Bipolar 1 Disorder

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Bipolar 1 Disorder
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    Post

    Don’t Quit Your Daydream

    I have always been transparent about my life. From my struggles with depression as a tween, to my bipolar as a teen, and now my battles with lupus and mania as an adult.

    I have never hidden behind masks because I believe speaking openly and candidly can save lives if done with care.

    Lately, I’ve been feeling relatively happy- I am truly living my daydream. Yes, I have my medical complications and I have to go to the hospital on Monday for cancer screenings and I’m worried sick.

    But I’m trying to stay with a positive attitude and and a grateful heart. I have my dream job, good health care, a good routine, and a solid support system.

    Nothing can be 100% all the time and if you keep waiting for forever… forever will never come.

    Seize the day. There is no day but today.

    I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and yes, I’m scared as hell, but God’s got this.

    “Don’t quit your day dream, it ain’t big enough if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you”.

    #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #ImposterSyndrome #BipolarDepression #ChronicDepression

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    Every year the day before Thanksgiving is a very important day for me …it’s the anniversary of the day I was diagnosed HIV+. 37 years ago.

    This year is very different because this month I was diagnosed that I have Parkinsonism. One of the symptoms is having balance issues but I’m stubborn and Monday I was out hiking (with my trekker poles) and I fell …hard. I had another fall a month ago. The first one I injured my shoulder but I didn’t go to PT yesterday because I felt light headed and kind of fuzzy and I have had a weird headache continually after the recent fall. It’s different than the headaches I get with the debilitating migraines I have been dealing with from Covid Long Haul. So I fear I may have a concussion. One more health problem, but it will fade. I can handle it…because I share this writing at a time when despite today’s challenges I feel very blessed because I survived so much from dealing with AIDS. PLEASE READ BELOW.

    The day before Thanksgiving this year will mark the 35 year anniversary of when I was diagnosed HIV+. Every year when this time arrives I question why I am still here. Although a part of me can celebrate my life and be so thankful every year for having another year, another month, another day still being here, I am also sometimes consumed with guilt … Survivor’s Guilt. “Why me?” Why me in an opposite sense. Not why me… why did I become HV+? But why me … why am I still here and so many others are not? I am part of a small minority who made it through the 80’s when AIDS was considered a death sentence and are still around to talk about it.

    Today many people call me a “Long Term Survivor.” They tell me that it is a miracle that I am still alive, and they honor my life and fighting spirit...but in the mid to late eighties I didn’t think of any other title than that of being HIV+. In most people’s eyes or interpretations I “had AIDS.” I had choices to make but none of them projected to the foreseeable future or even held out hope. I just developed a close knit support group of friends and family and then joined a very special group. We were a support group of HIV+ people who came together to listen, share, understand, support and love each other in a way no one outside the group could ever imagine, could ever believe… could even fathom. No one other than us could feel our pain and worry that was so thick you could feel it in the air in the rooms whenever we met.

    We talked of our fears: of death, of pain, of hurt and how some of us were dealing with loved ones who did or did not know our plight, did or did not support us. We talked of our community that so many folks in the public could never understand. Those who misunderstood us, misunderstood HIV & AIDS, and harbored fear themselves often ran from us, judged us, judged our current and past actions, judged who we lived with, who we loved with, and later who we were dying with. The MIS-understanding in the public eye was so vast, so strong and so wrong that it made living and fighting off dying with HIV even harder. To say that there was prejudice is an understatement, to say that there was hatred was a sad reality, to say that there was fear was dead on accurate… lots of fear… and most of it fear of the unknown. People partly told themselves what they wanted to hear because there were very little facts. People displayed their fear outwardly or let it fester internally, but we were the human beings living in the bubble, inside the fishbowl.
    People assumed we were all gay or drug addicts. These were obviously misconceptions sometimes, but it was so much easier for some people to pigeon hole us so that they didn’t have to include themselves, including the possibility that they too may become HIV+. There were many who even felt that we “deserved” our (possible) death sentence and were callous and cruel beyond explanation, and their feelings often spread. It was easier to fear than to accept, to hate than to love, to judge than to try to understand.

    At our meetings we shared horror stories: of families, partners and friends who turned their backs on some of us and completely walked away (in fear, anger, judgment and often just to protect themselves in their minds). We talked of some doctors in the medical field from the military to the public who saw HIV+ patients wearing yellow hazmat suits and operated inside of plastic confines to take care of their patients… out of obvious overblown fear. We talked of hospital rooms with bright neon signs at the doors of our rooms announcing our reality to all who entered – sometimes even family and/or friends who didn’t know of our diagnosis beforehand. We talked about side effects and weakness, and living while we were dying and dying to get over the pain of living. We often were outcasts and misfits if for no other reason than that it was easier to see us that way than to have to absorb the truth… and there was no one accurate truth… there still isn’t to this day.

    I am blessed to still be here today. It is easy to question why, and it can be very hard to have to process these reflections. So, the day before Thanksgiving is my anniversary. It is impossible for this holiday to come and go without my being reminded that I was diagnosed that day in 1987… 35 years ago. I later figured out that I contracted the virus in 1985...37 years ago. I am strong and vibrant today and my “numbers” are very solid. My T-cells have risen back up from the very low numbers I had in 1997 and my Viral Load dropped from the highest number the tests could determine down to undetectable 23 years ago and have stayed the same.

    Yes, I made some calculated changes as to how I was living my life and yes I have a fighting spirit, but some of it also has to just come down to luck or divine intervention, depending how you see things, which way you believe things. I think I am blessed and the God of my understanding has looked over me. Why? I am not sure. Maybe I will be able to accomplish some things, to give back, to take my experiences and by sharing them make a difference in people’s lives. Or maybe I am just still around because I have been hanging on. Today I am not sure. Today I honestly don’t know if I have to be sure. Today I am alive and in the simplest of terms, every breath is a bonus. Today I continue keeping my commitment to tell my story, to help paint a real picture that may change some viewpoints, to answer any and all questions no matter how personal they are in an attempt to be transparent, honest and true… and today I appreciate the opportunity to do so!
    So, in retrospective sadness and current pride, I look forward to this anniversary every year and want to honor the spirits of those friends who I lost from those support groups, to honor those who I never met who shared our path, to honor all those hundreds of thousands of people who died along this path right here in the United States and millions around the world. So many of them became such good friends and I mourn their loss…

    Moshe Mark Adler
    November 27, 1999
    May 24, 2021 edit

    UPDATE: In this time of Covid, sadly I recognize death tolls like those from another pandemic: AIDS (with no vaccine even after almost 40 years). I looked them up...the numbers, including current ones, are staggering:

    690,000 [500,000–970,000] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2019. 75.7 million [55.9 million–100 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic (that we know of). 32.7 million [24.8 million–42.2 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

    #ChronicPain #PeripheralNeuropathy #BackPain #Headache #Migraine #COVID19 #covidlonghaul #Disability #MentalHealth #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #TheMighty #MightyTogether #MightyMinute

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    Advice: Supersembarrased. How do I face my in-laws?

    I am at a particularly low place and recovering from a manic episode. My in-laws will be here this weekend and I recently found out they know everything about my worst manic episode (the one that got me diagnosed 7 years ago). I am going to have a lot of time with them for conversation. How do I look them in the face and not see everything I did playing in the back of their minds? I am mortified embarrassed. What would you do? #Bipolar1Disorder #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #newhere

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    Breathing slowly

    Can not breathe but no one is chocking me

    Can not sleep, but no one is making a noise

    Do not want to accept, even if it is the truth

    Do not want to be reminded , even if I forgot

    Has never been easy, I wish those memories were long gone

    But I need to be kind to myself and move on

    #Bipolar1Disorder #Love #Shame #Mania #Anxiety #Sadness #Guilty #black #MightyPoets

    Question

    Being bipolar I feel guilty for how I've treated people in the past. I can't apologize because they have passed or stopped talking to me.

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    -The Void-

    The void is empty and black
    It's bottomless, but also has no way out
    The void silences your screams
    No matter how loud you shout
    You're falling into a precipice
    What little hope you have has been let go
    You are alone and afraid
    But the void won't let that show
    There is nothing to brace your fall
    Nothing to grab to make your desent stop
    Falling into forever
    The darkness has you in it's lock

    #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #BipolarDepression #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #PTSD #ChronicDepression #Anxiety #Agoraphobia

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    Bipolar 1 or 2?

    #BipolarDisorder
    I've read all the educational info after being diagnosed with PTSD & Bipolar disorder, but still am unsure if I'm 1 or 2? I don't seem to completely fit into either...perhaps a combo? Or perhaps misdiagnosed? My soon to be ex thinks I have personality disorder instead, but he of course isn't a professional & my doc doesn't seem to want to label it as one or the other. Anyone have any unique or unexpected symptoms for either?

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    We are in need of a new co-leader for our group. Please see info below. We need someone to encourage, empower, support & be there for other members!

    We are currently looking for a new Co-Leader for the Multiple Health Challenges group. We have grown quite a bit and just passed 1,500 members. In the past co-leaders have been golden, really helpful for me when I got sick or burnt out and had to step away for a few days. I am looking for someone to welcome new members, comment or respond to most posts or other comments, make new posts to the group every once and a while, and preferably someone who has physical and emotional health challenges so they can best relate to and understand where other members are coming from when they post or comment.

    It is important for the group to have two distinctly different voices to support people because people might relate more to one of us. What is a really good situation is if we both respond to the same posts, welcome new members from different perspectives and provide voices for people that are accessible and relatable. There is a commitment needed that you monitor activities on the group regularly and can respond pretty quickly.

    Offering your own posts provides more content for the group…and when posts pose a question they keep things moving forward. I can assist and support by offering to look at your new posts for feedback and editing before you post if you would like it, comment on your posts to get the responses going to best support your efforts, help finding memes or images, and support you if we are dealing with someone struggling …. Like sounding suicidal or being manic…and I will check in to make sure you are happy and comfortable!

    I look at potential leaders' history of posts and/or comments that have helped and supported others in the past. Willingness to be honest and open about your own health challenges is crucial to best support people. A co-leader works together with me for some new posts and drafting new questions and is concerned about the well being of all members and can empathize with their paths.

    You will get access to the Community Leaders group and your name will have a “Group Leader” tab next to it up top on your comments and responses so I think people pay attention especially to your activity and wisdom shared from personal experience. Would you consider joining me on this journey? Let’s have a DM chat to discuss this! Thanks for considering taking on this role!

    #Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #ChronicPain #Chronicpainwarrior #Disability #BipolarDisorder #BipolarDepression #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolar1Disorder
    #Stigma #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #ADHD #Autism #Dementia #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #Cancer #TraumaticBrainInjury #BrainInjury #LossOfAParent #Grief #SuicideSurvivors #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #DistractMe #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #MightyQuestions #DownSyndrome #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #Deafness #neckpain #BackPain #CongestiveHeartFailure #Migraine #COVID19 #PeripheralNeuropathy #LymeDisease #Diabetes #EatingDisorders #Headache #Stroke #help #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Fibromyalgia #Disability #thankful #grateful #EatingDisorders #CocaineDependence #drugaddict #alcoholic #PTSD #EmotionalHealth #physicalhealth PainAcceptance #Acceptance #relief #Selflove #MightyMinute #MentalHealthHero #TheMighty #RareDisease #MightyTogether

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    Question

    How do people with bipolar disorder navigate pregnancy?

    I have bipolar 1. I want to marry and have children, but I'm scared of
    1. Whether my psychiatrist will agree to change or take me off my meds while trying/pregnant. I'm on lithium and ziprasidone (geodon). Both cause harm to the fetus. My psychiatrist never agrees with me whenever I point out the side effects of my medications. She always says my symptoms must be due to something else. I think she may have the same response when I tell her I want to go off my meds to have a kid.
    2. Postpartum psychosis
    3. How to avoid sleep loss while taking care of a baby. For me, sleep loss inevitably leads to a manic episode
    I'm still figuring out if having bipolar disorder is a good enough reason to not have kids even if you really want them. If it's really bad then I'd have to change my priorities and marry someone who doesn't want kids either or already has kids and doesn't want any more.
    Is there anyone out there who's had a bipolar diagnosis before having kids and it turned out alright? I'd really like to know.
    If someone is child free by choice because of bipolar I would also like to know about it.
    Thank you. #Pregnancy #baby #Child #Parenting

    Post

    -The Blizzard-

    The sun has set on the horizon
    Darkness takes the sky
    The bitter winter aches my bones
    I envy birds as I watch them fly
    A shiver runs down my spine
    The cold peirces my lungs
    I can't see where I am going
    My world is absent of the sun
    I trudge through the wilderness
    With no compass or map
    I lost my way long ago
    There is no clear path
    I am alone
    No one hears my calls
    Will someone find me before it's too late?
    Will someone break my fall?

    #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #BipolarDepression #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #ChronicDepression #Depression #Anxiety #Agoraphobia