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Old 06-06-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
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Question Bipolar II and denial, acceptance, and general difficulties

Hello my fellow tree-folks with a mental illness part of the Bipolar Branch...

Okay, so, I am new to this board, and I have been having a bit of a hard time with Bipolar disorder II. I was officially diagnosed when I was almost 18, and after getting the bipolar meds and then going off them after 2 years, I had around two years of feeling what I would call 'normal'. I thought this thing had gone away. Maybe it was wrong all along? Although I do have to acknowledge that the only medications that benefited me during my difficult times in life were the meds for Bipolar...well, does that indicate bipolar, OR do these meds work for anyone?Anyway, as far I was aware, I was cured! Then, I developed severe anxiety then a few years later I started slipping back into bad depression. This was not all the time sometimes it would be pretty severe for a few days and then...go away again, but now it has come back full-force. Then there were the elevations. These were usually prior to the troughs of depression...so I would always pay for them with.
I suppose I do feel like I am in denial and struggle with acceptance...if I had Bipolar I and had been hospitalized or something for mania or psychotic mania, I could understand the diagnosis much more. Those states are blatantly obvious to anyone. However, for me, I struggle with depression the most (is this the usual for those with B.D. II?), and the hypomanic times were often brief, but lovely. So I guess I always wonder if it is Bipolar.
In those hypomanic times, I felt I was productive, and my Pdoc did agree, and said it can sometimes be very beneficial for people, but the downside is that you will always crash again, and also, hypomania can escalate into full-blown mania in some...not good.
I am, on the one hand, glad I have my diagnosis, because I am now getting more appropriate medications and know what I am dealing with. Also, I feel like this has taught me so much, and I have developed more insight, compassion, and empathy due to it. Also, those periods of hypomania are a lens where life looks different, and not everyone in the world experiences that.
On the other hand, I do not really want to have to take medication for most (maybe all?) of my life, do not want to have a mental illness, worry how to tell people, feel embarrassed to explain some of not-my-best behaviours and to talk to people about it etc. But, hey, everyone has their own issues, and there are plenty of conditions that are chronic, and I guess I should be glad I am on the 'right medical track' now. So, I am still in that sticky phase of denial and finding it hard to fully accept, yet feel glad it has been 'spotted' early, and I can help others through their own experiences with Bipolar disorder, or other struggles etc. Do others struggle with acceptance/doubt?

So that is it in a nutshell. Thank you everyone, and I am looking forward to hearing from you :P.

Last edited by thewaytoneptune; 06-21-2012 at 03:24 AM. Reason: typos

 
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:42 AM   #2
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Re: Bipolar II and denial, acceptance, and general difficulties

Hi!

I was diagnosed in Dec of last year after YEARS of depression .. and the past being the worst ever. 'Mental illness' of the depression sort run on the female side of my family. I knew I'd come up with something one day, but when I was told by a therapist that she thought it was BPII .. I about crapped myself. I wasn't sure what to think of it - all I know is that I had NEVER been able to vent to someone so easily in my life that day. I decided to keep it to myself until I got to see the actual Psychiatrist. I didn't want to tell my family - especially my father because I didn't want him to think 'Oh EFF she's like every other wacko in this fam'. I eventually told my mother and of course she knocked it down saying that was BS and that I was just like her .. I was just depressed. She was right - partially. From all the years that I really was depressed and didn't take initiative to get treatment .. it kinda built up to BPII ..

In the beginning I was SO relieved to have had a diagnose finally plastered on my medical record and was excited to see what these meds could do for me .. but I was in denial .. I mean .. I'm 22 (for 2 more days!) .. How could I .. I mean ME .. I .. have BPII? I mean, does that mean I'm a crazy girl kind of like the movie 'Girl Interrupted' .. am I going to be locked up? What about all those Law and Order episodes where the mom who put her child in the oven and was then let free from jail because she was just thought to have BP - although I know that's a totally diff scenario - I think EVERY bad thing I've seen on TV ran through my brain for about a month.

It took a month or 2 to see the REAL effects of the BP medicine .. and I must say, I feel fabulous .. other than my last post I just put up on healthboards .. lately meds are making me nauseous - hoping it'll pass but hey - I may have to change them .. that's the process ... trial and error.

Although I read up on taking these meds .. and how they may affect your kidneys or whatever .. I still worship them for giving me my life back. I know the thought of being on these meds the rest of your life is frightening .. but like I said - trial and error. There is no divine law that says YOU HAVE TO TAKE THESE FOREVER .. it is YOUR choice and if you want to see how you feel taking yourself off, after a few years of being on them .. it isn't something that will totally ruin you .. you just have to be cautious and be honest with your doctor and honest with YOURSELF .. As in - don't try and keep telling yourself you feel great if you really don't. Take it a day at a time - I've found that to be the BEST thing.

