I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type II disorder on January 28, and I want to write my first blog post in this space about some of the things I wish I had known then. Here is what I wish someone would have sat down and told me on that Tuesday morning:. It will get better.
Your meds will become finer tuned and you will learn how to better live with this disorder. It will all become more natural for you with time and, although there will be some bumps in the road, your quality of life will overall continue to improve as long as you take care of yourself and follow your treatment plan.
Find a doctor and a therapist you really trust and believe in and who trust and believe in you. You need to trust that you have been given the correct diagnoses, that your doctor knows what is best for you and that they will listen to you and take your opinions into consideration.
Coping With Bipolar Mood Swings
You need to find a therapist you like and respect, who makes you feel heard and understood. Keep looking until you find these people — they are worth the extra seeking. Choose a care team who are easy to get ahold of, who call you back and who you can schedule emergency appointments with when things come up. Learn your own warning signs for ups and downs and let the people in your life know what they should look out for.
They may spot the beginnings of an episode before you do, and if you notice it quickly enough you might be able to do something to prevent the cycles from beginning again.
5 Best Bipolar Disorder Self Help Books (and why they are helpful)
You do not need to be afraid every time you feel sad that you are falling back into a depression; you do not need to feel anxious every time you feel up that you are getting manic again. Life after bipolar treatment still includes the natural ups and downs of life and it can take a while to learn how to tell the difference between normal feelings again and bipolar symptoms. You should learn all you can about this disorder.
But for now?
At the same time, if you feel like these groups are dragging you down, take a step back. Seek community when it feels right and if it starts to feel wrong, just take a step back.
Find your own ways to cope in addition to following the treatment plan you create with your doctor and your therapist. Your coping strategies might be very different than mine, but try things and learn what helps you to feel and stay balanced. Look for ways to get involved in mental health advocacy — use your talents and resources to help other people who are also living with bipolar disorder.
Doing this will also help you to heal and grow and will give you the support of a loving and encouraging community.
Advice for the Newly Diagnosed
Start a blog, make artwork inspired by your experiences living with bipolar, get involved in a national or local organization — think of how you can use the things you are passionate about to become an advocate for yourself and everyone else who is living with this condition. Thank you for posting this from your perspective, for being so honest and transparent, and for sharing the thoughts that go through so many minds when they receive this diagnosis.
The only think I need to get clearer on is how to find that team. For the longest time, it was just my psychiatrist and I. Then I begain to avail myself of outpatient partial hospitalization for the day a week group therapies led by fantastic group leaders. Some of us remained friends.
I love my psychiatrist.
Coping with bipolar disorder book
He's been there for 15 years. Recently I've picked up a new primary care physician who seems to want to open up a dialogue with my shrink. I'm 54, and on Clozaril and have been on Tegretol for many years, so the two of them have been running many labs just to check and compare notes.
This gives me hope. Is there another way to find a 'team' that's sort of ready made?
Or do you do what I did, start with a good psychiatrist and ask him for referrals? Over the years, when I've asked for certain medical referrals, my doc says he doesn't know anyone. My doc is in his late seventies. He specializes in mood disorders, mainly bipolar disorder. He is not a moralist, and is actually a fun person to go see. He has tons of clinical experience but seems to be cut off from the remaining medical community at large here in ol South Florida.
Having all your Doctor's on the same page is awsome.
Monitoring physical as well as mental health is important. Not knowing anyone for referrals is unusual. I was diagnosed 15 years ago and was fortunate to have found a wonderful Physicist on my 1st call. A Therapist was more of a challange. To me seems like Mental Heath care is lacking to say the least.
Having to wait several months for an appointment or many of the Doctors are not taking new patience is so stressful. If you are in Lee or Collier counties any have any suggestions I would reall appreciate it. Diagnosed in Some kidney damage from years on lithium. Developed micro cysts. Had weekly therapy which has helped immensely. Enjoyed a 20 year teaching career and started a second career in art at Married for 36 years.
No children. Had yearly episodes including psychosis. Usually lasting about a month and learned to handle this by staying home. Usually recognizable on onset and time to get myself home. Things improved greatly from the mid 50's on. No longer on meds except for when the episode occurs which is thought to be stressed related. Have never thought of myself as a sick person, mentally I'll or different.
Very important to be able to accept BPand when having difficulties be patient and know it will all change up. Most important seize on life's joys and experiences like anyone else who strives for a Full life. It is very possible.
It's people like you who are willing to be vulnerable read brave and share their experiences that help so many others who will unfortunately find themselves walking in your shoes.
Your advice in my opinion was spot on, mature and shows that you have made great strides since your diagnosis. Carry on with your fab self love.
I am not recently diagnosed, but I still don't understand my own illness type I bipolar. Thank you for this article. It is refreshing to find others who understand the confusion of this disease. At this link you can search by location, from there you will see a list of support groups.
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Each group is run a little differently, but many divide into consumers people living with bipolar and caregivers people caring for someone who lives with bipolar -like you.
If you need more help finding support groups or other resources, email hzupin ibpf. Thank You, this is the very first blog I read on Bipolar. I was diagnosed 14 years ago. I don't have a Doctor or Psychiatrist I can trust which is so disappointing. The Shame holds me back from trusting them. No human being should have to go trough what I've gone trough. I don't know where I get the strength to carry on but like you I get great joy from playing music.
We understand it can be hard to find a doctor you can trust.
In Bipolar Self-Help
Sometimes it can take a long time, but it's worth trying new doctors until you find one you like. Email hzupin ibpf. I was recently diagnozed bipolar 1, with secondary major depressive disorder and psychotic episodes, am on meds, but i hate this illness, i am 52 and my life is a mess, i just feel worthless.
I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you are going through. Sometimes it takes a while for medication to start working or to find the right combination of meds, but it is worth being patient.
Recovery is possible. For examples of people who have made it to recovery, try reading the blogs under the "personal stories" topic on the left side of the page. If you need help finding treatment or support resources, email hzupin ibpf.
Bipolar Disorder Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
Or our webinar series - hour long online presentations on various topics related to bipolar. Thank you so much for this post and for being so brave as to do so.
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For many years I have known I am Bi-Polar and no one would give me a proper diagnosis. All I was told was its reactive depression. Now several years on and I am finally getting a proper assessment in two weeks following a failed suicide attempt. To say I am worried is an understatement not for the diagnosis but that they'll still say no. I desperately need to know so I can start my long journey of recovery. I have had MRI's, EEG's that diagnosed nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy and as bad as it sounds I was really hoping they would find a tumour.
Then I would know the reason why I was feeling so ill. The darkness of this depression is taking over my life and I cannot cope. My group therapy is due to end soon and my meds aren't working.