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bipolar and borderline

Posted by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM
  • 10 Replies

I'm bipolar and borderline. i have been struggling with this for years. My bipolar is also very severe. I normally cycle about every four days. I have cycled through out the day, too. When I am really cycle te stress of it flares up my borderline and I'm left wondering which is which. My mother also plays a big part in my borderline diagnosis. She has no compassion for what I've gone through and refuses to hear that i am even bipolar. She blames me for being sick, and blames me when things go wrong in my family. My 14 year old was recently diagnosed bipolar, as well. And, feels that I'm putting him on unecessary medication. But, my 19 year old and husband feels the same way. I have no support, and I feel desperate. My husband says that I never feel good and I feel so much guilt for being sick. I feel guilty all the time. My doctor says that this is what makes me borderline. I haven't felt suicidal in a while, but I do feel like giving up. I feel like everyone is against me.i have so much going on. My 19 year old son is getting married and then goes off to bootcamp a week later. He joined the Army infantry. We put him through private school, so that he would have better options, but he is so angry with me for being sick that he did this out of spite. I can't talk about this with anyone because it is so overwhelming, so please I need a friend.

What doesn't kill me can only make me stronger
by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lyrick24
by Ruby Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

 i am so sorry things are not going well for you. i am bipolar also and rapid cycling of which i have been having a terrible time with. like you, i am not suicidal but i feel like giving up. i am so tired.i go back to the p-dr tomorrow and i am going to ask for some med changes. im sorry your family is not supportive. it took me forever to get through to some of the people in my family so dont give up!

matreshka
by Ruby Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 5:39 PM
its hard but distancing yourself from what other people think, even family, helps a lot. I have both dx's too and what's helped me the most was letting go of the feelings other people made me feel. even with my dh I have to tell myself that he is in denial about my disorders ( which he really is) and that causes him to say insensitive things to me.
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lexismom90
by Bronze Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 12:16 AM
I am also bi polar and I know it can be hard to deal with. No one in my family knows I am bipolar except my fiancé and very few friends know I am bipolar. Simply because I don't want to tell them and I am afraid to tell some of them because of the negative stigma behind mental illness. My fiancé has been dealing with me and my disorder the best way that he can but even he can be insensitive about it at times and at times he has to basically drag me kicking and screaming to do something about one of my episodes.
gemikris82
by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 12:22 AM
1 mom liked this

i have bipolar it sucks but you have to make the best of what you have. its not fair and there are times i want to throw a shit fit lol. but  i look at the doors my mental health condition has opened up for me and part of me becomes thankful for it and im not ashamed anymore.

Biggirl735
by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM

we are your family here..we are your support..its ok to dwell on that.  (this is what helps me when certain family members dont accept my mental illness)

rhodaj
by rho on Sep. 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

 I am sorry you are going through all this. I do understand what you are saying. I have the same problem with my mother she is one of my triggers. My husband use to tell me the samething until he started researching bipolar and I bought a bipolar for dummies and he read it. I have no relationship with my son any longer unless you want to call when he calls his dad's cell phone and I answer it and he has to talk to me.

I will send you a friend invite and we can talk more.

HUGS Rho

 

mikala76
by Michelle on Sep. 17, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Thank you everyone for the wonderful support. I also rapid cycle, so I'm sure you ladies what it feels like to feel good one day and then like total sh*t the next. It never ends. I've been on every med, and nothing seems to work. Anyway, thank you so much.

Alabamachick
by Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

 I totally understand..

DysphoniaBec
by Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 9:55 AM

There is a national support organization for people with mental disorders and their families.  They have monthly support meetings where they split into two groups - one for the family and the other for the mentally ill.  It is called NAMI - National Alliance of Mental Illness.  Check to see where the closest group is for you. 

Additionally, they have "Family to Family" classes where family members go into great detail about mental illnesses, what causes them, how the mentally ill feel about themselves, brain chemistry, cycles, etc.  This was started by parents of schizophrenics who were tired of being told that they and their parenting were the cause for the problems.  This is really a very helpful group and class!  Good luck!

lancet98
by Bronze Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

 

 

Quoting mikala76:

I'm bipolar and borderline. i have been struggling with this for years. My bipolar is also very severe. I normally cycle about every four days. I have cycled through out the day, too. When I am really cycle te stress of it flares up my borderline and I'm left wondering which is which.

