Always feeling mentally overwhelmed...

Jackie - posted on 02/07/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I was diagnosed with being bipolar and it drives me up the wall. I am always feeling mentally overwhelmed, angry, emotional, depressed, worthless, sad and like i'm a nobody and no one cares about me. I have social anxiety and always stay in the house for fear that everyone is watching me and judging me. I often snap at my daughter who is 14 years old and afterward i feel sad. I believe this disorder is hereditary and i believe my daughter has it because i notice signs in her. I don't like talking to psychiatrists because i feel they have not experienced being bipolar and couldn't possibly understand exactly how i'm feeling. Besides medication, does anyone find that talking to others that are bipolar helps? Is there anyone not taking medication and has found natural antidotes?

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Brandy - posted on 04/18/2011

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a mental health professional is a type of dr and they might not know what the pain feels like but they understand the disease the same way a family dr does when you are sick. its hard to go to therapy and to trust people sometimes but ive personally found it to be very beneficial. one of the nice things about it is if you freak out and cry or yell or blame them for something they realize its the disorder and they wont reject you or try to make you feel bad about yourself or anything. im bipolar and ive been diagnosed with pts ocd and everything that goes with it, and because of my anxiety and other personal reasons i dont take medication. i know that i will never be cured but im trying really hard to control everything, the problem with that is because of the stress it makes me physically sick and causes me to black out etc, in my opinion if you can take medicine you should, why put yourself through so much when it isnt necessary? and as far as talking to others with mental problems i think that some people do well in group therapy but i tend to become attached to others and before i know it someone with as many problems as me is a part of my life which for me is not good. but you should try it at least once or twice.

Cindy - posted on 03/31/2011

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I, too, have bipolar disorder. I try really hard to protect my children from my wrath. When I was working, I realized that I was nice to the people I worked with and let it build up all day. When I went home, I released on them and it wasn't fair. Now, I am home all the time. I also have a social phobia. I do go out of the house but to go somewhere it is only to a doctor. I have twins age 10. I have found that I have to be honest with them and tell them when I am having a bad day so they have the opportunity to "avoid" me. I don't mean that to be funny but if they know, they have learned to avoid issues unless they are very important on those days. I have learned that when I get frustrated, I have to leave the situation. I will tell them, you just have to leave me alone right now. They don't particularly like it but they become more receptive every day.
Identifying symptoms in your daughter will increase your anxiety. I see a lot of chartacteristics in my daughter as well but I try to put those aside for now. Since your daughter is a teen and mine is a pre-teen, many of the usual behaviors are similar or like those of an individual with bipolar disorder. They are constantly having changes in hormones and they are trying to find their place in this world.
You have a lot of symptoms and you can't deal with all of them at one time. You have to choose one or two of them and when you get to the point of working to satisfaction, ability, etc. you move on to the next. I would try to begin mending my relationship with my daughter. Sit down with her and tell her how you are feeling. Don't talk about how her actions effect you but stay on the feelings you are having (angry, emotional, etc). Hopefully, she will get on board with this. Tell her you need her help. Your daughter loves you and she will want to help you. She may become your best support but be careful not to make her your counselor, best friend, etc. because you will end up putting too much responsibility and stress on her.
Even if your psychiatrist doesn't have bipolar disorder, he probably understand a lot more than you thing. Every person with bipolar disorder is different. There isn't a cookie cutter mold they can use to fit you into or that you can put yourself in. I'm not telling you how to feel about your psychiatrist but you are going to have to depend on him if you want to control your disease with any positive consequences. There are activities you can do to help you to control symptoms but to my knowledge their is no natural antidotes to treat or cure you. To make the lifestyle changes to see a difference in your symptoms will require a great deal of motivation and dedication. Both of which are commonly difficult for individuals with bipolar, espcecially when it is a task that requires doing something for yourself.
From the symptoms you have listed, perhaps feeling overwhelmed would be a good choice with which to begin. You need to take time to identify what is causing you to be overwhelmed, write it down. I find that when I write things down, it helps me to remember them better and I have a list to look at instead of trying to figure out the same thing time after time. When I rank them in order of what is most overwhelming, that is where you start. Having a strong support group is the best thing you can do for yourself. It doesn't have to be a lot of people but I would say a minimum of three. Knowing how overwhelmed you get sometimes, you shouldn't put all that on one person time after time. You will wear the person out. Also, you can't just say, this is going to be my team, you need to talk to each of them, tell them what you expect, and ask if they are willing to help. Your expectations and their willingness to help may change over time. People's situations change and it isn't always possible for the person to continue to support you in the manner you need. Tell them from the beginning that this isn't a lifetime job and that you will understand if they need out. You must mean this and when the time comes, you do not blame yourself or them but accept that the individual has given you all (s)he has and you need to find someone else to be a part of your support system. I hope this helps. It may be overwhelming and I certainly didn't include everything I wanted to say but this will help you get started. Remember, you are not alone and you are as worthy as any other person in this world of love and respect.

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