hi I'm new to the site,and firstly want to say how good it is to be able, to say how i feel without the feeling of annoying people and being accused of getting them down.
i was diagnosed with bipolar when i was seventeen,at the time my family thought it was typical teenage ,slightly destructive behaviour, but i new that the feelings i was having didn't feel quite right.
my moods have been up and down continuously through out my life, but Ive learned over the years how to cope with my illness, but at times still feel rejected and isolated. i have difficulty sustaining relationships, but that's more to do with other peoples ignorance regarding bipolar, hopefully as time goes on people will gain a better understanding about our illness,and eventually more support will be given.:
Yes, I, too, experience the lack of understanding not only for bp, but for other psychiatric disorders as well. I never feel free to reveal myself as I really am: others cannot understand, and revealing anything about my conditions has driven people away.
I don't know which is worse, having them leave because they can't handle the disorders, or them just thinking I don't want to relate to them because I am so inconsistent.
I think we can only find peace of mind when we accept the limitations the disorders place on us, including in frienships, and do hte best we can.
Yes, I agree with seaturtle. It probably isnt't easy to make friends with someone with bipolar. They know there is something wrong with the person, and people don't really want to drag around with someone who is ill.
I'm trying to not think it is something wrong with them, after all I am sick not them.
I am now slowly starting to figure out what I am doing wrong and ajust my behaviour after it. It's just such a pity I didn't discover this sooner.
I hope I'm not to harsh with you now ange72. It is so easy to feel sorry for yourself. Don't, it will only eat you up inside.
It's difficult to find something positive to say on this subject, but I'm going to try really hard anyway. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says:
" I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"
For me, keeping a sense of humor is so key to not letting this disease beat me down. Sure, I have moments that I feel sorry for myself, and keep replaying something I did or said that I wish I hadn't, but it is what it is, being human makes us imperfect, and being mentally ill gives us a kind of pass to say and do things that may from time to time be inapropriate or considered 'crazy'.
Try and embrace who you are. We're all special and have our own gifts and good qualities that make us unique. Why choose to focus only on the bad ones? Ya, this disorder sucks. And leading a 'normal' life is damn near impossible. But I figure these are the cards I was dealt, and I play them the best I can, and try and enjoy life and be a good person.
Whoops! I was'nt done with my book yet...I hit the wrong button and accidentally posted before I got to my point...
I have offended and appalled people with my behavior sometimes, I think the main difference is that while a lot of people think things, but would never say them out loud or act on them, and I do. Will I ever really be truly accepted by society because of this? I don't know, but really, does it matter in the big picture. I think that attitude is hardest on my kids, but it works for me.
I was in my son's drivers-ed class a couple weeks ago, listening to the teacher who told us it was mandatory to listen to this parent lecture on helping our kids learn to drive. Great, I am scared out of my mind to start letting my son drive me around while he earns his permit, if this guy can help me with that, I'm all for it. But the problem was, this guy was constantly going off on rants and commentaries about his own personal opinions on the current laws and random observations about society, and it was a complete waste of my time. So...
I was in this room full of parents, and sitting in the back of the class I raised my hand and as politely as I could, asked him if he was actually going to go over the ciriculum that was in the outline of the course. Did I offend him? You bet! One woman stood up turned around and yelled at me telling me she was "appalled by my rude and disrespectful behavior". Long story short, I left early, and only wasted 50 minutes of my time that day, and made it home in time to walk my dogs before it got dark.
Does that 'episode' make me crazy? Was I wrong to do it? I don't know, but I think maybe it's more crazy to sit be quiet and conform to the group and for fear of upsetting someone, let minutes of my life tick away that I will never get back. Life is short, and I don't let people waste my precious time, if I can help it. But that's just me.
My son's friend and her mom were in the class, and I'm not sure what her mom thinks of what I did. Hopefully, there won't be a fallout from what happened. I just could NOT sit there anymore!
Like I said in the previous post, I love that saying....
"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"
take it easy,
Last edited by lavenderlily13; 09-05-2008 at 03:00 PM.
