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Hi there. My name is James.

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by james1992 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:45 pm

Hi there. My name is James. I'm soon to begin training to be a software developer at an insurance company in my hometown. I have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science that I finished a year ago, and I had been working as a help desk associate from then until now.

The main reason I sought out a support forum is that despite my weekly therapy sessions, a mixture of medications, and support from my family, I still feel misunderstood most of the time. I'm also fairly socially isolated at this point of my life, so I was hoping to reach out to other people I could talk to who actually have bipolar disorder like me. I'm not certain how regularly I'll be visiting these forums, but I wanted to at least give it a try.

My bipolar disorder started with more mild symptoms of depression in high school that escalated once I entered college. The first year away from home took a toll on me, and I was hospitalized at the end of that summer for a week until trying to go back for my second year. After that, it was a constant battle to finish my degree in a highly rigorous program, during which time I isolated myself from other students to the point where I had to take two medical leaves of school and it took me six years to finish a four-year program.

My stress level has gone way down since leaving school last year, taking a relatively easy job and staying at home with family. I've finally found myself some stability, but my mind still feels incredibly worn out and I don't know what else I can do to try to change my life from surviving and getting by to thriving and enjoying a life of relative happiness.

Like I said, I'm not sure if the people I know really understand how I'm feeling, so I wanted to try reaching out on this site to see if I can find ways to talk about what I've been going through and see how other people have managed their illness to the point where they've been able to live satisfying lives.

Thanks for reading.
"A vivid imagination is awesome. A manic imagination is a curse."
-Stanley Victor Paskavich
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by Spm24 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:01 pm

james,

Welcome to the forum. You will find many caring and compassionate people here. Who are willing to share their stories of failures and triumphs.

Visit as often and participate as often as much as you like. Ask questions about anything you would like us to try to answer.

Many people who have been able to complete college it has taken longer then what is "normal" to take. You held on and completed your degree.

Make yourself at home.
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by Lovehope » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:32 pm

Hi James,

Your story is very similar to mine. Mild depression up until college then bam.. mania and a hospitalization. I too had to take time off school and it took me 6 years to graduate. I also now feel like I am just surviving and I would like to live.

I hope you find it helpful here. I mostly drop in when I'm having a hard time. I find it helpful to write out what I'm feeling to people I know get it

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by hal » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:29 pm

Hi James, and welcome. Yes, you can participate as much or as little as you'd like here. I guarantee that people will be supportive and understanding.

BP hits many people in their late teens or early twenties. In college, I changed majors and had other interruptions, and as a result graduated at age 27. But by age 31 I had my Ph.D. completed.

BP messes with your life but it doesn't have to ruin it completely. It can be managed through meds and therapy. What meds are you currently taking? Do you see a tdoc (therapist)?
. . . all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone.
-- Tennyson
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by Jemane » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:34 pm

Welcome James,
I'm sure you'll find plenty of understanding people here.
All the best
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
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by AvantGarde » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:12 pm

Hey James, welcome :)

I applaud you for finishing school regardless of your issues, I can't do that personally. I prefered to take it slow and do it when I'm better. I did spent a lot of years with a major mania with psychosis that ended in hospitalization too, so I had a major depression crash afterwards and couldn't move basically for a year. Now I'm adjusted back into life, but still with cognitive issues that I'm treating in therapy.
So, I don't see any problem in finishing a 4 year degree in 6 years, don't take it as a failure, it's not like you don't have the ability, it's an illness that gets in your way. You did finish!

Maybe this will resonate with you, I came to the realization that I'm still adjusting emotionally to the fact of having a mental illness that will need to be under surveillance my entire life. In a way, a part of me kinda hoped it was temporary, and the reminder that I'm somewhat "different" and need constant help for things that others think we should just "brush off" is always tough, even if I play it strong.

The being misunderstood part, well yeah. Everyone else in the world feels that way! We maybe feel it stronger because there's so much stigma surrounding mental illness. But I assure you, it's absolutely true nobody trully understands anything or anyone fully :lol: So, no worries, you're definitely not alone :D
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by Pancake » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:55 pm

Hi James.
Totally sane mermaid-siren of Vegemiteland
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by james1992 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:58 am

Someone asked the meds I was on. It's certainly a cocktail:

Wellbutrin (bupropion) - 450mg taken in the morning

Neurontin (gabapentin) - 100mg, one tablet in the morning and two tablets at night

Depakote (divalproex) - 1250mg, taken at night

Risperdal (risperidone) - 2mg, taken at night

This is after years of trial and error with a lot of different combinations of medications.
"A vivid imagination is awesome. A manic imagination is a curse."
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by Stuckles » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:09 am

Hi James

I'm new here myself :D

Just from my own experience, and keeping in mind each has different experiences both in life and with BP, stress management and maintaining a balanced life is very important in the industry that you are going into so be sure to speak to your TDoc about ways to manage it and to avoid the pitfalls ;) .
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