I have bipolar disorder.
As the doctor said, it is very difficult to diagnose and manage.
Let me give you a recent example.
I have a regime of meds that were established through the arduous process of trial and error that lasted 25 years.
Well, 2 days ago my doctor recommended a B-12 shot.
I know very well that B-12 is a good thing.
However, it put me in a slight manic phase.
As is well documented, many people enjoy their manic phase because you have an incredible confidence.
Yet, over the years, I have come to understand that when my mood goes up -- it's time to take my buspar so it does not go too high.
I live in Florida, and even though the weather is gorgeous and I could not survive in another climate, I get angry and hateful of the sunshine and feel that it is lame and boring when I get sick.
Well, that's the latest, and in order to fix the ' good ' that B-12 did I had to have a 14-hour marathon sleep, because I have my step-daughter and step-grandbabies over for a visit and they don't need to hear or feel my hatred.
There is a lot of self-hatred and self-loathing involved.
As was stated, you feel totally worthless.
When my symptoms started in my late teens, everyone just thought I was lazy and I needed to ' snap out of it '.
I would if I could.
It's really compounded if you're a male, because males are not supposed to have ' emotional problems ' and you just tough it out.
Well, I lasted from 3 weeks to 3 months to 3 years on any sort of job outside of the family business, and then I would collapse and feel completely worthless.
I had to stay with the family business because what job would allow me to sleep for a 14-hour marathon just to get my emotions right.
It feels like a wasted life, and many times I get extremely jealous of people who had bi-polar and were able to have a career and get married young enough to have their own children.
Of people like Carrie Fisher and Richard Dreyfuss.
They have the disease and in spite of it, they've succeeded.
Me, on the other had have spent a large portion of my life in institutions.
I'm not looking for sympathy.
I'm just bitter that I could not take a disease and apply it to a career outside of my family's business.
Oh well, stuff happens.
I'm very happy and proud and glad for others like Kay Redfield Jamison.
I'm happy for the movie stars also, but I have had such creative talent when manic, but could not control it.
Life is not easy no matter how you slice it.
But, knowing I was robbed of my youth and my talent and a career and children of my own -- by an invisible disease -- is a very bitter pill to swallow.
Yet, my dad was robbed of his youth because he was born and raised in Europe just before the war came and was taken to slave labor camps.
Everyone thinks I'm looking for an excuse and an easy way out.
In fighting my illness, I very physically got into a lot of fights and ended up in jail several times.
Back to the genetic component -- my aunt had it, my mother had it, and my grandmother had it.
They just didn't know what to call it back then.
Some called it melancholy early on then toward the 1950's and '60's it was called ' nerves '.
I'm much better today, but for the safety of self and society at large, I have had to sequester myself and voluntarily put myself under house arrest without any external authority because I cannot behave in a proper manner.
I'm not violent, and I know the basic rules of society which I honor and obey.
I just cannot take the noise and the chaos of the outside world.
I guess I'm HSP also.
As a male you have to constantly fight off the ' passive sissy ' label.
Oh... I can fight and quite well, but that just leads to jail and does not prove anything.
Having a mental illness really sucks.
Plain and simple.
It's a very slippery slope because intrinsically society is set-up on the premise of how you can put down the other guy to out compete him or her.
So, when you believe in the put downs from your family and other members of your peer group you can get into a lot of trouble believing it.
In fact, being from a hard-working blue-collar background, I voluntarily took myself off of any sort of ' mental health ' assistance.
Tried and tried and tried.
It took me 18 years to finally comply with my meds and realized that manic did not mean maniac.
What a waste.
But, at least I'm not dead, incarcerated or homeless which were really strong possibilities during my torturous journey.
I've been a voracious researcher to try to heal myself and have found that time, the right meds and the right environment do much to stabilize you.
Modern medical research has also found that by the 5th decade of life, such illness subside.
It just kinda peeves me off that many luminaries have had this illness, and they were able to use it to propel them to great heights like Abraham Lincoln and JFK were suspected to have bi-polar.
Oh, well... stuff happens.
Edited by Burt B. (02/09/13 11:31 AM)