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Old 09-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #1
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arleyandrea HB User
Talking My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

Hi there! I am new to the board.

Last April I was diagnosed as Bipolar with Anxiety Disorder. I ended up seeing a psychiatrist because I was engaging in some risky and destructive behaviour. In a manic state I ended up sleeping with a stranger. I had only gotten married the summer before, and had only been married less than a year. After spending some time together, my psychiatrist diagnosed me as a "textbook" case. Luckily, my lovely husband has been very supportive during my recovery, even though he has had to deal with my infidelity.

I have been spending the last few months sorting out medications and have been very discouraged at times, almost to a debilitating degree. For the most part I have been feeling worse than when I was unmedicated and living my Bipolar life. People around me have been supportive for the most part. But, there are those that have said, "Why are you doing this to yourself? You used to be such an energetic and happy girl." It seems that the first medication that I went on stabilized my manic behaviour. Unfortunately, what was left over was deep depression. The last few months have been devoted to finding the right combination of medication to take away the depression.

A big challenge is trying to do all this, whilst maintaining normalcy at work. Some days I can just start crying for no reason. I am a teacher and breaking down at work is really not an option. This has been stressful. It is tough dealing with a medical condition with so much stigma.

I have also been feeling like a failure, not only at work, but also in my marriage. I also feel like a burden to those around me. I feel guilty that I am not able to do things like get together with friends and family on those days when I can't leave the couch.

Anyway, things have been getting better. I am starting to have more good days than bad, which means that the medications are starting to do their job. This journey has been long and hard and I feel like I am constantly waiting for the day when I feel "normal".

Just wanted to put my story out there. I have always wanted to be able to talk to others that are going through the process...I figured that a message board might be a good place to start.

 
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:19 PM   #2
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Re: My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

Hi arleyandrea—

I haven’t been on here in awhile (but you wouldn’t know that!), but just wanted to say hello, and I think you will find a lot of people on here who have been where you are.

I was secretly diagnosed by a psychiatrist who was not up front with me. And, like you, it was after a similar situation. I didn’t find out until I looked on my receipt one night and looked up the DSM code that he had me diagnosed bipolar 1 with single manic episode. Previous to that I’d been diagnosed major depressive (and thought I still was), although that never seemed to fit completely. Needless to say, I found a new doctor who then officially diagnosed me bipolar 2 with panic disorder.

The process of finding the right medication combo might take awhile, but in the end it’s worth it. I was originally taking Zoloft, when I was major depressive, and once diagnosed correctly, my new doc tried me on Lamictal, which has been a lifesaver. My mood is stable (mostly, as much as it can be, right?) and my depressions are nowhere near as bottomed-out as they used to be. You will eventually figure out the right combo; it just takes time. Getting used to the way medication alters the way you feel takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. I think with us bipolars we want instant gratification more than anything. So when we don’t feel good or normal right away, it’s easy to say “this doesn’t work,” but you’ll find the right thing for you.

The stigma associated with BP I think is lessening, but it still feels weird and shameful for me to have to tell someone, so I know what you mean. You are not a failure because you’re doing something about this, and that takes courage. Thinking I am a burden is also something I struggle with, and probably lots of other people on the board too, but I think if your friends and loved ones know you’re doing what you can, there is no reason to feel like a burden.

Thanks for sharing your story. I know you’ll find a lot of support and reassurance here.

Luanne

 
Old 09-18-2008, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

Thank you so much for your message! It made me feel so much better. I shouldn't have read it at work because I got a little teary eyed because of the joy and support I felt while reading it.
I think that you are right in that the hardest part was waiting for (and still waiting for) the medications to start working. It was helpful to hear, as I often had a hard time being patient. Especially when a manic individual is used to that instant gratification.
Thanks again,
I think that this board is going to help me deal with some of the issues associated with being diagnosed bipolar.

 
Old 09-18-2008, 12:58 PM   #4
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totallyclueless HB User
Re: My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

I know what you are going through. It took me 3 years to find the right med combo for me. I went through a enormous weight gain, depression, medicine that mede me a zombie and some that I couldn't wake up on. I found the right combo after awhile and it is worth it. Sometimes it has to get better before it gets worse but once you find what works for you...there's really nothing else like it. You fell normal. You feel like you can function and not worry about the next break down or manic episode or panic attack. Hang in there, good lick and really utilize these message boards. We are people who are or have been where you aer. We understnd and want to help. I wish you all the best.

 
Old 09-18-2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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CarenR HB User
Re: My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

Hi and welcome to the board....

hugs, Caren

 
Old 09-23-2008, 06:07 AM   #6
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Re: My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

Hi everyone, this is my first post...and my first venture into getting in touch with other BP sufferers.

I was only recently diagnosed with BP, after being treated as a depressive for many years. I'm still working, doing the everyday stuff, but it gets harder and harder, which is why I went back to my GP and asked for help. My husband is very supportive, but I feel like I am a burden on him sometimes, I seem to take the lion's share of the relationship, if you know what I mean..
I haven't started taking any medication yet, and quite frankly the thought of it scares the hell out of me, caught between a rock and a hard place..take the meds wait for the side effects..or don't take them and lose my mind completey.

Well, not wanting to ramble to much, I just wanted to say, it's so nice to find a place where people understand, and care. You really have given me hope that things will be ok....thank you x

 
Old 09-23-2008, 09:20 AM   #7
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arleyandrea HB User
Re: My Story...looking for others who have had similar experiences.

First I would like to say welcome to the board! You will find lots of help and support here.

I would also like to remind you that you WILL be o.k. and things will get better for you.

My personal opinion about medication is this: You would never ask someone with a heart condition to refrain from taking medication...so why would it be any different for someone with a brain condition? I would also like to add that I have not had many side effects to speak of.

The path of recovery can be challenging but it IS worth it. I suggest that you start by getting yourself a psychiatrist.

Again, welcome to the board!
Andrea

Last edited by arleyandrea; 09-23-2008 at 01:07 PM.

 
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