Daily Archives: September 19, 2014

Peace And Quiet

…..are definitely NOT on the agenda for this weekend. My daughter, son-in-law, and the grands are coming for a barbecue tonight, and Will’s sister from Seattle arrives later this evening and will be here till Sunday. Then the two of them are going to the air museum tomorrow for an all-day event, while I’ll be visiting my own sister for her birthday. Sunday is church and football….and all I can think of is how glad I am that I don’t have to work on Monday.  I do have an appointment with Dr. Awesomesauce that day (as long as I don’t get canceled again!) but that’s more like a treat than an obligation.

Maybe I ought to listen to people when they tell me that not working at this time of my life is a GOOD thing. There’s no question that I’ve been more stable, even though everything around me is falling to pieces; under normal circumstances I’d probably be manic, and my anxiety would be off the charts. (Then again, what are normal circumstances? Being medicated and in remission IS my new normal.) I would also be driving Will up the wall with my constant worrying, fretting, and complaining, even if I were working and finances were not an issue.

I’m also beginning to see that our lack of money isn’t a fate worse than death. We’ve been poor before, but now that it’s just the two of us it doesn’t matter as much. I will miss our middle-class lifestyle, but at least we had it for a good number of years; and far better than that, we’ve still got each other.

I think maybe this is the lesson I am meant to learn, and the calming influence of medication and therapy is enabling me to be open to it…..that, and the benefit of having lots of time to think. I’ve been unemployed for almost five months—the longest I’ve been without a job since 1995—and I’ve needed every minute of it to begin to make sense of the situation. I look over at Will and thank God he’s still here, and that I have the time to be with him and grow with him as we fight our respective diseases. I couldn’t have done it with that last job I had…..not with all the travel and the late nights and the intensity of the work. So many things have happened with him during these five months that it would have been hell not to be close by. What if I’d been across the state when he got pneumonia, or when we found out about the blood clots in his lungs?

They say that there’s a reason for everything, and as more of the puzzle is being revealed I’m beginning to accept that God has plans for my life that may not be what I want, but what I need. I still have a lot to learn. Maybe this is my chance to get it right……after this weekend, of course. :-)


Mood Spikes

Migraine subsided today, felt half ass functional albeit irritable with no discernible reason to be.
The bad thoughts that accompany an abrupt low cycle are returning. People are taking advantage of you…You’re giving way more than you get in return…
It does sound a little borderline.
Though I’ve read nothing about borderline personality traits emerging only as a precursor to depressions, which is when this line of thought begins to occur.

And the mood spikes…Wow. One minute, I am fine, the next I feel furious for no good reason because ten minutes later, it has passed and I feel like I have whiplash because I can’t explain it. The only facsimile is when I was pregnant and flooded with the nutsy kookoo hormones.

There are days I hate my life because it’s so up and down, there is no norm, no happy mediums. Yet a couple of months ago, I was doing very well. Surely personality isn’t that fleeting, especially without outside catalysts. If it is, then I am beyond redemption.
Which I refuse to believe. No matter what some doctor and their diagnostic manual say.

Mood crashed.

I’m like Icarus. When I am up, I fly close to the sun.
And inevitably get burned.
But, like a phoenix I rise out of the ashes that are myself.

This whole disorder is an epic bucket 0f fail.
People want to prove how far they are willing to go and how hardcore they are…screw the ice bucket challenge.
They should take the bipolar bucket challenge.


Mental Health Resources

RESOURCES IN THE UNITED STATES
Descriptions are directly quoted from each resource’s website.

DBSA: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
dbsalliance.org

Support Groups Help

Depression and bipolar disorder can be isolating illnesses, but DBSA support groups can help you connect with others who have been there as well. Visit a DBSA support group and get the support that is essential to recovery.

IBPF: International Bipolar Foundation
ibpf.org

The mission of International Bipolar Foundation is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education.

MentalHealth.gov

MentalHealth.gov provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information. MentalHealth.gov aims to educate and guide:

  • The general public
  • Health and emergency preparedness professionals
  • Policy makers
  • Government and business leaders
  • School systems
  • Local communities

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
nami.org

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

NAMI FaithNet
faithnet.nami.org

NAMI FaithNet is a network of NAMI members and friends dedicated to promoting caring faith communities and promoting the role of faith in recovery for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
suicidepreventionlifeline.org
1-800-273-TALK (8255)  ~  Call 24/7

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the call is routed to the nearest crisis center in our national network of more than 150 crisis centers. The Lifeline’s national network of local crisis centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night.

NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health
nimh.nih.gov

The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

Social Security Disability
ssa.gov/disability

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

 

Ticket to Work
ssa.gov/work

Are You A Social Security Beneficiary?
Learn about Ticket to Work!

