I have joined this site cos i need to speak to people who understand what i am going through because life as it is for me just seems pointless.
I have not been officially diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and i know people will be sceptical of any self diagnosis but for the last few months i have been reading sites about symptoms and signs and they have left me feeling one part relieved that i am not mad and there are other people out there that have this , but the other part of me feels more helpless and ashamed that i have an actuall classifyable mental illness.
i have spent hours reading peoples comments on treatments available on various sites and to be honest, as much as i am suffering now i am not going to seek help.
I suffer from emense mood swings, paranoia and suicidal urges, but i am fully aware of this, and that i have a problem and i try to fight it, which is most of the time a hopeless battle to be honest.
I would rather be in this situation, than be labeled by a doctor as just another crazy person, and be forced to take lithium which from my reasearch, has some pretty bad side effects, from nausia, to weight gain, impotance and a change in character, and also be faced with the prospect of being locked up like a criminal because of one of my "episodes".
Now i want to explain about myself, how my problems have devoloped (in my opinion) and where i am currently in my life.
I am twenty three years old, and i am beginning to get a grip on my life , slowley , and i now admitt to myself i have a problem, which is, so i have read, the first step towards a solution.
I can always remember feeling unhappy, never in my life have i felt completely secure, i grew up in a middle class house hold, my father worked away most of the time so i was, pretty much brought up by my mother and never bonded with my father.
My mother always put a lot of pressure on me and made me attend at the age of eleven a single sex grammar school away from my friends who i grew up with.
Ever since that moment i have never really had any real friends.
Throughout my time at this school i was completely depressed, suicidal and felt totally totally alone.
I would have mood swings, points where i would have emense confidense and be happy, and then something would trigger a reversal of this, and i would be lest feeling suicidal again.
This esculated in my last year of school when i was fifteen, i began running away from home and drinking heavily, looking back on it now i can see this was the start of me self medicating my symptoms.
I had no real friends at the time, i just hung around parties i knew were happening, subconsiously aware that everyone hated me, but in total denial about that fact, needing to be around people, anyone, so i could feel like i belonged.
Then i meet "the bad crowd" you so often hear about, who encouraged my manic behaviour and introduced me to drugs.
Looking back, i can remember my first drug experinces, i felt removed from my constant depression and manic spells, i felt a million miles away from anything.
I met my first girlfriend at around this age, she was a lovely girl, a nice girl, i remember knowing that she cared for me, but in a spiral down into self destruction the more i knew she cared, the more i hurt her for some reason, until i could see what i was doing and told her to leave.
After this i just didnt care about anything anymore, i was getting more and more involved with drugs, and a met a family who took me in and made me feel like i belonged.
Kieth and Tasha were kind of like my parents for the next two years.
They had three small children, Jamie, Liam and Mathew.
Kieth was also a drug addict and encouraged me taking hard drugs with him.
By now i was approching seventeen, i had a job in a factory i used to finance my habbits.
Kieth reached the stage of psychosis shortly after and began beating Tasha.
Everyday i would come round the bathroom door would be more smashed from Tash locking herself in and Kieth trying to get to her in a rage, all the time she would come to me asking for help, and i did nothing, i could not accept that this place, this situation where i felt like i belonged was falling appart and soon i would be on my own again. To this day the situation haunts me.
One day i was walking up the road with Kieth and he was jumped by people who were sent to "sort him out" by a drug dealer friend of Tasha's. I have come to realise i couldnt have done anything and he brought it on himself. After this Tasha left him, and i stopped seeing him, the last i heard he was in prison.
My drug use spiralled out of control now, i have very sparse memories of this time.
At the age of eighteen i met my only long term girl friend.
She herself had emotional problems, she had been adopted into a family and sexually abused by her adopted brother when she was five.
She told me all of these things that had happend to her and i felt totaly responsible for her and excused anything she did on the basis of this, which was a further burden to my intense depression, as she treated me very badly, played emotional games with me , which i now know where about her having power over me, the only real power she had ever had in her life. She toyed with me.
She played me and her family off against one another, and a situation arose where i would go to her house and would have to put up with the open hostility of her family, then we would leave and she would apologise , and say nasty things about them, and tell me how badly they treated her, but if i ever said anything of the sort she would acuse me of trying to isolate her and tell me her family were everything to her.
Through this period of my life all of these events enflamed and increased my problem, one thing after another seemed to go wrong, there just seemed to be no hope.
