View Full Version : How do you cope with the pain of your mental illness?

Lantern Jack
11-27-2005, 09:46 AM

11-27-2005, 10:03 AM
I feel for you Jack. Mental illness is no joke. The government has set into place programs for people to get to a psychiatrist and meds. There are also local programs that will do the same. You can even go on line to the drug manufactures and sign up for their programs. You don't have to go without medication or doctor visits here in America. There are too many programs. You just have to dig and do the footwork. Not doing anything about it is also making a decision about your mental state of mind. And there's always Christ to light the way to sanity. You sound very edgucated in what you know about your disease, now edgucate yourself on how to get the help. My mom did and she's getting better.

Good luck on your journey and may you seek the peace of God along the way.


Lantern Jack
11-27-2005, 10:06 AM

Celia Cyanide
11-27-2005, 10:08 AM
I don't have bi-polar brain disorder, but I know a lot of people who have it, so I know what it does. I dated a guy who had it. He doesn't have health insurance, either.

Can you look online, or in the phone book and see if there are some non-profit counciling services in your area? I went to one of those, and they helped me find a way to get my meds when I didn't have health care. Most people I've known who have been bi-polar have said that medication has helped.

Jack, I'm really surprised that you say you don't have any friends. I think you're a very interesting person. I know that isn't much coming from someone who barely knows you, even online, but I always enjoy what you have to say here. If you were able to get some medication, you might be able to treat the symptoms that you say drive people away. Best of luck to you. I hope things get better for you.

Lantern Jack
11-27-2005, 10:17 AM

11-27-2005, 10:47 AM
Well, I've had depression, and I've had anxiety, I've had an emotional breakdown, I realised I'd had low self-esteem - but bipolar disorder while being all of that appears to be physically triggerred rather than experience triggered.

I'm not sure if the high or the low can be affected by rational thought prior or during as is the case for all the things that I've had (which were not physically triggered)

So I'm not sure if any of what I do to not have any of that anymore has any bearing for you. I also note the link you provided warns friends not to attempt to be a therapist.

I've no idea how much the medication costs if you have to buy it yourself, and you might feel you can't afford it if you look ahead years, but if a number of months treatment could get you into the workforce again then surely it is worth trying. I also wonder whether there are voluntary organisations that offer their volunteers medcare?

11-27-2005, 11:18 AM
In my area, there are free clinics where doctors donate their time to treat patients who can't pay. My area is far from Lockport, however, but there might be a similar facility near you. Try "clinics" in the Yellow Pages, or phone a hospital and ask what they recommend for uninsured people.

11-27-2005, 03:52 PM
Jack, I've never experienced bipolar, but have had depression, so I can empathisize with at least part of what you've been experiencing, and I'm really sorry for the struggle you're going through right now. From what I understand about bipolar, there is wonderful hope with proper medication, but other remedies have limited helpfulness. A friend of mine has a son with this illness, and meds made all the difference in the world for him. I hope that you can explore any option that will help you get the needed RX (could you qualify for medicaid? would they cover it?)

11-27-2005, 06:10 PM
Hi, Jack- try this link:


It lists county mental health agencies in New York. Not sure what county you're in, but there are links from that page to specific county pages.

I do not have BPD myself, although I've had many students in my past who have it. (take a look at my avatar for one- definitely a manic moment for him at this time, though) Most of the students that I've had that have BPD were low-income, and received help through the local MHMR agency. The ones I've dealt with work on a sliding pay scale, so the less you or your family makes, the less you have to pay. It may be free for unemployed, but don't quote me on that. Then again, things may be different in New York than here in the Lone Star State, but it should be worth a shot. Within my family, I've dealt with a cousin who is also Bi-Polar, so I've seen a bit on the adult level, too. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk. (Personally, I have ADHD and have my own issues with that:) )

Good luck with the link and finding info-

11-27-2005, 07:19 PM
What you should do is contact your local health department. Even small towns have them, and they can refer you to free clinics for meds and counseling. It takes several weeks to get in the program, set up with a doctor and get some samples, so start tomorrow.

I did this myself for almost 5 years. I finally had had enough of zoloft, though, with its side effects and took myself off of it. The withdrawals were terrible, but I'm off.

And now, I'm basically ok.

The symptoms you are describing just cannot (in my opinion) be dealt with without medication. You already exercise and try to keep busy, and it doesn't help. You need medication.

I really don't want to blather on with useless anecdotes about how you create your state of mind, but unfortunately, you can control a little of it.

I found this out by marrying a negative person with some of the same symptoms you have. In fact, his father and brother are exactly like what you describe, maybe even worse. (His father is dead, but his brother continues to interfere, criticize everybody.) Anyway, by marrying someone more negative than I was, I started to see on a daily basis why people (other women, mostly,) distanced themselves from me. I was bringing them down.

