Well this is my 1st EVER post on a blog. Not so sure what to say, so here it goes!
I’m a wife and mother, living with Type I Bipolar Disorder. I was diagnosed in 2011, though I went undiagnosed for several years.
It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride so far! Where ever do I begin?
I guess I’ll start at the beginning of my journey.
In November of 2011, my husband and I had just gone through what we now know to be a manic episode (this I’ll go more into detail with later on). He suspected something might be wrong with me. He did a bunch of research only to stumble across my symptoms relating to Bipolar Disorder. My episode was pretty extreme. I was spending money we didn’t have, my speech was always fast, I couldn’t sleep for anything, I was super paranoid, I constantly left home due to stress I made up in my head, I was hallucinating, and hearing things to give an example.
I was scared as I really didn’t know what Bipolar Disorder was, and who we would contact to address the issue. I was for all intents and purposes FREAKING OUT!
We eventually went through our phone book, and did an online search and found a mental health clinic in our area. We called and made an appointment. One for a new primary care physician, and second for the psychiatrist.
On my 1st appointment with my primary care physician she listened carefully to our story, (which I will get more in detail with later on) I cried the whole time as I confessed as though I were at a church confessional. She decided to put me on a low dose of Lithium until I could see my new Psychiatrist. Which was a month away.
My doctor told me it would take a few weeks for the Lithium to kick in. This was NOT what I wanted to hear. At this point my life was crumbling down, my emotions on hyper drive, anxiety in full gear, and paranoia was out of control. But what could i do? Time wasn’t on my side.
Being as I was still manic and felt out of control, I tried to take the bull by the horns and research the hell out of what this Bipolar thing was.
I got several books from the local library, and did some internet research. I wanted to know what I was dealing with before I met my psychiatrist. I wanted to be on the same page, with no surprises.
I learned a lot about bipolar. So much so that it lead me to do some soul searching into my past. I began to question, “How long have I had this?”
Well, that’s a blog for another day!
I finally made it a month to my 1st psychiatrist appointment. The lithium I’d been taking hardly did the job up to this point, so I was eager to see what this guy would say, do, react, tell me something I didn’t know about myself.
I entered his office. He was a tall man, older blonde hair. His office smelled stale, but that was the least of my worries! I began to have an anxiety attack right then as I sat down. I broke down in tears confessing as I did with my primary care physician. I was a total mess.
He tried to calm me down, telling me it was ok. I was also freaked out that he would commit me to a hospital if I said too much. Like, I was aggressively paranoid, hallucinating, hearing voices, couldn’t pay attention, spaced out most of the time, etc. I eventually did tell him, and he assured me he wasn’t going to send me away. He said I needed to stabilize on medication first and foremost. I was relieved.
He upped my dose of lithium and prescribed me an anxiety medication. He also gave me a few tips on how to mellow down. The one thing he didn’t do was diagnosis me yet. He told me “If the meds work, we know your bipolar. If they don’t we’ll go from there.” Wow, really! That’s how you get diagnosed! No blood test, no verbal exam, that’s it!
Yup, that was it. The medication took a few weeks but began to bring the mania into check. I was diagnosed on my next appointment.
There you have it December 2011 I got the most memorable Christmas present, I was diagnosed Type I Bipolar.