Reason: spelling and another thought..
hi jen. it's nice 2 hear that lots of people are like us and experience the same uncontrolable mood swings. i dont know about you but i tend to have very impulsive behaviour and live for the excitment when feeling high, this can on occasions put me in situations, that could easily get out of control as i dont always see the dangers, this worries me, as i have two children.
thanx seaturtle. i was feeling very low recently, i met someone and we clicked straight away, thought id found my soulmate if there is such a thing, i told him about my bp pretty much straight away thought he'd understand as he had a serious condition himself, (not a mental health issue)but something that would eventually change his life,so i felt comfortable revealing this. he asked me why i kept asking him loads of questions, asked if it was something to do with my condition, he really liked me and was very nice to me. neadless to say he told me he wasn't ready for a relationship, maybe he wasn't but i amediatly blamed my bipolar, then the guilt set in.
I'm BP2 (with hallucincations now as well). First hospitalised 2004, once again since then and still see my pscyh every two weeks. Also been hospitalised for anorexia. All in all, have had alot of personal experience with mental illness.
I come from the other side of the coin though. I don't hide my 'illness' from anyone. I feel to hide it, subconciously makes me feel that it is wrong, that 'I' am wrong. It is very important to me that I have never hidden it from anyone.
I met my current fiance, knew I wanted to get to know him more, so the FIRST time we chatted ever - I told him it all, even about my ideations (good and bad), hospitalisations etc. I feel in that situtation, with someone you want to get very close to, that it is only fair to tell them upfront so that they can make an informed decision. He made his informed decision - to stay with me.
With friends I don't see the need to tell people upfront, the first time I meet them - it would seem quite odd to do so. The reason - If they had been divorced, diabetic, in financial hardship - would they tell me any of that upfront - I don't think so....
However, I inordinately always bring the topic to that of 'mental health' as I find it fascinating, not because I'm BP. This means I can judge the peoples awareness of the topic before I tell them. This enables me to tell them 'my story' as I put it in a way that is both at their level, and educational for them. I always start it with something to a)get their attention that sounds interesting and b)that lifts a bit of a jovial atmosphere onto the topic.... yeah, I'm a qualified nutcase - thats my usual start line.... gets then very interested...
I've come to realise that EVERYBODY never says goodbye. Honesty, in the right way so as to not frighten people, is a quality everybody regards in a friend of theirs.
Some people do find it hard knowing how to treat me at certain periods of my 'illness', but then so did I at the start so can I really blame them? - No...not at all. All it takes is an explanation afterwards, again pitched at their level and educationally so that they can learn about it. Honesty again, bonus ppoint two for us....
Over time, whilst BP, I have actuallly acquirred more good friends than I ever had before my diagnosis. I put this down to understanding myself, so not ALWAYS keeping myself locked up in the house as I did before, and also having learnt alot about myself - the starting point to knowing about other people and what they need in a friendship.
The best people to educate others are those in the driving seat - thats us!!
If people want to run after hearing of our 'news' let them... but only after you try to eductae them about it if they want to try to understand. Ignorance is a common factor is mental health issues seeming scary to those uneductaed in it. If after all that, they still want to run - ask yourself, are they really the type of person I want as a close friend anyway? Chances are, your answer will be no....
Good luck in your ventures.....
The little shell of a nut,
Last edited by NutshellNutter; 09-06-2008 at 06:48 AM.
I just had to come here and post to clear my head, and try and figure things out. Have any of you ever had the experience of trying to deal with a teenager and having this illness? It's interesting, and not at all easy.
My son is a really good kid, and normally we get along well, I think he's able to accept that I'm sick and when 'episodes' happen, he is usually understanding, but I think he's starting to resent me for the fact that he is effected as much or maybe even more by my sometimes irrational behavior than I am. He's been talking back to me and being so nasty for the past couple of days...maybe it's normal, I don't know.