How'd you get a diagnosis of both borderline and bipolar?   What does the psychiatrist say is attributed to bipolar, and what of your symptoms does s/he attribute to borderline?

My mother also plays a big part in my borderline diagnosis.

I will disagree with you on that.   Borderline is not caused by parents' treatment of you.   Their attitude toward your diagnosis may be annoying, but they didn't cause the disorder.

She has no compassion for what I've gone through and refuses to hear that i am even bipolar. She blames me for being sick, and blames me when things go wrong in my family.

I look at such comments with mixed feelings.   On the one hand, it sounds as if the person lacks understanding of mental illness.  And that can hurt- I mean, that a parent would doubt a diagnosis hurts, but it also hurts that they would have rigid, ignorant ideas about the disorders you've been diagnosed with and not be open to learning something new about these disorders.   That's sad.

But.....on the other hand, even if you have a mental illness, you are still, in fact, responsible for your own behavior.   The whole general concept of taking responsibility isn't bad.  Especially for continuing to seek out help, the mentally ill individual has to do that himself.   In fact, you could say a person with mental illness has more responsibilities than one without a mental illness, which can be ironic (as it's hard to do many things when one is mentally ill).

But....even if you have a mental illness, you still need to work hard to deal with symptoms, manage the illness, and even in some cases, to push yourself to do things that are difficult.

It's a funny thing, having a parent like that.   You'd think it'd be so bad for a person.   But....sometimes parents actually are TOO sympathetic - waiting on a person hand and foot, insisting they never try to do anything, and excusing everything they do.   Such a person can become dependent and really wallow in self pity.

Weirdly, I've found that it is MUCH MORE DAMAGING to a person to have a parent that spoils them and doesn't have an expectation that they manage their mental illness.   In their own peculiar, annoying fashion, the denial type parent actually winds up disabling the person FAR LESS than the parent who is over-solicitous.

My 14 year old was recently diagnosed bipolar, as well. And, feels that I'm putting him on unecessary medication.

Such comments deserve about the same reaction as when a toddler insists that mommy should let him eat all the chocolate he wants, a kindly, pitying look and a comment along the lines of, 'Aw...bless your heart!'

Whether someone should be taking medication for a mental illness or not is up to a specialist - a psychiatrist who first diagnoses and then recommends treatment.   Not your mom. 

MY GUESS is that she is in denial.   If she can insist that he doesn't need medication, she can pretend he doesn't have bipolar.   For some people, being in denial, screaming, 'well he's just SPOILED', they prefer that to saying, 'well, he has a mental illness' - MAINLY because of ignorance about mental illness.  

 Most people, when they think 'mental illness', they think, 'oh dear, he'll be homeless and will never get married'.   Where as that just really is not true.   People who get treatment started EARLY are far, far less disabled, their medication issues are less, their outcome is better, it's all a lot better. 

There's a whole new generation of people with mental illness - and by that I mean major, axis 1 disorders like bipolar - who regularly say, 'I have bipolar disorder, ya know' because if they didn't say that, no one would know.   That's what treatment can do.

But, my 19 year old and husband feels the same way. I have no support, and I feel desperate.

You're getting support from your husband and other son!!!   Can't you see that?   They may not be saying EVERYTHING you want but they are on board on medication for the younger boy and that means that they can learn to provide other support.  It's just a matter of education for them.

My husband says that I never feel good and I feel so much guilt for being sick. I feel guilty all the time.

You can control those feelings - those feelings can be dealt with.   And you CAN 'feel good'.   Maybe not every single second of every day, but you can feel better than you do right now.  You can leave a lot of the negative feelings behind.   Knowledge helps.   But to feel better and get past those irrational beliefs, you ALSO need to recognize that your mother didn't cause borderline or bipolar in you, and her lack of sympathy DOES not make your disorders worse and is NO reason to feel bad.

