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Author Topic: Accountability  (Read 2804 times)
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Arkon
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« on: August 21, 2006, 02:13:15 PM »

Just as a curiousity, I was wondering if others around here have difficulty with self accountability.

Now, where this is coming from.  I am currently 28, soon to be 29.  When I graduated high school I weighed in at 169.5 pounds.  That was in 1995.  I was pretty fit from growing up on a farm.  Now I weigh in somewhere around 270.  I am constantly fatigued and always hungry.  I know I need to loose weight.  Diabetes has killed two grandparents, so there is a family history.  I managed to get down to 255 a few months ago by dieting.  The problem is I had one bad day and immediately "fell off the wagon".  Exercise is difficult for me, in part due to my current high weight.  I seem to have limited options currently.  Walking and Jogging are very very tough for me.  I have two bad knees that will usually give out after about half a mile of walking, in part due to the weight they have on them and from past injuries.  My wife loves to swim, but I am very very afraid of water/drowning.  I know how to swim but in the back of my mind am afraid that I will still drown.  We don't own any exercise equipment, and don't have a lot of room to set anything up.  I know that exercise needs to accompany the diet to really be effective.  I would love to get down to around 200.  My biggest problem through all of it though is staying self accountable, and I really hate that.

I have other aspects in my life where I could really use some accountabilty.  So for those who struggle with it, how have you overcome?
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 02:30:41 PM »

Well combining diet and exercise is the best and 'easiest' way to lose weight.  But it doesn't have to involve exercise.

Four years ago I was about 50 pounds heavier -- somewhere in the 190s.  Most of the weight I gradually lost by running; until last summer when I messed up my hip.  The last 15 or 20 pounds I did strictly by calorie control.  I started just taking it on a day by day basis, not alllowing myself over 1800 calories a day (aside from very special occasions of no more than once a week, and even those days I had to stay under my 'maintain weight' calories of my desired weight).  The first two weeks sucked, sure.  But now I'm used to not eating high calorie stuff which usually isn't all that healthy anyhow, and I'm as of this morning at 148 (I'm short at 5' 7" so that isn't as skinny as it might sound).  It was very tough, and I had a couple points where I put ten pounds back on along the way when I got sidetracked, but the key is sticking to it. 

For me it was high cholesterol that helped me realize it was time to stop eating so much.  I don't ever feel like I'm missing out though; I eat what I want, I just eat less of it (and prepare probably 90% of my meals at home).

EDIT: oh but self accountability.  I used to be awful; and I'm not as good as I once was.  But usually I get annoyed with myself for procrastinating a task, and stay annoyed until I get it done.  That helps my motivations a lot, since being upset is a heck of a lot of effort for me in itself.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 02:32:31 PM by JLu » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 02:37:04 PM »

You said a bad day causes you to fall of the wagon. Have you considered some kind of counseling to address your use of food as a source of comfort on those bad days? Perhaps there is some alternative? I'm speaking from absolute ignorance of weight issues here, but it seems like it might be worth a try. My wife and I went to a counselor for some marital issues a couple years ago and we learned a lot, not just about our marital issues but about ourselves.
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 02:38:26 PM »

You should get a full blood workup done, Arkon.   The 100lbs over 10 years isn't what jumps out at me, it's the constant fatigue and hunger that's worrisome.  You might have a thyroid problem, or you might already be diabetic.
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 02:38:41 PM »

Came accross this article off the front page of MSN. It's the third part, but it may be useful.

http://health.msn.com/reports/obesity/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100141238
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 02:47:09 PM »

Personally, I have a hard time being good over a long time period eating as well.  What has helped in the past is to set up some kind of weight pool.  Get together with some friends or co-workers, and basically bet each other to lose weight.  Set a goal, like 15 lbs in 10 weeks, and have everyone put down $100.  The people that make the goal at the end of the time, split the money.  That's a lot of cash, so its a big motivation, and also doing it with friends help.

Putting money on the line, and pride with friends, has helped me the most over time.  The other key is that I log everything I eat, so I know exactly how bad certain foods are, and try and eat healthier to maintain a certain goal.
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 02:47:59 PM »

Find a diet doctor who'll give you speed and thyroid pills. We have a bunch of them around here.
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 02:54:45 PM »

When I got married I weighed 175.  Which sounds good except I'm 6'6" tall so I was unhealthy-skinny.  That changed over the years and last Monday I weighed 247.  My wife's unhappy with her weight as well.  Both she and I decided we need to do something about it so we're going to be following the Body For Life program.  One week into it and I can tell right away that having her do this with me is very helpful.  There are those mornings I don't want to get up but I do it since she's getting up and exercising.  So maybe having someone do it with you?

Maybe keep a running account of your progress here so we can check in and support you?

Maybe something basic like http://www.joesgoals.com/?
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2006, 02:56:38 PM »

Also, you should be honest with yourself and figure out if you might have a mental disorder that is causing your lethargy.  Depression is obviously the most common psychological cause of lethargy, but depression is often a symptom of a different, more specific disorder.

From the tone of your post, I'm leaning toward the psychological side of things.  You're not just critical of yourself, you're almost loathsome.  You claim to be aquaphobic, which may or may not be the case, but either way it suggests mental disorder ("normal" people do not develop a fear of water, so either you're genetically predisposed to the fear, which suggests your mental architecture is already abnormal; you experienced a traumatic incident involving water; or it's a depressive defense mechanism to keep you inactive and depressed).  The title of your post isn't "Weight loss help" or something similar, but it's "Accountability," as if you're beating yourself up for not being 'accountable' enough to prevent your "falls off the wagon" (which make your bouts of overeating sound like coping strategies).

It's my firm belief that people with mental disorders know something is wrong.  Ultimately you're the one that has to make the call on that, Arkon, and ultimately you're the one that has to seek treatment.  It's fucking hard to do, because depression is a disease, like any other, that wants to preserve itself -- but if you can grasp a moment of lucidity, tell your wife, or a friend, or anyone you trust that you need help.
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2006, 03:12:03 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on August 21, 2006, 02:37:04 PM

You said a bad day causes you to fall of the wagon. Have you considered some kind of counseling to address your use of food as a source of comfort on those bad days? Perhaps there is some alternative? I'm speaking from absolute ignorance of weight issues here, but it seems like it might be worth a try. My wife and I went to a counselor for some marital issues a couple years ago and we learned a lot, not just about our marital issues but about ourselves.

Perhaps I should expand on this.

2 weeks before starting college in 1995, the family was at my brothers wedding reception.  I was milling about and friends of the family started coming up to me to say they were sorry to hear about my mother, when asked what they were talking about, they were suprised to know that my mother hadn't told myself, my brother or my father that after 21 years of marriage she was leaving my dad to move to florida to live with another man.  I made it through my first year of school ok, but went way downhill in years 2 and 3.  I started in to counseling and was put on antidepressants which is roughly when the weight gain began.  At one point I was taking an anti-depressant, a sleep medication, anti ulcer medication, and vallium for panic attacks.  This went on from 1996-2004.  In 2004 I swore off all medication as I saw little benefit from it and had way too many side effects.  In that time from I went through app. 10 different antidepressants.  I was diagnosed clinically depressed as well as bi-polar.  For the most part I am much better now then when I was on all the meds and seeing a psychiatrist as well as a psychologist.

I have been tested in the past for diabetes, and had full bloodwork done, but nothing odd was ever found.
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2006, 03:36:14 PM »

Anti-depressants do cause some weight gain, but not to the tune of 100 pounds.

Like I said before, depression is often a symptom of another issue.  Since you're still showing signs of depression, I would venture to guess that whatever issue you have, be it a disorder or a traumatic experience, is not getting proper attention.

You mentioned panic attacks.  What caused these attacks?
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2006, 03:49:31 PM »

I don't have specific advice unfortunately but can say what works for me.

For me it's often a psychological switch- it applies to eating,exercise and even consistent Bible study.

I just get to a point where I'm so weary of being out of shape/out of the Word that I go ALL IN.  Problem is, usually when I get back in shape/consistently read the Bible I get complacent and start to falter which inevitably leads to ALL OUT.

This is evidenced by the fact that I had gained 20 lbs in a (albeit very stressful) year.  Starting a few weeks back I began the running plan again. Now I'm ALL IN again and doing very well (ran 24 miles last week).  Same thing with reading the Bible. I'm now in a great Genesis study and, though I'm not ALL IN with it, I am nearly there.

