I’m a 24 year old female who just got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I am very surprised with this diagnosis and don’t know what to do or what to expect.
Bipolar Disorder consists of extreme mood changes between depression and happiness (called mania). These episodes of depression and euphoria can be triggered by situations that may seem trivial and unrelated and that is why it may be confusing for you and the people around you to deal with a bipolar patient. However, Bipolar Disorder can be treated by taking the right medication prescribed by your psychiatrist. Regular therapy sessions also help you and the people around you deal with symptoms of the disorder. I would suggest you see your therapist and ask him / her to provide you with an appropriate plan to tackle your disorder. Now, there are a lot of research that believes Bipolar Disorder is manageable with the proper care and medication, so please the earlier you start with therapy, the more at ease you and your family will feel.
I am a 30 year old female and I have been engaged for a year. Recently I began experiencing some depression and I have been very irritable and frustrated with my fiancé. I don’t mean to be that way because I love him and care about him. What hurts me most is that a part of me expects him to understand and another part of me feels bad because he thinks he is one of the reasons for my depression.
It is not unusual to feel depressed or frustrated when you are in a long term relationship. These feeling may be normal given that at the the age of 30, you are ready to start a family and move on with the relationship. And if your fiancé doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it, or if he is not as ready as you are to move to the next step, this may make you feel depressed and frustrated. It is also not unusual for your fiancé to feel that he may be the reason behind your depression especially if you don’t share with him your feelings and explain the reason behind your frustration and if you are constantly irritated by whatever he does.
I suggest if it is true that you are frustrated because his inability to finalize marriage plans, please discuss it with him. If this is not the only trigger for your mood change, try to find out other reasons behind your depression and frustration and then talk to your fiancé about it, and together you should be able to reach a solution for the issues that are behind your negative feelings. If that means moving on to the next step, your fiancé needs to be aware of that so that you can find a solution that would make you both satisfied. Remember if you can’t communicate now then when will you? The most successful marriages are those who talk with each other about anything and everything. Good luck!
I am a 24 year old male recently diagnosed with MS. I am very spiritual and faithful and I think I am handling it well but I am so worried about my family members as they don’t seem to be handling it that well.
Thanks, MS patient
It seems that you are coping well with MS, and it is normal to be concerned about how your family is dealing with the stress, but I can assure you that nothing would make them feel better more than your ability to positively cope with MS. Communicate your fears and concerns to them and ask them to discuss their concerns with you. This would be healthy for your relationship with your family members, and would allow them to adapt to the needs of the situation. MS usually conjures up supportive and nurturing qualities in partners and family members, but caregiving should never evolve into pity. Discussion sessions between family members and professional psychologists can help identify personal, appropriate boundaries to refrain from over-protectiveness and to preserve the independence of all family members. We are very proud that you are not victimizing yourself or minimizing your potentials just because of MS, keep up the good work!
I’m a mother of an 18 year old boy. Recently I have noticed concerning changes in his behavior. He sometimes talks to himself and claims that he sees or hears things that none of the family members can see or hear. Until last year he had high grades in school but recently his school grades are becoming considerably lower than before. What should I do and how could I help him?
Regards, concerned mom
It is sometimes hard for teenagers to cope with personal changes and challenges and parents often assume it is a phase of difficult adolescence which may lead teenagers to exhibit behaviors that are unusual. However, I understand your concern towards the changes in your son’s behavior, as they might be symptoms of schizophrenia. It is a complex illness that tends to emerge during teen years and young adulthood and may be triggered by environmental factors in people who are genetically at risk, or have a family history of the illness.
Schizophrenia makes it difficult to differentiate between real and unreal experiences and also can cause problems with concentration, anxiety, and social isolation. These symptoms are easily controlled with antipsychotic medications, which are the most effective treatments for schizophrenia. However, psychiatric examination is necessary before a complete diagnosis. Therefore, I advise you to talk to your son about your concerns in his behavior, encouraging him to see a psychiatrist immediately before his symptoms get worse. If he is not able to control his delusions, pursuing normal activities such as, finishing school, going out with friends, communicating with family members and other social obligations will be impossible. Remember the earlier he gets evaluated by a psychiatrist the sooner he will get better.
For psychological advice, send your questions to [email protected]. Please note that not all questions can be published. Dr. Juliet and Dr. Nisrine are bilingual and bicultural expert psychologists on various personal and social issues. Visit www.kaizen-ke.com or follow them on Facebook: kaizen2q8.