I have bipolar II and have been suffering from it for over 2 years now. I am jobless because i have quit 2 jobs i had on a whim and I live with my parents now and i am totally dependent on them. I feel like a useless bum. My bipolar gives me anxiety problems and bad depression. There's no balance at all in terms of my mood. I can't leave the house without feeling anxious and worried. Driving is dreadfully scary for me. I however force myself to go out sometimes, drive to the gym (i have gained alot, over 20kg because of the medication and doing nothing at home), go out and walk about aimlessly in shopping malls and sometimes drive by to the post office to send mail.
BUT, you see.... that's all i do. That's it. What kind of life is that? Im supposed to get a job, be more independent but i can't trust myself. I cant trust that i won't suddenly quit my job again. I am not even sure i can handle a job at the moment. I am afraid that my life will just be like this, and it won't get any better. I am on medication, i have tried many.. i am the most steady on the current combination im on (lamictal, abilify, rivotril and valdoxan) but i'm not steady enough to trust myself to do anything else or more, my anxiety levels are less but still prominent. I don't know what to do but continue what im doing. Gym, malls, post office. That's it. But that's not what i want out of life. It kills me and i get very depressed about it.
I also can't trust myself around old friends and relatives. I get really down when they tell me about their work, how well they are doing, how they have been really living life (when i haven't, and can't). I can't trust that i would be okay and be able to handle meeting up with them. I am not sure what to say to them when they ask me how i am, it's too embarassing to tell people that i am mentally ill, jobless and dependent on my parents. I am afraid i will get a panic attack or get extremely depressed. So now, i avoid meeting up with friends and relatives altogether. I don't like feeling depressed but i don't like being a hermit either. I'm stumped.
I used to be daring, more independent, confident. Now, since being diagnosed.. I have become a different person altogether. I dont know 'me' anymore. I hate that alot. I feel like i'm just a shadow of a person. Just an empty shell. I am also worried about life in general. What if i never get better? How will i support myself in future when there's no one to take care of me anymore? I really don't want this sort of life for myself. It sounds like I have given up huh? But i really am making efforts to get back to life and reality. It's just taking forever, and i dont have forever.
Anyone with the same experience? I really hope i made some sense and you can roughly understand what i am going through. Think i need some words of wisdom, or just support will do. It would be nice to know that i am not alone.
Last edited by Administrator; 08-11-2012 at 09:30 PM.
The following 5 users give hugs of support to: Esha
lastflowers (02-05-2011),PositiveBelief (04-22-2011),redcarsmiley (02-12-2011),tmm73 (01-10-2011),wayfarer (02-04-2011)
i was very moved by the message you posted. i have not been formally diagnosed with bipolar II but my psychologist whom i've seen over the past 13 years very gently suggested to me that my symptoms do resemble those of BPII. she knew i tend to be quite headstrong in my opinions about myself and i get defensive, and she's always very gentle and respectful towards me, which is very special, isn't it?
unfortunately i can't give you any wise advice, but you say it would be nice not to feel alone in your troubles - so i am writing to say that if you are rowing the bipolar boat along the river of life, take a look a few seats down and you'll see me down there with my own oar! ha ha.
i've been on antidepressant medications for about 12 years or so. i have lots of dreams in my head of things i want to do but most of the time i bury them under anxious thoughts and fears and then i just mope around a bit and escape into my latest novel.... i've had my run-ins with anxiety too: just over a year ago i was in a horrible state for a few months when i was going through a break-up with my boyfriend, i just kept having to excuse myself from my desk at work to go and try to calm down because i just got petrified of everyone making demands on me. it was crazy and scary.
anyhow, i go through cycles of all these difficult emotions repeatedly, and all i can do is allow myself to be. if i feel really low and useless, i just tell my dear partner that i feel that way, and i excuse myself from activities if necessary, and i just ride out the wave. hard to deal with having to go to work, though, when one feels that way: that and the fact that i think my family wants stuff from me that i can't give right now, are the problems that i am trying to get through.
do you keep a journal?
i have lists and lists of journal files on my computer, where i just write out my thoughts. some times that makes me feel a bit lighter. i try to love myself and accept how i feel and what i want and don't want, which sometimes works and helps me, and which sometimes i can't get right - but hey, all one can do is give it your best shot.
