Journal 2018 – Day 7 – Bipolar and Sexuality

Bipolar Disorder effects all areas of your life but one area I didn’t know it effected much was sexuality. The thing with sex and bipolar is that either you have it in spades and running over or you don’t have an active libido at all. I am of the later which is why I didn’t know it was part of the Bipolar Disorder. A friend of mine didn’t care whom she had sex with, or what kind of sex she had or with how many men she had it with at one time without any protection at all. This kind of reckless sexual activity is called hypersexual behavior is common in Bipolar disorder. Then there is the other side of the coin when another friend of mine had no interest in sex at all. She didn’t want to be touched in any way at all. Not even from her boyfriend. She was fine with cuddles and hugging and kissing, but going further than that made her run out of the door screaming as if she had been touched by a hot poker. As you can see neither one of these situations puts the person in a very good sexual position. The bad thing about the medications for Bipolar Disorder is that it can stop the hypersexual behavior of the Mania phase of the Bipolar disorder but in most cases it will  completely turn their libido off for good.

Some say that Bipolar disorder is the reason for sexual addiction. The two are often difficult to untangle. According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) article “Opening the Door on Hypersexuality,” the prevalence of in the people with bipolar disorder is on average 57%. It involves a significantly heightened sex drive resulting in things like “constantly thinking about sex, a preoccupation with pornography, an abundance of one-night stands, engaging in sex with multiple partners, having random sex, seeking out prostitutes or having multiple affairs even when in a committed relationship.”

Most of these sexual encounters don’t mean anything to the person with Bipolar.  They get momentary pleasure from the experience, but they just crave the act of sex.  They don’t really care where or how they get it.  There is no emotional element to these sex acts. When this disorder has disrupted a person’s life almost totally, that person might become a prostitute to hide their sexual appetite.  This way they  can have as much casual, meaningless sex they want.

People with Hypersexuallty are often more likely to try more risky sexual positions and experiences such as being tied up and blind folded. Masters and Servants are also games that can be played as well as the use of whips and chains.  There is one game that even I am willing to play and as stated above I’ve got no libido, and that game is Dirty Minds.  I’d check it out if you want a little fun.

I hopw that I have given you something to think about.  You can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Journal 2018 – Day 2 – My Diagnosis

Since the last journal entry was about my PTSD I thought that this one should be about my Diagnosis.  I was first diagnosis Manic Depressive when I was 22, which was a long time ago. More than half my lifetime to tell the truth. At first it was all depression. I was not sleeping at all. then crashing for a day or two then back up for an entire week before crashing once again. This was not good for me or my new husband. It didn’t help that he was in the Navy and working a job that kept him away from the house 16 hours a day every day for 7 days straight with varying breaks depending on shift that he was working on that week. I was left alone at the house with no one. He was a student Naval Officer so there was no Wives Club, yet. By the time he got home all he wanted was food and sleep and get up and do it all over again the next day.

The first thing they tried to straighten out was my sleep because without good sleep your moods are going to be out of whack anyway. The problem was that my body was adjusting to the medications too fast and they would stop working and I would stop going to sleep. Then we had to move and it was another doctor and different medications.

You see as with any mental illness, getting the medication right is a hit and miss, trial by error situation. You start off trying this and seeing if it works and adjusting as you go along. some medication will work on one patient, but not on another because we are all different. I cannot tell you the number of medications that I have been on since I was first diagnosis. It would blow your mind. And this is the longest I’ve been on the same medication in a while, 8 months with only a change in dosage.

When the Doctors On High changed Manic Depressive to Bipolar I where was no II at the time and it said that you had to be Manic (not happy but very active in the mind and body) for days . I was Manic for hours not days but mostly depressed with trouble sleeping so they changed my diagnosis to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Between all the moving around as a Naval wife, then the divorce and moving and marriage, and divorce, and marriage and divorce and moving around all the time and having had several doctors and a whole lot of medication, It’s a wonder I’m not dead yet! LOL

About two years ago my then doctor for some unknown reason yelled at the top of her lungs to me that I was no longer MDD but Bipolar II, PYSD, and schizoaffective and she never wanted to see me again. She gave me enough medication for three months which gave me enough time to find another doctor. Schizoaffective is schizophrenia with a mood disorder like mania or depression. I finally found the doctor that I now have and love. He lets me have an active role in my illness instead of just telling me what medications to take, I tell him what’s going on and he gives me options and let’s me choose for myself. This is a first and I like it. After a while seeing him, I asked if he really thought I was schizoaffective and he agreed with me that I was not schizoaffective because I didn’t have the hallucinations and delusions of schizophrenia. I know about schizophrenia because my mother has it. But he would not change what another doctor had done. So I guess I’m stuck with it.

