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Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:15 PM

PLEASE Help! I got back from appt, Not what I was expecting. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Seems my Judgement, if this is Judgement day for me, is not what I expected. Like the Seinfeld line from the episode 'The Junior Mint', "Prognosis negative!"

I was prepared to deal with depression as a diagnosis. Maybe with a twist of anxiety and a dash of paranoia. And a smattering of other things thrown in.

This doctor seems to think I'm bipolar.

And her recommendation is that I be admitted either for a 3 day or some kind of day program for 2 weeks.

Which leads me to conclude only one thing. My life as I've known it, such as it is, is effectively over.

There is no glossing over that one to anyone. There is no finessing the situation into something else. Lying never works for me anyway to speak of, sure I could try to tell at least some people in my life I needed something done along the cardiac lines, they would believe it, but all of them.

I will definitely lose my job. It's not a "just pack up and leave" kind of job. The work has to be done, he will have to get someone to replace me.

My family is going to disown me. I can see that coming. This will be viewed as a moral failure, probably a "punishment from God for your sins" type of situation. They most likely will kick me out of the family. I guess that is Karma for the way I rejected my gay friend from college after he came out to me.

The larger society will forever stigmatize me as they do everyone with mental illness. I will never be able to get a job again. I won't be able to support myself.

I'm not going to be able to afford this. I'm going to have to blow through what little money I have to pay for it, not a clue what my crap insurance will cover, probably none of it. I already have "regular" debt to pay off, I was trying to get that down. Oh well, say hello to bankruptcy hell.

There is no social safety net in this country, so I'm screwed there. No job, no income, no assistance of any kind.

I guess I really DO need to start gathering newspapers to cover myself in the alley.

It is logistically impossible to do what this doctor wants. I don't have space in my life for this. And she isn't really willing to consider anything outpatient. Her opinion was that I needed to be "stabilized".

I tried to be as honest as possible, and given how I am, no doubt went overboard and gave too much detail. Which was used against me in a manner.

Not that I think she's wrong, it's probably quite possible, indeed likely, that I am bipolar. And now I am ashamed that I am following in my insane father's footsteps. I guess what happens in RNA and DNA isn't my fault. But I feel like I am him now, and he was everything I hate.

So I'm home alone right now, which is rare, and I turned to DU first for any guidance you can offer me.

But basically I really screwed the pooch on this one. I guess I should have kept my mouth shut and let the storm blow over if it would have. But it probably wouldn't.

Well, President Obama's slogan is "Forward". I guess all I can do is move forward and let the chips fall where they may. I'm always saying I am treated like a teenager, and act like a teenager, I guess I'll have to "man up" to this one. If I don't, this doctor is going to do it for me, probably.


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Reply PLEASE Help! I got back from appt, Not what I was expecting. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. (Original post)
Denninmi Aug 2012 OP
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #1
Denninmi Aug 2012 #3
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #6
intaglio Aug 2012 #2
Denninmi Aug 2012 #4
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #5
Denninmi Aug 2012 #7
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #8
Denninmi Aug 2012 #9
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #12
Denninmi Aug 2012 #18
Neoma Aug 2012 #10
Denninmi Aug 2012 #11
Neoma Aug 2012 #13
Denninmi Aug 2012 #14
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #15
Neoma Aug 2012 #16
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #17
Neoma Aug 2012 #21
Denninmi Aug 2012 #19
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #20
mopinko Aug 2012 #22
Denninmi Aug 2012 #23
mopinko Aug 2012 #24
Denninmi Aug 2012 #25
mopinko Aug 2012 #30
Denninmi Aug 2012 #32
mopinko Aug 2012 #33
Denninmi Aug 2012 #34
Denninmi Aug 2012 #26
elleng Aug 2012 #27
Tobin S. Aug 2012 #28
Denninmi Aug 2012 #29
mopinko Aug 2012 #31
Denninmi Nov 2012 #35
mopinko Nov 2012 #36

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:39 PM

1. Settle down. What you say to your doctor is confidential. I'll post more in a minute.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:45 PM

3. You know, I'm actually surprisingly calm.

It's not a panic, its more a "oh my God how in the hell am I going to explain this one" feeling.

Really, I'm OK, at least for the moment, I'm going to change, go outside, try and do "normal" things like put out the garbage, water the potted plants, eventually come back in and feed the dog and take him for a quick walk. Then try to get my 2-3 miles in.

