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I hate this Bipolar

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It is ruining my life. Wel, it has for many years, and I don't know how to change it. I am not the social butterfly, esp when depressed. I am tired of losing people I barely meet. Most of the time right now I feel like being alone. Where do I go from here? How do I get out of this depression when I only feel like sitting? I am on ADD meds now, so it lifted some of those symptoms, but he took me off lamictal and think I need to give him a call before I do more damage. I even feel rejected by my doctors and don't know if it is the bipolar talking or just me being negative. I need support.
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    From another "Bipolar Black Sheep" (all of my family has separated themselves from me due to my being "crazy" like my mother; only one brother speaks to me & I think that is because his wife's mother & sister have severe mental illnesses so she has compassion for me & influences him), I understand your predicament & fears that lead to immobility. I am 58-years-old; had my 1st suicide attempt at 15; had a severely ill mother who had schizo affective & succeeded in killing herself after many attempts when I was 15 (few mos. after my 1st attempt) & this may sound horrible but I was "glad" she was dead--she was finally free of all her chaos & turmoil & emotional pain & craziness in her head & selfishly I would no longer be abused by her illness.

    My father was not a good father--too much into his yacht club partying lifestyle & he was a "functioning alcoholic" (he moved onto his yacht & left us w/our mother when she would come out of hospital which was just not SAFE & when I started displaying severe depressive symptoms {um, suicide attempt was a clue--he got so mad!})...

    Now I was going to cost him time & money & he was sick of it after so many years w/my mother's problems. I was in a boarding school then (at 15 as mother was in hospital & out like a revolving door) & he was so MAD that after I was released from the ER after pumping my stomach (swallowed bottle of room-mate's Valium; don't ask me where she got it or why) the boarding school said I couldn't return for 2weeks & that I needed "help"; I think they assumed a father would get help for a suicidal daughter, but the help I got was his wrath that he had to cancel going on a yacht club cruise as having a suicidal daughter on his yacht was a bit of a party pooper so he just left me ALONE.

    I swallowed every pill he had on his yacht, but he only had Dristan & aspirin & such.

    By that time due to my mother's in & out of hospital so much & he was in the process of having her involuntarily committed to the state mental hospital

    I never knew my mother, only her illness, as she became ill when I was 3 & she was in & out of mental institutions & her illness called me a whore when I was only 11 & I didn't even know what the word meant. She would wake me up in the middle of the night by slapping me (therapist thinks this may be why I have such trouble sleeping & always have such high anxiety & a hard time trusting people) & then she would turn me out of the house in the dark, calling me horrible names & accusing me of terrible immoralities. She was convinced I had a venereal disease so I couldn't use the bathroom in the house (I was dirty) so I found myself a "bathroom bush" to use.

    She drank A LOT ( which was both good & bad--see how crazy your thinking gets?). Her being drunk & passed out (could see her in the living room through the wall of plate glass windows on the back side of the house) meant I could sneak into the house & take a shower (though not a very thorough one, apparently, as I remember w/humiliation my 2nd grade teacher pulling me aside & telling me I needed to wash my elbows & the back of my neck! Nowadays, CPS would have been called. Back then people minded their own business, esp. in the wealthy suburb we lived in).

    And when she was passed out we kids could sneak food that my father had grocery store deliver (good old days; plus, my mother didn't know how to drive, thank goodness). We would eat frozen pizza while it was still frozen & frozen cream pies. We were like foraging nomads! Well, I won't go into anymore of the gruesome details. I do tend to ramble terribly.

    But--I would also try to find a new meds provider who will work w/you in a collaborative way. You should be an equal part of your "treatment team" as you don't seem delusional, etc. We all go through times questioning our dx. Also, why were you taken off Lamictal? Did you have problems w/it? Did it not work? Lamictal is VERY effective in most people w/bipolar. I have bipolar 1.

    Do you live in a state that nurse practitioners can treat you & prescribe meds? I have been seeing a psychiatric n.p. for almost 20 years now & she knows me so well. She knows my life, my relationship w/my husband & children, talks to my therapist (I signed the HIPPA or is it HIIPA ? form so they can work as a team) & spends at least 45 minutes w/me at an appt. & has spent 90 minutes when I needed it!

