General Question

Shippy's avatar

I am bipolar, and currently I have no support?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) June 2nd, 2012

Trust me, I wouldn’t choose a site or a forum in order to get the help I need. In an ideal world I would have a psychologist I could visit, a few supportive family members, a good psychiatrist, and a support group. In fact I hate writing things like this, because I always get told, you need help. The fact is I can’t afford help. I have no family members and my anxiety is so bad I cannot get to a support group. I know here there are also sufferers of depression. Are there other methods that help, where you don’t have to “pay”?

Lately every attempt I have made has turned to zero. When I say lately it is in the past year or so. I realize that I am suffering and without support I only have “me”. This is hard when I feel I cannot think evenly I cannot at times make rational decisions. Where do I start, if I only have me? I did have a psychiatrist when I was employed. Where I live you cannot get help unless you pay. I cannot pay. I am currently wondering how to pay my lights account.

My question is, is there anywhere online I can get assistance for free? A support group or anything? How can I help myself on a day to day basis? Better living habits anything I am desperate. I will try anything. Currently I am suffering so badly with depression and anxiety. I am turning more and more people away from me. I turn to the net for support or escape but even that does not help me. I really hope this question made sense and I really need some wisdom, and would appreciate it greatly.

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36 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve looked for a free service for you to try. I came up with this. I have no idea if this will be of any help for you, @Shippy, but if you are willing to give it a try, here you go: http://www.phobics-awareness.org/forum/

ETpro's avatar

@Shippy I hope the link @bkcunningham posted is useful. I will continue to look as well. Perhaps you could email me and let me know what area you are in. That would help narrow the search. My daughter was bipolar, so I understand your need. She was able to do fine with treatment.

bkcunningham's avatar

Here’s the main page with some general information: http://www.phobics-awareness.org/chat.htm

and http://www.stressgroup.com/chatrooms.html

I sincerely hope someone else comes up with a fantastic solution for you. I wish you were feeling up to getting out to get some professional help in your area. I know there is free help available nearly everywhere in the US. Best wishes coming your way. ((((HUGS))))

wundayatta's avatar

Here is a link to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance support page. It has links to help you find in person support groups and online support groups. Since the groups are in the US, the times may not work for you. They also have information about how to start your own group.

I would also encourage you to use us as a support group. That’s what I did when I was having a hard time. I just asked a question about what I was thinking about. People were very sympathetic, and if they thought I was abusing their patience, no one said anything or complained.

But I think there are a lot of bipolar people here and we understand, and are sympathetic and we really would love to help. We know how hard it is to help, but still, we’d like to. Let us.

Shippy's avatar

Thank you all so much I am so appreciative. I was not sure if it was OK to post this type of question here. I feel at least I have an understanding network. Which can help so much. I have such anxiety right now, I feel dizzy. I need to breath deep breaths I think.

bkcunningham's avatar

We would love to help. I second that, @wundayatta. Take a deep breath and relax.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Shippy : We are here to help. I also have bipolar and am willing to chat or email or simple send private messages on Fluther.

You are not alone.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Shippy, please let us know if you’ve found anything that looks like it may be helpful to you.

Fly's avatar

This page lists what the author found to be the best online bipolar support groups. I am sorry that you are going through this and I sincerely hope that you are able to find the help you need. We have several bipolar members here including @wundayatta and @Hawaii_Jake, and I’m sure they would be more than willing to be your Fluther family/support group.

ETpro's avatar

Here’s a site with a list of links to online support groups, with a bit of info about what each specializes in.

augustlan's avatar

I’m sorry you’re going through this, @Shippy. Might you be able to afford one visit with a doctor in order to get a prescription for Xanax? It’s a very inexpensive medication, and very effective for dealing with overwhelming anxiety. It might at least settle you down enough so that you can think clearly and explore other options. I wish you all the best.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Adding on to @augustlan‘s comment, if you have a current prescription for medication, or get a new one, some drug companies have programs to help people that can’t afford their medication. So, if paying for your medication is a problem, contact the drug companies directly.

