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Trouble accepting that I'm "sick"...


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First lemme say I'm new here, posted in the Intro forum & all that jazz.

So, I'm not newly dx'd at all---been about 7-8 years, in fact. My first year being dx'd was also my senior year of high school, most of which was spent inpatient.

Since then I've been up & down with the best of 'em with very little stability in between. On & off meds, the whole shabang.

For a couple years, I actually did alright. I was off meds for the majority of those years, held a steady job & was even promoted. I wasn't without symptoms, but I was FUNCTIONING. I had friends, went out, worked, etc.

Then, in January 2010, I hit a wall HARD. I took a temp leave of absence from my job, started seeing new pdoc & tdoc & went back on meds.

I never returned to that job.

This past year has been horrendous.

Different med combos, being unemployed, paranoia, psychotic symptoms (which are new...never had that before this past year), and a crisis diversion program (result of an ER visit) which I was in for about 4 months. They helped me get meds, drove me to appts & helped me with social services & applying for SSDI/SSI (disability).

Well, my SSDI/SSI apps are pending, tho I'm sure I'll be denied the first time 'round. At least that's what everyone's told me.

Social services was a bust. After waiting ninety days for an app for Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc, I was denied bc they said I hadn't applied for SSDI/SSI...which I DID...mix-up I guess, but not worth going there & going thru all that ish again.

Ok, before this becomes a novel, here's my point. I'm not employed & not doing much of anything. I feel like I should be so much more progressed by now! I want to work, but I procrastinate in looking for a job. I sleep too much or not at all. I am pretty good with my meds, but feel resistent to them. What level of functioning is to be expected after being dx'd for this many years? Shouldn't I be better, functioning, working? My tdoc is pretty doubtful that I wlil find or keep a job & we've made an "agreement" that if I'm not working soon I'll attend a mental health day program...tho I really have no intention on doing that. I went once, for half a day & left in tears because the thought of being that disfunctional that I actually NEED something like that made me want to run in the other direction.

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I can only speak to what I expect of myself and maybe it will resonate with you.

I dont care if Im sane or crazy, happy or sad, angry or calm as long as I can be content with HOWEVER I am. Acceptance for me is the key.

VERY hard to do though.....:wacko:

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I don't know. I've done day programs/partial programs/day-time groups and still am doing them. They aren't that bad. Especially if you are just diagnosed. They will give you a lot of education that is much needed. Plus it's something to structure your day.

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Bipolar Disorder is renowned for "Lack of insight to illness". You don't see people with broken legs refusing to admit it. You don't see people with depression denying the lows. But Bipolar you do.

Unfortunately, having 8 years 'seniority' as a crazy doesn't guarantee a better outcome. On the other hand, it doesn't mean that you won't get better and have a more stable and happier life. :)

I don't want to give you a laundry list of things to do (unless you ask for one).

You need help in accepting the illness, taking meds and applyim.ng for benefits. The first place to start is with your pdoc. Print out your post and give it to him. It sounds like you need more general support, and if you don't have a therapist I think one would be very helpful.

I'll let others chime in.

Best, a.m.

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I'm sorry you are feeling bad. I pretty much understand how you feel. The others have given you good advice, and acceptance will help you a lot. I remember not accepting my depression, and looking everywhere for a cure which I never found. When I finally reached the point where I realized that my depression is like diabetes and needs to be managed, not cured, I somehow became more calm inside. I focused on becoming functional again instead of some magic cure. I don't know about day programs because I've never used them. I'm not working now, but I refuse to go on disability because to me that would seem like accepting defeat. However, I don't know how long I can hold out with meds becoming more and more expensive. I know exactly how you feel when you said that you want a job and to be functional again.

How are you on your meds? Do they help you? Much? I think the key is finding the right med combo, and this is a process that could take years. So don't give up, hang in there, and you will be functional again.

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Thanks, everyone, for the input!

My meds...I'm not sure if they're really doing anything. Aside from bad side effects, I've never really felt any significant changes from any meds. I've never had that "AHA" moment that I've heard peopple describe when they find the right med.

The cost of meds is right...not to mention pdoc & tdoc. No clue how I'll be refilling my meds when the time comes, and pretty sure I have to cancel tdoc & pdoc this week. Again. Haven't seen pdoc since November! It's a clinic, too, but still takes ten dollars per appt...plus it's pretty far, thus requiring gas. Believe me when I say I'm broke. My fiance & I live off his one paycheck which is barely above minimum wage.

