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in the "Undiagnosed" car of the Crazy Train

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Howdy from Central Texas-

I found this site via Wikipedia's page on bipolar disorder and stuck around since the descriptions of the forums made me laugh so much. I figured I was in the right place.

In a nutshell, I'm fairly certain I'm bipolar. Mom was bipolar, and it would be shocking if my Dad wasn't too. They are both regrettably dead due to suicide: Dad in 1974, Mom in 2003. I made a pact long ago with myself not to ever Go There but I'm smart enough to know that if BP is indeed my problem, it's stupid and dangerous not to have a proper headmeat doc go through my brain matter with a fine tooth comb, so to speak. But I have all of the indicators, and reading An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison last night made it practically undubitable that BP is my issue. I have read many descriptions of depression, and while apt and poignant to many situations they were always incomplete to my experience. Reading about someone's experiences with mixed and manic episodes was extremely enlightening.

I know what most of you reading are thinking: I have a doctor's appointment on Monday after which I'll be referred to a proper headmeat person. Hopefully whoever I find first will be The One and I won't have to go through the agonizing dance of searching for someone who matches me. Such was the case when I looked for a therapist a couple of years ago: let's hope it's the same this time. Serendipity tends to favor me when I need help the most, and keeps me from slipping hopelessly sometimes into the pit of "I'm cursed and nothing good ever happens to me".

That is patently untrue, despite having both of my parents shuffle themselves purposefully from the Mortal Coil and having grown up with an alcoholic, domineering, and exceedingly neurotic mother and a pedophilic wifebeating stepfather. While Good Things did not really enter my life until my twenties, I try to dwell upon those Good Things and not the Bad Things that preceded them (and a few that went hand in hand with the Good). I have a wonderful husband who is unequivocally supportive of me no matter how nutty I get, and an amazing daughter who is the source of my Greatest Joys and Deepest Frustrations at the moment.

Indeed, my daughter and my relationship with her are at the center of why I am *seriously* seeking the answer to what is wrong with my addled brain and the pharmaceutical and psychotherapeutic solution to the problem. I have sought therapy and medication before, but I'm afraid I was way beyond the capabilities of the poor PCP I found at the local clinic. I started on Paxil, went through a horrible transition from it to Zoloft (exacerbated by some awful hormonal shifts I also suffer from, WHEE!), added Buspar all the time with augments from Valium and Ambien, and finally added Seroquel to deal with what I'm fairly sure were exacerbations of manic tendencies from the Zoloft (since I don't think I should be on SSRIs). The Z kept me awake no matter how early I took it; the Seroquel turned me into an utter zombie and an eating machine. I couldn't drive. The oh-so-carefully-and-tediously lost pregnancy weight zoomed back onto my ass. It sucked.

Then we lost our health insurance and there was NO FUCKING WAY I could afford all of that medication, which I was sick of anyway. So I tapered myself off (I know, I know: bad idea generally, but it turned out okay for me - DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME BOYS AND GIRLS) and was just fine until a series of really harsh stressors ran me over during the spring and summer. [sound of screeching metal] I can't tell if it's because of my hormone problems (which cause me to cycle every 2 weeks instead of 4, joy) or if I suffered from the same worsening syndrome that people on medication get when they don't adjust their dosage to their stress level. Probably both, Agent Starling. It doesn't matter.

What does matter is that my house is a disaster beyond all sanitary reason, I was out of toothpaste for days before finally getting some, I somehow can't force myself to shower despite my itchy head and skin (bet I smell great too), and worst of all, I'm going ballistic on my kid. She's not being beaten: no one needs to call CPS and have them run an IP trace to figure out who the kid abuser is. But she's frightened and confused, and that's all that matters. That and the fact that my behavior is a direct mirror of what I experienced as a child, and I swore to myself that I would never put my child(ren) through that. If I don't get some help, I'm going to become the person I always hated the most, which will inexorably push me down the same road trodden by my parents.

The buck.



I refuse to pass any more water masquerading as flash powder down the Dysfunctional Fire Bucket Brigade of my family tree. I have never tried to kill myself, and only thought about it seriously once many years ago (and having frightened myself, I called the Student Health Center). I am strong enough to stop the cycle, as long as I have help. Not to imply that suicidality would negate my strength: I just consider it a personal marker of perseverance when compared to my parents. The last one holding the torch. My daugher is only 3: she is young enough to easily bounce back from whatever stress she is experiencing at the moment due to Nutty Mommy. It's crucial I begin my work now before it's too late.

This probably belonged more in the BP forum than this one, but it was my first post. Thanks for reading.


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welcome fiercephoenix.. you're definitely in the right place, and it's good to see that you're taking strong steps towards getting a dx and finding a treatment plan that works for you. It's hard work doing all that - but everyone here has either been through or is going through the same process. We don't tiptoe around, so you can expect a lot of honesty and black humour. I'm glad you've joined us - I think you'll fit right in.

Mia (another bipolar person)

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