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How can I learn to accept that I have bipolar disorder with its associated states?

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11 Sep 2011

The bitterest pill of all for me to swallow was being diagnosed as bipolar I eight years ago, at age 39, with twenty-plus years of a challenging career, and in the process of raising four children. I had a major psychotic episode, and landed in the hospital for three weeks.
Sure it is SO hard to come to terms with two things: one, the diagnosis, and secondly the fact that you must take pills for life. This resulted in the loss of my career, and for a long time I was bitter and angry.

Votes: +0

17 Apr 2011

I write out a lot of my thoughts. Participating in a forum such as this one helps. It helps to reach out and connect with someone else who shares a similar perspective. I use both medication and meditation to manage mental health states from suicidal ideation to really high states where I feel I can walk to another country.

Votes: +0

22 May 2011

For me, I finally accepted it fully when I stopped worrying about the stigma and simply accepted it as a PHYSICAL problem. So many assume that a mental illness isn't "real" because it's "in your mind." It's as physical as any other illness. A chemical imbalance, a malfunction of the brain - it's all physical (no one would tell you that having a hormone imbalance is "all in your head"). Once I looked at it this way, I learned to accept it just as I accept have 3 forms of arthritis and ulcers. I'll be on meds for the rest of my life for ulcers and arthritis - what's a couple of more drugs added to the mix that help me live a more satisfying life?

Votes: +0

7 Jan 2010

My dad gave me the best advice ever. He said, "You are Bipolar. You can't help that. We'll get you the doctors and the meds you need to stabilize. You are not crazy, unless you want to be. Crazy is a choice. Crazy is not taking your diagnosis serious, not taking your meds, not doing what the doctors tell you. I support you 100% with your illness, and the behavior it may cause, if you're doing your best. I won't put up with Crazy" I wrote those words down when I got home that night, and now read them every day.

Votes: +11
pjs411 9 Aug 2010

How lucky are you to have such a supportive person in your life... and what profound advice. I am going to copy it and give it to my grown sons. They are having a hard time accepting my diagnosis that I received in April of Bipolar 2 and anticipate the worst, even though my behavior has been stable since June (after one episode and a subsequent medication adjustment). I guess they just need time to adjust and believe that my behavior is stable, that I no longer have rage or impulsivity. It just seems as if they can't accept that I did not choose to have this... that it was out of my control. I have tried to educate them by letting them read books and even took my one son to my therapist with me. He is a little more accepting but he is definitely not totally buying it. My younger son (27) basically stays away as much as possible, he lives in another state and just doesn't want to deal with it or me unless forced... it is very hurtful. Well thanks again for sharing your father's message... you are indeed very fortunate to have his support. Take care

5 Jan 2010

Hey frankie72; I have been diagnosed for about 30 years. You know that saying; the destination is not the key but how you get there is. That is how bi-polar is, at least for me. I kept thinking, okay I'm gonna get to where I want to be now. It isn't like that. You are a work in process always. You have to take EXTRA care of yourself in every aspect of your life for the rest of your life, whether it's taking your meds. faithfully, having emotionally supportive friends or getting support like you are here. Looking back my biggest challenge was going thru the hundreds (if not thousands) of med. adjustments over the years. I always thought that I could take the meds & it they would cure me. I was naive for years searching for the perfect combination of drugs. Surround yourself with people who love & respect you in ALL ways. In other words rely on your intution when it comes to the various states you experience.

Votes: +3
frankie72 6 Jan 2010

thank you i've wondererd if i would ever be cured now

reelwater 10 Apr 2010

Frankie; your welcome. This is going to be my online support group from now on. Thanks to people like you who reach out~

17 Nov 2010

Unfortunately its something thatwe just have to deal with. I saw a few different psychiatrists and put on anti depressants which made me worse off. When I was finally diagnosed and put on the right meds (lithium, risperdone, lamictal and Klonopin for my panic disorder), I was a new person. Everyone around me noticed a complete change for the better. I have learned to except that bipolar disorder is a disease that with the proper treatment, you can live a normal happy life! I see a wonderful psychiatrist, and see a therapist as well. The medications are a big help, but you also need the proper support. Just remember you are not alone! Hope this helps!

Votes: +0

3 Jan 2010

"Support Groups"... are fabulous

Votes: +4
bluehaiku 10 Aug 2010

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It is still difficult for me to even say that because of the stigma associated with it. Usually the people with BPD are the ones you here about killing their lovers because of their insecurities. They are frequently grouped with other diagnoses, such as antisocial disorder, narcissism, and a slew of not-so-nice terms. I am none of these. I am simply a girl who gets too involved and gets her heart broken, has abandonment issues, and frequently chooses the wrong guys. I have poor impulse control which led to promiscuity. Now I also suffer from PTSD, and my impulse control has led to dangerous self-harm, such as cutting.

I wish we could come up with new names for these things, but I finally looked at it this way- every diabetic's illness is not treated the same because it isn't the same. Every person with cancer goes through their own unique symptoms and ups and downs.

frankie72 21 Nov 2010

Does the meds interfere with your sex life?

