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The CatBat Princess


Posted Sun Aug 28th, 2011 11:14pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hello guys x

I like to dress up as a peapod sometimes.

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Posted Mon Sep 5th, 2011 6:31pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hello dear Peapod and everyone else. I wanted to come back after this little spell to tell you all I'm much better right now - not to gloat over those who are feeling terrible, but in the hope that they will believe things can change. I thought I would never be happy again and, furthermore, that I really didn't deserve to. It's been a very long road - or so it felt to me. The calendar tells me differently; the other day my care coordinator reminded me it was only six weeks ago that I felt frightened alone in my own flat.

I take my meds - 500mg of Depakote twice daily, and now have a little team of people to help and guide me. These are: my shrink, my care coordinator, my psychologists, the psychiatric nurses at the mental hospital where I am now beginning CBT courses in relaxation and self esteem, my GP, my advocate (these can help with debt issues that you may have incurred when you're 'on one' and loads of other stuff too), and my alcohol advisory lady (good news - they won't tell you to quit!) and my benefits advisor at the jobcentre...I think that's all of them. Without these kind, patient, humane and frequently good-looking people I would not be as strong as I am today. I am also lucky to have my lovely boyfriend, friends and family. Hopefully, soon, I'll be ready to start doing some voluntary work, which my care coordinator is gonig to help set me up with in a way that will be right for me.

There was a lot of waiting-to-feel-better. There were times I was frightened to even think I might be feeling better in case I jinxed it. Sleep is something I've really found is important. Trusting people is important too. I don't want to sound lecturey but a lot of things started to change when I really asked for more and more help from 'the system', which formerly I'd resented being a part of. They're good people - and if you don't like a certain professional get them changed for one you like and can relate to (most of mine are women).

It's only very recently that I've finally started to accept my bipolar and that's made a big difference too. Since the diagnosis six months ago, it's been constantly there, in my face, on my mind - something I thought had consumed who I was. But I'm still me. My lovely care coordinator always says, "We're not trying to erase you, your personality!" By 'we', she really means 'me'; I really let it define who I was. I talked about it constantly. I mourned 'the old me'. I was racked with guilt and shame. Now, finally, after much work, I feel like I'm in a healthier place sort of in the middle - I recognise this person that I am today, the me that is well, but also find it easier to forgive myself for the things that happened when I was ill. I'm not ashamed anymore - not when I'm being rational. I feel grateful that I know and not just gutted, cos I can avoid getting ill again where possible.

There are still bad days; I have not become a teetotal goody-goody who never buggers it all up by deciding to read all night or attend a lock-in at my local, and I still have a long long way to go. Sometimes I have to hide and put my fingers in my ears, or spend a whole day pretending I'm not having a panic attack (this is where the CBT is helping), or torture myself with horrid thoughts. But it is getting easier. It turns out I also have post-traumatic stress disorder - something I wouldn't have known if I hadn't asked for help.

I want to say to anyone reading this who is in the bad place, you are not a worthless shit who has ruined everyone's life. You DO have friends and they don't hate you. They love you. You haven't done the world's worst things, and the things you did, you did when you were ill. You weren't to blame. I know you won't believe it, really - when I was there this last time, the worst of my life, I saw a divide between 'everyone else's depression' and 'MY depression', which was incurable and deserved. But you will, I hope. Please don't hurt or kill yourself, my distant darling friend. Reading this forum helped me. Do anything that will help you. Don't beat yourself up or put yourself under pressure. I know it sounds impossible, but try a little bit every day. Every little triumph over 'the beast' will fill you with a little bit more confidence.

I hope this has been helpful and not too patronising. Good luck you sensitive, intelligent human beings xxx

PS Helpful links - - for when you've been silly with the credit cards - little online CBT courses recommended me by the hospital. They're good! - one for the ladies really but hours of entertainment in informative and empowering style

PPS Tony Lockhart, you are a brave man. My name is Samantha.

PPPS If I can shed light on any of the mental health team lark, send me a message.

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Posted Mon Sep 5th, 2011 6:52pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

PPPPS And for goodness' sake don't read ridiculous stuff on the internet about how 'bipolar people are selfish, my bipolar ex-girlfriend/boyfriend is a menace' etc etc. Unfortunately there is a lot of that bilge out there. DO NOT LOOK AT IT. It was written by knuckle-dragging wankers.

PPPPPS Love you Big Stevie xxx

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Posted Sat Oct 1st, 2011 2:02am Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hi there!

I'm a 22-year-old girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I suffered a psychotic break followed by a depressive episode last september. 12 months later, I suffered a manic episode almost at the same time. I had to be hospitalised 1 month and a half, and I'm on meds (Valproate, Clonazepam and Quetiapine).

After watching Stephen's documentary I felt so related and identified with the people interviewed. I hope this message board will help me cope a bit better with this emotional rollercoaster I'm in.


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Posted Tue Oct 4th, 2011 2:11pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hello Samantha (dorothy)

Apologies for not replying to your comment sooner, been a bit busy lately. Not too sure about the 'brave' bit, I think it's more a case of 'sod them all', I don't care what anyone says or thinks any more. I'm not necessarily happy with my condition, but I am at least comfortable with it now, as much as I can be. It is what it is and nothing I do is going to change that, not permanently anyhow.

