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Bipolar Disorder Consumers Speak Out

If you have the bipolar disorder and have something to say, feel free to write me with the subject of "BP Speak Out."

My name is Roger and I was diagnosed bipolar disorder about a year and half ago, and still having a great problem with it. My anxiety is very high. I find it very difficult to drive and take care of myself. I live alone and I lost my family members due to the fact they said I hurt them in some way and they won't tell me what I did. I have a very bad memory loss and find it disturbing. My daughter got married without me. I went on a spending spree and spent over $20,000.00 on painting and sculptures from Italy. I don't now if it's my medication or what but it is very hard for me to type, shop, and so on.

I am also a severe diabetic, with this combination I find it very difficult to go on. But with God's help, I keep trying.


my name is rachael, im 15, in the last 3 years my life has been so unreal, the outbursts the self mutilation the physical violence, and not to mention the depression. for all the bipolar patients, in need for comfort, i can only say, try to learn from this crippling disease, i feel your pain i myself have to live with it too. life really isn't as easy as they say it is. don't give in to the battle, they will find a cure- if you have bipolar also email me at darren40@earthlink.net   


I'm a 25 year old female. After years of trouble with relationships etc. I was just diagnosed as Bipolar. I am married to a wonderful man. I have two beautiful children. The trouble began with a failing marriage. I was never happy, and often placed the blame on everyone else. I was having trouble with co-workers at my job. One night I was set off. It started with a long battle of ear infections in my children and a lot of lost sleep. I finally cracked! It was about 4.30am and I was up trying to get my kids to sleep. I could feel myself losing control. I opened our bedroom door and told my husband take them now or I might hurt them. Screaming my head off, I proceeded to kick a large hole in my couch. I wanted a divorce and I asked my husband to take the kids and leave. All I wanted was to get away. I have always pushed people away when things went wrong in my life. My husband refused a divorce so I then considered suicide. I feared that soon I would hurt someone. I would do and say horrible things to my husband. Throw things, hit and kick. I didn't know where this was coming from. Then I started to have horrible headaches, get dizzy, lose my balance at times. I felt I was on an emotional roller-coaster and couldn't get off. To make a long story short I was started on Celexa. What an incredible difference I felt after one week.

I have been taking it for about one month now. Looking back through my life, I was definitely born this way. It started at six months of age. I was on phenobarbital to control projectile vomiting. By two I developed shingles (a nervous disorder). By adolescents excessive worrying and panic. I couldn't stand going any where in public and I would panic if it was too crowded. Then I withdrew into myself. I was lucky to have met my husband. We have had a long battle of my mood and sometimes violent outbursts. He was just too strong and tolerated much. He has been very supportive in my journey to the top. I find us closer and closer everyday. My children act different around me. More cuddly. Thank God its over. The real me is coming out and for once in my life, I like her!!!!


I am sitting here at work, trying in vain to conceal the fact that I am shaking. My eyes are so blurry with tears that I can barely make out this screen. I can't believe I have been able to hold myself together as well as I have today. I am going through withdrawal from Effexor, the medication I have been on for over a year, and which I ran out of three days ago.

I am 24 years old. The fact that I am even able to hold a job is unbelievable to me. At 18 I was diagnosed with clinical depression, eating disorder non-specific, and then panic disorder. Over the next several years more diagnosis: major depressive disorder, anorexia nervosa... and always "treatment resistant", the depression that was unrelenting. At last--and almost a year ago--the branding of Bipolar II, and with that new meds to try (of course). Effexor, Neurontin, Risperdal, Halcion, Lamictal. Not only am I a walking pharmacy--and at one point taking around 15 pills a day-- but certainly a poster child for mental illness.

There is much in me, and I fear that little will come of it. I would give all of my extremities to be rid of this burden that is so wide and so deep and so lonely.


I am 44 years old. I was diagnosed bipolar with anxiety in 1993 (my first hospitalization). At first I just wanted to be a good patient and heal this stuff. After 3 more hospitalizations and oodles of side effects I decided it was time to regroup. I switched doctors and medications yet again. I had one year without going to the hospital and was really ready to believe that I had this thing licked. Then of course I went into the hospital. I lost my job and accepted the disability in 1998. Soon after losing my job I returned to my home town, hoping to fight the demons of yesterday and try to find a cause or reason for my illness. I have had 2 doctors since returning here in July 1998. The first was very understanding and thought she'd be able to be with me for a few years at least. Six months later she was leaving. The doctor that took her place decided that I didn't need my medications. He said they were too strong.

