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Anyone with bipolar disorder out there? Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

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  #1  
Unread 03-01-2003, 01:33 PM
Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

I have received so much and support on this wonderful website. Everyone has helped me through my tah/bso and FMS diagnosis. Now I have a question for my sister (my real sister), hopefully soon to be a as well.

I gave her my Hyster Sisters book to read and she loves it. She is hesitant to use this website because she doesn't think that anyone would be able to relate to her special set of circumstances. She has given me permission to talk with all of my fellow princesses and see what the response is.

My sister has bipolar disorder. She has been on medication for several years with great results. She is married to a wonderful man and they are raising their 10 year old daughter. Over the past several months as she begins to go through menopause, she has been suffering greatly with PMS. This then seems to make her bipolar medication ineffective, and her life becomes unbareable with violent mood swings. She does have some physical problems as well such as cramping, heavy bleeding, etc. but the main issue is the instability of her life when she goes though the "cycling" common with bipolar. Another issue is that our mother has Stage 4 ovarian cancer, so she is at a higher risk than usual for this cancer.

She has seen me suffer for years with endo, fibroids, horrible cramping - all physical symptoms - and was very supportive of me having my surgery. However, since her main issue is emotional/psychological, somehow she is having difficuly feeling that her condition warrrants a hysterectomy. Her doctor is very supportive of the surgery, but my sister is still having problems coming to terms with it.

I have a feeling anyone else that either has bipolar disorder or loves someone that has this terrible disease will understand the dynamics of her issue.

Is there anyone out there than can relate to this? I promised her that I would let her know what your comments were. I think that after the ice is broken, she will feel comfortable joining our group.

Thanks everyone....

Loo
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  #2  
Unread 03-01-2003, 01:51 PM
Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

Thank you ((((Loo))))) for being such a wonderful sister

I do not have personal experience with BiPolar Disorder, but have seen others posting about dealing with this condition here on the site. If you do a search on Bipolar Disorder, you'll see that there are several treads discussing this issue.

(((((Loo))))) I'm sure that, if or when she decides to join, your sister will be surprised at how much others can empathise with her situation and help her cope with upcoming surgery.

As is the case with many other issues, it is important for your sister to discuss her Bipolar Disorder with her doctor/surgeon and to ensure that all is addressed in order to avoid a flare-up of the condition when she is recovering.

Sending tons of s your way. Please keep us posted.
  #3  
Unread 03-01-2003, 05:11 PM
Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

Loo,

Tell your sister I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder almost 2 years ago, after wondering what was wrong with me for many many years
I am here when she feels she is ready to talk... I know what she is going through and I am going through the same things. My meds are not really working right now either and it is really taking EVERY thing I have right now to control everything that I really have no control over. If she wants to PM me I will do mu BEST to help her through this. She needs support and we are all here for her when she is ready. I was not at all open with my Bipolar for about a year for fear of being judged for it, but I soon realized that it is nothing to be ashamed of.. My goes out to her!!!! Please have her post or PM me...

Give her a great big


Pam
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  #4  
Unread 03-01-2003, 11:57 PM
Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

Hi Loo there have been several sisters over in the Aching Hearts forum recently that have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I hope your sister will join us, she will need support just as much as anyone else... we will welcome her here!
s,
-Linda
  #5  
Unread 03-02-2003, 08:03 AM
bi polar

Well what can I say. Its a nasty but managable disorder. I have carried this monster as I call it for 18 years. I was officailly diagnised 7 years ago. I have been totally stable now for 6. There is different levels that you can be at. I am at the lowest level but have hit rock bottom and almost lost my life to it. Thats when they realized what I actually have it. Going threw this hysterectomy was a big decision not only physically yes my body was crying for it but I had to look at the reality of what it would do to me emotionally. There was lots of discussions. It was important that I get left with an ovary because I am only 34 and my body could not handle being forced into surgical menopause or should I say my bi polar couldn't. So I did get left with one but it apprears to be a dud at this point or slow. It looks like my body is slowly slipping ing in to menopause. They don't want me on HRT yet because of you can only stay on it for so long. So I am working with all my doctors very closly. I do know the feeling of hating to reveal that you are bi polar because you are treated differently but thats why I get out and advocte for people. Many times in our ER here I am treated differently but when I see that happen I pick them up on it and say stop it I am the same as you. I use the drug Topamax which has many bad side effects if you are a woman but it does my bi polar good. It played havoc with my hormones before I took sick and we had to play with the doses to get it just right and well now since the surgery I have times that I am a DOG but I reconigze that and take a few steps back and settle. I explain to my employer if I am quite let me be I am just trying to work harder. The one one thing that my bi polar bring out in me is perfectionism which sometimes drives my emplyor nuts but she sees it as a good trait and lets me alone. Never use this disability as a crutch but use it as a driving tool in your life. I use it to force myself to work harder. I have to esspecially when I am in school or having to give speeches or in everyday life. There are many great people outhere who have this monster but with control they survive. But you control this monster not the monster controling you.

