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Did you go through a period of mourning your dx?


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I'm sure it just takes time, but right now I'm in an "I DON'T WANT THIS" stage. I feel like I've been cheated only getting the diagnosis recently. What would my life have been like if I'd know and been properly medicated 5, 10, 20 years ago? I don't know what's useful about being bp- what's the good side?

Anyone else?

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Have you ever been euphoric? That's something many chase with drugs and alcohol. You got it for free, and probably a better high, for a while at least. If you were lucky. Um. All the accomplishments you've achieved. All the people you have known. That you rode a trike when you were three. It is your life. Every aspect of it is touched by BP in one way or another. Try not to focus just on the negative. It is part of you and perhaps you would have never lived without it.

It is normal to mourn the diagnosis. It is normal to go thru a, "why me," phase. It is normal to go thru the phase you are in, "What would my life have been like," for which we usually decide better because most everyone, MI or not, figures their life would have better if only X. It's normal to go through a, "how to control it," phase and to be frustrated for a while. It's normal to go thru, "how many effing pills?". It's normal to have a hard time coping with the cycleness of it. I'm sure there are more.

The best way to cope is to find a therapist who works with folks with bipolar, perhaps one who works with your pdoc, and to then talk about all of it. Like any form of getting to acceptance, you will probably jump around. In the end, you'll be fine. It just might take some work and a while to get there.

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I'm not bipolar, but I have to agree with what's been said, as I think it applies to most MI. I've gone through a period of "why me?", a period of "what if it had been caught earlier", even a period of blaming everyone around me for not noticing there was something wrong with me years ago. Hell, I'm still in that last period. I think it's normal to have all sorts of different acceptance issues. No one wants to have MI. Your best bet is to find a therapist whom you can relate to, and they'll help you and teach you how to accept the fact that you have issues.

Good luck!

N

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I think I am mourning my dx now. Even though I have been through so many episodes of depression, I always kind of thought it was a passing thing. Denial, right? Now I understand that, barring a miracle, I will have to deal with this the rest of my life. I have lost so much due to depression; jobs, schooling, a "normal" life. A fufilling life. I hope I can still have these things, or at least some of them. But, yeah, I think I am grieving.

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I was actually grateful that I knew what the hell was wrong with me. My whole life, I'd had it drilled home that I was stupid/lazy/selfish/insert-adjective-here, and I tried and tried to not be those things. So when I got the official dx, it was kinda nice to find out that there was something wrong with my brain instead of me just being an asshole.

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I know I'm not BP, but I do think this can apply to anyone.

When I was diagnosed the first thing I felt was relief. I finally knew what was causing all my anxiety. But it quickly changed to anger and denial, with me believing that pdoc was just another who wanted to accuse me of making everything up (this has been a running theme for me in the last few years). Eventually I got to the point of 'well I don't have to believe that I have psychosis, but it got me a med that helps my anxiety'. But I have always felt that I wish I had noticed that something was wrong (with me, not everyone else as I believed) and got treatment sooner because if that had happened then I would probably be doing much better by now (like being able to get a job).

I still feel anger now about how stupid I was (and still am). I also feel some anger about being false dx with BPD, because at my very worst I have only ever met just one of the criteria and also it stopped me getting the help I needed.

Even now, I do still prefer to believe that it is only anxiety that I have. Because anxiety has always been by far my worst symptom. But I am working on trying to accept that pdoc is entitled to his opinion, whether I choose to agree or not. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off not knowing at all that something was wrong, that maybe I might be living a more productive life. But then maybe not because my paranoia was really bad.

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I felt grateful because all of the antidepressants I'd been taking for 2+ years weren't really helping, even with an anti-psychotic... a mood stabilizer lifted the depression. I'd tried lithium before but I had to go off of it due to side effects, which is a pity.

I kind of have the opposite problem you do. I constantly doubt my diagnosis. As soon as I feel better I immediately want to stop taking my pills, but then I feel guilty - because if I'm not really sick, then why did I put the people around me through so much hell? It's a vicious cycle. I only believe I'm sick when I'm depressed or in a mixed state. It's like my memory is destroyed as soon as I feel better. It drives my mother crazy.

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I grieved. But I also felt a whoooole lot of contradictory emotions...

I was dxed at the lowest point I've ever been, when being on an SSRI by itself was making me go totally batshit. The "official" diagnosis came after months of me researching BPII and basically understanding that I had it.

