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I'm Bipolar, Not A Killer.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 7 years ago.  My meds have changed several times and the stuff I’m taking right now seems to be doing its job with minimal side effects.  My only problem is my family, they…treat me differently now, like they really don’t know what to say to me and they hardly want to be around me.  I’m still the same person.  I have explained to them over and over that I will still have episodes and the pills are not a “Magic Cure” for bipolar disorder, they just lessen the frequency and severity of my episodes.
 
        Now I still get angry, sad or just have a “blah” day, but that’s normal I’m still a human being.  My family seems to think that it’s always because of the bipolar disorder and will frequently ask, “Are you taking your meds like you’re supposed to?” or “Do you need to see your doctor?”  So, I guess I’m not allowed to express any kind of negative emotion without them wanting me locked in a mental institution.  I told them that people with bipolar disorder lead normal lives.  I've put myself through college and I'm currently earning my Masters degree in Health care Administration, all while battling Bipolar Disorder, so I'm living proof that I can have a normal life.
ImNotGood ImNotGood 31-35, F 153 Responses Jun 6, 2010

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Damn, where or how did the word Killer get into the title??? I thought you sounded composed when we spoke last. What has happened since then. Maybe there was a comment that I did not see in an earlier message (?). So doll what is up?

my best to you - oxtogen

What??????? Huh????? The word Killer has been in the title since I wrote it 3 years ago. I assure you I am quite composed.

Since then I have earned my masters degree in health care administration and I am currently in my last year of the Doctoral program in Health Care Administration.

So I would say I am well.

Thanks for your concern though.

Hi I commented on your story over a year ago so much has changed It's hard reading what I wrote. Maybe 8 months ago I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I quit taking all of my medication. It felt like I was picking up new medication constantly it was like I had a pharmacy in my purse and I did. I told my dr about my manic events he said taking antidepressants can cause mania if you aren't on a mood stabilizer well hell thanks for telling me that now. Shortly after that is when I said screw it I'm done! Fast forward to now I still have my days of the blues but not like before I haven't had a manic episode since I commented over a year ago. I laugh now it was so odd hearing my self laugh. Isn't that sick! I still crave a little mania it's nice to have endless energy. For what it's worth I'm happy to feel again I haven't felt for years.
Still paying off credit card debt tho 👎

good for you! I\'m still paying off credit card debt too.
I haven\'t went manic in a while, it feels good.

Me too. I'm 35 now and was diagnosed around my early 20s I never really thought I had manic episodes until this year. Well I did I just failed to recognized them. My boyfriend pointed out my recent manic phase. Which I thought was me feeling better!! I had endless energy, I cleaned the house everyday I stayed up sometimes for 48 hours with only 3-5 hours of sleep. Well now I'm coming off my high and about to hit a low. My lows can be really low. I don't go outside unless I haft to go to work, I'm quiet, I stay on the couch, I'm pretty emotionless. I realized something was going on because I spent about 30 grand in less than a year. On crap!! I don't have credit cards to fall back on so now I'm in the process of withdrawing money from my 401k!! Again!!! Stupid me!!! Y didn't I see this!!! Well I saw a dr/shrink who put me on a seizor med. remectol, something like that and is going to up my dose of prestique. But as for the parents treating you different...your story could be my own!! Same exact thing!! R u taking ur meds ect. Thankfully I haven't lived with them for a while but my fiancé took there place!! In some sorta strange way I'm pissed off at him because he took my good time away and now here I sit on the couch, again!!! Knowing that I very well may be here for months!!! I'll take mania over depression any day!

I'd honestly rather be manic too. My husband doesn't understand when I say this, but the damn depression is so...overwhelming sometimes I can't get out of the bed. I sleep like 18 hours out of the day and I do nothing else.

I remember dropping 5 grand in one day on one of my credit cards. Dear god, still paying that off.

I think many if not most Bi-Polar folks would agree with you that the mania is much more pleasant then depression. Yup, I have it too! With a little ADD to boot. I stopped taking my Lithium for a couple of months. I have hated the dry cotton mouth it gives plus you know that due to the dryer mouth it has an effect due to the lack of saliva, which cleanses the mouth you can end up with more dental cavities. What are some of the meds that work for you?

I take lamictal and it seems to work relatively well. They are upping my dose right now, because I have been having a really hard time, so....that might not be very helpful.

Feeling the same way today. iI made a mistake at work and got chastised (I know what I did wrong), but it upset me like many bipolar a, I'm a perfectionist). But I'm afraid to talk about it to the boyfriend because I'm afraid hell think this means I'm having an episode. Although to some extent I am -- since I started meds a few months ago, I cycle like mad (not enough to jump out of a window or buy the Brooklyn Bridge, but enough to really feel it).

