I was diagnosed by my therapist over a year ago with depression and anxiety. Since, then I've tried two different antidepressants (Wellbutrin and Celexa). I'm still taking Celexa, (10 mg a day) which has done wonders for my anxiety, which I didn't realize I had! But, looking back I can remember getting really stressed out back in third grade, right before a mid-term exam. What I did then was hid a small stuffed mouse into my front pocket of my uniform, to keep me calm. And for whatever reason that helped me that day.
The first time I realized I had depression was when I was 16 years old and the guy I was dating (my first boyfriend, who was also the first guy I had ever kissed) broke up with me. I took it really hard. I remember being completely distraunt about it. At one point my mom talked to me briefly about it, as we were passing each other in the upstairs hallway. I don't remember anything meaningful from that conversation, nor feeling any better by it. But, I overheard her exclaim to her sisters that "I made her feel all better." That made me even more depressed, since here I was still depressed, but no one even understood it much less really wanted to talk about it. I had also been writing a journal and had gotten up enough courage to show it to one of my friends. I thought "this is the answer". I would finally be understood. But, when my friend returned it to me, she said nothing. I sank even lower, but I still maintained good grades, was involved with a bunch of clubs, and played sports. But, nobody knew the demons within.
Anyways, to make a long story shorter, (and this is were everything gets fuzzy) my dad's mother was a depressive alcoholic, she died when he was in Vietnam. And my dad's father died when he was three, so my dad was shipped from relative to relative, (since his mom was in no shape to raise him) before one of his aunt's decided to raise him, otherwise he would have gone to an orphanage. My dad has never been in touch with his feelings, doesn't talk a whole heck of a lot and is pretty much dominated by my mom, especially since he his stroke two years ago. If anything, he is propably OCD and depressed.
My mom has always favored my younger brother, whereas my dad has always favored me. But, since my mom tends to dominate the family, my brother has also taken on that "personality" trait, whereas I tend to hang back and let other people bang their heads against each other. I would also say, that my mom is probably depressed too. Neither my mom nor my dad has ever been diagnosed and they would never consider talking to a "shrink". Whereas, my undergrad is in psychology and when a best friend of mine was killed in a car accident when I was in college I figured how in the world was I going to treat people if I couldn't see myself going to a psychologist. Since, then I've had several. But, this is the first year of going on antidepressants, and it's opened up an entirely new world. I finally feel that I have the mental wherewithall to finally start tackling some of these "issues" I've been dragging around with me for so long.
I've never really felt that I've gotten the warmth, love, compassion, and understanding that I need from my family. I have been able to get some of this from various friends and relationships along the way, but it seems that something is missing at my core. That I will never be able to fill that void until I can accept and forgive my family for what I see as being unable to cradle me with love, understanding, and support that I crave and need. I mean, I've never really felt loved. My mom has only said those three little words maybe a handful of times to me, none of which I remember. Maybe, I need to take the lead and say them to her instead?
Anyways, the real reason I was writting this is because I was reading up on symptoms of bipolar. And I noticed that the literature said that antidepressants can trigger manic episodes. From time to time, I get full of energy, my thoughts race, and I'm full of life. But, this only usually lasts a day and then I crash hard. Afterwards, I have no energy, I have no interest in anything and have a hard time getting out of bed, much less doing anything productive. But, at the same time I relish those highs. I wish I could have that kind of energy all the time, I feel so good, I wish I could bottle the stuff and be like that all the time! I get so much accomplished. I can clean my entire apartment in half the time it would normally take, I don't need to eat and when I finally do sit down - I can't seem to get my energy level back up to where it was, so I'll push myself until I'm absolutely exhausted and depleted. And now, I'm wondering if I am perhaps bipolar rather than depressed. Since, these "manic" moments tend to coincide with nice bright sunny days, where I've already used my light box as soon as I get up in the morning, like today.
How have others been diagnosed? It seems like a very complex and long journey.