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  1. Ah. I was briefly involved with someone who had bipolar. It was just after my diagnosis and when I was spending half my time locked up. I thought I was broken, that no one could understand me except for someone who also lived in the same sort of institutionalized world as me. Unsurprisingly, his instability took a toll on me, as did his manipulative tendencies. Ages after I last saw him, I realized that we didn't actually have all that much in common. We had the same diagnosis and lived near each other, sure. But beyond that - we had entirely different values, treated people differently, viewed our place in the world differently, and had very different views on treatment even. If we had been together longer, I effectively would have been saying that my illness matters above all the other things that make me who I am. Thankfully my confidence is a lot better than when I was with him, and I know what matters most to me in a relationship.
  2. I gave up alcohol completely after suffering bad from alcohol abuse (like wake up in a random town in the wrong country bad). I have been alcohol free for a while now - I can't drink at all - and it gets a lot easier with time. At the beginning, I would not have been able to do it myself, but I had accountability. There were consequences that made me stop. The initial part is the hardest and if you can have some accountability, that will go a long way.
  3. My pdoc works in a couple of hospitals and had graham crackers on him one day. He asked me if I was hungry. I stole his crackers.
  4. At my office you need to bring a medical certificate for a second consecutive absence. I also had to bring a medical clearance after being hospitalised even though it was just before I began. Hopefully we're all worrying about nothing. Make sure to keep a hard copy paper trail if you can if the meeting is not good. From what I've seen of these meetings they will sound more positive and well meaning to your face than they are. Read between the lines.
  5. Honestly it sounds like she could be a bit scared of you - scared of your competence and scared of your mental health. I hope it all goes OK.
  6. So I think the question you are asking is whether she can make you take two days leave given you have to wait for your pdoc for a medical certificate. In this case, I strongly believe yes. At my current employer, they would make you take sick leave for that. If that's gone, leave without pay. The meeting with several higher-ups about the "incident" sounds scary. Is there anything else you've done that might indicate you're not meeting their performance expectations? Or that they might have an issue with your mental health (probably illegal but happens all the time)? It seems like a lot to ask for a meeting with several higher-ups, like it could be a warning of some sort. I've never heard of such a meeting that isn't a verbal warning or the beginning of a performance plan. If you do get a performance improvement plan, you'll have to sign some stuff with goals, and if that happens, I would start applying to other jobs ASAP. If you do have a plan, you'll have a month or two to achieve the goals they specify, but that also means that they can't really fire you until the plan is over. So even if it looks like you're on the way out, you will have a few months to put something together. It will buy you a few months of salary and the time to set something up.
  7. My philosophy: put in all of the lifestyle interventions that I can to be stable, build up techniques from therapy and then take the minimum amount of non-PRN medication I can. As a disclaimer, I'm not at the level that I would like to eventually reach, but I know that the only way for me to reach that level is to taper extremely slowly. I'm one of the most sensitive patients to meds that my pdoc has seen. I know there are ways to mitigate some of the effects from meds. I stopped all refined carbs for a year, and exercised each day - I was on 20mg olanzapine (Zyprexa) and I lost a notable amount of weight. I've been slack since I've been on Seroquel and I've put on a lot. I think it's possible to maintain a healthier weight than what I have now (I'm in the middle of normal BMI but I have a very light frame so should be a little lighter), and I put it down to me not having the superhuman discipline that I used to have. I don't know whether I'm just getting older or whether the meds are making me sick, but my physical health is much worse than it used to be. Aside from the weight, I have frequent migraines and headaches, severe IBS and consequences (hernias, reflux, multiple colonoscopies this year), I had some precancer stuff removed, I developed severe acne and was advised to go on Accutane. I'm in my 20s.