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Esha (01-25-2011),PositiveBelief (04-22-2011)
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in May of 2006 at the age of 32. My life turned into a country song at that point: I lost my relationship, my dog, I had no car and I had to move in with my parents. I too felt like a "useless bum".
I had spent my entire adult life running from job to job, relationship to relationship...there is a path of destruction behind me. I was devastated. There were literally weeks that I wouldn't get out of bed. Days and days without a shower. Then one day I got out of bed. And the next I showered. And the next, I too, would run an errand as you do. You see, each and every day that you get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other...you are building that trust with yourself.
Recovery takes time. Yes, recovery. I am brand new to these boards (I just signed up today), so I don't know if recovery is talked about much here.
You have an illness. An illness as real as diabetes or heart disease. This illness is manageable and treatable. There are so many components to recovery from mental illness, and I think you have said something very important here: you feel you can't trust yourself. I can absolutely relate to that.
As I embarked on my journey of someone diagnosed with a mental illness I was shaky and uneasy. I thought for sure that I'd never be able to work again. That I would be looking over my shoulder for that next "episode". I was hospitalized 3 times between 2006 and 2007. Little by little, bit by bit I began to get well. And when I had doubts I would seek the help of family, friends, my therapist, my psychiatric nurse practitioner and support groups.
You see, there is always hope...there is always a chance for healing...for feeling better. Little by little, bit by bit. Maybe you don't feel ready for a job, try out volunteering. Doing that will help you get back in the swing of things as far as being accountable and getting on a schedule. This will also allow you to take a leave from volunteering if it worsens your symptoms. It sounds to me that you are already taking steps toward wellness.
Give yourself credit and cut yourself some slack. Celebrate your daily triumphs. Did you do your laundry today? Triumph. Didn't put it away? Tomorrow's another day.
On February 10, 2010 I started my dream job in behavioral health. That means that in less than 3 weeks I will have been working in the same job, at the same company, for a year. This is the first time that has ever happened in my entire life. I provide peer support to people just like you and the biggest thing I try to instill is that there is always, always hope for recovery. Getting paid to share my journey with others is mind boggling to me. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have Bipolar Disorder. Not everyone is going to feel that way, I know.
As for the people in your life: Sometimes the less said the better, especially if you're likely to cast yourself in a bad light. No one can make us "less than" except ourselves. Saying something to the effect of:
"I'm working on recovering from bipolar disorder. It was a relief to finally be diagnosed a couple of years ago and I am getting better day by day. I am hopeful and looking forward to working and living on my own again."
By saying that you demonstrate your commitment to getting well and show that you are not in any way, shape or form a "useless bum".
For you see, Esha, you are so much more. More than a diagnosis, an illness. You are a human being with things to share with the world.
Take good care of yourself...get enough sleep, keep going to that gym and on walks (such wonderful natural treatments).
Most of all: Remember to breathe. When that anxiety wells up and you are at your wits end, take several deep breaths while thinking "I am hopeful".
Good luck to you! I'm sending positive thoughts and energy your way.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to mrspotatohead For This Useful Post:
Esha (01-25-2011),PositiveBelief (04-22-2011),The Longing (03-19-2012)
I have lived like this and I'm sure I have shared in some of the same feelings.
I too was diagnosed with bipolar II and have quit many jobs in a short period, because the strain was simply unbearable- working amongst toxic attitudes and compromising the type of energy or spiritual level I need to be at.... so nothing is worth compromising not only my health but my being, and how I need to be on this earth... you know.
What I eventually found out is that my deeper self was interested in a spiritual path than an outside image. And my decisions were always based on a higher good. And it was true, but another part of me was fighting against it. Like the image suffering and whatnot. And these are real forces that pull on us. Status is the number one stress inducing mechanism there is. You can watch a documentary called Stress: silent killer by national geographic. Time and time again studies revealed in animal populations that status determined the amount of stress that individuals would experience. Now the documentary didn't have much of a remedy. But I believe the remedy is to move past our animal nature. Once we tap into a more conscious lifestyle, these underpinnings dissolve. And it appears that you are being moved or are moving or both in that direction.
