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    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 30th, 2016 7:12pm (Mar 30th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Yep, today it is World Bipolar Day - a day about spreading hope, furthering understanding and squashing stigma.

    Bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood episodes - intense depression and, depending on the type of Bipolar, episodes of mania or hypomania.

    Mood episodes tend to last weeks, if not months at a time - there's a common misconception where people think someone with Bipolar experiences many extreme shifts in mood a day. This is actually incredibly rare - someone with rapid cycling Bipolar is characterized as having four or more mood episodes in a year.

    Bipolar is a lifelong illness and, although it can be treated and symptoms vastly reduced if you are lucky, there is no cure.

    People with Bipolar are very misunderstood; there's this thinking that Bipolar is simply feeling 'happy and sad', and so Bipolar is no big deal - EVERYBODY feels happy and sad! People with Bipolar that aren't able to work are labelled as 'lazy' or milking the system - no, we're simply struggling to live and too ill to handle a job.

    Comments such as "I'm so Bipolar!" and "Isn't the weather Bipolar today?" only help further stigma, shame and misunderstanding.

    Stigma also materialises in the advice given to people wirh Bipolar. Here's just a handful of lovely advice I've heard many times over the last few years:

    "I can’t believe you take meds for that. Taking medications for psychiatric illnesses is such a sign of weakness”

    “Everyone has down days. I’ve been depressed for a day or two, but I just pulled myself together. It’s what everyone does.”

    “You need to really, really sort your life out”

    “It must be so nice to spend your whole life chilling out…”

    “I wish I had hallucinations, it must be so cool!”

    “You’re so lucky to be Bipolar, I can’t imagine not having to work!”


    Finally I leave you with this...it's a selection of physical illnesses / health conditions, with the injured party being given advice that people with mental illnesses are often given :)

    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 30th, 2016 7:57pm (Mar 30th 2016)
     
    Those cartoons are excellent, but people still think mental illness is trivial because it has never touched their lives, which is why it is so underfunded. Well done for making us aware - I admit I knew nothing about bipolar before you educated us. xx
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 31st, 2016 11:19am (Mar 31st 2016) edited
     
    Bipolar News
    New online tool launched to help people struggling with bipolar disorder make informed, positive lifestyle choices
    The International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) has announced the launch of its free, online Behavioral Health Quality of Life Tool (BHQL) to empower people struggling with bipolar disorder to...
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 31st, 2016 5:27pm (Mar 31st 2016)
     
    I think it's terrible that other than Red's post I have heard nothing about Bipolar Day. Yet when it's talk like a pirate or sausage day or something silly, the radio and telly are all over it.:face-sad:
    Good on you for helping to rise awareness of this illness, Red! :heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 1st, 2016 12:14pm (Apr 1st 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I don't normally post anywhere about World Bipolar Day...I care less this year and have become more open about it all, so I shared it everywhere, including FB. I'm tired of the utter lack of understanding there is about it, so if my World Bipolar Day status makes people ask questions and means I can give them facts about it, so be it...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 1st, 2016 10:28pm (Apr 1st 2016)
     
    The more people talk about it the more others will understand. It dispels myths, educates, and makes people less afraid both of having it and coming into contact with those that have it. I'm very open about lots of my health issues for that reason, and it means if friends experience the same they know they can come talk to me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2016 2:38am (Apr 3rd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We ended up being sent to A&E the other day, something I only agreed to because we were told that was the fastest route to getting meds. We managed to talk them out of the ambulance, so we got there ourselves. Had a terrible start with the receptionist then sat alone in the waiting room watching everybody else leave - it was really quiet. After four hours of nothing we asked someone how we could check out to go home. The environment was making me even worse, and we were only going to be seen by the team that could see us at home. We were told to go to reception where we could discharged ourselves. Once home we found out the hospital had told the police I had 'escaped', and there were patrols out looking to take me in for sectioning.

    We went to A&E for help because we have exhausted other routes. We have been told by so many people to go, and finally we did...and it was one of our worst experiences so far. A long, stressful day was made far, far worse. Thanks again NHS...
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2016 8:34pm (Apr 3rd 2016)
     
    O God, Red, you poor things...how are you now? :heart:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2016 12:45am (Apr 4th 2016)
     
    Thats just sooooo very very bad I do feel so sad for you. Sending you hugs and cuddles xxxx
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2016 7:16pm (Apr 4th 2016)
     
    OMG, Red...what a nightmare experience you had to go through. Sounds as bad a what they do to people over here. What does "sectioning" mean?

    Posted By: Redthere were patrols out looking to take me in for sectioning
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2016 11:36pm (Apr 4th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks guys...

    :bighug: CC. I've been doing really badly, then today I woke up and it seems I'm going manic again...which at least means I have energy and the ability to do things until it gets too intense. It's all pretty exhausting...since I started filling in the chart Lyle made I've had 3 weeks manic, a month depressed, and now on my way up again...the last time I had any period of stability (even just a week) was over 2 years ago, so I'm just fed up.

