Mental Illness

Updated on January 27, 2009
V.W. asks from Byesville, OH
25 answers

I am so greatful to all of you being there for me.
I am going through a time with my mental illness.
My Doctor feels I need to get back on a antidepressent
for my illness.
I am having question in my mind.
I suffer Bipolar,Anxiety, Depression.
A liitle of everything.
Will it take my ability to touch other
in needs away?
Will it take away my wanting to write?
I don't want it to change me like it
did before.
But I must get back on it.
Do to some flair ups that has happen.
My Doctor don't want to see me have another
serious nervous break down again; I have had a few.
I do my best to take one day at a time.
I just need to hear from all of you how
you feel.
I guess I just need alot of shoulders to lean on in
this situation I now must face.
Please keep me in your prayer.

Thank You
Vicki W.

I know you are there for me as I am with you.
God Bless

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So What Happened?

Because of all of your response.
I just know I will get better.
I will continue to write for that too
brings out many emotion.
Thanks for being there for me.
I have started to take my medicine.

Here is a flower to you from me in writing.

A Shoulder To Lean On

Big shoulders I see in front of me.
Visioning many hands held out to me.
Touching my soul within and without.
Letting me know what the world is about.
telling me to be strong.
Don't have no fears.
For you are always near.

God bless You all
I will get better
Vicki W.

More Answers

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D.P.

answers from Asheville on

I'm touched by your message, V..
I'm also a mom an a grandma.
I won't "preach" at you, or at least I sincerely hope you won't interpret my response in that way. Although I am not offended at the opinions of some, it strikes me that they are either in denial or that the type of mental illness they've dealt with is not the same as bipolar disorder.
Bipolar is NOT caused by diet, it is often a genetic condition. Being a devout Christian has nothing to do with whether or not you need help through medications or therapy.
I am a Christian, have a personal relationship with God, but guess what?? I have an inherited predisposition for depression and anxiety!! I struggled with it for years, was misdiagnosed by two doctors and at present, I'm drug-free, but it was a long struggle. Through counseling, therapy, a terrific team of doctors, family support, meds, and prayer, I have come to accept that at times I do need help, and that it's NOT my fault, I cannot control it. It's a dangerous game of Russian Roulette to deny, refuse treatment, and put your life and that of those around you in jeopardy.

Please, please, please, work with your doctor to get the right combination of meds for your bipolar condition. Depression and anxiety seem to go along with bipolar.
I know it's a difficult thing to deal with, and my prayers are with you. Don't give up, there is help out there now, much more so than in the past. Be thankful that you've been diagnosed and can learn to live a very productive life in spite of it.
I lost a son-in-law to the ravages of his being bipolar. He refused to continue counseling and stopped taking his meds. He believed that he had overcome his condition and quickly spiraled into a dangerous journey. He turned to illegal drugs and alcohol to try to escape. It ultimately took his life at age 32, back in 2001.

I also worked with a friend for several years who suffered from bipolar, and her story was one of victory and inspiration. She endured the search for the right meds, continued in therapy, joined a support group, and worked until retirement. If she hadn't shared her story with me, I wouldn't have known she was bipolar!!
So you can reach a level of "normalcy" and become functional, lead a fulfilling life, continue in your writing and other activities.

I hope I've given you even a little hope and determination to go forward and be positive. My prayers are with you, and I would love for you to give an update later on.

Hang in there, you sound like a very special woman!

D. P.

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T.D.

answers from Charlotte on

V.,

Don't feel that you are alone. I have struggled with depression for years and since I have been at my current job I have had 3 melt downs in the past 30 days. Stress really brings them on. I have been using St. Johns Wart to help with the episodes and I truly believe that the MOna Vie that I am taking helps. I have tried the anti-depressants with no luck due to the side effects. I also know that there are several natural ways to help. The bottom line is you have to do what is right for you to help you through these times. If you want to e-mail me offline or give me a call I have other ways I have worked through this. If you are a believer in the arch angels, you can alwasy invoke arch angel Rapheal who helps with healing. My e-mail address is [email protected]____.com or give me a call at ###-###-####.

Prayers to you!

T.

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L.B.

answers from Greensboro on

What is in your diet? Do you consume aspartame, food colorings, MSG, white sugar and flour, BHT, TBHQ preservatives? There are so many toxic chemicals in our foods, in our air, in the products we use on our skin. All these chemicals can overwhelm our bodies and brains. Look at www.feingold.org. Feingold is a 30 yr old non-profit organization whose purpose is to inform the public about petroleum-based ingredients in our food supply. These harmful additives can cause ADD,ADHD, OCD, Bi-polar and many other physical and emotional side effects. Feingold is a leading authority on this subject and has helped thousands of families over the years. Start buying all-natural foods, toiletries and cleaners. It takes months to get the toxins out of your system, but you will feel a little better every day. God bless your journey.

