Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Announcements

Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

*No Dr Outside Contact Please*
Bipolar disorder isn't the focus of my life but it certainly disrupts
avatar
An_243880 posted:
I find a lot of people with mental illness get lost in the diagnosis and see themselves as only the diagnosis. I know I have Bipolar Disorder that sometimes manifests itself in psychosis. But I am so much more than my mood swings. I'm a scientist in good academic standing. I'm a mom of a healthy, happy 21 year old. I'm a friend. I'm a pet mom. I'm an active member of my Synagogue. I'm a great listener (when I'm not hearing voices). I can talk pro football with my male collegues and Mozart with my Medical Director. Yes, Bipolar Disorder sometimes lands me in-patient and coming out of a hospitalization can make me feel very disorientated, but my psychiatrist and psychologist are very adept at helping me reintegrate back into my "normal" life as quickly as possible. I really want to hear from people about the things that help them feel like they are more than their diagnosis. I have never felt like people were treating me as less than because of my disorder. Being Bipolar is just a fact of my life. It's like the fact that I have brown hair or I'm Jewish. It is an is. My daughter is blind. I and others see her as no less a capable functioning person because she can't see than I am because my brain gets a bit short circuited sometimes. I really want to hear people's triumphs over adversity. I learn that way. I think we all learn.
Was this Helpful?
1 of 1 found this helpful
Reply
 
avatar
ddnos responded:
Hi, I've always believed that I am far more than my diagnosis and from time to time, have also encouraged others of the same. I believe that when we live as though we are our diagnosis, we limit ourselves to being all the other parts of who we are, which is really so much bigger.

For anyone to say that I AM my diagnosis, tends to make one say and believe that they can't do this or that because, after all, I am (fill in the blank) and that's how (people with......) behave.

I'm sure I would have more to say on the topic at another time; right now is not a good time, I just thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.

Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
Thanks Debbie,

I'm glad you responded. I want to hear everyone's triumphs. I really want to know what works for people in their lives. For me it's my career. For others it might be their parenting (mine is at an end with my daughter off at graduate school). Those of us with Bipolar Disorder need to celebrate our lives and our successes as well as dwell on our challenges. It's easy to get lost in what doesn't work. I want to celebrate what does.
 
avatar
melly2210 responded:
For me, each day is a small triumph. We've all been through and are still going through so very much. I've got multiple dx from the mental to the physical, and I am sure with the gaining of REAL insurance, I will resolve the other physical issues that are nagging at me. Each day presents its own challenges - that is life. I may struggle to get through them, but I get through them. And getting through at least one thing each day is a triumph. For a long time, I let that dx define me, but I've grown past that. I have a future, and it is promising.

I have 2 beautiful boys, a preteen and teenager, whom I'm working at rebuilding a relationship with after that tremendous crash. I have a step-daughter to be with a grandchild on the way to look forward towards. I have a wonderful man who stands at my side through the worst and the best whom I am planning to marry later this year. I'm rebuilding my relationship with my crazy mom and her long time significant other. I've built a wonderful support network of friends, rt and here. Life is slowly coming together with a lot of work and determination, but most of all, a positive outlook.

Life is good. And I need to remember that more in my dark moments. Thank you for asking about triumphs. Sometimes we forget to celebrate even the small stuff. We all need reminders like this, I think!

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Hi reneegigliotti, when you said that you really want to know what works for people in theri lives, do you mean what works to keep one (me) grounded - what keeps me living above my illness or in spite of it?

Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to ddnos's response:
Absolutely. What works for you? It's easy to focus on what doesn't work. I always want to focus on what does work. I guess I've always been a glass is half full person.
 
avatar
ddnos replied to reneegigliotti's response:
Hi, I agree re focussin on what works instead of what doesn't. I mean, why focus on what doesn't work if it doesn't work, you know? lol

So, what works for me? Well, when I was working, I loved my job and looked forward to going everyday. I'm no longer working there because the organization folded due to finances; but definitely my job was a huge part of my recovery. It's been about two years since the place folded.......so now, untill I can get myself back to work, I have what I would considere little things that either keep me grounded or keep me from totally going under into depression. I am diag bp 2, so I lean more towards the depressed side than the manic, just fyi.....but something simple like going for a walk. Sometimes certain people would suggest I go for a walk when I was depressed and I would get angry at them and think they were minimizing my depression, that is, until I actually got myself up off the floor and went for a walk! Wow, amazing what even a short walk will do! I've been pretty blessed in that for the most part, the meds I'm on keep me fairly balanced, but there have still been occassions where depression has dipped a little lower than normal for a while. Im in one of those right now, and the biggest thing keeping me afloat is that I literally force myself to get outside and walk. Not only walking, that's just one thing - also, I try to get outside myself as much as possible and look for any opportunity that I can give to someone else in need because that takes the focus off of me and how I'm feeling.

