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.
However, TIME is a great healer. And when you get to the point whereby you stand back and review the situation, you realize that it could be a whole lot worse, such as having a terminal or physically debilitating disease. Life is precious, no matter what, and I have accepted this condition as a part of who I am. With the right drugs and perspective, you can definitely learn to enjoy life once more, but it takes a bit of effort, such as throwing oneself into hobbies and commitments such as volunteer service. So the trick is to hang in there, and tell yourself that if it can't get worse, it can only get better! And it does...
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.
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?
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.
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.
Do not hesitate to reach out to others who have been thru what your going through. By you asking this question it is the best first step to the process of acceptance.
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!
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.
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".
IN THE MEANTIME HAVE FUN AND BE HAPPY!
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 lighter.be 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..
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.
Having Bipolar isn't the end of the world* I have known several people, whom I love dearly with it, and they are superbly intelligent people with a lot of good humor and creativity and lots to offer others! Groups on-line or possibly one in your own community can help you connect to others with the same or similar conditions. This can help a long way in understanding and accpeting yourself. I always find that the greatest growth occurs after I make that first vital step of self-acceptance ~ and there's nothing that we can learn to manage with the help of people who love us and (maybe if you're open to it, a Higher Power)
All the best to you,
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!
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
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.
I mentally couldn't force myself to work, I couldn't get out of bed for days at a time, so I had a lot of call in days. When co-workers would say something I didn't like, I would back them in a corner, closet, or any place we are at the time. I had gotten another job but I quit because I felt unsafe around co workers. One time a couple of them got on the elevator with me, I felf myself tensing up like I was about to strike. I have never been violent or acted out against my children... Thank God for that.
I have planned suicide only once, I had it already planned exactly where I was going to park my car, and the spot I was gonna jump from.
I was ready, I wasn't even afraid, I had gotten all bundled up because I knew it was freezing out side. I went to get my keys, but they weren't where they always are. I searched and searched, until finally I cried myself to sleep.
I woke up the next day and to my suprise, the keys were in my coat pocket the whole time. I realized that God has a purpose for me, he has a purpose for all of us.AMEN
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