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    Kristen.NewCreation and FreeinChrist

Has This Happened To You?

Discussion in 'Bipolar Disorder' started by quietpraiyze, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    I've been manic depressive (bipolar) for almost 30 years now. Part of the problem I have is that many people I encounter don't believe that I'm actually mentally ill. It's like they have this image of what mental illness looks and sounds like and I don't fit the bill. It's like I'm too intelligent, too well spoken, too well mannered, and so on (I'm not trying to brag on myself, I'm just trying to make a real point). In being that way I'm almost treated like a threat to some people, case in point...

    I have a "Counselor" who is a student. I'm not really interested in doing counseling with anybody but in order to get my meds I have to. That's the way they have the system set up. Well through some observations, I think she's intimidated by me so she waits until my back is turned as I'm leaving and says things. It's like she can't look me in my face and say what she has to say. I also get this vibe from her like "you're not really mentally ill".
    She has no ideal of my history and I'm not going to revisit all that with her. I think because she is a student, a "newbie" would have been great for her instead of somebody like me. I have my "normal" and it works for me.

    I guess I just feel like when I show my intelligence, I feel like I get punnished or my illness gets dismissed because I don't fit the "image" of mental illness but when I have an episode then it's "OH!".

    Has anybody else experienced this?
     
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  2. Kristen.NewCreation

    Kristen.NewCreation Well-Known Member

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    While I haven't experienced your situation, I have experienced the feeling of "I don't appear to be functioning abnormally, so I must be okay" when inside I'm far from okay at times.

    I struggle sometimes because I had a great career that I can't work at right now, and haven't been able to for 2-3 years now. I struggled with it even before that. All of this adds up, and I wonder what I'm going to do. My therapist is very supportive, thankfully, so I don't have that to deal with. But I'm applying for Voc Rehab to see if they will allow me to return to school to work on a new degree with their help, to be able to work within my limitations that my mental health now brings. I'm worried that I'm "too stable" to get assistance. I am much more stable, but it's only been 2 months since I've had a depressive episode.

    So I hear you...
     
  3. madison1101

    madison1101 Senior Veteran

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    First of all, praise the Lord for your stability. I am praising Him for mine. God is good, all the time.

    I don't tell too many people my mental health diagnoses. If they think I am normal, that's great. When I work, I work in the mental health field, and there is the expectation that the social workers and therapists are emotionally stable.

    In my therapy and with my psychiatrist, I usually don't have to talk about the past anymore. I'm not the child who grew up with all the trauma and insanity my parents raised me in. I'm also not the mother who did similarly in raising my children anymore. I like who I am, and who I am becoming, so I discuss the bumps I hit in everyday life because I messed up.

    If you are getting strange signals from your student therapist, bring it up with her, and ask her why she waits till you are leaving to bring things up to you. You could be helping her overcome some of her own personal countertransference issues.

    In every therapeutic relationship, there is a transference/countertransference issue that needs to be worked on. Transference is when the client unconsciously projects feelings from the past onto the therapist. Countertransference is when the therapist reacts, or responds to the transference. Experienced therapists are more skilled at working through it with their clients, so they are not too obvious. From what you are saying, your student therapist just might be experiencing some sort of issue, and she may be getting some vibes or signals from you, and may be unsure how to proceed with it with you. If she is a student, she may not have enough experience yet. I remember having similar issues when I was a student therapist. Plus, I was very nervous, and worked on watching every word I said, and my nonverbal communication as well.

    The fact that you are stable would actually be good for both of you to explore how you feel about being in therapy when you don't really feel you need it, and for her to work with someone who is not acting out, or acute.

    I hope this makes sense.
     
  4. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    Kristen.NewCreation :)

    Reading your post gave me a sigh of relief. You’re absolutely right about appearances and what can sometimes be happening on the inside. It made me think about a couple of times when I was having an episode. They had me at the hospital but sent me home because I “looked” normal. I went home and went straight off the cliff - full manic/psychotic episodes. It’s very hard for me because I feel like many people don’t understand the nature of the illness that I have. It can be a beautiful day outside, all my needs met with no worries, and I am in a pit that I can’t get out of because I’m in a “down” and it’s chemical. So I have to ride it out. My comfort is in the Lord but my relief is when I can remember that it’s just the illness. Most times it’s a battle getting there and waiting for that relief to kick in. Most of the time it is excruciating. Some of us may look “normal” but our limitations are very very real.

    Thank you so much for your response.
     
