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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:43 PM
Original message
I posted about my mentally ill boyfriend
recently in this thread. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Well, I just got an update. He is bipolar, which I have heard of before, but never had experienced first hand.

We are going in monday to sign him up for indigent care so we can be sure to have his medicine at all times and not rely on the importing from India.

I just wanted to post this because I thought I lost him for good and I was really depressed,now I have hope!! We are talking on the phone a couple of times every day, he spends the night a couple times of week.Things are looking up!

Bipolar is a bitch!
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. It is hard but so many people have bipolar disorder
Med management is critical. Sorry about the pain but I'm sure happy that you guys are going to work this out. :thumbsup: :hi:
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. No doubt
I am glad there is hope.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Best wishes to you, my friend.
:hug:

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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thanks Toad
:hug:
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bipolar is indeed a bitch. Good luck with it.
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u4ic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. Good luck to you both
I hope your boyfriend gets the help he needs. I've known people with bipolar and it's been very tough on relationships, but with the right meds, it can usually stabilize.

It takes a special person to support someone with a chronic illness. You sound like one of them, Roon. :hug:
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Awww, thanks u4
:wave:
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. Best wishes, Roon. I'm glad you were able to work things out.
I have schizoaffective disorder which is either a form of schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder depending on who you ask. I will have been well three years this coming June. If you or your boyfriend have any questions about recovery feel free to PM me. I can tell you that the longer you are well the easier and better things get. Just make sure he gets his meds. He will surely relapse if he goes off the meds. With the meds he only has a 10% chance of relapse.
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. hi Droopy!
:hi:


aA
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Hi, aA
I hope everything is going good for you today. :hi:
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. excellent today Droopy!
I feel very good, energetic for a change. Hope you're doing well!

:hug:

aA
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Thanks Droopy
:wave:
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. good thoughts for you
and your boyfriend Roon. I hope the meds keep him stabilized and your relationship flourishes.

aA
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Me too!
I gave up, now I have hope!
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
14. I lost a then boyfriend to this as well
But it destroyed our relationship. I hope things turn out better for you :hug:
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. Ahhhhh shit!
Bipolar is really difficult to deal with.

And I'm gonna give some medical advice even if I get this thread locked......

1. Like most mentally ill people, he might avoid taking his meds.
2. Most bipolar people are given the wrong meds. Usually antidepressants and sedatives. Not only does this not work, it's been shown it can result in psychotic breaks and hallucinations. But there are medications that do work.
3. If you love this man and want him in your life..... well it won't be easy. And you are going to have to stay on top of this..... the medication, the doctor, everything. It won't be easy.... but is love ever easy?
4. Good luck. Educate yourself.


:hug:

Khash.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Gah!
Antidepressants and sedatives! :scared: No wonder they're effed up.
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. What khashka wrote has not been my experience
Edited on Sat Apr-29-06 11:53 PM by Droopy
But things could be different elsewhere. Bipolar people are usually treated with a mood stabilizer like lithium or Depakote and increasingly anti-psychotics are being used as well. Sometimes people with bipolar disorder also need an anti-depressant. The anti-psychotic that I take not only controls psychosis, but also acute mania.

I have symptoms of both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and I take an anti-psychotic, a mood stabilizer, and an anti-depressant. I have been restored to what I was like before my illness through the use of those drugs.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. That sounds much more appropriate
I have heard and experienced horror stories of people with bipolar disorder only receiving antidepressants and having severe manic breaks as a result. However in conjunction with mood stabilizers and/or antipsychotics they can be of benefit for some individuals.


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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #21
37. You wouldn't want to hear my stories
about bipolar and Paxil. Not pretty.
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Well obviously you are getting decent treatment
In my experience, bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as depression. Even when correctly diagnosed it is too often treated as clinical depression. But that's the wrong treatment.

All I really meant is that if someone you love is living with this.... then the best thang you can do is learn. Read up on it. Talk to Drs, talk to psychs. Get the best information you can.

I'm sorry to hear about your illness, Droopy, but happy to hear that things are working out well :) Meds do work! If they are the right ones......


Khash.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. I'll back this up.
I worked in mental health for a few years. Most of the bipolar I noticed was misdiagnosed as depression. Antidepressants were given and sedatives/tranquillizers were given in institutions as a matter of course.

Bipolar is a rough one.
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. So what is your area of expertise?
What qualifies you to make a diagnosis on a mental health patient? It seems like a lot of people who really don't know a whole lot about mental illness somehow consider themselves an authority on the issue because they've known someone who was ill or because they passed psych 101 in college.

Yes, people are sometimes misdiagnosed. That happens in medicine from time to time and it's not just restricted to mental health patients. That doesn't mean that most people are misdiagnosed.

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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I can't speak for xmas.... but me?
I have a double BA in Psychology and Sociology. I have another BA in Anthropology.

I have a double Masters in Clinical Psych and Industrial Psych. I have most of a PHD in Clinical Psych. (All that's left is the thesis.) I'm a member of the APA. In college I was a member of the national psych honour's society. I worked as a therapist although I gave it up. As a therapist I had to take 15 hours of courses a year to maintain my license..... mostly psychopharmacology, substance abuse, and issues of domestic violence...

So I do know of what I speak.

My experience is that people with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed. But I really am glad that your experience is very different than mine. It gives me hope that thangs are changing - for the better

(But don't dismiss xmas - I don't know what her training/experience is, but she has a sort of intuitive wisdom.)


Khash.

