Posted 10/13/2013 5:01 PM (GMT -8)
Bipolar is an extremely serious illness.
As sufferers it is unfortunately our job to manage it the best we can. This includes learning effective lifestyle strategies, engaging in therapy and working closely with our treatment team to get our medication regime the best it can be.
Bipolar cannot be managed by a GP as they do not have sufficient training to treat such a complex brain disease; that affects our body, mind and emotions - and impacts every area of our lives. Only psychiatrists have sufficient skills and knowledge to accurately diagnose and help us manage this awful illness. I think I had to endure about 20 incompetent, nuttier-than-me psychiatrists - before finding the right one - who changed my life.
When bipolar is not managed effectively it progresses. Hypermania become uncontrollable harmful mania and depression becomes active suicidality. Psychotic features can also develop. Bipolar can create profound inability to function - and permanent disability.
Not disclosing bipolar to your GP and not having a psychiatrist would have to be similar to not disclosing cancer to your GP and refusing to have an oncologist. My advice is to persevere and NOT let any psychiatrist, in the past, who was not helpful (or who was even harmful), stop you from finding that quality psychiatrist now who will help you make your life the best it can be; now and well into the future. You and your loved ones, deserve you to be as well as possible. Sure it is a long journey, but take baby steps, each day and you WILL get there! :)