  5. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    madison1101:)

    Hmmmm...I don’t know if you understood what I was saying...I don’t know. The word “stability” is not even part of my vocabulary. I’m not kidding. I think I let go of that when I finally accepted the fact that the illness wasn’t going anywhere and that instability (highs/lows) is life now as I know it. The life (stability) I knew prior is really gone. In what I’m trying to describe, I don’t think “normal” is a compliment. It’s more of an abdication of what my condition really is. I feel like I’m up against a stereotype of what some people think mental illness looks & sounds like and I‘m judged by that. Because I look and sound normal, every time I’ve had a manic episode I lose people. I lose friendships and then I grieve double. Because of how my life is structured, my life is very transparent. If I didn’t share that I have a disability my day to day life wouldn’t make sense to others on a very basic level.

    When I say the past, I’m talking about my bipolar history. I don’t revisit my episodes with each new medical person. So I don’t think she has a clue of how devastating my episodes have been. She just sees me now. I’m not trying to be rude and maybe it’s my personal bias having at one point been a Psych major but there are things I don’t buy into. Please don’t take that personal. What I’m experiencing with my “Counselor” I’ve never experienced before with any of the medical professionals I‘ve dealt with in the past. Maybe it is because she’s a student. I don’t know. What I do know is how it makes me feel. It comes across as a lack of integrity on her part.

    I don’t want to come off as a know it all but if she doesn’t understand the nature of my illness or is stereotyping mental illness then that is not good for me. To look at me doesn’t tell you anything about what’s happening on the inside of me. In my case outward appearance doesn’t mean stability. To judge it as such (if she’s doing that) tells me that she doesn’t understand the nature of the illness. I don’t believe it’s a counseling issue. The illness is the illness. I don’t need counseling but it’s the only way I can get my meds. It’s the way the mental health system is set up in my State - no meds without counseling. I’d like a Psychiatrist but they are few and far between on my part of the planet.

    madison1101 I do want you to know that I appreciate the time you took to respond and that you are my precious sister in Christ.
     
  6. Jer

    Jer Contributor

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    Many people say they hate the depression most - but this is the reason I hate being manic more than the depression. At least in the depression I only hurt myself (generally), whereas the mania hurts others (and then myself later) and has destroyed the relationships.

    I hope things get sorted with the student - it could be worth talking about your history with them. Since they're inexperienced maybe it would help them understand more? I guess some people get diagnosed "too easily" and when you appear normal perhaps she assumes you are like that? So explaining stuff might help? Or maybe she's just useless! :D
     
  7. madison1101

    madison1101 Senior Veteran

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    Ok, I understand a little better now. Regardless of what's going on, I still think you need to bring it up and talk about it, because it is bothering you. Maybe she and you are not a good therapeutic fit. That's a definite possibility.

    If you don't see a psychiatrist, who prescribes your medications? I wasn't crazy about the whole managed mental healthcare system, and went back to my first psychiatrist and have paid him out of pocket for the last 15 years. I go on Medicare October 1st, and he is a Medicare provider, so I won't have to pay him $85 for a thirty minute session, which is a bargain to me.

    I have also been seeing the same psychotherapist for the past 23 years. He had been in my insurance network when I had the most expensive health plan. Since I've retired, I have paid him out of pocket, and he has only charged me $30 a session. He is also a Medicare provider, and not covered 100% by my Medicare supplement plan, so I'll have to find out what I am responsible for.

    I'll always find a benefit to continued psychotherapy. Lately, I have worked on bitter resentments toward my Mom and one son.

     
  8. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    Jer :)

    I didn't lose people because I did something to them in an episode. I lost them because they didn't really believe I was mentally ill. When I had the episode, it shattered their ideal of "normal".

    I can't revisit my episodes for her. That's just too painful for me. My episodes were devastating.

     
  9. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    madison1101:)

    I agree that I will have to talk to her especially after the last stunt she pulled. I can't overlook it.

    My meds are distributed by an ANRP (I think). I know she's a nurse. I've predominately have had Psychiatrist but they started disappearing. So now we have something like "clinics" but they're supposed to be consumer sensitive. I don't like it but it's all I've got right now. I really don't like having to participate in counseling to get my meds. It feels exploitive and coersive. So I've limited the "couseling" to weight loss and not too much outside of that. The exception was the recent death of my sister which at the end of the session the "Counselor" said something that I think was inappropriate. It wasn't just what she said, it was how she said it. She waited until I turned my back and was leaving the office. I've not ever had a professional do that and I do consider it unprofessional and disrespectful.
     
  10. tripletiger1200

    tripletiger1200 Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound

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    I'm not sure if my comment will help much, but I experience the same thing. I've gone psychotic when manic and depressed, and while my psychiatrist and my mother recognize there is a problem, my dad and my therapist just don't see it. It's like because I'm not the classic kind of bipolar or the classic OCD that they don't understand the struggle I go through, and it just frustrates me. The meds have helped so much, and if a medicine can help something then that to me indicated that i do indeed have a condition that warrants being medicated. I'm sorry you feel the way you do, I'll pray for you.
     