Hit another good sale today at Sears on some more athletic clothes, so I'm all set for my new exercise program.

Well, if I'm unemployed, I'll have lots of time for that. Maybe I can end up "buffed" and "ripped" like some gym rat.

And Tobin, you have been a godsend to me, so please don't misinterpret what I say. I am so grateful for your input. But don't let my problems suck you in, you are in a good place in your life, in fact a great place, and I don't want to bring you down in any way. So if you need to back away from me, from this, I completely understand.

Dennis

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:05 PM

6. You sounded like you were freaking out in your OP.

You're not bringing me down. If I didn't want to be posting here I wouldn't, but it takes a lot to get me down now days. I am perpetually positive.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:44 PM

2. No, your life is NOT over

You are still you, the same person you have always known but know you have the chance to develop in more ways. But from what you are writing I suspect the illness is dictating your perceptions. Remember, you are you; you are not your illness and that illness can be beaten. Your perception has been changed, but that is good, as long as you remember bipolar is not a death sentence, is not a one way ticket to sheltered care it is an illness. Illnesses can be treated.

Your job is not you, for a time you have blessed your job with your skills and, it seems have been appreciated for those skills. If you are forced to leave (not yet certain tho' you suspect it) it may well be that you will be given some other sort of support, maybe only emotional but it will still be support.

Your family is a part of you, but even if you shock them I guarantee that at least one and probably more, will surprise you in a good way.

Ok, I have it easy. I live in the UK and total destitution because of illness is not feasible here. But ... ask round the support groups, on the internet and locally, even use churches if you are tuned that way. Contact the care facility, there will be a social worker there who has knowledge of these sort of things.

You have an illness, it can be treated, you can come through it.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:47 PM

4. RE: Britain/UK.

Yes, you have the more sane, just society by a million miles. If my life were only slightly different and I were a Canadian citizen 25 miles east of here, and across a mile of river water, I wouldn't be facing that.

And the rub of the whole thing, if I end up living in the alley behind the Detroit Rescue Mission in a cardboard box, that will just suck a million times over, because I hate camping with a passion!

Thanks for the support, much appreciated.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:55 PM

5. I've got Bipolar 1, Denninmi. It's the worst kind.

But I have a good job, a nice place to live, a lovely wife, and I'll be a daddy soon. Does it sound like my life has been completely ruined? I'm also a junior in college right now as well and I'm getting 'A's. My brain functions better now than those of a lot of people I know.

Do you have any vacation time at work coming to you? That would be the opportune time to get the stabilization that your doctor suggests if you can swing it. You might not have to do it, though. Tell your doctor your situation money wise.

But a professional has told you that you have a serious problem. Don't dick around with this. People with your illness die by their own hand every day because they are living with it untreated. An acquaintance of mine did earlier this year. She was only 33 years old.

Your doctor should be seen as your ally. He or she is on your side. You have to trust him or her unless they give you a good reason not to. That doctor will not release any information about you unless you say it's okay.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:05 PM

7. I guess my first step tomorrow will be to contact these programs and ask some questions.

Yeah, I'm not debating her diagnosis, albeit after very cursory knowledge. She's no doubt right.

This is just going to turn my life around in unknown and unforeseeable ways.

I hope I didn't offend you, Tobin. If so, it was unintentional and I apologize.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:15 PM

8. You didn't offend me

I'm just saying there's hope. And there's a lot more of it now that you have started treatment. Stick with it.

If you are admitted for 3 days you'll get more attention from a doctor and they'll probably start you on some medication. A word of advice regarding medication: If it doesn't work for you like it should or if the side affects are bad, tell your doctor. Don't just stop taking it and drop out of treatment. Adjustments and new meds can be tried. It might take a little bit to get the right stuff at the right dosage. That being said, give it a chance to work as well. I had a few side affects when I started taking one of my meds. They weren't bad and after a few weeks they went away. So give it an honest try.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:24 PM

9. Yeah, I'm sure you're right. And I'm glad this worked for you.

I just feel like I'm in such a box I have no room to move. I was more or less given a subtle ultimatum, do this or I will involve the authorities. She never said that, it was implicit. And I'm certainly familiar with the relevant Michigan statute on this. She could do it if she wanted to. And I would have an interesting legal time challenging it.

