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Free resources to help get diagnosed with bipolar disorder/Cyclothymia/BPD?


zajelo3

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Hi all,

It was hard to get my main point accross in the title, but basically I have a friend that I'm almost positive suffers from one of the conditions mentioned in the title. The issue is that she doesn't have the money to be able to afford a Dr to get diagnosed and unfortunately I can't afford to help her with the expense. Right now she's in one of her "high phases" and she's not receptive to getting diagnosed anyway, but next time she cycles into a low phase I'm sure she will be more willing to get help. How do you get diagnosed when you can't afford it. She doesn't qualify for any type of government assistance as she gets too much money via child support, and yet she can't afford to get diagnosed with something like this b/c psychiatrists are obscenely expensive here in the states, well in central Florida it seems they are. Being a recovering alcoholic myself, I know that I had to hit bottom before I was willing to do anything to get better. But that didn't require an expensive Dr and possibly expensive medication to do. It seems as there's no way to do this unless you have a job that provides insurance, which she doesn't have. Please tell me that we haven't let people with these conditions "fall through the cracks" if they don't have the financial means to get diagnosed and treated. What are my options next time she cycles low?

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If she is high right now, get a hold of some sleeping pills. Track her sleeping. If it goes too low, take a pill. Aim for 6-10 hours a night. Try to get her on a regular eating schedule and talk to her about spending if that is an issue.

 

If things are managed better in the up phase, then the down one might be easier to take care of. Regular sleep and food can do wanders to keep somebody balanced.

 

As for everything else, there are Bipolar groups that meet so she can go talk with them. I found out about the one around here through the library. You could try looking online? They are free.

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You are a great friend to care for her so much. My best friend has bipolar disorder and while she's a remarkably smart, outrageous, and all around wonderful... She can be a handful sometimes with her mood swings. We have been talking to each other for 3 years, everyday practically. She helps me with my depressive mood swings and I help with her's.

 

I don't know what to tell you about the expenses though. Does she have medical insurance to cover them?

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The bad thing is that we live about an hours drive from each other so it's real hard to keep track on how she doing on any given day, especially when she's in her high cycle.When she's in a low phase I'm her best friend, it's us against the world, and she's much easier to handle and keep track of, and she's a very beautiful person and we speak daily either via email or phone. But when she's in a high phase she pushes me away to the point where I would consider her rude or inconsiderate. She won't answer the phone or respond to emails, but generally she stays real busy anyway when she's high. She began her current "high phase" about 3-4 months ago. We grew up together but lost track of each other until about 8 years ago. In those 8 years I have seen her cycle twice. She could have cycled more than that, but to my layman brain I only noticed twice as we drift apart during her high phases, and last time she was low she didn't contact me until towards the end of her low cycle since she got married, and then immediately started the process of ending that marriage. This time I had the foresight to mention to her what she does when she cycles high, and I made sure she realized that she wasn't going to be able to push me away easily the next time she cycled high. At the time though, it still hadn't registered as to what was causing the cycles she would go through. It really didn't connect in my brain what was happening until about a month ago. I noticed the cycles but as she has an abusive past, I just figured she was having issues related to that. When I started researching the long term effects that rape and childhood sexual abuse can have on a woman, it began to become apparent that she was having some issues that need a professional diagnosis followed by treatment of one sort or another. That's when I started to see that she may have a hard time getting diagnosed and treated due to lack of money.

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Yeah, sounds like my ex...she kept me close when she was low, pushed me out when she was high.

 

She used to tell me how she was diagnosed in college with this "how ridiculous is that?" tone of voice. So not only is she diagnosed, but she also doesn't take it seriously...

 

Nothing I can do. I'm lucky to be alive! She tore out my heart, of course, but that was relaly my own doing. I helped her do that too!!

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Thanks for the link metrogirl. I was thinking and I already know where there is a place in her area. Lonewing, believe it or not one of my ex's had this same exact issue also. She didn't stick around long enough for me to get terribly attached to her, though we did get married. Sorry if that sounds calus but I was married before her for 10 years to my first wife and that tore my heart out, when it ended. My second wife, the one that also had this issue, left after 3 months of being married, and love after 3 months of marriage is not the same as love after 10 years of marriage. The woman that I'm seeking advice for in this thread, is one of those "friends of the family" type that you grow up with. Although for the last year or so, I have noticed my feelings getting increasingly involved with her, and have told her as much. At any rate, romantic feelings or not, she's a very valuable person to me and I cannot just walk away from her without trying to help. The problem lies in the fact that she doesn't want to get diagnosed and treated while she's in her high phase, like right now, and her cycles seem quite long at around 2 years or so. Does anyone know if events in a persons life can cause someone with this disorder to cycle? Or is that one of those things that just happens randomly?

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  • 1 month later...

