Re: Worried about sister w/BiPolar 1 need your advice
Dear AlienSis: I am very concerned that your sister is not taking a mood stabilizer, too, because when the switch to mania comes, it can come so fast and can be so severe. She has had her diagnosis for a very long time, but has she been able to talk to many other people who suffer from the illness? I am astounded at how much it has helped me to read about other peoples’ experiences on these boards, especially in coming to terms with the correctness of the diagnosis. Perhaps you could print out some of the most relevant strings for her to read… At 33, I am near to your sister’s age, and have spent the last few months in a pretty deep depression, sleeping way too much. My doctor just added Abilify to my mix because I am starting to have hints that a switch is coming. I haven’t been diagnosed as long as your sister, but I can remember at least 3 times when I have seriously questioned if it is a correct diagnosis. I think I did so because it is such a frustrating illness to have, knowing you will need to be making constant adjustments the rest of your life, and it would be so much easier to not really be bipolar. If a person spends the majority of her time at one pole, she may have forgotten being at the other pole, for sometimes the passage of time dulls memory, and sometimes the medicines we try muddle our thinking or cause us to forget things. At times, I feel so cheated, from not being able to have a “normal” life, at least the kind that so many take for granted. And I would really love to find friends like your sister, like me. Part of the illness, the isolating tendency, makes it difficult to get to those support groups, but having relationships with others is a big part of a meaningful life, even more so for females, I think. And it is much harder to feel so despairing during the holidays. It is like you have a microscope scrutinizing your feelings and comparing them against how happy and wonderful everything is supposed to be or is portrayed in the media. I hope you get the support and encouragement YOU need from some of the terrific veterans here, as well as ideas to help your sister. And I hope that deep down inside, she wants help.