I had a minor setback not long after posting my 'reintroduction' message here, I tried to come off the meds, not a good idea, I'm back on them again and better for it. It's that acceptance/rejection thing we all seem to suffer from.

Another thing happened after my 'reintroduction', within minutes of posting my real name on Facebook I received messages from my two sisters, whom I haven't spoken to for about ten years (my fault, not theirs) so I have a family again. Go figure.

The moral of this post, if there was one, is stick it out. Stay with the meds, bite the bullet and don't expect miracles.


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Posted Wed Oct 5th, 2011 11:44am Post subject: Introduce yourself


I'm Sarah and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago.

I was 17 years old when I made my first suicide attempt, at the time I was diagnosed with clinical depression, it took 10 years, 20+ different medications and more doctors and psychiatrist than I care to count before the diagnosis of bipolar was reached.

I had mixed emotions on the diagnosis, to be honest my first thought was crap everyone is going to think I'm crazy but when I went home and researched the disorder it described me exactly and it was a relief because it gave me hope that perhaps there was medication out there that would give me a more 'stable' existence.

I am an IT professional and subconsciously I had got very used to waiting for the high to produce my best and most creative work and then grinning and bearing the lows as best I could, I was so used to this rhythm that once I was switched to Lithium and Quetiapine I felt flat and struggled to operate at the level I was used to. I took time off work for respite and spent time in hospital due to a suicide attempt, after learning of the diagnosis and due to the leave taken I was given the resign or we will initiate the firing process letter (On Christmas Eve, I kid you not) despite having received a good performance review that year. I felt devastated as my work was something I was incredibly proud of however it did give me the space to get treatment without having to worry about work, I am now a self employed consultant.

Even with medication I sometimes still have the lows and highs but they are far less severe, sometimes I miss the highs but I do like the stability. When I watched The secret life of a manic depressive I cried, out of relief that there were others out their like me, that they too could function in society and that someone else out there knows what it feels like to look completely healthy on the outside and be dying on the inside.

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Posted Mon Nov 14th, 2011 7:56am Post subject: Introduce yourself

Welcome Echo! Are there not laws that prohibit discrimination in the work place based on a medical condition where you live? Ugh! That pisses me off so bad! I am glad it seems to have worked out for the best in the long run being self employed you don't have to deal with that bullshit.

Browes around. There are alot of fun threads along with the helpful ones of course.

Marz XXX

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King Jr.~

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Posted Wed Nov 16th, 2011 6:03pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hi intro myself, God i never know what to write i feel like im suddenly in a hollywood style AA meeting.


Hi I have bipolar and im struggling to come to terms with this. My dad has bipolar as well as other mental illnesses and wasn't diagnosed till i was out of high school. So i have been there for his attempts at his life.

Im looking for hope i guess that im not alone in my experience.

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Posted Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 11:48pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hello all in Fry Land.

Um, well I'm not sure what to say - basically I'm pretty boring. I have severe depression/anxiety that often keeps me from doing everything I'd like to do with my life. Lately it's been worse than usual and I suppose I'm posting on here simply to connect with others that have mental illness.

Thank you for reading.

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Ailsa Cameron


Posted Wed Nov 30th, 2011 10:28am Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hi - I'm Ailsa and an old "friend" of Katy Sara. I've apparently been Bipolar most of my life but like many, was misdiagnosed and put on completely the wrong medication for years.

Even five suicide attempts didn't alert the medical profession to the fact that I might be more than just depressive.

A correct diagnosis 3 years ago saved my life. I'm now on Depakote (Sodium Divalproate) and stabilised.

The upside is that I write. My first novel is due for publication in January and I'm doing my best to resist being manic.

Glad to be here and looking forward to meeting others.

Being Bipolar isn't fun but it isn't the end of the world.

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Posted Sat Dec 17th, 2011 12:30am Post subject: Introduce yourself

I will just say that when i get nervous {more then i am at the moment} i get rather chatty and start to ramble quite a lot.

My name {really doesn't matter,i hate it} is Anna Borowski {common name really, there are at least 16 others on Facebook with my name and three with my face} and i was 19 when i was diagnosed with bi-polar manic depresiveness, but i believe i have had it my whole life really. Ive been hospitalized once, for three days. and feared going back ever since.

I cannot talk to anyone really about this for fear of ending up in a little white room with rubber walls drooling and starring at the ceiling. not even my father will believe this at all, so when i found this site earlier today, it was a great relief really. knowing i COULD talk to others about it.

there's a tight band of anxiety across my chest now, so i suppose i will leave this introduction at that before i bore everyone with my life story...

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Posted Sun Dec 18th, 2011 1:46am Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hello everyone.

I'm someone just getting a grasp on reality though granted, not a very firm grasp.

