1. Health

Discuss in my forum

 Marcia Purse

Why Don't People Accept a Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder?

By October 22, 2013

Follow me on:

Sometimes it's just denial that makes a person refuse to believe he or she has bipolar disorder, even after being diagnoses by a psychiatrist. Sometimes there is a different reason, a condition called anosognosia which literally means "to not know a disease." A large percentage of bipolar people may have agnosognosia. Do you? Or someone you know?

Because of the many comments on this blog from 2008, I felt it was time to bring it to the attention of readers who haven't looked into this issue before.
Learn more or join the conversation!
NEWSLETTER | FORUM | BIO | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
Comments
June 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm
(1) Jim G says:

I think when people have light cases it might be natural to deny bipolar. And if they accept unipolar but deny bipolar that would be even more natural and common I think. As in my case, I am technically Bipolar I, the strongest grade, but I only take an anti depressant. And the anti depressant I take gives makes most people with bipolar manic. Plus I was originally diagnosed unipolar. Only a huge amount of stress, which most people probably do not ever experience, triggered my full blown manic episode, followed by a severely depressed episode, which made the diagnosis for me changed from unipolar to bipolar a no brainer.

Since a light amount of mania can be helpful in people’s lives, or misdiagnosed as high energy level or hyper activity or ADHD, it is easy to ignore. Depression on the other hand is not easy to ignore — you know when your have less energy and your brain does not work as fast as it used to. Self medication is one way some people fix their depression. But that is more expensive and much lower quality than a prescription anti depressant. As the Wellbutrin XL I take lasts 24×7 with no hangover, not making me too “high,” but making me normal or at least as close as possible given to normal.

June 25, 2008 at 5:13 pm
(2) david mariant says:

I am an author of, “Surviving Bipolar’s Fatal Grip,” and when I do radio intervies, talks or you name it the issue of acceptance of the illness always comes up. I denied that I had bipolar initially and did so for one main reason,feeling like a freak. Who wants to admit to something that society judges so harshly. Greater acceptance of the illness will occur when people can freely have “bipolar” without the stigma and shame society puts upon them…

Thanks for what you do,

David Mariant

June 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm
(3) Elizabeth Atlas says:

My husband was good about taking his medication. So his denial came in the form of not believing me when I’d tell him about the strange things he’d sometimes do or say. After all, he was taking his medication so he couldn’t be sick! Sometimes his anger would be completely inappropriate. I don’t think it’s easy for anyone to accept a chronic illness. My denial in my marriage to my bipolar husband was just as defeatist.

June 26, 2008 at 12:29 pm
(4) Claudia says:

It was very inconvenient for me to have bipolar. I was taking 5 classes in college, working, and had a social life. I went to therapy for advice concerning my family members whom I felt had the problem, so when they told me I was bipolar, it just wasn’t an option for my to even consider. 20 years later, no job, no friends, I now have to accept it.

June 29, 2008 at 12:07 am
(5) Jim G says:

I like what the author David says above. “Greater acceptance of the illness will occur when people can freely have “bipolar” without the stigma and shame society puts upon them…”

But believe it or not, I think as medications improve, and in my case I may already fit into this category, we will be able to say more and more: “Greater acceptance of the illness will occur when people can freely have “bipolar” without the “disorder.” That in itself is denial to some people. But mark my words even if they are before their time, I think we are headed in that direction.

July 2, 2008 at 12:40 pm
(6) Fiona says:

I have been 13 years on medications – they have never worked. I have a friend with bipolar who was telling me what the symptoms were and I kept on saying “Me too” and she said she was surprised to hear I wasn’t diagnosed as I am “more bipolar than me” she said. I queried this with my doctor, who has re-referred me back to my psychiatrist (who by the way was highly annoyed at the fact that 18 months of CBT “didn’t work” with me)and suggested I should be on lithium maybe. It is a very odd feeling to realise that I could have had a very different outlook, treatment and medication should this have been picked up earlier and although I am not exactly “happy” to accept this may be the case – I am happy in the hope that finally the right medication may well help. So my frustration comes with WHY did it take 13 long stressful years to reach this point?
And it is not necessarily me that “doesn’t accept” bipolar – more that society still denies it, so I am reluctant to discuss all my little “eccentricities” as an illness rather than me saying I am just a “nutty moo”…….