    She is much less expensive than a pdoc & really knows her meds. Due to my chronic insomnia she wanted me to try Seroquel but I said "No" due to already gaining weight on Abilify. So we put together the combo of Trazodone & Klonopin.

    When I felt like I could get off Abilify after 10 years or so due to amazing progress made w/Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (highly recommend that; see if it is available--more like a class than group therapy--homework & lessons) , she agreed as long as I agreed if my original symptoms of paranoia returned or signs of mania I would go back on it, which of course I agreed to. This is how your meds provider should work WITH you, not order you around w/little discussion.

    Look into (National Alliance for Mental Illness) for excellent FREE classes for those w/mental disorders (Peer-to-Peer); free classes for family members (Family-to-Family); all free resources like support groups for the "consumer"(those w/a mental disorder), family members, etc. Free classes for parents of young children & teens w/problems. Classes last from 9-12 weeks. They have written materials, videos, presentation, etc. offered covering all aspects of life w/mental illness.

    Try also (Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance). They also have excellent support groups, educational & social functions for consumers & families.

    I have also had the misfortune of having both my children suffer bouts of severe depression (daughter had to take a medical leave 2nd semester from college to get treatment of therapy & medication--again usually THERAPY is highly recommended w/medication & can even reduce the need or dosage of certain meds as new & more healthy coping & stress reduction skills are learned & past trauma worked through so it doesn't negatively impact your life NOW). She stayed on medication for a year as recommended by doc as apparently many times after a year the brain will start to kick in the deficiencies on its own after that period of time & therapy has been proven to be able to change the brain's neuropathways (YOU have to WORK at changing old cognitive distortions & dysfunctional ways of coping--overeating, anyone?).

    Found a suicide note son wrote when he was a senior in high school & he started abusing drugs & alcohol (those genes that cause predisposition to mental illness & addiction came out full force in my children)--but then again, medication, individual therapy & dual-diagnosis treatment for substance abuse helped him get back on keel. Again, after a year he was able to get off medication & have no reoccurrence.

    Daughter has had more bouts of depression, but has gone back to therapy & sometimes "therapy boot camp" during the summer (she is a law prof so has summer off). Son is 33 & a successful engineer DESPITE having me as a mother. Husband is an excellent spouse & father.

    Hope my rambling has a few kernels of assistance in there!

