Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

bipolar and asthmatic can't work

Hello,

I am new to this board. It's nice to meet all of you. I am bipolar II, and I also have severe asthma and COPD. I am also prone to severe anxiety attacks and major depressive lows. For some reason, the anxiety attacks and depression seem to go hand in hand.

Years ago, before I was ever diagnosed, I attended law school and graduate school, and to pay my way through I took out well over a hundred thousand dollars in educational loans. Finally, after years of debilitating depression and manic mood swings, I was diagnosed as having bipolar II. It certainly explains why I cannot hold a job. Whenever I have tried to work, I get this trapped feeling like I cannot breathe and I panic and simply stop being able to function in life. It's like I have a nervous breakdown every time I try to hold down a job, any type of job. Thing is, I've got all those student loans to pay back. I cannot practice law because of the bipolar thing, and on top of all my bipolar problems, I now have severe breathing problems.

I am scared of being alone. Whenever my husband (who works third shift) goes off to work at night, or even if he just goes up to bed during the day to lay down, I panic. My thoughts start racing and I feel as if I'll lose my mind if I don't make contact with another human being-even if it's just through the Internet. Late afternoons are the worst for some reason. I just go from room to room pacing like a caged animal, trying to calm down.

I do take medications, but I'm not sure they're working anymore. I take Paxil 20 mg and Zyprexa and Xanax and Klonopin. I've tried Seroquel (very upset stomach) and Symbyax (same side effect).

I am currently enrolled in college, trying to earn an associate's degree in medical billing and coding. I don't know whether I'll be able to work if and when I finish the degree. I'm having a very hard time just going to school, and I desperately do not want to go back next semester. The stress from the classes is terrible and is acting like a huge trigger. I've never been able to hold down a job, and I don't doubt that working as a medical coder will end up with me quitting again.

I would desperately like some advice. Should I keep trying to go to school to try to get a job, or should I face the music: I'm bipolar II, I have other severe health problems, and I'll never be able to work in this lifetime. Should I pursue a disability discharge for the student loans? Should I file bankruptcy and claim severe hardship for the student loans so that there's a chance they might be discharged?

I am at the end of my rope. I have myself in such a mess in life that I don't know what to do. Please offer some advice as to how you would handle this situation. Thank you so very much.
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replied May 25th, 2010
I also have COPD and Bipolar, panic and anxiety disorder and have not been able to work. I am currently applying for discharge of my loans for total and permanent disability. Have you thought of trying that?
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replied May 25th, 2010
I have thought of it and have even done some research, but I have discovered that student loans are rarely discharged. I figured I did not have a prayer. Could you tell me how you are going about discharging the loans?
Thanks.
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replied May 25th, 2010
First you have to find out who has your loans (mine are with William B Ford Direct Loans) then you can download a form for your physician to complete stating that your medical condition prevents you from working and earning money in any capacity. There are also a few other questions regarding limitiations from your condition. You then mail it in and they review it (I assume it is reviewed by medical personnel). That is basically it. My physician did not go into great detail on my form and did not describe the severity so I attached my recent spirometry results which showed severe COPD so I am hoping it will suffice. I have heard it can be a long process but I am willing to try it. I think you should too!!! Our conditions are dreadful. Sorry you are going through this but maybe this could work for you. Keep me posted and good luck.
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replied January 8th, 2012
I'm now 20 years old, and I have bipolar 1 disorder (with some months over year of being almost symptom-free and other times of the year when episodes get the worst), also high-functioning Asperger's with moderate sensory problems and mild motor coordination problems, frequent signs of eating disorders, and on top of that I also have allergic asthma and also food allergies. With all of these health problems I can not classify for work, though I'd want to. So I understand. For now I'm on disability and I look for further options for schooling in fields that do interest me and in which I could possibly work (fine environment, understanding people, maybe not everyday job). Other option for me is selling handcrafts, playing instruments, and selling things. I don't know what your way is, but I think you should try to go to school for a job you think you could work in. Anyway, if someone else has some advice, even for me, just say it.
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