So my advice to you, Arkon, strictly from a physical health standpoint is as follows: Do it and do it ALL IN. This doesn't mean go crazy and give yourself heart failure, this means make a resolution, cross that threshold (it can even be artificial, pick a date: September 1. Next Sunday. Your most anticipated game's release date, whatever) and go for it.  If walking 1/10 of a mile hurts your knees. Walk 1/20th. Start somewhere.   If you're not self motivated (and I'm not when I'm ALL OUT) find a friend or USE THIS THREAD THAT YOU STARTED.  It could very well be your 'switch'. 

Where you live? If it's close (probably not) I'll be ALL IN with you.

Finally look at it this way: If you start today or September 1, it's gonna be a bitch.  No doubt. But 3 months from now you'll be amazed at your progress. At 6 months you'll be overwhelmed by where you are. At a year (I've never made it that far <cough>) you'll be ...uh...SOMETHING slywink.

Just start.


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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2006, 04:22:35 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on August 21, 2006, 03:12:03 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on August 21, 2006, 02:37:04 PM

You said a bad day causes you to fall of the wagon. Have you considered some kind of counseling to address your use of food as a source of comfort on those bad days? Perhaps there is some alternative? I'm speaking from absolute ignorance of weight issues here, but it seems like it might be worth a try. My wife and I went to a counselor for some marital issues a couple years ago and we learned a lot, not just about our marital issues but about ourselves.

Perhaps I should expand on this.

2 weeks before starting college in 1995, the family was at my brothers wedding reception.  I was milling about and friends of the family started coming up to me to say they were sorry to hear about my mother, when asked what they were talking about, they were suprised to know that my mother hadn't told myself, my brother or my father that after 21 years of marriage she was leaving my dad to move to florida to live with another man.  I made it through my first year of school ok, but went way downhill in years 2 and 3.  I started in to counseling and was put on antidepressants which is roughly when the weight gain began.  At one point I was taking an anti-depressant, a sleep medication, anti ulcer medication, and vallium for panic attacks.  This went on from 1996-2004.  In 2004 I swore off all medication as I saw little benefit from it and had way too many side effects.  In that time from I went through app. 10 different antidepressants.  I was diagnosed clinically depressed as well as bi-polar.  For the most part I am much better now then when I was on all the meds and seeing a psychiatrist as well as a psychologist.

I have been tested in the past for diabetes, and had full bloodwork done, but nothing odd was ever found.

We were both referred to a "medicating psychiatrist" as well, for social anxiety. I went along with it for awhile and finally dumped it realizing I could accomplish the same effect without the drugs. My wife dropped it when she became pregnant (there is something that feels wrong about saying "became pregnant"). The counseling (not a psychiatrist or psychologist, by the way, just a professional counselor) was very helpful to both my wife and I.
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2006, 04:27:39 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on August 21, 2006, 04:22:35 PM

My wife dropped it when she became pregnant (there is something that feels wrong about saying "became pregnant").
It's the use of the passive voice, which implies you have your doubts as to the impregnator was, as it were.

Damn, this shrink hat's on tight!
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2006, 04:35:16 PM »

I have this problem, and there is really no excuse for it..

Currently, I am 6'4" 270lbs.. Most people consider me "Big" as in Football Player looking big, but I consider myself fat at this time.  My ideal weight is somewhere around 220lbs, so I feel I have a spare 50lbs on me.  Last year I tried an abortive diet, and lost 15lbs before falling off the wagon.

Two years ago I exercised, and did a low cal diet, and got down to 230 and felt 100 times better.

My father passed away in 2004 at only 60 years old from complications related to diabetes.  My mom has diabetes, all grandparents have it.. Unless something DRASTICALLY changes, I will have full blown diabetes within 5 years - and may already have it now.

But frankly, sitting around and eating is addicting, exercise is hard work.  I suck at motivation for exercise and cannot seem to overcome my aversion to it despite having a lifetime membership at a health club 2 miles away, and a nice treadmill in the basement.
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2006, 05:06:04 PM »

A few replies...

LE - The fear of water is from when I was young.  I was visiting my grandparents and my cousin fell in the pool and I froze, I couldn't jump in to save him.  Thankfully my grandpa came out and saved my cousin.  Have barely set foot in a pool since then.

