Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 570755

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Posted by Phaedrus on October 23, 2005, at 0:13:24

First off, I posted this on another thread already, then realized this one was more appropriate. So Hi everybody. I have a history of mental illness lasting back to the beginning of college. I'm currently 24 and in medical school. I deal with cyclothymia. My cycles are varied in duration, and usually precipitated by social events, (mostly girl problems). Its a bit stressful dealing with this and the workload of medical school. The work isn't that bad, but both really suck. I'm blessed with the intelligence to study significantly less than my fellow students and consistently do better. I'm able to do enough in up periods that I can take the down days off. The intelligence as well as instability were passed on from my parents. They are both doctors. Moms a psychiatrist, a former alcoholic and also knows the joy of cyclothymia. I guess I'm posting this because it would be nice to have someone else to talk to besides her. She completely understands but I need a change. I have a therapist as well, a good one, but he can never really understand. I function well, assuming I exercise and work out. I do alot of weights and yoga, which gives me a sense of confidence and competence along with the endorphins. It really dampens the swings, but I literally have to work out every day for it to work, and it doesn't do everything it just lessens the depression for a bit. And that was a hell of a run-on sentence. I'm a little reluctant to share too much with my friends here at school. I've messed up friendships before by vomiting emotion on them when I'm down. I've read alot of the posts and I like this site, but I'd also like to find an in-person support group. Anyone know of a good resource to find such a group?



Re: cyclothymia Ľ Phaedrus

Posted by cubic_me on October 23, 2005, at 11:35:06

In reply to cyclothymia, posted by Phaedrus on October 23, 2005, at 0:13:24

Hi Ben,

I'm in medical school too. Unfortunately I'm not blessed with the ability to do well in exams without doing lots of work so I have a long list of bare passes. I just wanted to let you know you are not the only one here at med school. I'm finding it harder now I'm in hospitals most of the time as I have to function fully, even on the down days, but the structure is helpful.


Re: cyclothymia Ľ Phaedrus

Posted by Tamar on October 23, 2005, at 13:48:01

In reply to cyclothymia, posted by Phaedrus on October 23, 2005, at 0:13:24

Hi Ben, and welcome.

I donít know much about cyclothymia, but it sounds hard. Lucky for you that you can get away with less study than your classmates!

You asked about a support group: perhaps your therapist has access to resources about support groups. Also, I wonder if your university has a student welfare office that might be persuaded to organise a group for students with mental health issues (maybe one already exists). But I hope youíll feel comfortable here at Babble as well.

I imagine it must be difficult to cope with mental health issues in your situation, when perhaps many of your friends donít really understand and perhaps arenít always sensitive. Many people in their 20s havenít encountered mental illness before and might not know how to support a friend in your situation yet. And it might be particularly difficult in medical school, since many people have to study very hard. But I hope that you will find a few sympathetic people who can offer you friendship and understanding.



Re: cyclothymia Ľ Phaedrus

Posted by fairywings on October 24, 2005, at 11:30:29

In reply to cyclothymia, posted by Phaedrus on October 23, 2005, at 0:13:24

Hi Ben,

Welcome, I hope you find some of the support you're looking for here on babble. I can't imagine the stress of med school and cyclothymia, although it's good that you function so well.

I fully understand about needing to work out every day. I've told my p-doc that I'd be fine if I could walk/run/ride/swim 16 hours a day. I have ADD and a lot of anxiety and the only thing that really helps is exercise. When I don't exercise I can't think, my anxiety is high, and my memory is much worse.

As far as support groups, it seems there are some online support groups specifically for cyclothymia - I did a google with cyclothymia+support groups, but I guess if you entered your city and state if you do a search you might find an in person support group. As well as your therapist, you might check with the local mental health clinic.

Glad your mom is able to help, even though I can understand that what she can help you with would be limited. There are some things kids just can't share with their parents.



Re: cyclothymia Ľ Phaedrus

Posted by Shortelise on October 24, 2005, at 14:49:01

In reply to cyclothymia, posted by Phaedrus on October 23, 2005, at 0:13:24

Hi Ben,

What a busy life you have.

It's reassuring to me to know there are people out there who are studying medicine, people who are connected with their own feelings, failings and difficulties. There seem to be a lot of docs who don't ackowledge the diffiuclties of being human, aside from the physical.

I know what you mean about "vomiting emotions" on people. Reading that struck such a chord. I've had experience with it, too. It can scare the hell out of some, esp. if they aren't really close friends, or if they're people who don't experience such strong emotions. It's amazing how some can go through life on a fairly even keel, not soaring or dipping. I wonder what that's like.

What about group therapy? Could you ask your therapist about that? Maybe it's not possible to find a group of cylcothymics (??), but might it help to be in a group of people who would be supportive even if they do not suffer from the exact ailment?
You're lucky to be able to talk with your Mom, but I can see that it would help to have peers who gets it, too. My mother, from whom I have also inheirited my, well, what I will call my madness, is so in denial that to broach the subject sends her into a sort of fugue state.

I don't know why I am writing so much to you here, I guess I just feel for you. And I think you're brave!



Re: cyclothymia Ľ Phaedrus

Posted by terrics on October 24, 2005, at 22:21:18

In reply to cyclothymia, posted by Phaedrus on October 23, 2005, at 0:13:24

Hi Ben,
Sounds like you are doing a good job of balancing everything. You more than likely will do very well. The thing is to find some relief from the suffering the cyclothymia is causing you. There are some meds that may help. You could ask your mom. There are also a mumber of bipolar sites which may be helpful to you. I find this board to be the best especially for getting the comfort and encouragement you need. Sometimes I think coming here does more good than going to therapy. Good look. terrics

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