It was weird, though, because I still went through a grieving period at that point. Like I guess the fact that I'd have it forever was a downer. I felt angry at that, too...I didn't want to have to deal with the stigma against BP. Depression is so much easier to explain.

But I was also relieved to know there was a name and an explanation for my battiness, that it wasn't due to some failure or weakness on my part.

I was excited to get on meds that might actually help...yet also terrified that the dx was wrong and that nothing would help.

I was diagnosed recently and I'm still pretty young, so I can't totally relate to what you're feeling. Still, keep in mind that nothing has actually changed. Your actions in the past were no less authentic because of the dx--you're still you.

Also keep in mind that finding the right meds will probably be enough of a relief that this will start to matter less. That's how it was for me, anyway.

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I was relieved when I got the diagnosis, at age 24, because I had been certain of it since I was 18. If you want to talk about being mad at people for not noticing something was wrong, my dad is a pdoc, and while he completely accepted it once it was diagnosed, it had never crossed his mind until then, even though I literally told him I was positive I was clinically depressed. But whatever.

I think I didn't mourn at first. I thought one med would clear everything up, and I would be able to go on as usual. But it got more and more complex, and I was depressed for the majority of the 90s. I began to realize the life I had planned out for myself was just not going to happen. I was living at my parents a lot in my 20s and 30s. I would get contract positions, and work for a bit, and then the job would end, but I couldn't handle full-time work. I would still be living at my parents' a lot if I weren't married to Mr. Awesome.

I like to think I have accepted it, but whenever I have an episode I am really resentful towards my parents for a) creating my particular biological makeup, and b) the fact that my mom liked to pretend I was just being lazy, and nothing was wrong with me. That is when I think "why me." Most of the rest of the time, I am conscious of the fact that my activities are severely circumscribed when I include the migraines, but I am not upset about it.

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I think my mourning really started when I finally got on SSDI. That was when it really hit me that no, I'm not going to be magically ~*~*~cured~*~*~ and life is never going to be rosies and ponies. I'm always going to have to deal with this in one form or another.

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When I was first diagnosed I was completely shocked. I came in with chief complaint of overwhelming social anxiety and left with a dx of bipolar. The more research I did, the more it made sense. I think someone else here said this too, it was kind of relieving. I finally understood most of the things that had been puzzling me for years. I don't think I mourned my dx so much as spent a lot of time thinking about "wow...is this really me?" and kind of just trying conceptualize it and take it all in. It took a while for me to accept it. Most of the "mourning" I did was just over the "why me?" type thoughts. Now I've got the "how many effing pills?" type thoughts. I notice with time I seem to grow more comfortable with my dx... not that I enjoy it, just that I'm less appalled by it.

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I was dxed at the lowest point I've ever been...

That's a really good point. I went in, after the initial adhd diagnosis, because I was so severely depressed. I believe the adhd diagnosis, but something else was going on as well. It had never occurred to me that I'd had a manic episode. I'd always misunderstood manic as meaning really, really happy. When I started describing some things I'd done in the past, my tdoc said, "yeah, that's manic." My manic episodes are pretty short and fleeting (and can be just as easily chalked up to bad adhd spells), but they're still there.

Anyways, yes- I received the diagnosis when I was already feeling at my lowest. If they told me I'd won a brand new car, I'd have probably been able to put a negative spin on it.

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Before I start, apologies if this is going to look somewhat convoluted because I have been through various diagnoses over the years...

The very first dxs I received were Major Depression and Social Anxiety, which never really felt right for me. I always felt that they explained some, but not all of the picture - as though there was something missing in the components. I don't think I ever mourned when I received those dxs, but rather I felt somewhat frustrated because I didn't think they fully represented my experiences. So, when I received a bipolar dx in 2009, I was relieved because I felt like some of the picture had been clarified. Again, not entirely everything, but when I framed my life within the bipolar mood swing framework, it made more sense.

It was very strange for me when my bipolar II dx was changed to bipolar with psychotic features within a few weeks of each other, because I never saw myself as being "psychotic". I was just coming to terms with the idea of BP II, when the dx was changed to BP with psychotic features and I was given an antipsychotic to take. I always saw myself as a logical and rational person, so being told that I had "psychotic episodes" was quite a shock. I think it took me a while to adjust. Then it took me a while to adjust again when the diagnosis changed to schizoaffective, although with time, I actually agree with the sza label more than bipolar due to the patterns of my episodes.