"Man up" - I keep coming back to that phrase, because its trite but applicable. I've never felt like a grown man. I guess this is growing up hard and fast.

Somehow, right now, the concept of a drunken college-aged spring break road trip to Daytona Beach with the guys sounds like a significantly more fun way to grow up than this, but that wasn't my style back then. I was a nerd, you know.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:34 PM

12. As far as I know

your doctor has to keep your session confidential unless you say you are going to hurt someone.

" I was more or less given a subtle ultimatum, do this or I will involve the authorities. She never said that, but it was implicit." Are you sure about that? Due to the nature of their work, most mental health professionals are very straight forward. There's no implied bullshit. They just come out and say it if they are going to say something.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:06 PM

18. Well, reading between the lines.

I don't know. I guess only time will tell.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:25 PM

10. Life isn't over.

It's manageable, you are not your illness. It's kind of like having diabetes, except it's your emotions that get out of control. There's pills that are light years ahead of what they used to be, and a real hurdle for people with bipolar is to deny they have it, and to just go la-de-da manic. Don't make that mistake.

Think of every movie/show you've seen about mental illness and throw it out the window. It's mostly over-dramatized crap. Sure, people are fragile in psychward, and trying to deal with things the best they can. But it's not like you can't laugh or have a good time. Heck, I know some people that go back, just to feel better.

Having an illness is like having a snake tattoo on your neck that you don't remember getting. You're either going to try to hide it with turtle necks, or you show it proudly and celebrate snakes. The trick is to find a good medium.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:28 PM

11. Thanks for the perspective.

I see job loss and family disowning me as inevitable. Maybe it won't happen.

I am more than willing to consider the possibility I'm not thinking quite right at this point in time.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:34 PM

13. If bipolar does anything, it makes your thoughts more negative.

You feel what you think... Your thoughts are negative, and so your feelings become negative too. You have to purposefully think happy thoughts. It feels stupid to do, but it's one way to combat it.

I usually try to draw and drink tea when I'm hypomanic. Red tea helps me the most, I'd look into that.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 06:42 PM

14. Well,basically in my life, if I didn't have negative thoughts, I wouldn't think about much at all.

So yeah, that fits.

I don't know "hypomanic" but I guess it's just the roots hypo "under" or "less than" and "manic" which means "manic". In other words, somewhere in between manic and depressed?

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:03 PM

15. Yeah, hypomania is not full blown mania

but it is a state of elevated mood that you'll feel usually for a long time that's a bit unnatural. I think it's more common for people who have bipolar II. It's usually harmless and people in that state find they are more happy and have a lot more energy.

There are also mixed states where you may have the energy of hypomania but with a depressed mood. Sounds odd, I know, but it happens.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:41 PM

16. Hypomania goes with bipolar II.

Bipolar I is where you're manic more than depressed, and bipolar II is when you're depressed more than manic.

Hypomania is where you're depressed and manic at the same time, which is probably more dangerous. If you have suicidal thoughts and have the manic energy to act on it... it's just not good.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 07:57 PM

17. Hey Neoma

It sounds like what you are describing is a mixed state. Here's a definition of hypomania.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypomania

Mixed states are dangerous indeed. I would have them in the transition periods and it was in those states that my psychosis first appeared.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #17)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:11 PM

21. Then I have a hell of a lot of experience with mixed states.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:12 PM

19. Hey, group. I'm learning something already.

Thanks again, for about the hundredth time, for helping me through this. I don't know any other way in cyberspace than to say thanks. If you were here I'd all take you out or something.

So, I know "self-diagnosis" is probably not a good idea, but I'm definitely more depressed in my life than I'm up. But there have been some up periods.

But a lot of "mixed" feeling for me, which is really weird. Like, how am I able to walk 6,7,8 miles a day, with a lot of physical stamina and energy when I do it, because I'm really cruising, I'm not talking about a pleasant evening stroll, I'm going pretty fast and I "feel the burn". My heartrate is going up to like 120-125, and I'm really sweating. So, that is pretty high energy.

And I turn around 2 hours later and feel like I can barely drag myself out of a chair. That's low energy.

Feel great after exercise, can be crying 2 hours later.

So yes, I'm kind of mixed up in that sense.

Is this consistent with certain types of bipolar disorder?