I learned to let my loved ones, who really cared about me, help me. I learned to trust them and let them in, that's what really helped me. I knew I wasn't alone in this battle.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar about a year ago, but had been living with depression and similar symptoms since childhood. In that year my life completely disintegrated and I lost my job, my home, lifestyle, friends, and faith and confidence in myself. Been through a few different medications and it seems like it's all too much for me. I'm scared of becoming a statistic.



I understand completely about feeling like you have to walk a tight line when expressing your feelings to other people. Sometimes it's too real for them.



I don't know you but I'm proud you've come so far.

Thank you. I went down a long hard road before I got to where I am right now. I still struggles at times with depression and mood swings. All I can do is take it one day at a time. Good luck to you.

You are very fortunate to have your family interactive and caring. Good for you.

my best to you octogen

I have been feeling this too! I am in the process of adjusting my medication and it has just made me realize how much I have been softening the blow for everyone...not saying exactly how I feel, and really just pretending to make life easier for them. I hope I don\'t have to do that if half as much when they are done adjusting it.

I was diagnosed with bipolar about 2 years ago, I find it very difficult to cope when im in a depressive state and even when i'm manic state even with my meds seroquel 600 mg ,i would appreciate if you could tell me some of your coping mechanisms,and what meds you are working for you

I have come to recognize when I am having and episode and try to separate myself from it. That and talking to someone seems to help me....not talking about me or my emotions but focusing on them...it doesn\'t always make the feelings go away, but it distracts me.

I am a pastor and I suffer from bipolar and epilepsy. For many years the medicine was not available here for me.People are frightened that you will become a killer. They do not know how to deal with us so they leave. We do not need friends like that. However, when our medications are adjusted properly there are no problems really.

I am sorry that you do not feel that I am a good pastor. There are people in our lives that hurt us, abuse and bully us. We do not need those kind of people in our lives. But God uses them and us to help us grow. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I thank you for your concern.

I completely understand what that's like.

I'm going through it myself.

I am involved with a man who is bypolar and I didn't know anything about it and the first time he changed into that other person I was so upset and thought; how can he talk to me like that? Then in a day he was apologizing. I think sometimes the people who are bypolar forget how difficult it is for their girlfriends or others to deal with this. I was even warned about it and I still got upset when it happened, he was saying mean things that didn't even sound like something he would ever say and then it was over with and back to normal. He really is a nice man otherwise and I wrestled with staying with him and dealing with it. Friends said run! But I am a very loving and patient woman and it isn't his fault so I have decided to stay and give it a go. People have bad reactions to other with serious illness.

Life is tough but if you don't take a chance sometimes you will never know what you missed.

I admire your courage because I know I am not easy to live with. Most of the time these things happen they are in a moments timing. But much of the time the damage is already done and we have no idea what we have said or even done. Oh by the way may I add you in my circle?

Turns out we broke up. Not because of the bypolar but because he kept another illness from me and I just couldn't live with it and he always seemed so angry until one day I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I wished him well but I was more upset than happy in the relationship and didn't want to live with so much anger.

You should not have to live with so much anger.I know I get angry sometimes. I really don't try to take it out on others. I do not keep many things from my wife.

Yes, there was something off about him. He like turned into another person and lashed out at me and I don't think bypolar people lose their whole identity, just want to be left alone. I found out about his bypolar on this site and then after we started planning buying a house after his divorce he tells me he's dying of cancer. Not a good sign for a woman who is already leaving a man because of his secrets and lies.

We may realize more than you think. The hardest thing for me about having this is knowing how much it hurts the people that love me....how much it hurt my parents when I cried myself to sleep and not being able to stop crying....not being able to make it go away....not being able to control my behavior and feeling trapped and trying so so hard....that is what hurts the most for me. My dad said he is scared for me....my husband said he was terrified when I tried to go off my medicine so we could get pregnant, and I hid in the closet and screamed for half an hour. I never wanted to hurt anyone....and there is no way not to, they will hurt if you live, they will hurt if you kill yourself. As long as they love and care about you they will have to deal with what you have.....but that is true with any serious illness....But medicine can help...

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I'm not bipolar, but depression runs in my family. I take pills for major depression... and certainly know how it feels like to have family / friends freak out when I show any negative emotions. I don't think I handle it quite right being I tend to act happy all the time around everyone just so people don't freak out at me. Honestly, I only act negative around my closest friends and boyfriend. And the holding back does tend to make me express more negativity around them occasionally when I'm overwhelmed or anything. I can't make friends with a lot of people though, cause once they hear I'm a "downer" they don't want the negativity around them.



I actually have family friends who the daughters both have Bipolar Disorder. I've been friends with them since we were little, and I've certainly seen the negative effects in their life from society. Congrats to you for managing your illness and achieving your personal goals though!! <3

Thank you

Your welcome :)

I understand completely !