I just feel like I'm whining now LoL. But I do appreciate the advice/support/input.

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First lemme say I'm new here, posted in the Intro forum & all that jazz.

So, I'm not newly dx'd at all---been about 7-8 years, in fact. My first year being dx'd was also my senior year of high school, most of which was spent inpatient.

Since then I've been up & down with the best of 'em with very little stability in between. On & off meds, the whole shabang.

For a couple years, I actually did alright. I was off meds for the majority of those years, held a steady job & was even promoted. I wasn't without symptoms, but I was FUNCTIONING. I had friends, went out, worked, etc.

That's the thing. You can go for long periods without having severe symptoms, being functional, and coping somehow. There are a lot of ingenious ways that I think BPs cope with symptoms and, actually, I've been wondering if there are any studies done on coping skills of BPs because they can be really strong and effective- to a point, that is.

Eventually things become overwhelming and we run out of steam OR the symptoms just become too severe, like you describe happened to you. Bipolar has a strong tendency to get worse if left to its own devices. New symptoms can develop and things can become worse.

Social services was a bust. After waiting ninety days for an app for Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc, I was denied bc they said I hadn't applied for SSDI/SSI...which I DID...mix-up I guess, but not worth going there & going thru all that ish again.

I know this seems to be an exercise in frustration. Is there anyone you can call to find out if there's anyone you can call to straighten this out? There may be a way to straighten out the mix up and not have to reapply and do all the paper work over again. If you DO have to do it over again... please reconsider. I know it's time consuming, difficult and frustrating. However, it would be very beneficial for you to have these benefits so I hope you can try again. Just do a little bit each day.

Ok, before this becomes a novel, here's my point. I'm not employed & not doing much of anything. I feel like I should be so much more progressed by now! I want to work, but I procrastinate in looking for a job. I sleep too much or not at all. I am pretty good with my meds, but feel resistent to them. What level of functioning is to be expected after being dx'd for this many years? Shouldn't I be better, functioning, working? My tdoc is pretty doubtful that I wlil find or keep a job & we've made an "agreement" that if I'm not working soon I'll attend a mental health day program...tho I really have no intention on doing that. I went once, for half a day & left in tears because the thought of being that disfunctional that I actually NEED something like that made me want to run in the other direction.

Unfourtunately there's no real "should" to gauge against.

At about 6ish years I was still in bed much of the time, not doing anything. Around 7-8 years I started taking one class at my local community college and worked up from there, very slowly. I now go to college full time, with a lot of supports. But I'm still pretty crazy. Every couple of weeks or so I have a brush with insanity of one type or another and feel like I'm going to leave school/get kicked out/fail. For various mental health related reasons.

I think it takes a long time to just accept meds as part of your life, and that may not happen until you settle on a good combination for a while. I know you don't want to think of yourself as someone who is "that sick" or "that bad". But we all need different levels of treatment and support to get better. What you need doesn't dictate the type of person you are or your worth and no one here is going to judge you for it.

I you just want to feel better, you need to try and explore every avenue you can, even if it's scary.

Getting better can be scary, but it's worth it.

Have you considered looking into volunteering somewhere maybe one day a week to start?

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Ok, before this becomes a novel, here's my point. I'm not employed & not doing much of anything. I feel like I should be so much more progressed by now! I want to work, but I procrastinate in looking for a job. I sleep too much or not at all. I am pretty good with my meds, but feel resistent to them. What level of functioning is to be expected after being dx'd for this many years? Shouldn't I be better, functioning, working? My tdoc is pretty doubtful that I wlil find or keep a job & we've made an "agreement" that if I'm not working soon I'll attend a mental health day program...tho I really have no intention on doing that. I went once, for half a day & left in tears because the thought of being that disfunctional that I actually NEED something like that made me want to run in the other direction.

If you want to work...then work towards working. If I were you I'd be wondering why my tdoc was so doubtful about my employment prospects. Of course, I don't know your employment history or your skills, so I can't say, and in this economy it's just a bitch. So there is that.

I'm just remembering my first tdoc--he said he'd back me for SSDI. i said, hell no, I want to work. Took me another year and a half but dammit I found a job. Point being, you can either listen to what someone else tells you, or you can decide to work for your future.

First thing, get stable. That may mean going to that program; whatever. Do what you need to til you're ready to move forward. If you get on SSDI, fine; but if you want to work, be more independent, keep that as a goal.

Whatever you do, don't just give up. You'll never get better that way.

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