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Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Hi...so I haven't really been around on Reach Out for a while.  That's partly to do with a major depressive episode over the christmas and the new year, which rendered me absolutely useless.  In that time I was referred to a psychiatrist, started anti-psychotics, also started talking to an online psych (as well as having my face-to-face one), managed to reach one of my main goals this year, which was to open up more with my face-to-face psych and tell her that I finally reached a point where I can say I'm not interested in men and am absolutely sickened by the notion I may be attracted to girls (this was my last big secret to tell her) and I was also diagnosed with Bipolar Mood Disorder by the psychiatrist, which my face-to-face psych thought was the case, but wanted it confirmed by someone else.

I still haven't told my parents any of this.  All they know is I am seeing my face-to-face psych and that's it.  I would like to tell them about the bipolar and the meds, but I haven't been able to find a hand out that's succint enough that I can give them and say, this is what I'm experiencing.  Also I decided that they could wait a bit longer when I started arguing with my Mum (my living situations are a mess at the moment.  I'm just everywhere and it's complicated, but I moved all my stuff back home and was staying there for 2 weeks, I will return again in november and actually be living there for christmas and into the new year and I hate the idea and generally feel like I don't belong anywhere).  I also feel like telling Mum about the bipolar, would give her ammunition and she would use it against me.  :/

So help and advice about how to approach my parents would be good.   

Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Hey @_sagira_ 

 

I'm sorry that you've been experiencing some tough times at the moment. It can be very frustrating when you have parents or relatives that are far from understanding about how you've been feeling.

 

But it is awesome that you are reaching out to an online psychologist as well as meeting with a psychiatrist for help and advice. Handing out info sheets to your parents is a good first step too as it can diffuse tension. I think that these ones on bipolar disordertreatment for bipolar as well as common myths could be helpful. In terms of approaching them about it, you could print these out, give these to them and settle a deal. You could explain that these factsheets show information about bipolar disorder and that they have to read them all before they buckling down for a discussion. This way, it allows them to gain further understanding by reading them fully THEN asking questions. Plus, it also protects you from arguments as well. You could assert that the questions they ask must be about bipolar. If not, as in if your mum starts hurling ammunition, you can say that the boundary has been crossed. 

 

You could also talk to your psychiatrist and/or psychologist to see if they can suggest a particular approach. Arranging an appointment with your psychiatrist and have your parents come along could also give them insight to what you've been going through. 

 

Hope this helps and let us know how you go. 

___________________________________________________
Stay excellent

Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Hi @Myvo thanks for the response.  You have made some good suggestions, I may bring it up with my psych when I make a decision to tell them, I just wanted to consider a game plan and I like what you suggested.  Having my parents accompany me to an actual appointment is not an option for me though, I would not want them present in any way shape, or form, I just couldn't do it.

Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Hey @_sagira_,

Good on you for all the work you've done to get to the point where you have a diagnosis. I hope it will make your path to treatment (and some well-deserved emotional calm!) a bit easier for you.

I think the advice already given was good - about preparing some handouts for your parents, then once they've read them, sitting down to talk with them. If you're moving back in with them, it will hopefully ease the path for all of you living together if they know about your diagnosis and that you're on meds.

You also mentioned that you realised you're not into guys, and that you might be into girls. I'm glad you are able to talk to your counsellor about this. Hopefully chatting with them will help you start to feel ok with this part of you. Everyone deserves to feel happy and healthy about their sexuality - gay, straight or inbetween. Smiley Happy This fact sheet may help you too:
Making the call.

Good luck with everything, and let us know how it's all going.

 

blithe

 

 

Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Thanks @blithe ...in terms of my sexuality, this has been just a big a journey as my mental health one... +10 years, so slowly but surely.  I don't like thinking baout it.

Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

@_sagira_ ,

No worries - it's your life and totally personal, so it's ok to take things at your own pace. Smiley Happy

 

blithe

Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Welcome back @_sagira_ 

In addition to the excellent Reach Out fact sheets, I found a couple more you might want to consider showing to your parents including one of these from Black Dog Institute and this one from Headspace. If you're feeling creative, you might even want to copy paste info from all of them and custom make your own hybrid fact sheet!

Any time we open up and diclose something about ourselves we have kept hidden, we make ourselves feel vulnerable. You are really brave for doing this, and I hope your courage is rewarded by understanding and fairness from your parents! I hope they would not use it as any kind of argument ammo with you, the same as they wouldn't for a physical injury or illness.

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Re: Information to give my parents for Bipolar

Thanks @ElleBelle  I remember coming across those fact sheets when I was searching for stuff.  Thanks for referring me back to them.  I think it would be in my best interest to actually compose my own 'fact sheet' (so to speak) from all the information I have found.  So thanks for the suggestion.  I more or less just want to plan everything I would need and then just wait and see when the most opportune moment comes along.  Could be months...But thanks for your kind words!