|Being a Woman Who Doesn't Have PMS but does have Bipolar Disorder
November 22, 2000
It seems as though women tend to have more issues or perhaps I should say we have a different set of issues that correlate to being Bipolar.
For those that work 40 hrs a week and have a family consisting of children and a husband, coping with that alone is exhausting. Add BP to the mix and it becomes hellish.
For centuries, when women were having a difficult time mentally, they were either dismissed as "going through their monthlies" or dissed for it just being female.
For those of you who have BP, you know yourself the stress of being caretaker and moneymaker can be. Just being BP
alone is sometimes more than any one person can deal with. The suicidal rate of BPs is high. It is for this reason that we women with BP take extra caution and care when we are in the "down" mode. We NEED a support group to turn to when we get down. And trust me, for those of you "normals", our ups and downs are much more severe than you will ever experience.
Medications prescribed by a qualified, and I mean qualified Psychiatrist, not just your local Doc, and psychotherapy with a therapist who specializes with women who suffer from BP, all can help keep you here with us.
I know how difficult the days can be. I know how you can be sitting at work and you're so manic that it feel like your going to jump right out of your skin! You just want to scream, laugh, jump around the room. Your coworkers avoid you because they have work to do and they know that when you get like that, your mouth will not stop running.
In this state of mind, we feel invincible. Well, sadly, we are not invincible. When we drive, we take more chances. We may add alcohol to our routine which is a definite NO NO when on psych meds.
Spending sprees. What can I say? How many of us our there are so in debt from manic spending sprees, that we'd have to "Be A Millionaire" twice over to cover our debts.
Husbands never understand that spending spree part. They assume it's a genetic mutation but it is my opinion that instead of going on a spending spree and purchasing many items, they will go and spend $3000 on a new lawn tractor.
As for our depressions....I call mine the black pit. When I hit that black pit, it's call the therapist time. Luckily I have a wonderful therapist who not only understands the disease but thinks I should be a stand up comedian.
Can't help it. When I'm in a manic state I talk a mile a minute like other manic BPs but I just happen to be a funny one.
My advice to women with Bipolar Disorder:
See your Pyschiatrist regularly. If you don't have one then for Pete's sake find a good one.
Take your meds as prescribed and at the same time daily.
Double check that they can be taken together or should be taken at different times. I learned that one of my psych meds was loosing it's effect because of a different med I was on for something else.
Please....do these things. They make a difference. Your brain needs time to adjust itself to the way it "should be". Those medications take time to become effective. And I'm talking months. People who pop a Prozac and say they feel better or cured well, they're full of BS. It doe not work that way.
When you're depressed, dont think of the BP as a Monster. Like it or not, we're BP and it is a disease because it cannot be cured. But it can be controlled. You have to accept it as part of yourself and work with or around it. Face it, the BP is there forver. But you can live a somewhat "normal" life.
Think of it as controlled chaos. For you normals, we BPers have chaotic thoughts and feelings...all those meds you see us taking, they are to control our chaos.
And yes, don't forget how you being BP affects those around you. It isn't easy living with BP. We will say and do things we do not mean and sometimes don't even remember.
It's typical for BPers to suffer other problems or disorders. Which ususally means....yep you guessed it...more medication. For me it's almost as if I'm stoned constantly. It's to keep my anger an rage from Freudian doings in my youth. All I know is I've gone from job to job because of the BP.
I was just recently fired from a good paying job that I actually looked forward to going to every single day. My screw up was I opened up to my boss about the "problem" I have. I had to because one day my eyes were glassier than normal and I was slurring my words more than normal.
So on a Wednesday, the owner sat down next to me and began to tell me that I was being given more responsibility and work projects, etc. Two days later that same owner sat down next to me and told me I "was being let go" due to a lack of work. The fact they hired two new employees that day is moot. Bottom line, I"m BP and someone else heard about it, went up the ol chain of command (and I mean each link) and guess who now has my job?
It is so damn difficult to find a job even a part-time job that will accept our disorders. We have to keep it to ourself like we're lepers or something. There are times when we need time off to see the Pdoc or we're cycling or going into an episode. Sometimes we dont even know its happening.
Maybe we should just open some sort of e-business that hires only BPers.....but then isn't that just like the same damned discrimination that cost me my job?
Any of you ladies out there ever need someone to vent to, (because even sometimes our loved ones dont believe, or even want to hear about it) please email me. We will get a list going and we will create a womens's support group for BiPolars.
In closing, all I have to say is YOU ARE NOT ALONE