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Hayward, CA
35 Posts

Profile of GamingNinja
How do you deal with it? I don't want to be what my mother was to me. I didn't even believe I had it, just didn't want to I guess. Got tossed in the hospital and that kinda gave me a reality check.

I'm looking for good sources or books regarding this, or some words of advice from others that may have this. I've heard, 'It's no big deal', but to me it is. My family is plagued with mental disorders and just when I thought at 29 I'd be somewhat safe, I get tagged with this. I also have PTSD, so now I'm sitting back going 'what next??'. I feel awful for my 4 year old son, is he going to inherit this like I did from my mother? Am I going to totally lose it and make his life and subject him to abuse like I had to go through? I read that a high number of bipolar people end their lives and that scares me, the whole thing in general scares me. I'll never outgrow it, never get rid of it. I'll be 30 years old tomorrow and I honestly don't know what to expect for the rest of my life.

I'm doing the right thing though, taking the meds and all. My therapist for PTSD has kept me on for this as well and she's a godsend. My ex hubby is awesome support as well. He's my best friend. My boy is awesome, I've been teaching him little bits of magic, it's fun and it takes my mind off everything. Family wise, it sucks, it's more along the lines of 'oh God, not you too, you are officially defective'. If I feel like I'm losing it, I go hide to avoid doing or saying anything I shouldn't.

I'm rambling now, it's 5:45am and I've been up since God knows when. >_>

So is there a happy medium? I've had good days and horrid days, will this continue? What should I be expecting or not expecting?

Thanks in advance,
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Profile of Bob Sanders

I spent 16 years married to a wonderful, smart and lovely lady with Bipolar Disorder. During that time she was diagnosed for it at least a dozen times and yet died in total denial of it. It is a true tragedy in every respect. She died about two decades ago and she left our very young little boy and little girl that needed her without a mom. It was her decision. You have already made a better decision. Congratulations! Stay on track.

Bipolar Disorder is more treatable than diabetes. But you have to do it! Diagnosis is just step one.

I appreciate your courage get help. The rest should actually be easier. There are rules to the game. Learn them and obey them. You are too important to yourself and those around you not to accept that responsibility and act. You can have a great life and enrich theirs if you do your part. If medications are part of it, take them as prescribed. (Most of the people around you will never know unless you miss them!)

I'm pulling for you. There is magic to be done.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Profile of Father Photius
You need a good neuro-psychiatrist. There are new meds that have fewer bad effects than the older ones. A neuropsychiatrist can monitor and adjust the dosages, which need to be regularly monitored. Take the medicine and don't get off of it. Associated therapy helps some as well if you have already developed behavioral components due to the brain chemistry disorder. Very mild cases have shown some success in being treated by behavioral methods alone, but 90% or better of cases are going to require some medication. A psychiatrist can probably give you the drugs as well, but you are best treated by a neuro psychiatrist who specializes in treating medical conditions that effect behavior. That is what bi-polar disorder is.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Profile of hugmagic
Father Photius has the correct idea. Do get good professional help. Be open and tell them your concerns.

This very serious. Like Bob, I had a son who had this. He didn't want to stay on meds his whole life. He did fine with the meds but it is a common thing with bipolar. One thinks they are better and do not need the meds. You have to stay on them. My son ended up committing suicide because of this. You are not a weak individual because you need to take meds. It is not something that you can just tough out.

It is treatable and there are very good meds out there that will help without a lot of side effects. And as mentioned, often with the proper treatment early, it will make a great difference in your quality of life.

I wish you success with this life battle. I know you can handle it.

Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
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Hayward, CA
35 Posts

Profile of GamingNinja
Thanks for the responses and I'm truly sorry for your losses.

Going to check on a new psychiatrist, the one I have is well....meh. I'm going to keep my weekly therapist because I've had her for a year and though she can't help with my meds, she's good to talk to.
Meds are going good, Abilify, Lithium, and Celexa. Ativan and Ambien for my manic steps and those nights I can't sleep.

Looking into a few good books, its almost overwhelming to learn everything about this. Thanks again for your support though! ^_^
Paul Budd
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It's a shame he's only made
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....and the real trick don't have to learn "everything" about it.

I'm a social worker and I'm familiar with this condition. Also, I don't know your psychiatrist.......but trust me, they're pretty much all "Meeeeeh".

Remember: psychiatrists are a'lot more bio-chemists than emotional helpers.......don't expect a turtle to act like a swan.....know what I mean?

I read that many years ago, there was a famous jewish psychiatrist who lived in New York.....he had a busy, thriving practice. Near the end of many sessions, he would ask the patient, "What one thing would you do it you were cured of your symptoms today?" The answers ran the full gamut of humanity: "I'd go rock climbing." "I'd study piano." "I'd take art lessons." "I'd train to become a nurse." etc. He would then walk to his office door, open it and look at the patient and say, "Then go do it."