For me, really the bottom line is that I have to keep as busy as I possibly can - I have learned that I have a choice. That unless I am SO depressed that I should be hospitalized or close to it, I have the choice to get up off my behind and DO something, anything, even if it's just little baby somethings. I think sometimes we hope things will get better, but we're not willing to get up and do something to make that happen. The last I heard, no one is going to get very far if they don't get up and take steps. But it's too harrrrrrrrrddddddd! lol Of course it is, but we do it anyway, yes? If not this time, then the next!

I also do better with structure, which is harder for me to really maintain when I'm not working.

Hmmmmm, I thought there would actually be more of what works for me, and I'm sure there are that I'm not thinking of right now, but ohhhhhhhhhhh! lol How could I forget this one?! lol I suppose because it's not an "action" persay....but for me, the one "thing" that works for me the best is hope! Over the past several years, hope has been the driving force of my life - the kind that says no matter how bad it may get, it will somehow get better and I will somehow get through it because I always have hope! What is the opposite of hope but despair? When hope is lost, despair is right around the corner! My therapist has been the one who helped to get onto that path in my life - the path of hope.

Anyway, I'm not even sure I've responded in a way that you were asking, but that's what I have. If I've answered another question taht you didn't write, then clarify for me . lol

Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
avatar
mercygive responded:
My full-time job and daily routine help me to stay active and interactive with people. Church activities, yoga, bicycling, and exercise (until recent foot problems) add variety to my life and enhance enjoyment and rest during my down time. I'm happily married to a man that I can rely on and who will drag my body out of bed if he sees that depression is getting the best of me. I am grateful to God for that relationship so I don't have to do it alone. I am grateful for my physical health and medications to improve my mental health. I am grateful to the people on this community board for their honest and humorous support. Hopefully, I will soon add both a therapist and pdoc to my support system if I can afford it. Without health and support I would find it difficult if not impossible to know a purpose for my life let alone enjoy my life, and even people without bipolar disorders would agree with this statement. As long as I have help (or seek help) and stay healthy, I am hopeful that I will continue to manage my bipolar symptoms as tiresome as it has become over the years. I don't expect it to get easier with age so I hope help is available for seniors with bipolar disorders.
I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.
Louisa May Alcott
 
avatar
mercygive responded:
Today, my full-time job and daily routine help me to stay active and interactive with people. Church activities, yoga, bicycling, and exercise (until recent foot problems) add variety to my life and enhance the enjoyment and rest during my down time. I'm happily married to a man that I can rely on and who will drag my body out of bed if he sees that depression is getting the best of me. I am grateful to God for that relationship so I don't have to go it alone. I am grateful for my physical health and medications to improve my mental health. I am grateful to the people on this community board for their experience, informative, honest and humorous support. Hopefully, I will soon add both a therapist and pdoc to my support system if I can afford it. As long as I have (seek) support and stay healthy, then my focus is on living not managing.

I will try not to worry about tomorrow. Though, I realize my physical and mental health will deteriorate and having bipolar disorder may significantly impact my will to live as I age beyond my positive and active lifestyle. I wish there were more seniors with bipolar disorder posting on this community board. We need lights ahead of us to help us hope.
I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.
Louisa May Alcott
 
avatar
ibex7 replied to mercygive's response:
Many of us retired folks with bipolar worked hard before retiment and, even though some are suffering because of goverment's mismanagement of the economy, find useful and satisfying activity in our churches. It's one of our cherished freedoms whenever today's kooks choose to recognize the American liberty of worship. - goat


Featuring Experts

Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

Helpful Tips

NSAIDS and lithiumExpert
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, Motrin/ibuprofen, Advil, Naprosyn) raise lithium levels by about 20%. We often therefore say ... More
Was this Helpful?
68 of 91 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.