Socializing with bipolar disorder

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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Pontus » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:05 pm

Ant wrote:It's about getting your needs met.


That's my focus right now, besides work. Social needs in particular (which explains a lot). Must thank you for bringing this up.
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Paul Dobransky MD » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:16 am

Yow, don't know how I missed this...

The bottom line on Bipolar is to go to a local professional to get a rule out diagnosis (or not)...

It's a complicated disorder, and treatment involves DEFINITE medication, as well as therapy and attention to life's stresses and life choices.

Want to clarify the phenomenologic diagrams in the MindOS book though. It's all psychology, NO brain chemistry. So in answer to your question, those are averages of behavior represented there, whereas any given individual can have a genetic predisposition that can manifest in a very biological disorder like bipolar.

Rather, the personality styles can mimic some disorders that are considered more genetic/biological. Ask your ocal professional, and one of the things they will do is to sort out the difference between things like boundaries and personality style making one look like he has a more biological disorder responsive to medication.
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Ant » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:20 am

I know this detracts from your initial question, but to add to what Dr Paul said above, if you haven't been officially diagnosed, it is worth considering the following.

Diagnoses can be greatly affected by factors such as social position/culture/place.

To illustrate the area of social position, a middle-class, well spoken individual from a 'good' background can go to their local practioner and be diagnosed as having a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder.

An individual with similar symptoms, but from a poorer and less privileged background, is (in the UK at least) statistically more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia (a condition with far more stigma attached). Additionally, even for those individuals that are are 'properly' diagnosed, their conception of their condition is still more likely to be negative compared to the middle-class individual. They are far less likely to identify with their condition in a positive way and allow that to exist in their social lives.

On the issue of 'place', travel to South America and you will see that the number of bipolar disorder diagnoses are relatively few within psychiatry, compared to the high numbers within Europe and America, where the condition has been more widely publicly acknowledged and normalised within diagnositc practice in the past few decades. Where you live can affect your doctor's diagnosis.

Ethnicity is also an issue. Again with universalised treatment, the issue of 'institutional racism' has been highlighted in the UK, whereby patients with the same condition have in recent years been given equal dosage in medication. Contrarily, BIOLOGY dictates that different ethnicities have varying blood-chemistry and therefore medication should be regulated on these grounds. This helps to explain the massive over-proportionality of black-Caribbean people in heavier lock-down units within hospitals in London

These are just some thoughts, but they may affect your medication and therapy choices.

To address your questions again, I would say that it's important that you address balance in socialising. I.e., you have to respect if your condition is causing you to act in a particular way that you have more or less control over. At the same time, meeting people (men and women) is an important part of life, and so of course you have PERMISSION to let yourself be shameless and bold in your interactions. Perhaps trying to keep a firmer grip on your O.E. as you are doing so will help.
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Pontus » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:31 am

Thank you for your extensive thoughts. For me, accepting that I have a disorder (I have gotten some varying diagnoses) has been challenging. I'm still not sure. I'm going to give it time. I have had the luck to meet several doctors in different cities at least, which I think increases the chances of a proper diagnosis.

I'm curious, what do you mean by identifying with your disorder in a positive way? Do you mean using it for creative ends and for making positive things happen instead of seeing it only as an obstacle for living a normal life? How can I identify with it positively?

And I agree, balance is key. Shameless but diplomatic and respectful of the culture and what not. I'm actually practicing O.E. on myself and my environment learning more and more about this. Great stuff.

Thanks Ant and Dr. Paul!
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Ant » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:01 pm

Pontus wrote:For me, accepting that I have a disorder (I have gotten some varying diagnoses) has been challenging. I'm still not sure. I'm going to give it time. I have had the luck to meet several doctors in different cities at least, which I think increases the chances of a proper diagnosis.


Thanks for sharing. I can understand how it would be difficult to accept and so I think it's good you're taking your time and not just accepting what one doctor might say you 'have'. As you're aware, you have your own judgement, so again it's about balancing that with a consensus. It's great you've seen several doctors. Naturally this all depends on the severity of your conidition, but it doesn't sound as if you've had any serious manic episodes?

Pontus wrote:I'm curious, what do you mean by identifying with your disorder in a positive way? Do you mean using it for creative ends and for making positive things happen instead of seeing it only as an obstacle for living a normal life?


This idea is based on a series of interviews I conducted with bipolar individuals for a thesis a few years back. I noticed that some (usually older) individuals tended to embrace a kind of manic identity, whereby they accepted their condition and made it part of them -creatively as well as within personality. Others however tended to reject this condition as part in parcel with their sense of self; acknowledging that they had it but refusing to IDENTIFY with it.

Pontus wrote:How can I identify with it positively?


There are naturally many factors in the story of life which can influence why some people see the positives and others see the negatives. But I think a major thing is the people you are around. If your friends and family are supportive, understanding, patient, open-minded, compassionate, have good boundaries, this is GOOD. They will let you find your way, yet help you when you need it. You will then be able to come into your own more, reducing any stigma you may feel, and just be yourself. Do you have this kind of support network?

