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TOPIC TITLE: sister with bipolar
Created On 3/17/05 6:34 PM
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yehishalom
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3/17/05 6:34 PM
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Hi. I have a teenage sister with bipolar and am just looking for someone who can relate to my situation to talk to. It's hard to live with someone who is constantly requiring a lot of my parents attention and sometimes I think it would be nice to chat with someone about it. If you can relate, please respond.

-yehishalom
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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3/18/05 12:59 AM
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I do not have a sibling with bipolar, but please feel free to write me publically or privately. There are frequently many issues that arise as a result of family members having a mental illness, and I encourage you to voice your feelings and concerns.
 
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Torsalicious613
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3/18/05 1:55 PM
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hi, i actually know someone with bipolar disorder. it's hard to live with them, to get allong with them. they tend to be perfectionists, at least who i am talking about. she has a liyttle o.c.d. and a.d.d. as well. her brothers find her very hard to get allong with, and often ignore/avoid her. she takes up a lot of her parent's attention, and her brothers are jeallous of her because of it, not because they want to be bipolar, but because they want the attention she is getting from her parents even if it is negative. okay, okay, this girl is me. but at least i can see it objectively. do i realize people ignore me? yes. am i aware people avoid me like the plague at times in my family and sometimes outside? yes, but i also know i have good traits too, and that my brothers love me for them, even though they don't show it all the time. my advice to you, would be, try to put yourself in your sister's shoes and try to see all the positive things about her. i know it's hard, but if you try to see the good, the negative won't be as bad. emphasize the positive. i know it's hard, but try to communicate. communication is the next best thing to have with someone bipolar, even though at times it seems impossible, instead of avoidance which can be positive in the short-run, for evryone, but can backfire later. please please remember, your sister is a special person with a debilitating disease. you must remember she is a good person with a bad disease, not a bad person with a bad disease. support her, love her, help her through this trying time. with today's modern medicines, she has a good chance of getting better, as i did. am i completely better? not yet. but i am much better than i used to be. plus, i'm on less medication. the pills i take which could be quite useful to her in case if you were considering medication, are: zyprexa, lithium, depakote, atavan, and cogentin, which i currently take. the ones that did not work so well with me were zoloft, seroquel and abilify. of course, you should find a doctor that can work with you, they will know best. good luck and warm regards

tors613


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what the hecka is a signiature?
 
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motcha
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3/31/05 1:57 PM
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Hi,
Torsalicious613, you wrote a great post. Really moving. I just want to remind you that emotional problems arise from disorders, not diseases. Bipolar is a disorder. Sounds better than a disease no?
Motcha
 
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Torsalicious613
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3/31/05 6:37 PM
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you're definately right about that, motcha! and thank you for the compliment!

tors


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what the hecka is a signiature?
 
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MacaroonFan
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3/31/05 6:37 PM
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To Yehishalom and Torsalicious613:

Hey! Know that none of us is in this alone. Example: Not only does my sister have bipolar disorder, I do, too.

One may classify Bipolar Disorder as a dysfunction, a disorder or a host of other things. I prefer to use the word 'disease'. It sounds more morbid and I like to go for the shock value. On a more serious note, recognizing that this is truly an illness helps me to remember that what I have is not 'all in my head'. It's a disease as real as diabetes or cancer.

I, too, am a perfectionist much of the time. My sister has rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, and probably falls into the category of Bipolar I. I most likely fall into the categorization of Bipolar II.

My whole family has a history of mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and ADD. However, we happen to be an extremely bright family. (That's one of the perks: You might be nuts, but you're probably way smarter than most of the population, if not absolutely brilliant.)

...And when I say 'nuts', I mean it lightheartedly, of course. Ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I cringe each time one of my friends (I am in 11th Grade) dismisses people who think differently or act differently as 'crazy'.

Mental illness is so difficult to discuss confidently in the Orthodox community because the sad reality is that there is an enormous stigma attached to being different in such a way. Many harmful things can be said, such as:

'People who want to kill themselves are crazy.'
'You should be locked up.'
'HaShem will send you to hell if you commit suicide.'

The list is endless.

The general populace - and the Orthodox community specifically - absolutely NEEDS to start understanding mental illness, not scolding it. The sooner we, as Jews, take responsibility for our brethren's health - including mental health - the sooner those we love will get the help they so desperately need.

I wish you both success.

-T. H. S.
 
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Torsalicious613
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4/1/05 6:16 PM
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thank you macccarooni, i agree.

tors


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what the hecka is a signiature?
 
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hisbonenus
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4/3/05 3:14 AM
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As one of those without bipolar, I want you to remember that we don't say these things to hurt you, we aren't thinking of you when we say them. Getting married to someone with bipolar made me much more sensitive to the kind of comments that get thrown around- "you're acting schitzo" or "I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown." These are the least hurtful, because they're from obvious ignorance, but it's hard for me to hear them now.
 
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MacaroonFan
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4/3/05 10:30 PM
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1. I find it incredibly irritating when people refer to my disease as 'bipolar'. There is no such illness. The correct term is 'bipolar disorder'. Would you say, 'he has a pin-striped'? No, you would say, 'he has a pin-striped suit.' 'Bipolar' is the adjective of the noun 'Disorder'. Please use both words, or you put yourself at risk for sounding extremely uneducated on the matter.