July 7, 2008 at 9:17 pm
(7) May Voirrey says:

When I was first diagnosed, I was mortified. It went beyond embarrassment. I argued with the psychiatrist and told him he got it wrong and needed to come up with something else. I refused to believe the doctor was right. I was petrified that someone would find out. The “why” of this was easy: Everything I saw on TV, in movies, in magazines depicted people who were grossly erratic and out of control. I was none of those things and didn’t believe I ever would or could be.
Bipolar may be fashionable, but it is generally depicted as very bad behavior and irrational, even delusional, thinking. That wasn’t me at all and I certainly didn’t want anyone to think I could be labeled as such.

Now that I’ve met many others with Bipolar Disorder, I know that my reaction is quite common. Nobody wants to be stigmatized, but the stigma of the illness is still strong and and it is a sure way to lose one’s credibility. I have accepted my diagnosis now just out of practicality, but I will never tell anyone else that I have been diagnosed with BP.

July 10, 2008 at 9:10 am
(8) Susie says:

I haven’t been out to a BP site for quite a while. I have not been on any meds for over 2 years. I was diagnosed about 5 years ago and have all my life experienced severe depression. There have been very few manic episodes although my family may beg to differ. It is becoming more and more obvious to me that it is time for me to seek some help because my depression has increased. Over the past 4 years I have been in rehab for 7-10 days at a stretch and I am sick and tired of the whole process.

I don’t know where I am going with this so I will just say goodbye for now. Thanks for listening.

July 12, 2008 at 2:29 am
(9) stuart says:

i am surprised that the reason i refused to accept i had an illness hasnt been mentioned. i couldnt understand how i could be seriously ill when i felt so good, i had never felt so good in my whole life, i put up with the lows and accepted that i felt so low because i had no job, no friends, no money, no life, but when the highs came along i had so many friends, so much energy, confidence, personality. i now have total acceptance of my illness, have been on lithium for 10 years and never had a low or a high but never had a life either, i choose to stay on lithium.

July 15, 2008 at 11:50 am
(10) Connie1957 says:

My son has bipolar where he mainly gets the manic. He is 25 and the signs showed up at 19. He has been hospialized 3 times but still will not admit he has it. He is on no meds and will not take them. He is okay right know and has a good job but I am waiting for the bottom to fall out. We have stood by him always but how can I make him understand his problem. I never bring it up because it upsets him. Help

November 7, 2008 at 1:52 am
(11) david mariant says:

Jim,

You are so right… “Greater acceptance of the illness will occur when people can freely have “bipolar” without the “disorder.”

“without the disorder” … and you are right, some will and do have a great problem with this.

April 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm
(12) David Thurman says:

It is delusional to call bi polar a disease. You are delusional if you say that. Bi Polar individuals have delusions because they carry beliefs into the Second state and there all beliefs are then delusional. Therefor if you believe Bi Polar is a disease then you are a functioning nutjob. Because someone has delusions does not make the condition a sickness. there is no proof that Bi Polar is anymore than a genetic mutation and that is all it can be called. The delusions are caused by Beliefs. enter the second state with no belielfs in your inner framework and you go Nuts.There are only two truths Perfect logic with no magic beliefs and selfless love. Any break away from selfless love is a break towards selfishness based on some belief. It’s as simple as that. You believe anything I say you are cluster f*(k nut job pretending to be ok. HOW ABOUT THAT WORLD. The biggest delusion, all beliefs are ok as along everyone is nice. That it profoundly delusional because it has absolutely zero logic to it.

January 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm
(13) sanity says:

I can’t even understand what you’re really talking about. It seems anti – bipolar people. Thanks for showing us again, how people will never understand us.

April 7, 2009 at 5:10 am
(14) Lea says:

What a rude and illinformed individual! People like these with their blatant lack of knowledge and understanding of the condition contribute greatly towards the misinformation and prejudice we are surrounded with today.

April 7, 2009 at 5:40 am
(15) jenny says:

David Thurman you have a serious problem. you are a complete ash**e and i would prefer to be bipolar than be like you. Some people are sick but people like you are plain evil. i know lots of lovely people with bipolar and i don’t agree with you at all. You need to educate yourself in life. Please don’t reproduce the world is bad enough without people like you around.

April 7, 2009 at 5:45 am
(16) Claire says:

Even a doctor cant help you David Thurman. Your spelling and grammar mistakes just add to the impression of ignorance that you give off. What a sad sad LITTLE man you must be. I PITY YOU.

