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Being a Primary School teacher with Bipolar?

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Hello! Im only 18 and was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 four days ago, i'm really struggling to come to terms and deal with it. I have always always wanted to be a primary school teacher, but now i have this label/diagnosis im unsure if i would actually be able to teach.

Im scared with how people will react, its a mental illness not a fully physical one, its something people cant understand. My mum is still convinced its a phase after 2 years and a diagnosis. My dad is the same. I don't really have anybody to talk to about it, apart from my CBT therapist.

Im beginning my new medication tonight, at the moment I can put on a front sometimes, but not always. I also babysit and had to tell the parents, they seem okay with it - obviously they has a lot of questions to ask, some of which i was unsure of how to answer - but i don't know if they fully trust me.

Im sorry if any of this sounds strange, ive never done this before. Im just worrying a lot. Im really finding it difficult dealing with it, i just want to be "normal" like all my friends are. They all have ambitions and know what they're doing in the future, well have a good idea anyway. But I don't, all i know is i want to be a primary school teacher - don't know how to get there though. Crying or Very sad

Can someone help? I just want to know if i could teach? it means so much to me, and would be completely gutted if i couldn't!
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First Helper User Profile chaaar94

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replied March 14th, 2012
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You say BP2. Which is good as meds can usually control the highs easily. The depression side? Needs serious meds to help. If you go really bad then anti psychotics may help but for now stick with the most common meds.

I'm BP2 and had deep depression a long time before BP popped up.

The depression side has been stabilised by Effexor and the highs easily fixed by lithium and now Seroquel. There are many more and these are called mood stabilisers. Those are the two that worked for me. Haven't needed to try any others. Depression though can take a long while to find the right med. Effexor has been my mainstay as it works on depression, anxiety and paranoia all of which I have.

Meds,of course, don't cure us. They relieve the symptoms which allows us to do talk therapy. Until your depression is lighter CBT will not work, depression overwhelms it. I did two courses and it wouldn't work for me at all so I bad mouthed it everywhere. Then, about two years later I found I was actually doing it. Stunned.

All CBT really is about is teaching us that we actually have control of what we think, and when. That was a revelation to me as, although I did that naturally at work, outside I was run by emotions and negative thoughts.

BP, no cure known but BP2 shoud be easily controlled. You can't put on a front when you slip up to hypomania can you? It's too wonderful a feeling to even think of hiding it. I loved it but developed rapid cycling which was horror so I don't risk it at all these days.

No one can understand and are usually afraid of it and even think it will affect them. So you can't explain it. If someone else says they have it then you know how they feel, they couldn't tell you.

They are doing what all parents do, try to pretend their children are fine else they see it as a reflection of their parenting. They don't get it. I mean, If you broke both legs in an accident they wouldn't deny it would they? It's exactly the same. An illness you didn't ask for or cause. It just happened.

Most of us want to know why me, how, when etc. I found out my answers but not from any doctor. And it drove me mad for decades not knowing. My older brother told me, by accident. He didn't know what his words meant to me but it filled in the gaps and I knew. I was lucky.

Often now I think it's probably best to not pursue the past. Just accept how you are now and work forwards. Therapy will dive into the past and they have to know your history but don't spend time on it. No one has yet solved the BP puzzle. No one. Accept it and get it treated.

What meds are you put on? If you've been going for two years wthout meds all that's happened really is the down side has grown stronger. You can verify that from your own memory.

No one trusts us when they know as they don't understand that it doesn't affect our intellectual ability. When down we can be badly afected so that needs to be lightened by meds so CBT can start being easier to follow and try to make work.

Usually if I tell someone, their eyes glaze over and you can tell they don't believe a word I say. Which is so insulting I usually get very angry at them and tell them so. I won't accept being put down or ignored simply because I have an illness. WOuld they do that to us if we were in a wheelchair? No, they wouldn't, they'd go overboard to help us, right? Inequity and hypocrisy are rife in our world and only we actually KNOW.

The diagnosis is actually good as you know what it is so it can be treated. I'm actually thrilled I felt hypomania. So good, energy galore, great thoughts, worked so much and talked a mile a minute. I still think that's how the human mind should be normally, with a few adjustments.

You see, it taught me the human mind is capable of so much more than the mundane use we make of it most of the time.

I see no reason it would interfere with your plans at all. As long as you get good treatment and stay with it. No self medicating and always discuss with your doc if you feel a need for change. You must have a shrink for BP. Therapists come later, including CBT.

Above all don't make my oft repeated mistake of feeling somewhat better and giving the meds away. OK for a while, then crash. You can test it by going without but have a plan to resume meds asap.

Of course you can teach. You can do anything you want, just get treatment and make sure you get treatment that works. Lithium should remove the highs, easily. Depression? I'd suggest Effexor of course but there are more modern versions of it that I haven't tried. Maybe you could.

There is always hope and having felt depression you can see much more than you did before. Most of it not good but you can see it now whereas others just ignore it and never notice. We can never go back to who we used to be as our knowledge horizon has expanded dramatically.

Good luck and let us know how you are going OK.
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replied March 15th, 2012
Thank you so much for all that information, im glad that you have found some medication that works well for you. I've been on Flouroxitine for the depression which worked for the depression but made the highs higher, i took myself off that.

I have now been put on Seroquel, only been on it for like 3 days so i cant say what the full effects of it are. It does practically knock me out when i sleep though, like hardly anything is able to wake me up - ive missed 1 and a half days of school so far, which really isn't good at this stage of my alevels. But school are fully aware and are attempting to put less pressure on me.

I will admit that the highs have been my favourite state of mind, nothing gets in your way at the time. But when I suddenly crash i get embarrassed or worried about all the risk taking that happened. (thats the worrying part!)

That is the issue theses days, there are so many people that you feel like you cant talk to about BP or any mental illness, they become patronising or reject you. Well thats my experience anyway!

Thank you, and i shall do!
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replied March 16th, 2012
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Hi Chaar94, you can still be a primary teacher, as long as your bipolar is under control. You'll be able to handle things and do it, but make sure to keep track of progress and stick to your meds and anything that helps. I have bipolar 1 mixed, and didn't do good in any of it. I waited 5 years to finally go back to counseling, and am now getting new meds. I wish i would of done it a long time ago because I'm in college, my 4th semester, and have been on the Dean's list up until this point. My illness has been so bad to the point that I dropped for the rest of this semester. I feel ashamed and am mad at myself, but I know what I need to do to get back on track. I hope you still with your goals and don't them, and also don't forget you can still live a normal life even with bipolar. Take care!
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