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Fizz786

Does anyone suffer from bipolar affective disorder?

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salam alaikum,

I am a Shia muslimah born and raised. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2015. I had many pressures in my life all at once which led to a massive manic episode. I felt like I had a spiritual experience linked to the 12 Imam atf. There is too much detail to go into but around that time I was told that it wasn’t true but it felt true to me. Anyhow, Im on many medications due to this and would like to reach out to any fellow shia muslims who are also battling this. I suffered a few episodes since then and alhumdulillah I havent suffered for a year and 5 months alhumdulillah. I have a beautiful son now alhumdulillah too which keeps me going. 

Does anyone on here have this too? if so, do you feel that your religion helps you to cope? and in general have you had any episodes of highs and lows? Do you also have any general coping mechanisms that help you personally? 

sorry for all the questions. I feel a little alone in this regard. I do have a friend whose husband has bipolar but It would be a little strange to strike up a conversation with him on this topic, I also do not know him on a personal level. I feel he may not find it appropriate due to our islamic boundaries. 

JazakAllah,

many thanks for reading.

Fizz786

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Walaikum Assalam,

Firstly, you should know that you've done something brave and commendable by sharing your struggle with your mental health.

I happen to have gotten a diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder Type I about 9 months back. I had previously been diagnosed with Depressive Disorder and had been taking anti-depressants, eventually a change in my medication and other factors that were causes of stress, led to a severe manic-psychotic episode, which led to my diagnosis being changed.

I can relate quite a bit with your description of your manic episode. I, too had strong delusions, especially religious and in context of the 12th Imam (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف). Gradually the manic episode settled with medications, and gave way to a severe depressive episode which I am still trying to come to terms with. I have been trying different medications and also working on other aspects of life to try and manage my condition. It still seems difficult at times and it can be very hard to come terms with the fact that I have this diagnosis as it can so debilitating at times.

Religion and spirituality is one of the things that I have included very much in my daily life and yes it has helped quite a bit. However, there are days when it's very difficult to control my mood and behaviour, and in those days my prayers/duas seem not to be particularly helpful.

As for other coping mechanisms, I am only slowly starting to look at other things. Things like meditation/mindfulness, working with a therapist and trying CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), trying to keep a fixed sleep/wake time, exercise/running, planning my day by adding activities throughout the day whether I enjoy them or not but doing them nevertheless (concept of Behavioural Activation).

Despite all of that, I have major fluctuations in my mood throughout the day and it can be very difficult. Sometimes there's a feeling of complete helplessness and hopelessness.

I hope that with time, things get better. I am glad to hear that you're much stable. What has helped you? Do you think that time has a role to play, as in, does it get better with time?

I hope this makes you feel less alone.

Kind regards,

Khudi

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On 5/10/2020 at 12:16 PM, Khudi said:

Walaikum Assalam,

Firstly, you should know that you've done something brave and commendable by sharing your struggle with your mental health.

I happen to have gotten a diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder Type I about 9 months back. I had previously been diagnosed with Depressive Disorder and had been taking anti-depressants, eventually a change in my medication and other factors that were causes of stress, led to a severe manic-psychotic episode, which led to my diagnosis being changed.

I can relate quite a bit with your description of your manic episode. I, too had strong delusions, especially religious and in context of the 12th Imam (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف). Gradually the manic episode settled with medications, and gave way to a severe depressive episode which I am still trying to come to terms with. I have been trying different medications and also working on other aspects of life to try and manage my condition. It still seems difficult at times and it can be very hard to come terms with the fact that I have this diagnosis as it can so debilitating at times.

Religion and spirituality is one of the things that I have included very much in my daily life and yes it has helped quite a bit. However, there are days when it's very difficult to control my mood and behaviour, and in those days my prayers/duas seem not to be particularly helpful.

