Recently Diagnosed

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phoenixgurl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/22/2006 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm new to this forum and recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It came as a real shock to me because I had always believed I was just depressed. I'd been to counseling on and off for several years now, and not a single one of my counselors noticed my mania because I always left therapy abruptly after my mood lifted.
 
I was diagnosed about a month ago following an attempted suicide. I overdosed and my sister foud me and took me to the hospital where I was stabilized and admitted to the psych ward. I spent about a week there, and the whole experience was very upseting. Bipolar disorder runs very strongly in my family. My uncle and cousin were both diagnosed during hospitalizations, and I believe that my father and brother both have it too, although they haven't been diagnosed yet.
 
I was a college student before all this, but I'm taking some time off to deal with the disease. My psychiatrist prescribed Effexor and Lamictal for me, but I've really been struggling with taking my meds regularly. The Lamictal makes me really tired and it takes me forever to wake up in the morning because I'm so drowsy. It also makes me really dizzy and disoriented. I've been really forgetful lately too, so it's hard to remember to take my pills. My friends and family have been calling me throughout the day to remind me, which makes me feel like they think I'm too incompetent to look after myself. Since the diagnosis, it seems like everyone around me has been constantly questioning my words and actions.
 
This whole thing has been very scary for me, especially the hospital. I never in my wildest dreams envisioned this life for myself. sad

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 10/22/2006 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
phoenix,
 
welome to the bp forum of hw!  feel free to rant, rave, o lend your experience to someone else.
 
i spent over 50 yrs with a diagnosis of depression until a suicide attempt.  mine came from unbearable pain as a result of a muffed interforaminal steroid injection.  my wife and the dr wanted to put me into the hospital but is flatly refused.  my wife became paranoid about my evey action and getting my pills.  the dr and his nurse fostered this paranoia.  i kept telling them that i was ok.  they wouldn't believe me.
 
i had to earn my way back.  clean my room.  take a bath and brush my teeth.  just like a little kid  but it worked.
 
i hope my experience helps you.
 
warren

phoenixgurl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/22/2006 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Warren. It's comforting to know that other people have been through a hospitalization too.

I was just speaking to a friend from work who was also recently hospitalized and we joked about how much we feel like others treat us as children. I've always been a very independent person, and there are periods where I get so stressed out that I just want to retreat into my own space and be left in peace, but since the suicide attempt, I have people calling me all day long to "check up" on me. I do feel very much like a naughty little child whose had some of her priveledges revoked after a nasty tantrum. They don't seem to understand that I'm not a danger to myself or anyone else while I'm on my meds.

Since when did mental illness become evidence of mental incompetence, or am I the only one who is frustrated by this?

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 10/23/2006 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Phoenixgurl,

Welcome to the band here at HW!

I think lots of people get frustrated with mental illness (in fact, I think I hear a resounding chorus of "yes"s!!). It's particularly frustrating when meds aren't helping you control it -- either because the right med combination hasn't been found, or because meds are not being taken consistently. And I think many people resist meds because they're so fed up with the illness and feel like if they bin the meds it's like it's not there -- which of course is far from the truth.

Being hospitalised for anything is hard for many people because there always seems to be that "kid treatment" and all the checking and stuff. That can be particularly bad if the docs/nurses confuse mental illness with stupidity -- and I'm amazed at how many people -- even apparently well-educated, intelligent people -- do this! In fact, many bp sufferers are extremely capable people who like to be, and are very good at being, in control -- which makes it all the mnore hard to know that giving up control for a short period is the best way of getting back more substantial control over the bp in the long term.

No-one here thinks you're a naughty child!! :)

All best,
Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum


phoenixgurl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/23/2006 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the encouraging words Rosie! You're absolutely right about giving up control short-term v. long term. It's just frustrating sometimes.

Today I was supposed to visit my mother for dinner, but I had a really late night and so I took a nap. When I didn't show up, my mom called me numerous times, but I never heard the phone ring. She got really frantic and drove over to my apartment, convinved that I had killed myself. I was really angry at first that she couldn't trust me to take care of myself, but then I saw the fear in her eyes and realized that she was really scared at the thought of losing me. I understand a little better now why people treat me the way they do. It's because they love me and are scared of something bad happening, and not because they think I can't be trusted.

I think it will take some time for her and everyone else around me to see that I'm going to be okay. I just need to be patient and let it happen.

