My Homeless Bipolar Client

A client once described to me how hard it is to communicate how the symptoms affect the mentally ill. “You don’t know you’re in it until you’re in it.” He explained that symptoms are hard to explain or understand unless you have a mental illness.

My bipolar client, Sandra, was my living experience of that. I don’t have bipolar disorder. I do have friends with the diagnosis (you’ll meet one in the next podcast), but they fortunately have a support system and a structure that helps keep the symptoms in check.

Sandra did not.

Bipolar Disorder Cycles and Symptoms

Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder. There are two distinct moods that last for months at a time. The manic phase is a high-energy phase where the client can seem like they are ready to do a lot of things all at once with little sleep and high expectations. Hyper sexuality, extreme risk-taking, rapid speech can all be part of a manic phase. There’s usually a period of normalcy that occurs just before the depression phase. Extreme sadness, sleep disturbance (too much or too little), lack of desire to do anything fun can all take place in a client’s life. Clients with Bipolar 2 Disorder have less-intense manic phases and longer depression phases.

When I met Sandra, she was staying at a local shelter. She was getting kicked out because she was arguing too much with other clients. Sandra claimed that they made fun of her because she was bipolar and refused to make it easier for her to sleep. She wanted complete darkness and silence, which was hard to get at a shelter.

Sandra was well-dressed and looked like an average, middle-aged lady that could easily be mistaken for a school teacher. She drove a good car, despite it being packed to the gills with her belongings.

At first, Sandra gladly accepted my help. I was working as a case manager that helped homeless people with disorders get the help that they needed, to include a place to stay. Sandra was receiving enough retirement disability to make her car payment, pay for storage, and her phone bill. She also could find part-time work as a day care center assistant due to her work history.

Sandra also had access to medications for her bipolar disorder. She was a formerly married to a military man, so she was able to go to military hospitals for treatment. But that required seeing a psychiatrist regularly. Missing an appointment meant it could be months before rescheduling.

I found her a room and board that was willing to take her in. Sandra was more than happy to take the room and agreed to meet our organization’s psychiatrist. Although we couldn’t force clients to take medications, it was our program’s requirements to at least meet our medical staff for an assessment. I would meet with Sandra at least twice a week. She would tell me stories of her adventurous past, to include when she was diagnosed and some of the hard depression periods.  “I was really good at running day care centers but I had to retire after an incident. It wasn’t my fault. But I couldn’t go back permanently.” Sandra said that whatever happened was so bad it “scarred” her brain and she was medically retired.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Options

Treatment options for bipolar disorder do include medications. They have to be adjusted depending on the presenting symptoms and the current mood. For example, a client going through a manic phase would not be taking the same mood elevators he takes during the depressive phase.

Having a structured schedule and a balanced diet also help clients with bipolar disorder. It also helps to have a support system of family and friends who can give outside perspective when a client’s mood starts to change.

For Sandra, she didn’t have many of those helpful things. Her behaviors, according to Sandra, made her estranged from her adult children. She could find places to stay, but something always happened and people were always out to disrupt her. Having to constantly leave her shelters and rooms made it even more difficult to see a regular doctor because she never knew what town she was going to be in next.

Despite finding her a place to stay, being a support person and giving her access to medications, Sandra didn’t stay long in the program. For a month or two she was okay. Sandra never broke curfew, did her required chores, and even found some part-time work. But she kept putting off the doctor’s appointment. Every week she would re-schedule. When I would go to meet Sandra, she would have a little more energy than the previous meeting. She would tell me things like “I’m working on my photography hobby” and show me pictures on her phone. “I’m sure I can sell these photos for a ton of money. Look how good I am!”

After the fourth cancellation, I reminded Sandra that she might be kicked out of the room and board if she didn’t meet with our doctor. Sandra agreed to come. We sat in the lobby and talked before her appointment. She was very friendly and engaging with everyone, but just couldn’t seem to focus her conversation on one topic.

“Why am I here again?” she asked.

“To see our psychiatrist. He can get your meds refilled and whatever prescriptions you need. Remember?”

Sandra laughed. “I don’t need a doctor. I’m doing just great right now.” And with that, she left.

Where Is Sandra now? Honestly, I don’t know.  She sent me an e-mail a week later saying she no longer wanted to participate in the program. When she “fired” me, Sandra decided to live in her car near a local park. I saw her a few months later in town. She was renting a room for a while. “I don’t know how long I’m going to stay there. The landlord has a lot of rules.” Most of the time the rules were pretty standard, but Sandra always acted too smart to be held down.

I hope she decides to get the medication support she needs.