That was in October of 1999. For the first time in 7 years I am drug free. I am also a prisoner of my apartment. I am afraid to go out in public never knowing when the next episode will occur. When I am manic I cannot read. I don't speak in complete sentences and most people find it hard to understand me. All of my hospitalizations happened 2700 miles away from here. No one in this part of the country really knows my history, except my 22 year old daughter. She has moved here to be with me because she is also afraid. She has been through every episode with me. She alone has seen the mania by the time I get to the hospital I am depressed. I guess I should count my blessings. Even though I am stuck in the house I haven't been to the hospital. Frankly I am scared to death. I don't trust the doctors here anymore. The only other option I have in this town is the Mental Health Center I attended when I was 19. I knew something was wrong even then. Yet their advice in 1974 was that I divorce my family of origin and move far away. I did that and the rest is history. I usually start cycling in November and December and end up in the hospital in April or May.

Site such as this one have really helped me maintain. I know that eventually I will have to find another doctor. Right now I just have to work through the fear which I wasn't able to acknowledge before now. Thank you for providing this sounding board. It really does help.


I came through, its fine on the other side --- it took nearly 10 years to really trust myself again but I have the job and family of my dreams but in the dark days I thought I could never be normal or risk pushing myself to my potential. Today I have the chance to share with a younger relative that its not all as impossibly unrooted as it felt at the time . I can now almost enjoy the far off but still deeply etched memory of those highs ....but I never ever want to go there again!!!

Hang in there guys


At 18 years old, I was given this horrible diagnosis. I couldn't cope with it then and not much has changed since. One day you are Ms. Efficiency and the brightest crayon in the box and a month later you are planning your funeral in your own mind. What is sad is that there is aid for this illness, although no cure. Some of us just don't want to let ourselves get better either because we are scared to or just don't know what it would be like to be OK. It has been almost ten years and four hospitalization since the sentencing (my diagnosis) and not a whole lot has changed. I am now 27, I still get angry when people tell me to slow down or take a chill pill because my brain is thinking too fast. I still plan my funerals in my mind especially when I hear a song that so perfectly fits the life I feel has been so hard to lead. I still can't find a relationship that is anywhere close to stable. I still can't take my medications or pay for them since I spend all my money on things I can't ever seem to pinpoint. I still have empty sex with men and feel that much worse after it sets in what I have done. I still am the best master manipulator and expert at telling little white lies.
I still like to watch myself bleed just so the pain doesn't overwhelm me inside anymore.
I still want to give up everyday.
I still stay up night after night with no affect and other times sleep all day and never want to get out of bed.
I still get constantly sick for months on end because I am so depressed I do little to take care of me.
I am still hypersensitive most of the time.
I still am constantly getting in a dysphoric mood.
I still care what other people think more than I should
I still work in a minimum wage job even though I graduated from college 3 years ago.
I still take my anger out on the wrong people
I still always care guilt even though I have done nothing
My greatest fear is still failing
How many years is this going to go on? When is the light bulb going to go off so that I can finally do something to help myself recover? What I want to know the most is beyond all this other crap I deal with on a day to day basis WHO AM I? What part is really me and what part is this illness. That is all I really want to know is WHO is the real Kim and is she a good person. I just want the chance to find out, I don't find that much to ask.
Feel free to email me at TrappedNBPD@cs.com


I am a 30 year old male who has been recently diagnosed with Manic Depressive, "bipolar," disorder. I was recently hospitalized for over a month due to erratic moods and actions on my job. Luckily I didn't' lose it. I teach and I wanted to make my room a "space station" of learning. I was so manic I hardly recall some of the other things I said and did. When my superiors could see there was something definitely wrong about my actions, they had me ambulanced to an in-patient mental health situation. It took the doctor four weeks to stabilize me on medication. I don't remember the first 15 days because I was on such toxic levels of lithium and other drugs. Now, I am stabilized, but it hasn't made the disorder go away. I still get very anxious and very depressed. There are some issues currently in the works that may determine whether I can remain a teacher (having nothing to do with my disorder). I am heavily worried about that. Without my job teaching with benefits, where will the drugs come from? It is a scary concept because I don't want to have an episode again. I know without drugs and the uprooting from my job could be very hard to live through. I guess the bright side to all of this is that I have learned that I am not alone in having this disorder. If I make staying mentally well my top priority, I can be stable, I can live a normal life. However, if my disorder is left unchecked, it will not matter what job I have or don't have; I'll be a wreck. Currently I am taking lithium carbonate, Depakote, and Zyprexa. I hope my story relates with someone out there.
-anxious one


I had no idea I was bipolar until just a couple weeks ago. I was hospitalized again for cutting my wrists. It just seemed like the appropriate thing to do at the time. I had a tremendous weight on my shoulders (guilt, pain, etc.) and I had OD'd on pills but it didn't work. I want to find the love of my life and I want to find who I'm searching for, but I don't know if I ever will. To compound the problem, I have a beautiful little girl who depends on me, loves me, and I'm just not sure I can give her what she needs. I pick up my alcohol, my crutch, and then regret it the next day. I have no idea how I'm going to feel or who I'm going to be tomorrow, and it's debilitating. I'm glad there are people out there who understand, and I am happy to be enlightened because I still don't.


Time stopped many years ago
it has stopped moving for so long
I have sat in this chair for what seems like eternity
that man sitting in front of me, he nods
yet the looks like he's nodding off.
Manic depression, he told me
many years ago
he gave me plenty of pills
said this would help
now today these pills are like weights in my body
these pills, I say really don't help,
the lithium, makes me shake, makes my mouth dry and
sometimes my breath even stinks.
the trazodones are even worse, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, and those crazy dreams and hallucinations that weren't to bad until I popped one of those,
not to mention the other stuff,
now the thorazine, WOW!
every now and then I can fall asleep,
I can hide for a few hours from the man that sits at my bedside
the television that is constantly talking to me,
yes and I talk back sometimes, yelling
SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP!

Yes Time stands still
time hasn't moved since the man
that swears he has all the answers
he tells me he understands,
but how?
how can you understand
when you don't see what I see,
or
hear what I hear.
now time has stopped for both you and I
for we both have been sitting here for quite some time...

This has been written by a manic deppressive@allrightsreserved


I found "bipolar speak out" a wonderful resource. I was laughing with my partner that it's a good thing we weren't on-line during my last manic episode, 4 years ago, because I would have embarrassed myself World-Wide, instead of bicoastally as I had done many times previously. I used to write hundreds of postcards and letters hurling invective at those I felt were responsible for my illness, and those "helping professionals" who were jailers and psychotropic poisoners. My partner said I should tell my current shrink to keep me sane, or I'm liable to libel him throughout the world also.

What I found disheartening was that the people who spoke out were so very sad. I struggled with manic-depression for 10 years before I found the right treatment and drugs. I was "treatment resistant" when I was put on lithium because it kept me severely depressed. Reading or being told how other people responded well to it just made me feel more despondent. Please send along my concern and compassion to all the fellow sufferers out there, but add that there is good hope. Keep trying the new medications like Depakote and Lamictal. Keep trying until you get the antidepressant that works for you. Keep trying until you get a doctor who is knowledgeable about advances in pharmaceuticals and unwilling to give up on you. I am happier now than I have ever been in my life, because it is a calm and steady happiness made up of a spouse, friends, and work. I am beginning to be able to laugh about my mortifying manic experiences, and endure thinking of those nightmarish depressions. I am so grateful that I seem to have come through the storms, and others may be able to do it too. Please don't give up.


I was just diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 4 days ago. I am 29 years old and I am on my third marriage, I have two children from marriages number 1 and 2. The first one lasted a little under 2 years, the second 6, and now I have been married for almost 2 years. I'm not sure if this one is going to last. My husband tries to be understanding, but when he comes home and isn't sure whether he's going to get a smile & a kiss, or a crazed woman yelling at him; it's got to be hard. I accuse him of having an affair just because he talks to someone at work. I lay awake at night thinking of ways people are trying to deceive me. I imagine them laughing at me & making fun of me, simply because I exist. I finally broke down in the doctor's office and explained some of this to him. He started me on Luvox, but it makes me nauseated & gives me horrible migraines (that's all I need). I have had panic attacks & walked out of work before. I don't know how to stop! I hear myself saying things to my husband, and I know I shouldn't be saying them, but I can't stop. The words just keep on coming out of my mouth & I push & push & push until he can't stand it anymore. I don't want to die (I'm terrified of the thought), but I constantly think about my funeral & how sad people would be to see me gone. Is there anyone out there that knows what I am talking about? 
Am I the only one? Please E-mail me at phatpacegirl@aol.com if you can share experiences with me.


