Bipolar Disabled Woman Seeks Grant Money To Cope With Expenses
by Samantha Fulmer
(Cleveland, TN, USA)
I am a 40-year-old female living with the debilitating illness of bipolar disorder. I was first diagnosed with the disease when I lost my first child at 18. I suffered a deep suicidal depression that just did not lift.
Out of desperation my mother took me to see a psychiatrist that immediately hospitalized me so I could get treatment. It was one of many hospital stays that would become my life.
I was told I had manic depression and given medication and counseling to treat the disorder. I exited the hospital with a newfound hope just knowing there was a name for my condition. The hope would be short lived.
I went on to lose another child and suffered the same depression that almost took my life again. After several suicide attempts, I found myself in the hospital once again to get treatment for this suffering.
Throughout my life I've been on every drug for depression and mania that pharmaceutical companies make and doctors have to offer. I was able to hold down a successful career as an on air radio personality for 12 years all the while suffering quietly with this disease.
Then the bottom fell out. I entered another depression that lead to a quite serious suicide attempt and was once again hospitalized. Having been on all the normal medications to no avail, the answer for me was ECT treatments.
That's electric shock therapy. The normal course of treatment is six. My case was so severe I had 36 ECT treatments to save my life. The treatments were successful for a time. However, the treatments left me with impaired short-term memory.
The memory loss affects every aspect of my life. I am now unable to form new memories and remember the simplest of things. Without the help of a very loving, understanding and devoted husband I would have never lived through the ordeal, and I continue to count on him for help with day-to-day living.
Unable to go back into the work force due to the effects of the treatments and the returning cycle of depression and mania, I was put on disability. I still see a psychiatrist monthly to manage my illness and adjust my medications as need be.
The stigma of having a mental illness is embarrassing and difficult for others to understand. I find myself praying for God to heal me of this disease, but I take my meds and thank Him for the support system I have in my husband and family.
My husband is the man that saved my life, quite literally. I have two boys that live with their father's because of the times I can't even take care of myself, their care is better met by a healthy parent, however I do get to see them on weekends.
I am the "weekend" parent. This is something I never saw as my life when I was a child. When you're a woman and your children don't live with you, people look at you funny and assume you are on drugs or some other less than noble reason for not being the primary parent.
It breaks my heart and adds to an already difficult situation with depression. It's a vicious cycle. The illness causes one to make impulsive decisions during episodes of mania. I've been married five times. I finally found a man that wasn't afraid of my past or my illness and we have been married now for six years, with no end in sight!
My husband helps my with the boys when they are here on weekends and picks up the slack when I can't get out of bed due to a depression. He also safeguards me when I am manic and helps to steer me in the right direction. I'd be lost without him.
Currently we find ourselves in need of help. My husband is out of work and we are trying to get by on my disability check and other social services that are out there to assist those in times of need.
I would like to step in and be the hero to my husband that he has been to me by obtaining a government grant for the disabled, to help pay the bills while times are so hard.
He deserves my help, we both do. I will continue to fight this disease with his help, and he will continue to do everything he can to make my life one to be proud of and enjoy.
If you can help me in obtaining a personal grant for those with disabilities I would forever be grateful. Sincerely, Samantha Fulmer.