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I'm going to pretend I can be concise.


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I am 26, I will be finished grad school in mid-July, and if I tried to write a detailed history, it would take forever. I am not a succinct person. It's not that I can't get right to the point; it's more that I get to the point of one thing, then another, then another, then another, and I don't know where to stop.

I'm going to bitch about some recent history, though. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 19. Last summer or fall, I stopped taking my meds (again) because I was tired of being so tired all the time and physically unable to wake up at a reasonable time in the morning. This worked surprisingly well until January, when I became tired all the time again because I couldn't sleep, became suicidal, and was involuntarily hospitalized. The psychiatrist at the hospital decided I wasn't bipolar, although God knows what his reasons were, considering it must say in my file that I am, and he never bothered asking me any questions about my past hypomanias and manias. I was discharged after four days, and he prescribed me Effexor. By itself. I told him I didn't think it would be a good idea for me to take an antidepressant without a mood stabilizer or an antipsychotic. He told me it would be fine. Idiot that I am, I decided to do what the doctor said. I figured, It won't be so bad. Maybe I'll get hypomanic; it'll be fun.

So I guess I still couldn't have been extremely lucid at the time, because I completely forgot about the possibility of rapid cycling and/or mixed states. I wound up in the hospital again three weeks later. This time I was arrested first because I refused to go on my own. During my three weeks on Effexor, I still couldn't sleep very well, but I stopped being tired. I had tons of energy but absolutely no focus. Volatile emotions, irritability, randomly going all over town in order to spend too much money. Oh, yeah, and I still really wanted to kill myself. When I was feeling euphoric, that was why: 'cause I thought I would kill myself and get rid of all my problems forever. Yay. Then one night I got drunk and cut my arm and so my boyfriend and brother called 911 and I started screaming a lot and wound up in the hospital again for five days.

Just before I'm discharged this time, the shrink informs me that I have no mood disorder whatsoever, that I have borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder and that probably no medications will ever help me. The idea of me as histrionic is completely ridiculous, but since nobody here knows anything about my personality or history, you're just going to have to take that on faith for now. The idea of me having borderline personality disorder is less ridiculous, since I do fit a few of the criteria, which is understandable as they overlap so much with the criteria for bipolar disorder. I still don't think I have BPD, but I'm not overly hung up on labels, so I wouldn't care what he called me as long as he acknowledged and treated my symptoms. But he didn't. Apparently he also doesn't believe in giving medications to borderlines or having any respect for them whatsoever, so it's particularly unfortunate that he decided I had BPD. At least he agreed that the Effexor was not helping, and I stopped taking it. I know that I became considerably worse because I was taking Effexor, but I think he decided that if the Effexor didn't help me, I couldn't possibly have a mood disorder, and I think he also thought that the reason I was batshit insane for those three weeks was because that's the way I regularly behave. He also flat-out refused to refer me to another psychiatrist on an outpatient basis, but he did suggest that I take part in a day treatment program at the psychiatric hospital.

This is my seventh and last week at the day program. Tomorrow is my last day. Everyone there, patients and staff, is so nice that it's kind of weird. I'm not used to people being that nice, especially not health care professionals. Nobody tells me that if I'm not doing any better it can only be because I'm not trying hard enough. Nobody tells me I'm difficult and obstinate. I'm allowed to have opinions. Nobody insults me. I don't feel like I've made much actual progress by being in the program, but I have enjoyed my time there very much. I've actually been feeling very well since coming off Effexor and have done an okay job of being a mental patient by day, grad student by night (I'm taking a summer course). On Friday I start a summer job. Because I'm so stable at the moment, though, and the program is focused on coping skills and working through traumas and not labelling and all that, though, I don't have the option of taking meds right now. I mean, if I was a total wreck, I might be prescribed something, but since I was unmedicated entering the program and am stable, no one's considering drugs for me and I just have to wait until I crash and burn again, which will inevitably happen, in order to be prescribed anything. I'm just hoping that this crashing and burning will have the decency to wait at least a month, since I won't see another psychiatrist until then.

Anyway. I have bipolar disorder, rapid cycling, with psychotic features. I also have PTSD. I don't really think I'm borderline, but if I keep getting dx'ed with it, I'll keep an open mind about it. I used to SI, but I don't really anymore, I used to practice some eating-disordered behaviours, but I don't really anymore, and I used to have some OCD-type stuff going on (counting, checking, etc.), but I think seven years of Zoloft have mostly killed that.

When I Grow Up, I am going to be a librarian. I love reading. I'll read damn near anything, but I like novels for kids and teens the best. I love writing. I've done NaNoWriMo for the past four years and I am also going to be a writer When I Grow Up. I love my kitties and my boyfriend. I love creating web sites. I'm a beginning knitter -- I've been at it for quite a few months now, but have produced very little. For the past couple of years, I've taken ballet whenever I had the time and money for lessons. I've gotten so used to playing badminton twice a week at the hospital that I think I'm gonna have to set up some kind of net in my backyard. I'm also gonna sit my butt down and paint some more watercolours in the near future -- I'm not good at it, but it's fun.

I lied. I'm not even pretending to be concise.

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When I Grow Up, I am going to be a librarian. I love reading. I'll read damn near anything, but I like novels for kids and teens the best.

Welcome, from someone who became a librarian long after he grew up.

Tommy

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Heya Wonder,

Nice to meet you.

Around here someone came up with ELPD -- Excessively Long Post Disorder.

I think that fits lots of us :) though it's not in the DSM. Yet. ;)

Whatever helps you, talk as much as you want!!

--ncc--

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Sorry for saying that I wasn't used to health care professionals being nice, by the way. I've had some who were nice and also very good at what they do, and I've had some who were absolutely terrible. Unfortunately, this past year I've had to deal with more who fell into the "terrible" category. The staff at the day treatment program are wonderful, though.

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welcome ;)

I hear you about the labels and such.

In my thinking, BPD (which I also have some of the symptoms of) is a form of depression. But I won't get into that discussion now!

I also enjoy teen books, cover some good issues. I work for the library service. (In the stock support section...oooo lots of new books!) although I'm not a librarian.

Efexor works for some with depression, and not others. I was on it for a year until they decided I needed to come off it.

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