    Thanks NN. It was a traumatic day. I still get completely freaked out when I think of it.

    Thank you Lynn, yup mental health is treated badly here! Sectioning is detaining someone in a psychiatric hospital against their will...so that was a very scary thought when I was already in a state!
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 11:02am (Apr 5th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm appalled, upset and afraid in equal measure at the complete disregard and failure of the NHS/medical profession regarding mental health.

    If Red had a broken leg or some other physical condition or god forbid something like cancer she'd have been looked at, taken seriously and treat straight away, not made to undergo the ridiculous trials they expect someone suffering from mental health issues to go through just to get help - the hoops they expect/force on her seem to be purposefully made to make things as difficult as possible and ultimately stop someone who needs help from seeking it.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 12:28pm (Apr 5th 2016)
     
    You're so right, Neil; until they (by which I mean people at large as well as the NHS) treat mental illness like any other illness they are letting people down. My friend's husband was ill and even his own family thought he should just 'have a drink' despite the fact that the drugs he was on would have reacted badly. My friend said that if he had broken a leg or something she would have been inundated with sympathy and offers of help but because it was a mental illness people avoided her.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 5:40pm (Apr 5th 2016)
     
    Wow Red..I too am appalled by the way they are treating you. Locking people up against their will because they asked for help is horrible. It's scary to think what might happen if you try to seek help again.:face-crying:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 9:50pm (Apr 5th 2016)
     
    Oh Red that is so appalling. I am completely horrified. Are you up to complaining? It won't take away what happened but it might make them look at their systems and processes so that the next person gets better care. Problem is acute care (hospital based) just doesn't know what to do with mental health issues. Where had you 'escaped' from?! Did the police turn up at your home? If you complain copy your letter to your GP, and to your CCG (you can find them on the Internet). The CCG are responsible for commissioning care for their population so should be taking any complaint seriously and supporting you to get a response. In fact, you should be able to phone and complain, or if you don't want to you can give permission to a relative.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 11:27pm (Apr 5th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Posted By: LynnWLocking people up against their will because they asked for help is horrible. It's scary to think what might happen if you try to seek help again.


    This is exactly it Lynn. I'm left in the place now where I never want to ask for help ever again. I already had issues with appointments because of a lot of bad experiences, but now I'm just terrified. In the past month we had five different people ask Lyle if he wanted them to section me, and then the A&E thing happened.

    Posted By: KatebOh Red that is so appalling. I am completely horrified. Are you up to complaining? It won't take away what happened but it might make them look at their systems and processes so that the next person gets better care. Problem is acute care (hospital based) just doesn't know what to do with mental health issues. Where had you 'escaped' from?! Did the police turn up at your home? If you complain copy your letter to your GP, and to your CCG (you can find them on the Internet). The CCG are responsible for commissioning care for their population so should be taking any complaint seriously and supporting you to get a response. In fact, you should be able to phone and complain, or if you don't want to you can give permission to a relative.


    Thanks Kate...it was a pretty shocking experience. The police were told I had escaped from hospital, and that I was possibly lost but looking to be a danger to myself...even though I had been at hospital voluntarily, with my full-time carer, and we had discharged ourselves. The police actually had patrols driving around looking for me. When Lyle rang they told him they would have to send officers around to the house, so they could talk to me and check I was okay, but I was completely broken at the time...long day at A&E and then the police, I was just on the stairs in tears rocking. Lyle told them he was my registered carer, he is with me 24/7 and has been keeping me safe for 6 years now...nobody could do better than him. He told them after A&E a police visit would not help, and they eventually agreed not to come round. I'm not up to complaining but together we came up with a list of things to complain about which Lyle sent to the patient advice and liaison team. Someone should be calling him in the next few days. I'm very lucky to have him; without him I'd not only have zero hope, but I'd also be locked up and wouldn't even be well enough to complain.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 7th, 2016 6:11pm (Apr 7th 2016)
     
    Lyle is fantastic and is such a wonderful carer and advocate for you. It must be extremely frustrating for him too. I'm glad the police were sensible - ironically they seem to be better with people suffering MH issues than the NHS are. I hope PALs contact you soon and take on board their failings. In my opinion every A&E should have a mental health professional on duty at all times - they'd have plenty of work to do and maybe patients with issues would have a better experience and a crisis would be averted rather than being caused.

    Are you feeling any better now? xx
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 7th, 2016 10:09pm (Apr 7th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm feeling different now, because my mood's up and not down. It just brings its own set of difficulties. Had an emergency GP appt today on the advice of an amazing charity, Bipolar UK, who have helped so many times. The appt was horrible and didn't get us anywhere...waiting a few weeks for someone to phone us back who has already said they can't help...
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2016 7:19am (Apr 10th 2016)
     
    I'm so glad you have Lyle with you Red, what you have had to go through doesn't say much for the medical system you have over there..our system here is appalling too when it comes to mental health care.:face-sad: