Bipolar Disorder Community
Accepting bipolar disorder
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Accepting bipolar disorder

Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with BP 2 a week ago and now on Lamotringe. Few nights ago I was trying to accept my mental health status as I had this feeling of 'why didn't I have a normal life?'. I am now 33 and I felt much of my life was 'wasted' due to this disease. I suspect that I had ADHD and BP since early childhood. Don't ask me how I know, those symptoms or behaviors when young were just like ADHD and bipolar.

Few nights ago, I cried. Because I know I am going to take a longer time to recovery. I am so tired now, with much burden and worries. I also find my memory losing fast when I am depressed. I really had no idea how to tell my close friends... should I tell them I have this illness and ask for their understanding? Is this considered weakness on my part as a guy?

Thanks for listening people. Inside me, I know I plan for all the good things for myself. I have also been exercising a lot recently and having good diets so I could lead a normal life. I don't wish to see my other half of my life 'wasted'. I want to contribute to society and give all I have to this beautiful world.

Thanks for listening...
nickeldoor.
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1736114_tn?1312652212
Admittance and acceptance are two very different things. You're not the only one who has to contend with these. It is KEY that you confide in your closest family members/friends. Everyone who has to endure an illness needs an external support structure- you can't do this on your own.

The difference between admittance and acceptance is 18". Admittance is in your head, acceptance is in your heart. For some people it can be a long 18", but for others it's an easy adjustment. Once you are confident in yourself that you have bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD, (all of which I have as well) and you educate yourself on all of these illnesses, then you will feel more free to share with your family and friends. People are scared of what they do not understand. If some of your friends treat you differently it's only because they do not understand. Sometimes we will lose friends, but the main thing is that you WILL keep friends. You are still who you are. Your personality is the same, and you haven't grown horns or an additional limb. Your brain just functions differently then theirs.

Being diagnosed with a mental illness will sometimes help people to understand why you are the way you are, and can help answer a lot of questions in their minds. If you lose friends because you have a mental illness it's not your fault. You're not a bad person.

It can definitely seem worrying as you don't want to feel emasculated by admitting you aren't superman. You'll find out who your real friends are, and you'll probably be very surprised at how easily they accept your diagnoses. Your fears are real, but don't vilify your friends or assign wrong motives that are unfounded. Give your friends and family the benefit of the doubt and trust in them.

I know that you can and will become a productive member of society if you want to. You can do everything everyone else does. You're not a vegetable- you just have a brain that works differently than other people. You are the same as your friends- unique.

You are still, and always will be a man. Nothing will change that.

Best wishes.
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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dont tell your friends they will reacte towards you differentley i havent told anyone not even my husband they would treat me different at least your looking forward thats a good thing
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1726783_tn?1326185388
I don't understand. How would they react differently towards me? Shunning me or think I am crazy? I think it's important that close friends are part of the recovery stage? No?
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ya know what f what everyelse thinks if they a true friends they wont treat u any different!  Yeah i think some people think I'm crazy.  but ya know what who cares.  If they want i can show them crazy.  Talking about it helps trust me.  i think it took me about a year,  before i got over the initial shock!  but that was 7 yrs ago.  everyone in my life knows i'm BP.  I know who my true friends are.  I think your right about having others be your supporters.  my husband is my biggest supporter.  he tells me when my moods have changed when a med isn't working he's open and honest with me which i charish very much.  being bipolar isnt easy, finding the right meds isnt easy but u need people around u to help u get through the rough times.

stephanie1o-  i feel really bad for u if u have no real person to talk to.  It is ok to tell people especially your husband if he really loves u then he won't care... he can even help u  he he doesnt understand he's superficial and doesn't deserve u.  If either of u need to talk i'm here add me as a friend and message me.  I have had alot of time to learn to cope and i research alot, signs symptoms and different medications so just ask.  I have also been on mandy of the BP meds and can probably tell u all my side effects.

good Luck to both of u!
Smile there is light at the end of the tunnel
Julie
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are u having an idenity crisis.  your profile says your female and on there u say your a guy?!?  just wondering you can be both if u want.  who am i to say what u should be?  I just hope things turn out....please dont take this as me being mean....its to be funny hahaha
Julie
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Ahh. Thanks Julie for your supportive comments. I just joined this site hours ago and didnt know how to change my sex. Hahah. Will do so when I get on my comp. I am using iPhone apps for typing now. I am a guy btw. ;-)).

Anyway, hope stephanie would be able to step out and lead a proud and wonderful life as much as I want to. And thanks to you Julie for listening and sharing your thoughts. It really makes me feel I am not alone in this BP world. Well, to be honest, my mom knows I have BP but she doesn't understand what it is. Basically she has no idea of what mental health is all about. Even my two sisters are not helping either. No one talks or supports me in any way. Well, I am already used to it and I know I must walk this path alone, with help and support from here and few close friends.