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L.S.

answers from Charlotte on

I have found a great resource in the community. It is NAMI. They have education meetings about mental illnesss . they have support group meetings for people suffering from mental illness. they have a lot of knowledge and expertise and it is all from people who have successfully learned to manage their life inspite of mental illness. I think you can call the public library to get more information and times of meetings.

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K.P.

answers from Charlotte on

Hello V.. My name is K.. I have 5 children and one grandson. I too am Bi-Polar as well as clinically depressed and having major anxiety issues. In the begining, my meds messed me up too. I struggled for a long time and felt like a bad mother and wife. When I switched doctors I finally got better. My other docs didnt really listen to me about how I was doing trying to cope with all the medication side effects. I knew something wasn't right and they didn't listen. I was scared all the time and felt odd. I felt drugged into a stupor. I didn't like it and so finally did something about it. The doc I've had for 10 years now solved my issues relatively quickly with a bit of trial and error. Lithium keeps my bi-polar at bay and allows me to be me. Paxil eliminated panic attacks and has helped with my depression. A low-dose Xanax wipes out any residual anxiety I may have throughout the day. This is just my personal cocktail my doc figured out for me. I highly recommend you follow your doctor's advice about this. Hopefully, the only thing you'll lose is the stuff in your head you dont want. You have EVERYTHING to gain by giving it a sufficient try. I wish you well and good luck.

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T.B.

answers from Memphis on

KOODOS TO YOU!!! Not many people have the courage to talk about their mental illness. I too have Bipolar. I was diagnosed when my first was 14mths old and I never want to fell like I did with the breakdown. I feel your pain and concern. I want to be the best mom for my girls and am grateful that I have such an amazing Psychiatrist to have regulated and awesome combo of meds. Keep up the writing and MAY GOD BLESS YOU and your mental health.

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K.T.

answers from Lexington on

I take offense to the people who have written to you that you need to put more faith in God or change your diet to feel better. They have never dealt with real mental illness. It is not a choice or a lifestyle. My mother suffered for my entire life from schizophrenia and manic depression. She was institionalized repeatedly and on hundreds of different medications over the years. She even underwent shock treatments to get better. She was a strong Christian woman who prayed to God daily as well as did daily devotionals. And she took meds faithfully. Some worked better than others. My advice to you is to do what your doctor says, but keep trying different meds until you find one that works for you. They all take at least 2-3 weeks to kick in, but you can find one that doesn't make you a zombie and lets you be yourself. It is especially important for you to do this for your precious grandkids. My mother finally got her mental illness under control after 30 years which was before her grandkids were born and was able to enjoy them. My children knew that grandma had been in the hospital in the past but never saw her ill. And they were able to enjoy each other.

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V.C.

answers from Louisville on

Vicki,
I am so thrilled that you went to the DR and kept your appointment, that is so important and the first step in the healing process. I do have to agree with many others that mental health is REAL and that many people don't understand it unless a loved one or themselves have had to deal with it.

Keep in mind too Vicki, that new meds are coming out all the time and often it takes awhile for it to build up in your blood stream to be effective and for you to see some results.

Keep in touch with your Dr's. they do have your best interest in mind and they are there to help. Remember too that just because they are Dr's they don't know everything and each circumstance must be dealt with individually thus customizing things for each patient.

I will be keeping you in my prayers and be sure to keep us updated. :)

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C.R.

answers from Knoxville on

V., I would research all meds that are available for the different illnesses that you are suffering from. I personally like WEBMD.com. The information always seems to be true and covers mostly all the bases. Take all of your information into your doctors appt. with an open mind and work together with your doctor to find the best medication and approach for you. My dad suffers from depression and my mom always thought that he should just be able to talk to her and that it would be okay. She was devastated when he went into the hospital for inpatient therapy. At first he said he did not want to stay but the hospital had a 24 hour rule. If you admit yourself for the physc. ward you must stay at least 24 hours. After my dad got into some of the group and one on one therapies he found that it really helped to talk through the different things that he was feeling and going through. They also had a day therapy session for those did not have insurance or coverage for staying 24 hours a day therapy. Find out what your coverage is for and keep the line of communication open with your doctor and family. Good Luck and I will keep you in my prayers. C.