I began to think about things before I said them, so I could evaluate how negative they might be. Even if you hate everything, or you don't, but your tone comes off like you do, it's sometimes better to put up a front around people.

If you start thinking about how you sound, you will be more pleasant to be around, and people will like you more.

Another thing that worked for me was to start volunteering at a state nursing home. There are people there, suffering with unimaginable diseases and like us, with horrible depression. Just visiting people who have real troubles, makes me so much more upbeat about my life. You cannot look at a person who is dying of aids, who lost his ability to swallow or see, or walk or whatever, and tell him how angry you are for being cut off in traffic.

And, then, another thing happens when you start helping others, you get better karma for yourself, and things just get better overall. I believe that everything you give comes back ten fold. The past 1 1/2 years, after I started volunteering, I started to see things happening for me. No, I didn't hit the lottery or get a great job. But, daily things came easily. I was kept from making huge mistakes, almost by divine intervention. I was able to go off of meds completely.

I just cannot tell you enough how important this part of therapy is ......to start helping people more desperate than you are. Now, some people can't handle it, being so close to death and disease, but I thrive on it. There is no limit to what I will do with the residents I have met through volunteering.

(Of course, in over a year, I have lost 20 good friends, but I am much better off for knowing them and I think I know they made my life better.)

So ............my advice to you......................starting tomorrow :

Call your local mental health center and set up an appointment. Tell them it's an emergency that you see someone, but don't ever say you are considering suicide unless you really are. Otherwise, they have to lock you up, which might be good or bad, depending on your situation.
Go in person to visit the closing nursing home near you. Ask to see the activity director, and she/he will set you up.
Narrow problems down to things you can stand. If it has to do with an old guilt, forget it. You can't change the past. Give yourself a break from it. If you hate paying bills, or looking for a job, only do it on a certain day of the week, or for an hour each day. Give yourself a vacation from it the other times.
Remember that this is all small stuff. None of it matters. Traffic doesn't matter. Not having a job doesn't matter. Your old boss, who is climbing the ladder of success, doesn't matter. Your old girlfriend, happily married now, doesn't matter. Bills do not matter. The only thing that matters is you, trying to find some happiness in everyday now.

And of couse, in the end, you are the only person who can change anything. Don't sit around, lonely and miserable, do something. There are people out there who are more lonely, and more miserable than you are. Go find them and make their day.

11-27-2005, 07:23 PM
Oh, another thing that works:

Get a paper and pencil and sit down. Write down your goals. If your goal is to get a job, write it down. If it's to meet people, write it down. To pay a bill, write it down. Write everything down, and put the paper away. Forget about it.

You'll be surprised how well this works, and how by writing it down and losing it for a while, this things will get done.

11-27-2005, 07:46 PM
Here's a few websites you may find useful:

http://www.mhanc.com/helpbook/counseling2.htm (Mental Health Association in Niagara County)
http://www.nmha.org/ (National Mental Health Association), which includes a link to Rx assistance
http://www.niagaracounty.com/Insight/Display8.cfm?ID=DBB62142-20A1-47C1-A166-6A358C73D971&SectionID=938D6249-BC35-49F0-9C73-72EDB1794CAC&SID=2&QPID=8937AE5D8690312793E48D3B5592270A (Niagara County Department of Mental Health )

Adult Mental Health Clinics
Lockport Outpatient Clinic
5467 Upper Mountain Rd., Suite 200, Lockport 14094-1895

Maryn, who loves her Google

11-27-2005, 07:57 PM
(Great answer Pam!) Lantern- Hang in there!! You have online support and friends here.My own brand of mental illness is depression and anxiety. Bi-Polar runs rampant in my family.
I hate meds. My doctor had to throw me down and hogtie me (mentally) to get me to take blood pressure medicine. So this is how I deal with mental illness:
First- prayer and meditation, it's a discipline I had to learn. To learn to meditate, (I was desperate I tell you,) I walked in a place of nature. I am lucky to live near a National Park. (Or maybe this is creating my own destiny, I moved here) I walk until the voices stop and I can feel serenity seeping in. Maybe you don't believe in God, I believe we all create our own version of God. Pray to some higher power. You are not alone.
Second-Group Therapy. I hated it! But it works. Now I can give to others. Pam is right, giving to others is the only way out.
Third-Poetry, Writing and Art are all outlets for me. Although I write some pretty nasty stuff, a little I have shared here. I have painted pictures people run from. Some I will not share.

I like your sense of humor and have always enjoyed your posts. You deserve to be happy. Go for it. Only you can take the first step.

Puddle Jumper
11-27-2005, 08:08 PM
I don't have a mental illness but I can be overly self-critical of myself if I choose to be which can leave me feeling depressed. My personal thought is that to truly overcome such a thing is to train your mind to counter negative thoughts until eventually those negative thoughts don't come. You have to increase your self-esteem and I find that's easier to do when you look at others around you to realize they're not perfect either.

