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Consumer Interview

Age:  25

Female.

I was under a psychiatrist and counselor but am not now. I'm trying to get back in.

I'm bipolar II and borderline personality disorder.

I was diagnosed at age 24.

Presently I'm not battling the suicide and cutting so I'll say better. I'm starting to get paranoid again and only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep every night, so worse in these regards.

Right now my husband has been without a job since December, so financial problems are making it worse. Also not taking meds and being overweight isn't helping.

The reason I'm not cutting or suicidal is my husband is back in church so we're not fighting all the time like we were then. I used to cut especially after a fight. Like I was punishing myself. As I'd cut I'd tell myself that I deserved it because I was fat, stupid and ugly. I'd also say that Ryan wanted to cut me so I was doing it for him.

Medication helped depending on the kind. Prozac made my "crazy" and suicidal. Geodon makes me the same. Lithium doesn't influence me nor does Depakote. Zyprexa was the best but I don't like the weight gain and sleeping all the time. So, in some ways it has not helped. I also didn't stay in long enough to find the right medication.

Most important is to find a great support team. Even if it's only one person. Make sure they research the illness('s) so they can help notice symptoms that you may not pay attention to. Someone who you tell when you start a new med so you can be watched.

Yes, I do. People assume you can tell yourself get better and you will. Mind over matter. Also being a church-goer my family's first and only advice is pray and get prayed for. They believe I just don't have the faith to believe I've been healed. I'm up against that now. I'm asking for help getting back in to see a doctor and my mom and husband are telling me I don't have faith or the devil is just bothering me. Why can people in church have epilepsy or diabetes and people don't tell them to have faith, not see their doctor and go off their meds, but they expect me to? It's an illness just like epilepsy or diabetes.

I wish I had gotten help when I first had problems. My mom never took us to the doctor for anything. So, she never got me help I needed. I saw a school counselor for years and she never suggested getting help. I went to my pastor when I was 16 and he said I sounded bipolar. He never told my mom so of course I never got help. He told me the same thing again when Ryan and I went for marriage counseling in 1998. But, Ryan never helped me get help. Yes, I'm still very bitter about all this. If I'd have known I would have also known the symptoms and wouldn't have let people or myself treat me bad for things that are traits or symptoms of BP or BPD.

Well, I can't keep a job. I do really good at first but then start missing too many days and get fired. I loved my last job but got too stressed out and started having panic attacks. I also get very hateful and critical of my kids and husband when I start having problems. It's also affected my spiritual life. I have problems seeing why God wouldn't heal me and I feel like I can't cut and say I love God. So, I'm always in and out of church.

It's very frustrating knowing it's incurable. This may sound terrible but I sometimes wish it was cancer. At least that can be cured. It's scaring "seeing" things or having your mind control every situation. It's awful knowing you need help and not getting it. It's very easy to feel hopeless with these illnesses and want to commit suicide.

Yes, I've been suicidal many times. I've swallowed a whole bottle of sleeping pills before. I've taken double the amount of medications at times and not cared if I died. If I find out that a med my doctor prescribes can be overdosed or is very toxic the first thought is "Good if things don't work I'll just kill myself from my med." I've thought of jumping from moving vehicles, jumping off high places, hanging myself and driving my car into something. Since I cut myself I always think of slitting my wrists. I once saw a movie where the girl got in the tub and slit her wrists and died. I told myself that's how I want to do it when I do kill myself. I told Ryan all this the other day and he asked if I was suicidal. I said yes and he got dressed and left.

A lot of times the only thing that prevents me from doing it is I guess God and his timing. One night I had a knife and was alone and about to slit my wrists and my mom knocked on the door and made me go home with her. At other times as I'm getting a knife one of my kids walks in. I could never do it with just me and my kids in the house. I don't want to terrify them. Other times I just need a break so I'll go sit in my swing under the magnolia tree and feel better a while later.


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