I usually don't give a crap about most things. I'm pretty laid back. But I'm getting a little peeved. There are some things I only speak to a few people about. If I am in a fix and cannot speak to a licensed professional, I call upon these friends (who know about my BD, but do not have it). However, I have found a shortage of "these friends." I have noticed that when, and if I choose to disclose some information that leaves me very naked and vulnerable, I do not receive the response hoped for. Lately, they have been quick to judge what I am feeling and do not take any special heed or consideration to my condition. Or even worse, I have been getting the dreaded, "Oh yea, I'm like that too sometimes" or the "Just don't worry about it," or "everyone gets like that sometimes." I'm sure their lives have painful moments, perhaps ones worse than mine. But they are DIFFERENT than mine. I'm not looking for a pity party, or their sympathy. Sometimes it's just nice to vent to someone who doesn't necessarily feel the need to relate to you, or try to make common ground that makes me feel worse. Yeah, you have ADD or whatever, but I'm not "freaking out over finals." I'm freaking out, but it's due to my loss of cognitive function. For the past six years I have been handed a plethora of drug after drug, hoping to find the perfect mix, and I haven't. I hate myself with medication, and I hate myself without it. I don't even know who I am anymore. I can't comprehend anything I read anymore. I used to write so well, and writing a paper is painful now. I can't even form a scholastically coherent paragraph. None of my thoughts can organize and make sense documented. I'm completely scatterbrained and forget all of my ideas. I lose at least three things every day. I've noticed that my ability to do sudoku and crossword puzzles is going in a downward spiral. I have no motivation to do anything at all. I feel like things are just going to get worse. Sometimes I just feel like there isn't anything left for me. And the scariest part is driving down the highway and not even caring if I make it to my destination. Sometimes the idea of making a hard left turn into an oncoming truck seems so easy that it's a cruel joke. So what am I going to do about this? Take another handful of pills that gives me my mind back? I miss my grades. I miss listening in class and actually registering the information. I miss my ideas. I miss my motivation and my lust for life. I hate it when my friends tell me that if I take it easy this summer things will be better next semester. Don't tell me to "chill out." I have caught myself on the edge of hypomanic a couple days this month, only to crash the next day or so. I have been staying up late, and if I do sleep, if isn't regular at all. I'm sick of being a zombie. I'm sick of pills that make me need to take other pills. I just don't know what to do anymore. So what if I get another neurological-psychological evaluation. My last one was 6 years ago, and it was a very long report. From what I can remember it mentioned auditory processing issues, a non-specific learning disorder, and short term memory loss. So I take it again. Then what? Take the 2 day test, and talk about it for a few weeks with doctors, perhaps tweek the meds a little bit... but then what? Can they repair the damage? Can they make me, "me" again?
I'm not looking for specific answers... I don't think there are any. But I feel really comfortable asking for support on this forum. Sorry if my rant was a little intense. Oh, and I'm not suicidal, but we all have those thoughts, right?
This really does sound like a medication imbalance. Whether it be Lithium or whatever, you are right.. You are probably not on the right medications. I can only speek for myself here but, even with my great medications, ( and they do work well for me) I still have my cycles, rants and down hill spirals. I really do not think there is a perfect medication that will be a cure all out there. I believe there is a part of us that has to work with it to make it condusive for ones self. Have you tried yoga and nature music. Maybe you need to find a different source of help or doctor. All these play into the whole picture.
I agree with what Carrie has said. The nirvana of stability is illusive and difficult to achieve. Medications are only one aspect of treatment. Therapy can be helpful. Finding a way to find inner peace and strength is important. You may want to try some relaxation techniques. Yoga can be very beneficial. Not only do you get psychological benefits but you get the physical benefits as well. You may want to try different scents with oils or candles. This can induce relaxation and can be used whenever you need to destress. All you have to do is breath. Meditation is beneficial as well. Try to find something that works for you.
I feel the same way you do about a lot of my friends. I always get the "I am the SAAAME WAY! You aren't bipolar!" or "Everyone feels like that- don't let it get the best of you." OR they lecture me about how if I exercised more OR "found my center" I wouldn't have these problems...it makes me so mad. I have practiced yoga, go running, i am a very active person on a healthy vegetarian diet and they lecture me about my lifestyle and tell me it is all my fault. Another friend was just like "Oh, I was the same way but then I took Birth Control pills and now I am fine...try that." (I have been on Yaz for months and it has not helped my moods at all) One of my friends who I confided in decided to take it upon herself to tell everyone we know that I am bipolar. People can be very very frustrating. Hopefully you will find a few friends who truly understand what you are going through and will support you. I think part of the problem is a lot of people THINK they are depressed but truly can't grasp the utter despair of a bipolar disorder. They just don't know- and they think they are helping...but really it just makes everything worse. I completely understand. I also think you should talk to your doctors about you meds. There will be something out there that helps you- you just have to be patient. I take lamictal and valium (valium the the mixed episode rages) and it seems to really be helping. Good Luck!