There's wisdom in "Act like you're healed and you're halfway there."

Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of "I'm Bi-Polar so that defines all of who I am." .....that's not ALL OF YOU. Remember that.

Good luck to you and practice some magic!!

Also, here's a teeny little tip (I'm not being snarky here, I'm just trying to be friendly).....there's no law that requires you to tell a "roomful" of strangers (who can see your photo, know what town you live in and know your first name) the full range of medication you're on. Sometimes being a little private and reserved will allow you to maintain some dignity.
His face isn't really this long in-person!
Once Upon A Magician blog
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Dynamike
I'm no professional when it comes to bipolar. So the best thing I can tell you to do is purchase books/CDs dealing with improving your self-esteem. Positive self-esteem is one of the strongest treatments you can have.
Nathan Pain
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I have a sister in law who is bipolar...she actually had 2 children and was not on her meds...she did it by exercising...A LOT...I would say in addition to whatever else you will help...good luck to you.

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Profile of magicFreak2
If you can keep your mind/emotions in check, fantastic. I had a friend with Bi-Polar (he's still alive but not my friend), and he would very sporadically change his mind about things, and turned to be quite a backbiter for no reason. Later, another friend of mine found out that he was bipolar, and I was like, Oh.
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Profile of Foxbiz
Dear Taneisha...

First let me say how proud I am that you recognized your condition and are now willing to work around it and make the most of your life.

Bob's wisdom is sound and from the heart. He and I have spoken about his wife and my daughter (she has Borderline Personality Disorder... while not as manic as BD, it does effect her ability to accurately she herself and her world around her).

While self-help suggestions have merit, don't rely on your own perspective. Keep active with a good, trained councilor. By good I mean one that can help you with your meds, but more importantly one that will continue to show you your value to others, yourself, and to God.

It will be a struggle (a tough one too), but one that will reap rewards down the road.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Actually, Dynamike, Self-esteem courses will do zero for bi-polar disorder. I've got a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, and while Clinical psychologist are better qualified to work with Bi-Polar disorder, I still have enough experience with and knowledge of the condition to know that a good therapist and a good neuropsychiatrist are the route to go.
Borderline Personality Disorder is another condition with some symptoms similar to Bi-Polar disorder, but are really two very different things. Bi-Polar is so hard to diagnose because it shares symptoms with so many other probems. Its diagnosis largely comes from the patients history and observation of the patient over time to isolate Bi-Polar from other possible problems. Just stay with your therapist and keep on the meds the psychiatrist prescribes, plus keep them both advised of any changes and you will do fine.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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United States
139 Posts

Profile of mstgracy
I'm Bi-Polar and went to therapy took medication as my brain chemistry rebalenced I got off it still have little bouts but learned and worked on methods for handling some of that. I did not have PTSD and that I can't speak for but what I can say is you can manage anything you can take controll and be the change you wish to see. Not getting preachy I understand where your at some what I was suicidel and just depressed but I kept going and it started seeming further away from me. You can post anytime and someone will be here.
Tom Fenton
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Leeds, UK (but I'm Scottish)
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Profile of Tom Fenton
I am bi-polar and I have found that the first thing to do is to recognise that you have an illness not some other type of problem
There is enough stigma about mental illness without the sufferer stigmatising him or herself.
I was dignosed with this in 1992.

What do I do?

I take my meds, Clomipramine Hydrochloride.
I get regular exercise.
I get regular sleep.
I try to eat healthily.

On top of these, I have learned to train myself to stop negative thinking.

If I have negative thoughts, I say out loud, "Stop!"
Then I try to think of something more positive.
It doesn't always work but it helps me.

The meds I take now are the third or fourth I have been prescribed. The others didn't work.
If you are prescribed meds that don't seem to have an effect after a few months, tell your doctor. Give them a chance to work though.

Talking to people helps, family, friends etc. Do not be shy of doing this, find someone you can trust and just talk.

I still have good days and bad days. Thankfully the bad days are getting further apart than they were before.
When they happen, I tell myself that it is temporary.
It's hard but with practise it can be done.
Hey, anything that is worthwhile needs practise. Smile

So Taniesha, I suppose that my message to you is to keep on trying and living your life.
With the support of family, friends and professional people it can be done.

The first thing is to accept that being bi-polar is an illness.

Anytime you need to talk and you feel like it, PM me, I shall be happy to lend an ear and to help out in any way I can.

God Bless,
"But there isn't a door"
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Let me tell you a story....

I struggled with life all through my teens. Although I had friends and was a good looking guy, I had no self confidence and didn't date. Although I was clearly very intelligent and did well in school, I struggled with remembering simple deadlines and geting the energy up to meet them. I couldn't seme to take care of anything "on time", it always had to be a disaster before I could manage to try to clean it up. Near the tail end of highschool my thoughts even turned to suicidal now and again.