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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Not really expertise.
Just visual observation. I had to chart on the behaviors daily. It was obvious that the medications were not working but yet state institutions were overbooked and did not have the time to reassess.

Usually when the patient was sent to a private psychologist or psychiatrist by their family they were rediagnosed w/ bipolar. Suddenly their medications changed.

I remember an inservice we were given a few years back. The psychologist stated that they believed that a large number of of people w/ bipolar were originally misdiagnosed. He stated that most were first diagnosed w/ depression, since that was the behavior that was reported the most by both the patient and their families. Initially, the charts all stated that they were suffering from depression and medications such as an antidepressant and nearly all of our patients were given a sedative/tranquillizer. It was my job to administer the medication and to chart on any changes in behavior, for the positive or negative. It was easily noticed that the medication did not take effect as it should have over a period of time and that the patient was cycling into what seemed to be mania. My job was to chart that effect and the ensuing behavior and to report it to the head RN on duty.


I left that kind of work for a few years and now I'm back. I don't make the diagnosis but I can read. And I can observe the behavior. Most of the bipolars I worked w/ were originally diagnosed w/ depression and were treated accordingly. Once they were observed and found to have manic behaviors the diagnosis changed accordingly. Once the proper medications were administered and had time to take effect the patient showed a reduced amount of behaviors.

Improper medication can be just as bad as no medication at all.





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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Thanks Khash eom
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Giant Robot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. I'll echo what Khash said
This will be difficult but it is do-able.

Think about ways to care for yourself through this as well, and where you can find your support. You may have an active chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) which is at one level a support group for the loved ones of folks who have a serious mental illness. Explore that if you think it would be helpful.

And I would strongly recommend the book, "I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help" about the difficulties of mental illness, as one of the hallmarks is not recognizing you are ill or different or struggling. Sorry, don't remember the author's name, but it was a wonderful, informative easy to read book that provides a lot of insight into the bipolar condition specifically.

And as you go through this with him, ask questions of the professionals involved, until you understand things completely. Last, it might be helpful to learn what to do in case of an emergency, i.e. crisis line numbers, after hours resources, etc. cause problems don't go on hold when the office closes.

I wish you love and luck as you go through this.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
36. Agreed
I have extensive experience in this. Meds save lives but are a crap shoot sometimes. But there's hope. And life. Be aggressive.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. Sweetie. Bipolar disease CAN be a bitch, but if you are able to
convince him to stay on his meds, you guys will be fine.

Best wishes to you both.

:hug:
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laheina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-29-06 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yes. Just like those that have chronic depression and
other issues, it is manageable with medication.

Good luck to you both, and I'm really glad that you found him help. :hi: :hug:
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. sometimes it is manageable w. medication
not everyone responds to medication, khaska's post was the only post that came close to what i've observed, frankly, in roon's shoes, i'd run for the hills before the relationship got more serious, there is no upside for roon really, who wants to be little mother and police officer all your life monitoring your mate's medicine?

i know i'm a horrible human being but having your life threatened by a bipolar idiot having a bad reaction to prozac only has to happen once to make you into a big blue meanie

i would advise roon to go slow and think abt what is right for roon, no one died and made roon doctor welby
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I don't blame you for not wanting to be involved
with a mentally ill person. But it looks to me that Roon loves her boyfriend.

Once mentally ill people get stabilized you won't notice any difference from them and everyone else. The problem is that it can take a long time to get stabilized.

I've been on psychiatric wards three times. I've done some group therapy. I've talked to mentally ill people on message boards as well as in person. In one respect they are like everyone else in that they are all unique individuals. Their needs have to be treated as unique as well. That's why it can take so long for one to get stabilized. Not only do the right meds need to be found, but the right dosages as well. Then there is also the task of finding a good doctor and therapist.

But when psychiatry works you will know it for sure. I hope you see that in my words here.
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Yes, abandoning someone you care about is much more appropriate
As a lifelong bi-polar, I take exception to your view that my mate does little more than act as a "little mother and police officer monitoring my medicine."

In fact, no one monitors my mental health except for me and my mental health professionals. I am perfectly capable of carrying on a loving, flourishing relationship and in fact that contributes highly to my mental well-being. Bi-polar doesn't mean that I'm a screaming, off-the-wall wreck - were you to meet me and talk with me daily for six months, I'd bet you'd never know it. Most people who know me casually DON'T know it.

It is scare stories like yours that make people think that everyone with a mental illness is someone potentially dangerous. If you've had a bad experience, I'm sorry but realize that it's the exception, not the rule and that those of us suffering with these conditions go through more hell than you can possibly realize.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Well, Roon's boyfriend is dangerous. He tried to chock her.
I would say-that's dangerous.
I am sure many would agree.
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Thanks Midlo
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
26. bipolar is no fun. My father was bipolar
and my mom went through hell(no one told us kids until after he died, a lot of things made sense after that). It takes a strong person to deal with this, and I wish you all the best.
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-30-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Thanks Maine
I am hanging in there for him. I LOVE him!!!! :-)
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Left Is Write Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
38. I'm glad the situation has improved...
I hope it continues to improve.

I sympathize with how you are feeling. I've known my ex, my oldest daughter's father, for 21 years, and I have long suspected he was bipolar. I sometimes wonder how different things could have been had he been diagnosed and treated.

My best thoughts for you.
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lumberingbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
39. Good luck to you and your boyfriend.
:hug: :pals:

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Jazz2006 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-01-06 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
40. Good luck, Roon.
Here's hoping that everything works out beautifully for you and your boyfriend.

:hi:

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