I completely sympathize with how you feel about medication. Lithium, all in all, has worked well for me and I've been lucky (knock on wood) to have escaped many of the more serious side effects. Still, it makes me scatterbrained and definitely slows my thinking down. I find that i can't juggle many things in my head at the same time, and perhaps this is how normal people feel. But, my biggest problem with the medication is that it makes me complacent. I feel honestly okay about not doing my best, not getting the best reception, etc, and I just don't feel like that's who i really am. Of course, off meds, I have the time of my life, but I am terribly destructive to myself and those around me.
Unfortunately, I don't have any good advice for you since I am in the process of figuring out what I want to do as well, but hopefully, you'll take a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that you're not alone in feeling this way.
The way I deal with friends is by not telling most of them. I have less than a handful of close friends that know about it and that truly empathize with what I go through. Thankfully, they are all very well versed in the seriousness of the condition, often times even more than I am. I do find, however, that the vast majority of my friends don't want to know or hear about it. Honestly, it sounds stupid, but I try not to take it personally. Most of them haven't seen me at my worst and I'm not willing to show that side of me to them, so it is difficult for them to believe me when I say something is not okay. What is more, it helps reassure me that I am alright and that I will be alright when most of my friends don't know anything is wrong...as Steinbeck once said in East of Eden, if you pretend long and hard enough, sometimes the act becomes reality.
It sounds like you are hanging in there and really doing your best to keep going. I hope you can read the responses, because I know you said that reading can be difficult for you some times.
None of my friends really have any experience or sensitivity when it comes to disabilities or psychiatric/psychological conditions. They are all regular and successful people. I am the only one I know that spent summers taking care of disabled kids, had a number of friends with severe disabilities, got professionally trained 40+ hours on how to interact with the disabled and then happened to become a teacher for the disabled and then guess what, I developed Bipolar Disorder. It is kind of funny looking at it that way, but I know more than my friends about disabilities and I experience more than my friends. I forget a lot of times that they do not know what I know. When it comes to this forum I don't know what to expect either.
Let me just share with you one of the most powerful lessons I ever had a chance to witness. I was in a room once with a very successful therapist and he was talking to a group of people. He started bringing up some seriously sensitive and touchy subjects and one of the listeners became very angry and confronted the speaker. The speaker very boldly questioned the belligerent guy and asked him what he was so upset about, how angry he was, what he wanted to do about it, what he was willing to do about it, how tough he was and once he found out who made that kid so angry the therapist pretended like he was that person. It was a wild thing to witness, because the intensity level rose into the red zone, way into the red zone. Not to get into too many details, but essentially the kid was angry with his step father, who would beat his mother so bad that she had a broken arm and then would beat him. The kid had a murderous rage and wanted to kill his step father and the therapist brought this out and then pushed the kid to the absolute peak, paused and then affirmed the kid that he had every right to feel that way, validated his desire to want to do something about it, agreed with him that his step father needed to be stopped and that it was an absolutely authentic and natural thing for him to be so angry, he told him to feel that anger, and to bring it up and let it talk. It was a real trip to see that kid come alive, to express himself raw and real, to feel normal and valuable and justified for wanting to live in peace and safety with his mother. It was powerful to witness this kid connect with a 60 year old man, who was telling him that he was ok, that his feelings and rage had a purpose and meaning, that he was right and that he and the rest of us in the room agreed with the kid.
I just wanted to validate you and say that your story made sense to me, you have every right to vent, and that's actually what we need more of. We need more people who will express their hatred for cliche's and blanket statements that are intended to get us to ignore our deepest pain and sense of isolation. I'd rather hear someone out who is brutally honest, but keeps growing, who is suffering and keeps going, than someone who is completely healthy and gives their life over to fakeness and boredom. Keep going, and maybe like that kid I saw in 2001 you can vent all your anger, let it go and find the strength you need to keep building your health and quality of life. I know what you mean when you talk about your mind and your thoughts and ideas. I've been on Lithium, Risperdal and Abilify for months on end, not being able to finish my thoughts, unable to come to a conclusion, walking up and down my hallway for 16 hours, getting forcibly injected with things like prolixin which pushed me to entertain thoughts of suicide, similar to the way you mentioned them. All I knew back then was to keep going, and now I'm in a better place. Let's just hope that the Doctors can keep helping us make progress.