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Hello,

I've been lurking around here for a while now. I didn't feel like I should post because I have never been diagnosed with anything. I'm just obsessed with the idea that I'm a little bipolar. My doc just referred me to a psychiatrist for assesment. I'm in Canada (Ontario) so that will likely take quite a few months before I get in. I'm coming off Paxil now and it's awful. I took paxil a few years ago (only med I've ever been on) and it was awful coming off it then too. I have wicked dizzy-ness and probably unrelated as I didn't have this last time but I've had the symptoms of a general cough/flu. Anyway, that's not what I wanted to talk about unless someone else has some info about navigating the canadian mental health care system now that I am finally stepping up.

I am concerned about the visit to the psychiatrist and how I should prepare. I can barely get the words out in person and it took 2 visits to the doc before I spoke up about getting off the Paxil. I am the one who first said the word bipolar and so she suggested the refferal. I told her that while I was on the Paxil it felt like every emotion was in stereo and when a woman of my size starts running in circles around the main floor of the house over and over something is wrong. She asked about the past and I kept downplaying everything. I said it started in my late teens but everyones a bit off the wall in their teens. I told her I was just a silly person in general so nothing was really that crazy.

It's hard to remember how I was feeling yesterday, let alone years ago. I have pulled out my box of sentimental items to try to track down ticket stubbs and things that will give me dates or jog my memory. I don't think a memory of a feeling is that accurate. I have been journalling on moodtracker.com It's hard to find 'proof.' I feel like each time I say something that seems crazy that can't be proven that I'm just being dramatic because I think I might be crazy. That sounds dumb. I asked my husband if he thinks I'm insane and he said I was just a little crazy. I hold back from even him though because I don't want to scare him (particularly suicidal thoughts).

The only proof type thing I have is that I buy a new house every 2 years. This is our third house and I'm only 27. Even that in itself means nothing without some emotion behind it. I know I am usually the responsible one, worried about money and the budget (but normally is a weak word because normally I am depressed or a boring home-body or a silly goofball so I'm not sure what I am 'normally'). The only thing I am sure of is that I was surfing the internet late last summer and I saw this house on the river. It was too expensive for us with our debts but I was in love. I desperately wanted to wake up my husband to show him. I drove out a number of times to check it out. My husband got caught up in this and he did want to move closer to town. We spent the next 2 weeks doing months worth of repairs and putting the house up for sale. We put an offer on the other house and Jo got scared about the actual costs. He tried to talk me down and I got upset. We ended up buying a different house closer to town which was about 70% of the cost of the one by the river.

Anyway, I thought I would take a summary of these types of events and whatever family history I can dig up and then maybe they can figure it out from there. I am mainly worrying about chickening out when the time comes and not being honest. I am thinking that if I write it up beforehand it's harder to chicken out. I know this is long and thanks for indulging me. It's funny. This is the kind of person I am, lists and research and proof and data. When I was at the docs she said it's possible that I am just an impulsive person. But I don't think I am. For this visit I am planning before I even have a referral.

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Hi, and welcome

My attention span is shocking, so I apologise if I miss something key in your post. I just want say that writing things down is an excellent idea. A first appointment with a pdoc (psychiatrist) can be overwhelming and taking something in that documents your thoughts and memories can help an enormous amount. Just keep jotting things down as they occur to you - it doesn't matter if they seem disjointed and aren't in chronological order. A good pdoc will listen to you and use that writing as a springboard to start working with you to figure out what the underlying issues are.

I'm sure you know that no-one here can give you a precise diagnosis (and it would be irresponsible of us to even try), but do keep posting and reading. If anything, the process of doing that could well help you to start focusing your thoughts.

good luck and take care,

Mia

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Hi Nipple Clamps, [haha good nick!]

Welcome to crazyboards.

I'm glad you have started posting, and you don't need a diagnosis to be here. I hope you find some of the information here helpful to you.

