Accepting Your Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis.

Because of being misdiagnosed for decades. First with ADHD and then having OCD tacked on a decade later, when I received the bipolar 1 disorder diagnosis in April of 2009 at almost 55, I took it with a grain of salt. But my psychiatrist saw my skepticism and did something no doctor had done before. He challenged me to prove him wrong. Over the next week, I read everything I could on bipolar disorder, and everything fit. I also learned ADHD and OCD have overlapping symptoms with bipolar disorder. There was only one real difference: ADHD and OCD lacked mania, which is why ADHD and OCD are common misdiagnoses.

During my two years of intense counseling, several things came to light that I also had to accept things as being severely codependent, having an addictive personality, and being an extremely negative person.

I realized I was an alcoholic many years before I was accurately diagnosed. It was in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that I learned the importance of acceptance to being right with yourself. I learned the importance of acceptance, but it took years to learn how to accept things.

The Reason Acceptance Is Important:

From the Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 417.Words in Italics and parentheses are mine.

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life —unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my (Bipolar Disorder), I could not (achieve mental wellness); unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes”

This short quote explains why acceptance is important; without acceptance, you will find no serenity or happiness. This quote also gives the first clue as to how to be accepting, change you and your attitudes.

The How Of Accepting:

  1. Prove to yourself that this diagnosis is wrong. Learn everything you can about the condition. If you cannot prove the diagnosis wrong, as in my case, it is much easier to accept as fact.
  2.  Realize acceptance is for you. By accepting your diagnosis as the reality will allow you to embrace treatment options. But do not accept treatments the do not work.
  3. Imagine how bad your life could become if you refuse to accept this diagnosis and the help it could provide.
  4. Forgive yourself.

Please let me know in the comments of your experience with bipolar disorder and if you found this information helpful to you. Please like and share this post.

As we conclude this week’s blog post, always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our struggle is with our illness, not with other people, places, situations, or other external things. Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives. 

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.” 

I say,” Work hard on yourself, and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere. 

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Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are, the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog that I found interesting that may inform you. The following blog is another author’s work.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Brittany Lopes

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