The panic attacks were in relation to trying to go to my classes.  My fourth year of college I flunked out, I was going to a psychiatrist 3 times a week, pyschologist 3 times a week and my doctor twice a week.  When I wasn't at appointments I was sleeping most of the time.  I managed to pass a few classes but failed most and dropped out of school.  I then tried going back the very next semester and proceeded to fail all but 2 classes, racking up a lot of debt.  So I dropped out again.  When trying to return to school for the third time I started having the panic/anxiety attacks.  Once I got them under control, and I got a class under my belt with a passing grade, the attacks went away.

ATB - I am in the Pittsburgh, Pa region.

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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2006, 05:29:49 PM »

its amazing what mental health can do for the body.

My fathers death in 2004 was traumatic for me because it was so sudden and unexpected.  From 2004-2005 I suffered severe chest pains, and all kinds of weird health issues.  My doctor said it was anxiety and panic attacks from the trauma, and prescribed Paxil or some shit. I never took it, and instead used meditation and relaxation techniques, and overcame it.

It was crazy to think all of my ailments at the time were caused by a traumatic experience!
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2006, 05:45:34 PM »

I think you should go back on some kind of antidepressant and start seeing a therapist again, Arkon.  Before you can lose weight, you need to get to a state where you have the energy and motivation to do the work required.

You've been diagnosed as biploar -- why would you abandon treatment?
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2006, 05:49:45 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on August 21, 2006, 05:45:34 PM

I think you should go back on some kind of antidepressant and start seeing a therapist again, Arkon.  Before you can lose weight, you need to get to a state where you have the energy and motivation to do the work required.

You've been diagnosed as biploar -- why would you abandon treatment?

I still do counseling.  I dropped the medication as I tended to end up worse on the medication from all the side effects than just trying to deal with my issues without the medicine.
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2006, 06:15:41 PM »

When's the last time you were on meds?
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2006, 06:21:12 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on August 21, 2006, 06:15:41 PM

When's the last time you were on meds?

2004.  Fall of 2005 I was finally able to finish my degree.  I haven't taken a prescription pill since December of 04.  The 100 pounds I put on was from 95-04.  To be honest I don't know what to believe my diagnosis would be anymore.  The psychiatrist is the one who diagnosed me as bipolar, I would personally call it closer to manic depressive, I have highs and lows and nothing typically in between and can swing at the drop of a hat, tho I tend to be in the lows for longer periods of time with highs being much shorter in duration.

 
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2006, 06:56:50 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on August 21, 2006, 06:21:12 PM

The psychiatrist is the one who diagnosed me as bipolar, I would personally call it closer to manic depressive, I have highs and lows and nothing typically in between and can swing at the drop of a hat, tho I tend to be in the lows for longer periods of time with highs being much shorter in duration.
Manic depression is the old name for bipolar disorder.  They're the same thing.

Biploar disorder is basically a spectrum, from very mild, very infrequent elevations or depressions, to intense, frequent, long-lasting mood swings.

I managed to dig up a diagnostic scale which should help to determine where you are on the spectrum.  If you're not comfortable posting your results, you can PM me.  Or you don't have to do it at all, if you don't want to.  I'm not a doctor, after all.   Tongue

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Here is the test.  Read the following paragraph all the way through first, then follow the instructions which appear below it. 

Some individuals noticed that their mood and/or energy levels shift drastically from time to time ______ .  These individuals notice that, at times, their moody and/or energy level is very low , and at other times, and very high______. During their " low" phases, these individuals often feel a lack of energy, a need to stay in bed or get extra sleep, and little or no motivation to do things they need to do______ .  They often put on weight during these periods______ .  During their low phases, these individuals often feel "blue," sad all the time, or depressed______ .  Sometimes, during the low phases, they feel helpless or even suicidal  _____ .  Their ability to function at work or socially is impaired ______ .  Typically, the low phases last for a few weeks, but sometimes they last only a few days ______ .  Individuals with this type of pattern may experience a period of "normal" mood in between mood swings, during which their mood and energy level feels "right" and their ability to function is not disturbed ______ .  They may then noticed they marked shift or "switch" in the way they feel ______ .  Their energy increases above what is normal for them, and they often get many things done they would not ordinarily be able to do ______ .  Sometimes during those "high" periods, these individuals feel as if they had too much energy or feel "hyper" ______ .  Some individuals, during these high periods, may feel irritable, "on edge," or aggressive ______.  Some individuals, during the high periods, take on too many activities at once ______.  During the high periods, some individuals may spend money in ways that cause them trouble______ .  They may be more talkative, outgoing or sexual during these periods ______ .  Sometimes, their behavior during the high periods seems strange or annoying to others ______ .  Sometimes, these individuals get into difficulty with co-workers or police during these high periods ______ .  Sometimes, they increase their alcohol or nonprescription drug use during the high periods ______ .

