Bipolar Disorder- Ask Me Anything!
I am offering a package of up to 3 questions about anything related to bipolar disorder, mania, anxiety, and C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder). There is no question that is too personal or offensive. I will answer frankly and honestly based on my own life experience. If there has ever been a question you wanted to ask but were afraid it was none of your business, or offensive, or ignorant, or triggering, or otherwise made you feel uncomfortable to ask, then here's your chance!
I am an open book for the most part, and there is no question or comment that would be insulting or upsetting. So, whether you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder yourself or know someone who has, go ahead and think of all those things you've always wanted to know but felt too uncomfortable to ask.
The question/answer service I am offering is for curiosity, commiseration, learning, and understanding purposes only. Although I cannot give you medical advice, I can talk with you if you are looking for someone to understand what you're going through or help you understand what someone else is going through.
I prefer to contact using email because it gives me the opportunity to take some time to think about my answers so that I can give you the most direct and honest response I possibly can, so when you contact me for this service, I will provide you with my email address after which you can then email me your questions. I will answer your questions one at a time, or you may ask me all at once.
The one thing I am NOT is a doctor, and I cannot answer any questions about whether or not you or someone you know has bipolar disorder. I cannot give medication suggestions. I am not a crisis counselor, and I cannot offer you any kind of therapy. If this is an emergency situation, call 911.
Training & Qualifications
I am the 40-year-old mother of 2 adult boys and the wife of 23 years to a boy who had no idea what he was getting himself into when he married me.
I carry the diagnoses of bipolar disorder type 1 with intermittent explosive disorder and C-PTSD. I believe my mental health has been shaped by both genetics as well as a dysfunctional reaction to some extremely dysfunctional life experiences. I have been involved with some level of psychiatry and psychology since I was 5 years old. I spent most of my childhood and young adulthood unmedicated, unstable, living in a fog where the world outside my own mind made no sense to me, and my only way of interacting with that world was to create chaos wherever I went. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, when most of the psychiatric world had little to no experiences with the mental health of extremely young children, and had a hard time believing my mother when she would recount to doctors how my behavior was different from a normal spoiled 5-year-old girl who wasn't getting her way. My mother was already afraid of me by the time I was 5. I became afraid of myself by the time I was in junior high school. My behavior was erratic, impulsive, angry, violent, and deeply rooted in a world of my own devising, and at times, psychotic.
It wasn't until I was in my early 20s and already had two toddlers that I decided to seek out help for myself. I have been stable on medication for almost 20 years. The help I received saved my marriage, saved my children, and saved my life. I learned that if I wanted help, I had to learn how to be an advocate for myself. I had to learn that it is okay to tell a doctor that a particular medication is not working. And once the right medication began to stabilize my disorder, I had to start all the way back as a 5-year-old child and learn what reality really meant, how to navigate in this new world I'd never known, truly research what was actually wrong with me and the things about myself that I had control over as well as the things I didn't.
I also have experience with relationships involving malignant narcissism, sociopathy, combat PTSD, bipolar disorder type II. I have taken college classes on abnormal psychiatry, anthropology, philosophy, and sociology. I have spent a great deal of time trying to learn how to differentiate between natural reactions to difficult situations versus personality disorders versus mood disorders, the difference between acute psychosis versus psychotic disorders, the kind of people who use a mental illness to excuse their shortcomings or failures, and the kind of people who hide true mental illness and refuse to seek help.
I have absolutely no professional certification in psychology, psychiatry, or therapy. I will not answer questions asking for a diagnosis. I will not answer questions asking me whether or not someone needs emergency intervention (if you have to ask, the answer is yes). I can only answer questions related to my own experience with my own mental illness as well as the relationships I have had with others. I can try to help you understand how I think- both medicated and unmedicated. I can help you understand things like pathologic social anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks, my experiences with intermittent explosive disorder, as well as what I had to do to navigate the psychiatric system and eventually get the help I needed to live a life as a person I am no longer ashamed of.
Availability & Preferences
Usually any time, though the time it takes for me to respond will depend on the complexity of the question.