I feel like there was a certain period of time where “Bi-Polar” was like a buzz word. It was trendy. If you saw a dr because you were depressed and would suddenly burst into tears for no apparent reason, the “BI-POLAR” label was slapped on you and you were sent on your way with Xanax (unless you had an actual psychiatrist instead of a family doctor).
I had a great psychiatrist for a really long time and we found a good combo of medicine for me, after much trial and error AND with me being a hypochondriac of the worst kind. My friend would go with me to pick up prescriptions and she had to take the warning papers away from me because if I read the side effects I would spiral out of control and swear I had every one of the bad symptoms.
Despite all of my awful symptoms and feelings, my doctor assured me that I wasn’t bi-polar. He said I would be having periods where I could sustain for days with no sleep, crazy purchases, lavish vacations. And then periods of not being able to get out of the fetal position. He told me this would not be a daily or weekly change in mood. He said it would be for months. Highs for months and then crashes for months. According to him, I was severely depression and suffered from generalized anxiety and panic disorder.
Years passed and I got better. Stronger. I was able to conquer life and all of its obstacles. I was successful in my career, I was able to pay my bills, I was able to make semi-decent decisions for myself and my family, I was able to sleep without lights on and not be afraid of my own shadow. I still had occasional anxiety, which was normally brought on by drinking too many cups of coffee, but there were rarely life obstacles that knocked me down.
I don’t know what happened. Or how it happened. Or why it happened. All of a sudden one day I cracked. No. I shattered. Into a million tiny particles of depression, anxiety, panic, insecurity, self doubt and lots of other negatives. My relationships with family and friends started becoming affected as I was becoming increasingly agitated and irritable.
There are a few things that I feel could have contributed to this breakdown and I will list them in no specific order…
- My dad passed away in 2008. Pancreatic cancer. I don’t know if I’ve really processed losing him yet. I sometimes feel as though I don’t even remember him.
- My son suffered a major grand map seizure which led to 2 years of uncontrollable seizures and hospital stays watching him restrained and wondering if his brain could handle the constant seizing.
- I haven’t had a stable place to live in 5+ years. I move once a year at least. My car isn’t fully unpacked ever because I’m afraid I will have to move again.
- My son became addicted to heroin.
- My son OD’d and almost died.
- My son continued to use heroin.
- My oldest daughter got a full time job as an RN and still attended college full time to get her BSN.
- My oldest daughter got married.
- I am 44 and live with my mom.
- My kids seem to just not need me anymore, nor do they make time for me. At 21, 23, and 27, they all have their own lives.
- Am I really making a list of everything that’s wrong in my life?!?
There is some HEAVY shit that has gone on and continues to go on in my daily life. Things that would bring a mentally well adjusted person to their knees. So imagine trying to stomach all of this being me…
I struggle to find purpose and meaning in my daily life. I lay on the couch day in and day out watching TV. I write. I make faux floral areangements. And I go to Dr appts. Other than that, I try not to leave the house and if I have to, like tonight, I get horrible anxiety and have to ask my mom to come with me.
I have a new psychiatrist who told me that there are 2 types of Bi-Polar. He said I got the Type 2 version, having long periods of depression where I can’t get out of bed and then good days where I’m really good and happy and chatty and I wanna start an online business and move to Hawaii for a year; hypo-Manic episodes, but I still have SOME sense of control, whereas a type 1 might not. He said bi-polar disorder isn’t black and white. There’s a gray area and that’s where I fit in.
So I am now adding to my daily medication cocktail, Lamictal and then Restoril to sleep. Which, by the way I took over an hour ago and don’t feel the least bit tired.
So long story longer (I get sidetracked so easily), my doctor told me I suffer from Manic Depression.
Is this ever going to end? Will I ever be ok? This literally hit me out of nowhere.