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Unread 08-29-2012, 12:36 PM   #1
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Angry How can I stop mental illness from ruining my life anymore?

If I could rip the mental illness out of my head I would. Whatever is wrong with me has affected my life so much that it's sad. A normal life has been stolen from me forever and I struggle for it, but I doubt it will ever come.

It all started when I was a little kid. I had one diagnosis back then and now they think it was something else, but whatever it was caused me to have rage episodes so bad that it wasn't funny. I would cry and scream bloody murder, often over minor things. Now the thing is I did this until I was about 16! And I still feel like doing it sometimes. My grandmother who raised me didn't allow them to use medication, but the school did things like sit me in the front of the classroom, give me a personal aid, made me spend part of the day in special education. It was torture, the kids figured out what set these episodes off and would do it on purpose.

Now the only positive was this, school was not hard for me, and in fact wasn't hard enough. Based on childhood test scores, my IQ is somewhere between 115 and 130. But mental illness ruined it, they told me I could have skipped a grade or to but my behavior was setting me back.

I did make it through college and earned a bachelor's degree in Zoology, but it turned out I couldn't work well. Then adult mental illness set in and it totally ruined my work life, causing me to be fired from some jobs or at least messing them up. It became bad enough I got awarded SSI. But I hate this, I want to work.

My love life got affected to, I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 28. Now I am married, I love my husband, but I wish I had that feeling earlier in my life.

My husband wants kids, but my medication is bad for pregnancy, I would have to change it but I don't know what would happen to me. Plus I feel if the kid inherited my childhood problems, I couldn't deal with it.

I want a better life than I have now. When I got married, my husband lost his money from the state and we lost 40 dollars in food stamps. After rent and bills, we got less than 100 dollars to live on. I feel that someone with a degree like me deserves a good job so we would not have to worry about money or food. We had to go to food bank this month and that is before our 40 dollars is going to be cut. Soon my internet has to go.

Basically I don't know what to do. We want to try to get my husband's SSI, but it's still a low amount of money to live on. I have a licence but I can't afford a car and I would like one so I can go places, like to birdwatch.

The stuff wrong with my brain has affected pretty much my whole life. I don't know what to do about it.
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current dx according to pdoc: Schizoaffective bipolar type and Anxiety NOS
current dx according to tdoc: Bipolar and Asperger's

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Unread 08-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: How can I stop mental illness from ruining my life anymore?

Have you looked into Vocational Rehab? What kinds of mental health services are you getting currently? Sounds like you have a lot of motivation -- that's a good start.
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Unread 08-29-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: How can I stop mental illness from ruining my life anymore?

I went back info voc. rehab after I learned my husband was going to loose his money.

Once before when I was living at grandma's house, they almost got me a job at a small zoo that was within driving distance and they would have helped me get a car. But I chose to choose a research summer job. Well I was fired because I wasn't physically fit enough and I had a mental break then a few months later I got SSI.

I messed up with a zoo before too. See, I had an internship at a bird of prey center, and a short job at a hawk migration site. Anyway after doing one summer of a research job, I applied at a large zoo in hopes of getting a job to tide me over before I did a second summer of research. Well, the bird of prey people ended up interviewing me and I told them I was looking for a temp job. What happened was they said I was the most qualified person, but I didn't get the job because they were looking for a permanent person, not a temporary employee. Just plain stupid, I could have been working with birds of prey at a well known zoo.

The closest zoo to where I live now is 45 minutes away. When I was in voc. rehab before, they said I could work there and commute. But I don't know how much they would help me to get a job there.

Mental health services, I have a psychiatrist, and starting in October I'm going to get CBT therapy.
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current dx according to pdoc: Schizoaffective bipolar type and Anxiety NOS
current dx according to tdoc: Bipolar and Asperger's

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Unread 08-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: How can I stop mental illness from ruining my life anymore?

I am sorry that your life has been warped in this manner.Mental disease is a terrible scourge but you have kept your self in good control-i am sure you do not have those fits of rage now;do not underestimate your achievements.Yes monetary problems give a lot of stress but this too shall pass,you will handle it as you have handled all else.When we take a decision we can't see beyond the moment so it often goes wrong.But you will agree you have some things in your favour too-like your intelligence & a loving husband.
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Unread 08-29-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: How can I stop mental illness from ruining my life anymore?

Try not to worry about the past, the decisions you made then were the best that you knew to do at the time. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

I have a friend who had a wonderful experience in Voc. Rehab. Good job training and an excellent, supportive job counselor who helped her develop the skills she needed to be successful in a work environment. I’m not saying everybody has that kind of experience, but it is possible.

One step at a time, make the best decisions that you know today. Get the finances straight, then worry about the meds and pregnancy. Who knows? Maybe the CBT will help and you won’t need meds so much? But you can’t know that yet, of course.

It’s terrific that you have your bachelor’s degree in zoology. Do I understand it right – you are in Voc. Rehab now? If so, that’s a good step.

If you have some extra time, maybe you could volunteer somewhere? Maybe not at the zoo, yet, but at a homeless pet shelter or something?
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Unread 08-30-2012, 07:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: How can I stop mental illness from ruining my life anymore?

There are a couple of places around here where I could volunteer, but they are out of city limits and transportation is a problem. See, I live in a smallish rural city where the nearest city of any size is 45 minutes away by car. The public transportation here is small buses that go curb to curb and most only go within city limits and the other ones only go out of city limits at certain times. There are very few jobs in city limits sadly, this is Michigan, the worst state in the country for that.

I am thinking about applying for jobs in that larger city then worrying about getting a car later, but I don't know.

Edit: Here is an interesting question. I expanded my online job search to nearby towns and I found a job in the next town over assisting in a classroom of emotionally impaired children. It pays pretty well. I meet the requirements and I taught kids in the past, but the thing is do I mention in the cover letter that I have personal experience because I was an emotionally impaired child myself???
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current dx according to pdoc: Schizoaffective bipolar type and Anxiety NOS
current dx according to tdoc: Bipolar and Asperger's


Last edited by birdcrazy; 08-30-2012 at 07:48 AM.
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