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Friends, family vs. Pdocs and Tdocs


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Does anyone else find it very difficult to be honest with friends and family as opposed to professionals when it comes to depressive symptoms such as suicidal feelings or feeling like you don't want to be alone?  You know, putting up that "brave front" so to speak.  Also, this is just something I was wondering from when I was depressed a couple weeks ago, I'm not in crisis right now, just don't want to alarm anyone.  Thank ya everybody.

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I don't tell my friends/family any sort of thing with my illness. They are just not equipped to understand, they are coming at it from an emotional point of view, and that is not helpful. The only thing I will say to them is "I'm having a hard time right now, cut me some slack" but that's about as far as it goes. Tdocs and Pdocs are trained to help you through it and are looking at it through a non-judgemental/emotional view.

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I have a much more difficult time telling these things to my friends and family, though I find it incredibly difficult to tell anyone because I find it to be so intensely shameful, even though it's important.

 

Like anna, most of my friends and family are not equipped to have a helpful or effective response, and I often end up feeling worse for attempting to communicate and having it not work out.

 

(I don't have bipolar disorder btw, but not sure that influences this question).

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I don't tell my friends/family any sort of thing with my illness. They are just not equipped to understand, they are coming at it from an emotional point of view, and that is not helpful. The only thing I will say to them is "I'm having a hard time right now, cut me some slack" but that's about as far as it goes. Tdocs and Pdocs are trained to help you through it and are looking at it through a non-judgemental/emotional view.

I feel the same, when I have told my friends or family, it has not been helpful. They truly do not understand, and I often feel worse. Tdoc and pdoc, get it. Or at least I figure I am not unique in their eyes and they are not emotional vested. I also only share Goog fays bad days info to family and friends.

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Yes, I find it difficult to tell friends and family ... I don't tell them much except when they ask, I say, "I'm doing good," or "I'm doing well,"or something like that.  They just don't get it/understand it, and when they as questions I hate answering questions when they don't understand in the first place.

 

Also, if I told a family member/friend that I felt suicidal (but wasn't going to act on it), I can pretty much bet I'd end up in the ER.  My pdoc understands that there is a difference between feeling and acting on something.  And I can just talk and pdoc understands it, no judgement.

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I don't tell my friends/family any sort of thing with my illness. They are just not equipped to understand, they are coming at it from an emotional point of view, and that is not helpful. The only thing I will say to them is "I'm having a hard time right now, cut me some slack" but that's about as far as it goes. Tdocs and Pdocs are trained to help you through it and are looking at it through a non-judgemental/emotional view.

 

This works for me. My friends totally freak out if I mention I'm feeling down because they know I've been suicidal in the past. Yes, it's a bit of an elephant in the room, but I'd rather talk about the state of my brain with my pdoc. I feel like it's the only place I can talk about suicide at all, even someone else's, like Robin Williams.

 

My friends do cut me some slack if I'm not returning phone calls and generally participating in life, and I will tell them that it's hard to have bipolar, but I don't go into any details.

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I find it much easier to talk to pdoc etc and you guys on here too. I just feel like my family and friends are too emotionally attached and don't totally understand. I also don't want to tell them how I'm feeling I case they act shocked or afraid or whatever. It also makes me feel guilty to tell them a lot of things go because I feel like I'm hurting them and they really don't deserve that.

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I agree. It is easier to share with my therapist and psychiatrist. Even though I'm closer to my parents, I have trouble sharing with them. Maybe it's because I AM close? If it's someone from a further distance (like a health professional), then I am not as afraid as worrying them. They have seen it all before, whereas with my parents they have a lot more trouble going through it.

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Most of my close and relatives either have some sort of psychiatric disorder, so I actually find it very easy to talk to them about my feelings and my problems. They usually understand and help me cope.

I am very shy around people I don't know well, so I have more difficulty sharing with my pdoc than I have with my loved ones. I know it's stupid (my pdoc is there to help me after all), but I can't get over it. I'm too shy.