When I received my Asperger's dx, that was also confronting. My pdoc and tdoc had been wrangling with each other about whether or not I had Asperger's for over a year and initially my pdoc was adamant that it was "no". For whatever reason, he changed his mind.

I guess whenever I first received a dx, the first feeling I get is of relief - of finally knowing and having a name to put onto this "something" that is affecting my life. There is also a sense of mourning too. It was hard to swallow the idea that I have conditions that are not curable, only manageable. These conditions also made me have to re-examine my life and my approach to living. On the other hand, now that I know what I'm dealing with, I can at least work towards solutions.

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I was actually grateful that I knew what the hell was wrong with me. My whole life, I'd had it drilled home that I was stupid/lazy/selfish/insert-adjective-here, and I tried and tried to not be those things. So when I got the official dx, it was kinda nice to find out that there was something wrong with my brain instead of me just being an asshole.

^This.

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Here is a link on grief over a bp dx

http://members.iinet.net.au/~fractal1/fsrvive1.htm

I knew there was something wrong because I had been psychotic, but I had trouble finding anything I could relate to in the books I read on bp. It wasn't until I talked to other people did I see how it could fit. The dx of sza was a relief because it made sense.

I'm not sure if I went through stages of grief. I was angry, but more on how I was being treated and I have guilt for things I've done. I've accepted the dx now.

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There was never a particular time to grieve, I guess.

I knew I was different as a child, as soon as preschool started and I had to be around other children. I didn't have any name for how I was different. I was obviously bright; I thought maybe that was it. From kindergarten on, every couple of years I'd find myself in the guidance office again, getting some sort of test. But I grew up in a rural area in the 1970's and 80's, and diagnosing anything other than learning disabilities at that point (they caught my kid brother's dyslexia right away) was not the local strong suit.

My whole family is really messed up, alcoholic, abusive, depressed, bipolar, you name it, so it isn't as if I had never heard of various psychiatric conditions. As soon as I could understand them, I started reading books about psychology at the local library. I figured out what was wrong with me when I was fifteen-I think in response to a book I read about Sylvia Plath. I made some connection from there. One of my grandmothers had manic depression, and by fifteen I met all the criteria for what is now called bipolar l. Fifteen was a rocky year. I ran away. My parents made me see my first shrink, whom I hated and refused to speak to.

So I cycled my way through my twenties until a complete collapse when I was 27 landed me on the shores of a competent mental health care team. After I got out of the hospital I had my first appointment with my first pdoc, and I walked in and said "I'm bipolar and [all this] is what's been going on" and no one has ever questioned that I am anything but bipolar l.

Then I had over two years of medication problems that were almost as bad as the illness they were intended to fix.

Then suddenly I hit a cocktail that worked and had a remission. I got a full-time job and went back to school nights. The proper remission only lasted about a year, maybe, but I've never again been as sick as I was when I was 27.

Since being on meds I've earned two college degrees, and worked part time, full time...now I think I'm starting a freelance career.

It has occasionally come to me to be exhausted and sick of dealing with all the doctors, side effects, the everlasting tinkering with my meds, the blood tests, the restrictions on what I feel it's safe to do, and the sheer amount of my mental energy that managing my illness takes, but I don't think I've ever mourned the illness itself. It's too much an intrinsic fact of my life. It's always been with me in one form or another. For a while I felt funny about the formal diagnosis...it was mildly surreal to discover that I had been exactly right. And sometimes I think about all the time I could've been considerably more productive had I been receiving treatment, and I feel sorry about that, and about what all of this has put my husband through. But that's really it.

Grieving my diagnosis would sort of be like grieving that I'm right-handed.

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I did grieve my illness... mainly not finding out about it before I made some really BAD life choices, to the point where they've pretty much impacted my whole life on and off.

So, so do not marry your dealer and have a kid with him.

Other than that, though, no I don't grieve a great deal. I do the best I can with what I have and am in a pretty good situation right now (many have it worse) so I'm grateful I'm dx, med compliant, and all that rigeramole. You know? What is there to grieve. I have this illness, I don't want to wast more time just feeling crappy aout it.

Anna

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I felt numerous feelings towards my dx. I've had many dx's over time and it's still in the process of changing (schizophrenia or schizoaffective they're tossing up now), when I got my first dx it didn't make sense as it didn't fit all my symptoms but over time things started to unravel.

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