Click "spoiler" for the instructions.
Spoiler for Hiden:
After you have read this passage, please decide which of the following is most accurate:

    *this story fits me very well, or almost perfectly
    *this story fits me fairly well
    *this story fits me to some degree, but not in most respects
    * this story doesn't really describe me at all

Now please go back and put a check after each sentence in the paragraph above that accurately describes you (you can print this page, or just keep track of your "checks" on a blank page).   When you are done, total the number of check marks. 
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2006, 07:13:28 PM »

I would say that fits me pretty well.  Not an exact fit but close. 


Some individuals noticed that their mood and/or energy levels shift drastically from time to time ___Y___ . 

These individuals notice that, at times, their moody and/or energy level is very low , and at other times, and very high___Y___.

During their " low" phases, these individuals often feel a lack of energy, a need to stay in bed or get extra sleep, and little or no motivation to do things they need to do___Y___ . 

They often put on weight during these periods__Y____ . 

During their low phases, these individuals often feel "blue," sad all the time, or depressed___Y___ . 

Sometimes, during the low phases, they feel helpless or even suicidal  __Y__. 
     -  I tend to always have "suicidal" thoughts, but have never acted on them.  It is something I have dealt with quite a bit with my counselor.

Their ability to function at work or socially is impaired ___Sometimes___ . 
     - Socially I am highly impaired in general.  At work I am usually pretty well adjusted, I think it is just because my mind is so occupied in general.

Typically, the low phases last for a few weeks, but sometimes they last only a few days ___Y___ . 
     - Most low swings last a week to two weeks.

Individuals with this type of pattern may experience a period of "normal" mood in between mood swings, during which their mood and energy level feels "right" and their ability to function is not disturbed ___N___ . 
     - I don't seem to hit normal, I am high or low, rarely if ever am I in a normal mood.

They may then noticed they marked shift or "switch" in the way they feel ___Y___ . 
     - I can pinpoint generally when the shift happens.

Their energy increases above what is normal for them, and they often get many things done they would not ordinarily be able to do ___N___ .

Sometimes during those "high" periods, these individuals feel as if they had too much energy or feel "hyper" ___N___ . 

Some individuals, during these high periods, may feel irritable, "on edge," or aggressive ___Y___. 

Some individuals, during the high periods, take on too many activities at once ___N___. 
     - Even when in a high, my motivation is usually pretty low.

During the high periods, some individuals may spend money in ways that cause them trouble___Y___ . 

They may be more talkative, outgoing or sexual during these periods ___Y___ . 

Sometimes, their behavior during the high periods seems strange or annoying to others ___Y___ . 

Sometimes, these individuals get into difficulty with co-workers or police during these high periods ___N___ . 

Sometimes, they increase their alcohol or nonprescription drug use during the high periods ___N___ .
     - Don't drink, never have in my life and since 04 even nonprescription drugs are kept to a bare minimum.
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2006, 07:16:22 PM »

Back in my mid 30s I lost over 200 lbs in 13 months by drastically cutting my food intake and exercising like crazy. I don't recommend that way.
Of course I did attarct the girls.................. icon_wink
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2006, 07:22:35 PM »

Quote from: dbt1949

Of course I did attarct the girls.................. icon_wink

Lotta good it didja!  Tongue
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2006, 07:28:15 PM »

Quote from: dbt1949 on August 21, 2006, 07:16:22 PM

Back in my mid 30s I lost over 200 lbs in 13 months by drastically cutting my food intake and exercising like crazy. I don't recommend that way.
Of course I did attarct the girls.................. icon_wink

I was waiting for you to say you got a divorce. 
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2006, 07:35:14 PM »

Well Arkon, you got a 17/25 for bipolarism, which means you have an above average chance of actually being bipolar.