YARNLADY's avatar

You have come to the right place.

lifeflame's avatar

@Shippy- I also had bipolar tendencies ten years or so ago, and are happy to listen, support and share. Feel free to share or PM me too.

janbb's avatar

A friend of mine is on permanent disability for bipolar and other disabilities. It is possible to get free help but it is a lengthy process. I would start with the online bipolar support links others have listed and then see if you can get involved with a free mental health clinic. Stay in touch with us too.

downtide's avatar

I also have an online friend in the US who is bipolar and gets free help and treatment. Next time I see her I’ll ask her how.

hearkat's avatar

NAMI.org may help you find local resources with free or sliding-scale services.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Depending on your age and if you’re in the USA or not, I think each county health dept. has some sort of health insurance you can apply for. One of my stepkids is bipolar and her family was able to apply for county health coverage that affords her regular therapy and scheduled doctor visits to evaluate meds and dosing.

Google county health dept. where you are and see if their site offers an interactive chat.

Shippy's avatar

Hi everyone. Sorry for the late response. I managed to see a GP who has dealt with my most severe issue (not being able to sleep) and anxiety at present. So I have tablets for both. I am to go back, to then start a course of Epitec, Solian as I was on this before and it did help. (I need funds for those currently). So with the sleeping improved, and anxiety medicated, I have felt better.
I want to share my heartfelt thanks to you all, for the links and support I received when I posted this. It was very much a crises day. I was overwhelmed to see links here in South Africa too. So currently I have registered with most of them, and have also contacted SADAG. I await their response.
I am a lot more hopefull and will from time to time, give feedback on progress on this thread if that is OK?
I have also made changes to my diet, I was not eating, now I eat three times a day, plus take a good multivitiman. I do see some improvement from that also.
There is also a yoga class not far from me, which I can afford, I simply need at this point to “just do it”.
I have also contacted my place of employment that dismissed me due to Bipolar, for any benefits, as well as the CCMA in S.Africa in case they can assist.
This was a lot as I was doing nothing, I felt no one would help, and I found anything I tried failed to work. So I hope all this effort pays off.

Thank you again, for also your offer to PM you which I will take each and everyone of you up on! As well as continue to ask my seemingly “odd” questions here on Fluther. Thankyou!!

wundayatta's avatar

I look forward to seeing your updates. Remember to give yourself a break. If you miss yoga or meds or whatever, just pick up again when you remember and have time. Not that you should skip it, but that it doesn’t help to beat yourself up if you miss doing something good for you.

Many of us are coping with bipolar and every single one of us who is knows exactly what it is like. Being with people who know what it is like is one of the most helpful things I have found.

At my last group meeting, there was a new person who said she was checking us out. She’d had experience with other groups that weren’t what she was looking for. I asked her what that experience had been. She said that they did a lot of crafty things—making bird houses out of popsicle sticks or something. She really wasn’t into that.

My group is purely based on “care and share.” Which means we tell stories and offer each other suggestions and sometimes we veer into advice. We don’t follow the AA model where people are not supposed to do “cross talk.” It means we are more lively and real, and people get to show more of their personality, which is good and bad. We have some strong personalities there. One guy, whom I like an awful lot, is very in your face, especially to women. I find myself telling him to shut up on occasion, which he actually seems to enjoy. It’s like he’s so smart, that he confuses most people, and they can tell him to straighten out, but for whatever reason, I can, and he never takes offense.

It’s fun. It’s funny. We seem to be able to cheer ourselves up when we are depressed. When someone is manic, it is generally catching. Contact high. Although we do tell each other when we think someone is manic, and I think that helps, too. We can tell, of course, because being bipolar, we have been there and we are more sensitive to it. And, I think, bipolar folks have greater empathy in general, once they learn enough about the disorder. One of the gifts of the disorder, once we learn to smooth over the rough patches.

This disorder is a kind of trial by fire that no one asks for. But if you survive it, it can give you a lot. The problem is that one in five of us die before figuring out how to cope. I found that to be a very scary statistic. I didn’t want to believe it, and I am kind of skeptical of it, but still, I think it’s useful to help me take it seriously. Part of me still believes, despite all my experience, that this is just in my head and therefore I can handle it just in my head. But I’m still taking lithium, so you can see which side of the “money talks and bullshit walks” fence I’m on.

bkcunningham's avatar

You are going to be okay, @Shippy! I’m happy that you’ve taken a positive step friend. (((HUGS))) I know that wasn’t easy. Good job. Don’t get discouraged. Keep on putting one foot in front of the other and NEVER forget that you have all of us here. It is cliche’ but life is really just one day at a time. Sometimes, for me it has been, one minute at a time. It will get better.

lifeflame's avatar

Hey Shippy- Great to hear how you’re “just doing’ it”. Being able to sleep well makes such a difference; and yoga class seems like a real healthy step: physically, mentally, energetically. As we say over here; add oil! 加油! 加油!

augustlan's avatar

Thanks for the update, @Shippy. I’m glad to hear things are going better!

bkcunningham's avatar

Hey there @Shippy. How are you doing? I was thinking about you and wanted to check in and say hello.