April 7, 2009 at 6:51 am
(17) Victoria says:

I suspect by his angry indignation, that this Dave fellow is bipolar and still in denial. Either that, or he loves someone who is and is frustrated that they can’t just “make it go away”. Sad really . . . he is neither good for himself or the other person, if there be one.

April 7, 2009 at 7:18 am
(18) BJ says:

David Thurman you are a sad pathetic intolerant individual.Why are you even posting something so ignorant and not at all helpful to anyone reading your ignorant,shortsided remarks? I feel sorry for you.

April 7, 2009 at 7:24 am
(19) William says:

oh well,, i didn’t even know what the term bp2 meant 3 years ago. When i was dianosed i decided to look into it. My life history solved most of the riddles. Relationships, so many jobs, substance abuse,etc. When i landed in the mission with a masters degree,after i had been in jail for a year, i had to take a hard look. People like look the other way.What i saw was many,many people that are seriously mentally ill don’t make it to the clinics or health centers. They can’t follow up on anything and thus lead a sad life of roaming and pain. They usually get hit by a car on die under a bridge. Good people don’t want it in their neighborhoods and even churches don’t want them near.. Oh well.

April 7, 2009 at 7:38 am
(20) darren says:

well david
perhaps you need to get off the drugs if your on them. or get the hell on them if your off them I personaly think he need them or change them or up the dose.
dude it doesn’t make sence

April 7, 2009 at 8:17 am
(21) Donna says:

Thanks for sharing the comment related to the stigma of Bipolar disease. What a great example of an individual who lacks the education of this disease. I was diagnosed Bipolar, I take my meds as prescribed, see my doctor on regular basis. Because I do, I have a Masters degree in Nursing, have stayed in my job for over 20 years working as the Head Nurse in critical care. I have raised 3 daughters. I was one of the ones that thought I had a mild case of Bipolar, so I stopped my meds and I found out just the opposite. I keep myself educated to this disease and I do know my triggers and signs of moods changing. This disease is manageable if we follow the instructions of a physician qualified to treat the disease. We are intelligent individuals. I am sorry to hear there are comments like the one you shared with us.

April 7, 2009 at 8:54 am
(22) Barbara says:

I have been married for 34yrs to my husband who only recently was diagnosed as having bpd.
I always thought he was just depressed at times, maybe seasonal depression with high energy at times with severe down times, to boot. Made no sense to me. I went most of our married life either enjoying the good times or making a bee-line to stay out of his path. Even to teaching our children to keeping their distance, as he would cycled way down or way UP.

When our youngest daughter was diagnosed as having bpd, I was so relieved that she was medicated. She’s a wonderful person, outgoing, beautiful & funny, but the meds have helped her, immensely. (And me, too!)

Now we are looking at one of her children being ADHD & the other child as ADD. Since her father’s biological mother was even worse, I’m not surprised as we find out more & more about the family heath & what is going on.

No matter the hell we have been through as a family, we have stuck it out. No matter if there had been a diagnoses or medication, we have stuck it out. I haven’t been the best in dealing with this issue with my husband & daughter, but as I have found sites like this one, I understand so much more. Now I am ashamed to say I wasn’t very nice in handling many times with them. I don’t deal with depression very well in people. I try to stay focused & keep everyone on an even keel. So, we have all learned to be more tolerant of others.

The comments David made was most likely someone who is still dealing with his bpd. I wish him luck. His comments should be deleted, but the ugly fact is, there are still so many people out there who do feel this way.

Until you have to work with people with bpd, or love someone with bpd or simply know someone with bpd, you don’t and won’t understand their hell & their families hell.

In saying that, love is always there. You don’t push them out the door because you don’t understand or hate depression. Love teaches us to be more understanding and accepting, that stuff happens to all of us. Be it bpd or just plain ole life.

I know, I have come a long way in dealing with my families health issues. And I will go to the end with my family, no matter what. :o )

April 7, 2009 at 9:19 am
(23) Connie says:

