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Stigma with decisions

Have you been a victim? Or have you contributed to your own stigma?

by ThatDude » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:02 am

How does everyone handle the stigma with decisions?
I was worried that people that knew of my BP would second guess me on decision making, and I'm already seeing it. I've been replaced in the "it" crowd of leadership at work (work unfortunately found out after I had a bad episode when my meds were adjusted too high) and friends and family act like I can't make decisions also. I'm actually looking for a new job because I hit a dead end now because of this.
I do have a history of making poor manicky decisions, but it was never a big deal to anyone and they were mostly personal decisions. Work was one of the few places were I could focus and I never made bad work related decisions. All of a sudden you're diagnosed and only then it is a big deal and you're treated like you can't be trusted.
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by ThatDude » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:08 am

Oh and I want to add, I ended up telling my ex-wife about my diagnosis, because of our child. I wanted her to be aware so we could be pro-active with him and not have a situation like myself where I get diagnosed in my early 30s. Her treatment towards me has gotten so out of control since then that I had to recently go back to my divorce lawyer and get our custody order modified since she is taking advantage of our current one now. It's frustrating even when treated because I feel like I have to live with a lie. Does anyone else feel this way?
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by Pancake » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:57 pm

well, that doesn't sound like much fun. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster my family don't hover like that, although it probably comes from a place of caring.

Your therapist is a resource that should be able to help you navigate this stuff in a way that's not confrontational, both for work and home?
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by aroden » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:37 pm

This is every fear I have since I've been diagnosed a year ago. I've told 11 people but feel like I walk around with a big red B for bipolar on my forehead. My own brothers don't know for fear of judgement. The stigma will always be there I fear and I honestly believe the more we talk about it the more people are educated and hopefully the stigma will lessen. I also feel terrible about the whole kid situation because once the courts see bipolar it's over. Keep your head up.
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by Lisa » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:29 pm

Terrifying... I'm okay at work, when I get a bit paranoid about perceptions I just ask and my fears are put to rest.

It's my ex-husband that thinks I can't take care of anything, including pets. He's taken 3 pups from me and is now working on the 4th. The reasoning is always sound, but pre-BP I'd have ripped him a new one for even suggesting it. Now, I listen to his opinion :/ I'm not sure which is best... valuing his opinion or being irritated that he has no faith in me.

That would be a good thing to discuss with a tdoc.
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by Mom2dani » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:56 am

Lisa wrote: Now, I listen to his opinion :/ I'm not sure which is best... valuing his opinion or being irritated that he has no faith in me.

But do you have faith in you? Does he have reason to take your pups or it’s just his opinion due to BP?

I have my fur baby and my daughter. Our custody is 50/50 with our daughter and if my ex questioned my ability to take care of either one of them, I would rip him a new one because there is no cause for it. Just because I have BP, I’m still not going to take unwarranted concerns. My dog is well taken care of as is my daughter. In my opinion having BP doesn’t mean we bend over and take it, we can still be assertive and kick that stigma in its ass.

If you have faith in yourself, don’t let him question it just because you’re BP. Please don’t let BP and the stigma behind question your abilities. It’s definitely a good topic for your tdoc, let us know what he/she says.

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by AvantGarde » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:30 am

I don't think it's a question of faith actually, rather sense of responsibility.

Other people will always judge our abilities due to our mental illness. We need to be the best judge of ourselves, and not give other people the power to make our decisions for us.

Now, we saw the severity of your manic episode Lisa. This doesn't mean on a next episode it's going to be the same, but I do think a therapist is your best option to learn how to deal with your inner stuff and symptoms. On a next episode, if there is one, you'd be able to have much more control over your actions and not let it go so long and severe.

I know I doubt my own ability to take care of my own pets when I'm in an episode, and I've been dealing with that in therapy. When I was manic and psychotic, it was a really unfortunate coincidence that my two cats wandered off. I should've been more careful in closing windows, that's for sure. I feel like I wasn't able to take good care of them, I feel responsible for sure, other people blamed me, some even said that "pets sense these things and ran away". Now, I don't give a flying fuck to what they said, but I do question if my abilities were impaired.. The truth is that I remember buying them food and litter, petting them, etc, but I still feel responsible. At one point, my roomate got a dog and my male cat got angry and just left. I should've said no to the dog, but I didn't. Then I knew my female cat was with heat and left the window unlocked, kinda irresponsible of me. These small things made a difference.

If I had any suspicion that another episode would be as terrible as that one, I wouldn't bring another pet to my home. But I've been working hard in therapy to avoid repeating the same situation. I have a lot more self control in hypo/manic episodes, I don't stay in bed all day during depressive episodes, and I made a habit of treating my pets with nice things (expensive can of food, toys, whatever) when I'm in an episode, all things that make me more responsible to the world outside my head.

Some of us have more severe episodes than others, and it's something we need to take into consideration. The only way to handle BP in normalcy levels is with meds and therapy. BP leaves a metaphorical hole in us, and it's our responsability to fill it wisely.
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by Lisa » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:19 am

Thank you for your insight, Mom2dani & AG, as always.

When I was diagnosed he said that he saw changes in me when I had... what? A breakdown? A manic period? Yeah, I left the husband, quit the job, moved to an island with 89 degree weather year round and planned to wait out the 3-year deadline... I broke then, and he lived it with me. After I was diagnosed, he said that he could see the changes in me and knew when they started. I screamed at him that he should have suggested I see a doctor! Afterall, I told him when his hands were shaking non-stop, we thought it was the booze. It ended up being Parkinson's...

Do I have faith in myself? I'm shaky, very shaky. After he left, took Emmy, and I broke... it took me trusting my pdoc and checking into a MHF. Best think I ever did... yeah, I have to find a tdoc... I'm learning about myself very slowly, I need some guidance. I'll have to look up the number, but I have to find a tdoc.

Again, thank you for your insight, Mom2dani & AG <3
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by Mocha » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:31 pm

Lisa, I don't know if this will help any, but best I remember, last time you were were taking care of one of your dogs just fine. Spoiling it actually. It was your ex that seemed to be the problem, sponging off you and all that. His issues with his so called gf, etc. And you were seeing a pdoc at the time, trying to get stable on meds as I recall. And at one point he couldn't even take care of himself.

My advice........never let any man run all over you........if they're not there when you need them, screw 'em.

Just my very opinionated advice, as

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