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M.M.

answers from Knoxville on

V.,
I completely agree with DeeDeeP. I have been on an antidepressant for 9 years and I am also a Christian. If I were a diabetic, wouldn't I take my Insulin to keep me healthy? So why when people have a disease of the brain they aren't supposed to take medication that will help them? I have never understood that stigma. God doesn't look down on me for taking an antidepressant any more than he would for someone taking medicine for high blood pressure. I come from a long line of people with anxiety/depression and alcoholism on both my mother's and father's side. Neither my parents are alcoholics, nor am I, but have lots of aunt's and uncles and a couple of grandparents who have dealt with that issue. According to my doctor, a lot of people, in the past, were never diagnosed with depression/chemical imbalances, because of whatever reasons, so what ended up happening was they self medicated with alcohol to ease the pain of depression, which only made it worse. Then it became a genetic/cultural/behavioral thing passed along to the next generation, and so on, until someone went to get help for the problem. My mother was depressed my whole life, and tried to get help several times and tried medicine here and there, but never stuck with anything. Now that she is older, she has mellowed out some, but I'd say if I had to live with her day in and day out, it wouldn't be pretty. I know how I am off my medication and I know now that I cannot be off of it and live a very peaceful life, nor can my husband and child, because I am very difficult to live with off my medicine. "I" can't stand myself when I am like that. It stands to reason that if I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes anxiety and depression, and my medicine controls that, then why would I ever want to stop taking it? Because if I did stop taking it, the symptoms would come right back, just as with the example of other medical conditions, once you stop taking whatever medicine, unless your condition is reversible, you are probably destined to take your medicine for the rest of your life. That is fine with me. Some people try to make me feel guilty for taking an antidepressant, or try to make me feel weak for depending on a drug, but they don't have to live in my shoes, and go through what I do. And the funny thing is, the person who tries to make me feel the worst, has the same symptoms that I used to have and probably needs to take antidepressants too, but is too proud to admit it. By the way, she is related to me by blood and grew up the same way I did. Just hang in there and keep taking your meds. AS long as you trust your doctor, listen to him/her and tell others to mind their own business. When you are dealing with something like Bipolar disorder or depression, you "CANNOT" screw around with your medicine. It's very dangerous for you and others around you.
Take Care and God Bless you!

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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

Please take care of yourself! Your husband, kids, and grandkids need you. Take your medicine; get through this episode,and then get back to all you want to do and can't while this is flaring up. Again, take care of yourself! You are too precious to lose to the monster called MI.

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B.D.

answers from Greensboro on

I agree with the post that you need to look at your environment and diet; as this causes undue stresses on your body. Going organic is easy on the budget - just think of the way our grandparents cooked and cleaned...getting back to basics helps body, mind and soul. Keep writing though, since this is a great therapy for anyone.

Getting a good support system will also help you (pastor, good counselor and your family).

Keeping you in my prayers.

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S.V.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi V.,

I hope you are doing well. MH is an illness like any other illness. It comes with a social stigma and that makes it difficult to accept. Because is a physical illness it needs to be treated with medication. There is no cure for Bipolar but there is great medication to treated. Usually Bipolar comes with depression and anxiety as part of the symptoms. With the right medication you can live a healthy and normal live, but you need to stay in treatment.

A team of psychiatrist and psychotherapist is very important to help overcome the illness and maintain remission. Therapy helps you understand and develop skills to manage the symptoms. Medication is just half treatment.

Keep in mind your great qualities and that wonderful creativity you have. This will help you cope.

Good luck,
SV

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J.D.

answers from Louisville on

will definently put you on my prayer lists, i have 2 life groups i attend at my church and one is filled with prayer warriors read ps 91, and jer. 29:11 hang in there

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K.S.

answers from Raleigh on

I have met some extraordinary people who have bi-polar. You need to take your medicine, without it, you are a different person. You need your meds like a diabetic does. It sounds as if you have much to live for. Please don't deny your wonderful self to your family. K.

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L.H.

answers from Hickory on

Hello Vicki. You seem like a wonderful person who is creative and compassionate. It's time to concentrate on you. Take the meds, and keep a daily journal. Write each day of how you feel emotionally and physically. Also write about what you love. You seem to have a passion for writing, so try and monitor that as the medication starts to work. This may help you to see if you are becoming any less creative at all. In fact, you may become more creative and better able to focus because the anxiety will be under control. I speak from experience here. You may actually do some of your best and creative writing when you can focus and are not under a cloud of depression. My prayers are with you. Please let us know how you are doing. Warning - Do not take any herbal supplements such as ST. John's Wart while under medications prescribed by your doctor, without consulting him/her.
L.

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A.P.

answers from Raleigh on

I am sorry to here about the battle that you are going through with mental illness and the medications. I know it is such a battle! I have a sister and mother that struggle with it. I do have a lady who I look up to as a mother, who is so sweet, kind and smart who takes medicine. I don't think the medication will change who you are as a person even though it may affect your drive on some days. I think if you talk to God about your concerns with touching others in need and writing he will give you strength and the abililty to use your gifts. I will pray for you too.

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S.D.

answers from Nashville on

V.,
Do what the doctor tells you to do. Get on your meds. If they don't seem to be adjusted right get your doctor to change your meds. Keep changing them until the doctor gets them right. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to get them right. I said a prayer for you this morning. God can only do so much. You have got to help him by doing your part. Get on your meds. Don't wait. Do it now. Once your meds are right you will feel SO MUCH BETTER!
S.