  8. Yeah you're definitely safe, which I think you've ascertained. Everything said though, I find it problematic that she was told to ignore the cat last summer. Rabies is 100% fatal but 100% preventable if you get the immunoglobin and vaccines. I was in a city in southeast asia recently, and even though the area of the city I was in had no rabies, I 100% would have gotten the vaccines if I had been bit - and if there were no vaccines, I would have gotten airlifted out. This is what the travel doctor told us. Not worth playing dice with the mortality rate. If you're really worried about rabies (even if not rationally), would it be worth getting the vaccines as a permanent preventative measure? They don't prevent everything but they do give you a lot more time, and you don't need immunoglobin (just a couple of booster vaccines). They provide this level of protection for the rest of your life. Knowing I had that helped me to sleep well.
  9. If you really want some clarity to get some closure, I would specify that you want a verbal discussion of your diagnosis, but that you don't want it to be recorded on paper. thunder is right, there are a lot of practical implications for getting a diagnosis recorded, and these implications are not good. I can confirm that where I live, if you have a bipolar 1, schizoaffective or schizophrenia diagnosis, you cannot obtain life insurance even if your employer will sponsor it. This can be a difference worth hundreds of thousands. I can also confirm that these diagnoses make you ineligible to work in most parts of the military and intelligence services. I am educated as an applied mathematician and I'm good at it, but even if I stay stable for a long time I will likely never be able to work for the equivalent of the CIA here. Or as a political advisor on the statistics side, which was once my dream. And so on. I really do get wanting to know what's going on, and have a label to find others going through the same thing. Having a diagnosis made me feel like less of an impostor and like the accommodations I was asking for were merited. However, if someone had talked me through the implications of having this on my record (professionally and financially), I would have taken initiative for things to be phrased in the vaguest and least "offensive" (poor word choice, sorry) means possible. For me, it's too late. My government paperwork is swimming with bipolar and schizoaffective. Unfortunately you can't control+z life.
  10. Maybe get a second opinion from a psychiatrist? What you've said reminds me more of friends with MDD/GAD than bipolar 2, but I'm not a professional. At the end of the day, these labels can be pretty arbitrary as scientists still don't know how these illnesses work, so finding treatment that works is more important than any given diagnosis.
  11. Watching paint would make it more interesting.
  12. I very rarely post on the psychosis forum but wanted to say something as someone who does find that forum useful. As heilmania alluded to, diagnoses are not set in stone. Sometimes one patient will get different diagnoses from different doctors. Sometimes symptoms change over time. Some doctors have particular quirks when considering certain conditions. Some patients are between the categories the DSM provides - this is me. I have schizoaffective on some official paperwork and bipolar 1 on others. My doctor cares more about symptoms than the diagnosis, and the reality is that a lot of people are in the same boat. I would hate for people who need support to be turned away because they don't neatly for a box. Is it possible to clamp down more on people creating problems to make it a safer space? I would also say that a lot of non bipolar people post in the bipolar forum. A lot. There tends to be more critical mass though so the forum is quite lively, supportive and active.
  13. Just relaying on what my old psych said who specialised in BPD. No medication to date will heal you from bipolar or schizophrenia and mean you can stop treatment, but recovery from a personality disorder is possible. I am well aware that not taking responsibility is not a symptom, that's what I was trying to say. However, it so happens that a lot of people with BPD don't take responsibility. As such the stigma in the community isn't so much about BPD but some other characteristics that some people have. So it is very possible to have BPD and not have the behaviours that have bad generalisations online, because BPD doesn't necessarily have much to do with these.
  14. My old psychologist used to say that personality disorders were easy to solve permanently. While you may need to take medication indefinitely for the bipolar, if you can get good therapeutic treatment, you can recover for good from BPD or at least have minimal residual symptoms. Many people with BPD do. Many people find DBT (in an individual and group setting) helpful. Sometimes people need to repeat programs a few times for all the messages to sink in. I've also heard that schema therapy is very effective, but it's newer so it might not be as easy to find. The issues a lot of people have with BPDs is not taking responsibility for their actions or treatment. Some people with BPD are the absolute opposite, and try their hardest to get well and help those around them. If you're in the latter category, lots of the generalisations online about BPD are probably irrelevant to your case.