Bipolar 2 Disorder

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Bipolar 2 Disorder
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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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    #Sobriety and IG ads

    I'm very proud of my 14 years of #Sobriety . And while I wouldn't go as far as to say I was tempted by the non-stop alcohol ads were quite bothersome. So I'm taking a break. Maybe I'll return after the holidays. Maybe not. Either way, I'm doing what's right for me.
    #mighty #SOBER #Bipolar2Disorder

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    Delicate, Origami Crane

    This poem I wrote speaks to the constant chaos of trying to understand one’s ever-shifting emotions, and the futile attempts to drown it all out through dangerous or addictive behavior.

    ______________________

    chaos, her drug of choice
    injected in bruised vain
    the highs scorch her
    while the lows unfold her
    like a delicate, origami crane

    #MightyPoets #mightypoetry #MentalHealth #Bipolar2Disorder #Addiction

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    #Bipolar2Disorder (w/major depression) #PTSD #Arthritis #Anxiety #OCD #spinal Stenosis #Neurodermatitis #KidneyDisease #Fibromyalgia

    I forgot to tell you my health info when I joined, and I think I’m supposed to. Sorry. I also get #ChronicMigraines Im nearly 53. I worked in Human Services, helping other people, prior to not working myself. Now, I enjoy arts and crafts when I’m able and live close to family. Thank you.

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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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    Would you rather have magic powers or super speed & strength? Or something else? See the new article I just posted above w/ a great survey to answer

    This question was posed someplace else on The Mighty and got great answers with insight, reflection and many coming from a place of wanting or needing. I started saying I would want a great healthy and durable body and stable mental health ….but read somebody else’s response and realized if I had magic powers I could make myself cured of my mental health challenges and grant myself a great new body and then do even more… I got to thinking of what else I could do with magic powers…and thought big like I could eradicate all suffering and diseases and create empty hospitals and bored doctors and of course …World Peace and no war and all people would get along and respect each other… but then thought small like I myself would have no financial worries and with my stable health have a great job I can flourish in with my healthy body and mind…and be able to make more of a difference in the world.

    What would you do with magic powers? Or what else would you like to have (think big!)

    #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Disability #PTSD #Selflove #Selfcare #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolar1Disorder #BipolarDepression #ADHD #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #RareDisease #COVID19 #Migraine #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #Fibromyalgia #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #DistractMe #TheMighty #MightyMinute #MightyTogether #mentalhealthwarrior #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #Cancer #ParkinsonsDisease #EssentialTremors

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    Tips for Peole with Bipolar Disorder to get Through the Holidays #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #MentalHealth

    T= Decorating, Cooking, Shopping, Going to parties, and getting prepared to see family might trigger a mood swing. Be aware of this and try not to get overwhelmed. Take breaks and don’t feel like you have to do everything.

    H= People with bipolar disorder can have a problem with excessive spending. Be aware of this and keep a reasonable budget and do not go over it.

    A=It is very easy to miss your medication when you are busy. It is very important not to do so. You want to stay stable. Do not give into temptations to skip doses so that you can drink either.

    N= Saying “no” may be needed to keep yourself stable. If your health is on the line, it is ok to miss a party or not bake something extra for your family get together. Do your best, but realize that you have limitations. Saying yes to too many things can be detrimental.

    K= People who have bipolar disorder do better if they have a schedule. It is easy to get off that schedule during the holidays. However, it is important to keep to the schedule as much as you can.

    S= Don’t feel like everything has to be perfect. Your gifts and cookies may not be perfect, but neither will anyone else’s.

    G= Sleep is very important. Not getting enough sleep can cause a manic episode. Be very conscious of how much sleep you are getting. Leave a party early if you have to. Wrapping presents can wait until the next day rather than trying to do them too late and not getting to bed.

    I= During the holidays, many people get depressed. It is important to not isolate oneself as this can make things worse.

    V= You don’t have to see everyone on the holiday. Spread out visits with family. You can have just as much fun in October and January than in November and December.

    I= To help staying grounded and stable throughout the holiday season, it is a good idea to check in with someone often. This may be a friend or family member or you may need more appointments with your psychiatrist or therapist.

    N= Sometimes people can try and do too much. If you are feeling overwhelmed, decide what things are most important and the things you can skip. It is not worth getting sick because you didn’t prioritize.

    G= Don’t focus on others so much that you neglect yourself. By doing this, you risk getting depressed or manic.

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    Family and friends

    It seems the more I share about my symptoms or explain my reactions and behaviors the less my family and friends believe it is caused by the bipolar 2 disorder and more that I’m making it up to justify behaviors. I have always taken responsibility for my actions and words. I never blame the condition because ultimately it is my fault - for not being disciplined enough, not watching my symptoms, not avoiding triggers, not taking meds right, and other things within my control to lessen the effects of the illness. But I do try to explain why I did or said something. Explain the illness. The symptoms. If anything just to convey if I had a “normal” brain I wouldn’t have done those things. That the behavior is not indicative of the real me. Any suggestions or help? At this point I feel like saying nothing, hide my symptoms, and start pretending I’m 100% normal again. But this means isolating a lot more than usual from the people I thought were closest to me. Maybe I’m wanting more than I should expect from them.

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    Recovery Journey #Bipolar2Disorder #SuicidalIdeation #Depression #Anxiety

    How long after hospitalization for a suicide attempt were you able to return to normalcy? I am 7 weeks out of the hospital and am still not ready. I am still struggling every day. I have Bipolar II, bpd, anxiety, ptsd, and panic disorder. I feel like I can't catch a break 😪 Just needed to vent and look for some support. Thank you

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    THANK YOU SO MUCH... WE HAVE REACHED 1,500 members … and counting! If you haven’t joined us yet we welcome you to join our community!

    Thank you for joining us as we support each other with our multiple health challenges! We appreciate you being a part of our community. This group was started with the intention of being a place where members can empathize with each other, find support and offer support to others. We love watching as this has been happening, but we think we can get even stronger! Please consider commenting or responding to other’s posts and responses even more. Even if it’s just a ❤️ or a 👍... or respond with a comment. This really helps us to feel supported and encourages people to post more.

    Thank you for joining us on our journey so far and we look forward to getting to know you all better in the future.

    Your Multiple Health Challenges Leaders! 💜❤️👍

    #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Disability #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Selflove #Selfcare #PTSD #COVID19 #Migraine #ChronicDailyHeadache #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolar1Disorder #BipolarDepression #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #RareDisease #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #ADHD #Fibromyalgia #Cancer #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #TheMighty #MightyTogether #MightyMinute #mentalhealthwarrior #Grief #Headache
    #RareDisease #Asthma #Suicide #Trauma #DistractMe #CeliacDisease #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #ParkinsonsDisease #Autism #AlzheimersDisease #Dementia #BrainInjury