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Suspect bipolar. What to do

B

BP2suspect

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Florida
Hello.
I started feeling extremely bad since last year, mostly depressed but sometimes there are neutral or full of energy and excitement days. I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder II. Especially when looking back to my life - it's not the first time I feel like that. Just this year things got worse.
I struggle with suicide thoughts all the time when I'm depressed.
I'm thinking of going to a psychiatrist to get a treatment. But some doubts and fears keep me from it. I read that the treatment can be long and not helpful,
meds can be prescribed wrongfully,
i can be diagnosed wrongly,
side effects can be worse,
wrong meds can do things worse,
I may changed many doctors before I get any result.

Besides this kind of treatments is so expensive especially when you don't have insurance. So the picture i draw in my head is that I will be spending a fortune but will still suffer for years with the mood jumps, suicide thoughts and side effects and work or make my husband work just to afford not useful treatment.

Your advices or stories would help me i think. Thank you.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
66
Location
London, UK
Dear BP2Suspect,

I understand that the prospect of having to deal with a mental illness is not particularly pleasant. But you have to put your fears and anxieties aside and make a decision to get help; for your own sake and for the sake of people that you care about. You've mentioned that you have struggled with suicidal thoughts. Thats already serious and something that you ought to address. Consider this, if you were physically unwell, you would seek help right? ITS THE SAME WITH MENTAL ILLNESS!

Me personally, I was in denial about my illness for a whole year before getting help. In that time my condition worsened to the point that I could no longer function. I would have suicidal thoughts everyday and had to drop out of college. Had I gotten help when I first knew something was wrong, it would have been a lot easier on me.

Concerning treatment, you ought to not read too much into it. Different people have different experiences and often you tend to hear the most negative opinions stated the most loudly. I was fortunate to have an amazing psychiatrist and a wonderful supportive family who helped me through my recovery. The treatment has some side effects, but on the whole it has been a lifesaver! I can now work, study have motivation to hang out with my friends again. Meds have literally given my life back. I suggest that you look up some Bipolar success stories and see how other people have tackled their illness.

About cost, I live in the UK and we have the NHS here (thankfully) so I got my treatments covered for free luckily. Its frankly appalling that you don't have a similar system in the states. One thing I will say is, if there is anything in the world that is worth investing in is your health. As long as we all have our health, everything else is secondary and I'm sure your husband will support you on that.

I wish you all the best and if you have any more questions about treatment or anything else let me know :)

-H
 
B

BP2suspect

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Florida
Dear BP2Suspect,

I understand that the prospect of having to deal with a mental illness is not particularly pleasant. But you have to put your fears and anxieties aside and make a decision to get help; for your own sake and for the sake of people that you care about. You've mentioned that you have struggled with suicidal thoughts. Thats already serious and something that you ought to address. Consider this, if you were physically unwell, you would seek help right? ITS THE SAME WITH MENTAL ILLNESS!

Me personally, I was in denial about my illness for a whole year before getting help. In that time my condition worsened to the point that I could no longer function. I would have suicidal thoughts everyday and had to drop out of college. Had I gotten help when I first knew something was wrong, it would have been a lot easier on me.

Concerning treatment, you ought to not read too much into it. Different people have different experiences and often you tend to hear the most negative opinions stated the most loudly. I was fortunate to have an amazing psychiatrist and a wonderful supportive family who helped me through my recovery. The treatment has some side effects, but on the whole it has been a lifesaver! I can now work, study have motivation to hang out with my friends again. Meds have literally given my life back. I suggest that you look up some Bipolar success stories and see how other people have tackled their illness.

About cost, I live in the UK and we have the NHS here (thankfully) so I got my treatments covered for free luckily. Its frankly appalling that you don't have a similar system in the states. One thing I will say is, if there is anything in the world that is worth investing in is your health. As long as we all have our health, everything else is secondary and I'm sure your husband will support you on that.

I wish you all the best and if you have any more questions about treatment or anything else let me know :)

-H
Thank you for your supportive reply! May be it's not that scary at all.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
66
Location
London, UK
Thank you for your supportive reply! May be it's not that scary at all.
It really isn't. My first pdoc appointment I had no idea what to expect. I went in there nervous as hell in a complete state. We had a chat for about an hour about everything I've been through, he was very informative and helpful and explained everything to me. And then he wrote me a script for Lamictal. Within 6 weeks I turned into a new person. Was no longer depressed, started reading and socialising, exercising etc. We had to tweak my medication in our next session and add on aripiprazole but after that was it. Now I'm much better.
 