  11. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    tripletiger1200 :)

    Some of what you described is what I go through with some people. Since they don't think my illness is real then it's not as far as their concerned. Yes I agree about medication. Thank you for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Loven God

    Loven God Regular Member

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    People expext people with mental illness to look and act crazy all the time , the problem is most of them don't have enough information on mental illnees even those that treat it . If they don't suffer from mental illness them self then they have no idea what it is like . They have the book knowledge that was thought to them in scholl but no personal experience to know what we really go through .
     
  13. Jer

    Jer Contributor

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    I saw this really clearly in Norway recently. With the shooting on the Island, Brevik was examined to see if he was sane or not. The first diagnosis was that he was insane, the second was that he was sane. It divided opinion in Norway a lot - because he could talk and function normally a lot of people thought he was sane. But after seeing how I can appear normal to people sometimes, and be crazy at other times it's hard to know. And so other people saw what he did, and said he had to be insane, as no sane person would do anything like that, even if he appeared normal in interviews etc.
     
  14. Loven God

    Loven God Regular Member

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    That is the thing about mental illness you can't see it most of the time on the out side like a cut , so peole jugde us on what they see on the outside . They don't know what is going on in the inside . They don't know what we feel or what makes us act the way we do at times . If they don't have a mental illness they just don't understand .
     
  15. raggedycamel

    raggedycamel Goodbye

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    Bless your heart! They do the same thing to me. I don't know my real official IQ, but I've taken an online test of it and got 117. Gosh even my mom (who I live with still due to the illness) tells me I don't look mentally ill at all.

    I believe there's many faces of mental illnesses, and ours is the type people aren't used to seeing.

    I hate to push blame, but I've taken notice to the way the media (t.v. etc) portrays the 'mentally ill'. I've also mentally noted that movie makers will describe a sociopath or psychopath and call them 'psychotic', although, to my knowledge, being in a psychotic state describes psychosis (audio visual hallucinations).

    (If I am incorrect about this, I hope someone can correct me. I don't want to go around telling fibs. This is what I understand it to be).

    My counselor Carrie, she tells me what mom does too, that I don't look ill but gosh I've been seeing her since I was 15 and I'm 28 now so she's seen me grow with it, I've had bipolar 2 with psychosis since I was about 19, that's when I was diagnosed I mean.

    Friends, please forgive me if I've written something here that has already been said, I just saw the first post of this topic and replied. I haven't read the rest of the replies yet, but just wanted to say you're not alone with this struggle. :groupray:

    *hugs for all*

    Your friend,
    Alex
     
  16. Loven God

    Loven God Regular Member

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    I would not worry about IQ , I know a lot ot people that are not bipolar that have lower IQ's then some of the bipolar people I know . I am sure you are a smart person that just happens to be bipolar . There are teachers , doctors , poets , painters , lawyers and ect. , the list goes on that are bipolar . Just be who you are in Christ and you will be fine and most likey see just how smart you realy are , God bless .
     
  17. Jer

    Jer Contributor

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    Intellegence is perhaps more the opposite with bipolar - when I was diagnosed I told them which company I worked for (it's a big company that is very good - I've been blessed to be here) they said there is a higher percentage that normal of bipolar people there, as a lot of bipolar people are intellegent and creative. It's just often when we get too high or low that we can make a big mess of things. I've been so blessed that my boss is very understanding about things, like when I've been in hospital because of stupid thoughts and actions.
     
  18. Loven God

    Loven God Regular Member

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    You are blessed with a very loving boss and job . Not to many people gave that .
     
  19. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

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    Loven God :)
    I truly agree with you. I think very few people on the outside really understand the inner workings of mental illness.

    Jer :)
    I think it's weird how they do that with crimes and/or shootings too. It's like you never really hear anything about mental illness until something bad happens then it's all negative. It's like they use mental illness as a wastebasket ughhhh.

    What a blessing concerning your job! That's the thing that gets me about this illness. So many of us are intelligent even brilliant right up to when we go off the cliff and the creativity is amazing. Some of my most creative times have been right before I'm psychotic. Go figure...

    raggedycamel :)
    Thank you so much for your post! It's sad but also comforting when I know that others know what I'm talking about. I agree about the many faces of mental illness. I think our type scares people more. It's hard for them to get distance. I think they think if it could happen to us, it could happen to them. I also think when people say we look "normal" it's a way of denying the illness exist in us. For me that's not a good thing. It took me years and all kinds of painful losses to acknowledge that yes this illness is really real.
     
  20. Loven God

    Loven God Regular Member

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    It is sad I can not even get my own family to understand . It is like they do not want to even think it could be in the family then it could happen to them . I made sure my son knows everything there is to know about bipolar so if he startes to see things happening he will know what to do . my family sticking there head in the sand will not make it go away . They will not even talk about it . I do have people that will so it is all good and I have good surpport . My husband is awesome and we have been married for 33 years and married me knowing I was bipolar , he is my strongest support . God bless him .
     
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