Posted by: BI | 2009-09-03

Bipolar a " trend" ?

I am bipolar and it almost seems like everyone esle is too since Britney Spears was supposedly diagnosed with it.
I don' t know... I know I have a problem, but how prevalent is this bipolar really?
And is it always correctly diagnosed?
Do you think there' s a possibility that it' s a convenient excuse for bad/reckless behaviour? It is a possibility I' m sure, I think?

My entire family thinks I' m just looking for attention and that it was because I was paying my shrink well enough to diagnose me with a pretend problem so I have an excuse now when I go overboard and act ALL AMAZING, ALL THE TIME and then crash (because I' m lazy).

It' s this attitude that' s led me to ask the questions above? Do you think most people believe that too, " Oh you' re bipolar, how convenient. I wish I had an excuse from my doctor for doing what the heck I please and getting away with it." 

Also, I' m extremely manipulative and usually always get what I want and now my family think I' m just ' milking'  the situation and can be manipulative because it' s part of the disorder supposedly?

I have NO idea what to say to them. I just shake my head in sheer exasperation for their sad ignorance. It does cause conflict, but I do not let them get to me and I think that bugs them the most (hahahahaha who cares? they don' t have to believe it for it to be true... whateva, but this very attitude irks them to no end as well... except I don' t mind because their ignorance irks me, so there. LOL) I can act like such a child and then swicth to Diva B1itch mode, then become sulky and cry to the extent that people feel bad for me and truly try to empathise but the whole time I' m just pretending and I don' t know if I' m actually capable of real feeling but I count that as an advantage anyway, emotions may be too much for me to handle in real life.

But you know what? I do feel much better than ever now that I' m on the meds, surely that must mean that maybe I do have a problem and not pretending for my own convenience?
I just dont know (sigh).

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I really doubt that Britney has Bipolar, but I do agree that it has become curiously fashionable, and is probably seriously over-diagnosed ( while occasionally under-diagnosed, as well ) . I haven't the faintest doubt that it is one of the many excuses used by some to excuse sheer bad behaviour or stupidity.
In fact, whatever disorder one has, including Bipolar, doesn't absolve one of the duty to behave properly just because at times it may be a bit harder to do so. And Manipulativeness is a psonality trait and NOT, absolutely NOT a feature of Bipolar Disorder. Indeed, much of what you seem to be describing is spoiled, bad behaviour of an over-indulged and under-occupied person, and not at all features of Bipolar Disorder.
Dowes it have to be either / or ? Maybe you have Bipolar Disorder, now controlled by the meds, and personality and behaviour problems that would respond better to CBT.

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Our users say:
Posted by: nice | 2009-09-03

excellent: " over-indulged and under-occupied person" 

the curse of the world at the moment it seems!

Reply to nice
Posted by: Anon (as always) | 2009-09-03

Hi there, As far as I know, a positive Bipolar diagnoses is made after about two years of regular psychiatric care. You seem to be in a difficult position at home. It might be because Bipolar is a genetic condition. When I told my mom I was bipolar, she said I must have gotten it from my dad (though I know that she had a severe depressive episode). My sister and two of my brothers then admitted to me that they have psychiatric issues too. In short, these things run in families, and your family might be uncomfortable with having to face up to it.

You have taken the first step, and that takes guts. Now you should really concentrate on getting the day to day help you need so that you can function on a daily basis. Your family will have to do research and support you, but they will have to do it. I have, for instance given my husband full written power of attorney, in case he needs to commit me. I was very violent. I nearly killed him. I think it is necessary that he has that back up.

Furthermore, read, study, and the more stories you read, the more you will know yourself. Make peace with your meds now, they' s never going to go away. Realise that every now and then, you' re going to go to hospital. Eventually you might learn to read the signals. So that when the paw paw is on its way to the fan, you' re on your way to your psychiatrist.

At least you have a name to what is wrong with you, and with knowledge comes power! Good luck to you, from BPII

Reply to Anon (as always)

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