Bipolar Disorder and PTSD
I like to think that because I have these disorders, I have strengths and coping skills that others who have not suffered as much in life may not have. I like to think of myself not as a "survivor" but a "warrior." When it is time to battle life, I go to war and fight for my life. I don't give up - never, not ever - no matter how bad I feel.
I also realize that having bipolar disorder probably means that I possess a level of creativity that those without this disorder are less likely to possess. If you have the bipolar disorder, you will understand what I mean. You know the feeling of fantastic ideas popping out of your head so fast you can barely write them down.
Kay Redfield Jamison, author of "An Unquiet
Mind" states that if she had a choice, she would choose to have her bipolar disorder as long as it is treated with lithium because she feels she experiences life much more deeply with this disorder.
However, though we have many strengths, we have suffered or are still suffering. Most of us have experienced trauma(s). There are high rates of sexual abuse among people with the borderline personality disorder (75%) and other kinds of abuse.
So I bring up PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for two reasons. Number one, make sure you have been fully assessed. You need to be treated for all disorders you may have. Thus you need to be diagnosed. I was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder until I was 42 and the PTSD I had to figure out on my own at the same age and it was confirmed later by mental health professionals.
In my opinion, mental health professionals with master's degrees do not have near the training to diagnose people as do psychiatrists. I highly recommend you have a full evaluation with a psychiatrist even if you have to save money or travel to do it. I have heard many reasons why people refuse to do this from not affording it to not feeling they deserve it.
If you want to work on being a happy and productive person, you must develop a plan of action and you must follow through. If you feel you are stuck because you don't have any money you must work very hard to save money and fully exhaust your mental health system in your community.
If you are having a difficult time finding a Dr. that knows how to treat you, Dr. Markovitz many times recommends your local university.
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