In terms of the specific type of bipolarism, you seem to share the most in common with Type II Biploar Disorder (or Bipolar II Disorder).  Type II is classified as having around 37 times more depressive episodes than manic episodes, with almost no "normal" state.  Everyone is different, but statistically, that means you should be having one manic episode roughly every one and a half months, or if you are more prone to long-lasting episodes, it means you should be having about a week and a half of mania a year, the rest in a depressive or occasionally 'normal' state.
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2006, 08:00:54 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on August 21, 2006, 07:35:14 PM

Well Arkon, you got a 17/25 for bipolarism, which means you have an above average chance of actually being bipolar.

In terms of the specific type of bipolarism, you seem to share the most in common with Type II Biploar Disorder (or Bipolar II Disorder).  Type II is classified as having around 37 times more depressive episodes than manic episodes, with almost no "normal" state.  Everyone is different, but statistically, that means you should be having one manic episode roughly every one and a half months, or if you are more prone to long-lasting episodes, it means you should be having about a week and a half of mania a year, the rest in a depressive or occasionally 'normal' state.

which sounds about right to be honest.
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2006, 09:01:32 PM »

Yeah.  You need treatment for that.  You especially should get on some meds right away.

I'm not really sure what they'd give you.  Likely an anti-depressant and something else to control the mania, like an anti-psychotic.  Or maybe they have one med for all your symptoms these days, I'm not really up on the pharm side of it.  Either way, I strongly suggest you get on meds -- bipolar disorder is a chronic and lifelong illness, which suggests it's genetic, which suggests it's an innate chemical balance issue, which means therapy is not going to be as effective as medication.  Therapy can certainly help you with the depressive moods, but it's not going to do much against your manic episodes and it will never actually prevent your depressive moods or completely cure you.  Bipolar disorder isn't curable.

I wouldn't worry about side-effects.  I know that's what made you stop medication before, but honestly, look back at all the shit you were taking -- anti-ulcer, anti-depressent, sleeping pills, and fucking vallium?  The anti-depressant is the most innocuous of those you listed, but even so, in combination with all the others, who knows what the hell could have happened.  Especially when you combine sleep meds AND vallium -- both bad on their own, together I can only imagine.


Anti-depressants are usually not that bad at all, and if you do get a side effect, 9 times out of 10 it goes away in a couple weeks when your blood stream's gotten used to the med.  The most common side effects of anti-depressants are a change in appetite (either up or down), dry mouth, sexual stuff in males (can't get it up, can't ejactulate, ejactulate too soon), and nausea.  Again, your chances to encounter any of those things is pretty low, and if you do, the chance that they're permanent is even lower.
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« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2006, 09:06:49 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on August 21, 2006, 09:01:32 PM

Yeah.  You need treatment for that.  You especially should get on some meds right away.

I'm not really sure what they'd give you.  Likely an anti-depressant and something else to control the mania, like an anti-psychotic.  Or maybe they have one med for all your symptoms these days, I'm not really up on the pharm side of it.  Either way, I strongly suggest you get on meds -- bipolar disorder is a chronic and lifelong illness, which suggests it's genetic, which suggests it's an innate chemical balance issue, which means therapy is not going to be as effective as medication.  Therapy can certainly help you with the depressive moods, but it's not going to do much against your manic episodes and it will never actually prevent your depressive moods or completely cure you.  Bipolar disorder isn't curable.

I wouldn't worry about side-effects.  I know that's what made you stop medication before, but honestly, look back at all the shit you were taking -- anti-ulcer, anti-depressent, sleeping pills, and fucking vallium?  The anti-depressant is the most innocuous of those you listed, but even so, in combination with all the others, who knows what the hell could have happened.  Especially when you combine sleep meds AND vallium -- both bad on their own, together I can only imagine.


Anti-depressants are usually not that bad at all, and if you do get a side effect, 9 times out of 10 it goes away in a couple weeks when your blood stream's gotten used to the med.  The most common side effects of anti-depressants are a change in appetite (either up or down), dry mouth, sexual stuff in males (can't get it up, can't ejactulate, ejactulate too soon), and nausea.  Again, your chances to encounter any of those things is pretty low, and if you do, the chance that they're permanent is even lower.