I decided to surrender myself to the spiritual aspect, and then everything made sense in spurts, and more fully over time. My status in the outside world didn't change, but my need for status went away. Everything made sense. I began meditating or waiting for "God" "peace" or "relief" everyday. Once I was able to find it, that was all that mattered to me. I waited as long as I needed to, in silence and faith and allowing all disturbances to subside. Status became irrelevent because I was experiencing life on a more intimate level.
I want to give life all the chance to take over. I've got nothing to lose. Not make any hasty decisions but let life dictate where to start and believe that the most natural process will begin if I go ahead and believe life in the most fundamental way. I mean that.
Last edited by Administrator; 05-24-2011 at 06:30 AM.
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davidseville (05-08-2011),Esha (01-25-2011),PositiveBelief (04-22-2011)
hi, i know exactly how you feel. have been thinking about that myself. i have a job that i can do mostly from home, but has been almost impossible to get myself to do it. I have no energy, wonder what i am good for, my purpose. i really dont even like to leave the house. my dh gets me out though. I too wish i could find a purpose and the ability to carry it out. i have these great ideas and then of course do not follow through.
keep in touch okay? maybe we can find a purpose together....
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I too felt like you and found that clocking actual time with this disorder and seeing how it's capable of changing so many things in my life I was stunned. I went through every emotion trying to fight it and ignore it, none of it worked. I became overwhelmed with helplessness, depression, pain and fear. I finally sat for a day and wrote what my symptoms and reactions were and decided to just try to accept the diagnosis.
My stress and anxiety levels dropped, my meds seemed to work better, and I even felt better.
Later down the road I had a me, myself and I memorial service (I got dressed,played music,and said a prayer) for my departed self and personality. I found that holding out for that old self to get better and return wasn't working for me either.That eased the constant expectation that I am going to be my old self and helped me better take on a day to day life, less pressure there too. (Sounds bizarre but I wasn't myself anymore and I didn't feel coming back whole was an option)
These ideas, along with therapy monthly to verbally vent and learn new coping skills have helped me. I am 58 with bp for over 25 yrs.
I truly hope these ideas will give you time to slow down and try to take one thing at a time,
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Am I being too focused on getting back the 'old' me that I am not accepting the person I am today? That I refuse to acknowledge this new person I have become? I'm in love with my 'old' self, and I haven't found love for myself. But how do you love somebody so dysfunctional?
With all the changes in ones life with this disorder, i have found that i do take it one day at a time. I take it from there. Each day I find that I feel different during parts of the day. hard to keep up with I like the mornings, then the middle of the day i feel anxiety and then later in the evening i feel better. I think that maybe i feel worse during daytime because i feel as though more is expected of me. Because, let's face it, I am not all that productive. I do the things that need to be done, sometimes even more. but i think that causes anxiety.
oh, well, it is what it is.
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I don't know where you are right now. When I was floundering for all my questions at one time, like you seem to be at the moment, I either needed a med adjustment, therapy communication, or time to slow down my mind and look at one thing at a time.
I found that it took years to get on a regiment of meds that kept me more grounded than others. Change one and the whole thing went cafewie!
I shared what happened to me so you could look at it, try it on for size, see if it fit. No way was I playing therapist. If it doesn't feel right kick my story to the curb and look as many places as you can for an answer that fits.
Good luck kiddo, this is a very frustrating disorder, you can go along real smooth for awhile and then it all blows up in you face.Not always to same degree that's what makes this so hard to try to control.
I feel very similar in that, before my first manic episode, I was confident (sometimes headstrong), intellectually clever, talkative, and had an excellent memory.
Now, I feel weak, unconfident, listless, without direction. Never had this problem before.
But I also recall the 'before' me feeling alone, unsatisfied, low self-esteem, hyper-self-critical, and without people to whom I felt comfortable expressing my true feelings or thoughts.
It's been easy for me to romanticize my past -- and want it back -- when in the depressive slump. But remembering a little harder, what I had wasn't fulfilling. Working on myself is really rough, but I'm banking on the idea (to me, still a seeming pipedream) that if I somehow build up myself internally strong, that I'll be far better able to extract joy and success from future opportunities, and that opportunities in the past won't be the last.