I had to rake the attitude " ...if they were not family, they wouldn't even be my friends ! "

So, when I turned 50 I had enough courage to *divorce them* and life and my health have improved



Good luck

A good friend of mine (whom I met in a Psychiatric ward of a hospitals) told me something that I will probably never forget. She said, "No one understands like your mental friends." It true. I can call up my friends who have dealt with bipolar disorder and depression, tell them I'm just having a **** day.... and they will know what to say and wont immediately assume there is something wrong with my meds or that I'm contemplating suicide.



Kudos to you on your scholastic accomplishments! I dropped out of college and now that I am feeling more stable can't wait to get back at it myself. It is most definitely hard to manage this illness and do well in school. I feel a congratulations is in order!

Thank you very very much sir and Good luck to you.

I also am bi-polar and get the same questions, but accept them as a sign of love and not fear. Your choice of "ImNoGood" as a Profile name says more than your posting about how people would feel about you.

I'd welcome any real genuine concern, but it's usually done as an insult or a joke at my expense. And that's ImNotGood.

my son, now 24 is severely bi polar. His mom always blames everything on it and I'm the idiot that tells her that "hey" I have a bad day and I'm not bi polar. I see where you are coming from for sure. Thinking a Bi Polar person is a slave to the condition enslaves them and/or makes others think the Bi Polar person is limited to only so much life success.-I won't have that happen to my son-all good things to you all!-S

I think you really need to sit down and talk to your family and explain it to them and explain how they're comments make you feel! My mum has bipolar and while I didn't understand it when I was younger I don't treat her any differently, she's on medication and it works well for her but regardless of that were allowed to have our up and down moments!

my pills calm me. i have deals with many, ptsd, depression, suicide, social and emotional detachments, abuse. i kept my disorder in silent from many people except only a few knows. i don't tell them, because i cant depends on them to help me deal with what i go through. i find it bothersome and feel like i burden them with my problems. i barely say anything anyway.

I felt like that at first and then I found friends that understood and could comprehend what I was going through. Be yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help.

I am bipolar as well...and you need to know that when i was happy as hell (obviously a different side of the spectrum) people looked at me as "you're way to happy, you need help" ....you sound as tho you are doing a great job at handling it and you do need to still express your feelings ....them asking "are you on your medications, is a scapegoat for themselves...you are the only one who truly knows how u feel....keep it up and never remember to never feel as tho your feelings are not worthy or unjustifiable

i meant never forget that your feelings are not worthy or unjustifiable ...wth? so sorry lmfao

ever since i was a kid i was born and diagnose bipolar so i took meds im 32 years old now and they are still trying to find the right ones for me keep ur chin up man my prayers goes out to you...and my family treats me diferent as well

There've been a lot of mental health situations similar to yours in my family too. I feel for you because this sort of thing is soooooooo misunderstood. You're obviously 'just another person'...just one that has excelled in life despite a less than ideal hand being dealt. I really admire you for achieving like you have, bipolar or otherwise. Younger people like me need real rolemodels like you.

Wow thank you. I never considered myself as a role model.

Do what feels good too you as long as your not harming others to get to the top! Don't give a second thought too close minded folks it's not there life too live every moment they waste judgement upon you they lose a choice to live theirs. Be happy with your choices good or bad you'll gain from inner peace. Keep on smiling were all crazy;)

Isnt funny how when we can deal those around us panic. My family insists its all in my head. LOL. It use 2 **** me off but after 5 yrs I let them keep their denial. GOOD LUCK.

thanks

I don't live with this problem but I can say this: I respect you for your achievements, and not letting the bipolar disorder get in your way, I think that makes you someone very special and worth looking up to... My hat goes off to you.** hugs**

Thank you very much.

I have Bipolar as well and sounds like you are doing a good job at handling everything, especially with out the support of the family. One thing though that you need to realize is that they will never truly understand what you are going through. Because they don't have to live with it. So stay strong, and hang in there seems like you are doing great

I'm trying my best, it's all any of us can really do.

Very true. As much as I try to explain this to my husband he doesn't really get it. He tries though, and that is all that I can ask for. I know I might sound crazy, but what has actually helped me get through each day is talking to God about. Because if anyone understands its him. He's the one that made us. He knows why we have these problems.

i didnt hear about this disorder before , and right now when i read about it i think that i have the same prob can u plz tell me more about it

People like you are inspiring, I have recently been diagnosed with being bipolar, and I don't quite properly understand it yet, but I have recently been feeling very very low, which makes me question taking my own life.. Hearing that you have lived a normal life whilst going through this helps.

It's a shame that your family don't understand, it must be hard for you to feel trapped, I can relate. I really hope it all works out for you. X

Luckily I had the support of some pretty awesome friends. I hope everything works out for you as well.

