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"You're the most reasonable 18 year old


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I met my new theripist today. He has a big nose.

But one thing he said struck me.

"you're the most reasonable 18 year old with bipolar that I've ever met."

Well... thanks... I guess.

I get that kind of thing alot. Afterwards in group at one point someone mentioned me being "wise beyond my years", and how they're always forgetting that I'm the youngest of the group and such.

I've always been mature for my age, except when I'm (hypo)manic but that's another story.

And everyone tells me this, I get it left and right, teachers, doctors, theripists.

But if I'm so mature and I'm so reasonable and I'm so wonderful and I'm so everything then why is my life so fucking miserable??????

I'm so mature and I'm so reasonable but the rest of my brain dosn't work.

If I'm so mature and I'm so reasonable then why is my greatest desire to curl up in the fetal position in a corner and shut my eyes with my thumb in my mouth and never worry about anything again. What's mature about that. What's reasonable about being crippled to that point.

Oh god it's bad to night, it's really really bad to night, i'm rambling now i better stop.

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I won't bore you with the details, but I'd heard the same thing over and over again in my younger years. "13 going on 30" blah, blah, blah. Even had one psych nurse in a hospital tell me I was too "intelligent" to be there. And, yes, it's maddening and not at all helpful.

I would say that in the case of your new therapist, perhaps it's just best to accept it for the compliment he meant it to be (however clumsily worded), and be open. Give him a fair chance and see how it goes. You'll know soon enough if he is the right tdoc for you.

I do know how you feel, Adnama. You are hurting. Being "wise beyond your years" doesn't help that.

Take care,

revlow

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I have to say I know how that feels.

Until my current therapist saw The Email , a profane, vulgar, and explosive rant sent to a good friend of mine about my now ex-boss (avail. upon request providing I don't read it, in which case I have to drink heavily), the current therapist didn't believe I was capable of any significant rage or mental illness, in fact. 

I got the same opinion from my ex-therapist (good man, last saw him 8/2003) who saw my automated-MMPI test results reflecting an 'extremely disturbed individual who requires immediate psychiatric intervention'.  He didn't believe a word of the automated description, even though I was still, back then, a nasty psychiatric case.  And there was no way for me to communicate this to him, given that I had no specific targets to direct my extreme anger at.

Now that my current therapist's seen The Email , though, she's been pursuing medicinal treatment for me through my psychiatrist (as well as therapy from herself, as well). 

I don't know if this info will help, I'm hoping it does, but I still want you to know I have both extreme empathy and sympathy for you.

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On a slightly different note, I feel as though having suffered from and been diagnosed with BP as a teenager has somehow aged me...I feel so alone/alienated from most of my friends because they just don't get *it*. I don't know if this is anything to do with what you were talking about Adnama, but it seems to fit here....

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When I was growing up I was always pegged as the "reasonable, mature, intelligent" one by both my parents and my teachers. It was my younger siblings who did all the crazy stuff. And, as labels have a tendency to do, mine stuck with me.  I always have hated labels - even the nice ones. I have always squirmed when someone says I am more reasonable, mature, or intelligent than my (now very grown-up and balanced) siblings. Still, it sunk in, and when I became depressed, I found it very difficult to accept that I was sick. I certainly knew how I was feeling - total shit - but I thought that I should have been "reasonable, mature, intelligent" enough to buck up and pull myself out of it. So did a lot of other people. Fortunately, my mom didn't think my sickness was remotely related to any lapse in my supposedly innate maturity, and saw it for what it was - a clinical illness. I finally did get help, but it took me a long time to accept that what I was feeling was okay .... for "reasonable, intelligent, mature" me. (I'm sorry for quoting your label repeatedly, but I'm doing so because it resonates very deeply with me as well).

Us mentally interesting folk can indeed be reasonable, intelligent and mature, and still feel very depressed or hypo/manic. The maturity part comes in when we see and accept our illness, and recognize our feelings. Wanting to curl in on yourself and feeling very young and vulnerable, and RECOGNIZING these feelings rather than telling yourself that you are somehow stronger than the chemicals in your brain IS mature. Despite my label, I had a lot of growing up to do before I was able to do that.

By the way, my pdoc often uses the word "reasonable" in relation to me as well - but it is not meant to bring into question my bipolar problems in any way. In fact, he was the one who had to work very hard, ironically in a very reasonable and intelligent manner, to convince me I was bipolar.

