I am in a manic episode right now that I am incrementally getting better from. When I am sick to this extent my family distances themselves from me, because of the hurtful, embarrassing or odd things I've done, also because I don't think they understand it to the fullest extent (they still blame me.) I have been fought by certain people in my family when I was sick and said the wrong thing (hit in the face) I have been offered drugs that I accepted because I didn't want to live (and obviously these people do not want to live either and never had respect for me in the first place.) In my sickness I have been verbally, physically, and emotionally abused.
IT IS NOT JUST THE ILL PERSON THAT DOES THE HURTING - 2 WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT - BIPOLAR IS AN ILLNESS.
If anyone is reading this that has a loved one with Bipolar PLEASE do not distance yourself from the person who is sick. Would you distance yourself from a person who had cancer, just let them sit in their room thinking they did something wrong to become sick - No!
This illness is hard enough to accept for the person who is sick, so lets not try to make a person who is ill be embarrassed anymore than they are.
I find it very odd how people with mental illness's are treated in comparison to how a person with cancer would be treated. This IS an illness and the family and friends can make it better - or worse. Try to surround yourself with at least one person who understands you, and if you can't find that person in your family or friends then look to mentors, people at school, or programs...
Do not do this alone. No matter how many people you push you away, or how many people run away from you - never give up. By no way am I trying to give an ill person with bipolar the right to mentally or physically abuse anyone. In fact, people the media and movies try to make people with mental illness's look violent and angry at all times. It has been studied and proven that this is a myth. People with Bipolar are usually the ones THAT ARE HURT and pushed down to feel they are nothing. My advice is find a person you can trust that is supportive and never give up, they are not worth it.
That was beautifully said. I'm in that boat- my family doesn't even believe in mental illness, and if one of my friends does, they totally don't understand Bipolar, period, which is great. I'm really, really sorry that your family does that to you, and makes you feel like it's your fault you're sick. You will always have friends on here.
Thank you. This was a hard post to write, but it all came from my heart. I love my family, but I also can see that even the people closest to you can make mistakes. No one is perfect, not anyone.
I hope anyone reading out there can see that the roller coaster days we have can be minimized by medication and therapy. This is an illness, work towards wellness in any way you can and do not give up. Like I said, they are not worth it.
True that My "ex" boyfriend (who is my mentor now) is about all I have in the ways of support (aside from Web MD boards). I love him so much for all that he puts up with from me...even with our huge age gap he still somehow can 'see' at my level and really cares about my health..love him.
Anyway, hope everything is going well..and I definitely think that people need to start viewing mental illness as an ILLNESS (hello- it's in the title) and treating it, regarding it, and thinking about it as such.
Hey G, I'm sorry that you have been treated so horribly by family and anyone else when you have been in extreme manic episodes - how sad.
I've never experienced that sort of abuse or treatment by anyone, but I do know about being distanced from by others. I think for some people (certainly not everyone) they distance themselves because they don't know what to do or say. I've heard it often said for people who have any kind of traumatic event in their lives from cancer, to any other disease, to a death of a loved one, etc..people don't know what to say, so they stay away and say or do nothing. I've been on both sides of that issue and can understand them both. Not saying its right or the good thing to do, but I understand it.
What you've shared goes beyond distancing and has gone into abuse - totally uncalled for, and I'm sorry you have gone through that and never do again!
Thanks for sharing what you did.
No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change. - Barbara de Angelis
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