I also am bi-polar and when my wife disagrees with me she asks if I'm properly medicated. It is difficult for me to respond to this because often what I want is okay, but wife disagrees for reasons unrelated to my condition. Most of the time the question is out of concern for me. I grew up in Iowa and Minnesota so the stigma of mental illness is not like it is here in the South (South Carolina). If my family repeats the question a few times they understand that they need to take me to the Emergency Room and have a Doctor, or in South Carolina, a Social Worker, determine if I need to be hospitalized.

My family is not concerned for my well being, they just like picking on someone and since I seem to be the black sheep of the family.....all the crap falls on me.

Of course, you can have a normal life! Not only that, you will have a successful life. It sounds like you need to build a support network separate from your family. Have you looked for support groups on campus, or in your community?



Clearly, your family needs to educate themselves about bipolar disorder. But realistically, you can't force them to learn, nor can you spend all your time and energy trying to educate them. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with supportive people, learn as much as possible about the condition, and continue taking care of yourself.



Thanks to people like you, I learned a few years ago not to keep asking my husband "Did you take your pill?" "How do you feel?" blah, blah, blah. I learned that I can be more helpful by just listening, and paying attention, and I learned that I can be supportive without treating him like a child or an invalid. Your post is valuable information for a lot of people. I hope that you successfully complete your Masters soon so that you can continue helping others.

I actually graduate in May and I can't wait. I had to complete 2 years of class work and then a yearlong internship to get this degree. Thanks for your encouragement.

I applaud you, a masters is difficult even for someone without bipolar!!

But yeah my comment is, this is something I really dislike about living with bipolar. I am always worried how I will look to other people and whether I am being risky in that they will think I am manic, depressed, or just plain out there, and then EVERYTHING and ANYthing can be blamed on your disorder!! That is so so frustrating and maddening. It's better not to think too much about this. That's all. I know where you are coming from.

Having a degree already is great. Now you have the threat to your job....no I think maybe everyone with bipolar has that. But, your job prospects are better than mine. Yeah not completing my degree at all is part of it(which is partly owing to bipolar) but also, it's really easy to fire you if anyone finds out(they go through your purse for example...). usually they suspect something is worng with me and they assume it's a drug problem, I am some addict or drugged up person...I take medication, but I prefer to be seen as a drug addict instead of someone crazy. I always have to watch what I say and do.

It's pretty hard. You can't please everyone. You can't change someone's mind, it's easy for them to explain complex situations with simple explanations and to use a blanket generalization to blame everything on.

You can't change how someone sees you...

I like to choose my own labels for myself. I pick my box out first so no one can put me in one. Basically, I controlled the person by making them put me in the box I wanted them to lol because I know they judge books by covers and have certain beliefs.

I'm constantly under the microscope at work, but I'm used to it. I know my job and I do it very well. I've been labeled at my job as being pretty eccentric, (thanks bipolar disorder!) but I like who I am. People are going to think whatever they want about me. Like you said you can't please everyone.

I don't have bipolar but I understand what you are saying since I have depression. You just become an easy target for family

My family likes to have someone to pick on also. I used to get pissed but now I'm like whatever, I like who I am.

I am bipolar too. I am a rapid cycler on top of it. Meaning I can cycle in hours not weeks or months.



If I express emotion from mad-sad its always my "crazy" talking.



I took antipsychotics for over 10yrs because my now exhusband said he would leave me, take our son and home and kick me out. i did everything and did my best and when the side effects of the meds started well...he is now my ex because I was too unhealthy for him to waste the rest of his life with. yet my health issues were side effects of the meds not my bipolar. Meds I took for him. He said he needed to be with someone who was healthy-wow, i was very healthy until i took the pills he insisted i take. We were married 14yrs. We are civil but i do blame him for my health because he insisted I be a guinea pig on all those meds over the years that have hurt my body so much I am told if i make it to 50 it will be a miracle. I am only 37.



He tried to use it in our divorce and the judge told him I had exhibited no issues and it is funny that if I am so bad why have I been getting visitation 50/50 even before the divorce was final??? The judge actually told his lawyer to drop the bipolar comments because I am under a shrinks care (since 1998) and my shrink wrote a letter to the judge how I am quite able to take care of my child and am no danger to myself or others and I am extremely stable.



I am the crazy one in the family, yet all my siblings have symptoms like mine or worse. i am the freak, yet I am the one every family member turns to in a crisis. I am the damaged one, I hear. Ooooh stay away from her, blah blah. Family can be great and awful all at once. Im called "the walking pharmacy", I take 2 meds a day and I am a pharmacy???



But you know what??? I know who I am, I love who I am, I understand my disease and I cope with it. AND i am happy. You sound like you have a good grasp of it all and I think you are doing great and you can have a normal life.



If you ever need to talk....i am here :)

Thank you. A lot of people don't understand how hard it is to cope sometimes, but I take it one day at a time, it's all I can do.