• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Hello all

G

gunnerwho

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Aug 2, 2008
Messages
18
I've been reading this forum for the last week or so and decided to take the plunge. I'm bipolar and was first diagnosed 20 years ago. I've been an in patient on two occasions many years ago which was fun! I've had a real rollercoaster ride with my local mental health authority over the years having had care and treatment from both ends of the spectrum. I sometimes feel that I've learnt as much as I want to learn about being bi-polar, it's more the baggage you collect along the way I would like to deal with. I accept that it's a condition for life, I would just like to turn the clock back a few years and have another go with the knowledge I have now. I hope that makes sense.
 
Aahbut

Aahbut

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Jan 28, 2008
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277
Location
Midlands
Hi Gunner, there are plenty on here that are bi-polar that I'm sure would be happy to share their own thoughts with you. If I could turn the clock back I now know what works for my depression. Bloody good thing hindsight.

Oh and welcome to the forums.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Hi Gunner, I'm bipolar too. Me, it was the day I decided to fight the illness not the diagnosis that things changed. Still as ill as ever but calmer and quieter if you know what I mean. Welcome.
 
honeyquince

honeyquince

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Hi Gunner, yeh - welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll be pleased that you took the plunge as it's such a supportive place, full of great people!
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Hey.. lovely to meet you welcome to this great place
 
rollinat

rollinat

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Welcome Gunner, good to have you here.

Rollinat
 
yakuza

yakuza

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Welcome to the forum Gunner,I'm sure you'll find lot's of friendly support here.
 
G

gunnerwho

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Aug 2, 2008
Messages
18
Thanks to everybody for the welcome. The words about fighting the illness and not the diagnosis ring true. I play a silly game by having spells of not taking my lithium though I actually want to take it nowadays as I fully accept that I have a better life on it. I just hate taking tablets of any form even if it's for a headache.

I'm not sure if this is the place to have the medication discussion as it's an introduction thread. I've read a lot on here about the coktails of drugs that some bipolar people are taking. I also watched the Stephen Fry documentary for the 1st time a few weeks back and was again amazed at the amount of drugs some people are on. I fully advocate drug therapy as a significant part of treatment for bipolar, I just wish the emphasis would change.

I had the joy of haloperidol a week after my first admission which was about a month after I was first diagnosed. The short version is that it neally killed me. I've heard it referred to as chemical torture as well. I so understand that and the way I felt on the week that I was on it still affects me in so many ways. That was neally twenty years ago. I was admitted a second time a year later and despite the extraordinary reaction I'd had on a previous admission, a junior consultant tried prescribing it again. I clearly stated and meant that they would have to kill me first before they got any of that shit inside me again. I suppose there has to be a funny side to everything and I didn't score that well on the "top ten ways to ingratiate yourself to the ward staff after you've just been sectioned and arrived for your stay in a taxi with stripes down the side"

Hey ho, happy days!
 
companion

companion

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Jul 30, 2008
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124
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Manchester, UK
Hi Gunnerwho its nice to meet you. I am Companion.

Hindsight is a good thing, it is something that I am taught in my lectures and placement. When we look back at what we can do differently, we learn how to keep ourselves from making the same mistakes again (supposidly :D), and how we can challenge situations more effectively if we experience those same events again. For me it has been a good thing with events in my life: I think that your reflection shows very positive qualities - ones to be proud of. I hope that makes sense I often just ramble sometimes.

Anyhow its nice to meet you. I have found it a very positive experience. If you need anything just ask.

Take Care

Companion.
 
Colin76

Colin76

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Apr 22, 2008
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781
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Hi gunner and :welcome: , you don't have to be mad to be here but it helps.


"`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
Alice didn't think that proved it at all; however, she went on `And how do you know that you're mad?'
`To begin with,' said the Cat, `a dog's not mad. You grant that?'
`I suppose so,' said Alice.
`Well, then,' the Cat went on, `you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.'"

The adventures of alice in wonderland - Lewis Carrol.
 
Lozzi_1004

Lozzi_1004

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Yorkshire, UK
Hi :welcome: :hug:
I'm bipolar too only recently diagnosed. Everyone on here is dead nice :)

You're story of being sectioned for the second time is pretty scary! They tried too prescribe you the same drug that nearly killed you. I've not been hospitalised (yet!) thanks to some extremely good friends and from your experiences I don't ever want to be if I or my friends can help it!!

Take care
Lozzi :flowers:
 
G

gunnerwho

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
18
Hi :welcome: :hug:
I'm bipolar too only recently diagnosed. Everyone on here is dead nice :)

You're story of being sectioned for the second time is pretty scary! They tried too prescribe you the same drug that nearly killed you. I've not been hospitalised (yet!) thanks to some extremely good friends and from your experiences I don't ever want to be if I or my friends can help it!!

