Making doctors listen to you is actually a tall order. I know it seems like it shouldn't be, but it is. If you read my piece last week, "Psychiatrists Won't Listen to Patients -- 8 Reasons Why," (applicable to any type of doctor) then you have an idea as to why. So while last week I focused on the problem, this week I want to focus on the possible solutions. Here is what you can do to make doctors listen to you.
Why won't many psychiatrists listen to patients? Your psychiatrist is supposed to be helping you. Your psychiatrist is supposed to be on your side. You and your psychiatrist are supposed to be a team to fight mental illness together. But this just doesn't always turn out to be true. So many of us have, in fact, experienced the opposite. So why is it that psychiatrists won't listen to patients?
There is this myth of a "nervous breakdown." We see this term in news report, press releases and even in our own families -- "Oh, you know Aunt June? She suffered a nervous breakdown." But what are people talking about when they say someone had a nervous breakdown. Clearly, something happened but the truth of the matter the idea of a "nervous breakdown" is a myth.
It is very hard to anticipate bipolar moods and, in fact, many times it's impossible. But there are some life events that evoke bipolar moods that are predictable. Sometimes you can read the bipolar weather report. Read on for when you can anticipate bipolar moods and when you likely can't.
I'm depressed and I'm doing nothing. I think that situation is familiar for many with depression. The secret bit is the "feeling okay about it." That's the hard part. But I know sometimes I have to do nothing when I'm depressed. Here's how I work to not feel bad about it.
When you lose hope because of bipolar depression life will feel impossible. I know this impossible feeling all too well. I know what losing hope feels like all too well. But I also know what surviving it feels like. Here's my message for when bipolar depression makes you lose hope.
Bipolar doesn't make you unworthy of love. I have a lot of trouble with that statement. I don't have trouble because I don't believe it -- I do -- I have trouble because I don't feel lit. I'm not sure whether I feel like life has taught me that I'm unworthy of love because of bipolar or my brain just made up that nastiness because of the depression, all I know is that it feels true. It feels like I'm unworthy of love because of bipolar.
Quality of life in bipolar disorder varies depending on the type of mood episode being experienced. As a reminder, moods in bipolar disorder can be depressed (a severely low mood), manic (a highly elevated, energetic mood), hypomanic (a less-heightened version of mania), mixed (with manic/hypomania and depressed symptoms occurring at the same time) or euthymic (when no diagnosable mood episode is present; you might think of it as "normal"). Bipolar disorder is considered a cyclical disorder and euthymia is what happens between mood episodes; and quality of life in euthymia in bipolar disorder is important -- after all, it's our "normal" mood. It's what we're striving for. It's our version of remission. So what is the quality of life in bipolar disorder like in euthymic periods?
In bipolar disorder, stress is a problem. This is not to suggest that stress can't be a problem for anyone, but stress can actually worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder and decrease stability so it's something we with bipolar really have to be concerned about. Read about how stress feels in bipolar disorder and what you can do about it.
Sometimes you can't see a future with bipolar disorder. I get this. I really do. I have looked into the future with bipolar and it has felt like looking into an endless, black well. But recently, it occurred to me that you can see a future with bipolar disorder, and that future doesn't have to look completely bleak.