When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I was 45-years-old, and my reaction went from one extreme to the other – for one thing, I was just happy that they had a name for what I’d been through for so long; but, at the other extreme, I was petrified. I had so many questions, and no answers!
Other than my mother, who had bipolar disorder and had not had an episode for 12 years (but didn’t know a lot about explaining the disorder to others), and my sister – who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but was still in denial about having the disorder – I didn’t know anyone else who could explain what having bipolar disorder means. I mean, it was a pretty scary time for me, and I felt very much alone.
My first impulse was to try to get more information on the disorder, but the pamphlets in the doctor’s office were sorely lacking – they had some introductory things, but left me with more questions than actual answers. I didn’t want to call my doctor’s office for answers to my questions, because I didn’t want to become a bother (especially being a new patient), so I was quickly feeling like I was “out there” all by myself.
Next, I went to my local library, and I left feeling more confused than when I came. Much of the information still called the disorder “manic depression,” which showed how outdated it was, and much of it felt so “over my head,” and technical that it made my head spin. A lot of it was very impersonal as well. I felt like they were talking about somebody else – not me! Even what I could understand seemed so negative.
I called my therapist for help, and she referred me to a Bipolar Support Group. It was ok – just being around other people who also had the disorder made me feel better – but that was ALL they talked about.
I mean, I understand we were at a Bipolar Support Group, so of course we would talk about the disorder, but there were other issues related to the disorder (such as issues related to my life that bipolar disorder affected) that I wanted to discuss. Plus, all they did was complain and, again, I was turned off because everything was so negative!
There was something positive that happened at the Support Group meeting, though. There was some free literature given out, and I took some. Some of the literature led me to some websites on the Internet, so that was where my journey took me next.
The NAMI, NIMH, and DBSA websites had LOADS of information online that helped me!
Then I did a Google keyword search for bipolar disorder and found the website www.bipolarcentral.com, and have not looked back! I’m so glad to be part of the Bipolar Central family!
Wishing you joy and stability,
Remember God loves you and so do I,