Bipolar II is a form of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic periods. Hypomanic periods are at least four days of either elevated moods or irritable mood with periods of pressured speech, inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep. It is less severe than mania. It has similar symptoms with elevated mood and increased activity. Hypomania is a pleasurable state. It many confer a heightened sense of creativity and power. It can be hard to diagnose be it masquerades as mere happiness. Because it is an important part of the Bipolar disorder, it may cycle into depression.

Now you have to whole drawn out story of my journey so far with mental illness. Actually, My journey started a long time before I came to be 22. I have dealt with mental illness all my life, but it wasn’t my mental illness. It was my mother’s, but that is another story. Praise the Lord!

Journal 2018 – Day 1 – PTSD

Welcome to Day 1 of my new Journal to tract what I’m going through as a Christian with PTSD, Bi[polar II, and schizoaffective.    Now I know through my research that if you are schizoaffective Bipolar II is included within it added to schizophrenia so I am stating it twice in my above statement.  The reason I stated it the way I did is that is the way that my doctor informed of my diagnosis.

I have lived with these disorders for 29 years and counting.  I have been on a lot of medication with the many doctors that I have seen over the years trying to find the magic combination that will “fix” me.  The medication won’t “fix” anyone.  Let’s make that clear.  It does help to keep me together so that I can function like a human being for at least some of the time…..lolol

I’ve done a great deal of research into my diagnosis and medication.  In fact, I will investigate any medication that any doctor gives me before I take it.  It’s not that I don’t trust the doctors but I want to know what’s going on before I take it.  Anyway.  I thought that I would break up my diagnosis and look at each one up close.  I also thought that I would start with the easy one first.

PTSD you have most likely heard of. It stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It is a mental condition that a person gets after they have experiences or witnesses a traumatic event.  It can result in a series of emotional and physical reactions to fear for their personal life and wellbeing.  Examples would be a car collision or other accident long term abuse physical or sexual assault, torture living in a war zone, a natural disaster or a life-altering experiences such as the death of a love one.  Symptoms of PTSD can be but are not limited to:

A] Physical Pain – Dizziness, digestive problems, headaches, chest pain, stomach issues, migraines, breathing difficulties, and fatigue.

B] Flashbacks and/or Nightmares – It is also know as re-experiencing where the person is suddenly and vividly reliving the event over and over again.  It can happen when you are asleep, but it can also happen suddenly in waking images or sensation of physical and emotional pain and fear.  Sometimes it will cause the person to become homebound because they fear the world outside.

C] Depression and/or Anxiety – Mental phobias or irrational and persistent fear and avoidance of certain objects or situations can cause paranoia and depression

D] Withdrawal – Sudden lose of interest in favorite hobbies, activities and friends in some that was socially active is also a symptom of PTSD. On the other end of the spectrum is seeking out risky behavior can also be a form of escapism through drug or alcohol abuse or thrill seeking.

E] Avoidance – Another one is why a person doesn’t what to do something physical or mental that reminds them of the event.

F] Repression – this is the intentional blockage of the memories that associated with the past even or experience

G] Emotional Numbing – A person after a trauma most of the time wants to numb their feeling  because it’s hard to suffer the pain when you don’t feel anything.  Unfortunately, numbing leads to withdrawal which eventually leads you to complete isolation from social circles.

H] Hyper-Arousal – Sometimes a person suffers from a form of the jitters so sever that it becomes impossible to relax due to the fear of threats. They are thought to be “on edge” or “jumpy” and easily frightened.

I] Irritability – A state of constant fear and paranoia that causes irritability, indecisiveness, and a total lack of concentration, sleeplessness and difficulty maintaining personal relationships.

J] Guilt and Shame – If they can’t get past the negative experience, the patient will find it difficult to move forward and maintain a healthy life.  Blame of themselves will come into the picture and they will constantly relive the event wanting to know what else they could have done to prevent it.  Finally, they will blame themselves for the tragedy and have immense shame and guilt for it.

Well, if you stayed through all the dry information part of this post then I will reward you with some personal information…..LOL  I know that is most likely not what you were looking for, but then why else would you be reading my blog?   I have PTSD because I was abused as a child and I have been in some really bad relationships.  I have dealt with most of it with the help of doctors, medication, friends, Jesus and God, but there are times that it sneaks up on me and the fear takes hold of me as if I was back there again.  I have no control at that point without the people around me that help me to remember my “helps” and that gets me back to the present so I’m not stuck in the past. Praise the Lord!!!!!  I am so thankful to the Lord for getting me to this point in my life!!!!!

Thanks for listening to me.  God Bless You!!!  I’ll talk more tomorrow!!!! Day 1 Out!!!!