All the while at the places i worked at, which at this time incidently was a dental laborotory, the people around me could obviously tell something was not right, and as so many people have labelled me, they just saw the drugs as my problem instead of a symptom of something else. People ridiculed me in the cruelest was, played mind games with me, toyed with me and were just plain vile, but, being aware i have a problem i can look back, and not feel hatred towards them as they did not understand what i was going through.
All of these things made me have by the age of twenty one a deep resentment towards the world and a hatred towards people, and made me care less and less about my drug problem.
The thing is when i was in this psychosis stage, i did not think anything was wrong and it was difficult for me to see the dammage the drugs were doing because i believed so strongly they were helping.
I realised at this time through the haze that i was going to end up a looser if i didnt do something.
I found a college course doing sound engineering, and applied for a place and was accepted.
When i began the course and was in a situation , away from people who new me, i began to look around me and realised that i had a problem.
My girlfriend had joined the army and left one day pretty much without telling me anything , so i found myself on my own, also at the time i began to realise the "friends" i had , encouraged my abnormal behaviour and were just drug friends, and this began to make me feel more and more alone and suicidal. My family at this time just treated me like an invalid, they tried to avoid me , and didnt want to be around me, as they were very anti drugs, and from the moment i began using they labeled me and didnt want to know, not wanting to understand or know how i felt, which i can partly understand as i must have been difficult to say the least, bursting into tears at the dinner table, or explosively loosing my temper over nothing.
The begining of change came when i was driving home one day from work when a sports car travelling at over 80 miles an hour in a 30 zone slammend into the side of my car, all i can remember was a massive bang and my car spinning around violently, all i could think of as i waited for the next collison, the one that killed me, was how much i didnt want to die.
After i left the hospital a few days later i was thinking about the accident and it dawned on me that at the moment i was nearly killed i wanted to cling to life.
Shortly after this i stopped taking all drugs, but this itself triggered another edisode, as i had been high on drugs every day since i was fifteen and i was now twenty one, i had to adjust to being , well , back in reality.
I must admitt i know i went pretty much crazy for a while there, but i never sought help, i just carried on going to college and tried to block out everything.
At college it was so obvious even to me in this state of psychosis that everyone around me was noticing how oddly i was behaving. After around eight months of adjusting, hugely increased moodswings and isolation from those around me i began to level out. I was now twenty two years old, and for the first time in my life i could notice things getting better and people treating me with a kind of cautious respect, being nice to me even.
But as the haze of the drugs receded and i came out of my psychosis my mood swings began to increase again, which i have to admit made me intensly paranoid about those that had witnessed my episode at college and the fact that after all of the suffering and hard work i was still feeling this horrible cycle of mania and depression, and once again suicide was in my thoughts almost constantly.
The months passed and as they did, i started noticing people at college, especially lecturers who i know wre alarmed at my behaviour a few months prior were being so positive and encouraging to me it helped me maintain a balance, although i must admitt i began drinking every night to help me cope with my feelings.
Then i became aware of Bipolar Disorder, through a rather strong hint from one of my lecturers. I looked it up on the net and read the symptoms.
Everything fitted,and i mean everthing, i could talk forever about it but i have talked enough already here really.
Where i am now is that i know i have a problem , and i can recognise my mood swings and try to fight them, or at leat know they are present, which makes it easier to deal with.
I have been offerd a place on a Degree course studying sound engineering at the same college, which gave me a boost in confidence, although i know i will have to just deal with my mood swings cos they will always be here.
I still suffer from depression badly, mostly about the fact that i have a problem and my mood swings are affected heavily by the knowledge that people around me are aware that i have a problem and i am not normal, which deeply upsets me, and makes me feel humiliated.
Some days i consider going to the doctor and expaining my situation, but the way i see it is what can he do to help? offer me more drugs? lock me up? refer me to a shrink? i am gonna have these problems for the whole of my life whatever so i would rather try to cope on my own than be labelled.
If there is anyone who has read this who can understand how i am feeling and have nay advice i would really like to here it.
I apologise if the things i have said about my life are not of interest i just need to get this off my chest and i think it all contibuted to wherei am now.
I think the thing that makes me suffer most at the moment is anxiety, i suffer from it a lot when i have to leave my comfort zone, also i would like to say, i am depressed far more than i am in a mania phase, which makes life bleak, and the thing is now i am aware of my problem when i feel happy, i automaticaly undermine the feelings because i know it is just a phase of my problem.
i just feel the situation is hopeless and even though things are looking up for me, i find it hard to stay positive as i know this problem is for life.
If anyone has sought out help and it has given them e better quality of life i would also be interested to hear what you have to say.
sorry if i have bored you, cheers
Post Edited By Moderator (Ellie 1) : 6/29/2006 10:45:44 AM (GMT-6)