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Topic : 08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

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Created on : Friday, March 03, 2006, 12:43:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 03/07/06) Dr. Phil explores the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. This illness takes its victims on an emotional rollercoaster ride -- from elation to extreme irritability, intense rage, or devastating depression. First, Cathy was diagnosed with Bipolar II, 10 years ago and claims she goes from zero to psycho in 15 seconds. Dr. Phil takes a look at the toll her disorder takes on her two boys, and brings the family together for a dramatic moment of emotional healing. Then, during various manic episodes, Fred has stolen a taxi, crashed into a Starbucks, and climbed to the top of a church. He hears voices and believes that movie stars like Denzel Washington and Robert De Niro are talking to him through their movies. Still, Fred thinks he’s ready to move out of his parents’ house and live on his own for good … but should his family let him? Talk about the show here.

 

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July 14, 2008, 10:16 am CDT

been there

Quote From: killerb255

Sorry, but I think at this point you should be ashamed of yourself.  Don't get me wrong: this is a result of a lack of education, but you should be ashamed nonetheless.  You don't tell someone in a wheelchair that they can stand up and walk if they wanted to badly enough!  Therefore, you don't tell someone with bipolar disorder that they can control their ups and downs if they wanted to badly enough! 

  

Many people don't look at mental disorders in the same way as, say, a physical disorder.  Mental disorders aren't as transparent.  If someone's missing a leg, you can see that, and if you're good at seeing things from perspective, you can empathize with the person (you may not be able to do so to the point of emulating the exact experience that person had, but...) 

  

Don't get me wrong.  Some people do hyper-exaggerate their limits, making it easy to use their disorders as an excuse for their actions.  Their actions are not any more right because they have a disorder, BUT...if they were able to exercise full control of their actions, it wouldn't be a disorder, wouldn't it? 

Just a different point of view from someone who has been there.  I do see your point that of course you should not pick on someone in a wheelchair.  But, let's say I have a diabetic friend that stuffs his face full of donuts and then just doesn't take his insulin for three days?  Where's that land him?  Yep....in a diabetic coma.  Is that his fault?  You bet!  Can I hold him responsible?  Darn right, I can!  These bipolar patients can be down right manipulative.......I know.........I've been married to one for 20 years!  They cycle on and off their meds and can and SHOULD be held accountable for their behavior.  The bottom line is they CAN help it at times because they CHOOSE to be off their meds.  Now, before I get a bunch of nasty hate mail.........I know it's not a catch all.  It's not all bipolar patients that do this, thank goodness.  Some are completely compliant and do have difficulties with cycling even on the medicines.  The difference with these folks is that they are in tune with their bodies and are usually working closely with their health care providers to avoid these episodes and manage the hurt that they would and do cause others.  Being realistic....no one in their right mind wants to cause another person pain.  The fact is, a noncompliant patient is ON their medicine when they choose to go off them.  Get my drift?  It's part of the "illness", I know, but it's a choice we have with any illness.........to choose wellness and the treatment or to chuck it all and hurt the people we love.  Can you tell I'm sick of living with it or what?  hee hee!
 
July 16, 2008, 9:39 am CDT

here's what you do

Quote From: amalina52

Dear Sir, I hope things are getting better for you. Please stay on your meds even if you have to take one that isn't quite the best one for you. Take lithium if you are having problems with the cost. Anything is better than nothing at all.

Here's what you do.......

 

1.  Admit you are mentally ill

2.  Go to the doctor

3.  Write down what he tells you to do

4.  If you are having problems obtaining meds....tell him...samples, state funded med program, generics, drug company funded drugs....there WILL be some way to get your meds if YOU WANT TO

5.  Do what you wrote down on the piece of paper

6.  Make a counselor/therapy appointment

7.  Keep the appointment

8.  Make and keep all follow up appointments

9.  Keep going even when you feel well

10.  Keep taking your meds even when you feel well

11. Don't give up

 
July 30, 2008, 4:54 pm CDT

So True

Quote From: domerdude

Cathy goes from zero to psycho in 15 seconds? I sincerely hope that the Dr. Phil show does not sensationalize this illness on national television. First of all, the term "psycho" is pejorative. To your average viewer that means out-of-control angry and violent. To be responsible, Dr. Phil must explain psychosis in a way that dispels the notion that we are violent and dangerous to others. Otherwise he runs the risk of making people fear us. 

