[MOL] Re: bi polar [13136] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Re: bi polar



Hi Martha,
Thanks for your input.  Actually, I've gone the route of ACoA, AL-ANON,
and working w/a social worker experienced in alcoholic families.  I
thought I'd come a long way until I had a bad experience w/my last job. 
Turns out I'd sunk into another depression and hadn't pulled out of it on
my own after all.  Learning that all of these mental conditions were
genetic (discovered through doing genealogy) *really* threw me, because
then I feared I was manic-depressive like dad.  Fortunately I went to see
a psychiatrist and a psychologist and now I'm on medication and I'm
trying to work on myself again. :-)  And yes, I experienced a lot of
anger towards both parents.  Sometimes I still have some anger, but for
the most part understanding, time, and  counseling have brought peace.   
Also, I had a "talk session" at my dad's grave that seemed to help some.
-Jean

On Mon, 27 Jul 1998 10:56:10 -0000 "Martha S Cerreto"
<MJTCERRETO@prodigy.net> writes:
>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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