I cannot be calm like most of you. I cannot take the comments “there is no bi polar” and smile politely. I’ve been thru the worst times of my life with BIPOLAR. I didn’t want to believe I have a disease, yes, a real disease that I couldn’t control; that I couldn’t have treated with medicatons. But, yes I certainly do. Live my life just one single day. just one. Feel what its like to feel so depressed that you get scared to be alone because you might hurt yourself or that you cry all day and night because of the pit of darkness you cannot fill inside you. Or come alone for the high manic ride when I jump in my car with all the money I had in the bank and credit cards and go for a high speed ride with radio on as loud as it goes feeling as high as I can be zipping down the road looking for trouble because I am so freee. Shopping and buying everything that catches my eye as if I’m a movie star with no limit on money, forgetting the bills I have to pay in a few weeks. I need to have the best. So the best I buy. I can’t stop myself now. I keep driving until I get to a city where I can hook up with party friends or get a hotel room and get my new party clothes on and go to the popular bars and clubs and dance all night with strangers I’ve never met but they want to be with me because I’m so high. Then the drinking begins and I get even higher and finally I’ve got a gorgeous new playmate to take back to the room to have fun with not once thinking about sexual transmitted diseases because I can’t slow down. My pleasure is more impt. The boy toy leaves and then soon after it all comes crashing down around me. I can’t sleep. What did I do.I never blame anyone else but I hate it because all this out of control stuff happened again. I could have a disease that could kill me. Where am I? How do I get home? I have no money. I left my son at home again. I can’t pay our bill. I cry all the way home. No, I never wanted to do those things. It’s a strong drive in me that i cannot prevent when stress is too much it pushes me over the edge and all goes wild. Then the depression comes and I just want to die. So don’t tell me I don’t have bipolar. Keep your armchair psychology diagnosis to youself. You don’t live it apparently. I don’t want this disease but I have it. I don’t need to defend it.

July 20, 2011 at 11:59 am
(24) Mike says:

You have just described my wife who was diagnosed before we were married and told me a year into our marraige then denied the diagnosis ever happened. I have seen her manic times and thought it was to much wine or drinks but last month I found our joint credit card maxed at 18,000 and another maxed at 10,000 with nothing to show for it. She lies to me or just won’t tell me what happening in fear I might critic her or be mad. She recently left to support her 18 year old son from her first marriage whiel he was competing for scholorships and got mad at him the first night and refused to watch any of his games or talk to him. I think he took it so hard that he failed his try out. She is still waiting for him to apologize. I have tried to talk about seeing a doctor or therapist and have paid for her to go but I think she either does not bring it up or does not answer the doctors questions truthfuly.

April 7, 2009 at 9:59 am
(25) Mark says:

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 two years ago. I went without treatment for many years. Even back in my early twenties I had problems and didn’t know it. I destroyed my first marriage and possibly my second. I wish I would of got help sooner. Now I’m almost 50 and on medication but I’m still fighting the battle. At least now I know that Bipolar is a disease. Unfortunately,now that my so-called friend and family know they stay away from me. at least I know whats wrong with me. In their case its ignorance without a cure.

April 7, 2009 at 10:18 am
(26) J McQuaid says:

David Thurman, you are either off your own meds or need to do a bit of fact based research instead of that metaphysical claptrap it appears you’ve been reading.

OK, I can accept a bit of debate over the word “disease” since it has connotations of something caused by an external agent, like virus, etc. Nevertheless, Bipolar disorder is a physical condition of the brain as evidenced by changes and abnormalities in the structure of the organ and the measured functioning of the organ. Bipolar is one of many brain disorders. It is not “mental” illness, it is a physical illness that just happens to affect the organ (brain) that is responsible for our thoughts, perceptions and emotions. And yes, as a result, sometimes it can cause delusions, but not in the denigrating, blame evoking way you are portraying.

April 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm
(27) maria says:

WOW David! Was your mother Bi-Polar, treated you bad,and now your pissed at the world or something? Or do you just lurk around for people to mess with.It’s easy to do that since you don’t have to say it to peoples faces. Go back to school, take some grammer courses, and maybe the next time your lurking about you’ll be able to write something that at least makes since. “PROOF READ COWARD!”

April 7, 2009 at 5:18 pm
(28) Ellen says:

I just wanted to thank you for this great news letter! I have never written a comment, because if I wrote it meant I really accepted the diagnosis that I had BP afterall. It wasn’t a deep dark misdiagnosis but the truth.
Well, let me tell you that I don’t care what name they call my problem if there is something that will help me sleep and slow my mind’s racing. I have struggled with this diagnosis since I am anything but crazy for about 6 months. I am the top of my field and have successes in many areas of my life. I could not let anyone know that I had a mood disorder for fear of losing my edge. After reading the topics presented in this newsletter, and learning that there are so many super successful, famous, and even notorious individuals that have been “stricken” with BP that are responsible for wonderful contributions to all areas of the arts and business alike, I feel blessed to have this “stigma”. I am proud to be one of you, because I’m shown every Tuesday what kind encouragement and knowledge you possess. Thanks again and keep up the Great Work!