You didn't cause bipolar in your son.   But also, your mother didn't cause it - or borderline - in you. 

 My doctor says that this is what makes me borderline.

No legitimate doctor is going to claim a lack of support from a parent will cause borderline.   NOT ONE.

Stress can make you more tense, more annoyed, but you manage that the way anyone does - through learning self help skills.

BUT...if YOU let yourself stress about what people say or don't say, you can increase your symptoms.   The problem is, you can't control other people's behavior!   You can only control YOUR behavior.

IF YOU behave differently, they will behave differently towards you.   That is true.  

MY guess is that the complaints from your relatives aren't really about denying your diagnosis AT ALL - but about YOU needing to work hard every day to manage your symptoms much, much better.

AND YOU CAN DO THAT.

Why aren't you?   You may be undertreated.   You may need medication changes, or simply, to take it more often, and at the recommended dose.   Little changes in timing and dose can mean an awful lot.

And you may not have all the self help skills you need, or the outside support.

It's a funny thing about mental illness.   Your family, your spouse - all of your mental illness support isn't going to come from them.   You're going to get SOME of your support from the community - people who have mental illness, parents who have children (and adult children) with mental illness.   They can offer help that your family cannot , because they're going thru it, where as others HAVE gone through it and can provide a different type of support.

MUCH of your trouble seems to be things that are NOT symptoms of either of your disorders.  

YOU ARE IN CHARGE of how you REACT to these disorders.   You may not feel 100% every day(that's life with bipolar), but there is a LOT you can do to feel BETTER.   You can exercise daily.   DAILY.   You can do things every single day that help YOU feel better.   Adequate sleep, taking your medication as recommended, going to support group and counseling, top quality nutrition (super critical for both disorders), and positive self talk and many MANY other techniques WORK.

And in fact, advocacy ALSO works.   Helping others WORKS.  

To me, the thing you're lacking is support and meaningful activities.   YOU NEED THESE.   These illnesses can HAMMER your self esteem.   Every little comment can feel like a slap in the face.   It's the MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES - advocacy, helping others, these things will make you feel like someone who is important and matters.

In a way, that realization is scary and it can feel like a burden.   But if you think about it, it really is liberating.   YOU CAN FEEL BETTER.

The problem with getting diagnosed is that it causes many people to have depression, and that means they feel like helpless victims.   They give up.   They don't realize how much they can do.  

 I haven't felt suicidal in a while, but I do feel like giving up. I feel like everyone is against me.

They are not.   That's your depression trying to take charge.   They are not all against you.   

i have so much going on. My 19 year old son is getting married and then goes off to bootcamp a week later. He joined the Army infantry. We put him through private school, so that he would have better options, but he is so angry with me for being sick that he did this out of spite.

I doubt he's angry at you for getting sick.   Maybe he is - I don't know him.

But in general, in these situations, I find that no one hates ANYONE.   What they are UPSET about is that they feel the person is not doing enough about their illness.

SOMETIMES they expect things that are unreasonable.   They are actually in denial and scared, that's why they do this - they insist you'd be 'all better' if you 'just got out more' or 'joined the Lady's Club'.   That's denial.   There's a remedy for that.

But most of the time, they actually, legitimately, feel that the person they love COULD feel a lot better and be a lot more productive, and they're right.

The REMEDY for this is that your whole family goes off and takes the FREE NAMI family to family class, so they get EDUCATED about your diagnoses.   They'll talk to other parents and spouses and brothers and sisters, and they'll start realizing what's realistic to expect and what is NOT.

 I can't talk about this with anyone because it is so overwhelming, so please I need a friend.

You definitely need a friend.   But there's two sides to that.   You DO need to build your support network.   You need contacts with other families who are dealing with a mental health diagnosis. 

You need to understand how your relatives feel and why they act the way they do.   And THEY need to understand you better.

This is a TWO WAY thing.   It's not all about you and it's not all about them.   It's about the both of you getting together and working toward the same goal.

You're going to change some of what you do, they're going to change some of what they do, and you both will be a WHOLE lot happier.

This is about education.  

 

 

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