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.