April 7, 2009 at 6:38 pm
(29) Steve says:

My 16 year old daughter is diagnosed BP1. After two suicide attempts and several hospitalizations, we are finaly settling down to the reality that our lives will forever be outside the norm.
Friends and family have faded away. We have yet to encounter anyone outside of the professionals who serve the BP community who display any understanding.

It is good to read here that some do find purpose and manage this potentially debilitating disease.

April 7, 2009 at 9:19 pm
(30) Carol says:

David I have a question for you. “Why arrogant people so unwilling to admit their own ignorance?” For ten years I lived with bpd without a clue what was wrong with me. I would go weeks without sleep and things would get crazy. I believed it was just sleep deprivation, but I could not understand why I could not sleep. Its has been more than 20 years now but finally after ending up in the hospital after a really bad episode the doctor told me I had a mental illness which was medicable. I was so greatful, it wasn’t just me.

April 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm
(31) bitachicken says:

David, Have you any proof to back up your ‘theory’? I’m BPII with ultra rapid cycles, which means everyday I deal with suicide from the deepest lows to the exhilarating highs, EVERY F**KING DAY!!!
Comments like yours just feed the disease that I struggle with. I’m not sure you realise the ramifications of your comments, your comment could be just enough to send someone to where they never come back from. No one needs to be bullied by a bigot.
Please learn more about our disease before commenting again, Thanks

April 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm
(32) Ann says:

After being diagnosed 15 years ago with Bi-polar at age 40. I can testify to the havoc BP does to your life. I was accused once of being posessed by demons. By our minister’s wife. If it only been that easy one exorcism and it would have left. But after 6 hospitalizations I finally found out. My father kept telling me there was nothing wrong. I guess I am bitter it took like 6 psychiatrists to figure it out.

April 8, 2009 at 1:52 am
(33) robbi says:

I couldn’t help myself, I have to put my feelings in to this ignorant human. I also have bipolar disorder. It runs very prominantly in my family. I found out about my illness in 1988 when I went into the hospital for the first time.
With people like Dave is why we can’t get rid of the prejudice. I was 25 when I was diagnosed and I was so happy when they found out my problem.I went from mood to mood and it scared me. I thanked God for a reason for my craziness.
I am a rapid cycler, I go from happy to angry several times a day and that is very difficult.
As far as this Dave here, it doesn’t matter what he thinks. Bipolar is a real disease. The people that live with it everyday and the doctor’s that help us know it’s true.
The disease Dave has is called ignorance and that’s a far worst disease than what we have.

April 8, 2009 at 11:09 am
(34) Roberta says:

David, is it lonely living all alone in your own little world?

April 9, 2009 at 10:50 am
(35) Dev Des says:

I had a late dual diagnosis (alcohol abuse & Bipolar, at age 40). My wife separated from me 5 years ago. Her side of the family believes I was an alcoholic and Bipolar is a convenient excuse to give it a medical twist and hence relieving myself of the responsibilty of my wife’s misery. I am seeing my 4th pdoc in 6 years and they are all in agreement of my diagnosis. I now drink very less only on social occasions. My wife’s family says that I have a job, I can manage my finances, I have the sense to take my medicines regularly. That means I do not have a mental illness and Bipolar was always a fig leaf for my drinking. What am I supposed to do ? Act loony to prove that I have a mental illness ? If you are in control you are faking Bipolar and if you are not in control you are stigmatised as mentally ill. Its a lose-lose situation and a mood disturbing overload for a person already with a severe mood disorder. Science should replace the term ‘Mental Illness’ by ‘Brain Disorder’. It has been proved that it is as good as a physical disorder like diabetes. Lets start a movement folks. Bipolars have been some of the most brilliant & illustrious people – lets work for ourselves. We deserve it.

April 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm
(36) Nina says:

I have family and friends who this may apply to. I know it was really difficult for me to accept but I was desperate to know what was wrong with me, so I think that helped me over the years to accept it. It did take several years of not taking my meds right and going in and out of denial before I really accepted my illness.

