Re: [MOL] Re: bi polar [13122] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Re: bi polar



Dear Jean,

A lot of times people who are manic depressive, and have other illnesses,
use alcohol to sort of self-medicate.  They don't know that they are manic
depressive, have all these extremes of emotional experience and are trying
to sort of regulate their inner selves.  Unfortunately, alcohol does not
lend itself to this kind of use without becoming destructive to the user's
health.

The only way to tell for sure is get and keep someone in a hospital, and
detox them from the alcohol.  Then an expert can analyze the personality
that's left.

Growing up is, I suppose, very hard for everybody.  But even harder in a 
family where somebody is afflicted with alcoholism.  People have written
reams of books on the subject; one child tries to take care of everyone and
is an overachiever, another child becomes kind of a problem child.  Extreme
anger by the kids towards one parent is real common, even in families that
stay together.  The alcoholism makes life so damn hard on the kids, it's
only natural that some might want to be really angry at at least one
parent.  Of course, we hope that as they grow, they seek help and can work
it out.

Just a psychiatric social worker, putting away my shingle,

Have a good day,

Martha Cerreto

 

----------
> From: Thomas A Johnson <jtjohnson@juno.com>
> To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
> Subject: [MOL] Re: bi polar
> Date: Monday, July 27, 1998 12:23 PM
> 
> Vicci,
> Good luck with it all.  Sounds like you've been through a lot of stress
> with your sister-in-law and Rich.  I haven't had all that much exposure
> to bi-polar disorder because my brother and I haven't been in touch all
> of that much until recently.  And I always attributed my dad's problem to
> the drinking.  Only after doing genealogy and contacting a relative who's
> a psychiatrist did I learn the family history of manic-depression,
> depression, and ocd.  I had, of course, heard that dad was
> manic-depressive (bi-polar), as well as alcoholic, but I always had
> assumed he was just misdiagnosed (as some alcoholics are).  Behavior,
> hmm?  Well, Mom said my dad would often just disappear for days on end
> (this is before he began drinking) and then deliberately walk across her
> path one day.  It would turn out that he had been staying at a motel. 
> This was prior to their marriage.  She just didn't take this behavior
> seriously enough, I guess.  Dad had a way of working his way up to high
> positions in companies by back-stabbing people.  Then, once he reached
> the top, he'd just get upset about something and walk out.  Dad had a way
> of cycling between feelings of superiority and feelings of failure.  I
> think this happened after he began drinking.  I'm unsure if it happened
> prior to that.  I know a doctor once recommended shock therapy for him,
> but then he "snapped out of it" before they could do it.  Dad could start
> out a conversation all pleasant and nice and then he'd twist around what
> was being said and criticize.  I always thought this was due just to the
> drinking, but...  And Mom said Dad was paranoid - thinking that if she
> closed the blinds she was signaling a lover! (Even though it was Dad who
> ended up being unfaithful to her.  Some poor woman - a country singer in
> Alex., VA, who he was involved in an affair with and  who must have been
> depressed herself - called the house to speak to Dad just prior to
> committing suicide.)  Weird behavior that I had always attributed to the
> drinking, even though Dad was a teetotaler for many, many years - didn't
> start drinking until he got involved in the the printing industry.  But
> he was addicted to codeine (prescribed for his migraines) from a very
> young age.  Anyway, that's our experience.  I think the physical,
> emotional, and borderline sexual abuse we endured was probably due mostly
> to the drinking.  I am so very glad those days are over, although I still
> get nervous around big fights.   Being a typical alcoholic family, I
> would often jump into the middle to break up my parent's fight.  And Mom
> would find the whiskey bottles beneath Dad's mattress and pour the
> contents down the drain.  The typical story of many an alcoholic family. 
> Fortunately, we didn't end up on the street like some children do.  Mom
> pulled us out of it.
> 
> So our experience w/Dad is so intertwined w/the drinking that it's hard
> to tell which behavior was from what!  Probably the disappearing and
> re-appearing were related to the manic-depression.  Probably the cycles
> where he worked his way up to the vice-presidency of companies and then
> haughtily threw it all away were results of the manic-depression. 
> Probably the paranoia was due to the manic-depression.  Interesting.  I
> learn more and more about my dad every day and I can only feel sorry for
> him.  What a tortured life these people must lead.
> 
> I don't see any of this behavior in my brother except that he *has*
> talked about a roller coaster type feeling and he expresses a huge anger
> towards women.  Of course, he lived many years w/dad who expressed a lot
> of anger towards my mom.  My brother feels driven, too, to start his own
> business (like dad), but be more Christian-like than my dad was. 
> However, my brother is nearly constantly broke.  I just don't see him
> often enough, though, to identify the manic-depression.  All I know is
> that my psychologist (when my brother came in w/me once to see her) said
> she thinks he might have the disorder.  And another person to whom he
> spoke said he seemed very manic at the time.  When I first learned about
> the family history, I was afraid I'd find out that I'm manic-depressive,
> but my psychologist and I couldn't identify any manic episodes (Thank
> God!) - only one episode where I probably was on the edge of a nervous
> breakdown (my first year away at college).  All we could come up with
> were many periods of depression throughout my life - depression I'd
> always attributed to the effects of dad's drinking and behavior I'd
> adopted from it.  Now I know better.  And the more knowledge I get about
> this, the more I'm able to release anger towards my dad. :-)
> 
> Oh well, sorry I can't be of more help.  Joicy probably has a better take
> on all of this.  I was just a kid trying to survive and confused by
> everything!  I thought my dad didn't love me until I got therapy and
> realized he was so tortured and ill that he didn't have much left over to
> give anyone else.
> -Jean
> P.S.  See what I mean about the victim mentality?  First thought when
> people act like they don't care is:  they don't like me.  Why should
> they?  What's wrong with me?
> I guess that's why the therapist wants me to get out among live people
> more often - so I'll become more other-oriented, rather than
> self-absorbed.
> 
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