It's hard to talk about my life. It's a complex, painful affair and so is the illness which had been misdiagnosed, unproperly treated and ignored. If I were to think of all my wasted talents, all those dreams crushed to dust... I might say it has ruined my life. I might say I wish I'd been killed by my hand long ago. Still I say none of those things, at least not truly meaning it. I was young when I got ill, I can't remember happiness before but that doesn't mean I can't strive for it. Even in the darkest of pits the stars burn bright. It is true you may not hear them sing, you may not feel their rays touch your face with cool light but they are there waiting for you to rise again, to stand on true earth to smile once more. Course, when you're manic, you ARE the stars but let's not go there.

I just wanted to say thank you Stephen. You were actually the inDIRECT reason for someone going down to their GP and saying 'I think there is a problem'. You did good. I'm 19 so maybe there is still some sort of hope for me yet.

"Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility."

Sigmund Freud

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Posted Tue Dec 20th, 2011 1:05am Post subject: Introduce yourself

Hello. I am Isaac and I live in South Louisiana. I am a fan of Stephen Fry. I like his documentaries, comedies and debates.

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Posted Tue Dec 20th, 2011 8:56pm Post subject: Introduce yourself

Reading all of your stories has humbled and inspired me to post after a short spell of procrastination.

I was diagnosed with depression at the age of 15 when it became apparent that there was more to it than just growing pains. I'm not bipolar as such, my diagnosis has been given as severe depression with anxiety. So close on 25 years I've been having depressive episodes and been through a variety of meds. My mother died young which I am sure had deep-rooted repercussions. Feelings of loss, loneliness and abandonment.

The last couple of years have been tough. Three different jobs, treated for blood poisoning and my sister-in-law dying of cancer. At the start of this year things seemed to pick up but due to a number of factors things came crashing down in June. I did my best to fight It but in July I ended up being hospitalised for the first time of my life. Was no doubt one of the scariest and upsetting things I've ever experienced. Since then I've returned to work, but life can be a real uphill struggle. It is reassuring to know from this forum that I am not alone.

People are often surprised when I tell them about my condition. I have a nice house, drive a nice car, job, wide circle of friends etc but inside I am a wreck. A voice in my head tells me what a useless individual I am, that I am rubbish at everything I do, that I don't deserve the elusive happiness that I (and I imagine a fair number of us here) are on the search for.

I often hide away from the world. I couldn't face going into work today so I haven't left the house. It can be really tricky connecting with the real world cant it? Maybe that's why I find it easy to talk here. Another irony is that I am involved in amdram and people say how they would be scared witless appearing on stage in front of 200 people. In my mind it isn't, being lost, alone and misunderstood is infitely more upsetting.

Currrently I am on 30mg Zispin and 2mg Diazepam "on occasion". Paying for my own CBT at the moment which is a bit of a stretch but I think its worth it. I still have dark could surrounding me but talking and reading other people's stories gives me hope.

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Posted Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 2:11pm Post subject: Introduce yourself


I have never been one for forums but I have some things I would like to discuss and hear opinions about. Although, I am feeling terribly embarrassed!

I have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. My psychiatrist says that technically it is Bipolar I disorder - I have had severe mania and psychotic depression - however he does not like to classify, as he views mental illness as something that they do not fully understand the cause of and thus, in his opinion, it is out of the boundaries of classification and as such saying one has "bipolar disorder" is simply describing the symptoms and not the 'disease'.

Looking back I think it all started when I was about 7 with my first depressive episode. This is probably the only time that I was seriously suicidal. I have worked out that so far in my 23 years of life I exist on approximately a seven year cycle for both extreme depression and mania. Depression at 7, 14, 21. Mania starting a few years later and not quite as clockwork... well you get the picture... In between those extremes I have had more minor cycling though nothing that I believe affects me in too adverse a way.

I was diagnosed after coming down from a manic episode, and realising, for the first time (I feel so selfish!), that my behaviour affects the people I love. I spoke to my endocrinologist about it (I have type 1 diabetes), and he pointed out to me that what I described to him was mania and he referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me. He wanted me to try lithium. However, I was near the end of completing a Master of Science and I did not want to change now that I was returning to normal. I am also terrified of getting fat (a side effect of years of dance training haha). And 5 injections a day is enough drugs for me. I struggle with the idea of preventative meds, especially when I am not rapid cycling. My psychiatrist respected my decision and I decided that once I completed my masters I would look into seeing a psychologist to work on day to day life stuff.

So, I have completed my Masters and I have been accepted for PhD candidature with a top scholarship. I am so excited. The only thing that could stop me now would be an extreme episode which had quite the effect on me during my Masters. Although even minor depressive episodes are a worry, I guess.

I promised myself that I would see a psychologist now. However, I'm scared. Terrified.

I have been to see psychologists before and before the end of the session I have known exactly how to get out of seeing them again. I had quite the traumatic childhood, but as you may have guessed, I have moved on from that and I don't want to be forced to bring it up.

I want to deal with the NOW. You know... tracking my moods, being organised, being sure of what is going on in my life... Stability! Should I even go see a psychologist? What should I say to them to be clear about how I feel. I don't want to offend them, but I want to be frank and clear.


Sorry this was such a long post... Thanks for reading.

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