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #19)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:38 PM

20. It can be, but nobody here can say for sure

I can tell you that bipolar disorder cycles usually last for months and it's like an emotional roller coaster ride. There is a type of rapid cycling that's possible, but I'm not sure how rapid "rapid" is. Mania is usually accompanied by intense energy, insomnia, and distorted thinking. Depression, well, most people know what that is, but in people with bipolar disorder it can become suicidally dangerous.

But it's not always cut and dried like that and you can have those messy mixed states. There can also be delusional thinking, racing thoughts, psychosis, paranoia and probably some other stuff I can't think of right now.

But, Denninmi, you really don't have a proper diagnosis yet and it may turn out to be something different. So take this all with caution.

I'm hitting the hay. Try to get some sleep, man, and let that overworked mind of yours rest.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:33 PM

22. you have to do what you have to do.

it is what it is. like being in a car accident. it just is.

i don't think your job can/will fire you. they should be able to get a temp.

if this all gets to be too much, go to the er.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #22)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:28 PM

23. Thanks.

The whole ER/hospital thing was what I wanted to avoid. I had hoped this could all be done very discretely on an outpatient basis. Guess not.

I just was online with our local crisis center. They gave me the local CMH number and said I should call that and see if they can do anything for me. I'm going to have to spend a lot of time tomorrow making phone calls, etc. To try to figure out this mess.

And at some point, the chips will have to fall where they fall.

I am surprisingly calm about this. As I said before. I think it is giving the analytical side of my brain a big bone of a problem to gnaw on, and that side tends to win out over the emotional side. I guess I'd rather worry than cry.

Anyway, I'm OK. Thanks for the DU support.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #23)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:41 PM

24. nobody wants to go to the hospital.

nobody wants to be in the er. but you gotta do what you gotta do. you don't have to gnaw on anything, just walk through the door.
that's not advising to do it, just saying, if you need to, do it. the chips will fall, and they get dealt with when/if you find out they are actually chips that are important to worry about.

you'll be fine.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #24)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:12 PM

25. Well, I don't feel the need to rush into this.

I mean, yeah, I'm clearly having issues. But I'm not exactly Jared Loughner or Mark David Chapman or John Hinckley Jr., either.

I just don't think my entire world has to fall apart because this doctor is overreacting or over-interpreting things I've said. I didn't expect that I would be treated like public enemy No. 1 when I voluntarily presented for a consultation and treatment.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #25)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 09:38 AM

30. a thing about shrinks-

although they will talk to you in a conversational tone about stuff, just like any doc, they are looking for clues, checking off their checklist. something you said got a big red checkmark. it may or may not actually be big and red to you, but it was to her.
personally, i think some of those checkmarks are not as indicative as they like to think, but who am i to question phd's?

again, i'm not recommended that you do or don't check yourself in. i'm just sayin' that everyone will survive it, including you.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #30)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:01 AM

32. Yeah, well, I just gave TMI.

I wanted to be very forthright, to provide all relevant information.

It triggered "concerns" from a medical legal standpoint, aka a red flag, the checkmark you allude to.

OK, I can be blunt, since you all know pretty much my entire life story anyway. She asked me if I was ever suicidal, or ever had suicidal thoughts. I told her yes, which is truthful. I have suicidal thoughts now and then. Who doesn't? I think it's pretty normal human behavior to contemplate your own mortality, and to explore just a bit in your mind to think about how much control you might want over your death in situation X. "If I had terminal cancer and was in so much pain, I would want to do ...."

I think that having suicidal thoughts isn't the same as being suicidal. It is certainly a continuum, and the former is a necessary precondition for the latter. We all have many thoughts we never act on. I can think of buying a sports car, but that doesn't mean I'm racing one down the freeways tonight. I could go my entire life thinking of buying a sports car and never actually own one.

I don't act on these thoughts. Never. I don't even contemplate acting on them. The idea just comes at times. I view it perhaps differently, I view it much the way Dr. Jack Kevorkian did, it should be a right reserved to the individual for their use at an appropriate time. I don't buy the view that we are in some way "property of the state" that must be kept alive against our wills. And yes, it IS very different talking psychiatric versus medical reasons. But there are still similarities too. It is something I would want the right to do if my life were hopeless agony and pain. I don't feel I'm hopeless or in that much agony or pain. Frankly, a couple of prescriptions, some rest, a better diet, some weight loss (I am down 5 lbs as of this morning, yeah!), maybe a little less stress and some "me time" would probably fix me right up.

Its not something I have the vaguest concept of doing now. There is the issue, she didn't apparently believe me.

And she has a legal duty under Michigan law to report anyone who is an "imminent danger".


Define imminent. Well, that can get gray.

So, she kind of strong-armed me into going the route I really didn't want to go. I get where she is coming from. Doing her job, partially a CYA move too on her part, she would be professional responsible if she made a mistake and didn't deal with a patient in this situation who then did harm self or others.

I had half of the necessary conversation this morning with my mother. Laid the foundation, then there was an interruption and no more opportunity. I will finish tonight.

I am also contacting these proposed programs to get info from them.

Its probably not as dire as I felt yesterday. Chips are already falling, so be it.

And I could use a vacation, even if the spa isn't very luxurious. So we'll see.

Working on it. In a few weeks, all of this part of this will be behind me. Perspectives will be better, and I perhaps can shut up a while.

And again, I hope this wasn't TMI here, either. Just telling the truth.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #32)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:40 AM

33. pretty much assumed that.

imminent danger means that you have a plan, right now, and the means, to do it today.
i've always thought that any sentient being that never considers it is maybe not, well, sentient.

another thing about shrinks is that i think they never really, completely believe you, so get used to that. most docs are like that to a certain extent, but shrinks really, at least till they get to know you, are not gonna really take you 100% at your word. they can't.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #33)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:46 AM

34. I have neither the plan nor the means.

I mean, I guess I could sit here and slice my wrists with the sharp edges of 8 1/2 x 11 white 20 lb bond printer paper, but I kinda think I could do that for hours and hours and basically just end up with a lot of paper cuts. Probably noting some neosporin and a Bandaid wouldn't treat.

My main plan is to keep exercising, lose weight, get this crap behind me, get on meds, deal with the aftereffects, get my yard cleaned up for fall, start back doing stuff around the house, deal with relatives which basically means standing up for myself, and get out of the funk.

One big weight off my mind -- I just check with my insurance, I have a $5800 dollar out of pocket maximum, but inpatient is covered. So at least I'm stop-lossed at that amount for the initial. And I can handle that much. Less scary than $20-30-40 K.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 01:26 AM

26. OK, next question.

How in the hell do I break news like this to my family.

I'm pretty resigned to the boss thing. Tell him, he either is gracious and is nice about it, or isn't. Either way, yes, I can accept that I'm toast there. And anywhere. Maybe I'll be good enough to clean toilets at McDonalds. Probably not even that. But OK, fine.

But how do I tell my family this? I already feel that they hate me. This will pretty much just be curtains. Maybe they'll surprise me. But not counting on a Deus ex machina on this one.

Gee, I stopped to pick up a loaf of bread, and, oh, by the way, I'm bipolar and need to to to the psych ward.

And obviously I can't sleep.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #26)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:20 AM

27. If they truly hate you, Den,

IGNORE them, and go on with your life.

And as to your penultimate sentence, doesn't have to be put that way AT ALL, rather, 'Am seeking medical assistance. Will let you know later how things go. I understand this is often helped with medication.'

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #26)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:28 AM

28. It's not the end. It's the beginning of a new life- a better one.

If you are concerned about social stigma, you don't have to tell anyone that you have a mental illness. When you apply for a job, you don't have to tell them that. If you play this right no one has to know. But check this out:

Famous people with bipolar disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_bipolar_disorder

I don't know about you, but I'm not letting this illness hold me back. I've got the treatment, I'm feeling good, and I'm going places.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #28)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 06:23 AM

29. Some of the names on the list were surprising.

I wouldn't have guess Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Jane Pauley, Ted Turner.

The obvious like Kurt Cobain, yes.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #26)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 09:49 AM

31. i think that i can pretty much promise you that it is not going to go like you think it is.

you are so down on yourself that you think everyone else is, too. at least some members of your family, i promise, are going to be relieved.
if i am wrong about this, i owe you a cup of coffee.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:52 AM

35. Hey, you owe am a cup of coffee ...

I'll come knocking the next time I'm in the Windy City.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #35)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:00 PM

36. you got it.

maybe you could drag the worst offender or the biggest mouth with you to therapy?

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