April 18, 2009 at 1:55 am
(37) Ben says:

What a facinating web site!Bless you all ,my brothers and sisters!I, also had no answers till I was diagnosed at the age of 36, w/ 4 children,high pressure Wall Street job, and the weight of the world on my shoulders.To proud and ignorant to seek help,it took avery dramatic episode and resulting hospitalization to introduce myself to the medical community that would finally and compassionately help me find that even keel I never had in life.Please, my brothers and sisters,trust you’re Dr’s,give you’re medications a chance till you find the combination that works for you!WE ARE SPECIAL PEOPLE.DISCOVER YOU’RE SPECIAL SELF!It is quite wonderful to understand and love the real you.Go for it!

April 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(38) Suzanne says:

This David Thurman character is way too angry to be taken seriously. I’d venture to say, based on a couple of terms he used, and strange grammatical choices, that there’s some instability there and perhaps a little cultish talk, ie. Scientology? I don’t really know, but, as unfounded, strange and hurtful as his comments are, he’s not to be taken seriously. Please- we’re here to support one another!

June 20, 2009 at 9:10 am
(39) Lisa says:

My husband of 20 years has BD1. We live in a very, very rural part of the country, and I cant count how many doctors, therapists and counselors we saw before we got an accurate diagnosis and medicine that actually helped and hurt. He took that medicine regularly for only about 15 months. Then, this year when the mania was beginning, he decided he didn’t need to actually take his medicine as prescribed. His bipolar is very seasonal, and manic episodes always occur in the spring and early summer. During those times he always walks out on me and our 3 children, saying he wants a divorce and cant live in this anymore. He is so verbally abusive, so very mean. During depression, which always starts in the fall, he won’t leave my side and thinks I hung the moon! Eight out of the last 10 summers he has left us. Now, my kids dont care if he ever comes back. I’m not able to make him take the medicine. He still will deny he has bipolar and comes up with countless reasons for his behavior. I am at the end of my rope. I love him, but he is so detrimental to the children. Plus, isnt it a proven fact that children of bipolar sufferers are more likely to develop it if they live in an unstable environment? My family is sick of the pain he has caused me, his family denies the diagnosis. My kids dont want him here, I dont want him anywhere else. What am I supposed to do?

December 21, 2009 at 1:30 am
(40) Graham says:

After many years of denying bipolar disorder or otherwise warding off true recognition, I can say that fear of stigma about mental illness is part of it, but I also see denial of the situation as one of bipolar disorder’s most sinister symptoms. Bipolar disorder offers a lot of opportunity to live in denial. You get mania, which has a plus side when it isn’t catastrophic, and you get periods in between mania and depression where you feel normal, a state of being in which I always said, “Well, that’s over. I guess I don’t have a problem after all.” For me it is always the depressive part that makes me want to take ownership of being bipolar. In conclusion, denying you have bipolar when you do have it is one of the symptoms, like a built-in complaisance.

November 23, 2010 at 8:50 am
(41) Lib says:

I am 52 years old and just got diagnosed with bipolar. I seriously don’t think I have it. I do agree I have severe depression. The only “manic” episodes I have had is I can go 36 hours without sleep and can upon occasion have tons of energy. That was what the diagnosis was based upon. I was given a medicine that when I researched it seems to be very unsafe. Lawsuits, liver failure, suicides, diabetes, etc. I won’t take this medicine. Even if I was bipolar I wouldn’t take it. Seems the cure is worse than the cause.

May 24, 2011 at 11:24 am
(42) Mercedes says:

I am 21 years old. I have just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder this passed January 2011. I have an aunt and an uncle who have the disorder as well. When I was first told I was bipolar, I could not believe it. I refused to take my medications because I believed nothing was wrong with me-even though my moods were shifting rapidly from being completely depressed to insanely happy. I was also delusional, overly romantic and insanely spirtual. I was also hypomanic-organized everything like one hundred times, worked out like a maniac and I would never get tired of binge drinking one day and getting up for work the next. Until finally I hit rock bottom-deep depression. Failed courses at college. Embarrassed myself. Completely lost track of reality. Boom! I had to accept the disorder. I wasn’t the person I used to be. I was a completely irrational human being, and I needed help. I have been taking my medication, but experimenting with different ones to see which one works best for me. No matter how many times people tell you-there is something wrong with you-you need help-it’s not enough for you to accept it. You yourself have to come into terms with the disorder.

June 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm
(43) ladymyst says:

To the poster who said that Bipolar is not a disease: there is now a great deal of evidence which suggests that Bipolar is a degenerative brain disorder, causing progressive loss to some regions of the brain. This explains who people with bipolar most often get worse, rather than better.