1 Dec 2010

I am very fortunate. My family is very supportive and well-informed -- my sister-in-law works for the provincial mental health association. This is an illness -- like diabetes, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, and the like. It is a lifelong disease that will require lifelong treatment. It is a journey. (my sister-in-law's words)

Everyone has their own issues - smokers, drinkers, over-eaters, non-exercisers. Our issue is simply one of a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be managed with medication.

Votes: +0

21 Jul 2011

First, you have to accept that this is beyond your control. And, God, who is
the Master of all, knows the right answers for you. I will not pretend to know
I have all the right answers for you, because you are a unique special individual. Our lives require the right balance of activities for our mind, body,
and spirit. Proper nutrition and rest are vital in handling stress, because any
negative stressors as well as not enough positive stressors can cause chemical imbalances, as well as a lack of or too little spiritual restoration. As
far as possible and proper medications, this also is a matter of personal choice
and direction. When one has prayed and received peace that a particular physician is the one to go with, it is wise to follow your first instinct. I know
you will put all the "pieces" together because sometimes our lives seem like a jigsaw puzzle with the pieces scattered about. If you lack wisdom, "ask for it".

Votes: +0

1 Oct 2011

I wish I could answer that, I myself am having a very tough time with my new diagnosis..the way I try to look at it is since I was diagnosed and put on the right medications..I feel good, I had to suffer for over 20 years with numerous suicide attempts (one that put me in a coma).I am here. I was saved and its like from here I know how to tread a little a little easier on myself, I have a doctor in my corner, my family finally gets me..but still I go through days of dealing with the stigma..I guess we always will, but just try to be easy on one's self ..we are ok..we will be ok..

Votes: +0

28 Feb 2010

Hi, I hope you are getting some good therapy and psychiatric care. And don't be discouraged if that requires a little shopping around, sometimes the finding the right professionals takes some trial and error.

If you really have Bipolar, you can probably verify it and begin to feel more comfortable after reading about it, identifying similar patterns in your own life and asking those who are close to you to share their observations. On the otherhand, Psychs aren't without their imperfections either. If the diagnosis doesn't fit, keep seeking help- I know I had to go through several years and multiple counselors and psychiatrists before I was properly diagnosed.

Votes: +4
reelwater 10 Apr 2010

I have really enjoyed your answer & find you to be very Intelligent.

3 Jan 2010

WE have to accept what we cannot change! However knowing the problem is a chemical imbalance, we seek the best care, from the best doctors, and do our part to reclaim our life.

Votes: +12
smileyhappy 25 Jul 2011

Exactly the words I was going to say. Once you accept it. You start living again.

21 Feb 2012

You've got to accept it. To be in denial about it is to be self-destructive and possibly even other-destructive. You're doing the right thing by joining a support group. BD is a no-fault diagnosis, just as all mental illness. It is a biological disease as well as a mental illness. You may have interited it from either side of your family. My Mom was bipolar. When I was a teenager, I would stay up late with my Mom. Both of us couldn't sleep. This was in the 1960s and neither one of us received treatment at that time. Get a good book about BD. I'm reading "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide." It's excellent. It's about 10 years old, though -- so you might want to find a book that is more recent. I'm on meds for my BD, but they still don't prevent all manias or depressions. You've got to be able to laugh at yourself too. Don't be so serious about it!

Votes: +0

9 Aug 2010

just take a deep breath and realize, everything will be ok! they (your doctors) will find something that controls your bp disorder. the depression and the mania will soon become less and less of a problem as you learn to cope and deal with everything. your doctors will help you manage. they may send you to therapy... which i recommend! i loved going to therapy and having someone to talk to. it was great. i could go complain and cry all day to my dr. and at the end of the day, i felt better cuz it was all off my chest

Votes: +0

16 Sep 2011

Gosh... it sure is a relief to know i'm not alone in the battle,with self!
I started showing signs of bipolar 12 years ago when I had my first son, but the Dr. said it was post pardum depression and that it would go away... it didn't so I was put on Paxil for 3 months, then I felt myself again... until 2 yrs. later, I had my second son, Dr. put me through the same ritual and it helped.
Samething happened with my third son. My last pregnancy I gave birth to twin boys, and the pregnancy was difficult. When I came home with my sons, it felt like I left myself at that hospital. The Dr. even knew something was wrong and sent me to a psychiatrist. It's a very sad,scared, lonely and confusing feeling when a SHRINK , act like there scared of you!
I lost my job because I became forgetful, would start my regular work routine but not finish because I would start on something else.

Votes: +0
slattery 16 Sep 2011

Couldn't have stated it better no1ask2! God sure DOES have a purpose for you, having blessed you with all those beautiful children! We are all unique, and should never let ourselves be stigmatized by this term or condition, because in so many ways it is like having diabetes - something that won't go away, but can be controlled with good life choices. Congratulations on making it this far, and for realizing that you matter greatly to so many of those around you - namely your children.

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