything from PTSD to clinical depression to bipolar II to ADHD to borderline personality disorder. I had this counselor who every 2 weeks that I went to see her....she just kept jumping me from one possibility to another. Finally I left her and went to a new counselor. He couldn't believe how I was being bounced around like that! Anyway. He kept working w/ me and finally settled on this cyclothymia diagnosis.

    But so you see. There are SO many things I think of as I'm posting...they all tie into each other and it becomes hard for me to keep a post short and simple! I start to talk about just something from the cyclothymia as I learned about it a few years ago...but then I think about something from even before that and how I'm sure that ties into it and I start talking about that! Or the OCPD portion of things ....and the cutting and the suicide, etc. etc. etc.!

    So my apologies if my first post was hard to follow. That is one thing about cyclothymia with my rapid thoughts....I get all these thoughts just swimming in my head and I just go. it's so hard to just think clearly sometimes!

    At any rate. Please. If you have questions and want to talk. I will try to slow down and break it down more clearly for you as best I can. Again though I will note. I am not the type to go on line or read books. When diangosed I didn't start researching my diagnosis. In my counseling sessions my counselor didn't start educating me on cyclothymia. He gave me the jist of what it was. But more so we just focused on what I was dealing w/ specifically and personally and just worked on how I could deal w/ that. We didn't talk about textbook cyclothymia and what it is for the average person, etc. So I don't know much about cyclothymia in that regards. I only know that it's my "label" ...my diagnosis according to my counselor and I know how I deal w/ it personally. But I can't really tell you much about it beyond that. I simply never wanted to study up on it. All those technical terms went over my head anyway. Posting here with others who deal with it...that helps me. Studying it....reading what some website says about cyclothymia.....???? ...that never helped me. Well and by the time I was diagnosed w/ cyclothymia....you have to understand....as I briefly mentioned....I had just gotten away from a counselor who kept bouncing me from one misdiagnosis to the next. I had started researching each of those diagnosis each time....after all that....I gave up doing that. I'd get my hopes up each time....I no longer do that. I figure this is me. I know what I deal w/ personally.....what else is there to know? My counselor taught me what to look for in myself....signs to watch for and how to cope through. So that's what I go with. I like sites like this because I learn from other's personal stories...what works for you.....I try to learn from that. And help support each other.

    Take Care!
    -Sky

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    Sometimes it's important to know which diagnostic categories you (or any individual) falls into, because it may determine the direction of treatment.

    However, in the majority of cases, I think it's more productive and enlightening to look at the symptoms and issues and to deal with those without worrying excessively about a specific diagnosis. Truthfully, in my practice, most of the time that's how I work - when I do provide a diagnosis, I would say that 95% of the time it's because an insurance company or specialist requires it, not because I find that it makes a different in what the client and I are doing in therapy.

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    I'm sorry David,

    You lost me. I'm not sure what you mean here. You mean because of how for so long I was bounced from one diagnosis to the next and how frustrating that was?! Well...and really....one could argue that I even am dealing w/ cyclothymia and OCPD! That was the last diagnosis I was given when I finally left the counselor that kept bouncing me around and switched. But I figured based on everything I know for myself and where I came w/ that counselor....it seemed to fit the best for me. And I got to a point where I just didn't care about the label anymore. Here....it's nice to have a label so I can go to a forum and post w/ people....have it for some sort of direction if you will....but for the most part....I don't care what label I have so long as I know what I'm dealing with and how to work with it...cope with it and work through my everyday life! As long as my dr. can prescribe a med that is fitting and accurate in helping to control (not cure) my symptoms, etc. That's all I feel I need. I used to be VERY hung up on a label. Now....not as much.
    -Sky

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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    That's really all I'm saying, Sky. If you and your current therapist feel that cyclothymia is "close enough" in terms of fitting or describing your symptoms, I'd say that's good enough. Because ultimately you want to learn how to manage and reduce the severity of your symptoms, whatever name someone wants to give to it.

    The focus should be on symptoms, issues, and problems, not on diagnosis.

  10. #10
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    Re: Diagnosed with and deal with Cyclothymia

    I'm not currently seeing anyone. I just take my topamax. hell that's expensive enough. Insurance. DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED. You know. In this day and age.....getting sick is pretty much reserved for being rich. What a messed up society we live in. Take my insurance for example. It's considered to be "fair". Right. Our deducatables are $450 PER PERSON in my family...including my children. Once you satisfy that THEN they do actually cover bills and meds at 80%. But sheesh...my topamax happens to be $169. ....welll that was for my current dose of 200mg. I'm now having to increase to 250mg. So that price will soon go up too. I remember back when I used to have to take 400mg. My price for meds was almost $300 a month. THAT is the INSURANCE price for the pills. It's MUCH higher if you don't have insurance. Isn't that just garbage? Think about it. The other day I called to check on a script that my daughter and I both take for our allergies. I wanted to know what it was going to cost first. The pharmsist said it depends. He couldn't give me an exact price til he ran it through my insurance. Every insurance was different. Turns out my insurance charges $79. Now if I didn't have insurance....the CASH price he would have had to charge me on this med is $120. But another insurance might be able to charge less....another...maybe more. I mean come on.....the med doesn't change....but depending on what coverage you have....it can be considerably more or considerably less.
    Take for another example. My 5yr. old has to be updated on her vaccinations for kindergarden tomorrow. I will take her to our local courthouse where they do them...all they ask for is a $10 donation. Now....I could also take her to the doctor's clinic. What a joke. First of all I would have to pay $118.50 JUST FOR THE WELL CHECK appointment that does not even include the shots. Then each of the 3 shots ....well...the first shot was $47...then 2nd shot was $27 and the 3rd shot was $22. That was just for the vaccine. Then they charge you 2 seperate charges of $19 and $8 just for GIVING you the shot and call it a vaccination fee!!!!! Now....my daughter does not have her personal deducatable covered of $450...however my husband and I have done enough doctoring (or meds) this year that we have covered our family deducatable of $1000......so that means I could go and have all this done and have her appt. covered at the 80% mark...but good grief....I'll just go and give the $10 to the courthouse...principal of the thing. UNREAL. Like I said. You almost have to be rich to be sick anymore....to get quality care that is.

    As for my counseling. Well....that's a whole nother subject of my particular insurance coverage. They don't cover that the same. I only am allowed coverage for TWENTY counseling sessions in a year. Sure. They do cover them at 90% and so that does help. As expensive as counseling can be ....90% certainly helps pay those bills. But once I have used up my 20 appointments....that's it. I simply cannot afford $150 OR MORE in therapy sessions! Think about it....to get quality sessions....I need to go once a week...that's really only 4x a month. One hour time blocks. $600 a month right there and that's usually the lowest fee...least around here. $150/hr. is considered cheap! I simply cannot afford that. Not right now. Sooooooooooooooooooo for now......counseling simply has to wait. I guess I figure I have had enough of it that I try to draw from memory what little things I can do for myself. And then for the support aspect....I come here! Maybe when my children are grown and I don't need to support them so much financially anymore...I can consider doing that for myself. Or at least when I'm at a point where I can return to the workforce full-time I will have that extra cushion in the budget to consider that for myself. Right now I feel I'm doing well enough that I don't HAVE to do the counseling. Obviously if I ever felt I was at a point where I was a risk, etc.....then we'd have to find a way to make it work. For now....I consider it more a luxury I have to do w/out!!!

    Ahhh...venting!! Always gotta have some of that don't we?! :roll:
    -Sky

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