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L.S.

answers from Charlotte on

You must follow your doctor's advice ... I know that you do not want to be "changed" and you still want to be the person you know you are, but if you have a doctor you TRUST.. listen to him/her. If the dosage of your meds is not right and you do not feel like you ... then keep in close touch with your physician ... you can feel better and still be you.

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D.K.

answers from Wheeling on

Dear V.,
You have my shoulder to lean on, anytime. I am also a grandmother of 5. I just wanted you to know I hear you and want you to know that just reading some of the things you wrote make me believe that you will survive this hard time in your life. You are in my prayers and please know you aren't alone. It will be hard, but I believe with everything we handle in our lives, knowledge comes from being a survivor of the deepest depression and challenges we face. You will learn something through all of this, perhaps right now you cannot see what that is, but when you recover from the hard times, that's when what you have learned will become the clearest. Hang in there, know that you are loved. Say to yourself,"I am beautiful, young,healthy and loved by God"....believe me, He does. You aren't alone my dear. Take care and many blessings to you.
D.

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M.S.

answers from Louisville on

Have you read the book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrnes. It is a wonderful book and it changes the way you look at life. It is a book about universal attraction. Think positive to let the positive come to your life. I will keep you in my prayers. Good luck.

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B.M.

answers from Wilmington on

Hi V.,
I don't actually have any advice for you other than to rely on your spirituality, and maybe the advice of a doctor or two. Mainly I just wanted to say that I will be thinking of you and sending lots of warm wishes for health and happiness!
Take care,
B.

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E.R.

answers from Jackson on

I dont have the answers but there isa man that deals with bi=polar that trys to help he sends information from his experence to people online and hes very knolageable his name is david oliver.enclosed is his address.hope this helps good luck to you.
Hi E.,

I wanted to address something with you.

The other day, I sent out a link for
a new resource I have titled:

"Who Else Wants To Know The SHOCKING Truth About Disability And
Bipolar Disorder?"

Located at:
https://www.bipolarsupporter.com/specialoffer/disability/

I received a bunch of questions from
people basically saying in a nutshell,

"Dave, isn't this stuff that social
security will tell people?"

The answer is no.

The information in this resource
is NOT found in social security.

Even doctors don't tell patients.

I have no idea why. It's seriously
crazy.

I think disability can be devastating
to people dealing with bipolar disorder.

In my material I point out why.

I just want people to realize I am
NOT exaggerating.

You're going to learn so much that
doctors and social security never
tell you. Most of the time
they don't realize all of what
is in my material.

Some therapists, do however. I find
that many times, therapists are more
in tune with the ins and outs of
managing bipolar disorder on a daily basis.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know
this.

If you are on disability yourself, have a loved
one on it or are considering it, and want more
information, please visit:
https://www.bipolarsupporter.com/specialoffer/disability/

Thanks and see you tomorrow morning.

Dave

By accepting and reading this, you agree to all of the following: This newsletter, and all the opinions expressed herein, are not intended to replace the assessment, advice or treatment of a physician or therapist, and are not professional advice. You, and you alone, are solely responsible for the use of the ideas, concepts, opinions and content and hold The Leverage Team, LLC. and all members and affiliates harmless in any event or claim. If you are under the age of 18, please go to the link at the end of this email to stop receiving it immediately or send mail to address below.

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L.C.

answers from Charlotte on

Vicki,

I tried lifestyle changes and natural remedies and prayer, but eventually I realized that I was in such misery I had to try antidepressants. They have made a huge difference in my life over the last ten years. For me, I did not have any side effects, except perhaps a decreased libido. Sometimes you may have to try different prescriptions to get one that doesn't have side effects for you.

L.

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B.E.

answers from Asheville on

I come from a family that has bipolar on both sides; my dad's aunt, my mom, my sister, and all three of her kids. I only ended up with depression later in life. I have been on a low dose of prozac for years and I swear by it. Since I am on such a low dose I can stop it when I want but I only last about 3 months and then have to start up again for the sanity on those around me. I get very grouchy and worry a lot. Any ways what I am getting at is if your Doctor is prescribing it, please take it and stay on it. I know it sometimes takes some trial and error to find the right antidepressant for each person but stay with it. I have a sister in law who is a christian as I am but fought going on an antidepressant for years because she thought it was giving up on God to go on the antidepressant. She even gave me a hard time about being on one and said I was not relying on God to take care of me. Long story short, I stayed on my pill and have done well over the years. I had to raise the dose when I got near my 50's and because I was going through a lot of stress at the time but my sister in law ended up struggling all these years and now she is on two different pills and they are having a very hard time keeping her stable. I believe that if she had sought help earlier, then she would not be have so much trouble now. God Bless you and your family. B. E.

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