Shippy's avatar

I have had a fairly busy month trying to earn to pay overheads, as I haven’t received any assistance or answers from the places I wrote to. (Mainly unemployment funds, and the company I worked for etc., )

It takes a lot of energy and mind power at this point to physically go and see people, plus I have given up my vehicle to try and save expenses, however I do still have email.

I phoned SADAG. I got a good response from Wayne there who even offered to phone me. However I did phone and spoke to a young counselor who at this stage did not see any free assistance. I will get back to Wayne as I did explain to him the money situation and he seemed to have answers. He is in the USA at the moment I was told so am waiting for him to return.

I can honestly say this has been the blackest period of my life, mostly because most things I do turn out fruitless. I need proper results not sympathy or anything else and I feel like I am getting no where. However today is a bad day, I have many much better days. I just wish I had one person , physically who could help me. I have asked a friend of mine who is a financial broker to follow up claims and so on and he did nothing. So I am just going to have to do it all slowly I think.
A lot of people around me like neighbors and things just say “But you’re fine!” or “just go and do it, so I feel awfully misunderstood and fed up. There is more to all this, but I cannot post it here, but really blackness does not describe how awful a situation I am in.

My main concern at this stage is survival. I am doing web site design, for a friend who does the technical stuff. And it is slow, so not great earning at all from that. However I will keep you posted. Thank you again for your concern.

bkcunningham's avatar

Thank you for taking the time to post, @Shippy. I’m sure you don’t feel like posting updates sometimes, but I honestly think about you and really, really hoped things were getting better for you. I don’t know enough about the area where you live to help you contact an advocate, but it sounds like that is what you need. Someone who can physically be there to help you. Hang in there.

ETpro's avatar

@Shippy What do you know how to do in website design? I’m a developer and own a small business. I am slammed right now. I might have some stuff you can do. Do you have a PayPal account for rapid payment?

Shippy's avatar

@ETpro Thank you so much! I have pm’d you. Will also update my own site, to show you some panels and mostly photo edits there. Will send to you later today. (Once updated).

Shippy's avatar

I thought I would once again update on this thread. I have seen my psychiatrist, and was put on medication. I am feeling TONS better. I was having panic attacks and anxiety daily and not sleeping. Pretty much solved on the medications given. I am doing massage now from home, I love it. I cannot explain the peace I get from it, or job satisfaction. I am just kind of battling to pull in enough clients at this stage. But, daily I am dressing up, washing my hair, wearing makeup. I still have bad says where I don’t. But I do walk daily to the local Mall, where I spend hours chatting to various people.

I am in the process of selling my home to relocate. Through this process, I have met many inspiring and interesting people. Both would be buyers, as well as my property agent. She has been fantastic. She will sit for hours telling me how great I am (loll) I find this so endearing as she knows about my depression.

My home currently is filled with candles, lavender, soft lights and just a great ambiance. Before I couldn’t even be bothered to wipe a shelf or do dishes. I am eating a lot better too. I am so grateful for how things seem to be turning. Again, I do get horrendously bad days. But before everyday was horrendously bad. I can honestly say, I am loving life again, I am loving the sunshine in my home, since I pulled open the curtains and allowed the sun to flow through. Things are still not easy with debt collectors and so on, but I am dealing with it. I have a lawyer too looking after my interest for free. I am building mountains by moving the small stones.

Thank you ALL for your kind words and encouragement.

augustlan's avatar

I’m so glad for you, @Shippy! Thank you for keeping us updated.

wundayatta's avatar

That’s great, @Shippy. I’m surprised you’ve had such a fast response to the meds, but that’s great that they are helping.

bkcunningham's avatar

Time flies, @wundayatta. @Shippy‘s original pleas for help was June 2. Today is Oct. 1. Wow. I’m very, very relieved and happy @Shippy is moving into a better place.

ETpro's avatar

@Shippy Thanks for being thoughtful enough to update up with s on your program. When you are service provider. it behooves you to keep all install simple. That the hook they write in to rip you off. Don’t let tnem.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

This depressive learned the hard way:

Therapy for bipolar disorder typically costs double.

Arewethereyet's avatar

@Shippy So glad to see your back on track, It can be a scary sad world when you think your on your own. This is a fabulous group of people, I’m glad we have found each other.

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