Patient Comments: Bipolar Disorder - Support

What forms of support have helped you or a relative who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

Comment from: Mel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I was diagnosed with type 1 bipolar disorder five years ago. At the time, I was working as a trial attorney. I had a protracted, undiagnosed manic episode that included psychotic features. After a nightmarish crash from mania, I slipped into a bipolar depression that left me suicidal. I then continued to cycle in and out of episodes, had frequent ECT, and was hospitalized on numerous occasions. I lost my job. I have been on every psychiatric drug on the market. The side effects have been horrendous. I'm now taking clozapine, lithium, and the new drug, Latuda. Within the last year, we've seen some success at reducing the severity of symptoms, but I continue to cycle. I cope by sticking with my treatment regimen (even when I don't want to), receiving psychotherapy once a week, occasionally attending DBSA meetings, and listening to the advice of friends and my husband who loves me. This illness sucks, and most people don't understand why we can't just "snap out of it." The stigma is real. But if you do your best, and have a good dialogue with your doctor and other caregivers, it can be managed. I don't think I'll ever be fully functional again. But I now know there are ways to manage this illness. Keep the faith!

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Comment from: recover24, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

My support includes friends, family, a neuropsychiatrist, NAMI, a counselor, and being on medical leave.

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