Being mentally ill is so isolating

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Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby lattejunkie » December 18th, 2013, 12:55 pm

It's almost been a month since my counselor told me he thinks I'm Bipolar II. I feel like I need to tell everyone I meet so they will understand why I am the way I am but I know I can't. It comes with such a stigma. My employer is changing health insurance carriers so everyone in my office is talking about it. I work in a small department of four people and today every one of them said well I don't take any prescription drugs so I don't need that such-n-such plan. I couldn't help but feel sorry for myself as I sat there and thought I'm on three prescriptions about to possibly be on a fourth. I feel so paralyzed, stuck in my head. My counselor taught me some mediation techniques yesterday and told me to concentrate on just being in the here and now. I'm struggling with it, but trying. Thanks for letting me vent.
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Re: Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby manuel_moe_g » December 19th, 2013, 10:31 am

Hello lattejunkie!

Yeah, co-workers can be very insensitive about mental-illness. I remember a co-worker describing people on lithium as "really really sick" and I was on lithium at the time. He was a jerk-face.

Please take care, all the best to you, cheers! :D :D :D 8-)
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Re: Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby lattejunkie » December 21st, 2013, 5:09 pm

Thank you, Manuel.
The coworker I actually get along with the most called me a pill-popper. I know she was just sort of kidding, trying to lighten the mood, but it hurt. :| She knows I have anxiety and she even confided in me that she has anxiety and was thinking about talking to her doctor about it, but there is no way I'm telling her about my BPII.
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Re: Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby meh » December 23rd, 2013, 5:06 am

The title of your post says it all.

Sometimes even in a crowded room or surrounded by family and friends I feel isolated and alone.

Thankfully we have each other.
"Of course you have an active inner life, you're bipolar"
my therapist.
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Re: Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby lattejunkie » December 24th, 2013, 6:19 pm

I'm thankful, too.
Happy holidays
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Re: Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby nikolasix » December 28th, 2013, 8:52 am

I am BP2 as well. Very few people I know are aware of my diagnosis. Mostly I am good at masking my depression, anxiety, etc...A few years ago when Catherine Zeta Jones came out and said she was BP2, my mother (who doesn't know about my diagnosis) expressed surprise about the CZJ, saying she seemed like she had it so together or seemed so "normal". I was infuriated inside for some reason, thinking how the fuck would she know one damn thing about the inner life of CZJ when she was sitting 2 feet away from a mentally ill family member and had NO clue whatsoever.
Personally, I believe that if you took 100 people off the street randomly who had never been in therapy and didn't think they needed it, even, and they all went to therapy for 6 months, about 80 of the 100 would have some pervasive behaviors or thoughts that could be pathologized and "diagnosed" and medicated. We live in a sick world, most of us are raised by scared (and scarred) children in grown-up bodies who have no idea what the fuck they're doing.
If you are aware, medicated, in therapy, being pro-active to address your problems, etc...then you're doing a lot better than most people, in my opinion.
What am I saying? I'm saying that mentally ill, imo IS normal in the screwed up world we live in and you're less isolated than you think.
If your therapist is recommending present moment awareness and meditation, then they are recommending the only thing that can really help and costs nothing. Every avenue of exploration when it comes to our quest for stability and balance leads to awareness. That and inner child work.
I've been stopping and starting with meditation myself for years now. I've now begun to listen to some inner child guided meditations and those are really helpful, as they address the original faulty programming that keeps me in a negative feedback loop and keeps me from real progress. Stick with meditating if you can, because it is a learned skill and it is like a muscle that needs developing, so don't be discouraged. It's not something that comes naturally, but it really can change the way you experience life.
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Re: Being mentally ill is so isolating

Postby lattejunkie » December 29th, 2013, 6:23 pm

Thank you Nikolasix. You're right, we aren't so very alone as we might feel sometimes. I appreciate your response.
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