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rockabye

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About rockabye

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  1. So, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 16 years old, but I thought they were full of it (and they were for other reasons) and I resented being treated against my will, so I just discounted everything and was in denial for many years. I knew I had bipolar in my gut, just didn't want to admit it over the years. I was very recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder again, but it feels "real" this time because I know it's true. I was already being treated for a cyclical mood disorder, so literally nothing has changed except for the label. In some ways, it feels freeing and relieving because it's finally coming to terms with things and explaining so much of my life. On the other hand, I feel like I'm spiraling a little because of sharing a diagnosis with my dad - I didn't expect it to affect me or matter at all, but it's just been bringing up a lot for me. My dad had bipolar disorder and it wreaked havoc on our lives. I did not grow up with him past the age of 5, but it still affected me in big ways. His manic episodes would result in disappearances and missing persons reports, occasional arrests, spending all of our family money, etc. And his depressions would keep him from being in contact with us for months at a time. I was very attached to him and I very much took the ups and downs personally and was crushed by the alternating excitement to do all the things together and the disappearance from my life altogether. He died a few years ago and I had to go to where he was living and was somewhat traumatized by it (technically homeless in an SRO, a level of filth that I've never seen before, completely infested with cockroaches, horrific smell I still can conjure up instantly, etc.). It is relevant that he never accepted that he had bipolar, never got treatment (minus a couple short periods when ordered to by court or his union), etc. For some reason, this new official diagnosis has me feeling like a fraud in my normal life and that I'm destined to just end up like my dad did and I'm tempted to just give up on pretending I can have a "normal" life. I started messing with my meds to try to trigger I hypomanic episode so I could at least have some short-lived good times (I stopped this and am taking my meds as prescribed now), I'm withdrawing from my relationships with people, I'm spending way too much money (not a typical symptom for me), and I'm just feeling like nothing matters anymore. Intellectually, I know that this doesn't make sense and that my life doesn't have to end up like my dad's, that I'm getting treatment for it, that lots of people with bipolar disorder are able to have families/keep jobs/etc (not that these are the best measures, but it's what I'm afraid of losing in my own life), that I've had bipolar my whole life and have found ways to live fairly well with it, etc. Seeing the diagnosis itself is just affecting me in ways I didn't expect. I guess I'm wondering if any of you had unexpected reactions to your diagnosis related to your experiences having a parent with bipolar disorder. Or just if a new bipolar diagnosis triggered some self-destructive behaviors. How did you deal with it? Any advice?
  2. Thanks all. I ended up making a more organized summary of things that I will share with my doc. I think I'm just in a bit of denial - I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 16 following hospitalization (for depression) and when I'm totally honest with myself, I know I have it in some form. I've spent a long time just treating it as depression (very treatment resistant depression) and starting the lamictal is shifting things a lot (in a good way). This is probably the first time I've met with my doc when not in a severe depression, so seems like the first time I can actually give more accurate background (when I'm depressed, I can hardly remember that there was ever a time I wasn't depressed). I'll be straight up with him and see what he thinks. We'll see.
  3. I'm seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow and I'm considering telling him I'm pretty sure I have bipolar 2 disorder. I'm feeling a little resistant to that for some reason - well, probably for a few reasons. First is just denial/not really wanting the diagnosis. I'm also hesitant to have the documentation in my medical record, which probably doesn't make sense but I wonder about consequences down the road in terms of discrimination. First, is there anybody here who has been negatively affected specifically by having bipolar disorder documented in their medical record? I'm not sure if I have bipolar disorder (I mean, I'm pretty sure I do, but I keep having doubts). My first diagnosis was bipolar disorder when I was 16, but they diagnosed me with about 8 different things and they all felt like a shot in the dark. My diagnoses kind of ended up settling on major depression, ADD, and sometimes anxiety and have been there for 20 years. If anyone has time to look at this and give your reaction, it would be helpful to me. I think I know the answer, I just overthink forever and since I'm a little resistant to the idea I go back and forth. I don't really want to talk to my psych about it unless I feel more confident in what is going on. Things that make me think I have bipolar disorder - previous diagnosis after ssri's made me hyper and/or agitated and possible psychosis - have periods of being really productive, enthusiastic about new things, focused, just really high functioning. I feel better basically. - my dad had bipolar 1 (probably the biggest reason I'm resistant to the diagnosis; his was severe and manias were extreme) - I started a new job last year that threw me into a super anxious state where I didn't sleep more than 2 hours a night for about 5 weeks, worked 80+ hours/week, stopped eating for the most part. I interpreted this as just an extreme version of new job anxiety with some depression thrown in (super insecure, needing to prove myself, hating feeling like I didn't know what I was doing, etc.) - I almost always crash after my high functioning times - bad depressive episodes. The only downside to my good times is anticipating the impending crash. - I had a really good couple months earlier this year that was a bit 'more' than usual - super productive, actually confident, really happy, really energetic, motivated, etc. (I had *just* started adderall, which instantaneously brought me out of one of the worst depression episodes I have ever had) - I've been on a million antidepressants; ssris/snirs are always agitating/awful, others (wellbutrin especially) will work for a short time and then stop working. - I'm on lamictal and it seems like things are improving (depression episodes much shorter, generally functional. I'm missing my more productive times and I do seem to be moodier than usual within a day but nothing lasts long) - I've been trying to trigger a more productive time by messing with my adderall dosing (I know this is a bad idea, I just Things that make me think I don't have bipolar disorder - my productive times are good and I usually think they must be like what people feel like who don't have depression. The only downsides are dreading the crash and I guess that I sometimes overcommit and it can be hard to follow through on everything once I'm not in that space anymore. - I've seen two psychiatrists and regularly see a counselor during the past year; none of them think my productive times quite meet hypomania threshold (my chart constantly says to rule out bipolar, but as of yet nobody thinks I have it) - My productive times are generally triggered by something (new job, new school, new relationship, etc.) and don't happen spontaneously - I don't really have a "baseline" if my productive times are considered hypomania (ie: there's no "normal" that I go lower and higher than during episodes). I've always assume productive=normalish and lower=depression. - oftentimes my symptoms seem more consistent with add "hyperfocus"; primarily obsession with one topic and I can focus on it to the exception of every other single thing in my life, lose sleep researching it, etc. -
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