I went to college and couldn't get up to go to classes, I withdrew just before I flunked out. I spent two years doing whatever job I could get and, eventually, decided I *needed* a college degree and, by raw determination, struggled my way through most of it. Still, by junior year I had 8 credits of F pulling my GPA down solely because someone in an admin office gave me bad information and I didn't check up on it til it was too late.

I often just felt lousy and there were days where it seemed like the whole world was drained of color. Dark and dreary days actually made me feel better because what was outside matched what was inside.

My junior year, I was accidentally diagnosed (theres a whole story in that) with a major affective disorder (eg clincial depression) and lucked otu to have a terrific clinician take me on as a case. I was carefully brought up to dose on a tri-cyclic anti-depressant (Nortryptaline) and my life changed.

All of a sudden all the things I had struggled with, and assumed other did too, were gone. The world was vibrant, I was energetic and self-assured. I graduated from college,and went on to what anyone I think would call a highly effective and successful engineering career. I met my wife a few years after graduation and had no trouble forging a relationship that has lasted now almost 25 years.

I ma now the holder of two engineering patents, the Chief Technical Officer of two companies, a published writer of a highly successul engineering text, and a recognized thought leader in online game-technology.

So, let me say this, your diagnosis is not a curse. The curse was being undiagnosed. Your diagnosis and treatment will, with any luck, be a blessing that frees you to be the person you truly are.

My other advice. Make sure you have a good psychiatrist as your treating doctor. Today, there are MDs that try to treat psychiatric symptoms, but in my mind that's a big mistake. Similarly, while soem psychologists are comfortable with psychopharmacology, many are not and shy away from it for their own reasons not the patients.

I'm not saying drugs are the only answer, and in fact, your psychologist *should* be doing proper case management which means meeting with you regularly to discuss your thoughts and feelings. Some psychotherapy may also be appropriate to help you unlearn coping mechanisms you learned in your abnormal state. Additionally ,as you have mentioned it sounds like there is a family history which is not uncommon, and there could well be issues from growing up with others who should have been diagnosed and weren't that you will need to work through.

But I do know that when there is something chemically wrong, as in my case there certainly was and in your case there might well be, you cant start re-programming the software in your head until you fix the hardware fault.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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Central Jersey, NJ
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It's very painful to hear that you've been diagnosed with an "illness." It happened to me before, & it just makes you sad. I'll share my own story in hopes that it provides some useful information. By no means, do I suggest this path is right for everyone & it may have only worked for me due to good luck.

In my case, I was going through some serious mental abnormalities. The doctors gave me a different diagnosis every week based on how I framed my responses (and admittedly I unintentionally lied a few times). It ranged from bipolar, schizoaffective, dissociate identity disorder to depression. Eventually, they brought the diagnosis to a simple depression, & I made a promise to myself that I would never let myself go back to the hospital. And to be honest, I hated the idea of being on medication because it gets sooo confusing: Am I happy because of this success in my life? Or am I happy simply because this medicine is altering my mind? But nevertheless, I was on medication & saw my doctor. I told him that I was doing well & wanted to try reducing the medication. After 2 years, I was completely free of medications & I felt like I really accomplished something! I'm not gonna turn out like my Dad, who's been on medications for my entire life & continues to have problems. This is not good advice for everyone, but personally I found it easier to convince myself that mental "illnesses" are simply different ways of people dealing with their problems. And who's to say which way to right or wrong as long as it's not interfering with others & it's working well for you?

After I was off medications for about a year, I met my first girlfriend & life was very happy. Two years later, things got bumpy & I started getting depressed & at times similar "crazy" symptoms started coming back. Eventually, she left me and I was distraught but there were two things that really helped me get through it. One was something from Buddhism her Dad taught me about the importance of knowledge. This led to seeking out ways to improve my happiness & I came across a free online book that helped a lot, and was based on research from the psychology field. It's a long book, but that's good because we all know the importance of practice. And our brains are the same way ~ if we practice thinking a certain way, it eventually becomes habit. Evidence based research gave me the confidence in the book and it's now one year later & I have been feeling great. I'm going after what's meaningful to me & grabbing life by the horns.

The website unfortunately went down last September, but you can still read it via this internet archive:

And if you're interested in other positive or happiness psychology resources/tools, I'd reccomend the follwing links:
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Central Jersey, NJ
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Profile of link8822
I thought about my preiovus post, and one thing I want to add was the advice that led to a lot of positive things in life: "Don't take my advice, don't take others advice. Find what works best for yourself, look at some evidence and if it fits in line with your own personal values. No one knows you better than yourself, so ultimately you have the best chance of knowing." Seeking out sound knowledge (as you are by posting this topic), can be one of the most effective, rewarding & healing ways of dealing with any problem.
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Spokane, WA
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Profile of critter
I am a firm believer in exercise to help with any mood-related illness. I also believe in meditation to help calm the ol' racing mind.
The counsellor and psychiatrist are both important as well.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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