I was just wondering about when a person reaches the point where they take meds and know they have to. I read that lack of insight is one of reasons that people with bp do not think anything is wrong with them. Most on this board take meds so I wonder what the difference is when one totally denies they have a problem for years and years but they are spiraling down into despair. Is there a point where you can clearly see the need for meds or do some never reach that point. I am not good with words so this might not make sense. I guess what I am trying to say is why do some reach a point where they can see and others never do and waste away their lives. Where is the fine line so to speak.
At first I thought the answer to this might be that this point occurs most often after some extreme manic or depressive phase of the illness, a suicide attempt, a hospitilization or something like that but from my own experience I think that might not be the case for the most of people who have long lasting commitment to take meds and accept the illness. As people post to your question hopefully you will get a good feel for the answer to your question as I am certainly no expert.
However, since I am right at this point myself, where I have just started to take my first true bipolar med and fully accept that I have this disease and that I must do something about it, I will share my thinking that got me to this point: I now understand that there is something biochemically out of balance with me, and this 'thing' is out of my control and that when left unchecked (unmedicated) can and will cause great pain and suffering for those I love and myself. For me it was the knowledge and the insight of how my out of control behaviors are because of the disease and that I can myself control the disease through the use of medication. Now the hard part, taking the meds, finding what I can tolerate and what will work.
What a good question... I have another one! What about when a person takes meds. for years and then POOF! they take themselves off the meds. because they feel like they are "all better"???? My thought on this one: maybe they really believe that they are recovered and don't need them anymore? Or is it denial????
I reached a point when i was at my all time low, when i was bringing harm to myself and wanted to bring harm to those around me. I guess when people hit rock bottom and theres no where else to turn.
Interesting questions, Marshmallow. As you know I am not Bipolar but having gone through the pre-diagnositic phase with my daughter when we didn't quite know what was going on there was a period of time where things were just a whirlwind and it was like a hurricane took over our household. My husband and I knew that it was far more than a rebellious teen....looking back on it now it was an induced hypomania. During this time there was absolutely no reasoning or rationalizing with Erin. She was going to therapy for over 7 months and not progressing at all. She was seeing a psychiatrist and hospitalized 3 times over a 3 month period and only worstened. It wasn't until she was coming down from the hypomania and entering her 2nd suicide attempt that we were able to get her to see that she needed help. I will never forget that day....she had just self harmed after weeks of horrendous behavior (at the time, like I said, we had no idea what was wrong. She was being treated for depression and the antidepressants were making things worse which often happens with Bipolar) Anyway....on that day I asked her what was going on, that I loved her and knew that she was hurting very badly inside and was doing all that I could possibly do for her. I pointed out how she had taken over $200 dollars from my purse and denied doing so, had run away, been arrested for shoplifting, was having sex with a boy she barely knew and I named all that was happening. And she started crying and hugged me and told me she didn't know what was wrong but that she wanted help. I hugged her back and that day I promised her to do everything in my power to get her the help that she needed. And that we did!!
What I am trying to say is....so long as somebody is in that mania or hypomania there is no way that you can convince them that something is wrong....this is when everything is your fault and you are the one who made them do what they did. This period was when I would refer to Erin as the Master of Manipulation....she would do anything and everything to get her way. And as I said, there was absolutlely no way to reason with her or logic or for her to see things rationally. In her mind what she saw was the way it was no matter what reality was at the time.
The window of opportunity came for us......it took 7 months to get there and when it came we were finally able to get the help that we needed because finally Erin wanted it too. It wasn't until the meds were in place that we were able to reason with her or that she began to see things rationally. And thank God, once the meds started working she was able to get something out of therapy and really work with the therapist rather than convincing him that she was right.
I can only share from my experience but I can see and understand how difficult it is for somebody who is Bipolar to accept the help that they need because as I see it and have witnessed it, unless you seize that window of opportunity there is no way that they can see that they need help unless they come to the realization on their own that something is just not right and they want help. For Erin and us we were fortunate that we found that window of opportunity so that she didn't go on many more years without the right diagnosis or treatment.
I hope this helps you to understand things better. ~ Goody
Thank you all for the replies. Wduke you mentioned insight and that is what I think many lack. My husband really really believes he is fine and I am just crazy to think he is bp. I keep wondering when the insight will kick in. Tee, so nice to see you here. You said you realized you were brining harm on loved ones. I think my husband knows in a way he is but he thinks his pain is greater than anyone else. Kym, I have wondered why some start to feel good and stop taking meds too. I guess even after 8 years of this I have so much to learn. Goody what a wonderful ending to your daughters turmoil. I know it is still hard but now she knows she needs help and that is over half the battle dont you think?
With my husband he knows I would support him if he were to seek out help but since he continues to deny a problem in spite of all the harm that has taken place I have to now think of moving on. Sad.
This is a great question and I wish it was easy to answer. It really comes down to who the person is and how they have been brought up in life. What level of responsibility they have and how the family & friends either enable or confront the manic-depressive episodes. BP's will often never acknowledge something is wrong if 95% of everyone around them is saying there fine even though there only around them 3-5% of the time. People make assumptions and deal out opinions with very little if any of the true picture. I get very irritated when people question me when I've been knee deep in it for 100% of the time and they get a small window to look through 2% of the time.
It will always come down to personal responsibility and whether it's BP or anything else in life people tend to want to blame everyone else rather then accept responsibility for there own problems. We see people overcome mountains of problems and then others can't seem to get over an ant hill. Self determination, personal responsibilty, and having a positive outlook on life in general will allow people to overcome the many problems we all face in life including BP. Some get right away, others take years to figure it out, and yet others never figure it out ever.
It's sad to see so many BP's that could have a 80-90% stable life continue to deny reality and self destruct over and over. All I can say is there are solutions to this and every other problem in life but people will never attempt to find a solutions if they feel no problem exist especially if everyone around them is also saying no problem exist. "Personal Responsibility is still the name of the game"
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference".
I just had to write an tell you how sorry i am for you and your marriage situation. I didnt realize how bad it was for you! Your right is is so sad, your husband doesnt have a clue how lucky he is to have someone like you to support him.
I was just thinking about your situation and u&a situation what i would of give in my first marriageto have that kind of support , i guess thats why it hits home so much because my first husband enjoyed abusing me till i cracked,thats why it means so much too me to hear support from non bp spouses.I would of gave anything to have that kind of support, i probably wouldnt be where im at today if i did. I sorry im rattling i just wanted you to know that what your doing is not in vain. Hang in there! BIG HUGS! TEE