Guys and girls I am after some information if I may.

I am a Bipolar suffer which has only recently been diagnosed, basically a manic depressant. I am now on a course of prescribed medicines to try to mood stabilise so i can, in effect, function correctly.

I have seen CPNs etc over the past 6 years and it was only recently (the past 2 years) my wife fell ill with brittle bone syndrone and chronic artheritis.

The Army did nothing to help me or my spouse, boo hoo some may say but when I see the welfare centres go in overdrive over a marital breakup is sets the tone to me.

Because of this I have been depressed for a good 2 years, in that time I have thought about ending it all were it not for the fact that my family needs me. It leads me to make mistakes at work and lack of concentration etc basically a complete meltdown.

I noticed the symptoms appearing in my work again so I say the RMO who referred me to a CPN again, after the first session I was referred to the Psych Dr. who only after 1 session said I have bipolarism.

Now the unit I am currently with is a good one, it has moved me from a stressful job to an easy one, but the unit is formulating AGAI 67 action against me due to the drop in work and attention to detail and a few hiccups that I made when I was down.

I have told all my bosses and line managers that I have bipolar and am under psyc care and medication. To top it all the RAO rings me and asks what pension scheme I am on, alrm bells ringing what do they have in store for me.

So some may say whats the point in this rambling? Being downgraded to M3 and should have been for some years now am I culpable for the lack of professionalism and work that I produced when I am in a depressed state.

No its not a wind up nor the next script for eastenders. I just want to prepare myself for the worst if it happens and if the worst happens what can i do about help
I have no credible advice I'm afraid. But keep your chin up....after all they can't make you pregnant....yet!!

Also....does it mean you get North and South confused sometimes?

In all seriousness - being depressed isn't a good place to be, and the Army should recognise this. Fingers crossed that you come through the other side with a smile on your face.
HRA31AES said:
The Army did nothing to help me or my spouse, boo hoo some may say but when I see the welfare centres go in overdrive over a marital breakup is sets the tone to me.
Sorry chum, but i don't believe this at all?

I have seen the Army break their backs to assist somebody with welfare or medical problems. The system will literally move the earth to assist. Not least of which they have kept you in employment.

be very careful when you make comments like this, they can back-fire.
No back fire mate at all

The unit I was with gave me an afternoon off to consul my wife who rang up from the hospital to say she had 8 cracked vertebra. Nice i thought.

I reported this to the UWO, who just put me on a list of personnel to interview now and again. My wife when diagnosed could not clean herself, the kids or the MSQ. I got no help from anyone. Her parents in their seventies came down to help for a month and helped out till I took over using my leave up so she could attend hospital appointments and doctors appointments. I have never used her an an excuse nor waved the cripple card. What i do object to is someone who doesnt know what we've been through then can post a carte blanch statement.

SAAFA only gave my wife goals to achieve, which were totally unfeasible due to her medical condition. In a nut shell mate I dodnt expect the army to bend over backwards, but a phone call to her now and again or to me to ask how she is, how I am coping etc. Received a big fat zero on help.

Even at my unit now when they hear of our experience some say its fantastic what has happened ie the trials and tribulations. But as it doesnt affect them directly I perceive that they dont care, maybe its the bipolarism in me but in real terms no assistance offered at any time
Not much help, but there's a lot of evidence that bipolar mood disorders are associated with creative thought, so having a brain that works really well on some kinds of tasks might have a price attached to it. If you can think of it in this way it might help. You might even find that a totally different job with more room for creative thought and discretion might do you a lot of good.
All I can say is make a little more noise, dig in a few more places and see what you come up with.

I had a bad case of "Black dog" 8 or so years ago which wasn't quite bi-polar, but getting there and with a accumulated stress of coping with family life, we can all see you need some more help, constructive stuff with clear boundaries. quite frankly if you are at the point where you have an RMO, you should be able to access the services of a Social Worker.

Now i'm not sure how this goes in a military context seeing as I have a civilian mental health background but best of luck and do feel assured that there are people out there who do give a damn and actually want to help.

Sorry, confusing RMO (civil) with RMO (military) there, you really do need to get some heavy guns in on this, i'll have a word at work and see what I can do to help....
thanks for your help and support, more than I have expected to be honest Blue/Green thanks for your comment, gobbyidiot thanks also they are putting me on a course of mood stabilisers on Monday the only down side is that they lift you, so when I go into a manic phase next i maybe uber manic (some would see this as a bonus but it will burn me out twice as quick and the coming down from mania is just as bad if not worst than the depression)
HRA31AES said:
...I am a Bipolar suffer which has only recently been diagnosed, basically a manic depressant...
That's a bit harsh on yourself! Don't you mean 'depressive'? Unless of course your gloomy presence sedates others?!
You should not be getting AGAI'd if you have a clinical reason for your misdemeanors thats the whole point of being medically protected with a downgrade, I doubt that you will be M3 hun, that would mean that you have brain damage, you should be S3, meaning that you have altered stability. Whilst you are under pschiatric care you cannot entirely be held responsible for your actions, I would speak to your psych MO rather than the RMO to ask for him to speak to your boss about your current state.