The Ticket To Work Program can help Social Security beneficiaries go to work, get a good job that may lead to a career, save more money, and become financially independent, all while they keep their health coverage. Ticket to Work is a free and voluntary program that gives beneficiaries real choices that can help them create and lead better lives. Individuals who receive Social Security benefits because of a disability probably already qualify for the program.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: DBSA, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, FaithNet, IBPF, International Bipolar Foundation, MentalHealth.gov, NAMI, NAMI FaithNet, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Institute of Mental Health, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, NIMH, Social Security Disability, Ticket to Work

Stigma

I’ve heard it said somewhere that bipolar disorder is not a “casserole” illness – meaning that when you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, don’t expect people to be lining up at your door bringing you casseroles, sending flowers or even cards. It just doesn’t happen – or at least it didn’t to me.

Wikipedia defines “stigma” as severe social disapproval. Stigma is the negative view of something with degrading attitudes. It is acted out as ignorance, fear, discrimination, avoidance, shunning, labelling and stereotyping. Stigma is often linked to bipolar disorder. Some of the things people say that are stigmatizing are “get over it,” “suck it up,” “snap out of it,” “just stop acting like that,” “you’re just overreacting,” “you’re just being moody,” and “she’s so bipolar.”

Oh if we could just “snap out of it,” who wouldn’t. “Overreacting” – yes we do, it’s actually a symptom of bipolar disorder. And there’s a big difference between being moody and having severe mood swings from depression to mania. That brings another misconception to mind – mania is not always fun. Rather than euphoric mania, people with bipolar can suffer from dysphoric mania. In that state, the person experiences considerable irritability, agitation, poor judgment and can become out of control. Our behaviour is not wilful, it is symptomatic of a chronic, serious illness. On the low end of the spectrum, depression is sometimes viewed as laziness, sadness or upset.

Other forms of stigma include thinking people with bipolar are violent, dangerous, even criminals. One of the saddest forms of stigma is self-stigma. Often the person with bipolar feels the need to hide it for fear people with think they’re crazy. This can include feeling weak, useless, or unwanted. It can be a constant, exhausting struggle to hide moods and symptoms. We get very good at that.

To reduce or eliminate stigma we have to be open and talk about bipolar disorder. Our families, friends and the public need to be educated. Google search “bipolar disorder” and you’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of pages full of information. Lastly, I am not bipolar … I have bipolar.


Slightly Cracked Observations on…Recording those Precious Moments on Your iPad

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately. My youngest kids are still in school, and they participate in school, church and sports events. The kind where parents sit watching their respective […]

Slightly Cracked Observations on…Recording those Precious Moments on Your iPad

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately. My youngest kids are still in school, and they participate in school, church and sports events. The kind where parents sit watching their respective […]

The Bipolar Blogger Network & Why I Smell Like Salsa!

T.G.I.F.!!! I’ve had a weird week, but I’m relieved there hasn’t ben any serious drama in my neck of the woods. Hurrah!  A few days ago I got some good news: I was accepted into the Bipolar Blogger Network.  I’ve … Continue reading

2nd Assessment meeting

Yesterday was my second meeting with the Mental Health team nurse, another fact-findng one. I’d written a ‘mood diary’ – detailed, not just scored 1-10 – so handed that over. Writing it was illuminating to me in that some of the stuff that came out was quite revealing. A lot of partially suppressed stuff was brought up to the surface from a very dark place where it had lain all but undisturbed for decades.

The diary showed that in any day my moods were all over the place; from low to high, to mixed, often within the same hour.

This meeting was exhausting, as was the first. 80 minutes or so, discussion and her making a decision as to whether or not I should be referred on to Primary Care with a recommendation for diagnosis and (hopefully) treatment. The nurse said she would be referring me, that I should get an appointment within a couple of months, and everything would continue from there.

As to what ‘continue from there’ means, I really don’t know. It all depends on the diagnosis I suppose. I’ve said I’m not keen on a medication-based treatment, so that leaves some kind of therapy?

I have another meeting with her in 3 weeks time; this isn’t necessary for the process but was offered as an interim ‘therapy’ I assume. An opportunity to talk about my issues with someone who understands such issues better than most other people. And after all, I have no-one else around me to discuss all this with. I’ve driven all those away in an effort to control abandonment concerns.


Those Crazy Calm days are ‘Mad’.

Okay, so last Sunday I had a massive melt down. I mean stomp on the ground, ball up my fists, slam doors, scream at the top of my lungs meltdown. I didn’t really see it coming and I certainly was … Continue reading

Ellen Forney Again

What Bipolar Disorder Really Feels Like

image