Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bipolar 2...

Have you ever heard of it?  I am finding out that a lot of people have never heard of bipolar 2.  I know none of the general practitioners had any knowledge or experience with it.  I asked repeatedly if I could possibly have be bipolar and I was told absolutely not.  It's not possible.  I knew something was wrong with me.  I had known it since I was in my 20s.  

I was diagnosed with depression in my teens, after losing my Dad at 13 and living in an emotionally & verbally abusive home.  I saw a psychiatrist for years and I think the only thing he was interested in was prescribing antidepressants.  I went to tough love for teens where I was surrounded by mostly teens that had either done drugs or had a bracelet on their ankle and were under house arrest.  

I was irritable and my mood could and would change in an instant.  Most of the time when I went looking for help from my general practitioner, it was when I was in a really deep funk.  Anger became a very real part of my life.  I found myself getting angry over the tiniest things and screaming and yelling.  

When I am hypomanic, I do not want help, because I feel happy and smile and laugh a lot.  I am energetic and can get a lot done.  Then come the mixed episodes, where I will be laughing and happy, but feel like crying at the same time.  Those are the hardest emotionally.  

I finally have in and went to a psychiatrist over here when I was feeling absolutely helpless.  After going through the questionnaire, he did not even have to see me before diagnosing me.  

The biggest clue, was that antidepressants do absolutely nothing for me.  Some, like Prozac, make me fight suicidal thoughts.  Lexapro made me want to punch somebody, anybody.  A general practitioner had tried Paxil with me.  I felt so out of it that I could not get out of my recliner.  Not to mention the weight gain.  

Finally, I found a doctor that understood and did not want to just push antidepressants.  He explained that my episodes were not as severe as full blown bipolar, but the depressed side is usually worse.  When I told him one of the worst issues is my moods changing so quickly and randomly and the anger and irritability, he knew exactly what was going on.  He put me on a mood stabilizer and thankfully, it has been a huge help.  There are still some days with super highs and tremendous lows, but I think with a baby and sleep deprivation, it affects it a lot.  Most days, I feel normal, when I remember to take my medication.  

Thankfully he put me back on Xanax, after the baby came.  Most of the time, it does great with keeping me less crazy.  There are still some days when my mind automatically jumps to the worst possible scenario.  But most days I feel like I am functioning much better than I have the past 10-15 years.  I stay sleepy all of the time, probably from the Xanax, but I will take that over panic attacks and chest pains any day.  Maybe one day God will heal me from this, or maybe He chose to use me to speak out and be a help for someone else going through something similar.  Maybe He will do both.  Hopefully I will not have to be medicated the rest of my life.  

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