I have been at the same job for 2 years. I must say it is not easy day in and day out, and it is rough with co-workers and supervisors who don't understand. I try my best to be an "actress" as someone put it to me recently, and try to pretend to be "normal." But, medications can only do so much and right now in my current situation I sort of have to deal with what I have treatment-wise. It is probably easier for people who have good medical coverage and can afford a continuous psychiatrist and changes to medicine.
As for my relationship, I have been with my husband for 5 and a half years. There have been some rough times but over time with my diagnosis he is learning and becoming very supportive. I'm grateful to have him, that's for sure. I wouldn't be able to do it without him.
I have two kids, one form a previous marriage and one with my husband. They are happy and healthy and wonderful. I love them and love being a mom. Sometimes when I'm not doing so well it is hard, but I think all kids wear on their parents patience. I think I'm a pretty good mom.
So I would say my life is pretty normal. I get frustrated easily and I also have generalized anxiety disorder, so I have panic attacks and high anxiety, and borderline personality disorder so I tend to have some issues with people, and some other problems that I can't remember the name of, but I just push on and live every day for today and push on push on.
I wasn't diagonesed until I was in my forties. I believe I have been bp2 since about 11.
I worked, even had a career as an insurance agent for a very reputable company. Have been married 34 years, happily. Two girls, college grads and both happily married one with two children and neigher with signs of bp.
So normal? Yes, definately. Also I have a handful of intimate friends and several layers of acquaintances. I am dealing with lots of stresses right now and managing to stay a ok. It takes work, learning what helps, what henders, what triggers. I journal, monitor my moods and reactions, foods I crave and in general just keep a handle on what is going on and in my life. Good luck and Xila is awesome!
With most of the mental illnesses it can be possible to lead a productive life, it is not totally impossible. Bipolar disorder is one of them which is highly treatable as I have said before. I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and while I should of been in the hospital before, somehow I stayed out. This can also be a problem for people with bipolar disorder. I have found I only kept jobs in the past because my bosses liked me that much but now I have one that is incredibly easy most days and thus almost entirely stress free. Different levels of stress can potentially make people with our disorders relapse for both and they are clinically related somehow. It's all about finding a boss who is understanding and such and a job that doesn't really stress you much, if at all. My therapist and I find some days I am a 7 or 8 and other days I am a 1 or 2, with 10 being fully recovered and doing the best as possible and normally I'm at 4 or 5 so it can be difficult as hell even keeping a schedule just to go to work in the first place.
I'm 18 and have had mood swings all my teenage life but put it down to the hormones. Since moving to uni and living with 5 other flatmates, they have noticed and picked up on things, and have become worried about my current state. I have always had distorted sleep patterns often going to bed at 4am and sleeping in til late afternoon or only getting say 2 hours sleep yet feel energised. My eating pattern is also distorted and will eat loads for a couple of weeks and then get sick of food and not eat properly for up to 2 weeks. I also change mood quite easily, being as high as a kite one minute and really low the next. Experience a strong feeling of loneliness and emptiness to and especially within the past 2 weeks, of which my flatmates have noticed my up and down moods more so. Each day in the past 14days has been the opposite of the previous, and go through many emotions during the day whilst often feeling sluggish and loss of motivation/energy. Effort to get out of bed and often just stay in bed all day making the excuse that i slept in. There are also times where im on such a high, almost in a hyperactive way and can start laughing hysterically for no reason and no be able to stop. Similar thing happens when im sad i just cry at everything.
I know genetics also play a part in bipolar disorder and 2 members of my family have been diagnosed with bipolar and 1 manic depression, which made me ponder. To me i guess im used to my behaviour and i don't feel out of control, however others around me seem to think and feel different.
Was thinking of paying a visit to the doctors, however although it doesn't much bother me if i get the diagnosis of bipolar, as i feel i can cope, it just bothers me about how people will react towards me and future job prospects.
Would appreciate any feedback :) x
I think it's totally possible to live a normal life. The key thing is working with your docs and doing everything you can to listen to your body, pick up on your triggers and the emotional direction you're going.
I was diagnosed a few months ago, my wife doesn't believe it, my boss does. She was married to a guy that had BP and PTSD.
I work as an RN and do a good job.
You can do it!
I've seen many docs and therapists and have tried many med combos to remedy my illness. That was when I knew there was something "wrong" with the way the world and I fit together. I say fit because even if it's not a good fit it's still a fit. Then factor in subjectivity and the idea of fitting changes (daily at times). I wasn't diagnosed unitl my 30's but I was kind of able to be "normal." The concept of normal is relative. I thought I was wrong as a human being but that wasn't the bipolar talking as much as other things, but being extraordinarily different meant to me that I had to try even harder. I mean heck other people can do it. It can't be that hard right?Well yes it can. I looked at the things I could do and couldn't do and went into a field that could handle my "self" and it's idiosyncracies. That cut out a lot of pressure to be everyone else's kind of normal. Unfortunately I lacked the proper medications and other treatments/education and coping skills that would have helped me "be" in my version of a normal working-with-and-working-in-society kind of world. The pressures of my emotions, lack of understanding (self, world & at times reality) overwhelmed me and I had a giant disabling episode. An education of one's illness(es) and how to deal with them in all ways positive is the key to the life you want to live (diet, therapy, medications, etc). Identify your kind of normal so you don't put yourself in situations that will exacerbate your symptoms. Doing things like "other" people isn't (as I'm in the process of learning) something that other people do very well either. Keep informed and have people around you that know you and accept you the way you are -a support group- they can help "see" things that you might not be able to and they can help stop bad things.
I have had a diagnosis of BPl since my teen years (I'm 42 now). I have had a full-time job for 10 years. Having an understanding boss is paramount although it still stresses me to be "in the closet" at work. I was married, but now divorced but in a relationship now - with someone who has schizophrenia.
I take a handfull of meds every morning and night. Sometimes I need to take a day off to regroup, but my life is pretty normal.
I think how well you cope with the disorder depends on how well you respond to the various medications. I can no longer work in my previous profession because I can't handle the stress or being around peoplef for very long. Alot of people do really good, everyone is so very different but I know there is quite a few people functioning in the world.
Main thing is to keep seeing your p-doc, take your medication and let your doctor know any side effects or how well your meds are working. Sometimes it takes many meds and mixtures of meds to get the right cocktail.
I prefer the word average to normal. I think it is very possible and even expected for a person to lead an average life. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness. ( NAMI 2009)
With the limited amount of money disability pays, I feel it is expected of us to lead an average life. We have so many resource tools now that they didn't have way back in the day. Those people lead an average life so why can't we. I
think some of what prevents us from leading an average life is all the modern technology. Remember bipolar is only a disability if it is not being treated well.
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