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07/12/2012 11:01 AM

I can't make good decisions;

doxies
 
Posts: 6
Member

I have had bipolar 2 probably since I was in my late teens. It was diagnosed as depression for over 30 years. I am now in my late 50's and still struggling with it. My problem at this point is I can't make major life decisions without questioning them. I am an RN who has been working in the field for over 25 years. The job is way too stressful, but I have always tried hanging in. I'm at the point where I have run out of sick leave, and am out on state disability. I know this is not permanent, but I don't think going back to work is an option anymore. I'm terrified of what is going to happen to me. I know I can't work anymore. I just want to be happy...is that even possible with this illness? I can't trust my decision making because I have a history of doing such a poor job.
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07/12/2012 11:49 AM
bizchosis
 
Posts: 24
Member

Can you retire?

My friend can't hold a job for more than two months. He goes into a manic episode everytime he works. It's too much for him to handle. I have panic attacks when I work. I have never figured out why. I'm in the process of getting diagnosed for whatever it is I have so hopefully I get this all figured out soon.


07/12/2012 07:03 PM
doxies
 
Posts: 6
Member

To bizchosis: I'm actually in the process of working on the retirement. Due to my illness I have moved around about every 5 years so I don't have a good retirement set up. Part of my illness has been moving from job to job, thus the only retirement I will have will be from my present pension of only 5+ yrs service and an extremely small 401k. But at this point I think I will have to survive on little. I do have the panic and anxiety disorders on top of the bipolar 2, so needless to say it is a challenge. Every little decision I have to make I'm not sure if it is the right thing to do or not. I'm thinking money is secondary to my mental stability at this point. I hope you get a diagnosis soon. It took me forever to get the right one. At least then you can get proper treatment.

07/13/2012 06:18 AM
uppitywoman
uppitywoman  
Posts: 42714
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Welcome to the group, doxies! Glad you are joining us. I'm kind of in the same boat when it comes to retirement income. Though I hope to work a while longer, I have only been full time for about three years and you have to work at least five to be vested in the program. At this point I don't have a lot in there and they are talking about not being able to pay out 100% by the time I hope to retire. So, I may not get a lot.

I have made bad decisions at times, too. All you can do is chalk it up to experience and move on. Agonizing over it just causes you to become paralyzed and that sounds like how you are. When I am faced with a major decision, I look at the pros and cons and see which out weighs the other. I also bounce things off close trusted people whose intelligence and good judgment I esteem. It helps to get different perspectives. Don't allow the past to keep you from dealing with the present.

Yes, it is very possible to be happy in spite of this condition. Getting stabilized with medications is a big part of it. It's much easier to cope with life if you are not having roller coaster emotions. I have been pretty much stable for several years and have a happy life. I experience ups and downs, yes, but not extreme. I like to think they are the same as those without mental illness. So, look forward to the future. Let the past be in the past and focus on today.

Feel free to post elsewhere and you can always PM (private message) me or any other group leader.


07/13/2012 08:16 AM
sarahtroy
sarahtroy  
Posts: 14317
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi, Welcome to MDJ. This is a very supportive, encouraging and informative group. If you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me or any one of the other group leaders so we can help.

You seem to refer to 3 issues with your decision-making. A history of poor decisions (and regret?), anticipatory anxiety or avoidance about making any decisions now, and just plain old indecisiveness. If this is accurate, I think each of these 3 things needs a slightly different approach.

Did you know indecisiveness (inability to make decisions) is one of the criteria for major depression??? So, this could be due (or partly due) to your bipolar. Regarding this, I would talk with my psychiatrist (pdoc) and my psychologist (tdoc,) if you have one.

If you are not already in treatment with a licensed clinical psychologist (tdoc), I would strongly recommend that you do so immediately, while you have insurance and can afford it. (Even though the expense might mean you have to make sacrifices in other areas.) (Go to your local county mental health center if you must, but insist on a psychologist.) You'd probably be better off with a psychologist in the community who has treated bipolars. I feel strongly about you getting in treatment, because therapy can help all 3 areas of your problems making decisions, and help you to make better decisions now. A psychologist can also help you get onto social security disability if you wind-up having to consider long-term disability.

Your history of poor decisions is typical of bipolars, so quit beating yourself up over it. Forgive yourself. You are not alone in this respect. There are no "do overs" in life, but there are plenty of decisions to make from this point forward. This is also something to talk about with your psychiatrist and psychologist.

The 3rd thing to talk about with your psychiatrist and psychologist is your anticipatory anxiety or indecisiveness over making decisions now. In the meanwhile, I'd look at every day as filled with hundreds of choices. Every time I made a decision about a choice, I'd praise myself. For example, deciding what you do first thing in the morning requires making a decision, so does making a phone call or choosing what to have for dinner, what time to go to bed, etc. You need to build your confidence up about how you can make good decisions every day, even if they are about small things.

And finally, I went through the same thing you are going through and have not yet been able to go back (I'm on SSDI). The biggest mistake I made while receiving state disability was not planning for the chance that I might not be able to work again due to my denial about the extent of my bipolar problems. I didn't get into therapy with a psychologist back when I could afford it. I also tried to hold on to a lot of things by maintaining a lifestyle I could not maintain if I went on SSDI. A consult with an SSDI attorney can help you understand how to structure your money to get medicaid, etc, and understand how medicare works. This will help you enormously with making your financial decisions. Personally, I'd select an attorney who specializes in Elder Care law, because they can advise you about pensions and retirement income, too.

Hope something here helps.


07/13/2012 08:57 AM
doxies
 
Posts: 6
Member

Thank you for your advice sarahtroy. My decision making in the past has definitely gotten me into trouble, mostly financial. I could have retired years ago if I had stayed in one place (I know I can't change that!) That is why I'm so concerned about my decision making now. I got divorced 2 years ago, had to go bankrupt, loose a home, etc... I bought a new car thinking that would help build my credit up, which it has, but now with the great possibility of having to go on disability I'm thinking of giving up the car, I definitely won't be able to afford it, and my credit is still very bad. Like does it really matter at this point??? I stopped going to my psychologist about 6 months ago because she started falling asleep during our sessions and it was quite humiliating. I see my psychiatrist next week who is absolutely great. I will loose my health insurance after a few months off work, I'm hoping I can apply for state health care after that happens. I'm an RN and raised 6 kids, so I'm not used to putting my life in other peoples hands, and definitely not comfortable with it.

One of my sons has offered me to come to his home, but I honestly would rather not. I never wanted my kids to have to "take care" of me. I know I can contribute, but I don't want to become a burden to them. I think at this point my kids think of me as "crazy" anyway. Their father always referred to me that way, that is why I ended up leaving him after 37 yrs. But anyway.....I appreciate all the help. Its nice to get advice from people who are coming from the same place. Thanks....

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