As for other coping mechanisms, I am only slowly starting to look at other things. Things like meditation/mindfulness, working with a therapist and trying CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), trying to keep a fixed sleep/wake time, exercise/running, planning my day by adding activities throughout the day whether I enjoy them or not but doing them nevertheless (concept of Behavioural Activation).

Despite all of that, I have major fluctuations in my mood throughout the day and it can be very difficult. Sometimes there's a feeling of complete helplessness and hopelessness.

I hope that with time, things get better. I am glad to hear that you're much stable. What has helped you? Do you think that time has a role to play, as in, does it get better with time?

I hope this makes you feel less alone.

Kind regards,

Khudi

Salam alaikum Khudi, 

jazakAllah and thank you so much for your reply. I also think you are brave and its also commendable that you are discussing your mental health too. 

I’m sorry to hear about your struggles in your daily life. Yes I am also type 1 bipolar.    Stress is a huge factor that contributes to bipolar greatly. I was also under a tremendous amount of stress regarding my previous unwanted marriage. I also also doing a masters and working. There was too much pressure on me and I just popped with a manic-psychotic episode too. 

I’m sorry to hear. It is so hard isnt it? my manic episode also settled with medication then I went into a depressive episode. I made the wrong decisions through it too which I regret till this day. I too could not accept that I had this condition. I turned against my family for a few months until friends took me to Iran to try and heal and make a better decision about my life. 

Yes I also have religion and spirituality in my life but sometimes I agree, prayers and duas are not always helpful. Although I havent used them much to help me because I tend to forget that I could pray for myself especially during my episodes. Although I pray, I think everything that in doing or thinking is right. and everyone else is wrong. which leads to causing grief to my loved ones. (Though I normally wouldnt do those things) such as smoking alot, being verbally abusive etc. Thats not me at all. But I become a completely different person. Its very strange. 

I think your coping mechanisms are fantastic. Really useful. I had therapy too, I cant remember the name but I had it for a few weeks. It helped me to think more positively.

I dont have a good routine like yourself, Im just at home with my two year old son who keeps me going. I do during this stable  time do different things such as watching islamic movies, spending time with son, reading holy Quran and usual wifely duties. 

It must be hard to have mood fluctuations throughout your day. Do you live with family? do you have supportive friends?

I tend not to have mood fluctuations at all since 2018. But ill have a day where im feeling a little down. sometimes I find a calm situation with someone who is dear to you can really help us cope. My husband is very supportive and helps to keep me well. If there is a small glitch, straight away he tells me, to lets go out somewhere, do something you enjoy etc. He doesn’t put any kind of pressure on me with housework etc. So Im in a relaxed environment. The last thing we need is unnecessary pressure and life without support. 

As above, the environment has helped me stay stable. Another thing which has is being positive and having people treat me well. When I had my son, I had a very bad experience from the hospital during his birth. The staffs disgusting behaviour and cause of stress made me pop. Not only that I kept having physical illnesses one after the other until the stress of everything just mixed up and made me very ill. I was very angry and scared everyone around me. Everytime I get ill, my mind tells me that imam atf is coming soon and we need to prepare.

If im honest, time isnt on our side. As an episode can occur suddenly. there is no telling when. Unless we go into remission one day which would be the best thing ever. 

Thank you so much, may Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless you for sharing a very personal part of your life with me. I will keep you in my duas inshaAllah. 

I don’t feel alone now. But im so surprised how similar our experiences are. Its very interesting. But at the same time, I feel for you as I know what you are going through. I would highly suggest, you have good company, a close family member who understands you? ah, I forgot to ask, how are your close ones reacting to this? do you have any support? 

Maybe we can continue this thread with discussing how you or I am feeling daily or weekly and maybe we can support each other through this vein too inshaAllah?  what do you think? 

Ps sorry for the super late reply, I only saw this two days after you posted and I cannot come online everyday. So I will try to reply as soon as I can inshaAllah

with duas,

Fizz786

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On 5/14/2020 at 1:32 PM, Fizz786 said:

Salam alaikum Khudi, 

jazakAllah and thank you so much for your reply. I also think you are brave and its also commendable that you are discussing your mental health too. 