August 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm
(44) Jerry says:

It really bothers me to see people write, “I am bipolar” or “I’m ADD.” YOU are not bipolar. YOU are not an illness. You HAVE bipolar disorder… or you HAVE ADD. Words matter. If you define yourself AS a disease/illness, the world can look very different than it does if you simply HAVE a disease/illness. I just have to interject this because as I look at more and more sites on mental health conditions, I’m noticing that this seems to be rampant… more so than for any other condition I’ve looked at on the web and it baffles me.
This may seem like an irrelevant fine line to you, but I would think HAVING an illness would be less stigmatizing and difficult to accept than BEING an illness. This is just my two cents, but I’m really bothered by what I’m seeing. Sorry if this offends anyone, as this was not by any means my intent.

August 11, 2012 at 11:14 am
(45) leslee says:

Jerry – I TOTALLY agree with your comment! I am very careful about using words like “I have bipolar” or “I am diagnosed with B/P disorder” because, in fact, I AM LESLEE! I accept that I have the disorder but refuse to be defined by it. I am more than this disorder.

September 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(46) Janie says:

My husband is bi-polar -manic depressive, schizophrenic, with violent tendencies and anger management issues. He is also in denial. His entire family has the same disease (and have been diagnosed by many doctors and the state in which we live in as well)

I have to tell you that bi polar people inherit this disease from their parents- usually the female side of the family, and there is usally a high percentage of alchohol abuse as well as drug abuse in bipolar people. They use this as a self medicating technique and it only serves to make the disease worse.

I

September 7, 2012 at 9:34 am
(47) Nick says:

I’ve been battling with this diagnosis for seven years with mostly symptoms of mania, followed by a big crash, then a period of recovery in depression (rinse and repeat). As a sedate, treatment-following patient, I can still say the following, which should surprise you, because it’s pro-denial of diagnosis yet I’m treatment compliant.

Symptoms of Bi-Polar emerge when an individual who tries to acheive evolutionary fitness to his/her fullest potential confronts a world and society that fosters members and people who contradict the notion that living creatures are focussed on survival and fitness.

Sex-drive propels, or at least should be the thing that propels our competitive world that is supposed to be all about winning and losing, and survival of the most fit.

This is all fine and well except that there’s two categories of fitness, the traditional, and the modern, physical fitness and mental fitness.

Balancing the two is possible, and by that I mean putting effort into gaining both types of fitness and feeling adequately rewarded and satisfied at large and as an individual.

However, because it’s a split system, and the distribution of fitness among people is completely divided and extremely imbalanced, for someone who cares too much and places too much emotional emphasis on the exchange between what you put in and what you receive, all the adverse behavior emerges.

I understand I’m not making much sense or landing a definitive point, but at least I’m trying to say that Bi-Polar is all about sex, and I don’t necessarily mean intercourse. And the only solution available in the medical community is to take medications that supress sex drive and the sensitivity to winning and losing.

In all my experience, I’ve placed much greater weight on circumstance and environment, than some petty genetic imperfection or medical condition.

September 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm
(48) F says:

I recently went to my family doctor for a bout of scary anxiety and varying degrees of depression. I’m 32 and have been married for 13 years. Basically, almost 1 year ago, my husband and I decided to try to spice up our marriage a little bit. I have always been faithful to my husband, but after I found out that he had cheated with one of my friends in our early marriage, I took it hard, and we went through a pretty rough spot. We still love each other immensely and we are each other’s best friend. So, we decided to visit a swing club and ended up going 3 times. It felt nice to have a naughty secret that just we shared and at the time, it seemed like we were embarking on a new adventure together. But then disaster ensued, because I drank way too much at a New Year’s Eve party and became very drunk, as my husband did too. It was a very dumb decision that we both were upset with ourselves that we had made. Ultimately, I ended up having unprotected sex with a man who seemed nice and polite to us that we knew nothing about. I don’t even remember his name. I felt really really terrible the next day. Then a little while later I find out I’m pregnant, and I start to really unwind. I’m crying, I believe the baby is going to be a curse to me as a punishment for going against my recently abandoned long-held faith in Christianity and the accompanying moral values. My husband and I decide to abort the baby. I’m devastated, but truly believe it is the best thing for my family. We have a 7 year old daughter, who has been the center of our lives until this strange unusual turn of events that happened this past year. We recognized we were living in some kind of fairy tale land and had better get our lives back on track. Now a psychiatrist wants to start me on lamictil after telling him this. I dont agree I am bipolar