Back to being embarrassed and not knowing how to talk about your diagnosis...I have told my closest friends only because in the past I treated them SO badly that I can't ever forgive myself. I hate blaming things like that on 'oh I had PMS' .. but seriously, BP WAS The reason why I was such a beast to them .. they all understand now and every one of them has said they can see a TOTAL turn around in my attitude. The only thing this med hasn't done is make me know where I want to go in life .. I mean it has cleared up my many thoughts and crazy frustrations with life but it did not say 'you should be an engineer .. you should work at subway ..' Hey - we can dream, right? =)
When I told my boyfriend about my BP he was like 'yeah whatever' about it .. I only told him because he didn't understand why I don't like being home alone, bored all the time. I tried telling him my mind wanders then I get all down and out .. and he was like..*** does that mean? He didn't know me before December, so he didn't get to see the other me (Thank god bc it would have scared him off) .. but he does understand it and he HATES that my med is beginning to make me sick..he wants me off of them but then again he doesn't understand that part.

Overall - you have to pick and choose those who you know will understand what you are telling them and why you are sharing that private information with them. You will figure it out in time .. I didn't just put up a facebook post or a mass text and tell everyone I was diagnosed with BP because I'm pretty sure rumors would have begun and they'd all call me psycho without REALLY knowing what BPII is .. when most just picture the movie scenes like explained above.

Alright - I'm going to go indulge in TV like I shouldn't but don't care since I wake up at 4:30 am every morning now..lame.

=) Have a great day and just think about it all - I hope I gave you a good laugh - feel free to msg me any time!

 
Old 06-13-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Re: Bipolar II and denial, acceptance, and general difficulties

What kind of meds are you on? I take 900 mg of Lithium, 50 mg of Trazadone and 50 mg of Pristiq

 
Old 06-13-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: Bipolar II and denial, acceptance, and general difficulties

Some of the things I noticed one I got stable after getting on bi-polar medication, was how calm I had become and nicer I was. Then, I noticed that many people in my life seem to need medication for their rapid mood swings. I don't know if it is additives in food or hormones in meat, but today's society acts very moody, especially people driving in traffic. Who knows?

 
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:53 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Bipolar II and denial, acceptance, and general difficulties

Actually it's funny this was just posted because I am 38 and have been taking meds and seeing a pschiatrist for over 14 years. I had a therapist when I was younger and she suggested a pschyatrist for depressions. It's been so long since I saw him, I don't remember ever getting some diagnosis, only meds. As years went by, I started getting different meds other than antidepressants, so I assumed he had me bipolar.
Shorter story, I attempted suicide last year and I was told to see a Psychologist who happens to be a dr clinical psychologist and she just last year gave me the diagnosis of bipolar II. After spending more time with her, I notice the times I have some mania which I never thought I had. So basically your not alone in struggling with the diagnosis. I still wonder if it is, but I just got out of the hospital again and It seems mania points to my episodes so I just told my wife today, I believe her diagnosis and my Dr. also changed it recently also.
Thanks for your post, I thought I was only person didn't believe diagnosis.

 
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:04 PM   #6
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Re: Bipolar II and denial, acceptance, and general difficulties

Hi mywaytoneptune (and everyone here),

I never understood my mother's illness. Growing up, my brother and I just thought she was 'nuts', so we stayed away from home as much as possible. Back in the 60's and 70's there was no diagnoses for bipolar disorder; just unsympathetic judgment, and an array of medication that should never have been prescribed.

Now, I understand my mother's illness because I was diagnosed with Bipolar I only two years ago. Isn't it interesting when you realize that the deep depression, the erratic behavior, and/or the pendulum of both, is something you have tried to deal with throughout your life? We know something is wrong, but we don't know exactly what it is so we continue to function the best we can. DENIAL!!

I didn't want to admit that my roller-coaster ride of moods were going to be added onto the family 'nuts' list of names. I understand darkness of depression; how it sucks us down to the bottom until we don't want to suffer anymore. Been there, done that. Mania has ruined my relationships, my credit, and basically my life.

Even at my age, I am embarrassed to tell people and talk about it. Having to explain to my sons why I have all these medications to take was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Of course, they had already guessed what was up with 'mom' and have been very patient and understanding. Meds have helped even out my moods and be a better mother (I hope). I hate being on them and find myself not being as consistent as I should be in taking them. Trust, is hard for me as I am sure it is for some of you, and in my clique of a neighborhood I trust no one; unsympathetic judgment has not gone away.

I wish you the best, mywaytoneptune, and everyone else here.

 
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