Take care
Lozzi :flowers:
Please don't use my personal experience as a reason to avoid admission to a hospital. If you had been in a serious car crash, you wouldn't refuse to be admitted to casualty. Hospital by definition isn't a fun place. I could tell you a lot of positive things about my two admissions and despite that incident on balance I received good and most importantly necessary care.

I mentioned that I was sectioned on the 2nd admission. I was admitted as a voluntary patient the first time but after my first admission there was no way I was going back unless they made me. That's exactly what happened in the end. Unfortunately that meant I was in a far worse state by the time I was finally admitted which potentially could have far worse consequences than it did. I'd also had 3 months experience of being an in patient, so I knew the system and what to do to avoid being sectioned. I thought I was being clever, which in some ways I was, but it didn't help me or anybody around me.

Also bear in mind that it was 20 years ago and I've been told that things are better nowadays. I had a third serious episode a few years ago and managed to avoided hospital though I knew I needed to be admitted. I got through it somehow but again I paid the price.

It's very hard for some to accept a diagnosis of being bipolar. Even when you begrudgingly do, it can still be hard to accept treatment which invariably involves medication. No-one likes it and it can be a lottery until they get it right for some people. I was lucky with lithium because it works for me and I don't get side effects. I was unlucky though because I have decided to not take it throughout my adult life when I have needed it the most. The biggest consequence is that I now have a huge mortgage and personal debt that I struggle to pay every month. It's a life sentence and means that I will miss out on so many things for years to come. When I really need a holiday I can't afford one as I'm stuck on a treadmill. I live to work and eat with very little chance of doing much else.

That is what can and does happen when you refuse treatment. I can't and wouldn't even begin to hazard a guess as to whether or not you need to be admitted. You have indicated that you are under pressure to do so and the best advice might well be to yield to that pressure. The NHS mental health care in this country is lacking in many ways but it's the only system we have. You are far better off working with the people in an imperfect system than trying to fight it. You will get better care as a result. There is of course the private option that many say is better. I say going private is a bit like ladies toilets. They tend to have carpets but they serve the same purpose as the gents.

My advice would be to celebrate your diagnosis and fully embrace whatever system is in place to help you. That way you will be in the driving seat far quicker and will not miss out on the many things that so many bipolar people do by not "getting it" soon enough. Also bear in mind that the internet is full of horror stories about all sorts of illnesses. It could be used as a basis to not have treatment for cancer, in-grown toenails, a broken leg, heart conditions and anything else you care to imagine. People with those conditions don't give the concept of treatment a second thought despite the fact that many will know the system is flawed and neither should you.

If I can be so bold to offer one final word of advice, it would be the friends thing. You mentioned that your friends have managed to keep you out of hospital (so far!) I again can't comment as to whether or not that is beneficial to you. What I can tell you is that the world is full of amateur psychiatrists. They come in many guises, some actually are fully qualified bona fide psychiatrists, which is a worry. Mental health care has it's fair share of muppets just like any other profession. Outside of the professionals everyone around you becomes an expert once you've been diagnosed and that obviously means your closest friends. It doesn't follow that because thay have the best intentions that they necessarily have the best ideas. If the gearbox on my car broke, I would still take my chances with a bad mechanic rather than asking my granny to fix it whose real expertise was crochet and basket making. Her intentions would of course be beyond question.

Hopefully my rather long winded post has provided some balance and given you some food for thought. Happy days!!!
 
rollinat

rollinat

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Apr 24, 2008
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Excellent post Gunner - I look forward to seeing you elsewhere in the forum.

Rollinat
 
G

gunnerwho

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
18
It's very hard for some to accept a diagnosis of being bipolar. Even when you begrudgingly do, it can still be hard to accept treatment which invariably involves medication. No-one likes it and it can be a lottery until they get it right for some people. I was lucky with lithium because it works for me and I don't get side effects. I was unlucky though because I have decided to not take it throughout my adult life when I have needed it the most. The biggest consequence is that I now have a huge mortgage and personal debt that I struggle to pay every month. It's a life sentence and means that I will miss out on so many things for years to come. When I really need a holiday I can't afford one as I'm stuck on a treadmill. I live to work and eat with very little chance of doing much else.
Sorry to reply to my own post around 2 years later. I thought I might provide an update for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to the one above. I have really dug my heels in since then and my business is booming despite the credit crunch. My finances are well managed and I don't feel like I'm on a treadmill anymore. I save money each month even after making a significant contribution to paying off my debts. I'd even go as far as saying life is good. What's even better is that I made it happen. Don't ever give up folks!!!!!!!!
 
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