Monday, December 11, 2023

On getting diagnosed with Bipolar


Things change after you get a diagnosis that is the correct one, find medication that helps, and start learning skills in therapy that make living more accessible. 

Prior to my actual diagnosis, I struggled in life and in doing simple things. I struggled to understand my thoughts and emotions. I didn't know why I couldn't control my impulses. I couldn't understand why I would act in these wild and reckless ways nearly ruining my whole life, and definitely wrecking some aspects beyond repair. 

After years of anguish and not being able to understand my own mind I finally got an accurate diagnosis. I cried that day in the psychiatrist's office. Not because I was upset that I had been diagnosed as Bipolar, but because I felt like I was finally ready going to be able to figure things out. 

I don't want to say that there was an immediate change after being diagnosed. I got officially diagnosed in 2015, and although I understand myself much more because although I guessed that this was my diagnosis I didn't know for sure and I couldn't prescribe myself any medication. 

I've tried multiple combinations of medications, and over time things will likely change again and again as things change in my life or with other issues that arise. 

The initial diagnosis changed my life. I kept the anxiety diagnosis as well, and the psychiatrist added PTSD and OCD. 

I've been hospitalized for psychiatric holds, gone to several psychiatrists, been in the court system, and seen multiple therapists all with differing diagnoses. It wasn't until I went to my family doctor with my feelings, got diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and put on Zoloft that I sought more help. 

The Zoloft triggered mania in me, and by this time in my life I realized that the things I was doing was far outside of my character. It was a mania where I felt like I was trapped and someone else was behaving in ways that I never entertain behaving. I'd always been impulsive in a sort of act before I thought type of way in emotional situations, but these were beyond that. 

It was at that time that I sought help. 

I share this story to say that if you feel that you need help, there is zero shame in getting it. I wish that I had sought help earlier, but I didn't for a myriad of reasons and looking back not a single one of them was good enough. I could have saved myself so much heart break and gotten so much farther in my life and goals if I had sought help sooner. 

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