Bipolar and Me: A brief history

In the past I have been diagnosed with and/or treated for Social Phobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I was first treated for severe depression when I was 14 years old. In actual fact I had suffered from both depression and some level of mania prior to this.

I wanted to be a Clinical Psychologist before I knew I had psychological problems.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in April 2008 after seeing one clinical psychologist and two psychiatrists.

My official diagnosis is Bipolar I featuring rapid cycling and mixed moods.

Initially, I paid little attention to my diagnosis, had no intention of taking medication and believed I was only showing symptoms because I had read about Bipolar Disorder in one of my textbooks. Later, I believed a brain tumour was responsible.

I know these days people tend to refer to rapid cycling as ultra, or ultradian or some variant of this. I don’t know specific terms because I actually don’t care. Personally, I find it a bit annoying when people specify they are a rapid cycler, or an ultra-ultra rapid cycler. Usually it’s done in a manner which implies “if you don’t cycle as rapidly as me, then things aren’t as bad for you”.  I think that’s bullshit. So, I have had rapid cycling in the past, and it has been really really fast, and it has slowed down over time, and then sped up again. That’s all you really need to know.

I’ve never been hospitalised. It was suggested, and I should have been but the fact I wasn’t was entirely because of the next point.

I am exceptionally good at hiding my symptoms even when severely unwell.

I haven’t had a pure mania since 2008.

I once turned up the emergency department and told them to admit me. I was forced to wait alone for a ridiculous length of time. Given the rapid cycling I mentioned earlier, my mood changed and I seduced a man and left the hospital. My parents were not phoned. No one ever tried to find me.

Even when I was delusional and losing touch with reality, even my best friend thought I was “pretty much okay”.

I started taking Quetiapine at 6.25mg per night. It took me two years to get to 400mg.  This meant my recovery was long and drawn out, but the drug was well tolerated and my adherence exceptional.

I only decided to take medication because I thought I had contracted Genital Herpes (I hadn’t).

I am incredibly loyal. Even when completely manic, I slept with anyone except my friends’ boyfriends; even when they tried it on with me.

I have never purposefully not taken my medication. I forgot once or twice after a night out, and so just took it in the morning instead.

I went to four different high schools.

I have never attempted suicide.

I like writing a blog about having Bipolar Disorder, but I don’t know why.

I have no professional interest in Bipolar Disorder. I used to think I should but I’m just not interested.

I don’t  say “I’m Bipolar” because I’m not. I have this disorder. It doesn’t have me.

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18 thoughts on “Bipolar and Me: A brief history

  1. Pingback: Unipolar Bipolar | Is Bipolar Hereditary

  2. I could have written most of this. Helps a lot with the denial factor to read of similar experiences. My diagnosis is rapid cycling bipolar (they never specified whether it was I or II, maybe it doesn’t really matter) and I know I experience mixed episodes as well, but I am still at the point of assuming I’ve “made” myself and professionals believe I have bipolar because I know enough about it to mimic the symptoms. I like your point about ‘having’ bipolar, not ‘being’ bipolar. I’m not there yet, I’m glad you are.

  3. So you are in usa ? ..btw you know when you post a new topic , theres a way to reduce the main body and add word ‘more’ as a link …it means more of your posts will appear on the same page ….

      • sorry sara i almost didnt say anything as i thought you may be keeping them full screen each….but i thought maybe u didn’t know so i gambled… never mind we can still be friends 🙂 tell me how you saw my video last yr and which one was it ..i think i know the fb group i used to be on in new zeland …but memory is rubbish

        Jc

  4. My blog is just a place i keep bipolar media that i think is worth keeping dont know if anyone even reads it |:) are u in australia?

  5. MY STORY… I’m from Argentina. I was diagnosed bipolar syndrome in 2004 but that did not answer my problems. I went to dozens of professionals hoping for a different diagnoses. My life has been a nightmare since I was an adolescent until not long ago, since I managed an equilibrium between medication and therapy. For long periods or time suicide was the centre of my thoughts, I destroyed lives of many people around me and hurt those who I love most.
    During my manic episodes I blew all my inheritance money until I went broke and lost my job. Hospitalization was required because of hallucinations and intense fear of the unknown and paranormal. I thought at times I could see the future and read people’s mind.
    Suicide intents lead me to the hospital in two opportunities intoxicated by overdoses of medication. Depression periods were sometimes so long I just lost track of time. Simple things like bathing, brushing my teeth, getting out of bed,became a drag. My children ate delivery pizza every day for weeks.
    Even though I struggle with being bipolar and with OCD, I am happily married to my third husband, I’m 43 years old and have three wonderful children that make my life worth living.
    Having bipolar syndrome has been one of the most difficult things to overcome in life. I still have a lifetime challenge…but I have the love and understanding from my family, the medication, my therapist, the everyday news and updates and hopefully now a BLOG I can exchange ideas with people who daily cope with the same things I do!

    • Hi Paula,

      Thanks for sharing your story. It’s definitely a harrowing journey and I’m happy for you that things are working out for you in some areas. I guess it’s important to realise that we all have a struggle in life, and that even though its hard, we can still take joy in the other things that make our lives worth living.

      I wasn’t sure what you meant about having a blog to exchange ideas – do you mean you started your own? If so, I’d love to take a look.
      Sara

  6. I want to write but I hurt too much. I am 74 and have suffered from depression and mania since I was a teenager. I found this site by saying I want to slit my wrists but I was discouragred mostly by those who reminded me of those who I love and love me. Why do I hurt so much? What will make the pain go away?
    Joan
    April 25, 2017

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