Day 4: What are the pros and cons of having a mental illness or your specific illness(es)?
Cons – Well, I have a hard time keeping a job, making friends, enjoying life — my depression and anxiety really inhibit me to do a lot of things. It isn’t fun at all. With anxiety, I really hate going out. I am scared of meeting new people. Then when I do make a friend, I get really overwhelmed if they keep asking me to hang out, so I quite answering their calls or texts – and well, they give up on me, which I don’t blame them for. I get overwhelmed with jobs too – so I feel sick and can’t go in, or I have panic attakcs during them, or I just stop going, or I quit. When I get depressed – nothing makes me happy. I can sleep for days. I can not shower for days. I am not interested in anything. My mania with my bipolar even stinks — spend lots of money, get agitated and frustrated. Nothing good from that. Basically — it just sucks. So nothing good about the mental illness there.
Pros – Hmm that is a hard one to even think about. With bipolar, there is mania. Most people like that. They say they are productive and all that jazz. For me, I hate my mania – nothing good comes out of it. So I cant even list that as a pro. I think I am more empathetic though. I see the world differently than most people. I feel pain. I know what it is like to hurt. I guess I don’t want to say I understand things better, and yet I also do want to say that. When someone is hurting or down, I feel like I really do understand them. I do feel like I see the world completely differently than someone without mental illness – I feel like I have a better perspective. I know that sounds bad and mean and wrong and as if I am better than them — but I feel like I just have a better understanding — or a different understanding I guess.
Day 2: How do you feel about your diagnosis?
I have accepted my diagnosis for the most part. I get upset that I have to take medicine everyday. I get annoyed that I am going to have to deal with it for the rest of my life. I know that for my BPD I can get much better through therapy and even my PTSD can improve a lot with therapy. My bipolar is going to follow me all my life though. I have tried going off my meds and every single time I ended up in the hospital – repeatedly – 15 times – until I got committed to a state hospital.
I have accepted that I have to stay on my meds now. I have accepted that I need medications and I need therapy and I will battle these for the rest of my life.
I will be honest though, I am treated unfairly many times because of my borderline personality diagnosis. People think I am manipulative because of it. I personally, am not. I have doctors tell me that I tell them whatever I want to get the medications I want. The medications I have been on work perfectly for me – since I got out of the state hospital, my meds have kept me stable. The only med that hasn’t is my anxiety med – and I asked the state hospital to take me off of it because in the controlled environment in there, I thought I was better. I wish I hadn’t gone off of it. Now, everyone here thinks I am just manipulating them because of my BPD. There is more than just that instance though – I have heard it multiple times. I wish that my BPD diagnosis would just be taken off my chart.
But, it is what it is. I have what I have. I just need to continue to learn how to cope with it all and live with it all and focus my life on living better and coping better.
Day 1: What is/are your mental illness(es). Explain it a little.
I am currently diagnosed with Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
My Bipolar disorder has varied from BP 2, to BP 1, to BP NOS — so honestly I am not sure which one I have. I have moved a few times since getting the diagnosis and depending on the psychiatrist, they just decide on what they want. I think my most accurate diagnosis is probably Bipolar 2 though. I have had the severe highs before, but only 3 times since I ever was diagnosed back in 2012, and the majority of it is extremely severe depression.
With my PTSD, I basically have horrible flashbacks, nightmares, and dissociation related to past traumatic events in my life. These include childhood abuse that has happened to me. Sexual abuse by a teacher when I was 13. Also I was raped in college. I am not currently facing this, but for a time I also had some PTSD related to a surgery which paralyzed my right arm due to complications and then in turn caused a great deal of stress and depression due to lack of my use of my arm and my future of my job.
My BPD affects me in many ways – although I honestly figure that out on a day to day basis. My bipolar makes me depressed 97% of the times. But then if something makes me mad or upset, I will be set off to be even more depressed or angry than I was before. If I was suicidal before cause of my bipolar, my BPD could cause me to become even worse because of something someone said or did to me. My emotions don’t usually swing up though like some people do.
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Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.-Thomas A. Edison
Your story isn’t over yet.
Word Press Post A Day – If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?
If money was out of the question, I think I would work. Maybe not a lot, but I would work.
I’m on disability right now. In fact I haven’t worked since 2012. Right now, I don’t even think I could work yet.
I wish I could work though. I wish I was able to be out there, be around people, do something with my day, be productive, feel like I was contributing to society, making a difference.
At this point, even getting out to volunteer hasn’t been possible. So I can’t feel any of those things.
My bipolar has finally stabilized quite a bit thanks to my medication, so the highs and lows are not as bad. My borderline personality is getting better. My PTSD and social anxiety is out of control though at this point. Most people would brush this off as no big deal. Surely you can still work! Those that have been there understand though, or I hope they understand.
Even if money wasn’t an issue – I got no money, not a lot of money, or a ton of money — I would love to work. I don’t think I would work a lot. I would work enough though. Enough to give me a routine. A routine if what I need. A routine is important to my life. It grounds me. It actually helps me, but until I can keep commitments and not get overwhelmed and handle social situations and relationships with others and not be so depressed that I miss a ton of work or attempt suicide and end up in the hospital from the overwhelming situations or depression — until then, even if a routine from work would help me — it just wouldn’t be possible.
I am signed up with my states vocational rehab. They would be able to work with me, set me up with a job coach and put me in a program to work with me . They are so backed up with other people though that I am on a wait list. They are only now getting people off the list from a year ago…..
Word Press Post A Day – The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.
I’m a day late on this. I have been taking a bit of a break from blogging as I haven’t been feeling too well. But I have thought about this ice bucket challenge for a bit since it started – seeing the positive and negative comments in response to it.
I think it is great that it has raised so much money towards ALS. I first saw the challenge back in January, by some friends in Indiana. It wasn’t for ALS though – it was for their own personal favorite charities. I thought that was a great idea, since it wasn’t dedicated to a certain charity and it was kind of spread out to whatever they felt passionate about.
I am very passionate about a lot of different beliefs. One thing that I am super passionate about though, which my blog is about, is mental health issues. Being affected by mental illness, I strongly support almost any mental health organization that works towards awareness about mental illness. My personal favorite is NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness), as I have been most involved with them; however, all organizations that are so many that work towards awareness.
So, if anyone out there ever gets nominated for an ice bucket challenge — I am not saying to not donate to ALS, but think about donating to a charity of your choice too — challenge people to think about what they are passionate about and to donate to that. Create some awareness about what you are passionate about. Perhaps create a new viral sensation about your passion to raise awareness?