Who are you?

I am a 30-something woman living with cyclothymia in South East England.  Sometimes, having cyclothymia really bites, sometimes I find a way to bite back.

After gaining my PhD in 2016, I’m now working at a university and trying to secure long term, secure employment in the Higher Education sector.  Before committing myself to the vagaries of academia, I had a lot of jobs. I’ve never been great at sticking with the 9 to 5, although I tend to get good jobs and do well there; until I get bored and quit.  I was diagnosed with cyclothymia in 2009 not long after a significant relationship ended and just as I was getting in a massive financial hole as a result of hypomanic spending sprees; I’ve written a little about my experience around diagnosis and unmanageable hypomania here.

When I was first diagnosed I tried desperately to find more information on what cyclothymia meant, as I’ve written about here, but it wasn’t easy.  Other than one great article here there was very little information out there.  Through some irregular blogging on other sites and meeting people on twitter I was prompted to start this blog to address a very real need for more information, peer support, and networking opportunities for people living with cyclothymia.

I’ve tried to gather together the most common questions which bring people to this blog in The Great Big Cyclothymia Q&A.  There are some more general ‘overview’ posts about ‘cyclothymia and…’ collected under the Cyclothymia 101 tag.  If you have a question you’d like me to address, just reply to this page.  If you’d prefer not to have your comment published just begin it “please answer in blog post”

7 responses to “Who are you?

  1. Veronica

    Great blog!

  2. Wow. Your comment about irregular blogging and scant information is so true. But I see yours has been anything but, and I admire your for that. I just started my own blog today, but will probably drop the ball as per usual. I am also a thirty-something, a man and a self-employed attorney in the Southeastern US. I nearly lost everything good in my life because of cyclothymia and my horrible coping mechanisms. I was diagnosed last year and am still trying to learn how to function without being perceived as an irritable asshole. Anyway, I’ve subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading it.

  3. Hello… I have found your words and description helpful. I went to see my GP on Friday and tried my best to explain (as best you can to a stranger) and he said it sounds like cyclothymia but then just sent me away and said to come back if it happens again. Its been happening for almost three years and I am getting really tired of it. Have you ever experienced difficulty with doctors being quite dismissive? Thanks, Leanne X

    • Hi Leanne,

      Thanks for your comment, I’m so glad my blog has been helpful for you.

      I’m really sorry to hear your experience with your GP, he sounds incredibly dismissive and as though he’s failed to follow the proper procedure. If you can, return to him and ask for a referral to psychological services for an assessment by psychiatrist. Your GP isn’t qualified to make a diagnosis of cyclothymia and certainly has showed himself to be incapable of dealing with such a diagnosis. If you can’t face seeing him again, you could ask for an appointment with another GP at your surgery.

      You could also try giving the Mind infoline a call and asking for some advice on what to say when or if you decide to return to the GP. You shouldn’t get fobbed off like that when you’ve explicitly gone and asked for help.

      Unfortunately, I have experienced some difficulties with accessing help – I wrote about one occasion here – I have been quite fortunate with GPs though and never had the sort of dismissive experience you have.

      Let me know if you do manage to get a better response on returning. Good luck!

  4. I’m yet to be diagnosed. I think I may get a diagnosis tomorrow.

    I already have a diagnosis of PTSD. I’ve had that for years after I was in a severely abusive relationship for six years with five years of subsequent stalking in all manner of ways and only ending two years ago after blocking him from any form of connection to me on the internet.

    I had a massive melt down in 2012 and I was put on antipsychotics because they didn’t know what was wrong with me. That only made me a zombie and a complete shut in for 9 months.

    I managed to clear myself of all my medication, but the roller coaster continues and I am finding that it is killing not only my ability to function as a member of society, as a once exceptionally successful student, I cannot even hold a data entry temp job down now.

    I’ve been told by my psychiatrist to keep a mood diary over the last week before I see her again tomorrow but it is so difficult because things can take more than a week to change. Different circumstances bring out different moods in me.

    I know all about the anger that you wrote about, it scares me. I am a passive person but I had to take myself to the hospital one day because I was afraid that I was going to hurt someone just if they looked at me the wrong way. I’ve never been so afraid of myself in my entire life.

    I’m seeing 3am more often these days. I’m not sleeping. I don’t always have the engergy. Sometimes 3-4 hours sleep is enough to sustain me, and I know then I’m hypermanic, but then sometimes I am bone tired, my body aches for sleep by my mind will not let me do that. It’s a cruel and unusual game that my brain chemistry is playing with me. It used to take 0.5mg of Clonazepam to get me to sleep, now I get only 5-6 hours sleep on 6mg of the same drug. My brain chemistry even overrides the prescribed melatonin that once upon a time worked wonders and gave me constant 8-9 hours sleep.

    It’s difficult to balance sleeping medications and mood stabilisers with my PTSD because of the night terrors. Many of these drugs (melatonin and epilim especially) give me more dreams, and these dreams can turn into nightmare and from there night terrors. If you’ve never had a night terror before, it’s something worse than a dream, where you are living a real life scenario that you’ve been in before, and you wake up, sweating like you have a fever, wanting to scream but no noise comes out, and you either want to vomit, or you actually do vomit. It triggers your fight of fight response in your sleep. It is one thing that makes you never want to go back to sleep again. However, sleep is integral to your overall function of your body and the efficiency of your brain, so I’m kind of stuck between a rock and a night terror.

    I’m going to keep reading through your posts, and I hope that you find peace and a resolution to living with Cyclothymia, as I hope to as well find peace with my PTSD and what my psychologist believes is most likely Cyclothymatic Disorder.

    Kim

  5. Marie

    Wow , after 30+ years I think I finally have a name for the constant drudge affecting my life. I think I always knew I wasn’t quite bi polar as quite frankly a massive high would be a welcome break from the lead weight now and again . Great blog. Thank you x

  6. Sarah

    Hey, your blog is proving really helpful for me. I’ve finally been given a diagnosis of Cyclothymia after years of realising that I had mood and energy changes that seemed different to other people. I’ve been through some major lows and done some crazy things while high; not least having self medicated with drink and drugs for 10+ years. As another queer woman who has somehow managed to sustain a career despite the ups and downs it’s encouraging to read about someone else going through similar experiences. I’ve been trying to research Cyclothymia to see what I can do to help myself and the information is so limited so thanks for blogging about it. Sarah

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