Subscribe to the Bright Insights Podcast for Less Stress and More Success!
Apple PodcastsSpotifyPodbeanStitcherGoogle PlayTuneInRadio Public

108 Replies to “My Homeless Bipolar Client”

  1. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you
    amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of
    this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  2. Your style is so unique compared to other people
    I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I’ll just bookmark this page.

  3. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this
    website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get
    that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance.
    I must say you have done a superb job with
    this. In addition, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Firefox.

    Superb Blog!

  4. You actually make it appear really easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually one thing
    that I feel I would never understand. It kind of feels too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking ahead in your subsequent put up, I’ll attempt to get the dangle of it!

  5. I think that what you wrote made a bunch of sense.
    But, what about this? what if you added a little information? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, however suppose
    you added a headline that makes people want more? I mean My
    Homeless Bipolar Client – Less Stress. More Success!
    is kinda boring. You should peek at Yahoo’s front page and watch
    how they create post titles to get people interested. You might try adding a video or a
    picture or two to grab readers excited about what you’ve written. In my
    opinion, it might bring your posts a little livelier.

  6. I think this is among the most significant information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D.
    Good job, cheers

  7. Excellent weblog right here! Also your site quite a bit
    up fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I am
    getting your associate hyperlink in your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  8. First of all I would like to say terrific blog!

    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.

    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.

    I’ve had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.

    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

  9. Fantastic site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any
    message boards that cover the same topics discussed
    here? I’d really love to be a part of online community
    where I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals
    that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thanks a lot!

  10. Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your publish is just nice and i could suppose you’re a professional in this
    subject. Fine with your permission allow me to
    take hold of your RSS feed to keep updated
    with drawing close post. Thank you a million and
    please carry on the rewarding work.

  11. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.

    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas
    or suggestions? Many thanks

  12. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also
    with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it
    yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  13. generic stromectol Symptoms Abdominal pain Decreased appetite Decreased sexual interest in men Failure to release milk in women Fatigue Headache Infertility in women Lack of sex drive in women Loss of armpit or pubic hair Loss of body or facial hair in men Low blood pressure Sensitivity to cold Short height less than feet if onset is during a growth period Slowed growth and sexual development in children Stopping of menstrual periods in women Vision problems Weakness Weight loss Note Symptoms may develop slowly and may vary greatly depending upon The number of hormones that are missing and the organs they affect The severity of the disorder Other symptoms that may occur with this disease Face swelling Hair loss Hoarseness or changing voice Joint stiffness Weight gain unintentional Exams and Tests To diagnose hypopituitarism there must be low hormone levels due to a problem with the pituitary gland.

  14. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your
    blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m
    still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for beginner blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

  15. Hello I am so happy I found your site, I really found
    you by accident, while I was searching on Askjeeve
    for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just
    like to say thank you for a incredible post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have
    time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also
    added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please
    do keep up the excellent jo.

  16. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very
    well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read
    more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  17. You’re so cool! I don’t think I’ve truly read something like this before.
    So wonderful to discover another person with genuine thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  18. I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  19. obviously like your web site however you need to test the spelling on several
    of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell
    the truth on the other hand I’ll definitely come again again.

  20. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous
    room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  21. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the
    costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress
    posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  22. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts
    in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site.

    Studying this information So i am glad to show that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came
    upon just what I needed. I so much indubitably will make certain to do not omit
    this website and provides it a look regularly.

  23. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to publish
    more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people don’t discuss these subjects.

    To the next! Kind regards!!

  24. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.

    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
    I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  25. The present study evaluated the efficacy of daily 5-mg tadalafil treatment vs placebo for 3 months on the erectile function assessed using the IIEF-5 and ejaculation time IELT in patients with ED and PE cialis vs viagra 5 The Asian Survey of Aging Males, a study on 1155 men aged 50 80 years, demonstrated that males with severe LUTS were three times more likely to have ED than those without LUTS OR 3

  26. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a
    pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any
    suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Appreciate it

  27. I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own personal blog
    and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is
    named. Appreciate it!

  28. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old
    daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

  29. This is really interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to looking for more of your
    fantastic post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks

  30. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually realize what you
    are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally consult with my web site =).
    We can have a link change arrangement between us

  31. Right now it looks like Movable Type is the top blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using
    on your blog?

  32. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to
    hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  33. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information much.
    I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  34. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your website? My
    blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some
    of the information you present here. Please let me know if this alright with you.

    Thanks a lot!

  35. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 25
    foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has
    83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  36. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace,
    when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment due to this good
    piece of writing.

  37. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe
    for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  38. Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and
    I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a honest price?
    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *