There are some people who can't or won't understand at all. My wife is bipolar, and some people are more understanding than others.
We had a former pastor who thought anyone with any mental issue could snap out of it by willpower alone. My wife has been under a psychiatrist's care for 24 years, and is not going to just "snap out of it" even though she is better than she used to be.
You may have to have minimal interaction with people who are rigid and inflexible. As my wife's primary caregiver, I am constantly getting better at "reading" people. In my experience, some people I have to steer her away from, since since some think THEY are the ones that can persuade her to see things their way.
Caregivers need support also. I sometimes talk with a guy from church who was married for over thirty years to a bipolar women. He has taught classes for NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) mentioned by another poster (the website is www.nami.org and sometimes people can get tips there on various helpful items). We support each other in a quiet way.
Please hold in there, some people do try to understand. Paul
As a person who has been diagnosed bipolar for ten years it is heartwarming to know that there are people out there who, although are not afflicted themselves, try their best to understand and stand by their loved ones through it all. You are truly an inspiration.
Kudos to you! At least some people try to understand! I have given up trying to convince people that I actually do have a mental illness. Either they get it or they don't!
My brother-in-law thinks I'm a lazy brat. He thinks I am "emotionally addicted" to my meds. (I gave up the addictive meds long ago.) He also is in denial about the fact that I have physical problems as well, which would make it difficult for me to work right now.
But this one takes the cake (no pun intended)! At a birthday party of my nephew's, I had one of his friends tell me exactly what she thought of me.She accused me of faking my illness to get gov benefits! I thought that was way out of line! I did not know her and I hadn't even said a word to her and she thought she had the right to rake me over the coals! I felt like confronting my brother-in-law but it wouldn't do any good.
Oh, darn. Now I am getting myself upset again. I need to concentrate on having people in my life that do understand! Pixie
Naturally happy people just do not "get it", and my friend with Fibromyalgia calls it "making your circle (of people) smaller" My issue is that I'm running out of circle members... My husband and therapist are the only ones I can talk to, and I feel like even they look at me like I'm weird and bizarre, especially when I'm explaining a mixed-media/idea concept that I have discovered while in a self-reflecting, but extremely hypo-manic phase (I have Bi-Polar II, OCD, severe anxiety.)
Thank you Paul! Your post has given me alot of food for thought about how I see my living with bp 1. Thank you for sharing how you help your wife cope with living bp. I just wish my hubby would be as active as you're in my care of bp. He's a good man just lacks wanting to understand what I deal with on a daily basis.
I have a 20 year old daughter just recently diagnosed and I am not sure how to handle her .. I am supportive and always positive .. but it seems she is looking for sympathy and wanting the world to know she is suffering -- I am reading all I can on Bi Polar and alot to go over and learn .. She is in therapy , I am not sure she is telling the therapist everything -- She sleeps all day and is up all night .. She has medication but does not want to get it .. I am so afraid she is going to repeat the suicide again and we may not stop her this time --- What Can I do to help her ? What can I tell others who ask ? How can I tell other to butt out and do not give wrong information as some have -- Sorry for all the questions I am just not sure where to turn Thank you
I am with Dyanne good post. other then what Dyanne said If your daughter comes to a point were she is medicated and things are going well you may want to sit down with her and discus what actions she wants you to take during major depressive and major manic episodes and draw up a plan of action. My wife and i did research/ trial and error to find her the right combination of doctors and emergency help options to fit her specific needs. we have drawn up a plan on what to do during different phases of her bipolar that include what hospitals/ emergency room to take her to if she gets in real trouble. She may be resistant to help but when I can get her to come around we have made a plan action that goes like this. For minor episodes we make the next available appointment with her Psychiatrist. For more serious episodes we call the Psychiatrist and ask for a emergency appointment her doc is good 9 times out of 10 he will give her the last appointment of the day and stay over to see her if necessary. If he can not see her same day we did research and found a mental hospital close to us that will do walk in evaluations and out patient treatment with the on duty Doc during business hours as our back up. for really bad episodes when she is dangerous to her self or others we take her directly to the mental hospital during business hours to save ER expense or after hours we take her the ER next to the mental hospital to save on ambulance transfer fees from one hospital to another. As a last resort I call 911. Since my wife and i talked this out together she is usually ok afterwards with what ever happens. This is our plan any thing you guys work out will have to be specific to her. If you should need extra help there is a group called Nami that may be able to help you as well read the top entry. he explains them pretty good. I hope things get better for you soon.
If your wife's psychiatrist can't effect a very major improvement after 24 years you need a second opinion, at minimum. Calculate how much you have paid the guy and how much he has improved your wife's condition. I think you are getting screwed. I've seen psychiatrists and psychologists for years and I wouldn't put up the crap you are.
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