ROLLER COASTER OF MADNESS

today is another day in my
roller coaster of madness.
where will it take me today.
will it go fast or slow?

i really want to get off but i
can't seem to get it to stop.
i feel like i'm invisible and no
one here's my cry for help,
no one understands i'm getting
sick i need to get off.

but my cries remain unheard.
everyone is too busy having fun
on all the rides to notice that i 
can't go on!

please someone help me,
please someone look at me,
and listen to my cries.


My Cell
by KarebearSt@aol.com

Trapped in a prison of skin
My mind full of thoughts
Of all, none will be spoken
Battling my demons behind closed doors

Hard, so hard, it seems
I can't feel anything
But the hard, cold wall of isolation
closing around me

I will never be the same
I know now
what I should have always known
I will never exist
Without my demons


I have found myself standing on the verge of a whole new world. As each few weeks go by in this new existence some new, wonderful, amazing, but to the naked eye, some trivial thing comes to me the realization that I used to react immensely differently about said thing. I find myself worried that I won't be able to tell if I slip back or begin to race forward faster than my world can keep up with. Yet I am so full of the hope I've found in my loved ones, my support system, but most importantly, and unbelievably in myself.


As I slowly watch my extremities grow I wonder when will I be able to say "I'm a woman " and a grown one. Sorrow streaks my face. And loneliness never is kind to me. The book of my life has stopped being written in and has gone into a deep sea of introverted silence and amazement of what the mind can do. It's incredible the terrors the mind can cause. The different glasses we each have to view the world and our selves. Always prone to feel and think horrors of myself and others. I try to dig a little deeper into what I try to abstractly call my brain. The word "brain" is so complex and crushed with irony all over.


I am a rapid cycle bipolar. I have been this way all of my life. I tried to kill myself the first time at age 4. I am 46 years old and have lived a life of confusion and pain. I do not remember a happy childhood. I want someone out there to find out for me....What happens when I can't take it any more and cant work??? I have managed (like so many bipolar people) to play act all of my life. I was a wife ( I was married for 22 years) a mom (my kids are now both grown) and worked the whole time. When my daughter got cancer the world fell apart. My husband couldn't handle it and left. My son fell apart and started running away. My daughter got better over a 6 year period. I am the one who fell apart without notice.....until they put me in the hospital cause I lost it. Since, I cannot hold down a job. I cannot concentrate. I get lower paying jobs all the time. Soon I will not be able to survive. What happens to people like me? I no longer can afford insurance or treatment. Now what? Do I finally give in and just die? I have tried so hard to survive in a world that does not understand what goes on in my head. I made it all the way to the top of the corporate ladder and when I fell off no one was there to catch me. Now I am broken into tons of pieces and don't know how to put it back together.
If you know the answer.....email me
Sammygp@webtv.net


(Anonymous BP)

i sat drinking my tea with two sugars and just knew at 20 i shouldn't fell like this so dead so alone. no one was picking up the phone they never seem to answer' it's just so hard to breath right now, when no one wants to be with me here and no one i know understands i sail on a different sea. i guess, i'm an under water thing. at any rate i feel about 80 and i'm so tried of being trapped inside this mind. i wish i could claw my way out of this skin. maybe leave long enough to feel like some how it's not so bad to be this, but just because i'm not bleeding or in need of a heart transplant doesn't mean it hurts any less.



(Anonymous BP)

Moonshadow
sometimes you come to me on
dark nights
in my deepest dreams
I see your face
and smile
Shadow
of the past I left behind
fleeting in the daylight
I find you around corners
and on busy streets
Moon
like the light
that glimmers faintly
like a far off dream
it's so hard to picture your
face
Moonshadow
you haunt me
when I am alone,
when I am surrounded by
friends
will I never be rid of
your constant presence.