Most of the other meds were in response to the side effects from the anti-depressants.  I couldn't sleep when on the anti-depressants no matter which antidepressant they put me on, this was the most common effect I had, I would go days without sleep.  I also started having serious stomach issues where I was producing too much stomach acid and started developing ulcers.  I never noticed any sort of sexual side effects, though it was late into the meds that I got married and would have noticed them.

And lastly to be honest, the one thing I was trying to treat, the depression never seemed to be effected by the meds.
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« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2006, 10:22:46 PM »

Anti-depressants have gotten alot better, even over the past couple years.

It's often a juggling act trying to find one that actually works, but believe me man, when you get one that works, it's the difference between night and day.

I would encourage you to go to a brand new psychiatrist, explain your past experiences, and discuss potential medication options with him.
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« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2006, 02:40:31 AM »

Well, I started off today by eating sensibly.  I didn't get any exercise beyond the quarter mile or so I walked within the building answering help tickets.  I don't eat breakfast, had a grilled chicken salad, lots of greens, lots of grilled chicken, a bit of cheese and a balsamic vinagrette dressing.  For dinner I had a small portion of spaghetti, some green beans and a garden salad.  Calorie wise, I have no idea what the total would be, but I am sure it is much less than I am used to as I am starving for a snack or two.  Not going to do any specific diet, just be more sensible with my eating.  I will say I wasn't nearly as fatigued today, and I actually didn't feel the need to nap when I got home from work like I usually do.

I am also going to look in to my multivitamins to see if I might find a better option from my current generic multivitamin.

LE - I appreciate your concern, but for me at this point in my life I just can't allow myself to go back on to the meds.  I firmly believe that while I will never "beat" the depression, there are a lot of things I can do without medicine to operate from closer to normal than I currently do.  For example, exercise is a natural antidepressant.  If I can get to the point that exercise is a habit, and get over the motivational hump it will make a big difference.  I also feel like my weight is a big contributor to the depression and associated symptoms.
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« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2006, 04:11:51 AM »

Some folks gain weight because they are saddled with some other issue. The weight symbolizes the addition of this issue.
It can also act as an insulator or a shield so to speak.
Some people will find excuses to not lose weight because they really do not want to lose the protection or can not remove the burden sub consciously.
It could be that as you get older it is harder and harder for the body to get rid of fat cells.
You need to have someone push you or take you to a gym. Find alternatives to the barriers of exercise. Could you ride a recumbent bike or use an elliptical rider?

Do you feel you have come to terms with your past?
Have you forgiven everyone?
Have you told everyone exactly how you feel especially those who you feel harmed you?

Just some food for thought.
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« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2006, 08:08:38 AM »

I have been quite overweight myself before.  My problem was mostly a bad diet.  I love rich pastas and sauces.  If it's fatty and creamy, I crave it.  Anyway, a while back I made a decision, due to many circumstances, that I needed to just suck it up and change my diet from eating whatever/whenever I want to actually eating healthy.  It was hellishly hard (and still is at times).  BUT - the results were amazing.  I lost a lot of weight, but not just generic wieght - fat.  I drink tons of water, avoid salt, avoid sugar like the plague, leat ean protiens, lots of veggies, complex carbs, and get it in 4 or 5 small, balanced meals a day.  Never have dessert.  The weight melted off, which made exercise easier.  IMO, diet is 80% of being fit.  A bad diet warps your metabolism, but stick with a healthy diet long enough, and your metabolism will increase.  I don't know if this is a factor for you or not, but just thought I'd say I've been in similar circumstances, and was hella depressed over it even for over 2 years.  I just wanted to point out the benefits of eating healthy consistently, hopefully to encourage you.  Just make up your mind, start it one day, and STICK WITH IT.  It sounds like you already have made up your mind and have started, now just keep going!

P.S.  Eat breakfast.  It really is the most important meal of the day, and one of the quickest ways to up your metabolism is to eat a healthy breakfast every day.  By not eating breakfast, even with good intentions, you are actually making it harder to lose weight.
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« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2006, 10:55:25 AM »

Breakfast is a difficult issue for me.  If I eat within 3 hours of waking up I throw the food back up within minutes.  I haven't been able to keep down breakfast since I had to go on the ulcer meds in college.  My stomach is much better now than it was but still can't eat breakfast.

