I’ve been depressed off and on for many years. My 1st major depression came when I was 15 years old.
I went to see a counselor about it in my late teens. At that time I was diagnosed with severe depression. At no point did anyone suspect I had bipolar disorder. Anytime I went to the counselors office they prescribed Prozac. Why is this bad? Simply as most of you know, Prozac is a trigger for those with bipolar disorder, we jump into mania if not carefully monitored.
It frankly dumbfounded me as too how no one noticed the patterns or signs!
At the age of 15, I was super depressed, tried to commit suicide twice, and pretty much dropped out of school! Once I was on Prozac, all became alright with the world. Until I became manic. I started to feel better, and the counselor I was seeing told me I didn’t need to be on Prozac any longer, that I seemed happy and had a positive outlook on life! Unfortunately, I had entered mania.
To this day, it disturbs me a mental health professional didn’t see the signs! After all, I had been a patient for a few years up to that point.
Mania had drawn many-different faces. I was a happy-go-lucky teen. However, I was not sleeping, couldn’t slow my thoughts, I became promiscuous, and entering into risky behavior. I would fall into this pattern a few times a year. When I was in my adult years, I would fall back into depression and head over to the doctors for another prescription of Prozac. It always did the trick, but with severe consequences.
I did seek counseling/therapy with each visit. Unfortunately, the visits were only 20-minutes long. I discussed my painful past history, they threw out another diagnosis, PTSD. So now (according to them I was depressed & suffered PTSD) they suggested I go to a therapist to sort my demons out. I took the advice of my counselor and made an appointment with a psychiatrist/therapist.
On my 1st few visits, I discussed my history and the troubles in my marriage. These troubles were due to my bipolar disorder. Had anyone properly diagnosed me, I would have avoided turmoil in my marriage.
Mind you, my marriage was a bit rocky at the time but wasn’t unmanageable.
On my last visit I complained about my husband. The advice I got back was, to this day was astounding! She told me to leave my husband and to get out of my relationship with him. Well, like I said it was astounding to hear such advice. Though, I was in mania at the time and not thinking clearly so I did exactly what she said! Within a week I found an apartment, and moved out of our house. I was going to file for divorce. I was separated from my husband for 6-months!
As I came down from mania, I began to see I was given terrible advice. I dearly love my husband and in the right frame of mind, would NEVER do what I did! Eventually, we would get back together. It wasn’t but 3-years later until I had a major manic episode for my husband to do research to decipher what was going in with me. I was willing to see a doctor to find out if I was in fact crazy or normal. Obviously, I hoped for normal.
We made an appointment with a certified psychiatrist in December 2011, who diagnosed me with type 1 bipolar disorder. Needless to say, I was shocked! However, my husband wasn’t surprised. He did a lot of research prior to my appointment and suspected as much. He was grateful I was diagnosed as was I.
It gave us answers as to why I was doing what I was doing and brought a bit of comfort. Not that I wanted to have bipolar disorder, but it gave me answers to my past and current behavior.
The psychiatrist I was seeing was surprised as to know I had bipolar disorder for so many years and misdiagnosed. He told me I wore it on my sleeve! I started on lithium to curb the mania I was in. I also started therapy. To this day, I take medication to manage my symptoms and see a therapist every week. Its been quite a ride. My only frustration is I believe if I had been properly diagnosed years ago, life might have been a bit easier. I wouldn’t have had so many rollercoaster rides complicating my life.
However, looking at it with a positive outlook my experiences bad or good, made me who I am today! Frankly, I like who I am today!