September 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm
(49) Worried says:

I’m 32 and have been married for 13 years. Basically, almost 1 year ago, my husband and I decided to try to spice up our marriage a little bit. I have always been faithful to my husband, but after I found out that he had cheated with one of my friends in our early marriage, I took it hard, and we went through a pretty rough spot. We still love each other immensely and we are each other’s best friend. So, we decided to visit a swing club and ended up going 3 times. It felt nice to have a naughty secret that just we shared and at the time, it seemed like we were embarking on a new adventure together. But then disaster ensued, because I drank way too much at a New Year’s Eve party and became very drunk, as my husband did too. It was a very dumb decision that we both were upset with ourselves that we had made. Ultimately, I ended up having unprotected sex with a man who seemed nice and polite to us that we knew nothing about. I don’t even remember his name. I felt really really terrible the next day. Then a little while later I find out I’m pregnant, and I start to really unwind. I’m crying, I believe the baby is going to be a curse to me as a punishment for going against my recently abandoned long-held faith in Christianity and the accompanying moral values. My husband and I decide to abort the baby. I’m devastated, but truly believe it is the best thing for my family. We have a 7 year old daughter, who has been the center of our lives until this strange unusual turn of events that happened this past year. I tried xanax and prozac together which worked beautifully but then this psychiatrist I just saw for the first time thinks I should start on lamictil which appears to do exact the opposite of what I think I need meds for. ..depression and anxiety. not just obsess about one period of my life where I acted rashly out of stress and 30 something blues.

September 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm
(50) F says:

The other part of the story is that my family doctor placed me on prozac and xanax which really seemed to help. I was no longer depressed and had no panic attacks. I gained the ability to see bright things for my future and could see past all of the negative. I felt like I was identifying new ways to be a great mom, and doing things around the house I had been neglecting. Then this psychiatrist I saw for the first time says I should stop it and start lamictil, which seems like the opposite of what I need. Yes, I did have a very strange encounter with this person who is not typically me last year. But, I think a lot of it was circumstance and trying to work through problems. I’m afraid this psych doctor doesn’t know me well enough to decide I need it. I’m afriad to take it. In the mean time I haven’t been taking prozac or xanax because the psych doctor told me i should stop taking it while on lamictil, and I dont want to have it in my system if I do decide to take it. Not sure what to do.

October 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm
(51) Esme says:

What about the opposite
You think you are bipolar and psychiatrist says not
Then what
Wtf am I

October 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm
(52) angelgirlsad says:

Why would anyone with bipolar or not, agree this illness doesn’t exist? Is there a doctor anywhere that says it doesn’t? Is the medical community ALL lying? Why do serious psycho trophic medications help–if there is no illness? Please. We made it all up, symptoms & all. We want the attention, and any free gifts.

October 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm
(53) KR says:

I just wanted to mention that I was diagnosed with bi polar disorder aged 17 in 2007. I denied and fought this diagnosis for 6 years and it was largely to no avail. I have never denied I have had problems and through extensive therapy this year and some medication which I was mis prescribed twice has proved that I do not have bi polar disorder and I have admission off my GP and counsellor combined to back this up and they have changed their diagnosis to major depressive disorder.

I think it is difficult because some healthcare professionals are just doing the best they can and from experience of having friends with bi polar disorder, people can be hard to understand and they fabricate things without knowing it. Bi polar disorder is difficult to diagnose but it is diagnosed way too quickly in a lot of cases.

November 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm
(54) luadams says:

Bipolar disorder gets worse when not treated.. My sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 20 years ago (she’s in her fifties). She somehow got herself through college and had a high paying job for about 10 years, despite repeated bipolar episodes. She never accepted she had bipolar disorder and refused medication. First, she was just a difficult employee who didn’t get along with coworkers. Since she had a state job, they just transferred her from department to department. She got worse, and began to wind up arrested for this or that, put in the mental hospital for a time until she was stabilized, then once she was released, she would stop taking her meds. She racked up so many arrests that she finally lost her state job and, consequently, her home. She lives with my parents now, admits she has the disease at long last, but still will not stay on her meds. I do not understand why she just can’t stay on them if she knows she has the disorder. I wish I knew what to do but talking to her only makes her furious and abusive. It does not help that my parents turn a blind eye to everything instead of insisting she take meds if she wants to live with them. I have tried talking to my parents but they just don’t listen. It’s all such a nightmare.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.