Bipolar + chronic physical illness. Do many people have this?

I have bipolar plus asthma.Trying to juggle two chronic illnesses is difficult especially when the medications for asthma set off the bipolar and vice versa. And having to know at least as much if not more about your drugs and their interactions for when your usual doctor goes on holidays which is of course when you get sick.Do other people struggle with this juggling act?

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Let me begin by saying that, in my personal opinion, most people with bipolar (or any  mental illness, really) have problems with physical symptoms, at least occasionally… Some will be worse than others… It could range from a simple headache now and then, to intense migraines on a daily basis…

With that said, let me give you my personal experience…

It started as simply getting out of breath… I thought it was just because I was out of shape, so I paid no attention to it…  Progressively, my breathing got worse… THEN, came the first fun part-Bronchitis…  It started by getting only every  now and then, mostly in the winter… But it just kept coming back!!! It got to the point that I would go to the doctor, get on antibiotics and steroids, and be ‘healthy’ again… For about two weeks… Then it would start all over again… It was sickening!!! (hmmm… Kind of sounds a little punny, huh??? Lol)

That’s when all the tests started… I had one after another… Eventually, they diagnosed my with asthmatic bronchitis and put me on a bunch of asthma medicines… It worked for a bit, and I’ll admit, I haven’t had bronchitis for a few months (long time, huh???)  But I’ve still been having problems with coughing and difficulty breathing… My last terribly bout was blamed on an allergy reaction to a medicine I was on… And when I went off the medication, I got a little bit better… But not completely!!! To this day, I still have plenty of coughing fits, and quite often get out of breath… I’m on asthma medicine, and have a rescue inhaler… But I know I will live with these problems for a long time… Hopefully not forever though!!! I think, that once I get my emotions and other problems under control, my breathing will progressively get better… I understand that the cough and difficulty breathing will come and go, just as my emotions come and go, and I have come to accept that…

3 thoughts on “Bipolar + chronic physical illness. Do many people have this?

  1. I find having tests really stressful: going to big hospitals and finding the right department out of the squillions that are there. And being rushed through the procedures as there is always someone next. The most problematic drug I have to take is prednisolone or steroids by any other name. It is a life saver for asthma but the pay off is absolute havoc with either mania or depression. Fortunately I only take a course 3-4 times a year. Life could be a lot more simple and I wouldn’t mind.

  2. I have Bipolar and chronic illness also. I have depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, year round allergies, high cholesterol, L4 & L5 bulging disks, and spinal stenosis, and endometrosis. I have to keep up my all my meds. and their side effects. I am the only person that can tell the doctor somethings not right when the meds. interact, I usually do not feel right. I have so many meds. but I manage to keep up with them. I find the hardest thing is to find a doctor that will listen to your symptoms or problems. Once you tell them you have a mental disease they brush you off as you don’t know what you are taking about, and then the battery of tests happen. After the results, you just want to say I told you so!

  3. Shalva, if you get the very first test of the day, you don’t have to wait pretty much at all… (But you do have to get up early!!!) And if you get the last test of the day, you won’t be so rushed (depending on how backed up they are, but usually they still take their time… Unless you have one of those people who really want to get out of there!!! But like I said, it’s usually not nearly as rushed…)

    Jen,I know what you mean when you say docs don’t listen to you just because you have an MI… It’s rediculous!!! Now, my pulmonologist believes me, but only AFTER the battery of tests… Now when ever I go in, he knows that something is wrong… There was one time that I actually asked him if he thought some of my symptoms were psychosamatic, and he said no!!! I was sooo surprised!!! But even my PCP doesn’t always believe me…

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