Recently Diagnosed....

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/9/2006 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, as the title suggests i've recently been diagnosed with Bipolar II. In the past i've suffered extremely with bouts of severe depression [[as have most people, i'm not trying to steal the limelight here :-) ]] resulting in 4 attempted suicides. But on the other hand of the spectrum i also suffer from long bouts off mania.
My family are not so supportive of the diagnosis and are pressuring me to stop with sessions i'm having. I feel stuck in a rut, actually more now than ever i guess.
I'm really unsure what to do. sad
Cue the helpful advise????
XxX Amber XxX

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/9/2006 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amber ....Welcome to Healing Well I am not well versed in Bi Polar but I do know that with any chronic ilness or mental illness you do need your family and it takes its toll on you when they dont get it or support you ........I am glad you found HW and I know the others from this forum will be along it is a little slower on the wknds here BUT your post will be answered by some very caring and wonderful peeps on this site........Please have some patience I know it is hard at times but like I said others will be around you have come to a fantastic place and here you will never be judged you will be accepted and supported ........Take care and welcome aboard..lyn
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 9/9/2006 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
i'm not sure if i am a wonderful people, but here i am :-) .  you are cherished at this site.
i don't think there is one psychologist or psychiatrist onywhere in hw.  we are NOT doctors (even if some of us want to play doctors on tv soap operas).  but we have been there, are there, or are going there.  i hope this makes sence.  being bp myself, i know i don't always make a lot of sence.
a diagnosis a a best guess label that a professional puts onto a wadge of symptoms.  i was disgnosed as depresses for over 40 yrs.  was it a misdiagnosis?  or was it that back then drs didn't have the menu that they have today.  about 9 yrs ago a pmdoc (pain management doctor) muffed an epidural steroid injection and i was in unbearable pain.  after suffering for about i wk, i attempted suicide (i have attempted suicide at least 5 times in 60 yrs).  the pdoc (shrink) that i saw first diagnosed me as schizophrenic.  about a month later he changed the diagnosis to schizoaffective.  i was not happy with either of these diagnoses.  i finally challanged my psychologist to help me find a more accurate diagnosis.  he got out the dsm and together we went ofer the symptoms for bp and schizoaffective.  guess what?  bp fit more than schizoaffective.  wasn't i lucky? tongue
the point is that it is only a handle to help the dr treat your condition and to help him/her find the best medications (rx) to treat your smptoms.
i am truely blessed in my condition in that i have a supportive wife, no matter the dx (diagnosis).
try bringing your parents with you when you see the pdoc.  perhaps the dr can help get them to support you. 
best of luck

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 9/9/2006 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
To me getting a BP diagnosis was a blessing because it validated all my years of depression and mania.  Just thought I was plain crazy, so putting a name to it was a good thing.  Sometimes I look at people around me, coworkers, friends, etc...."normal" people and feel sad because I know they really don't understand me at all and many don't want to.  My supervisor knows she can't fire me because of BP days off and days/weeks I've spent in mental health facilities, so she tries to intimidate me every chance she gets.  Lucky for me I don't intimidate easily.  I'm 56 years young so I'm over being easily intimidated (those of you in my age bracket know what I mean.) Enough about me, my point is that here, at healingwell, we understand each other.  We understand the predjudices and the labels put on us by family and friends and society in general. It is sad that your family doesn't understand, perhaps they should go to a psych appt or counseling appt with you.  There is lots of literature availible on BP, on this site as well as on the internet in general.  I found a particularly good description of BP and printed it out and gave it to my husband and it opened his eyes.  There are books written by bipolars for bipolars and anyone who has a relationship with a bipolar and you will find a description of yourself on many pages. These are good to share with your family.  I wish you the best of luck sweetie.  Please take care and stay in touch.  You have found a caring, understang family here...Luv...Lazy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/10/2006 1:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amber,

Welcome to HW! -- I'm so glad that these lovely peeps (yes, you very much included Warren!) have already popped up with some great advice. I hope you'll feel really welcome here.

I'm so sorry that your family is finding your diadnosis and treatment hard to accept. This is usually the case when people don't understand the complexity of this illness and, as Lazy has said, giving information to them about the condition and encouraging them to join you at a pdoc session is often a very good way of getting them better informed and more supportive.

My ex is bipolar and I have always *tried* to be supportive, though as he's not accepting his diagnosis it can feel like a bit of a losing battle. The first book I read that *really* helped me understand was David Miklowitz's Bipolar Disorder Survical Guide. It lays out the diagnostic elements very clearly and is great on what the various hang-ups about this disorder can be (for sufferers and family). I didn't have hang-ups about this myself -- partly I think because I have sudffered from depression and anxiety/panic attacks for most of my life and have reached the stage where I understand the value of medication and, at times, therapy, in living my life as normally as possible. But reading that book helped me to understand some of my ex's ang-ups, and I think it would really help your family.

You are doing absolutely right by taking your diagnosis seriously and attending pdoc sessions: this is *crucial* for managing bipolar. -- Please don't stop. Your family will I hope, in the long run, come to accept this (and, as said already, there's stuff you can do to help them with this), but that is about *them* not your needs, and your health depends on you doing things for *you* right now, not stopping treatment because they think you should just be able to "snap out of it" -- all of us here know that's not possible. Give your family time, but give yourself treatment hun. We're all here to support you.

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...


Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 9/10/2006 2:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to the site!

It's very difficult for family and friends to accept such a 'radical' diagnosis sometimes. Quite often they'll be in denial because they don't want it to be true and they want you to be healthy and not have such a horrible illness.

I think taking them along to an appointment with your pdoc or even a pnurse would be a good idea; let them ask questions, see what your doctors think about how y ou are at the moment, see the doctor or nurse explain about medication and how the bp will affect your normal life.
It might be good to go over your symptoms and look back at your history and they might suddenly think "oh yes! So that's why you were like that sometimes".
They do need to see how important the treatment is, and how it will help you get back to being in control of your life.

If you ever need to talk to people other than them, that's exactly what we're here for.
I think quite often, people with BP don't like to talk about it, and that can bottle it all up and make it worse.
I know my Mum didn't talk to us about it much, and if I mention it nowadays she gets all defensive about it.
That makes it very difficult to get her help if we think she's not controlling things too well!

It's definitely better to talk and get people to understand!

Best of luck!

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome from birth - Diagnosed 1999
Fibromyalgia from birth - Diagnosed 2005
Currently waiting to see a consultant to test for Ulcerative Colitis.

No medicines - doctors are useless!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 9/10/2006 4:40 AM (GMT -7)   
when i was first diagnosed with depression, about 1960 (yes, i'm that old), mental illness was considered taboo, with images of snakepits.  our family dr lobbied my parents to keep me from therapy.  the stigma radiated to my school and my friends.  there were parents who refused to let their kids associate with me.  a person with mental illness would find a hard time obtaining employment or keeping employment.
thank all the gods, those days are pretty much over.  but, for some people, the stigma still exists.  i know someone who refuses to get her child treatment because she refuses to accept the stigma that her child is mentally ill.
there are many reasons (excuses) for not admitting mental illness.  to me, that's like refusing to accept a diagnosis of cancer.
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