Posted 12/5/2012 11:26 PM (GMT -7)
Good Evening :) Nice to meet you both happy bill and Chloe! In answer to your question, happy bill, I ended up finally coming to the conclusion I needed help in March of 2011. The back story is complicated as they usually are, but the sum of it was my highs and lows became more frequent and extreme as I got older. I was normally a rational, smart, responsible, and otherwise functional adult, so I started noticing more frequent instances of asking myself, "how could I do that?!" "What in the world could I have been thinking!?" I think what really helped is quitting drinking in January 2010. After I quit drinking and I was still doing some of the same reckless and destructive things, I started to really figure out there was something more going on. Unfortunately, my next line of thinking rationalized me into "well I must just be a terrible person," and I pushed everybody close to me away. 2010 was kinda the worst year of my life, the cumulation of my lowest lows and my highest highs, and everything in between, inside out, upside down, and backwards! Of course, now I say, "duh, how could you not have seen the signs," but it took me almost 3 months of the darkest depression of my life to finally put the pieces together. I was awake and crying, immersed in utter despair for most of those 3 months. I've never been suicidal in my life, but I was getting tortured to the point that something had to change, I couldn't go on like that. My md unsuccessfully prescribed anti-depressants, one after another, which greatly amplified my hell. I was never hospitalized, but I probably should have been, if not for the depression, I also lost 50 lbs, and was entirely too skinny at 5'7" and barely 100 lbs. I was alone, and probably not being completely honest with doctors out of fear of hospitalization, or embarassment, or thinking they wouldn't believe me. Finally, my husband called me, we had been separated at the time. We had both come to the conclusions, on our own, that there was a good possibility I was bipolar. When I put my life on paper, in the form of a timeline, the patterns were so clear, it was undeniable. I asked him to go to the doc with me, and we were both honest with the doc. She thought we were on to something, and put
me on Seroquel, 300 mg. She said if nothing else, it would make me sleep, which I so desperately needed to do, but
she didn't feel comfortable treating bipolar and said I had to find a pdoc. I
didn't have insurance at the time, but somebody told me that I could go to a
mental health walk-in clinic at our county building. I did that, and after
talking with a social worker, and then the pdoc, they were able to get me on a
drug assistance program, and I got my appointments and meds for free.
Surprisingly, I've been very impressed with my county pdoc. He kept me on the Seroquel, because it was working well, only with the addition of Citalopram 10 mg seasonally, as needed. Even in my currently elevated state, he suggested being conservative for 2 more weeks, and if I don't level out, perhaps trying adding Lamictal. I will hope I won't have to take another pill, but I know it is a work in progress to treat bipolar. Anyway, I'm supposed to talk to a therapist at the county in between my pdoc appts, but I really dislike mine. I've talked to both docs about it, and my pdoc suggested I might get more benefit right now from talking to people who suffer from bipolar, and truly understand where I'm coming from. So that's gist of how I ended up here. It's funny how hard it is to write a short version of this complex story I call mine!