I tried to forget
but my Moonshadow follows me


Here is a poem written by Meri. You may contact her at:  Meri152@aol.com 

The Suicide Tree

Long ago
On a warm summer day
The sky was overwhelming
Soaking in my soul
And I sat under the suicide tree.

I found comfort
In a park
As people walked by me
As I was crying
Releasing life
As the tree protected me
From life.

I covered over me
Hiding my pain
Sheltering my thoughts
Blocking all other's view of me
So I could sit
And contemplate
What life would be like
Without me under the tree.

Today the tree remains
Calling to me to visit
Missing my sadness
It mocks me
For it is winter and
It is dead.


By Meri (BPD & BP)

Mania

Nothing can touch me
nothing can harm me
for I am a living stone,
I can go anywhere
I can be anything
yet I can't stand being alone.

I can tackle any challenge
that life throws my way,
I can beat all the odds
during any manic day.

I can fly as high as I want to
and never touch the ground,
I can do as much as I want to
with the inner strength that I have found.

I can go anywhere
and be anyone
and no one can catch up with me,
I can think what I want
and race with each thought
and rejoice in that I am free.

But, it does not last
as I have found with this and each obsession,
for each and every manic spell
is followed by depression.

My feet do land and the freedom gone
and I hide from all that I became,
my thoughts gone dead, my will destroyed
and my body tired and lame.

The manic day has passed
and now I am stuck with me,
waiting for another spell
crying to be free.


By Meri (BPD & BP)

An Awakening

Today I am trying to justify or validate why I feel and think the way I do. I have found that if I go into the past, I can find the many cues, the many insults, and the many acts that have made me who I am today. Yet today remains a challenge. Hard to explain still who I am and where I am heading.

I think, often, that by going into the past I can find some sort of security because it is over, I can recall it, I can control it today. That is a victory. Yet, today, as I write early in the morning, is blank. A clean slate that I must write upon. Still a desperate need to fill today with experiences and to connect to the world. I think today in some way is more frightening then yesterday. I am not sure I have control enough of my mind, emotions, and instincts to fill enough of today so I can look upon it tomorrow and say once again, today I am don't have to justify or validate why I feel and think the way I do.

To not to have to justify and fill my day with countless and needless errands and make-believe destinations is to have won. To take hour by hour and do what I feel like doing and not what I have written upon my daily list to accomplish. I write the list so early in the morning in order to give my day a controlled direction and a way to fill the hours as they pass.

As the morning continues in my home, my family is getting ready to go out into the world and I feel, leave me behind. My husband to work and my daughter to school, as I am left in my pajamas to make the choice to shower and get dressed and go out. I find that no sense of responsibility, no purpose, and no sense of direction drive me. In that, my internal car is in neutral for now.

Today I realize that I am not living life yet, I am scheduling life. I am attempting to control all that should not be dictated and leaving out the real essence of today - I am leaving out my own needs and my own path back to myself. By keeping myself busy, I can put off what I am so afraid to do. I am afraid to take the final step into adulthood and to mature. Without the crutch of illness and abuse, will I still limp and fall? Or will I finally be able to stand-alone and walk proud among you all?

As a dog chases her tail for no reason but to pass time and as a gerbil plays endlessly in their wheel for no reason but to amuse himself, I feel and fear that is what I am doing today. I am taking a step each day, yet out of fear, I am only going in full circle.

I start the day with my list of countless and needless errands. Out of a need not to fail myself, for this list is not shared with anyone, I go out to pass the time to amuse myself. To find some fulfillment and self-satisfaction that I have completed nothing that needed completion. I return home to find my day was a failure, for the one thing I never place upon my list is to find the inner core and soul of Meri. That is the one item I fear most to place upon my listů. for if I fall short and I do not reach this goal; tomorrow will be impossible to awaken.


Help me...........someone please help me! I cant control this racing thoughts of mine......They haunt me night & day....they are restless & never ending! I carry on conversations with myself all day till I wear myself out at night only to repeat the vicious cycle once again......Day after day after day. I hear voices telling me that I need to just go ahead & do it.........go ahead and die........I hear my the voice of my dead brother who suffered from Bipolar before he committed suicide. I hear him tell me there is nothing you can do Bro......there is nothing to stop the racing thoughts & thoughts of death. There is no way out & you have no control over what you say or do. 

You don't even know what is real & what is a hallucination. You can't distinguish fact or fiction anymore........You are on you way down to meet with me & father......No medicines work! No amount of talking can help me control my moments of invincibility, my stages of rapid cycling. Nothing can stop you when you are manic from making the mistake of your life..........Nothing can control your stupidity when mania hits........Delirium takes over & Psychosis is there along with it. You are stuck in a time flux, a chasm, a divide of two worlds, a never ending daily struggle with life & death. What is real & what is an illusion? Light can't even escape the black hole you spiral down daily. 

Who am I? Most importantly, who will I be if I wake up in the morning? Will the Juggernaut surface on a rampage or will the gopher come out & see his shadow & retreat back into his little meaningless hole of existence? Will the Grim Reaper pay a visit today or will he take a rain check for another day in the near future? Life was so great once.....Until 3 years ago when I Iost my brother to a drug over dose because he couldn't handle his battle with Bipolar. 3 years now seem like 3 minutes. Not even a day has passed because all I remember is his death..........The day he died was the day I lost all memory of what happened in those 3 years. My Bipolar disorder was merciless when he died............. It was always there but hiding for the day that it could hurt me the most, waiting for the moment to try & take my life as well. I never thought about suicide until he died..........The disease hit me so fast & ravaged my brain I couldn't  tell if it was real or a dream.......I lost touch with reality & space & time.

Now my days are faced with the same cycle because no medication has ever worked for me..............they all made me worse & made me do stupid things that I would regret when depression set in, which was never to far behind mania. Mania alters your mind, it makes you think you are untouchable & makes you believe that you are immune to your actions. 

My only solitude is sleep..........My only hope is the faith I have in Jehovah God, due to my 12 year search for truth in a chaotic world. I pray incessantly for another chance to redeem myself, another chance to live a better life. I pray daily for a chance to live a normal existence, to be a normal 34 year old man. I work out & run daily just to tame the demons inside me. When I am manic I go from lifting 225lbs to 400lbs just the other day. It turns me into a super human & i feel like I am truly delusional because i believe i am a superman...............

A hero! I go from hero to a zero in a matter of days or even hours. My self esteem is shot in a matter of mood swings. My life is nothing but a mood swing! It is the longest roller coaster ride I have ever been on in my life, with no end in sight. I go from having thoughts of being Einstein to thoughts of being batman all in a days time. 

I am so intelligent that I can literally do anything I set my mind to. I just can't focus long enough to do anything productive because of these racing thoughts. I feel my reality is nothing but a dream , a nightmare that will hopefully end soon. All I can do is exist in this cave of mine. I make myself eat & make myself workout so I don't lose my mind. I need help............I can't make sense to the madness that is my life........

Medications make me worse & make me more manic & delusional. I feel for my brother & all of those people who have lost their battle with this disease! I feel their pain daily & gasp for breath daily trying to survive. Death does seem so peaceful. It seems like a medicine that will work. After all Jesus likened death unto sleep..............Death is a peaceful sleep until we are told to rise once more into a better world to come...........I long for the days of no more sickness & death & long for a rule that can cure all the woes of mankind! What a day that will be when the tent of God will rest  over mankind & we will all be his people. No matter what faith, no matter what you did in your past, no matter what you believe in............you will rise again & have the chance of everlasting life..........That is the only thing that keeps my hope alive & the fact that I don't want my mother to bury another son. 

I also have finally found the one true love of my life & she keeps me living. She is my truest & she has saved me more times than she knows. She is my Guinevere, my princess, my Knight in shinning armor, my rescuer.. She is the light at the end of my tunnel & my love for her is as abundant as the grains of sand by the sea shore. My love for her is as deep as the deepest ocean. She is my North, my home, my hiding place from the storms of this disease. 

May God bless all of you who suffer from such an unforgiving illness & the medications that supposedly cure it! I feel your pain & long for the day were we all can say "free at last, we are free at last, thanks God almighty we are free at last!" May God remember us all in the last day & may will all endure like Job did & as he said " long for the days were we will return to our youthful vigor. Hold on one more day I tell myself.........one more day! Change is coming. I have to believe something good is coming my way.


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