I try to be upfront here, and at my private blog, about the fact that I have mental health issues. It is a part of who I am, and therefore, hiding that I am unwell at the base is like hiding myself. I might not discuss the side effects, such as the nervous breakdowns, the screaming and breaking of things, and the soul-crunching despair brought on by losing control like that. That might be hypocritical; I cannot make my mind up. I have very firm notions about attention seeking behavior, and as that sort of thing can be classed as such, I tend to sit on it. Plus, as I deem these behaviors to be unacceptable for the most part, no matter the body chemistry, I tend to spend a lot of time chastising myself about acting up and out, and of course, trying to apply cognitive behavioral therapy where I can to try and correct such patterns.
With that in mind, I am pleased with the results of my appointment yesterday. I was moved up the chain to a different doctor, who overturned my previous diagnosis(es) in about 10 minutes. Yes, I said diagnoses – I was told Borderline Personality Disorder, but it was Recurrent Depressive Disorder that was passed up to the doctor I saw (?!!). When he offered up Bipolar Disorder II of the rapid cycling variety, I couldn’t help but agree that this was much closer to right. And I’m happy to share that – my body chemistry has the wonkies that send my mood jagging all about in hokey-pokey ways. My mania is hypo rather than full blown; that is to say, it is easily mistaken for pure joy (which it is, but obviously, there’s the bad crashdown to accompany it), rather than dangerous behaviors. There used to be some of those when I was still single and alone, but having a family to consider helps me fight off anything my brain can throw at me (and medicine, obviously; it helps shut down the worst of that!).
One thing that I found especially telling in what reading I’ve done since yesterday (not that I’ve found a copious amount of accessible material yet) is that going undiagnosed and treated for a long time causes significant psychosocial impairment. I’ve yet to find a concise definition of that term, but I think it boils down to an explanation on why I feel more and more isolated and incapable of seeking and nurturing new relationships in my life. It’s something I consider incredibly problematic, as even with existing relationships, I feel adrift and isolated from everyone. As I put it to a dear friend a few years ago – I like her and enjoy her company, but I didn’t feel connected whatsoever. It irked me – I knew there should’ve been something based on the level of mutual admiration and appreciation, but there wasn’t anything. It made it feel… it made me feel lost and upset, as it seemed incredibly unreasonable.
Anyways, where was I going with this? I guess I wanted to say at the least, it is a relief to have an even clearer picture of what’s ‘wrong’ with me, because it enables me to take better control of my life. I know that everyone has moments where they feel like everything is spinning out of control, but really – that’s been my entire freaking life. While I cannot proceed with the suggested course of medication at current because of my intent to get pregnant and have another child, at least I know I’ve got that waiting for me down the line; what’s a couple of months of partially medicated as compared to years of nothing? And I feel no shame in this – I have carried this burden on my own for so long, and it’s a miracle that I’ve managed to avoid the common pitfall that is suicidal behaviors. I won’t lie – that battle has only gotten harder the more stable my life has become, if only for the aforementioned feelings of isolation. And there’s no shame in admitting that either – it’s a terrible thing to feel, and I hope that anyone else feeling it will do themselves the favour of trying to get treatment and diagnosis.
So yeah… that’s just another part of who I am. So it goes, so it goes. 🙂