I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder in 2011. I was at the time going through my worst manic episode ever. I had major grandiose thinking, spending money, separated from my husband, dating, among a slew of other things.It was in fact my manic episode that lead to the discovery of my diagnosis.
For years I went undiagnosed. I had sought numerous times professional help for my depression but was never diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Instead, I was just put on Prozac for the depression.
I sort of feel as though the medical profession had failed me to never catch what was really going on with me.
The many years I went undiagnosed left we with years of cleanup over poor decision making in part to manic episodes. These manic episodes were fueled by Prozac. As most of you know Prozac is a medication prescribed with caution to those with bipolar disorder, as it can fuel or trigger manic episodes.
Though Prozac helped my depression, it triggered manic episodes.
So in 2011 when I was formally diagnosed with type 1 bipolar disorder, I was a bit shocked. I also at the time had no idea what it was or what it meant to me. I did know that from my understanding it was the reason why I had gone off the mental deep end.
I felt quite alone. While the diagnosis answered some questions about my recent behavior, it also left me with few answers.
I found out that bipolar disorder can be hereditary. So diving into my family history I found an alarming number of immediate family members who had a mental illness of sorts. The closest to me is my own mother, who has borderline personality disorder. My father has diagnosed depression, and may possibly have bipolar disorder as well.
But that’s just skimming the surface.
There is an alarming number in my family history with a mental disorder. Though this helped answer where my diagnosis may have originated, it did little to comfort me. As I find the more answers I have the more alone I felt.
There was a great deal for me to learn and understand about bipolar disorder after my diagnosis. I was started on lithium to bring my mania under control. Then I was scheduled to see a psychiatrist once a month to check-on me, and to adjust or add medications.
I also was scheduled to see a counselor every 2-weeks to help with questions, and to help me get through understanding my diagnosis. I was appreciative for all the help though I was quite scared with the whole process.
For the first time in my cognitive life I was not in control. My life felt like a literal roller coaster out of control. I was going up and down feeling nauseous with each turn. Though I was getting help and I was lucky to have the support of my husband.
After a few months all started to slowdown and get back to a manageable pace. My marriage got back on track, my thoughts slowed down, I got my spending under control, and I felt OK for the first time in months in my own skin.
I soon realized having bipolar disorder wasn’t the end of the world, but I needed to find acceptance and manageability to make it through. Its honestly taking a few years to accept but I’ve grown to manage my disorder.