I'm much more stable than I was when I was first diagnosed, but anytime there's additional stress put on me for whatever reason, sometimes meds just aren't enough to stop the impulses that come into my head. Luckily, I've never tried to hurt anyone or myself.
Being accepted by others in the community or even our family is such a huge part of why this disorder is difficult to manage. In some ways it really hurts those around us more than it does us when you think about it. I would be willing to bet my last dollar that when my husband married me ten years ago he had no idea what 'in sickness and in health' really meant. My first husband bailed before I even had an inkling that I had something wrong with me.
The most amazing thing is that my son could choose to live with his father , but stays here and deals with my craziness. That baffles me, but I know he feels a sort of obligation to be loyal. That's not the same as acceptance, though. I don't want his pity, or resentment. I'm not sure that I have a choice...
I'm sorry about your son. How old is he? Could this be part of the normal adolescent rebellion thing?
I do know what you mean about hurting family. I no longer have family, but, looking back to my behaviours caused by the bp and some other disorders I have, I can see how my family must have been bewildered, angry, and very hurt. These illness are hard on us and hard on those who love ue.
Can you talk to your son about what you've posted here?
And you know, you must be a very good mother he loves very much, since he is staying with you. You said "out of loyalty" - but he must also love you, too.
I think realizing how I must have hurt people was one of the saddest things for me. And realizing I was totally out of control and didn't even see the hurt I was causing, well, that is just frightening.
NutshellNutter and Lavenderlily13, did I get those names right.
I'm going to the doctor the 11'. My own doctor, I am wondering what he can do. Get a psykiatrist in this country takes months, and I haven't really done anything yet.
What NutshellNutter says is very interesting as I am wondering what to say to my family and people I meet. I feel like your approath is more like mine. The more open one. My father was at a mental institution to talk to the psykiatrists there, but it was apparently something wrong with them, . I should probably think more about him. I have never had a relationship with him. Now I'm beginning to see why. I should talk more with him.
Lavenderlily13 perhaps you should send your son to his father? I wont really mingle here and I don't have any kids, but I think perhaps he really wants this but can't really get himself to say it. It could perhaps give you more time for yourself too Time you can use for the things you always wanted to. But at the same time being a teenager isn't easy, and you might not have the stability and strenght for it. Just a thought.
i'm really happy to have found this particular thread.
i struggle alot with really wanting to tell someone..really wanting to be able to talk to someone..but then when i finally do let it out..feeling so awful about their responses.
a recent one was i told a friend of mine some of my symptoms..and her response was:
well, no offense, but i think you might be, you know, bipolar, and you are probably a danger to your family so you should probably get it checked before you doing something you'll regret.
now, bear in mind that my symptoms had NOTHING to do with wanting to hurt someone, lol.
needless to say i sort of just dropped that friendship, lol. i was really appauled at the way she would say well no offense...and this was coming from someone who has her own share of depression and anxiety..i thought she would be understanding..i was horribly mistaken.
what i would LOVE to know is why people jump to conclusions and automatically assume that bipolar patients are a threat to society? why is there always that idea of danger?
i would never, ever disclose of my condition to my family members. never. i can only imagine the reactions.
hi lolanash, im glad you have found this thread helpful. i was sorry to hear of your friendship breaking up, i think sometimes people react in what seems a negative way, because they simply dont understand and dont always know what to say. i have a similar situation within my family, my mom tends to stay away if im feeling unwell, and this at times can feel hurtful, makes me feel unsupported, but i know its because she doesnt find it easy seeing her daughter struggling, but deep down i know that love is there.
your friend im sure didnt mean any harm, just wasnt sure what to say.
ps i have never hurt anyone or attempted to. im a single mother of 2 teenagers which at times can be challenging, but enjoyable at the same time.
Just because someone doesn't understand or doesn't know what to say doesn't mean they don't care. I am very open about the disease and I will talk about to whoever would like to know. People use me as a source and someone is always asking questions. If you are honest and open with people they are more likely to accept this. Just don't give up. I eventually found a group of friends that are wonderful and care about me the way I am.