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Hi,

I'm a newbie, been lurking for a bit. By profession I am a computer programmer, though at heart I am a starving artist.

I was recently DX with  bipolar disorder and GAD, and the doc mentioned borderline traits. I was put on lexapro and seroquel, the seroquel then being switched to geodon. Then 2mg Xanax XR was added for anxiety.

I know I'm no beautiful and unique snowflake, so I know what I am going through is not unique or unusual, but I just want to know the coping methods you use to deal with these issues:

1) Which of the masks that I wear is me? I don't think any of them are me.

2) I don't know what I want to do, who I like or dislike, I simply satisfy obligations which I create for myself (accepting personal invitations, going to misc. appointments). When (if ever) will I enjoy things again? When (if ever) will I know what I really want/enjoy?

3) When/if I figure this crap out, what if everything I have ever done, every decision, has been made based on mental illness? What if I don't like the people around me or they don't like me (once I figure out who/what that is)?

I have been sick since I was 12, I am afraid like Hal9000 was afraid when Dave was taking his innards out in 2001, Space Oddysey. Any encouraging words for someone new to treatment?

Thanks so much for any words.

~opheliah

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1) Which of the masks that I wear is me? I don't think any of them are me.

2) I don't know what I want to do, who I like or dislike, I simply satisfy obligations which I create for myself (accepting personal invitations, going to misc. appointments). When (if ever) will I enjoy things again? When (if ever) will I know what I really want/enjoy?

3) When/if I figure this crap out, what if everything I have ever done, every decision, has been made based on mental illness? What if I don't like the people around me or they don't like me (once I figure out who/what that is)?

hi ophelia, welcome. alot of us have been pondering these same questions. i highly recommend you take a look at these threads below (go back a page or two):

Doctors Who Doubt

Putting on your 'Sane Face'

Man's search for ultimate meaning?

Or "Who the fuck am I?"

those are just off the top of my head. you may find other helpful ones as well.

My opinion: in summation, as i see it, you're basically second-guessing yourself post-dx. but it's a fruitless exercise. here is where you are and you can only try to make the best of it. your meds will just help you retain those even moments in your life.

many normals are moody. we just go to extremes and psychology calls it pathological. but i think it is us--when we were in the mood. i look back on all i've done and i can justify/explain it all--but i can also modulate it with the psychological aspect.

psychology is chemistry and vice versa. what you think and will has it's biological grounding. ultimately, it is all you. we all evolve. You are who you choose to be, or you are who you become by default, or somewhere in between. I try to shoot for the first.

best,

7

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With the supposed "borderline traits" and "GAD" both common in the BP- I am just wondering if in your case it is something along the lines of PTSD or something where you see the world through any type of fog. If this seems like you, and I do not know your history, you can discuss this with your pdoc.

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i look back on all i've done and i can justify/explain it all--but i can also modulate it with the psychological aspect.

You are who you choose to be, or you are who you become by default, or somewhere in between. I try to shoot for the first.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think a lot of are decision are based on the fact that we are MI

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

See good points above.  Our MI doesn't change who we are.  As Seven and Anne said, it effects our decisions, but it doesn't change who the person making those decisions is.  I like to think of MI as an amplifier.  It takes normal input and boosts it. 

From your post, a lot of what you are asking about runs along the lines of borderline thinking.  Borderlines often have a fucked up sense of self.  As someone with a similar dx, including the borderline part, I often find it hard to find joy in life.  There are very few things that bring me happiness.  It is hard to decide what exactly it is I want.  These are all things that suck and I don't have any good answers for you.  Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone.

As far as good things, my BP is now under much better control than in the past.  As someone said on another thread, now that the BP is under control, I can start working on all the other stuff.  It is a slow process and sometimes it feels like it will never get better, but there are many of us here that are living proof that it does.

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Heya ophelia,

I have also been (in the retrspectoscope) BP spectrum since I was a kid, 11 or so.

I think, for me, having untreated/un-dx'd BP during the time when I was trying to do the normal growing thing -- establishing/developing my adult identity -- made things a lot more murky.

I feel like a blanket is being lifted off my head. I am/was *me* under the blanket but I couldn't see out and other people only saw the blanket.

That's as metaphorical as my literal brain can get.

After my dx was confirmed (I knew for a while, really, but *couldn't* ask for help), and I started actively treating this thing, I started having the same questions you listed.

I started a page in my journal where I make myself write down what I think are parts of *me* without BP.  Like, it turns out, BP makes me impatient, but underneath it I'm ... less impatient.  ;)   BP makes me hate myself and think I'm stupid.  Treated, I can atually see that's not true and I am actually pretty bright.

My list is growing.

It's actually interesting, days when I feel good enough to be interested.

Something that's working for me anyway.  Blanket is being lifted off my head, layer by layer at least.

Hold on.  This is a weird time, trying to sort out *you* from *your illness.*

And it *is* worth exploring the possible borderline (goddamn I hate that label) personality angle, in case that's a factor for you, because there may be a different treatment approach.

Rambling a bit here.

--ncc--

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Thanks everyone for your responses! I have a lot of tidbits of knowledge and advice to glean through and try to apply to myself. I am a big journaller, but tend to keep it superficial, I list factually what has happened to me. I think I will try out writing about ME, how I feel, and I really like the idea of writing down what/who I think I am without the BP.

I really appreciate all the responses! I hope that I can come here and try to share what I can and take in the things I read. I know now that there is a moderator with the name OPHELIA -- to avoid confusion I am in the process of figuring out how to change my login name. My real name is Peg, and I will probably re-register with some form or another of that.

Again, thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to me, I appreciate it.

Peg

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