Originally Posted by Autumn Breeze
My mother, when I was calling her trying to get a history nailed down on my behavior. Well, while not as bad, she was unsupportive. "I think you're fine" "You're just being labled
This is what I've heard most. Now the irony is that my mom took lithium for YEARS. She's severely bipolar but stays mostly in a hypomanic state, so it's relatively manageable for her. (She also copes by being a workaholic, so to her the fact that I'm home with my kids is the problem.)
As for your specific questions, Transformed, I've been untreated for about 4 years at a time. It always gets horrible during that time. Right now I'm off my Invega because of an insurance problem. I went through the withdrawal, and now I'm really working with myself on deciding to take it again. I do struggle with constant treatment. I've had 2 rough therapy sessions in a row, which just makes it worse for me.
As for family, I've pulled myself back from them. I was (still am, really) angry that when people saw me so depressed I couldn't function, no one did anything. I mean, really, going to the grocery store was a chore for me. I had to nap afterward, and I told people that. They didn't say "holy crap! You need help." They said, "well, suck it up."
DH finally told MIL to back off, which helps. She kept saying bipolar is the "diagnosis of the day," and she actually in a twisted way meant it to be helpful. It just wasn't. It suggested I have a character flaw, rather than an illness. As for my mother, I filter what I tell her. It's easier that way. I wish it weren't like that, and I know I'll make it a point to be more supportive of my children when they have problems, but it's the best we can do sometimes. I do hear you on getting a support network. It's tough to do, especially since depressed people aren't exactly the most fun folks to be around.