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Old 04-19-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
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Question Being disabled due to mental illness

How do you, your family, and friends cope with the reality of your mental illness?

It wasn't until my pdoc told me three year ago "When are you going to accept you're mentally ill?" that I stopped making excuses for my 'chemical imbalanced brain.
It was when I knew I couldn't work another flexible part time contract job. I stopped making lame excuses for my behaviors and difficulties. My family finally knows I see a pdoc and therapist regularly and take medication. I use to just isolate myself, say I'm just not feeling well.

I don't think my parents accept my illness b/c I often look and act just fine on the outside.

TIA
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:57 AM   #2
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Re: Being disabled due to mental illness

Quote:
Originally Posted by needserenity View Post
How do you, your family, and friends cope with the reality of your mental illness?

It wasn't until my pdoc told me three year ago "When are you going to accept you're mentally ill?" that I stopped making excuses for my 'chemical imbalanced brain.
It was when I knew I couldn't work another flexible part time contract job. I stopped making lame excuses for my behaviors and difficulties. My family finally knows I see a pdoc and therapist regularly and take medication. I use to just isolate myself, say I'm just not feeling well.

I don't think my parents accept my illness b/c I often look and act just fine on the outside.

TIA
I come from a family who does not understand mental illness, and does not WANT to understand mental illness. I must keep things bottled up, inside.
My only outlet is the internet and forums like healthboards.
It is never talked about in my house. And it makes me really sad.
I mean, my family KNOWS I go to a Pdoc, and take Lithium, but I am totally 'shut down' by them, if I talk about anything related to mental health.
It is so sad there is a stigma in our society about mental illness.
I often imagine, if I had a son or daughter, I would help them ANYWAY I could, and talk openly with them about anything and everything.

I look normal on the outside, but on the inside, things are messed up. Messed up in my mind.

My open hope, is that I find a partner in life, that loves, accepts me, and can talk openly about stuff - even mental health.

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:21 AM   #3
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Re: Being disabled due to mental illness

It is hard to have the outward appearance that "nothing is wrong" and be falling apart on the inside. You go about your day doing the things that you know absolutely have to get done but all the while wanting to hide away in the corner.
I have been told that my pain "isn't as bad as I portray it" and that I don't seem depressed. I tell them to spend 30 minutes inside my head and they will change their minds after 5 minutes.
I have been denied disability because I do force myself to do these necessary tasks, ie taking the dog out, doing a small food shop or washing a dish so I have something to eat off of. It was also commented on in my denial letter that because I have been with my boyfriend for 13 years that my social anxiety is basically fabricated too.
It's just so frustrating to be "trapped" inside my ailments and have almost no one care.....

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
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Re: Being disabled due to mental illness

Unfortunately, many days I tend to look like something is wrong with me; be it from severely poor grooming, manic signs with endless talking/intrusive behaviors, to tendency to isolate myself in the dark for days.
Replying "I'm tired or haven't slept, or I'm depressed, I had too much caffeine and have high energy, all tend to work with my family. They now ask me if I'm taking my medication.
Those are my signs and symptoms with medication and therapy; this realization depressing me all the more.
I'd like to know what it is like to feel joy over little things in my life, or feel content and relaxed.
Teil-it's a shame how the system works. On a side note, I think it's great that you have a boyfriend. I'm at the point where I have no friends b/c of my erratic behaviors and depression.
Take care

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: Being disabled due to mental illness

needserenity- I'm glad I have him too. He has been the one constant throughout all of this. It's been hard... extremely hard sometimes dealing with it all. He's a saint for staying. I really don't have anyone else. What's left of my family isn't very close and I because I am so shy and introverted I do not talk to people much let alone make "friends" with them.

Sad thing is... I don't really remember a time when I didn't feel this way. Even as a child I think I was depressed and didn't really know it. I guess it could really just be family circumstances but I have always felt overlooked and overshadowed and underappreciated.

It is kind of nice to have something like this board to "vent" on and have people who understand it. I could never do this face to face...

Thanks everyone for listening/reading.

 
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:22 AM   #6
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Unhappy Re: Being disabled due to mental illness

My family does not fully understand my depression either. I live by myself and thay have no clue what I'm like alone and I honestly believe they would rather not know. I've taken Lexapro for two years but it does not cure depression. It only stabilizes. The downside for me is they numb my emotions. When I want to feel happy, I can't. For example, on Christmas day when my neice was opening her gifts, I couldn't feel . I had to force a smile. I hate being in this state. I'd rather feel the good even if the bad thoughts would seep back in again. It has made my appetite swell, I gained 60 pounds since 2009. No libido whatsoever. The drug zapped my imagination that was expansive and creative before. It would so much easier if I had an observable measurable disease. No one sympathizes and I wish they could be in my head. I even wrote to the appeals council trying to explain what depresssion is like. I wrote a ten page typed letter in one sitting during a manic state attempting to humanize my case. They can never claim they did not know the truth.

 
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