Hi Jennifer, You might feel like you were just told you have cancer, but you don't. Focus on the facts. Bipolar is treatable. With treatment, you can go on to live a productive, happy life! The key is getting on the right meds and therapy. The meds that your doctor gave you might not be the ones that work for you, so it could be a matter of trying different ones before finding the one(s) that work for you. Be sure to tell your doctor everything re how you are doiong on the meds, i.e. if you have any uncomfortable or concerning side effects, and how the medications are working or not working. Your doc can't help you if she doesn't know all that is going on. You said in your last sentence, "The idea of therapy and keeping a mood journal and never being able to drink wine again is killing me." Is an occasional glass of wine more important than the quality of your life? Think about what is important to you. Also, therapy is not something you have to do forever. Each person is individual re how long they need to go. If you have a good therapist, you like her/him, and you do the work; you will probably change your mind about how you feel about it. Therapy can be a great thing - you get out of it what you put into it. Re keeping a mood journal - that is not a requirement. Your doctor or therapist may have asked you to do that temporarily, but mood journals don't work for everyone. If you find it doesn't work for you, then tell that to whoever asked you to do it, and tell them you can't. This is YOUR journey, life, therapy, and recovery; so play an active role in it. You don't have to do what doesn't work for you - it wouldn't do you any good anyway. One last question - I'm curious, what is it about having this diagnosis causes you to feel it like being told you have cancer? Do you think that a diagnosis of bipolar is an automatic life sentence? You might want to examine yourself to figure out what you are telling yourself about having a diagnosis of bipolar 2, and then hold it up against the facts. If you don't know the facts, then ask someone who knows. You may find out that it doesn't really have to have so much power. Of course, you're going to naturally feel something upon being diagnosed, but much of that is because of not fully understanding what that diagnoses means AND doesn't mean. Hang in there! Be serious about your treatment and recovery, and you will discover that though there will be struggles, it doesn't have to turn your life upside down! DebbieView Thread
"Live without pretending; Love without depending; Listen without defending; Speak without offending"--Drake
Hi Resilliancy/Wellbeing - sorry for? You didn't do anything wrong. If anything, it was my bad for bringing up at least part of my original post because of it being one of those things where one had to know far more details than what I was able to share in order to fully understand my situation. So no worries.
I was able to connect some dots (for lack of a better way of saying it) re the topic my last session, which was good. It helped me very much for my following visit to my mom's. There's still more to figure out, but at least I'm making progress. I think what has been the biggest road block for me been in not being able to figure out the puzzle. The way my brain works, if I can't make cognitive sense of something, then I'm typically not able to move forward on it. I'm not one who can blindly head in any direction without at least some knowledge of where I'm going and how I'm getting there. I'm a "need to know the why's" kind of person. lol Of course, I do make exceptions, but most times it's not a matter of choice, but of simply being how my mind processes things.
Anyway.......all is good. This one thing I have never liked about having to rely on communication via the written word alone, i.e. it's often too hard to paint a complete and accurate picture for those who read it; thus, not always possible to hear and understand the whole picture. No one's fault - it's just the way it is when relying only on one-dimensional communication.
Sorry about your MAC losing all passwords! You weren't able to click on the link that says you "forgot your password" so that the password could be reset? That way you could have kept your original user ID. You actually probably could still do that if you wanted to.
I guess I will be the "other side of the coin" from Jonnie in my reply. Although I DO agree 100% in loving and supporting someone no matter the difficulties involved; but I'm going to point out more of the practical side because you guys are engaged to be married.
I obviously don't know you, but I would encourage you to seriously and honestly try to imagine what your life would be like were you to marry someone who is an alcoholic and still drinking and who is a person with untreated bipolar (he is non-compliant). Once you have given that some thought, ask yourself if that's how you really want to live the rest of your life.
I know that sounds insensitive and unloving, but when it comes to marrying someone, it's not just about "I love him/her so much!" ect - it's not just about emotions; it's choosing to make a commitment to someone, and saying that you want to be with them forever just as they are, and staying with him/her forever even when they have some very difficult challenges that will directly affect you.
How will you deal with his constant drinking and the behavior that accompanies (even if he may have periods where he doesn't drink)? What about when he's having a manic episode and he spends all your guys money and then you have no way to pay your mortgage and other bills? Or what if he does other behaviors during that manic episode that are worse to you, like sex related? (it happens). What about the instability his life will be even when not manic because he's not taking his meds?
I'm being negative, aren't I? Actually, I'm not. I'm being realistic for your situation because even though I don't know you, I would hate for you to do what my mom did.
My mom married a man who is an alcoholic, is mentally ill, and refuses treatment, and she knew this going into the marriage 22 years ago. She is a very enabling person. She thinks that she's being loving and taking care of him when in reality, she's only doing him more harm than good (as well as to herself).
My mom thought that she could "fix" him, which is why she married him. Had she known then what she knows now (and LONG before now) she would have never married him. Most people would have divorced him within the first year of marriage (not because they are cruel and lack ability to love and be supportive) but because they know how to take care of themselves. My mom doesn't know how to do that. Her identity is in taking care of him - and I don't mean in a healthy, normal way. She is miserable and stressed. I don't say this to be mean, but as a matter of fact, that my mom has no backbone. She has lived the past 25 years with this man, unhappy, having to clean his urine-stained clothes and bed more times than she would like to count because of his drinking, he doesn't know responsibility because she does everything for him for the sake of "peace." Obviously she has so much more to contend with because of his drinking, but the mental illness side of things is just as bad, if not worse.
If you choose to marry him, the least I would do is not do so until he has decided that he needs help for his mental illness and alcoholism, and then he acts on that knowledge; also, that he would be clean and stable mentally (on meds and in therapy) for at minimum, 1-2 years before marrying him. It simply wouldn't be worth it for you otherwise. You don't have to sacrifice your happiness and life for his; and that is likely what you would be doing if you married him while he is untreated both mentally and re his drinking.
Elizaa, I'm SO happy for you that you had a good appt! Nothing to be afraid about after all, huh? Isn't that the way it always is? You'd think that we would learn, huh? lol Anyway, I'm just glad you like your doctor, and I'm especially happy to hear that he's "stingy" with medications! That doesn't seem to be the case with to many doctors; so it's refreshing to hear! I'm sure he told you, but when you first start medications, it can sometimes be worse before it gets better. It can take 6-8 weeks before the med starts to really work (if it's going to work for you). Don't hesitate to call your doctor if you need to if experiencing any side effects that concern you or are uncomfortable. He may tell you to just hang in there with it, and it will go away, or he may want to change the medication. But be sure to let him know how you are doing. You and your Psychiatrist are a team. Be proactive about your treatment and recovery - hold nothing back that is or could be pertinent to your mental health! After all, it's YOUR health! DebbieView Thread
"Live without pretending; Love without depending; Listen without defending; Speak without offending"--Drake
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where for whatever reason, you guys just couldn't get on the same page, and you knew it but the other person didn't? It was no one's fault - that's just how it was for that particular time.
Well, that is how I feel after your last reply. Not that I'm upset or angry with you for anything you said; it's just clear to me that what I have already said isn't even coming close to adequately explaining my issue based on your reply. Not that anything you said was bad in and of itself, but from what I understood you to be saying, it's not relevant to what I am working through. That's not your fault, but simply because I am not able to present all the important details, details that if you knew, would no doubt change your reply.
I think maybe this was not a good topic for me to post because what I wrote is not able to stand alone. It's one of those things that needs the supporting details to be fully understood.
Good morning, Elizaa - what we fear is usually scarier upon thinking about it than the actual thing we are afraid of. Chances are that will be the case as well re your doctor appt. this morning. You will probably be wondering why you were so scared.
I don't know how much longer before you have your appt this morning, but try to occupy the remainder of that time with something entirely unrelated because your thoughts will only increase and intensify your fears.
So if you have time, think about something you can do before you go - something physical is usually best. Clean a room in the house; go for a brisk walk, or some other physical activity. Another thing that is mental is doing something that require focus like various kinds of puzzles or things like that. Whatever it be, find something (unless you're about out the door lol)
I look forward to hearing how your appt went. I'm going to my mom's until Sat, but I still have access to Internet - just may not have time until late tonight or tomorrow.
Welcome to the board, Jennifer! I'm sorry that your life is in such disarray right now. You said that you were just diagnosed with bipolar last week, was that diagnosis from a Psychiatrist or your primary doctor? Did he/she prescribe medication(s) for you yet? Bipolar is a physical illness and requires medication to treat. Sometimes it can be a difficult process of trying to find the medication(s) that work well for you, but it's a necessary process. As a note re that, it's absolutely a must that you communicate as well as you can with your doctor about how the medication is or is not working for you, as well as any unpleasant side-effects you may have; otherwise, it's near impossible for your doctor to help you if he/she doesn't know what's going on for you.
So one of the things that will help you to get stable is to work together with your doctor to find the medication that will work for you. Ask him/her any and every question you may have about medications, bipolar, and anything related. This is your life, your recovery, so be sure to be a part of it.
Also, medication alone is not enough. Therapy is needed to help you to learn new and healthy coping strategies, and to learn new tools for healthy living. Therapy only works when you truly participate in it - you get out of therapy what you put into it.
I, and other people here, know from experience that you won't feel like you are right now forever. You are at the beginning of this new chapter in your life, and the path you are on is new to you. It's normal to feel confused or lost and overwhelmed when a new and unfamiliar journey begins; but it does get better! Your job is to want it, and no matter how many times you may fall down, you get up. You do whatever it takes to get and keep your life stable because that's how much it means to you. The only way it will get worse is if you do nothing, but you have already taken steps toward health and mental wellness; so you're getting a good start!
Feel free to post here as often or as little as you want to; but more importantly, be proactive about your mental well being by taking your treatment seriously no matter how hard it might get at times. Determine that you CAN move forward and that a diagnosis of bipolar is not a life sentence of misery and existence! You can do and be exactly who you want to be no matter what your diagnosis is, just as anyone else without it! You will need some time to focus on getting yourself healthier and stable; but beyond that, the sky's the limit! Remember that!
There IS hope! If you can hold tightly onto the strength and comfort of hope, you can get through anything because hope never disappoints!
Hang in there, and if you ever get to feeling suicidal, please seek help and check yourself into the hospital. There's no shame in that if you need to!
Hi Elizaa, I don't mean to minimize your feelings at all, so please don't take it as such; but maybe if you can try to think about a possible diagnosis of bipolar in a different way, it might not have as much power for you as it does. What I mean is, I realize this may sound trivial or too simplified, but think about the reality of the fact that you will be exactly the same person tomorrow if diagnosed with bipolar as you are today. It's not a death sentence like maybe a diagnosis of cancer might be. Or what if you, like me, didn't even know I had a diagnosis of bipolar until about 10 or more years after the fact? The label changed nothing about who I was/am, nor did it change what medications I was on or the therapy I was in. The professionals working with me knew that I had bipolar, and thus, knew how to treat me re medication; but I didn't really need to know. It made no difference to me because I am who I am regardless of diagnosis.
What I'm trying to say is don't give a diagnosis so much power; it doesn't deserve it. You are who you are - period! A diagnosis will help your doctor and therapist to treat you, but other than that, it doesn't have to be something so scary.
Again, I'm not minimizing how you are feeling; I'm just trying to encourage you to alter your thinking about it, and your feelings will lose their intensity as well.
Hi elizaa, I have been on lithium for about 24 years and my liver and kidneys are fine.
Some illnesses, mental or physical, need daily, life-long medication to treat. I can choose to not take the required treatment because I don't want to risk what it MIGHT do to me long-term, and by thus doing, live the rest of my life suffering from the very illness that I'm refusing to treat, AND, be more likely to shorten my life by that refusal of treatment than what the medication itself would have ever done. Or, I can accept that my illness requires medication treatment, work with my doctor to get the one(s) most suited for me, and then go on and live the rest of my life without the debilitating effects of my illness!
Medications won't make it all better, but it's part of the treatment; another crucial part is therapy.
Share your concerns with your doctor tomorrow, but let him or her be the doctor, Ok?