Adnama, it sounds like a lot of people on this board empathize with you regarding lablels. I know I do. Take them for what they are - just labels. I think you must truly be reasonable, intelligent and mature. But any particular label does not DEFINE you. Not even the big BIPOLAR one. They all point to some aspect of you (if they ring true to you at all, and if the label is a stupid one, then reject it - I've also learned to do that with some other more annoying labels), and all those aspects work together in a intricate way, along with a myriad of other aspects, to create you. I'm not writing this as some sage on a mountaintop that has perfectly understood and accepted who I am, but as someone who also struggles with labels and bipolarity.

Take care,

Jen.

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I hear ya.  When I first read the title of your post it didn't even make sense to me but in the context of what you've written, now I understand a bit more.

I too was "wise beyond my years" and all of that.  Self taught(?) can't remember but did a lot of reading on my own by age 3-4.  Hell, I even read to my own Kindergarden class! How embarrassing was that! Shakespeare and Uni psych texts by age 8-10....whatever. 

I could never tell if the adults that were telling me this were just blowing smoke up my ass or what.  Even as a kid I was cynical, I guess? Or maybe that's just my own, now jaded, memory turning back time.  Either way, I agree that it is a compliment of sorts, even if, as revlow stated, rather oddly worded.

I think another point to add is that being MI has nothing to do with maturity.  It strikes across all levels of intelligence, race, gender, culture...etc...etc..etc...no one is immune.  Mental illness does not discriminate.

But having the maturity and intelligence that you obviously do can only help you more in facing what lies ahead.  Yes, the bad times are rough and they suck but the qualities that you have been complimented on will only serve to arm you better to deal with what you will face in the future.

So even though some qualities that we have may seem to have no apparent value at given times, that's probably illness speaking.  As we continue to learn and grow, I think everything that shapes us can contribute to helping us control our illnesses.  That is if we're open to the possibility of that being so.

I hope this makes sense.

Karen

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Weird thing happened this morning. I woke up thinking "Shoot! I have an even better answer for Adnama." I swear, I did. :)

So here's the addition: Talk to your tdoc regarding how you feel about these comments. Not just his comments, but all these comments.

I'm no longer seeing a tdoc, but I did for many years when I was younger. He understood perfectly well how I felt about these sort of comments. And he agreed with me that they were meaningless. He knew how in pain I really was, and that this had nothing to do with my intelligence, etc. But he wouldn't have known how I felt unless I'd told him.

Granted, this was only your 1st visit and these things take time. But it is important enough to you that you should discuss it at some point. His comment might be a good opportunity for you to talk about your feelings regarding these comments you've heard for so long.

In my example above about the psych nurse when I was in the hospital, I'd forgotten what my tdoc told me when I related this incident to him. I'd forgotten till this morning. I don't remember the exact words; this was almost 30 years ago! ;) But he said something along the lines of "She's an idiot."

Your new tdoc may or may not be the right one for you. You'll find out. But if he is a good guy, you've got to allow him to be your ally by giving him enough information. You've got to tell him your feelings.

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On a slightly different note, I feel as though having suffered from and been diagnosed with BP as a teenager has somehow aged me...I feel so alone/alienated from most of my friends because they just don't get *it*. I don't know if this is anything to do with what you were talking about Adnama, but it seems to fit here....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That definately fits in here as well. Infact I faced some of that today. During one of my classes I was down right beratted and harassed for my appearance, by my friends and aquantences, because I don't worry so much about my hair or makeup or dress up for stupid highschool and what not. And when I tried to relate that part of that had to do with the fact taht I'm so depressed I don't have the -will- to devote any thought to anything as frivilous as that [it's hard enough devoting thought to this frivilous life], my -best friend- turned around "bull shit, that has nothing to do with it." And I haven't the slightest idea what he ment, only that we had had plans to do something after school, but he, without a word, took off after that class and I quickly lost him in the crowd.

I sure know how to pick friends. They're always on me about it. Damnit it's hard enough to -breathe- without having to actually think about what to wear to school, or devoting time to blow drying and streightening hair! And I'm not a very feminin person -anyway-. I'm like... borderline tomboy. Yeah, sure, even so I could put a little effort in to it- but I don't have effort to give right now I'M SICK GOD DAMNIT! Let me see you tell someone with two broken arms to go blow dry their god damn hair. Arg.

I'm in such a bad place right now.

But, back on track a little, I guess to a point in the past I've even strove to cultivate that reasonable mature sort of persona. But then it turned out that I'm really psycho, and I dunno. Maybe it almost goes to the idea of that "thin line between genius and madness."

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I was always very good at putting on a "game face"--even with tdocs, pdocs, and everyone else.  It took a long time before I actually was able to "come clean" about my issues.  I really didn't want people delving into my life.  I was always a secretive person.  I didn't start to get honest until after I got sober.