Anyway, will add u and Stephanie later when I get on my computer. Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts. It really makes my day. Btw, I have an interview today and I am so excited. Just lost my job half a year ago due to BP and severe depression. I am glad I am walking my life again. Catch u guys later.
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I was struggling with the same thing,,and still struggle with it weekly.  I've told a few work associates and my oldest brother, my wife of course but no one else.  I also have sexual abuse issues and PTSD.  The whole idea of "hiding" this brought up feelings that I haven't had since my abuse, the"don't tell anyone" memories.
Anyway, I've found a support group which has helped alot.  NAMI is a good place to look for a support group.
I too take lamotrigine and have for some time.  It seems to do okay.  
I think about all the grief and anguish I went through before I was diagnosed.  Not knowing a reason for your life not being normal and just wishing you were like everyone else *****.  When I was diagnosed, and I go through a cycle of not believing it about every three months, I was kind of relieved because it explained alot.  Granted like I said, I've doubted and probably will again within the next month.  I've gone off my meds once, bad idea.  If I still get a little manic or depressed I try to think about what it would be like without any medication.  If you want to communicate about it, feel free to message me anytime.

Rogelio
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@ Rogelio63 - thanks for your comments. I do have PTSD at certain stages of my life, and it's not that severe currently. However, with the recent diagnosis of bipolar 2, I had this anguish about why can't I be the same as everyone... leading a normal life without wasting a big junk of my life on these issues.

I am on Lamotringe nightly and I want to be off the med in 6 months time. As said, I have started running which is beneficial for my health and mental state, at least that's what I feel. However, I still feel the 'emotions' inside me going up/down, which can be quite devastating at times. I am also going to start on a new program on meditation, perhaps with 15-20min a day self-meditating quietly. At least I know that's a start.

I wish everyone here is making positive progress, though there are times I am deterred by my emotions.
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@ Nickeldoor, I too am new to this site.  I found it because I was trying to get a good mood journal to fill out and found the app for my iPhone.  I was diagnosed a year ago with BP2.  My counselor referred me to a doctor who prescribed me Lexapro.  I never really had issues with mania because they are more of hypomanias but I had a tremendous problem with the depression side of things.  Anyways, I am in the process of trying to cope without medication and it takes a LOT of work and dedication.  I still have spells of depression, but I have learned to recognize the symptoms and force myself to do positive things to try and get back on track.  It has been okay so far, but I am not stable as I was with the meds.  My counselor tells me, "If what you want is to be stable and 'normal' and the meds give you that, why would you not want to take them?" And I think everybody here will agree, it would just be nice to be "normal" without medication....  Sorry if I went on too long.  I am new to the forum concept and it is kinda nice to get it off my chest with some people that actually understand.  I lost one of my best friends this year because of my BP.  She said, "If you are aware of your behavior why don't you just change it." And that really really just spoke volumes.... Some people just REALLY don't understand what it's like to suffer from this ****.  
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Hello Nicole, I am sorry about your situation. You are free to write your feelings here, it's a good form of therapeutic treatment. Currently, I am exercising a lot more and I feel so much better after that. So... if writing or talking to someone makes you better, then do it, no need to be shy about it. I would want to throw out my emotions when times are bad.

I have the same issues as you. I am giving myself 6 months medication period, and would slowly withdraw from my medication. Holistically speaking, even though the medication helps us, they do have side effects, especially the western medicine, and prolong period of medication doesn't do us any well at all. Last night, I had an university alumni dinner and had a coffee, instantly I knew my mood became depressed and had some problems concentrating and relating to other people (there were some conversation I couldn't understand), not that my communication skills are bad, but just the mood itself. I think some of you here should relate to this quite well.

I am also currently job-hunting full-time, and it can be quite depressing at times. When times are bad, I give myself time to go slow and blend in with nature by taking walks in the park, and do some meditation.

I just told some close friends about my condition and none of them knew what BP was about... apparently I had to explain to them and I must be an alien to them! Well, I don't expect my friends to understand but if they truly care about you, they would take the effort to find out about this condition, so they can be a carer when bad times arise.

Recently I became quite withdrawn from people and I felt very happy being myself. I guess it's because I am kinda tired to adjust my mood when it hits! So being alone makes me happy without aligning people's expectations of me. I know this is only temporary, but at least that makes me go slow instead of hastily moving forward and stressing myself out with so much emotional consequences.

Nicole take it easy and don't force yourself as it may backfire unconsciously. I hope you find it helpful by talking about it here.


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1736114_tn?1312652212
Admittance and acceptance are two very different things. You're not the only one who has to contend with these. It is KEY that you confide in your closest family members/friends. Everyone who has to endure an illness needs an external support structure- you can't do this on your own.

The difference between admittance and acceptance is 18". Admittance is in your head, acceptance is in your heart. For some people it can be a long 18", but for others it's an easy adjustment. Once you are confident in yourself that you have bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD, (all of which I have as well) and you educate yourself on all of these illnesses, then you will feel more free to share with your family and friends. People are scared of what they do not understand. If some of your friends treat you differently it's only because they do not understand. Sometimes we will lose friends, but the main thing is that you WILL keep friends. You are still who you are. Your personality is the same, and you haven't grown horns or an additional limb. Your brain just functions differently then theirs.