11-27-2005, 11:16 PM
True. Even me, when I first started volunteering, I got too into it. I was there everyday. There was a woman who had been shot in the head by her ex-husband, and was left paralyzed, trach in her throat, unable to talk or eat. She hadn't had a visitor in over two years. She was only about 52. I made myself crazy trying to do things for her. One night, her TV wouldn't work and I had already been at the nursing home like 4 hours and my family was waiting for me at home, but I couldn't leave until that TV was working. I just couldn't leave that room, knowing she would be laying there, soaked in urine, and unable to dull her mind with some mundane program. She couldn't even change the channel, but it was so important to me that she have that TV working. After several months of going to see her, some days were good and we seemed to make progress communicating, while others were terrible and she choked and coughed the whole visit, my trying to comfort her. She would lay there and cry, without sound, but she went into the hospital with something and came back about 3 weeks later, unable to communicate as before. The woman who lay in the bed after that had the mental facilities of a baby, and was easily amused by a dancing Elmo doll, or by a balloon. It was terrible. Luckily for Janice, she died just after katrina. I think the stress of the storm just put her over the edge. I have to admit that I had started avoiding her doorway months earlier, because I felt like I was wasting my time.

There are so many cases in a nursing home, you have to find someone who you can help, and in turn, helps you. It might be a young man who was born deformed or an old woman who never had kids, and is alone now.

True, it can be overwhelming, and not for everybody. And, its depressing for some, my husband gets depressed when we got there. He starts crying, literally, when we stand and talk to a 42 year old man paralyzed in a car accident. But, as sad as I find it also, I try to come up with some way that might make that person a little happier .........by reading a book, buying them a special treat (if they can eat or drink) or something.

But anyway, when I first started volunteering, i was there everyday, several hours a day. volunteering there is what worked for me, and in some ways, saved my life.

11-27-2005, 11:25 PM

If you were a diabetic, you wouldn't question taking insulin. Don't put off taking medicine. As pointed out above, local centers will work with you, even price your medicine on a sliding scale. I was able to get mine for $7 a month.

Hey, or you can go on Dr. Phil! http://drphil.com/plugger/respond/?plugID=9669
He's looking for people who have Night Terrors.

Lantern Jack
11-27-2005, 11:27 PM

Lantern Jack
11-27-2005, 11:36 PM

Lantern Jack
11-28-2005, 05:27 AM

Lantern Jack
11-28-2005, 05:38 AM

11-28-2005, 06:15 AM
Your mood might improve drastically by being out of your parents house. Go be amongst like minded people.

You have alot of obstacles to deal with, without having your parents criticism, too. Nevermind being bi-polar.

They sound old. How old are they? Watching television while you reveal your horrible secret sounds like something older generations did. Or, maybe they don't believe you.

11-28-2005, 07:40 AM
I am SO rooting for ya to make it on there! But if you make it you have to tweak your earlobe like Carol Burnett for us. Don't worry about your parent's reaction. You'll be a star and what great publicity for your memoir!

About feeling worse at night, it's something I've noticed too. I think it has to do with, silly as it sounds, being tired. I"ve noticed the more tired I am, the more apt I am to weep at Britney Spears videos and accuse loved ones of trying to poison me.

Celia Cyanide
11-28-2005, 09:27 AM
1) While we're on this general topic, how do you alleviate an anxiety-provoked tension headache? I've had this damned thing for a week straight and it's driving me crazy!

I might be able to help you with that...I saw this guy do this to a woman, and it worked, and I tried it on myself.

Sit on your bed with the lights out and close your eyes. Imagine your headache, the shape and color of it. Then say out loud everything you are stressed about as it comes to you. As you say it out loud, let it go. Then go back to your headache. Imagine it again, and see if the shape of it is smaller, and the color less intense. Then go back to listing your worries and let them go. Eventually, it will grow smaller and smaller until it disappears.

I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it has worked for me in the past. It doesn't work on real headaches, though, only the anxiety provoked tension kind.

11-28-2005, 10:02 AM

As a decade long sufferer of migraines and other assorted head splitters, may I suggest the following?

Fill a sock with dry rice. Heat it in the microwave for about a minute. Place onto painful part of head while you lie in bed.

Consume a triple dose of caffeine along with a dose of sinus medicine (Benadryl) and around 1000 mg (whatever the highest daily dose is) of ibuprofen, aspirin, or whatever floats your boat.

Accept the pain. Fighting it only makes it worse. Accepting the pain does kewl things like turn all the pink stabbing light into pretty shapes.

When all else fails, snort some lidocaine. A small amount. Don't know if you happen to have some about, but it is a valid medical treatment.

Lantern Jack
11-28-2005, 10:14 AM

As a decade long sufferer of migraines and other assorted head splitters, may I suggest the following?