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During one of my classes I was down right beratted and harassed for my appearance, by my friends and aquantences, because I don't worry so much about my hair or makeup or dress up for stupid highschool and what not. And when I tried to relate that part of that had to do with the fact taht I'm so depressed I don't have the -will- to devote any thought to anything as frivilous as that [it's hard enough devoting thought to this frivilous life], my -best friend- turned around "bull shit, that has nothing to do with it."

I sure know how to pick friends. They're always on me about it. Damnit it's hard enough to -breathe- without having to actually think about what to wear to school, or devoting time to blow drying and streightening hair! And I'm not a very feminin person -anyway-. I'm like... borderline tomboy. Yeah, sure, even so I could put a little effort in to it- but I don't have effort to give right now I'M SICK GOD DAMNIT! Let me see you tell someone with two broken arms to go blow dry their god damn hair. Arg.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's *exactly* what I meant. In my chem class at college the other girls are all very feminine and girly girly, and I just don't see the point of make up and straight hair when 'normal', and when I'm depressed, well, I look like shit. They come in complaining because they slept in and their hair isn't perfect. Like, get a life.

I told a close friend earlier today I was bipolar. She's a first year med student, don't know why that makes a difference but I thought I'd write it. Anyway, she says 'bipolar? what's that?' so I explain. Then she says 'ah, well, it could be a lot worse...get yourself to uni and it'll sort all your problems out!'. No dear. I don't have 'problems'. I have a FUCKING ILLNESS!! Which is preventing me from going to uni because I can;t get the grades. Which has kept me away from college for nearly a month. The only way it could be worse is if I had a terminal illness. That's at least the case from where I'm standing at the moment.

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I've cultivated a friendship with the awsome librarian at my school, she's 100 times better than any of the doctors or therpists I've seen so far, and she always has insite into things I don't even realise. And today she was telling me that it was time to come off with my "sane face," the mask has worked well and fooled -alot- of people, but it's starting to slip now and it's time to come off with it.

I'm -very very- good at being sane and looking ok around others, no matter how deep the pit got. Untill now. Just recently it's finaly gotten to the point where I'm not functioning any more, so the sane face dosn't look very sane when it's stareing blankly.

The doc, theripist, and librian are all telling me I need to go back to the hospital... if I do that I can't imagine how I'll ever graduate, I can't crawl out from under the work load I have -now-, if I spend more time out of school I'll never make it up.

But since I can't function I can't make what I have up, so either way. Lose-lose.

So much for being mature and reasonable, I've maturely reasoned myself all the way to not graduateing highschool.

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i don't know specifics about you, so just ignore the bits of this that may not apply to your situation.

graduating high school is not necessarily the big deal everyone may make it out to be. now, yeah, it's a big milestone and all that - but if you're sick and you cannot finish in a few months, it is not a world-ending disaster. you can take some time, figure out how to be healthy, and then finish (or get a GED). whatever works. (if college is in your plans - community colleges accept GED's, and big colleges accept community college grades.) there's almost always a way to adapt a situation to your needs.

i'm supposed to graduate college in may. it is very likely that i will not, since i'm having problems getting to class. so i know how frustrating it can be with that date staring you in the face (particularly since people see you as the reasonable/mature/wise one. it's hard to live up to that kind of title).

it comes down to this: which is better, climbing a mountain with two broken legs, or waiting until you can use your legs again to take you up a slightly different path?

good luck and good wishes with doing whatever you decide to do.

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Well i had planned to go to community to get my basics, because I know in my current state I'd never beable to move off and go to uni right away, maybe in a couple of years... i hope...

but... that plan always included graduateing in blue [top 10%, that would have been a snap a couple of months ago] from highschool this may. God I can't imagine not graduating on time, or not at all... I'm supposed to be the -last- person you'd expect that from. I'm the perfect student, the one all the teacher's love, the brain with the great grades...

This wasn't supposed to be the way it worked out. God I have alot of thinking to do... which I can't do, my mind is so befuddled with depression fog and medicin fog, I can't keep anything streight. My life is crumbling at my feet.

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Well i had planned to go to community to get my basics, because I know in my current state I'd never beable to move off and go to uni right away, maybe in a couple of years... i hope...

but... that plan always included graduateing in blue [top 10%, that would have been a snap a couple of months ago] from highschool this may. God I can't imagine not graduating on time, or not at all... I'm supposed to be the -last- person you'd expect that from. I'm the perfect student, the one all the teacher's love, the brain with the great grades...