Denise
  #6  
Unread 03-02-2003, 10:49 AM
Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

VERY WELL SAID Denise!!!!!!!

I totally agree with you when you say this disorder drives you to become a perfectionist.. I used to drive people nuts having to do everything just right or I would get ticked off. They have all seen that in a good way now. I also got treated very differently at my former job because my boss found out because we had to have a note when we had to leave work or take time off for a Dr appt. So when I came in the first time with a note, and on the top was the letterhead from a psychiatrist, I felt the need to explain my disorder so she did not think it would affect my job in any way. Eventually I found out that she had told everyone I worked directly with about it (after she swore she would keep it to herself) and had told all of them to be very careful with what they said to me. She used it against me once when I went to her because I ran credit cards and could not see the #'s because she printed them over a spread sheet. She told me I was overreacting and I was acting like her son (who had obsessive sompulsive disorder and ADHD) I lost it!!! After calmly telling her I am not a child and I had my disorder under control and NEVER to use that as an excuse for the way I act, when ANYONE, with or without Bipolar would have acted the same way. I even had my co-workers defending me. It is a horrible disorder if it not under control, but once you learn to cope with it and understand it you can live a happy life, and even be a bit more creative than most..

Please tell your sister to join us here, she will be very surprised at how much support she will get..

  #7  
Unread 03-02-2003, 06:57 PM
Anyone with bipolar disorder out there?

My Mom has bipolar and has managed quite well. In her it was discovered at the end of menopause. Anyway, I would be happy to help your sister or you - anyway that I can.
  #8  
Unread 03-04-2003, 07:22 AM
I'm in a very similar boat (long message)

Loo, I understand how your sister is feeling. I was diagnosed as bipolar 13 years ago and have been treated with Prozac and therapy ever since (my DH is absolutely supportive too, and we’ve raised our terrific 19 YO DD and 15 YO DS together). I've also had the same types of menstrual symptoms she's having. And, I absolutely understand about when they kick in and make the meds feel like a waste. The bleeding and clots (hemorrhaging was more like it) and the debilitating cramps were hard enough, but then-- whammo--here would come the mood swings.

I’m scheduled for my surgery on 3/19 (TAH/BSO) and for years while trying to find a doctor who would listen and take me seriously, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking--I have an emotional condition, maybe it really isn’t that bad. The doctors don’t seem to think so. A few even implied that maybe it was in my head--after all, I am bipolar. They never seemed to be able to explain how “my mind” could produce those awful clots that would push tampons out after being in for only half an hour or produce 3 level-3 PAPs . But that’s another story. It’s been an awful 12 year, 7 doctor (male & female) journey. (If I sound bitter, I probably am. Being bipolar may exacerbate feelings about symptoms, but it cannot create them!!)

Fortunately, with the help of my therapist (who helped me realize that my pain and feelings are valid and have worth), I found a doctor who not only listened, but understood and helped me make an informed decision. I have real symptoms, caused by real medical problems (it seems according to my records, I was diagnosed with fibroids years ago--nobody told me) and my uterus is enlarged to about the size of a 12 week pregnancy.

I am absolutely not trying to encourage or discourage her in any way from having the surgery.
Please, please tell your sister not to dismiss her symptoms (or her feelings). I believe every woman on this site has felt indecisive and confused. Not because they’re bipolar, but because this is a huge decision. We all have doubts--after all society teaches us to not take “women’s problems too seriously.

I know this is long-winded, but I feel very strongly about this. I know how many times I’ve started to think, well maybe it’s not that bad (like this weekend!!), and my husband reminds me how much I’ve suffered--after all he’s seen how I look and behave when I don’t know anyone’s watching. He says if I don’t believe the pain’s real, I should see my face when it hits--even in my sleep and God know it helps.

Tell your sister I’ll be praying for her (and for you. Loo, you are a God-send). Bless you both.
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