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Overall, I find it easiest to speak to my pdoc.  I've been slowly working on trying to be more frank with my immediate family, but I do struggle.  My mother is way too emotional about it, so I have to filter what I tell her (also to stop her from going online and googling every medication I'm taking).  My father, who is completely useless when it comes to expressing emotion, has turned out to be the best person to speak to because he's interested in the biology and the cold hard scientific facts.  It's kind of mixed with my siblings, mostly because not all of us live in the same city, so those who are in other parts of the country don't have to witness what I go through in an up close and personal way.

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To Soaring Raven: That's cool that you have family to talk to. I'm the opposite. I find the professionals much easier.

 

 

 

 

I can't figure out how to quote. Hitting the quote button didn't work. Any suggestions?

 

Hitting the quote button under the post you want to quote should work - it's what I did here.  Another way of doing it is to copy the portion of the post you want to quote, paste it into the reply window, highlight it and hit the quote icon, which you should see diagonally under the button for smilies (it's a little speech bubble). 

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i can only echo what others have said.  friends, acquaintances - they aren't going to understand, so i just shut up/lie.  family knows i'm not well, but the majority of what goes on in my head is kept quiet to protect them because it hurts them to know there's nothing they can do for me (and it scares them on the occasions where my thoughts have become obvious).  it isn't even easy to be totally honest with any of my doctors, but that is where i am the most truthful.

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I'm lucky enough to have both friends with MI and friends who are open and sympathetic to those who do.  I also write about my MI in my blog publicly and I think that helps people understand what goes on with me.  I've found that putting things in writing helps clarify things a lot better than if I try to talk about what's going on.  I can organize my thoughts more clearly, which helps facilitate others' understanding, and hopefully compassion.  I know the same approach works with my pdoc and has worked with tdocs in the past.  They're typically open to getting input about my MI any way they can get it.  I should make more of an effort to write things down for my family, since they're the ones who have to deal with me all the time and are therefore the most deserving of having status updates.  I think I'll do that this afternoon, as a matter of fact.

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My dad's a pdoc, so we talk about it all the time. Always have, even as a little kid, when I didn't know it would affect me. I've warned my pdocs not to accept calls from him, because he wants to manage my meds.

 

My mother is utterly clueless, and a complete and massive bitch about it. But then she would be, it takes attention away from her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only get suicidal when I am psychotic and paranoid and at that point, I think everyone I know is plotting.  It is often after months of being manic and I usually don't see anyone and my friends all are often angry with me at that point... I usually get the cops called for screaming and whatnot and get hauled off to a hospital.  I only see a psych nurse practitioner and do both meds and therapy with her.  I don't get along with therapists at all and I hate being accused of being manic behind my back because I was direct and rude to them when they talk down to me because I have a masters degree and being treated like I am a retarded person or 6 year old just bugs me.  I also disagree a lot and I also have ADHD so even with meds for that, I tick people off and am hyper.  If I was actually manic, I wouldn't show up at all.

 

My family is out of my life.  My mom had borderline PD (my younger brother picked it up from her but isn't dx'd) and in her eyes, if I disagreed with her about anything, she'd just talk over me and repeat, "YOU ARE CYCLING AND MANIC AND YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR MEDS!" The love/hate issues and the denial (she said the doctor was sexist and her issue was "life experience depression" which was her way of saying life was her problem, she wasn't mentally defective like me) were too much.  It was always all about her emotional turmoil and she wasn't treatable because she thought it was everyone else who made her life hell and she hated one of us and loved the other and switched back and forth all the time.  She was not healthy to have in my life and she died and I am relieved.  I dodge my brother because he is like her and I am hated for my no contact rule.  He (like she used to) finds out my number sporadically and it is voicemail after voicemail of how rotten I am so I left those people behind.  I have enough friends that stick by and know when I am in my mood.

Edited by Mattheus
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