    2225 days ago
    I am trying the walking thing, but afraid axiety will kick in when by myself. But still trying. I know, Bipolar is tricky and I am learning that the hard way. Gosh darnit, wish i would quit being hard on myself. I love the sunshine, and need it, but it has been stormy off and on and affects the mood. I am not a good self-motivator, so that is why I am on here trying to listen to people...I can get better, really i can! I really hate being this grumpy and sorry all if I offend you or say something wrong..I appreciate every word from all of you! Thanks!
    2225 days ago
    I feel you and understand you all too well. You need to go to your doc and insist on putting you back on lamactil if that is what works with you. The bi-polar is a tricky disease that makes us think we are ok when we are really messed up. At least you are aware something is amiss. What helps and I have a team; we fight depression with movement. With bipolar which i am it helps a lot to exercise along with taking the meds. I hope that helps. if you need support turn to the spark community because we are here going through the trenches with you. emoticon
    2225 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/16/2012 10:19:54 AM
    I am so stubborn when it comes to listening to docs. When the bipolar kicks in..I don't want to listen. It hurts too much. But I have listened about taking my meds properly and all the time. I was stubborn about taking meds, but want to see if they actually will help..I tend to think sometimes that I am not bipolar....and don't need it. I am sometimes in denial and don't know what is wrong with me.
    2225 days ago
    Yes I have thought about changing docs, but for the psychiatrist, it is so hard to find aonother one..takes 3 months on a waiting list. And I have so many what ifs..if i run out of meds, if this doc is worse than the last...and then i am so beat when it comes to docs. I have become very passive. So I just let it slide all the time. Cause I think well maybe it is just me. Everyone can't possibly be the wrong doc. I am afraid to make that move..another mistake, and I have no advocate for me or support. Only myself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...ugh, I think the depression is getting worse. I will call him today though.
    2225 days ago
    I read your comment and I thought, "Oh Dear, no!" I can relate with your daughter and I know that my family and doctors can relate to you. I try to stay away from people when I am in my moods. I feel for both of you actually. I know it must me tremendously hard for you as a mother to see your daughter go through this only to be pushed away and treated badly. I actually have a 12 year old son who has a mood disorder and ADHD and yesterday he said he was depressed. I don't know how to help him (esp. since he is a kid) and esp if I am feeling the same way too. Bipolars usually will get mad when others (loved ones) try to "help" and be supportive in their own way, like you are. We tend to percieve things the wrong way or want to feel independant and not want people to help us or give us hugs, when "we really do need it." My husband tries to hug me when I am not in the mood and I turn him away. I know I don't mean it. I really want to cry in frustration. But you don't want to let your family members know how weak you are. Bipolar is sooo hard to live with. And it is sooo hard for family members to understand what we are going through because one minute we are good, the next we aren't. I feel for your daughter also because of her spouse leaving her and her daughters esp when she is in a state of depression. That is the worst time. The guys don't understand (my hubby and I have been married 13 years). I have drove him crazy, had suicidal ideations all the time, depression, almost ruined his navy career...and he is still with me. I have educated him so much. She needs to do that with you. Although I don't blame her husband for wanting to leave, because I know most people can not put up with this kind of behavior and negativity. But when people just drop us cause of our mental health, it hurts so bad and we feel even more lost. Depression can be really bad for a Bipolar. I am in one right now. All your daughter needs is your support even if you are a phone call away...if she doesn't want you physically there all the time or doing things for her, just play it by ear. She just needs to know that you are there and the most important thing is "acceptance". If she is going through depression right now, she is going to reject people and isolate...when my best friend was like that (and she isn't bipolar I don't think) I forced myself on her..basically if she didn't return my calls or texts, I went to her door. She was in her pjs and her daughter was not at school. I was there for her. She was having health issues and couldn't pick up the phone one last time to "bother" the doctor. But I made her and it was the best thing I could do for her, cause she had surgery and is much better. They also found out she almost needed a blood transfusion cause she was severly anemic. I miss her so much. Anyways, your daughter is soooo lucky to have you...and that knows she is bipolar and accepts it, cause my parents are the opposite. My whole family has a stigma and I am the black sheep. If only my mom would have been there for me, or and of my family members and not rejected me, I wouldn't of had my first suicide attempt at age 17. Sorry to overwhelm you, but please be educated. Bipolars can quickly get suicidal for no reason at all and without your support any way you can, she is stuck thinking well maybe this is the best thing for not be on this earth. I am being honest. It is very serious, and with her being with her daughters when she is depressed might not be such a good idea..cause it is so hard to care for anyone else, let alone yourself when you are depressed. Thank you for at least trying to help your daughter, and I really do hope she feels better. I wish more parents would be like you.
    2225 days ago
    I am so sorry to learn that you are dealing with being bi-polar. I am not bi-polar but I have had depression. It is not fun at all. It plain sucks not being able to get out of bed and not being able to lead a productive life. It's also difficult trying to "interpret" others' thoughts. Have you thought about changing doctors?
    2225 days ago
    As a Mother of a 32 year-old Daughter with bi-polar symptoms, I am struggling to keep my own sanity while trying to offer comfort. She doesn't want to take medications, but is intolerable to be around. If I try to help her with housework or her children, she says I'm hovering. If I try to stay away from her she accuses me of ignoring her and not being supportive. Her husband finally threw in the towel and moved out a few weeks ago, leaving her to raise two little girls alone as she suffers from severe depression. What do I do to help her?
    2225 days ago
    Hi there. I am brand new here and just came across your page. I don't know that I have any good advice, but I do have bipolar and have struggled with it for years. I tend to do what my doctors say regardless of whether or not I feel I trust them at the moment. I struggle with depression mostly, but it is the manic episodes that do the most damage to my life.

    Please know you are not alone on this journey. There are many out there like us struggling, succeeding, failing, crying, laughing, frustrated... In the end we are all humans with a need for love. I'm sending some your way.

    2225 days ago
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