just feel i need to post to let off some steam. i feel totally alone. I got my diagnosis last month and have just started on lithium. Its made me quite ill at times but am perservering. But i feel like no one understands. i suspected i was bipolar for about the past 7 years but my mum used to snap at me whenever i suggested it and insist that i couldnt be. i think she just didnt want to believe it, but that was the main reason i never sought help until now. Now ive got my diagnosis i think shes accepted it but she still doesnt understand. One of my main problems is over spending and it has got both of us into a lot of debt in the past. ive took her credit cards when ive been manic which i know is unforgivable but i was out of control and i would never of behaved like that in a normal state of mind. I wouldnt of blamed her if she kicked me out or never forgived me for a lot of my behaviour when ive been manic but shes carried on supporting me. i'll always be grateful for that, but at the same time im constantly reminded of my behaviour and the trouble its caused, and i hate it because i feel like im being punished for something i had no control over because i was so ill. I think she just feels the spending was about me being greedy and selfish and not a result of my bipolar. She thinks i use the illness as an excuse, but if it was a physical illness no doubt i would have nothing but sympathy.But because its mental, i get the blame.
When i got my diagnosis i wanted to tell my close friends so they would understand more about my mood swings etc, but she looked horrified and told me i shouldnt tell anyone. I know you do have to be careful as there is a lot of ignorance as regards mental illness, but i only intended to tell people i trusted. but she said i shouldnt tell anyone apart from her and she also wont tell anyone. i think shes embarrased of me.
Shes also said i should never have kids as im in no fit state to be a mother and has often commented that i'll have no sort of future. that really upsets me as eventually i do want to have a career and children.
The most hurtful thing was when she said she would never of had kids if she knew i was going to be bipolar (my dad is also bipolar so i must of inherited it from him). I know theres two ways of looking at what she said but i felt so hurt.
I dont want this to sound like im moaning about her as she has supported me but i just feel desperately alone. My dad wont even admit his bipolar or take medication so i cant talk to him and my mum clearly doesnt understand and doesnt want to. Its not the sort of thing thats easy to discuss with many people. A lot of people dont even know what it is or have the wrong idea about it.
I dont like taking lithium because of the toxicity risks but im prepared to do whatevers necessary to keep the illness under control and thats all i can do.
but when i get so low i feel like self harming or suicidal who can i possibly tell.
sorry for moaning everyone and thanks for listening
Hey there fallen Angel,
Ive been bipolar since "87" on Lithium since "93", There are a couple of others here tha a long term Lithium users and very full of wisdom.
I've been with my husband for 31 years and he still has a hard time understanding at times. Seems logical that your mother just didnt want to see you have to suffer as she has watched your father do so.
I didnt know I was Bipolar when I had children, ages 22 & 20 now, one is takes med for bipolar the other is borderline. Quite often bipolar is genetic and my own person observation is it seems to pass from father to daughter, mother to son. That doesnt necesarily mean a mother or father shows signs of it but can still pass it on. That's not really important....
I couldnt even begin to tell you how many times Ive felt so alone, very, very alone. For comfort I come here, it really helps alot. It helps to respond to others, share what you know or just offer comfort.
Over spending seems to be a big issue for many who are bipolar. The only way your mother could truely understand is to be bipolar herself. There's been times I have wished for just 1 day friends, family etc could experiece what it's like, just one day, because I would never wish this illness on anyone full time. Maybe you friend is a little embarrassed. I feel Ive done the full circle thing, first I was embarrassed of myself then I got to the point everyone knew so I became more open, but found that poeple backed off, were uncomfortable when I was so open, didnt know what to say. So now although I would openly admit it if asked, Ive learned others just arent comfortable discussing it, except forums like this. Give you friend time, sometimes what we think should happen isnt always the best solution.
Im kinda skiping around, but somedays are like that, as far as children go. I love my daughters, but I'll be honest there has been times it hurt so much to watch them suffer, I made a lot of mistakes because I didnt know how to raise a bipolar child on top of being bipolar myself. If I knew what I do know, and still felt a strong desire to have children, I would have learned as much as I possibly could about raising bipolar children it's totally differnt than raising children that arent bipolar. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. Just remember no parent is perfect, mistakes are the best way to remember not to make the same mistake again. It's not the mistakes you child will remember it's the way you resolve, fix or learn from them. So dont take to heart comments of those who dont understand, they cant help it any more then you can help some of your behaviors, believe in yourself, stand up for yourself, if someone makes you feel small, tell them you understand they mean well but right now you need some positive feedback, some support.
Your post really caught me attention as Ive posted here many times about feeling alone, different reason but same feeling. Keep coming here, read others posts about children, parents, partners, family. It really helps and sometimes opens up new understandings. Remember when you're feeling down seek out those who are positive, encouraging it makes a big difference for me. Hang in there, K
Yes, since I was diagnosed this February I have also felt very alone at times. And I can relate other parts of your post.
I haven't told a lot of people so far but I'm starting to feel a bit safer about telling people. I've still been processing the diagnosis and what it means for me.
People I've told: my best friend (she's a therapist and thought my pdoc was onto something with this diagnosis), my boss (he is a good guy and has been supportive), another friend who is a state legislator (her son has schizoaffective disorder), my very small psych class (all 3 of us plus the instructor).
People I've been afraid to tell: my nursing instructors (there is a surprising amount of stigma amongst nurses), my fellow nursing students, my in-laws, my co-workers, many social acquaintences.
I also can relate to the overspending. I could never figure out why I lacked discipline when it came to shopping. My best friend could buy 1 pair of shoes while I'd buy 3 pairs, one in every color, etc. I've run up my credit cards a bit higher than I'd like but not to a crisis point. I'm trying to reform now. Actually, since my diagnosis, I finally feel like it's a fair fight.
My brother has schizoaffective disorder and he is raising his 16 year old daugher as a single parent, so please don't feel like mental illness will keep you from being a good parent.
So just know you aren't alone here and other people can relate to your experiences.