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sarahisme

Family doesn't want to think I'm crazy

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So a couple of weeks ago when I was waiting for my pdoc appointment (where they diagnosed BP II), I talked to my family a little about what I was going through and why I had made that appointment. I'm sort of kicking myself now because at the time I was just sort of figuring out what this all could mean and probably didn't explain it well at all. But I had sort of wanted to compare notes with them, and was just really needing some validation that I was making the right choice.

 

Well, long story short: they thought I was just being too hard on myself, that I'm really just brilliant and driven (??), that lots of famous, brilliant people have similar personalities (not helpful), that I just need to learn to not let emotions dictate my life, and that pdocs are scary people who are just looking to medicate anyone and everyone, so be careful who I trust.

 

I know none of that is actually true or accurate with what I've experienced, but I am worried about now broaching the subject again and telling them that in fact I did get a diagnosis, that what I've been experiencing is serious, not brilliant, and actually quite debilitating. I'm worried that now because of how I first brought it up, they really won't believe me this time. 

 

Anybody had a similar experience with family, and how did you talk to them about it after the fact? 

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I can't address this in terms of BPII, but when my husband and other family members questioned why I needed to be treated for depression, I compared it to a physical illness.  Would you let Diabetes go and not treat it?  Would you ignore pneumonia and hope that it would go away?

 

If they don't understand BPII, you might need to get them some books on it.  We have suggested books that our members have given to their families, and you'll find the names of them in pinned topics at the top of the forum. ("Bipolar info and web sites")  There are blogs, movies, books, and other forms of information that might be helpful to you in explaining what you are going through.

 

Sometimes family members just don't get it, but now and then there is an "Aha" moment and they gain some understanding.  If they don't, you will always have your friends at Crazyboards. :)

 

olga

 

olga

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AverOblivious, you are not in a position to diagnosis anyone as crazy or not crazy. We do not make diagnoses on CBs; it is illegal for us to do so anyway. It is perfectly okay to share your personal experiences, and what they mean for you. But you cannot make a diagnosis of other people based on your own experiences.

 

Her pdoc has *actually diagnosed* her with a MI. How are you in a position to discredit him?

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Stephen Fry made a documentary called The Secret Life Of the Manic Depressive which i watched with my family. They found it very useful and Stephen interviewed a range of people with varying degrees of bipolar and he spoke to clinicians too. It is available online if you google.

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My kids understood but balked at talking to the therapist because she kept trying to explain and they didn't want to hear it from a stranger.  My husband told me to stop taking "all those medications" and I would be fine, that they were screwing with my mind.  He is, in fact, afflicted with a severe case of stick-your-head-in-the-sand-itis.  But he did admit to the therapist that things seem much calmer and it's easier to be happy at home.  go figure.

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I am high functioning crazy.  You are full of shit.  If I want to call myself crazy, it's none of your fucking business.  There is no fucking "crazy" diagnosis that suddenly makes you a homeless, gun toting, murderous, unclean MI person.  Hell, you can't even find that fucking definition on the internet and monkeys write the content.  Step back and fucking reassess.  Also being a bigger jackass than the mods is frowned upon.

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Do you think their beliefs will interfere with your treatment? I have some family members that don't understand and think I should be over it by now. But, I don't see them very often so it doesn't cause any problems.

 

NAMI has some educational programs for family/friends that may help them understand if they are receptive. My family members think they know enough already and aren't open to it.


 

AverOblivious, you are not in a position to diagnosis anyone as crazy or not crazy. We do not make diagnoses on CBs; it is illegal for us to do so anyway. It is perfectly okay to share your personal experiences, and what they mean for you. But you cannot make a diagnosis of other people based on your own experiences.

 

Her pdoc has *actually diagnosed* her with a MI. How are you in a position to discredit him?

 

are you serious? 'crazy' isn't even a mental illness, it's a social stigma.

 

So i'm not diagnosing anyone on "cb". calm your farm.

 

I'm not in a position to discredit his pdoc and neither did I try to, you grossly misinterpreted what I had to say.

 

 

I know you were trying to be supportive but it is stigmatizing to the people you described as being truly "crazy".

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Dude, the website is called crazyboards.  Don't tell us that we're "not that crazy."  This is where the real fuckups hang out.