Well, to my surprise she's started to cycle low over the past week, and, yes, now she's open to getting help. I figured that I would have to wait at least another year before she cycled low. She called the local mental health clinic in her area today to make an appointment, they charge on a sliding scale depending on what you can afford to pay, but she called too late and so they are going to have to call her back to set up an appointment. She's crying a bit since up til now she has only suspected that she has a major issue that causes her to act and feel the way she does. As soon as I could tell she was cycling low I emailed her and spelled everything out for her, and included links to info about the different disorders that I though she may be suffering from. I also sent her a link to this thread. That's when she finally started to realize what was going on. She wants my help to get the diagnosis and treatment going. Right now she feels afraid, but I'm sure that she'll feel better as soon as she thinks about the fact that, with treatment, she will no longer have to worry about the up and down roller coaster ride she's been on. I was there during some of her bad times and now hopefully I will get to see her go through the good times. Can someone please elaborate on what to expect from the diagnostic and treatment phases of Bi-Polar Disorder?

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I want to apologize for something I said in post #9 of this thread. I said "I wonder if there's something in me that makes me gravitate to this type of woman?" which implied that the woman this thread is about is similar to my second wife who also had this illness. Nothing could be further from the truth. While both may have the same illness, that is where the similarities end. My second wife was maliciously mean, and lied to me all the time and was very sneaky. She wasn't like that before we were married though. The woman this thread is about is very sweet and caring and even during her high cycle she is never mean. She is more aloof than anything, like she's too busy to be bothered. You could say she's inconsiderate when she cycles high but that is part of the illness. I can honestly say she's one of the most beautiful people I have ever met, and fortunately I have known her all my life. Some may also read that statement and take offense b/c it seems to imply that I'm wondering if there is actually something wrong with me that makes me be attracted to a woman with bipolar disorder. As if I shouldn't be attracted to a woman with bipolar disorder. I can only show how I truly feel by being candid about my feelings for the woman that this thread is about. I am in love with her. I do know that I have a special place in her life, but as of yet she has yet to reciprocate the love I feel for her. She seems to keep me at arms length to protect me, because she feels that the issues she has will hurt me, and she doesn't want to hurt me. I don't like her doing that. I value her friendship above all other friendships I have. She is worthy of my love. If anything, I feel unworthy of her attention, and I am constantly thinking of ways to improve upon myself so that I may be worthy of her love. I cannot imagine my life without her in it. If I am a very lucky man, sooner or later I will make her my wife. I feel this way right now, before she has started being treated for her illness.

 

Again, I sincerely apologize to the woman this thread is about, and also to anyone else that may have taken offense at what I said, especially SuzyQ2513, vertigoxo, and metrogirl.

 

SuzyQ2513, you quoted my post #9 in your post #10. I've edited post #9 and removed that statement. If possible, can you edit post #10 so that it reflects how post #9 currently looks. Thanks.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm not certain anyone really cares, but it may be interesting to keep posting periodic updates.

 

After my last post on 11/06/09 it seemed to take forever, but really it only took 19 days from when she came to terms with what I was suggesting to her, until we got a diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder from a psychoanalytic therapist. We even got her a prescription for lithium later the same day. Well, lithium is apparently not going to be the right med for her. At least not by itself. It doesn't control her manic symptoms very well, or help with her bad sleeping issues, so last week her therapist switched her over to Tegretol. Hopefully that will work a little better. If not well find the right med eventually.

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  • 9 months later...

Coming up on a year since diagnosis and, after living in the same house with her for two months it's very clear that my friend has Borderline Personality Disorder instead of - or in addition to Bi-Polar Disorder. Also, I can easily see Avoidant traits in her as well. We had an unexpected 1 month hiccup in treatment, due to my moving out triggering her abandonment fears. I had already figured that she had BPD by that time but not mentioned it to her. The morning I was leaving she split me and I went from the good guy to the bad guy real fast. It took 2 months for me to finally get her to talk to me again...lol. It wasn't nice at the time but since it was 3 months ago we can now talk about it openly and realize that we learned a lot from the experience. She's still on Tegretol (225mg) and Prozac (20mg) which is a popular drug cocktail for BPD, but I believe her dosage is on the low side to be very effective. The issue encountered when going from treating Bipolar Disorder to treating BPD is that Bipolar is an organic disorder, meaning it's a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it's primarily treated with medication. Whereas BPD is not organic and is primarily treated with psychotherapy followed by medication to treat the various symptoms like depression or mood swings. When I first realized that she had BPD it was like the death knell to me, but as I learned more about the disorder I found that she's more specifically a "Borderline Waif" or "Quiet Borderline" with Avoidant traits. Anyway I'm still impressed by how beautiful of a person she is, despite her BPD, and also by her willingness to follow through with treatment. I can say that she hasn't hit one of her real low points since she's been on the medication but I question whether or not she went through a manic phase right after I left. Which would explain why she missed therapy and got off the medication for a while. Live and learn. That would be the second time my leaving had preceded one of her manic cycles. Does that mean she's happy to get rid of me?...lol.

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Weird diseases you don't know ...
Weird diseases you don't know [part 1]

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