I’m sorry to hear about your struggles in your daily life. Yes I am also type 1 bipolar.    Stress is a huge factor that contributes to bipolar greatly. I was also under a tremendous amount of stress regarding my previous unwanted marriage. I also also doing a masters and working. There was too much pressure on me and I just popped with a manic-psychotic episode too. 

I’m sorry to hear. It is so hard isnt it? my manic episode also settled with medication then I went into a depressive episode. I made the wrong decisions through it too which I regret till this day. I too could not accept that I had this condition. I turned against my family for a few months until friends took me to Iran to try and heal and make a better decision about my life. 

Yes I also have religion and spirituality in my life but sometimes I agree, prayers and duas are not always helpful. Although I havent used them much to help me because I tend to forget that I could pray for myself especially during my episodes. Although I pray, I think everything that in doing or thinking is right. and everyone else is wrong. which leads to causing grief to my loved ones. (Though I normally wouldnt do those things) such as smoking alot, being verbally abusive etc. Thats not me at all. But I become a completely different person. Its very strange. 

I think your coping mechanisms are fantastic. Really useful. I had therapy too, I cant remember the name but I had it for a few weeks. It helped me to think more positively.

I dont have a good routine like yourself, Im just at home with my two year old son who keeps me going. I do during this stable  time do different things such as watching islamic movies, spending time with son, reading holy Quran and usual wifely duties. 

It must be hard to have mood fluctuations throughout your day. Do you live with family? do you have supportive friends?

I tend not to have mood fluctuations at all since 2018. But ill have a day where im feeling a little down. sometimes I find a calm situation with someone who is dear to you can really help us cope. My husband is very supportive and helps to keep me well. If there is a small glitch, straight away he tells me, to lets go out somewhere, do something you enjoy etc. He doesn’t put any kind of pressure on me with housework etc. So Im in a relaxed environment. The last thing we need is unnecessary pressure and life without support. 

As above, the environment has helped me stay stable. Another thing which has is being positive and having people treat me well. When I had my son, I had a very bad experience from the hospital during his birth. The staffs disgusting behaviour and cause of stress made me pop. Not only that I kept having physical illnesses one after the other until the stress of everything just mixed up and made me very ill. I was very angry and scared everyone around me. Everytime I get ill, my mind tells me that imam atf is coming soon and we need to prepare.

If im honest, time isnt on our side. As an episode can occur suddenly. there is no telling when. Unless we go into remission one day which would be the best thing ever. 

Thank you so much, may Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless you for sharing a very personal part of your life with me. I will keep you in my duas inshaAllah. 

I don’t feel alone now. But im so surprised how similar our experiences are. Its very interesting. But at the same time, I feel for you as I know what you are going through. I would highly suggest, you have good company, a close family member who understands you? ah, I forgot to ask, how are your close ones reacting to this? do you have any support? 

Maybe we can continue this thread with discussing how you or I am feeling daily or weekly and maybe we can support each other through this vein too inshaAllah?  what do you think? 

Ps sorry for the super late reply, I only saw this two days after you posted and I cannot come online everyday. So I will try to reply as soon as I can inshaAllah

with duas,

Fizz786

Walaikum Assalam,

Hope you're well. Sorry for the late response.

Thank you for sharing your entire story as well. I'm glad to know that you have a good support system and a kind husband, that probably makes all the difference in the world. I can relate very strongly with how you've described feeling like a different person at times. This is something that concerns me a lot as I don't feel like myself at times and it's very difficult as I become so emotionally fragile and vulnerable and keep having weeping episodes.

As for the coping mechanisms and schedule that I mentioned, it's not like I follow it consistently, in fact, it's very hard to keep it up. I follow it for a few days, then I have a particularly difficult day and I lose all momentum and then have to try and build it all over again which takes a lot of time and energy.