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....that I just need to learn to not let emotions dictate my life...

 

Therein lies the problem.

Maybe if you explain to them that it's literally impossible for you to do that without pharmaceutical and therapeutic assistance, they would get it.  MAYBE.

 

Mostly, you just suck it up and get treatment.  

I'm afraid this is one thing you MUST go with your own judgment on.  Trust in yourself.  

If YOU are better on meds, stay on them.

 

I believe you're not exaggerating and you are this ill. 

I support you seeking treatment.

 

 

are you serious? 'crazy' isn't even a mental illness, it's a social stigma.

...Most of us here are too MI to cover it up successfully.

I can work at select things...but I talk to my self/selves in public fairly often...and make weird noises...and lose everything, and get depressed.

I also shout at equipment...The equipment often obeys when spoken to sternly. :cool:

 

I'm crazy. :D

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Crazy's a relative term. There are people compared to who I'm batshit. There are other people compared to whom I look very sane.

But I also take the point that crazy often means psychotic and it takes on a different meaning if you are or have been psychotic.

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I've been psychotic. It hasn't taken on a different meaning for me.

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I hear voices but am not psychotic. Is that still a crazy, by this definition?

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The fact of the matter is unless you are dependant on your family for food/shelter/financial help, you really don´t need to tell them anything until you feel comfortable. 

 

I understand your families need to make this not about MI. They are scared for you and they really don´t understand what it means. It does sound like you have a good relationship with your family though. And that is a good thing.

 

Just take this one step at a time. You were just delivered some life altering information. Give yourself some time to get your head around this new development before you feel the need to defend it.

 

Good luck! You did wind up in the perfect forum. This place quite literally saved my life more than once. 

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I am sensing that you are perceiving their outlook as minimizing the problem. it's possible they are just trying to assure you that it can be manageable, and they believe in you and your success. perhaps just express how you feel it's more than just a little irregulation, and you need some real understanding. open up if you feel comfy. they sound warm.

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Denial is a typical responce, i went through it for years with my folks. Eventually they had to accept it when i got really ill.

Give them time and because they love you they will eventually understand that you have an illness.

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I live far away from my family, but we are emotionally close.

Talked to Mom a few months ago (before diagnosis) about ADD. About struggling, and that some people (didn't single out my SO, or my SIL) had suspected ADD. She seemed supportive at the time, but later called me back and said I'm great and she is really angry that anybody would say there is anything wrong with me.

I went ahead with treatment. I haven't told her anything else about it. I've thought about telling her, but it never seems like the right time on the phone. I'll probably tell her when I see her in person next. By then the results should be pretty dramatic.

I don't know whether going it alone is an potion in your situation. Working for me so far.

In my experience, it is more distressing to have somebody you love crazy than to be crazy yourself.

If my Mom is still bothered about the diagnosis and treatment, I intend to downplay it. I'll tell her I'm not crazy*, I'm just doing what it takes to do my best. I'll let her know much research I've done, how careful I've been. That I take and keep control and responsibility for my treatment.

* "crazy" isn't a diagnosis, it is an opinion and a very loaded word that means different things to different people and in different contexts. I'm crazy in that I am MI in a life-damaging way. But Mom doesn't have a crazy son. Her boys are perfect even if they do need some help.

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I am sensing that you are perceiving their outlook as minimizing the problem. it's possible they are just trying to assure you that it can be manageable, and they believe in you and your success. perhaps just express how you feel it's more than just a little irregulation, and you need some real understanding. open up if you feel comfy. they sound warm.

That's my take too from my own experience. Family cares and copes as best they can and try to be motivational/positive in their own way.

Mine thinks I can think myself well--that if I think I'm*not* crazy and stop telling myself that I *am* that it will go away....that's been through two IP treatments now and countless meltdowns. If I could think it away I sure as hell would...but I know they mean well.

I always think of it as them being able to relate only as much as they've been through it themselves. They're basing it on what their experience in life is--which is far different from what we all have lived through.

 

(Sorry not to hijack the thread...on the topic of calling ourselves 'crazy' I think it's a personal decision. I don't use it in a derragatory fashion or mean to offend anyone--when I use that term, it's always directed at myself. I feel I can call myself crazy because I am and I'm ok with it--it's not like I can fix it....}

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