B

BP2suspect

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Florida
It really isn't. My first pdoc appointment I had no idea what to expect. I went in there nervous as hell in a complete state. We had a chat for about an hour about everything I've been through, he was very informative and helpful and explained everything to me. And then he wrote me a script for Lamictal. Within 6 weeks I turned into a new person. Was no longer depressed, started reading and socialising, exercising etc. We had to tweak my medication in our next session and add on aripiprazole but after that was it. Now I'm much better.
Did medicine make you a normal person now? Or do you still appear to have mood changes?
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
2,643
Location
Nashua NH
I have bipolar also and have had several severe manic episodes throughout the years. I haven’t found meds to be overwhelmingly helpful but whose to say where I might be without them. The best thing I have gotten out of treatment is the specialized support I receive from my therapist and my psychiatrist. It is their job to help me manage the condition. Because it is an ongoing issue for me having that extra support has been of immeasurable value. I would recommend st least trying to find a treatment team that can help you. If it doesn’t work out you can always walk away from services. But if it does work out it can change your life. I hope this is helpful. xo, j
 
B

BP2suspect

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Florida
I have bipolar also and have had several severe manic episodes throughout the years. I haven’t found meds to be overwhelmingly helpful but whose to say where I might be without them. The best thing I have gotten out of treatment is the specialized support I receive from my therapist and my psychiatrist. It is their job to help me manage the condition. Because it is an ongoing issue for me having that extra support has been of immeasurable value. I would recommend st least trying to find a treatment team that can help you. If it doesn’t work out you can always walk away from services. But if it does work out it can change your life. I hope this is helpful. xo, j
Thank you!
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
66
Location
London, UK
Did medicine make you a normal person now? Or do you still appear to have mood changes?
First of all, let me assure you that there is no such thing as a normal person. We all have our demons. Even those who don't have a condition sometimes get mood swing. The medication is not 100%, nothing ever is. I do still have days when I feel mildly depressed. But those days are now far and few between. And the more time passes the better it gets. But the thing I found helped me the most is self-help. Exercising regularly, eating right avoiding drugs has helped me get better along with the meds. I would say right now, I'm about 70-80% back to the way I was before and I hope in time I will be 100% there. :)
 
A

Another Maniac

Active member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
33
Location
Melbourne
Totally agree with everything that's been posted above. Mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health. Perhaps the longer you leave it untreated, the more debilitating your condition may be. I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced suicidal thoughts, it's a horrible way to feel. I'm not sure how it's done in the states but down here the first step would be to talk to a GP and get a referral to see a psychiatrist.

I'll tell you a bit about myself to let you kniw how treatment looks. I have bipolar I and in all honesty I hate taking my meds which is why sometimes I don't take them. There's just so many! That's something I have to take up with my psychiatrist though. Aside from the meds I see my GP for a checkup every month (or so I'm supposed to) and see my psychiatrist every 6 months. When I was first diagnosed I was entered into a two year program where I saw a psychologist every week or so and a team of psychiatrists every couple of months.

Everyones experiences are different though. I hope you get the help you're looking for :)
 
B

BP2suspect

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Florida
Totally agree with everything that's been posted above. Mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health. Perhaps the longer you leave it untreated, the more debilitating your condition may be. I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced suicidal thoughts, it's a horrible way to feel. I'm not sure how it's done in the states but down here the first step would be to talk to a GP and get a referral to see a psychiatrist.

I'll tell you a bit about myself to let you kniw how treatment looks. I have bipolar I and in all honesty I hate taking my meds which is why sometimes I don't take them. There's just so many! That's something I have to take up with my psychiatrist though. Aside from the meds I see my GP for a checkup every month (or so I'm supposed to) and see my psychiatrist every 6 months. When I was first diagnosed I was entered into a two year program where I saw a psychologist every week or so and a team of psychiatrists every couple of months.

Everyones experiences are different though. I hope you get the help you're looking for :)
Thank you so much😊
 
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