Posted 7/4/2011 1:29 PM (GMT -6)
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last week after a full psychiatric assessment. It was the first time I've been totally open with doctors. I've received treatment for mental health issues before, but it was either at a stage in my life when I hadn't accepted that I had been sexually abused by my stepfather when I was 7. Or I would only tell my doctor some of my symptoms and issues because I wasn't ready to accept that my behaviour was causing problems in my life.
I have an academic background in psychology, my mother is a clinical psychologist and there is undiagnosed bipolar disorder in my family on my father's side.
I only really started considering that I might have bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder this year. It makes me feel stupid to even think that I hadn't considered it before since I have the academic training to diagnose others.
I've just seen the highs or manic stages I've gone through as periods I deserved because I never got to live a normal life due to sexual abuse as a child.
But now that I look back I can see the cycles of depression and then mania which led to impulsivity that caused a lot of problems in my life and led to many adventures that I don't see as all bad.
Still at the moment I'm crippled in crisis. I can't work because I'm either frozen with anxiety or my thoughts are racing so badly that I just start lots of projects and never finish anything. It is hard for me to have a normal sexual relationship with my husband because I'm always triggered. And the only thing that soothes me briefly is cutting.
On the one hand I'm relieved that I'm finally seeing the right medical team for someone with my history. But it was still hard to hear the diagnosis. I've read the research, I know I'm in for a tough time. I know I'll be on meds for the rest of my life.
I emailed and told my mother after the assessment and she hasn't even returned my email yet. My husband keeps telling me that I should expect this by now and not let it upset me. After all it was my mother that blamed me for the sexual abuse, even though I was just 7 years old and any good mother would never believe that a child would initiate a sexual relationship with an adult. She still refuses to accept that she is in extreme denial and was complacent about the the abuse, choosing my stepfather over me.
I can just imagine that she is rolling her eyes and sighing because people with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are the worst to deal with and she is too busy for that right now.
And I feel stupid again for letting her make me feel this way when I know that she hasn't kept up to date with any of the research on adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder. I can't help it though, I just wish I had some family you know?
Anyway thank you for giving me this space to vent. I'm also struggling with coming off Pristiq which has made me feel so on edge and irritable. Seroquel has knocked me and I sleep so much! I wasn't expecting that. But those symptoms are supposed to go away after a few days I think?
I'm not sure if it matters if I get a diagnosis for Bipolar I or II. Do you think it is important to get clarity about which type of Bipolar I have? My doctor gave me a mood diary to track my moods before my next appointment, but they are so variable at the moment!