  

This is a serious disorder, but it has been my experience as someone with the classic form, bipolar disorder I, that it manifests itself in altogether different way for many of us. I exhibited a great deal of delusional thinking and behavior when I was manic and sometimes when I was severely depressed. I saw secret meaning in movies, songs, books and other external media. I thought The Today Show was being produced specifically for my benefit and that Katie and Matt were speaking directly to me. I thought a lot of peculiar things. But I was never "psycho." Most of my fantasies were just in my head and were harmless to everyone but me. I think terms like "psycho" and "crazy" are going to upset a lot of bipolar people watching your show if that is what takes place. 

  

Are these people taking medication? Your show needs to touch on the difficulties of bipolar people who take their medication...not just those who don't. What about our prospects for love and acceptance? I don't know, I haven't watched the show yet, so I will reserve the rest of my comments for later, but I just hope so much that the illness will be characterized accurately. The Dr. Phil Show goes out to so many people and just sensationalizing the illness could do more harm then good in the way we are perceived. 

  

I will write more when I've actually watched the show. 

  

  

  

  

  

I agree. I have yet to see a show from anyone who touches on the challenges who are getting treatment and are successful parents. Seems like everyone jumps at the moment someone who is bipolar is envolved in a tragic situation, but never shines a little light on the rest of us. Although these tragic situations happens, it does do a good job of increasing stigmas surrounding us. I really wish we could get some shows that reach so far out there about how we are not all like that.
 
July 30, 2008, 5:02 pm CDT

08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: wings2fly

  

I hope that Dr Phil addresses the financial burden associated with a mental illness.  Even though I 

am insured, there is still a problem with parity in insurance.  Most insurance pays for only a very 

small portion of treatment, especially if you don't  choose a therapist in their network.  I have been 

to plenty of therapists and phychaitrists.  It is in my best interest to see the person who is the most 

effective in treating me, as apposed to someone in the network who isn't as effective. 

  

Most of us with mental illness require several medications.  These medications are not cheap. 

Bewteen my therapy, my medications, my phychiatrist, I spend a small fortune just to get well and 

stay well.  If I have to choose , how to I determine what to give up; should a skip a few weeks of 

therapy or give up one of my medications. 

  

I didn't ask for this disease, I didin't get it because of a character flaw or because I did something wrong or bad.  I have the misfortune of  bad genes and a phathological childhood; neither of 

which is my fault. 

  

I am committed to healing myself and my children.  My 15 year old daughter is suffering from 

depression.  She is on medication and in therapy.  I have passed on my flawed genes and 

disfunctional behavior just as it was passed on to me.  It stops here and it stops now. 

My parents ignored my problems/issues. I will not do this.  My children and I deserve better. 

We deserve to live a life where our gifts can be nourchured and  our souls can shine. We deserve 

to live a life free of depression so deep it steals away your spirit and mania that steals your mind. 

  

I have been handed this HORRIBLE situation and I have passed it on to the people I love the most. 

I am trying so hard to heal us and treat us but the cost of this makes it very difficult and adds  

substantial stress. 

  

The burden of cost is the problem many of us face to be able to stay well. To put it in a dramatic way, I feel like it's being handed a sentance down you don't have a choice in. For me, I don't have insurance, or a way to get insurance, and even if I could quailify for insurance the cost would be to much to handle outside. As much as I want treatment to stay well for my kids, I don't have the option to recieve it. I am luck to have a great support system and a very structured limited lifestyle to avoid all triggers, stress, or anything else that might cause problems. I only hope something will change to make it a possibility.
 