Thanks again,
Christina

Jade11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 10/25/2006 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Christina,

I was hospitalized about 3 and half years ago for bipolar disorder. I was 20 at the time of my hospitalization.  Since then I have gotten on the right medication and have been stable.  I am currently in my last year of college and will graduate in May.  Only my family and a few close friends know that I have bipolar disorder.  Otherwise I don't think anyone would suspect that I suffer from this illness.

I went through a really hard time right after I got out of the hospital.  I felt like my whole world fell apart in a a matter of weeks.  It was hard to get my life back, but it did happen one step at a time.  Just know that things can get a whole lot better.

As for your family calling you all the time, I think they are just trying to be supportive.  They probably want to be there for you but don't know how.  It might help if you just told them what you need as far as emotional support. 


manicmama
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 10/25/2006 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Christina~  I too have just recently been diagnosed.  I am scared, and relived at the same time.  Just remember that you are never alone...one of us is out there just waiting to either support you or get support from you.  In the few days I have been a member here I have found support in sooooo many ways, not just through actual contact, but reading, resources, and so on.   Good luck and keep in touch.
Shady
 
DX:BP NOS, SAD, GAD, PTSD,PD,AGORAPHOBIA, recovering heroin addict (7yrs.),recovering methadone addict (4yrs),hypertension
 
RX:DEPAKOTE, Kolonopin,Toporol xl
 
Surgeries:Reconstructive shoulder surgery, breast reduction, tonsilectomy, and spinal meningitis all in the same 2 yrs.  1993/94
Twin pregnancy in 2002, gave birth 5 wks early, got pregnant 2 months later and gave birth exactly 12 months after having my twins.


wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 10/28/2006 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
chistina,
 
i hope you are getting along better  i am with you about being treated like a child..  after my suicide episode, my wife insisted on taking over my pills and just about every other part of my life,  before i became disabled (bad back), i was a high level manager on very sensitive defence projects.  i was responsible for multiple thousands of dollars and many technical experts.  to go from that to not being allowed to take my own medication was frustrating and demeaning. 
 
just remember, "this too will pass."  some day we may even get a congress and white house who want to represent us rather than those who provide them with the most money. :-)    i can dream, can't i?
 
keep striving, christina.  you can handle this.
 
warren

judyinky
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/28/2006 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Christina,                                                                                                                      I You have come to the right place for support. The people here are wonderful and supportive. We've all been where you are, maybe not exactly but we can surely identify with what is going on, and be one support system for you.

 You are very fortunate to have a supportive family. So many people do not have that.  And, yes, sometimes we with psychiatric symptoms/bipolar are very misunderstood. It's a shame that more people aren't educated about it. It seems that depression isn't really scary, but the word bipolar strikes a note of fear for so many people, including ourselves. I was dx as depressed for over 20years before I was dx with bipolar 2 disorder.  I'm grateful that I am on the right meds.now. It's like night and day because antidepressants can cause manic symptoms and rapid cycling unless you are on a mood stabilizer with them. And that was the case for me.

There are many resources online and otherwise that your family can access to help know how to best support you. Also, like someone said, tell them what you need. I'm sure you are overwhelmed by all this and most likely you don't even know what you need right now. There is a group called NAMI. It is the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. If you just type in NAMI, you will come up with their website. They have chapters in many cities, esp. large ones. They offer support for you and your family members. It is a great resource.I advise you to stay with your medications. The side effects will pass. I know it is very scary, but give it time. I am on Lamictal and it is a very good medication . I have not taken effexor, but I'm sure the doctors had reasons for putting you on that paticular medication. If one doesn't work, another will. Be brave sweetie, and know that we are here for you.

Blessings and Wellness to you,

Judy

Louisville, KY

P.S. a good link to go to about medications and illnesses is remedyfind.com.  To me, it's always been very helpful in seeing what has worked for others and  how they are dealing biploar illness.

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Hope is seldom found in the things we can see;it is the sweet fragrance of grace."

             

 




CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 11/1/2006 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Christina

A new diagnosis is hard on everyone, you, your family, friends. Much of this comes from a deep misunderstanding of the condition. And I believe it is human nature to try to help, no matter how annoying that may seem.

I just got out of the psych ward the other day. I get points there on my frequent guest program. A few more stays and I may have enough points for a trip to Florida. I end up there mainly for my hypomania due to my brain going into overdrive, my depressives seem to be under good control.

For some dang reason, whenever I get out, my wife only serves me soup. I guess she thinks I can't hurt myself with soup. But she is trying to help which I truly appreciate.

Hope is with you

Cap
I want "I wish I had one more day to spend at the office" on my tombstone.


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 11/2/2006 2:12 AM (GMT -7)   
[Sending Cap a virtual steak and chips!]
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum

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