Although downgraded you must accept responsibility for yourself and your actions, you are aware of your capabilities and must be switched on enough to identify when you are not fit to be given responsibility, your bosses will be more sympathetic if you tell them when you cannot complete a task than if you try to do it and mess it up. You must remain proactive, before you submit your work explain that you are having a bad day and get someone else to check it over it may sound a bit pathetic but its better than getting in trouble just for the sake of swallowing your pride.
sorry you are right M2S3 is my grading, I have spoken at length with my OC and immediate bosses, but they think I am 'pulling the wool' doubtful considering I am going onto Zoloft on Monday (I think thats the drug) The hardest part is accepting responsibility for actions done, at the time you feel fine and think your actions are quite sane/normal. the issue is trying to come to terms with the fact that you have mucked up even though you know you havent. catch 22.


Book Reviewer
HRA31AES, sorry to hear about your problem. I hope the meds/etc help you stay on a steady track.

I am not here to offer advice but to ask a question of you and any of the healthcare professionals reading this thread. In the context of being responsible for soldiers I am interested to know what the long term prospects are for some one in your postion. I appreciate everyone is an individual and your problems may not be the same as someone else who is bipolar so I am using this as an example to be educated.

Basically, what is the military remit to retain you with your your current medical condition ?. I assume you are unable to deploy and also you now have limited employment capabilities within the Army ? Are you allowed to use weapons, or do PT or drive and so on. I am not advocating you be mediaclly discharged but I am wondering if this is where you will end up - it seems pretty likely to me ? Or can this bipolar and depression problem be managed/defeated long term ? If it is medically managed and you can stay in, what do the meds stop you doing ? Genuinely interested in your reponses, if only to help me manage any similar problem I may face in the future should one of my soldiers ever be in a similar position.


On the AGAI front, I recommend you get your Doctor and Psych to speak to your CoC ASAP. Your Doc has right of access to your CO to discuss issues like this. Depeneding on what you have done 'wrong,' your medical condition must be taken account of...
Thankfully not in charge of any soldiers, doing a desk job now of booking courses, Unable to deploy and a no no for ranges etc 9safer for everyone).

The bipolar can be regulated thru drugs the zoloft drugs will hopefully lift me/control the mood receptors in my brain allowing the brain chemistry to settle work for themselves. The meds will hopefully stop the dreadful mood swings (mania to depression) and my temper which is on a trip switch.

I was hoping for a med discharge, so as not to be a burden on anyone in the army but my boss wants to retain me. But thats part of the illness just wanting to box yourself in, be a loner get away from it all, and the best way to get away from it all is to well in drastic circumstances end it all.

The symptoms can vary as we are all different. For me i found my short term memory failing, difficulty in concentrating, panic attacks, paranoia, moody, becoming distant, and not caring what I was doing to others or around me.

I have had similar episodes before but these are more intense, so I took myself to the RMO, 1 CPN session later, straight to the Psyc doc then M2S3 downgrading and a course of drugs
The biggest issue is accepting that you do have a problem, one of the frightening affects is that everything you do cognatively/socially to you is correct and right. You cant see any failings or faults within yourself and you cannot accept blame either.

Watch for people buying gadgets, but lots of them and sometime the same, I have 23 laptops did have 10 ipods 5g 30 Gb all black, when you come out of this mania phase and you realise what you have done (ie a moment of clarity) you become overwealmed with guilt, embarrasment and in most cases debt, this then plunges you into depression. The drugs hopefully will stabilise the extremes of the pendulum effect.


Book Reviewer
Interesting. And good for you that your Boss wants to retain you but somewhere downstream the medical sytem might take over and try to kybosh that. Not trying to depress you but reality etc. I hope it all works out for you.

Thanks for list of symptoms - on my check list for future reference.

Other than the meds, are there any other therapies which have been recommended to you ?
There is no test for Bipolar just symptoms. Meds seem to help and regulate although some people have adjusted diets etc (taken on omega 3, etc). If you google stephen fry bipolar, there is a cracking BBC handout, when my wife read it she was nodding from page 1 - 24. It gives hints, tips, personal experiences, and helplines
HRA31AES said:
There is no test for Bipolar just symptoms. Meds seem to help and regulate although some people have adjusted diets etc (taken on omega 3, etc). If you google stephen fry bipolar, there is a cracking BBC handout, when my wife read it she was nodding from page 1 - 24. It gives hints, tips, personal experiences, and helplines
There are two things that the CPN could have tried in addition to the meds, they are EMDR and CBT (cognitive behavoural therapy) I have two patients that have really found this of benefit, one of the patients has bipolar and panic attacks the other has OCD and is paranoid. I really do think that both these therapies should be explored in you case as you may find that along with meds they can really help you be in control of your condition as appose to your condition controlling you.
My cognative thought process is crashed at the min, I was offered 3 types of meds to help me out, 2 have massive side affects the 3rd zoloft doesnt have that many. I am seeing the cpn regularly in order to help out with the cognative process, but i think they are waiting for the meds to kick in. They are not sure if i have Bpolar 1-2-3 or myclithia? a few more sessions and a diagnosis confirmed although the psychartrist did mention bipolar and the fact that there is a history of illness on both my parents side. ie asberger and bipolar.

Latest Threads