Bipolar 1 Disorder

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    Grateful in the Midst of Turmoil

    Here, I am talking about an unknown cancer diagnosis- taking biopsy after biopsy, and waiting for the results. Your mind begins to spin with your worst fears and you start to run on the hamster wheel of rumination.

    In this particular case, I'm talking about my cancer screening from a week ago where the doctors cut out a little piece of me and sent it off to a lab to make sure the rest of me was (God Willing), cancer free.

    But this doesn't just apply to cancer. Rumination, negative self talk, and just generalized anxiety and depression all play into the fear of "What if-".

    And I played right into it.

    It was hard to say "It's out of my control now."

    It was hard to say "God's got this."

    It was hard to say "I'm thankful for 'xyz,'' because at least I still have that".

    At least I still have XYZ... Reframing my mind and my perspective was exactly what I needed to do last Monday and I wasn't able to do it on my own.

    So I called my best friend, Autumn, and she told me this:

    "Feel your anger and whatever else, but trust God no matter what. You can still move. You can still work. You still have your dream job. Your home, your car that you love, your dog, your friends, your church, food to eat. You have so many things to be thankful for. Let those shine brighter in your life."

    And I'll be honest, the positive positivity is a little annoying at times because I was so angry with God that I forgot to be grateful.

    It's hard to be grateful when you're this sick. It's overwhelming and suffocating.

    But there is good, because there is God.

    My cancer screening came back negative the next day.

    *Pictured below is Autumn baptizing me on October 30, 2022*

    #Anxiety #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #Cancer #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #Depression #Bipolar

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    I’m not perfect, I never will be and while that irks me to no end, I accept it. I try to do what I need to to feel self worth and self love but others try to shoot down what I need to get across to be successful. I still don’t know where my friends are. I have jr make them and they disappear. So much situational stress. I just want to live again. Ugh I don’t know, I’m just rambling. I’m 32, no Job but am trying. Barely any friends/social life. Entire life is weird. I just can’t get it right and need to breathe without getting watched. #Bipolar1Disorder #ADHD

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    No more meds? #BipolarDisorder

    Recently my psychiatrist suggested that she would consider taking me off of my medication. I was diagnosed as bipolar 1 a few years ago after a experiencing antidepressant-induced mania.

    Since then, I’ve been on medication and have not experienced a single breakthrough. Also prior to my first diagnosis, I had not had any bipolar symptoms except for the bout of depression that led me to seek out treatment in the first place. I was going through a lot in life at that time, so she believes that may have triggered the depression. Currently, she wants to change my diagnosis to Bipolar unspecified, as she feels it may be more accurate than Bipolar 1. Has anyone else willingly stopped taking medication with the support of their doctor? How was that experience? #Bipolar1Disorder #BipolarNOS #BipolarDisorder

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    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

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    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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