Fill a sock with dry rice. Heat it in the microwave for about a minute. Place onto painful part of head while you lie in bed.

Consume a triple dose of caffeine along with a dose of sinus medicine (Benadryl) and around 1000 mg (whatever the highest daily dose is) of ibuprofen, aspirin, or whatever floats your boat.

Accept the pain. Fighting it only makes it worse. Accepting the pain does kewl things like turn all the pink stabbing light into pretty shapes.

When all else fails, snort some lidocaine. A small amount. Don't know if you happen to have some about, but it is a valid medical treatment.

Um, thanks for that, er, slightly bewildering...whatever that was.

And shouldn't you be sleeping right now? I've been observing your E-mail habits over the past month and you never answer anything I send you after 3:30 p.m., which means you either work the night shift, go to night school or your kids wholly usurp the apparatus after that time.

So stop snorting the hard C and get some shut-eye, before you start spewing Lantern Jackian rhapsodies.

And remember, sweet tea doesn't necessarily mean sweet dreams.

Bed! Now! Morning Elisa will thank me:Soapbox:

11-28-2005, 10:23 AM
LOL. Yes, usually I am in a coma at this hour, but I am actually trying to work on my writing.

I was merely offering you a way to ease the pain in your noggin. I've had a headache for about a week now. It finally went away today. The rice bag helps because when you lay on it, it molds to your head. Beats cracking your head against the wall wishing someone would shoot you so you don't have to suffer any more.

11-28-2005, 07:15 PM
Denial is common when mom doesn't know what to say or do. Just deny it, it'll go away, at least for her.

Dad probably just ignores it. Mom denies it. Typical.

Still, just because you are born to certain people doesn't mean you have to stay with them forever.

Don't you want to move out?

11-29-2005, 12:51 AM
I gotcha. Hang in there .....a smart guy like you will get work eventually.

Sheryl Nantus
11-29-2005, 02:56 AM
I may have missed it in a previous post, but who diagnosed you with this disorder - your family doctor or another practitioner? Whoever it was should have at least referred you to a source for further information if not support and treatment. Most doctors worth their snuff will take into consideration your financial position when informing you of a diagnosis and help find cheaper meds if possible.

11-29-2005, 06:37 AM

I can't add much to the great advice you've been given on this thread.

I just want you to realize that you do have a lot of friends here!

Keep us posted on your progress with your job search, your medical issues, and your quest to be on the Dr. Phil show!


11-29-2005, 09:43 AM
Eating carrots in REALLY large quantities will turn your skin orange.

11-29-2005, 10:59 AM
Shrimp will turn you a vaguely pinkish shade. Especially if you happen to be a Flamingo.

12-01-2005, 06:32 PM
However, I have to respectfully disagree with your definition of bi-polar disorder. Again, with respect, I personally feel there is a huge difference between being a "negative" jerk and have a mental illness so potent, you can only dilute it, not banish it utterly.

Well, I said you need medication. That's the first thing. But, if you want to be around other people and get your support (or not, I don't,) you have to be able to offer them something in return. Not too many people cling to a person who is irratable, negative and a general pain to be around.

So, while bi-polar is a disease that needs medication, you also have to make adjustments when possible to your own behavior. You are aware of the fact that you are negative and strike out verbally at other people, which drives them away. So, being aware of it is a start. You can't blame a schizophrenic for his behavior, but he doesn't know what he's doing. Communication can be impossible. But you are aware of some things you do, so all I said was, try to think before you lash out irrationally.

Obviously, I'm no bi-polar expert, in fact, I'm not expert on anything. I have suffered from depression for most of my life, but much of it has been situational. My brother was killed young, I have been blacklisted from working. These things are big reasons to be depressed.

Still, being around un-diagnosed bi-polar types, like my brother n law, father n law and sometimes my husband, I can tell you that being attacked verbally, criticized and nitpicked is not something I enjoy, even though I know a heartfelt apology is around the corner.

Big deal for me. I have to live my life, too. Judge yourself, critique your own behavior, but leave others alone. If you don't learn your boundries and how to stay within them, nobody will like you. While I'm not saying you should develop an alter-ego in order to be Mr. Popular, I do think you can benefit from having a friend or companion.

Of course, the nursing home is one way to volunteer. You might try something else.

Also, on another note, I don't think volunteering at a nursing home would be the right choice for me, seeing how I'm a hypochondriac, but thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.

Listen, I'm phobic about flying. But, I have to take a long trip this month, overseas. I bought some Cd's and am trying to overcome my fears. Some things you have to do. A phobia is based on FEAR "False evidence appearing real."

12-02-2005, 11:56 PM
Isn't that a good change from my normal behavior?

I don't know, what's your normal behavior?

Unfortunately, you asked a question that only has so many answers. Therapy, drugs, or ?