Bipolar Voices

One of the frustrations that I hear voiced from my patients with bipolar disorder is the feeling of isolation and of being an outcast.  “How can I talk with someone who will think I’m crazy if I tell them I’m bipolar.”  Add this loneliness to an existing depressed mood and you have a downward spiral of negativity and hopelessness.  One of the few positive outcomes of direct to consumer advertising by drug companies has been the subtle move towards mainstream acceptance of mental health disorders.  Unfortunately, there are miles to go before one can admit with the same nonchalance that one has bipolar (or any other mental disorder) as one would with high cholesterol.  While a few support groups exist, they do not meet the needs of all patients and tend to be utilized by those who are not functioning well.  “Where are the bipolar patients who aren’t on disability and on five different meds?”  Most likely, they are working, spending time with their family….but probably not attending a support group; at least, not while they are doing well.  It’s a shame too:  it would be nice for those who have had success in managing their condition to share some of their strategies and tips with others.  Until then, there is a wonderful multimedia collection of stories on the New York Times website from patients living with bipolar disorder:

http://tinyurl.com/bipolarvoices

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~ by drdymphna on July 21, 2008.

3 Responses to “Bipolar Voices”

  1. […] beccaelizabeth’s journal wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Unfortunately, there are miles to go before one can admit with the same nonchalance that one has bipolar (or any other mental disorder) as one would with high cholesterol. … “Where are the bipolar patients who aren’t on disability and on five different meds?&… […]

  2. I write about my bipolar all the time because it’s great therapy. I’m finally coming out and admitting I have bipolar. I now know why I lost jobs, relationsips, etc. I drank a lot to make the mania go away. I’m not on any medications, because I can’t afford it. I don’t have a job right now and no insurance. No I’m not on disability and have been taking care of myself all of my life. I walk through this sickness everyday trying to cope. Sometimes I make fun of myself to have a little humor in it. But deep down I’m really sad. I’m always feeling lonely, I isolate in this apt and the only time I go out is when I go to the store or to my little part time retail job. I just to be a great manager and administrative person until the confusion and the committee start affecting my brain. I’m going to have to come back to this blog and read some more. It’s very interesting and will be happy to express my feelins. Thank you

  3. i am one of those who “function” in the “real” world with no meds and no support groups. on a regular day you would be hardpressed to even see that there is anything “wrong” with me, but then others you can tell i am not well. lately i have been having headaches and loud thoughts again. the thoughts are not as loud as they have been in the past and if i busy myslef on the computer or housework , they tend to stay in the background. the headaches for me are a precursor to something big about to happen, so i have to be careful now for a while…really keep myself in check so as to let people know if things get harry so to speak. i have been living with this more than half my life…really longer,just undiagnosed before that, so i know my signs and sypmtoms very well. i think the first signs of “trouble” came very early…my first hospitalization was as a 4 years old. i was suicidal already then and had homocidal tendencies also, from what i hear. they didn’t know what was wrong back then, they though maybe schizo, but i was not diagnosed bipolar, borderline personality disorder til i was 13 or so. all that time trying drug after drug, therapy on a weekly basis. this is a har nut to craki guess (bipolar, that is). anyway…just felt moved to reply…

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