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by Animalover » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:52 am

I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2016...it is still rough. Every day is a working process. I never know how my mood is going to be. I hate when people throw the word bipolar around like it's nothing. We should have our own month of supporting people with bipolar.

Bipolar awareness month. A walk for bipolar. Stuff like that I think would be great. Even fundraisers for people who can not afford the medicine. And also, I wanted a support group but I didn't want to go to one.

Can anyone tell me their stories on how they were diagnosed? And how you are coping with it? And if you have any techniques to settle your moods?

-Sarah
Without struggle, there is no strength.
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by Stuckles » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:52 am

Hi Sarah,

I can understand where your coming from. Funny thing is, we have had mental health awareness month since 2015, if not earlier ... yet this year 94 patients died as a result of the government moving them from hospitals to unlicensed health facilities due to budget cuts.

Personally I get a twinge when I hear about a campaign that's specific to one condition and/or plight as there are so many that goes unrecognized and some get's so out of control that all people think about after a while is that one issue and all others gets played down/forgotten. The other question is just how much "awareness" does it raise. Most of the time it's those and their families that are actually affected by the condition that take notice. A small portion of the population become aware of it and some of those flood clinics to get "tested", the remainder just loves the fact that they get to dress up casually for work or get some kind of perk due to it.

Sorry for sounding so pessimistic :lol: I just feel that we as humans need to start thinking further than our immediate surroundings and not judge based on the cover of a book. I'd love to see some sort of "Human Plight" month to raise awareness that there are a lot of people struggling with a lot of various issues in life that make it harder for them than the average person and that we should respect each other enough to not make assumptions.

Besides, there's no way the whole of humanity can get educated on everything that is happening out there, not to mention the fact that when awareness months becomes the norm they loose their meaning/impact.

Rant over, sorry for hi-jacking with my personal opinion :lol:
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:57 am

I've had a number of mental health diagnosis, I've learned to accept that most mental illnesses lay on a spectrum, largely due to environment and genetics. Some are purely environmental, others are purely biological. I also have good friends who don't have a mental illness who suffer more than I do with just... life.

So I'm with Stuckles... but I would also like to include the rest of nature on the bag :)
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by hal » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:05 am

Hi Sarah, and welcome. I'm glad you're here. Bipolar awareness month, indeed. Why don't you tell us more about yourself - what meds you take, therapy, etc?

My story is fairly common: I was misdiagnosed after a manic episode, suffered off and on from depression for ten years, then finally correctly diagnosed as BP 1. This diagnosis was actually a relief, since it explained so many things, and now I could be more appropriately treated.

Not getting sleep during early mania is a problem with me. Getting to bed by midnight is a must. I can't make myself sleep, but I can lie still as long as possible. When I can't stand that anymore, I go downstairs to the recliner and put on the arts TV channel. This sometimes is soothing enough for me to sleep. Also, sometimes I'm able to back to bed and sleep. The main thing is to stay away from the computer!
. . . all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone.
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by Animalover » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:13 am

Thank you all for your comments. My story I never share with any one because I always feel insecure when I would tell someone my mental illness. I know a lot of people suffer from it...but it's something I'm just not proud I have.

So I was misdiagnosed in the hospital. The doctor has me down on file as schizoaffective...and then a few months later I went to another place and they said whoever marked you down has schizoaffective, is not true. You are indeed bipolar part 1. Unfortunately, the hospital I went to, won't correct it in their computer...but the other place I went to, labeled it in their computer.

He labeled me under bipolar part 1, PTSD, OCD, and adhd. The main one that runs in my family is bipolar. So...like you said, you want to hear about my story....

Growing up, my mother abused me with any object she found. The kids at school knew my mother hit me...so they would come to my house and tell lies to my mother so they could watch her beat me. The kids in school would all throw me down flights of stairs, throw desks at me, and then my mom left me stranded at the house, packed her bags and left for some guy on the internet.

So my dad took me in and raised me ever since. I give him a lot of credit being the role of both parents.

Later on, other things happened to me...personal stuff I wish not to share.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:16 am

I have a history of abuse as well, and was also misdiagnosed as sza. Nothing to be embarassed about and certainly not our fault.

Hope you find hope to get better here. :)
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by Stuckles » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:51 am

Thanks for sharing that I know it takes guts to do so and there are things we'd rather keep to our selves because we fear being judged. So to return the favor ...

I struggled with depression since my teens only being diagnosed with BP in my late twenties. At the same time I had a lot of physical issues that I thought was 'normal' or didn't even realize that I had which was identified, also in my twenties, as a connective tissue disorder. I was always branded as the "lazy" or "naughty" child that's only seeking attention or trying to get out of doing chores so I learned to keep my mouth shut which in hindsight caused a whole lot more damage than good, both physically and mentally. As a result I'm a master at hiding pain :P

I'm BP II so the major danger factor comes more from self harm but that's not to say BP II's are immune to the other ravages of mania (or hypomania to be correct). I have lost a lot through the manic side, the most painful of which through gambling. I have assaulted people both verbally and physically as well as myself. Although I have only had two serious hospitalizations after "failing", if I were to admit to the number of times I failed since my teens (not talking ideation) my family would never be able to recover from the realization of how bad things had gotten at times in the past.

With my last hospitalization in 2010 I was given a letter of recommendation to give to my employer stating that for the sake of my physical and mental health I could no longer continue employment. Since, I have tried as much as I could to recover my life but the two conditions combined, BP and the CTD made it complicated and painful to find employment. Since 2015, after being retrenched, I haven't been able to work as the CTD is progressively causing more and more physical pain and it's becoming harder and harder to find positions where I am skilled in, let alone employers that are willing to work around my difficulties.

I'm currently taking Lamitor, Camcolith, Welbutrine, Tegretol and Seroquel (when needed) as well as Vimovo and Cardicor for the CTD.
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by Animalover » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:20 am

I feel for you. I really do. I am sorry you went through all that. Self harming was a way of feeling alive. Do you still have it in the back of your mind to self harm when you're super angry or very depressed? If so, how do you get that out of your head? Welbutrine....sounds so familiar. Mine are Oxcarbazine, Zoloft, Risperidone, Buroprine and I think that's all I'm taking. I have them all in my bag. How old are you if you don't mind me asking?
Without struggle, there is no strength.
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by Stuckles » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:33 am

I'm turning 38 this year. Self harm was a way for me to get away from the mental anguish, depression and stress. Though it does pop up from time to time, there's not a lot of motivation for it anymore as the relief is far too brief as well as the factor of 'diminishing returns'. It serves a purpose though, oddly as it may seem, as it makes me realize "Hang on, I'm feeling trapped ... best take a step back and see what's happening"
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by Pancake » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:19 pm

Can anyone tell me their stories on how they were diagnosed? And how you are coping with it? And if you have any techniques to settle your moods?

20 years of the misdiagnosis merry-go-nightmare, getting the right diagnosis was a huge relief.

Meds and therapy. For me there are still ups and downs, but they're generally less extreme and/or short-lived. I think of it like diabetes: you can be well-controlled most of the time, but when you get sick or stressed and your metabolism changes, so can the delicate balance the meds are trying to maintain. Same for us I think, except the switches and tells aren't nearly as obvious or as easily measurable (:
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