2. It doesn't matter if the frum community is not saying these derogatory comments to hurt us. What matters is that they are saying them in the first place. They are hurtful comments. They should not be uttered in the first place. Saying that they are not saying those things to hurt us is like saying, 'Well, I didn't throw that knife at you to make you bleed.'

Thank you for listening.

-T.H.S.
 
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Torsalicious613
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4/5/05 6:05 PM
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kudos, maccarooni. btw, macaroon, do you mind me calling you that? it's not derogatory at all, i just think it's really cute and funny. and you know what? i like being not the only young person with bipolar disorder here. it makes me feel not so alone. and i'm just reminding all of you out there: being a sister with bipolar disorder is not so easy either. just fyi, i'm sure anyone would agree, being in my situation: being a sister with bpd. i know it's hard for those around us: but it's 10 times harder for us. people: please have compassion for us too. we are in pain too.

tors613


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what the hecka is a signiature?
 
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Torsalicious613
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4/6/05 2:44 PM
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maccarooni, would you feel comfortable talking to my brother? he is in 11th grade and he hates me. maybe you, having bpd yourself, could loosen him up a little bit. i remember being in 11th grade about five years ago, and it was hard as heck. but it's not nessecarilly easy for me to be living with him when he treats me with such ignorance and disrespect. i mean, i know as a student, life is hard for him. but life is hard for me too even if i am not a student (which i am, btw..). he should realize we all have our troubles, and we should help eachother and try to make things better, not shun eachother, ultimately making things worse. maybe you could relay this point to him? thank you, macarooni.

sincerely yours,

torsalicious613


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Torsalicious613
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4/6/05 2:46 PM
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and maccaroon, "he is pinstriped" i think, is what you were going for in one of your previous messages. just clarifying that, it probably says more what you meant/ were trying to say than what you said. gtg. ttyl!

tors


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Torsalicious613
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4/14/05 1:14 PM
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someone say sopm

tors


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eagle wings
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5/11/05 5:59 PM
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Dear Yeshishshalom,
I only saw your post today because for the last month I haven't really been on the board; too busy with Pesach.
Is your sister getting treatment? If so, that may help make the situation better... although you will still face problems.
I think that I can really relate, because my husband has a very mild yet untreated BP dissorder, and my children have a lot of the problems you may be facing, such as:
1- embarressment if the person with BPD (BP disorder) does strange things in public when in a manic state.
2- the undisputed reality that having a sibling with BPD will make shidduchim MUCH more of a problem for you.
3 feeling like your world got turned upside down very unfairly.
4 not even being able to talk with a friend about it, because of the stigma and the effect it may have on shidduchim
5 Mourning the relationship you once (may have had) with this sibling.

Here is how we dealt with things.
#1. After two years of worrying what will be next, etc, we decided that we are not able to controll him and we see the funny side of things. During his last manic attack , which was his worst to date (compounded by alcohol), I prepared my daughter that she will surely hear things from aqaintences as her father was walking around town VERY strangely dressed. We were worried about the effects on the family... but when he actually walked in we all burst out laughing as it was just SSSOOO terribly funny ,,,, better than crying. But if you are embarresed, angry, etc THAT IS OK AND VERY NORMAL.

#2 This is a very valid problem, but my kids are getting shidduchim anyway- and GOOD ones--- because here and there are remaining people who will look at YOU and decide that you are worth it anyway. The maturaty and sensitivity my children have gained from this nissyon are valuable assests to sensible people. (But you have to check shiduchim out 100X more thoroughly, as people will assume you will need to compromise. If that's the case,Look for someone who has a "defect" that YOU do not see as a defect!)

#3 DON'T FEEL QUILTY FOR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. Use this as an opportunity to throw your burden on HaShem. I highly recomend Rav Kirshner tz"l's tape "Those who dwell in the shaddow" a tape on dealing with nissiyon.

#4 See if there are any support groups in your area. Also sometimes you get luckey and find a regular friend who is not shocked and who undewrstands.

#5 No solution yet. We all mourn and miss the person who once was and got hidden under this terrible curse. And we try to accept this with the full belief that G-d knows what he is doing.


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"Let GO and Let G_D"
 
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Torsalicious613
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8/18/05 1:35 PM
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i thank you for your kind words, eagle wings, even if they weren't directed at me. they are beautiful, btw. i too, am looking for a husband, and hope it will happen some day. i truly feel bad for my brother and my parents and what they must go through with me. but i am convinced it's all for the better. it's true, hashem does know what he's doing, even if it doesn't seem like it makes much sense at the time. if we had no problems, we wouldn't grow, or create acceptance for things different than what we are used to. that should be reason enough that hashem knows what he's doing. he's creating, indirectly, love and acceptance. for what's different. it's not for what's bad, just different. he's creating acceptance for diversity. and that, i believe, is a beautiful thing. maybe some day, eagle wings, people will be accepting enough to be like you. i can only hope and prey that day comes. but if it never does, we have to be secure in ourselves, and recieve love and support from our families. because if they can't help us (those who are effected, like me) then no one can help us, not even ourselves. may we all heal, or reach the best of our abilities/potential soon. it's about time, and we all know we need it. life is better when good things happen.
and may they happen soon, for all of us. life is easier for everyone when there is understanding. may we all be understood.

tors


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