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Fawn0209
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/9/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm being polite. Please. PLEASE don't be mean to me. I want to explain things better.

I have a mental exam on October 2. This was scheduled after a medical exam I had through the social security office because I applied for disability. I have Crohn's Disease and Agammaglobulinemia, which is an immune deficiency. So since I have a weak immune system to begin with, and I take immunosuppresants for my Crohn's Disease, I have very little ability to fight off any kind of infection. I'm suppose to wear a mask and gloves if I go into public. Which I don't do, because I can't afford it. I have no insurance, and no income.

The doctor who performed my medical exam saw cuts and asked if they were self inflicted. My mother quickly answered, "Yes..." And he asked if I was still doing it. I told him I wasn't, and mom told him I do. He began talking about Borderline Personality Disorder, saying that people with it sometimes cut themselves as sort of a physical manifestation of their emotional pain. I could relate.

So we leave, and mom, who is bi-polar, starts telling me about how it's NOT borderline personality disorder, it's bipolar, and insists that she knows better than anyone because she's had it for so long. She tries to make her point, saying that borderline people don't feel emotion, and that I do, because she sees it. So I argue with her, because I've read quite a few things on borderline, and as far as I can tell, they certainly DO feel emotion. 20 minutes into the argument, now irate, she says, "The fact that you're so stuck on thinking you have borderline personality disorder, tells me that you're bipolar. Don't argue with me." She goes on to say, "Besides, you won't get disability for Borderline Personality Disorder, anyway. If I were you I'd want people to think I was bipolar." So I sat quietly, thinking. I thought about all the counselors I'd seen before, with mom pushing her opinions onto them about my health, exaggerating my situation as she saw fit. I thought about all the medication I'd been on, and how it made me feel like I was 2 seconds away from having a panic attack or meltdown at any given time.

I got depressed just thinking about it... about being labeled crazy. Crazy like her, even. I don't want to be. Call it denial, if you want, but I don't think I am. And no, I don't believe in medications. But I DO believe in support. And I'd much rather get that support from people on MY side of the fence, than the doctors, with their crazy-labeling. Besides, my day is coming.... October 2nd....

{I've edited your post to bring it in line with rule 1. Please limit discussion of cutting -- it is very triggering. Thanks, serafena}

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 9/9/2009 9:44:03 PM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/9/2009 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Fawn,

I certainly appreciate your desire to explain yourself, to avoid being labeled crazy, to get disability. I hope you get it.

You have to understand, the people on this board have bipolar disorder or love someone who does. We don't think we're crazy -- we know we're not. So to have someone come on the board and insist that being labeled bipolar is worse than being treated, it's going to push some buttons. We all work really hard -- and it is hard -- at mental wellness. You are welcome, absolutely welcome, to think differently. I understand you have Crohn's Disease and want to get better with that. To us, bipolar is no different than Crohn's. It is a treatable illness.

Perhaps your problem isn't with bipolar, it is with your mother. Have you considered having appointments without her there so you can speak on your own? Perhaps you equate bipolar with her and you see crazy there, so you're afraid of being crazy yourself. Clearly she has something invested in you also having the same disorder she does. That is unfortunate, but hopefully she just wants you to get diagnosed so you can start getting the proper treatment. But don't get the wrong idea about bipolar from looking at your Mom. Do your research first. It's a disorder that's different for everyone.

Finally, cutting is just a symptom. I was a cutter. I GOT BETTER. I have bipolar, not BPD, but it doesn't really matter what my diagnosis is. I used to cut, now I don't. Therapy, drugs and a lot of self-conscious work made that happen. You either invest in your health or you don't. I understood that I was very, very unhappy and needed help. I sought and accepted that help. You need to think about what's important for your health -- not about what label the docs put on your unhappiness.

Best wishes,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Fawn0209
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/9/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I see your point. Again, I apologize. I was certainly not trying to call anyone crazy. Except my mother. And you're absolutely right in saying, "Perhaps you equate bipolar with her and you see crazy there, so you're afraid of being crazy yourself." That is absolutely the case. But the thing is... it can't just be bipolar that is wrong with her! And how can I be expected to just... excuse the things she does because of her illness? She called my ENTIRE FAMILY and told them I had sex with my BROTHER! It never happened! Where did that even COME from??????? And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

I don't think any of you are crazy. Actually, can I ask you something? When you were first diagnosed bipolar... were you completely willing to accept your diagnosis?

Okay... here is the most significant difference between my bipolar mother and all of you... I haven't yet heard ANY of you excuse your behavior or blame it on your illness, as if you can not be held responsible... And EVEN if anyone here were to say they couldn't be held responsible, would you be completely unapologetic? Would you take it a step further, and say that I PROVOKED that response out of you?

You're right... I am most afraid of being called the same thing she is, NOT because I don't want to be like any of YOU, but because I don't want to be like HER. Which I was trying to explain in the last paragraph of my first post, but I guess it came out wrong. You see... if my mother weren't around me, or never knew about my diagnosis if I'd been diagnosed bipolar, it would be a lot easier for me. But what I'm afraid of is being diagnosed bipolar, and having HER look at me and say, "See, sweetheart. You're just like me." I don't want her, in her messed up little brain, to think I am anything like her!

Can you see the root of all this?!?! I can! I've had this mother who was not even PRESENT in my life except for to do and say incredibly hurtful things, and then the rest of my family just tells me I have to understand that she's not well, and that I have to let it go, cause she's my mother. They haven't experienced her like I have, it's always ME that she hurts the worst. So think about it... why would I be so angry with the idea of mental disorders? Of having them, of others having them. You know, I tried to think of another online community that might be helpful, but I just keep coming back here... it's bipolar that I've dealt with all my life, and it's HER that I'm afraid to be. Even if the people here aren't very welcoming of me, and we aren't seeing eye to eye... I'd rather stick it out. Because ultimately, it IS bipolar that I'm trying to understand.

Fawn0209
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/10/2009 12:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a bipolar younger brother, even. He's one of my favorite people on the planet. I've seen him listen to the same, sad song on repeat for three whole days, and then randomly go join the volunteer fire department. Actually, that reminds me of when my ex broke up with me and just didn't want to be myself anymore, so I shaved my head. Beautiful, curly hair, halfway down my back, and I shaved my head.

What I think I really want... is for someone to tell me it's okay to be diagnosed bipolar. That it doesn't mean I'm anything like my mother, and that the things she did that were so incredibly hurtful were not okay. Forget the rest. Please understand I was not trying to call you crazy, or suggest that being like anyone here would be a fate worse than death.

And I appreciate you, serafena, for explaining things to me in a manner that I understood, and that wasn't confrontational. And for coming incredibly close to telling me what I think I may have been looking to hear in the first place.

Fawn0209
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/10/2009 12:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I just may be bipolar. But I'd really rather hear peer opinions first, rather than medical or... mom's. I'm researching now... does anyone know a good link where I can easily compare my symptoms to a multitude of different disorders. I see hallucinations and delusions on a list of symptoms... can anyone give me examples?

worriedgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1130
   Posted 9/10/2009 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   
if you are diagnosed bipolar it is okay. it doesnt mean you are going to be like your mother. my mom is bipolar(undiagnosed officially but she is) and i dont want to be like her either so i strive every day to be better than her. i am not bipolar although my mom thinks i am and my hubby has recently told me it makes sense to him but i can kind of relate with the mom part. it is hard work to try and be different than your parents but you can rise above her and be who YOU are even if bipolar.
Fawn0209 said...
I have a bipolar younger brother, even. He's one of my favorite people on the planet. I've seen him listen to the same, sad song on repeat for three whole days, and then randomly go join the volunteer fire department. Actually, that reminds me of when my ex broke up with me and just didn't want to be myself anymore, so I shaved my head. Beautiful, curly hair, halfway down my back, and I shaved my head.

What I think I really want... is for someone to tell me it's okay to be diagnosed bipolar. That it doesn't mean I'm anything like my mother, and that the things she did that were so incredibly hurtful were not okay. Forget the rest. Please understand I was not trying to call you crazy, or suggest that being like anyone here would be a fate worse than death.

And I appreciate you, serafena, for explaining things to me in a manner that I understood, and that wasn't confrontational. And for coming incredibly close to telling me what I think I may have been looking to hear in the first place.

The only person who can make you happy is you. Be your own self and love who you are because each and every one of you are wonderful for who you are


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/10/2009 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I totally agree with worriedgirl. It is okay if you're diagnosed bipolar, borderline, or anything else. We still have choices. We make choices about our behaviors every day whether we have a mood disorder, personality disorder or otherwise. You totally get to stay in control of those choices -- and it's a lot easier to stay in control with treatment, if you are bipolar. Your mom's thinking may be skewed by bipolar at times, but unless she's really incapacitated, she decides how she chooses to act on those impulses.

I think tons of people are resistant to the diagnosis when they first get it. Bipolar Disorder carries such a huge stigma, even today. Even though it's just a mood disorder, society can make some strange assumptions. But it's a disorder that gets worse when untreated, worse with time, and if you resist too long, it can get out of hand. Some people say mania is fun,. productive, creative. I say it's painful, uncomfortable, and unproductive. It depends on your point of view, I guess.

I hope you'll be open minded when you have your appointment. Docs can be imposing and scary, but they do have our best interests at heart, by and large. Go equipped with questions. Keep a mood journal.

If you go to the Bipolar Resources thread at the top of the list, you'll find a bunch of links which talk about bipolar. There's also book recommendations and so forth.

You are welcome here, I'm sorry if things started out on a bad leg.
Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


JoyArtFul
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 9/15/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Fawn, I hope that your appointment goes well. I am so sorry to see how much trouble you are going through.
It seems like your experiences with your mom cause you a lot of fear about your future ~ I am sorry about that, and can relate.
The thing is that I diagnosis will not change who you are. The names of disorders or labels won't make you any different. I think everyone faces a lot of fear about this - there are so many stigmas related to bp.
Medications also won't change "you." What I mean is that although drugs can help stabilize your moods etc, they won't change the person that you are. Your actual personality and the things that make you unique will remain.
If you are bi-polar, that is okay. No matter what you are diagnosed with, it doesn't mean you're suddenly "crazy."
A diagnosis is a great starting place for healing. I hope that you find the healing that you need.
As far as other people knowing what you are diagnosed with - unless you are a minor it is up to your discretion how much information you give your family. Until you're comfortable, use that discretion wisely.
::sending you hugs::
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