My situation is a bit complicated, in that, I've been in hospital for a long time. Ever since my manic episode, I couldn't be discharged because I don't have family where I am living and I wasn't in the position to live by myself as well. I was making progress towards a discharge slowly but the lock down with Covid has been a big obstacle towards my recovery. I do have a few friends, but it hasn't been possible to meet them due to the restrictions.

My family is absolutely wonderful in how they've supported me so far and continue to do so. I am blessed to have a wonderful wife who has been extremely helpful, supportive and patient throughout this difficult time. Unfortunately, none of them are here in person so I have to rely on video calls. I hope things improve with time.

It's encouraging for me to hear that your mood swings have almost gone, gives me hope that I need to give myself some more time and once I have some support in person, my wife or my family, things will get better.

Yes, it's not a bad idea to post here once in a while to get updates from each other and maybe share things/strategies that are of help.

Have you felt that since your diagnosis it's gotten difficult for you to take on responsibilities? E.g. work or family related. It's commendable that you have a son MashaAllah, but do you feel any different, like less confident or more anxious about taking responsibility compared to prior to your diagnosis?

Kind regards,

Khudi

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salam alaikum Khudi, 

InshaAllah you are well. No worries about late response. Please take your time. 

alhumdulillah yes, the support does make alot of difference in that they understand me and know if there are any signs of relapse. yes we do become completely different people. 

I understand. Having a routine can be difficult as you have to maintain it. As long as you keep trying, thats what matters. 

Ah wow I see, may I ask how come? usually they send you to hospital in the same town where you are living? wait, are you still in hospital? 

ahh great mashaAllah! a life companion is the best thing in our situations. I’m glad your family are supportive and even video calls are a great thing to have. Thank God for technology eh? 

yes alhumdulillah, I am quite normal if I say so myself. My husband isnt that concerned anymore but makes sure I take my meds regularly. trust me, there is hope. You can go back to being completely normal once your treatment is done and you live with your wife and family inshaAllah. Don’t worry. if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone inshaAllah. I am a complete monster when I am unwell. I think the change in meds helped aswell, I am now on Lithium amongst 3 other meds which help me to maintain stability. and of course, help from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).  

yes, I think helping each other would be good. How are you feeling at the moment? do you feel more emotional or less? I will pray for you too inshaAllah. 

yes it is harder then before my diagnosis. Like self confidence  in cooking, generally how I present myself. I am less confident in how I do things. I worry I will get them wrong. lost alot of confidence in myself. do you feel that with yourself too? are you fearful of how you will manage once you live with family? inshaAllah you have the right support so they will help you. Please dont worry about that aspect of things. From what I hear, Im sure your wife will help you with your responsibilities inshaAllah. 

keep strong, inshaAllah you can het through this. 

kind regards, 

Fizz786

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salam alaikum Khudi,

inshaAllah you are well. just to let you know, I found a great website called bipolaruk. They have an ecommunity forum for anyone with bipolar or their carers. Its really good. Everyone knows what everyone is going through and support one another. If you ever want to join, my name is fizzypop on there. I think you will find it really useful. I know I have. It also gives me something to do and not feel so alone. Maybe check it out if you feel its for you inshaAllah.

Kind regards,

Fizz786

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On 5/22/2020 at 10:56 AM, Fizz786 said:

salam alaikum Khudi, 

InshaAllah you are well. No worries about late response. Please take your time. 

alhumdulillah yes, the support does make alot of difference in that they understand me and know if there are any signs of relapse. yes we do become completely different people. 

I understand. Having a routine can be difficult as you have to maintain it. As long as you keep trying, thats what matters. 