Pontus wrote:And I agree, balance is key. Shameless but diplomatic and respectful of the culture and what not. I'm actually practicing O.E. on myself and my environment learning more and more about this.


AWESOME 8)
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Paul Dobransky MD » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:58 pm

First off while this is not a medical site, be it known that bipolar can easily be mimicked by various things from substance abuse, to PTSD, to the need to mature and grow up with better boundaries and Observing Ego, to ADD.

The list goes on, which is also why it is interesting the things you talk about many men without bipolar also face.

See it this way - regardless of what you or THEY call your behavior, you are male, and a MAN, and that means many things that have nothing to do with a diagnosis.

One of the great things about MindOS is that it is "phenomenological." That means that it explains what you see on the surface of peoples' behavior in a way that is "predictive" like an engineer "predicts" what will be a good design for a bridge, or when a bridge will fall, or how long the fuselage of a plane will last before it needs to be replaced. It's "what you see happening."

So when a guy is appealing to women, at the core, he is showing MASCULINE traits unconsciously, and those are picked up by the woman's unconscious. He is showing CONFIDENCE emotionally, and the woman feels happier and safer around that - so she feels friendship for you and love. And when you have good boundaries and Observing Ego the woman feels that you are trustworthy and able to keep your word, able to protect her and bond intellectually as a team to solve problems together - absolute requirements of a commitment along with communication, collaboration and compromise ability.

These are the three phases of courtship in the Omega Male Program at:

http://www.menspsychology.com/courses/miwomen

When we are talking about the reaction of males to you, it simply takes the romantic connection out of the picture and what is left is still friendship and interest in being on the same TEAM as you - the reptilian aspect would simply cause other men to FOLLOW you or feel BROTHERHOOD with you as opposed obviously to romantic interest. So the same brain circuitry is involved and working but to different ends.

Men's instincts and masculinity are fully covered in the Mature Masculine Power Program at:

Http://www.menspsychology.com/courses/miman

These ideas work ALONGSIDE any standard diagnosis or treatment that you get.

So what you are revealing is that you have to work on the focus ability that goes along with Observing Ego and the discipline and dependability that go along with having good BOUNDARIES. You can learn these two regardless of whatever diagnosis you have, although the ability to focus is often affected by a major disorder that is uncontrolled or unmedicated.

So some thoughts there...
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Pontus » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:19 pm

Thank you Dr. Paul. I have been in a wasteland of sorts trying to get back. This week I have been doing a lot of mindful courage, being aware of the boundaries of myself and my environment. I have for instance continued to work on that social anxiety that comes up at times, using boundaries, O.E. and courage. I have also been inspired to write out a mission statement for myself. Something I have been mulling over for a long time but now have gotten down with great satisfaction.

Yes, I'm using the MP material alongside standard medical therapy and it is very powerful and useful. The boundary notion of it as well as the observing ego focus as you put it is something I will need to give some extra attention. I do well at first socially but then the boundaries are just not there. Going to work on that.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Paul Dobransky MD » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:54 am

Awesome. Good on you.
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby candidincanada » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:17 pm

Dr Paul,

You are without question the best doctor of psychology I have ever followed. If anybody can help me, you can. What do you know about Borderline Personality Disorder? An illness that basically turns mature men into immature women. An illness that makes a grown man needier than an infant. An illness that renders me completely incapable of ever having a shred of self-esteem even if I earn it with every breath in my body. An illness that causes feelings of guilt and discomfort absolutely every second of my life. An illness that not one doctor on the entire internet has one word of advice for (besides enrolling in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which I don't start until March 20).

I have suffered horribly and intensely my entire life. I am 32 years old and I have the worries of a man of over 100 years. To make matters worse, I only got this diagnosis one month ago. (For the last 8 years, my doctor thought I had Bipolar Disorder.) The statistics I saw say that less than one third of sufferers recover from BPD, and that one out of ten sufferers commit suicide. I am scared. These people are damaged. They are bottomless pits of needs. They don't get any better. This is psychotic-x-girlfriend disease. This isn't supposed to happen to men. Have you ever treated any MEN with this illness? I feel like I have cervical cancer in my soul.

I'm sorry you had to read this. -CinC
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Re: Socializing with bipolar disorder

Postby Pontus » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:38 pm

Just wanted to revisit this. I'm doing great at the moment. Have made massive improvement in my boundaries, self-awareness and in my preferences in life (very important). Also in self-esteem (lots of both Assertiveness and systematic Courage, which helps the socializing part). I'm studying half-time and doing a job on the side right now. I'm socializing and am a part of a great team (at work). I feel I have achieved a good balance on things. Going to the gym, exercising and eating healthy has done wonders for me too. I have been journaling hard, everyday. I think my major improvement has been in my Observing Ego ability. I have this awesome calm right now and I'm aware of what I'm doing and saying in a whole different way (it's very exciting to start to see psychology, in myself and others, just so cool). And others treat me differently too. So thank you for your answers and teachings. I'll be continuing studying them diligently. And I'm also doing a major evalutation on the bipolar diagnosis right now.

Again, thanks.
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