I guess theres no other word for it. I gained weight because of one of the medications I was on, in the past year Ive been hospitalized twice.TWICE. Its killing me, I lost friends and the love and respect of family members, and Im beggining to think finding someone (a friend) with bipolar could be good for me -- someone to talk to. Hense me being a part of this discussion, but really I get so depressed sometimes and I cant function Ive tried everything to make it better, but it seems Im stuck like this, forever, switching of meds, going manic, then depressed, trying to punishmyself for being this way, but the truth is I was born this way. I cannot change , neither can you, but I seriously look up to you for trying
The following user gives a hug of support to macattack101:
I know it sounds stupid, but try to meditate and have faith in yourself. It sure isn't easy, and might take years before you achieve it. Having a listening ear to your problems can be a huge plus. This could be a therapist, a family member or a good friend, even an online message board. You have a disorder, and it might be ok for a while, but its always lurking around the corner... but the best thing to do is accept it and try to move on...
Try to find something in life you really like, music, painting, sports and focus a little on that... if you can, go to the gym with a friend or a family member. Try to find a job that suits you, or one you can have with flexible hours...
Immmmm baaacccckkkkk! I have been forcing myself to go out with people I knew in High School for lunches. They end up running about 5=6 hours each. I have forced my-self to leave my house since depression is so strong, I get incredibly sore (medical probs), but it forces me to deal with the ackward social problems from staying inside and isolated.
I have to take 3-4 days to physically recover from the pain but the memories I am making far out weigh laying around reading or watching t.v. I guess what reallly freaked
me out is my daughter got engaged and I will have to be social with close family and
friends. I am 59 and am worried about a group of family and friends! I used to be the
outgoing one in the center of the group laughing and enjoying myself to no end.
So I am going to exercise to build up my muscles and stamina to stand and sit for hours with the best of them. If I get anxious I tend to blurt things out that people will stop and look at me and then my word retrieval from brain to mouth short circuits and I can't talk at all.
I figured I worked my way back to my room into a reclusive existance I can start slow by showering daily and getting dressed, continue to meet people out, and try to get into shape a little more. I hope once I get on a roll I don't screech to a halt and land flat on my butt trying. Wish me luck,
LMAO already, annii456
I have similar difficulties. I have been working steadily for 4 1/2 years now, but I had a medication change due to insurance changes and things have been such a roller coaster ever since. I have had an increase in my anxiety and depression. My emotions rule me and I am very explosive. I am afraid that I may hurt someone or myself if driven hard enough. My relationship also aggrevates things. My job gives me tremendous performance anxiety because I just want to do it well. I work with a bunch of catty girls who irritate my illness.
I get these depressions every month before my period. The PMS exacerbates the mood disorder. I'm obsessed with myself and the way that I think. I want to turn off my emotions and I cannot. I am a really good person with a lot of passions, but this illness has really hampered my ability to be truly successful. I have no support system whatsoever. Both of my parents are very immature and have turned their backs on me because they are themselves unable to deal with things. I'm in a relationship that is very bad for my self esteem, but he's all I have right now. I don't know what is happening to me, but I'm so afraid. I have cried myself to sleep more nights this year than ever before. I notice as I get older I become less tolerant to the depressions that come along with this illness. I am so emotionally exhausted after the depressions and it makes me trust myself less and less. This is truly a frightening way to live; yet I'm so strong I manage to somehow get through each day (so far).
One other thing that has been happening is a lot of flashbacks from childhood. I had many abuses happen to me as well as neglect from my Mother. The only positive thing out of all of this is that I rarely if ever drink alcohol. Alcohol removes every sense of caring that I have and I'm capable of just about any mistake imagineable. So its not for me. I need to see my doctor, but I'm so afraid that changing medicines may make me even worse. Its a fear based illness for me. How can a person be ok when they can't even trust themselves? My own mind sabotages me at times. And that is hard to live with. It makes me feel so differently from everyone else. I just want the Lord to wrap his arms around me and take all of the fear and pain away.
Last edited by Administrator; 08-11-2012 at 09:25 PM.