I have a rant/question. Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar disorder. My parents don't believe me but there are comfortable enough to "diagnose" my younger sister with the same illnesses because "she acts like how we think bipolar people act". I told them how this is inappropriate and how ridiculous it is that they are comparing my diagnosis from a professional to what they see on tv. I eventually just cut to the root of it and asked them why they don't believe me. My mother told me that it's because I am so smart that if I wanted to fake a mental illness I could, and do it well enough to fool a doctor. Oh, and that I'm doing it for attention. I was so upset that I actually asked to be reevaluated just to prove to myself that I'm not a lying, attention seeking person. Even after that, I still question my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions on the whole thing. I guess what I want to know is, how do I know that what I'm experiencing is real and if it is, how do I proceed from here?
I'm sorry your family isn't being a better support system to you. I found out back in 2013 that I had bipolar and PTSD. Back then, I was engaged to someone who was emotionally abusive and gaslit me into thinking that I wasn't truly trying to work through this. In addition, my parents were dealing with a divorce and my grandparents were in their final stages of life. My father is bipolar and at the time was not managing his condition well and my mother is a narcissist. It took so many years for me to feel like I had people who wanted to understand me. I felt like I was battling my inner demons all by myself. I broke off my engagement, distanced myself from my parents, and moved to another state. Many years later of self discovery and I still struggle with my conditions, but I eventually found a partner who knew I was bipolar and wanted to support my journey. I found friends and family that were a better support system. Eventually my dad also got the help he needed and he became a better parent. The journey through mental health problems is a long one, but you find yourself having breakthroughs along the way and before you know it you've made progress. Take it one day at a time and focus on yourself before others in this time. Find the skills that work for you and help you cope. I found that making art and exercising helped my moods so much. There will be moments where it feels impossible and you backslide, but don't let that discourage you from continuing your march forward. You can do this, even when your support system isn't being supportive. You just have to find a better support system.
Your experience is real to you. That's what matters. Your truth may not be the same as other peoples' truth, but that doesn't make it false. Don't let others make you feel like your experience is illigitimate. They haven't been through what you have.
I'm really sorry about your family. It's one thing to deny your diagnosis, but to also accuse you of attention seeking is disgusting. Unfortunately, the general public has a really inaccurate concept of bipolar disorder (and mental illness itself). I was diagnosed in 2008 and I think my parents are finally getting it. They never denied my diagnosis, they just had no concept of mental illness. They couldn't understand why I couldn't "snap myself out of" depression.
Don't worry about trying to convince people of your diagnosis. It's exhausting and not really their business. It's between you and your doctor. Surround yourself with people who support you. During a six week manic episode, I had an affair with my ex, told my husband I was leaving him, was verbally and psychologically abusive to him (eg bragging about the sex, etc), and I relapsed on alcohol. And you know what he said as he was moving out? "Call me whenever you need me. I'll be there to catch you when you fall." That was five years ago and we are doing great. He knew me for who I really am and understood that I was not myself at the time. He was still extremely hurt and it took a long time for him to get over it. I was in disbelief at what I had done, but I didn't try to make excuses, because that would be like saying his experience was illigitimate. I have to accept the consequences of my actions, even if I didn't do them intentionally or in my right mind.
I kind of went on a tangent there, but what I was trying to say is that you will find people who will be supportive. Just stay true to yourself and focus on getting healthy.
I actually get that. My mother is the same way. Other than she didn't do that with my brother. My brother is the "golden child" he can't do no wrong. I got diagnosed with my physical illness and then we got my mental health checked and they diagnosed me with three different things and she called me a liar and that couldn't be true but my step-dad didn't do that. But they weren't together they were separated. But found out I had only 4 mental illness and which she still called lies after being in bhs twice and being honest about things in childhood, she still said I was doing it for attention but you know what I figured out it was real in my experience and thats all that matters. Family's opinions doesn't matter because my mental health, or even your own mental health is important so what if they don't believe you. Its their loss that they don't want to believe you. Because eventually they will learn what they lost. They lost the a beautiful person. Because our mental health issues don't describe us at all. Don't let it describe you. Message me if you like too. I would love to get to know you.
I feel like this is some toxic trait a lot of families have. My family is like this too. I have an older brother and I'm his female sibling. My parents always favored him even though he never really did anything with his life. Plus, they always chose to believe him and question anything I say as well. Sometimes it's best to keep distance from family.
i agree with you on keeping distance. I keep trying with my mother and I keep getting hurt and I honestly have learned dont. And it is so common. I have learned family doesn't have to be blood either. Family is who you call family. And that is ok too.
I am in the same boat. My parents think I lied about my mental health. Because I am not ‘crazy’ enough to them. But when my brother brought it up they fully believed him with out a diagnosis.
I know it’s not health but I try to mask around my family. We were never a touchy feelly family. I was never able to show emotion other than happiness or anger. Or I would get in trouble.
Now I try to avoid them at all cost. Only going to family events in a good mental health day, not talk about my meds around them.
Anyways good luck with your family.
Do they stop you from taking meds? If not, just ignore them. Their opinion doesn't need to matter. They're shitty parents and in a few years you can completely cut ties with them. My parents believed in my diagnosis when i was in hospital after suicide attempt and well I'd rather have them not believe that experience that.
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