Damage, I am sure there are still things from my past I haven't come to terms with.  I have been working on dealing with them, but it is a slow process.  I have thought about a recumbant bike, the trouble is where I would set it up, but I will reconsider that.
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« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2006, 11:51:33 AM »

For exercise try a StairMaster.  I spent twelve years in the Marine Corps. and between regular Marine stuff and working on Helicopters my left knee is fairly well buggered.  If I walk or jog my knee ends up hurting but I can use a stair master as it doesn't have the constant impact on my knee.  Getting into better physical shape will certainly help you in many ways.

I am certainly not telling you to skip medication although you seem to have been down that road.  You may want to look into one of those diet plans/groups that help you out.  I have seen friends use different ones all successfully, I am referring to the ones that combine their food with a support line/person.

By the way look into the thyroid, when I was in the service I was constantly fighting with my weight.  At 72" my max weight was 203 Lbs.  All I had to do t gain weight was look at food, I used a stair master for 30 minutes every morning and went to the gym every night; 10 minutes of cardio and then weights with high reps.  It was  all I could do to keep my weight at 200 lbs.  Now that I am out and went in for a physical , I rarely see the doctor, he told me my thyroid was not working quite right and now has me on Synthroid (88 micrograms a day).  With my thyroid not working right I would gain weight and not feel well, I didn't feel bad I just didnt feel good.  I feel better now and quit drinking soda's completely and am losing weight with just that measure.


Good Luck to you.
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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2006, 11:57:54 AM »

Thanks for the advice.  I do need to see the doctor, just have been procrastinating calling him.  I have never had my thyroid checked.  I also need to go for a sleep study as my wife has noticed that I will stop breathing for 10-15 seconds while sleeping and I am a very bad snorer.

I got a very small bonus at work this year, but it may be enough to buy an inexpensive recumbant or stairmaster so I will check in to that.

Oh and my weight this morning was 262.8, so that is my starting point.  Hoping to get to between 190 and 200, although 220 is more likely the realistic target.
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« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2006, 12:12:06 PM »

Another thing you might try is cutting down on the salt. If you use a lot you could be retainig a lot of water.
Tictacs are good for sucking on during the day to keep you mind off of food. A whole package has like 65 calories.
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« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2006, 12:13:14 PM »

I snored and my wife finally had enough and set me up an appointment with my doctor.  I did the sleep study and was told I have a  deviated septum and that I had mild to moderate sleep apnea; I would stop breathing something like 40 times an hour while sleeping.  I had surgery to correct the deviated septum and they gave me a breathing machine to use at night, it basically is a mask that you wear and air is pumped into it.  The positive air pressure keeps the airway open, the only problem is sleeping with this mask that has an air tube on a swivel, and yes you do sound just like Darth Vader while sleeping.  After surgery I quit wearing the mask, have lost some weight (which also helps greatly) and we have a sleep number bed so sleeping is pretty good for me now.
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« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2006, 12:39:01 PM »

dbt, I don't add salt to anything and only use it sparingly when I cook.  I do drink alot of water, usually in the neighborhood of 72 ounces a day.  Can't recall the last time I drank anything other than water or unsweetened tea.

I did have a deviated septum, my left nostril was 98% blocked.  When I was 22 I had surgery to correct that, they also removed my adnoids and tonsils at the same time.  Adults aren't supposed to have adnoids but for some reason mine never went away.

I am eating breakfast as we speak.  Been up since 5:30, so hopping my stomach is calm enough to keep it down.  Having an omelet with peppers, tomatoes and onion.

Just thought I would post an update.  Managed to keep the breakfast down, but was nausious for an hour after eating it.  For lunch I had a turkey sandwich, a small bag of chips and about 1/3rd of a large cucumber cut into slices.  I then decided to get off my ass and I took a twenty minute walk around our facility and worked up a bit of a sweat, might need to reconsider the whole sweating at work thing tho heh.  No clue on distance walked tho.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2006, 04:01:14 PM by Arkon » Logged
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