Ah wow I see, may I ask how come? usually they send you to hospital in the same town where you are living? wait, are you still in hospital? 

ahh great mashaAllah! a life companion is the best thing in our situations. I’m glad your family are supportive and even video calls are a great thing to have. Thank God for technology eh? 

yes alhumdulillah, I am quite normal if I say so myself. My husband isnt that concerned anymore but makes sure I take my meds regularly. trust me, there is hope. You can go back to being completely normal once your treatment is done and you live with your wife and family inshaAllah. Don’t worry. if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone inshaAllah. I am a complete monster when I am unwell. I think the change in meds helped aswell, I am now on Lithium amongst 3 other meds which help me to maintain stability. and of course, help from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).  

yes, I think helping each other would be good. How are you feeling at the moment? do you feel more emotional or less? I will pray for you too inshaAllah. 

yes it is harder then before my diagnosis. Like self confidence  in cooking, generally how I present myself. I am less confident in how I do things. I worry I will get them wrong. lost alot of confidence in myself. do you feel that with yourself too? are you fearful of how you will manage once you live with family? inshaAllah you have the right support so they will help you. Please dont worry about that aspect of things. From what I hear, Im sure your wife will help you with your responsibilities inshaAllah. 

keep strong, inshaAllah you can het through this. 

kind regards, 

Fizz786

Walaikum Assalam,

Hope you're doing well too, inshaAllah.

Yes I am still in hospital. That's because I had finished my tenancy shortly after my admission and was not working so couldn't afford to rent a place for long term. It's been a blessing in many ways Alhumdulillah but it has also impacted on my recovery progress.

Alhumdulillah, it feels good to hear that things got better with you with time. I am trying also to stay positive but it can get quite difficult at times, as you may know. I have also recently started Lithium, tried a bunch of other medications but nothing seemed to help a lot. Things have improved a bit since starting Lithium.

Yes I can be very emotional a lot of the times. It just takes a small thought from the past, anxiety about the future or about the current situation and I start weeping. I don't know if that's normal as part of the illness, because I wasn't as sensitive or emotionally vulnerable in the past, prior to my manic episode.

Maybe we have to come to terms with the fact that we have to put in a lot of extra effort to keep ourselves functional, which can be so exhausting at times.

On 5/23/2020 at 10:58 PM, Fizz786 said:

salam alaikum Khudi,

inshaAllah you are well. just to let you know, I found a great website called bipolaruk. They have an ecommunity forum for anyone with bipolar or their carers. Its really good. Everyone knows what everyone is going through and support one another. If you ever want to join, my name is fizzypop on there. I think you will find it really useful. I know I have. It also gives me something to do and not feel so alone. Maybe check it out if you feel its for you inshaAllah.

Kind regards,

Fizz786

Thank you for this suggestion, I was aware of BipolarUK but hadn't joined the e-community. I shall check it out now that you recommend it. Thank you also for your prayers.

Kind regards,

Khudi

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On 5/7/2020 at 12:01 AM, Fizz786 said:

salam alaikum,

I am a Shia muslimah born and raised. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2015. I had many pressures in my life all at once which led to a massive manic episode. I felt like I had a spiritual experience linked to the 12 Imam atf. There is too much detail to go into but around that time I was told that it wasn’t true but it felt true to me. Anyhow, Im on many medications due to this and would like to reach out to any fellow shia muslims who are also battling this. I suffered a few episodes since then and alhumdulillah I havent suffered for a year and 5 months alhumdulillah. I have a beautiful son now alhumdulillah too which keeps me going. 

Does anyone on here have this too? if so, do you feel that your religion helps you to cope? and in general have you had any episodes of highs and lows? Do you also have any general coping mechanisms that help you personally? 

sorry for all the questions. I feel a little alone in this regard. I do have a friend whose husband has bipolar but It would be a little strange to strike up a conversation with him on this topic, I also do not know him on a personal level. I feel he may not find it appropriate due to our islamic boundaries. 

JazakAllah,

many thanks for reading.

Fizz786

Please try these breathing excercises and read up on Wim Hof. 

I guarantee that you will get results from your very first 10mins of this... 

 

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