July 30, 2008, 5:16 pm CDT

08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: animal2468

Just a different point of view from someone who has been there.  I do see your point that of course you should not pick on someone in a wheelchair.  But, let's say I have a diabetic friend that stuffs his face full of donuts and then just doesn't take his insulin for three days?  Where's that land him?  Yep....in a diabetic coma.  Is that his fault?  You bet!  Can I hold him responsible?  Darn right, I can!  These bipolar patients can be down right manipulative.......I know.........I've been married to one for 20 years!  They cycle on and off their meds and can and SHOULD be held accountable for their behavior.  The bottom line is they CAN help it at times because they CHOOSE to be off their meds.  Now, before I get a bunch of nasty hate mail.........I know it's not a catch all.  It's not all bipolar patients that do this, thank goodness.  Some are completely compliant and do have difficulties with cycling even on the medicines.  The difference with these folks is that they are in tune with their bodies and are usually working closely with their health care providers to avoid these episodes and manage the hurt that they would and do cause others.  Being realistic....no one in their right mind wants to cause another person pain.  The fact is, a noncompliant patient is ON their medicine when they choose to go off them.  Get my drift?  It's part of the "illness", I know, but it's a choice we have with any illness.........to choose wellness and the treatment or to chuck it all and hurt the people we love.  Can you tell I'm sick of living with it or what?  hee hee!
Being bipolar myself, I can see both sides of people who use the disorder to manipulate other and people who don't. I know what it is like to be placed on treatment and the extreme challenge of being on such a structured situation. You feel trapped by it and you can't get out. I have done my far share of choosing to be or not to be on my meds. At the time I choose not to take them any more, I was on eight different medications. I had morning meds, afternoon meds, bedtime meds. I had charting, diet restrictions because of certain medications, and endless appointments with everyone and their brother. All on top of trying to work and be a mother. You feel really trapped - unfortunately it's just a part of the disorder. When my boss had to hire someone to be with me all the time because i was so zoned off the meds I couldn't work and people coming and going at all hours to look in on me like I need a babysitter (which I did even if I didn't like it) I had enough. I couldn't be me. I couldn't even remember my phone number, my address, anything I was so bad. Anyways, yes there are people who use it as a manipulation, other who don't. there are people who are trying hard and others who don't. Although we can always control our moods, we can always try to do our best. I do believe, even if I can't control the fact I just exploded at my husband because I can't find the dish towel, I do have a responsibility to appoligize for it. And if you have a good support system who care for you very much, they not only accept your sorry but also work to help you.   
 
July 30, 2008, 5:26 pm CDT

08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: maxxy96

My 30 year old daughter is bi-polar.  I guess I do not understand her behavior.  I have seen her really get angry and mad and I have also seen her act okay.  I think she can control herself if she wanted to badly enough.  Recently, to take care of myself, I have told her that she was not going  to be allowed to scream and yell at me anymore.  She would treat me with respect or not at all.   I am prepared to have no more contact with her at all if she does not  treat me right.................bipolar or not! 

maxxy 96. 

It's very frustration and challenge to deal with someone with bipolar. I know that there was a comment about how you shoud be ashamed of yourself for not want to any more contact with your daughter, but to a point you should. First, their is a misconception of being able to control herself if she wanted. This isn't always the case - sometimes no matter how hard I try and work towards controlling it doesn't happen. You spend so much time listen to everyone tell you to control it and the more you try the more it builts. When I reach that limit, I can have a melt down and don't even remember afterwards what I did. In this situation, even being in your daughters spot, I have to praise you for standing up for yourself and not letting her treat you without respecting you. I don't think you should be ashamed of yourself - but to defend the other side, if your daughter is being treated, is making an honest effort, and taking responsibility for her actions then she really really needs support. But if their is no effort and no responsibility for her actions, then sometimes we have to fall on our faces hard to learn. either way there is always a risk.
 
July 30, 2008, 5:28 pm CDT

08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: kzacmm81

I sent an email to Dr. phil to do a show on bipolar disorder.  I am a sufferer of bipolar and after watching the shows Dr. phil had in the past, I am upset that that is the vision that people get of us sufferers with bipolar disorder.  Yes we do go from angry to upset to depressed to agitated and sometimes feel we are crazy and there is no hope for the normal mindframe but after watching the mother who beats her kids and the man who thinks movie stars are talking to him, i questioned my self and said..."maybe Im not this? these people are crazy."  What about doing a show on the real effects, the triggers, types of psycho-therapies, and suggestions for family members on to help and support without feeling frustrated and giving up.  It is easy for bipolar people to give up once we feel better.  And again, it is based on our mood.  We have trouble keeping and making long term decisions sometimes because many a times do we base our decisions on our mood, but it can change tomorrow.  As for the mother who reacted to her children by putting them down and degrading them, i feel sorry for her and hope for a recovery of her relationship with her children.  I am a single mother of a 3 and 4 yr. old and it is very hard to control your emotions.  But we dont all act like that to our kids.  I feel sorry for mine that when they talk to me sometimes i cant think clear.  But were not all monsters to our kids.  More extreme moods? yes.  monsters?  no.
I can't agree more. We have extreme moods, but not all of us are monsters. I wish the shows on bipolar disorder would show that.
 
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