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If hospitalized for depression


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Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Too much shame and fear of judgement? Like they'd think you dramatized the whole thing for attention but at the same time couldn't stand the attention? Crazy, I know.

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My immediate family knew (all 3 of them), but my extended family (which in my case involves my father) still doesn't know and it was a year and a half ago now. So I know exactly the kind of shame/fear of judgment you are talking about.

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i told my parents, and my mom drove from cleveland to bloomington, IL to be with me in the hospital. then she was the one who felt shame, that somehow it was wrong or something, something to hide that i was in the psych ward, so she made up a stupid story to my grandparents (about why she had left town so suddenly) to be with me.

when i got home to cleveland (after my consulting job in IL ended), i told them the truth. they were very supportive. my nanna even came to see me during my 2nd hospitalization.

most of my family is some flavor of MI, so no one was surprised and everyone was supportive. i have a cousin who is sz who is also on SSDI. i'm not the only one.

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Of the 5 (or 6? it's all blurred in my head) times I've been a psych inpatient, only part of my immediate family has ever known. My parents, my sister and one of my brothers. My mom is v.embarrassed by my disorder and makes up stories to tell the rest of the family. My father doesn't get it, but tries, and my sister doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks (this is a good thing). On the whole, though, I'd prefer none of them to have known. Now that I've got the MI label I get badgered about my meds and any of my mood changes.

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Ya, that's the thing about being badgered about the meds and mood changes. on the one hand it's "you need help, it's a slippery slope for you", and yet when any weird cognitive problem- confusion, poor balance, anything it seems, happens it's blamed on the meds. I feel ashamed of taking the meds and do it privately, but when depression/anxiety come every day, the message (from my HB, who is the only one who mostly knows what's happening) is to stay with the docs- they know what they're doing.

I hate it when the meds are blamed (also by my HB), even tho I'm not particularly happy with them and want something that'll actually help me, and I wonder if I stopped taking them and let the slippery slope take ME, where I can hide. Or not. Gawd, I'm confused. In a way, I want the family to know so that they will realize that my problems have been happening for a long time, but I fear being judged, while certain that I am anyway.

I am in Psychotherapy and she gives mixed messages too- you have the disorder, trust the pd and meds- and then she suggests that I'm over-medicated and should go with her methods which make sense at the time and leave as soon as I leave the office. (like Math classes)

well, I'm on a bit of a rant here, but the question nags. And when I call the crisis line, I don't know what I'm doing, except that I want to be taken care of and I know they'll all think I'm lazy and selfish. If they know. And if they don't, they'll be pissed of for not being informed.

Mostly it's my kids. they know I've always been moody and kind of weird, but I'm sure that they think I should get a job and just get over it.

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It is so sad that this needs to be kept secret in many families. My husband has been very open and honest about his bipolar, hospitlaizations, etc...

I do believe this has directly helped our son to talk to us about some weird mood stuff he has been having lately. If we had been all secretive, he would most likely have kept it to himself and could have ended up with an involuntary commitment. Son has an appointment with a pdoc coming up and he knows he has our love and support. Even with hubby's bipolar, our marriage is good and the kids respect him.

On the other hand, hubby's brother has hid his hospitalizations and is in total denial that he is bipolar. Rumor has it he even had his hospital diagnosis changed from "bipolar disorder" to "caffine induced psychosis". His relationship with his wife is rocky and his kids think he is a dick.

I guess hubby and I are just freaks that would rather deal with an uncomfortable truth than a nice easy to buy lie.

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Hey wifezilla, you and your husband are not alone! My family has always been SHIT at talking about emotions and similar, so when I was diagnosed I made a conscious decision to talk about the bipolar with everyone (mum, dad, two brothers). This has been a hard road at times, especially with regards my self-harm, but ultimately I feel sure that it is the right thing, and that my relationships with all of them are stronger for it. If I were ever hospitalised, I know they'd all be there to support me in any way they could.

Incidentally, I'm also very open about my bipolar with just about everyone who knows me well - I figure the people who count will deal with it and love me anyway, and those who can't aren't worth my time.

xx

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