Being diagnosed with a mental illness will sometimes help people to understand why you are the way you are, and can help answer a lot of questions in their minds. If you lose friends because you have a mental illness it's not your fault. You're not a bad person.

It can definitely seem worrying as you don't want to feel emasculated by admitting you aren't superman. You'll find out who your real friends are, and you'll probably be very surprised at how easily they accept your diagnoses. Your fears are real, but don't vilify your friends or assign wrong motives that are unfounded. Give your friends and family the benefit of the doubt and trust in them.

I know that you can and will become a productive member of society if you want to. You can do everything everyone else does. You're not a vegetable- you just have a brain that works differently than other people. You are the same as your friends- unique.

You are still, and always will be a man. Nothing will change that.

Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
Why have you given yourself 'six months' on meds. That seems like an awfully short period of time. You'll just be getting used to how they work and will be off them. Psyc meds are usually meant to be longer term. A lot would depend on how severe your symptoms are too. For me life without meds is a very dark place I don't want to return to.

As for telling people. I would be very cautious in the workplace to divuldge. I wouldn't say anything unless I had to. I've had very bad experiences that way. As for family and friends. Most of mine went 'that explains a lot' lol. My family has even gotten to the point that they tease me about it which in our family is a sign of acceptance.

Acceptance I am finding comes in spurts. I have been diagnosed three years and I still sometimes bemoan how unfair the whole situation is. I look at some of the disasters created in my life and how that would have changed if I had proper treatment. Other times I simple accept that it is what it is, and move forward in my journey trying to learn all I can from the situation.

And never forget you 'have' bipolar you are not bipolar. It isn't a personality trait it is an illness. You would never say 'I am cancer'. How you refer to yourself is very important and is part of the road to incorporating the knowledge of bipolar into the wider understanding of yourself.
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@ KrustyBroccoli - thank you very much for your encouragement. It is assuring to hear that I am not as bad as I think I am. Though it's still an early stage after diagnosis, I am glad that I can make informed choices about my mental conditions. Now I am more aware about sleep, diet and exercises that will help me with my illness, I can be on my way to recovery. Frankly, I am still job-hunting around, though I am a bit anxious about the future, I am glad that I have made stride and move forward in life. If I move forward one step at a time, I should be proud of myself.

Today is my second day of full pill on Lamotrinegine, and I must say I feel really great. My mood has stabilized and I don't feel the ups and downs anymore.

@ lindahand - I am anxious to be on medication for the rest of my life. I am aware about the side-effects about western medicine but perhaps i would need to balance my lifestyles more appropriately in addition to the medicine.

Regarding my friends, I am not telling all of them but only my close friends. The rest I don't really care because i have experience about them sneering my deficiency in other areas. Oh god, why do i have friends like that? Anyway, it's time to take stock about what kind of friends i associate with, as I wouldn't want to be affected by what they say.

Thank you for telling me about bipolar. I have bipolar and it's not my personality trait, it's a mental illness. This helps me in my self-esteem a lot i believe.

Thank you all for helping and giving advise. I appreciate that. Hope everyone is well and safe.
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I agree with Lindahand (and all) I cannot and will not share with people in the work place.  I have the type of job that would put my coworkers on edge, In short very bad idea in my case.   My immediate family is aware and also can joke about my behavior sometimes and also get serious when necessary. I will not share with the rest of my family and neither would the family I trust.  Several years have past since I was diagnost and they have not shared my condition with anyone.   I continue to work but realize at some point I will need to change my field before it gets the best of me.  There is only so much faking it until you burn out or flame out.  I could not have said it better you have bipolar and most definitively are not bipolar.   You are the same person you have always been that’s the reality.  Nickledoor there is nothing wrong with taking medicine and exercising.  The key is to do what works.
Thank you for posting this topic.  We all have been there and maybe are still there.  I struggle with the same issues at times.
Be well
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1726783_tn?1326185388
Thank you for sharing your experience and advice. I know some people are not opened to mental conditions and I just have to be aware of this. I always feel that a supportive family is important but in my family, no one understands the impact of mental issues. I don't feel the love and support from any of my family perhaps my mom has already been depressed since the early days of our life after divorce with my dad.

Just days ago, my girlfriend and I just broken up... many reasons and some are very complicated and time-consuming to resolve them. Also, the material needs also kicked in like the housing/cars issues. I wished I had diagnosed my condition earlier in my life so I could have prevented so much unnecessary time/energy in non-productive areas.

Anyway, to build myself up, I just had a good jog last night, and I love it so much. I always feel better after a jog, and that's a good thing. At this moment, though I still love my girlfriend very much, but at certain stage of my life, it's easier and imperative to let it go... I am a buddhist and also learned that life is impermanent and everything will go at certain stage in life.


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