This wasn't supposed to be the way it worked out. God I have alot of thinking to do... which I can't do, my mind is so befuddled with depression fog and medicin fog, I can't keep anything streight. My life is crumbling at my feet.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

just to add a "me too". Pdocs told me I "deal atypically well" with the symptoms, and do not need a tdoc to teach me how to survive the ups and downs. (One did recommend me Psychoanalysis or Gestalttherapie if I'm into the self-discovery stuff, though, while another told me this would be a waste of time until my depression is under control - otherwise I'll just yack over and over the same depressive thoughts I discover are unreasonable or downright irrational when I get better. Hmm, there should be a thread about this somewhere...) Friends also are surprised to learn I suffer from a mental disorder and been diagnosed, except of course for close ones (the unfortunate enough to get sucked into my little "personal-support-group" I cry for help to from time to time. :/).

Anyway, I'll second the notion that maturity is not about how you feel - this is not under your control, bipolar or otherwise - but about how you learn to control or adapt to those feelings. Being aware that there are times you can't trust your judgement, taking precautions, policying yourself closely for signs of not being "normal" etc. is what maturity is about. And, oh well, in that sense I'd take that clumsy remark as a compliment, yes. ;)

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Wow! Your last paragraph...

Anyway, I'll second the notion that maturity is not about how you feel - this is not under your control, bipolar or otherwise - but about how you learn to control or adapt to those feelings. Being aware that there are times you can't trust your judgement, taking precautions, policying yourself closely for signs of not being "normal" etc. is what maturity is about. And, oh well, in that sense I'd take that clumsy remark as a compliment, yes. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Very powerfully said.
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Heya Adnama,

What Miguel A. said.

And, sick of hearing that I'm a doctor and therefore I'm doing okay.  Whatever.  Do these people have the *slightest* idea how much I *could* do if I wasn't wacked???  How fragile my marriage is???

(I crapped out several times, worst during med school, but also frequently in HS.  In HS, my teacher friends, and the librarian at the town library, helped me focus on through 13.)

And, it matters less *how* you got your grade 12/13, than the fact you have the diploma. 

Adult ed, GED, regular HS, just get the diploma.

Then you have choices.

--ncc--

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I'm really on the roller coster ride from hell.

I think at the moment the big problem is I've been so... 'reasonable' [and still am] in the past that my teachers are having a hard time believing that all of a sudden I can't do my work and I can't focus and I can't remember and so on and so forth.

My ap english class is kicking me in the ass. My teacher was being extreamly patient and extreamly accomodateing, more than she ever would be with anyone else and I am eternaly greatful, but she's about had it with me. I was feeling ok yesterday morning, so I told her that I'd have my work ready for class after lunch, but then I crashed hard at lunch [partialy because of a 'fight' with a friend, partialy because I'm... gasp...sick] and I couldn't do it. She "won't feel guilty if she's the only one that keeps me from graduateing."

Everyone thinks I'm just being lazy. I've developed a good relationship with my school librarian, and she's hinted at it, "I'm not saying it's not genuine but you've found the biggest loop hole in highschool, and you've procrastinated all the way through to feb," and this teacher has said as much, "it's not that I don't trust you but these episodes do seem to come at convienient times."

But I sware I'm not tourchering myself on purpose! I had so many dreams! I wanted A's this year, especialy in this class [hard goal for some of those in the best of health, but it would have been attainable for me if I could just do my work. I can't spell but my other english skills are at least decent, lol] I wanted top 10%, I wanted to beable to get into NHS second semester so I could get my sash at graduation, I wanted to go to state for speech and debate [i qualified earlier this year but I'm not ready to go, it's next week, forget it] I wanted be a part of One Act play compition [i probably won't be eligible- no pass no play. Not to mention the stress, I'm not an actress, I'm a stage manager, that may just be the last thing I need no matter how much I want it] and we have our eyes on State level this year. I wanted to go off to university with a bunch of scholarships and honors.

I found my 'accademic self' in middle school and have put in 6 years of hard work all for... what? To throw it all away for naught now!? Not volentarily I assure you!!

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I'm crashing too.  Supposedly brilliant, and I got all As last semester, but now... hah.  I can't even begin to read.  I don't know what to do about that, or what this is going to count for in the long run, but it's frustrating and scary and all manner of other bad things, and I feel nearly helpless in dealing with it.  I'm trying to do small things.  Trying to help myself.  No one at school seems to believe me, so I'm without that sort of support, but I'm trying to not let it bother me.  I'm trying to read.  I'm trying to breathe.  I'm hoping to be okay, even if my grades are not. 

*hugs*  Good luck.

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