What Miab said is really good advice. And it sounds like you are on a roll already with journaling, gathering together things from your past, looking into your family history, your past meds, and creating a story etc. This will be really helpful when you going and see your psychiatrist in working out where to go in terms of a diagnosis, and then treatment. If you want to get the best out of the appointment the honest route is the best one to take. They can only work with what you tell them so it's really important that you try and give them honest and accurate information. So if writing it up first is going to help you get in there and tell your story then go for it. It might take a couple of visits or more to come to a diagnosis, which can really suck. But, hang in there and keep posting on here in the mean time.

Cheers, Tim

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Hello there - glad you decided to post!

Sometimes we are the only ones who know our true selves. I knew from about 12/13 on that something was not right and I should probably be on meds - so it was a relief when I finally got a dx. Validation of some sort. I think going for an assessment is going to be good for you as long as you are HONEST and stop downplaying what's going on in your head. You hurt no one but yourself in that instance. Do you have highs & lows or just highs?

To prepare, I would advise writing things down. Thoughts, feelings, etc. It is good you are doing a mood diary, can you print out a summary report or something to bring to doc?

Until then, going off meds completely may not be a good idea. Can your GP prescribe a mood stabilizer or something? I'm just concerned that the next few months until you get to a pdoc are going to be bad. Of course, by then you may be super batshit and won't be able to hide it from the doc. But it's not worth being batshit. And the whole kindling thing. And I am convinced that once a brain is on meds, if you take the meds away the brain gets even kookier.

Keep posting and reading. See what types of things you identify with and what you don't. And try to get to see a pdoc earlier, maybe stress that you are in bad condition.

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When I read your post, I was struck by the fact that you do have symptoms, but you seem to dismiss them to yourself and put yourself down. As natural as it might feel to do so, it will work against you in the pdocs office. If you are saying inappropriate things/being very uncontrollably busy/feeling suicidal/getting an impulsive urge to make a house purchase then that is what you are experiencing, it's not you being 'silly' or 'just a bit crazy', it's you suffering with something that can be treated. Try to be as objective as you can with the facts, use the mood tracker and list your symptoms. There is pinned info on bipolar symptoms at the topic of this subforum list and you might want to print them out and tick which ones you identify. If your past has been tough, be honest about that too. I know that the fear of being laughed out of the pdocs office is strong, but if you downplay what is happening they might take your word for it, and you won't get a result. If you think that something is wrong in your life and you suspect that it is bipolar, then trust yourself, and take it as seriously as you would expect a pdoc to.

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Hi there Nipple

Another great idea you can try is to print out your posts you've made here and bring those to the session.

And for what it's worth, my pdoc says that everyone is a little bp.

Welcome to crazyville,

Martin

edited to say: I didn't see Gwen's response, sorry for the redundant post.

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Hi- glad to see you post. I totally agree with all the above.

sounds like trying to remember thing from the past is stressing you out ( good ideas though- ticket stubs etc to jog memory)

If it does get too hard to remember, than start with right now, keep a list of things happening now- especialy if you feel that anything is changing or different.

Just to give you an idea- the pdoc will probably ask you about how much you sleep, changes in appetite, are you doing impulsive things like spending money way beyond your means on things you don't need, do you feel self destrucive or suicidal, how are your relationships, do you hear or see things others don't etc..

these are pretty basic questions to help assess whatever symptoms you're having ( this is in no way a complete list- just an idea of what you might expect so if it would help you you may want to look at some of these now and keep a record.

I have found it really helpful to read the boards- like I will be able to find myself described here.

don't hesitate to ask questions- obviously we are not offering medical advice, just the advice of our own experiences.

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most pdocs are scientific types who like to quantify things. that being said, it follows that you must do moodtracker and keep a journal in it too. talk about how you feel from moment to moment, day to day. be honest about your suicidal feelings.

don't let them put you on paxil without a mood stabilizer. it could make your bp worse if you are bp.

btw- welcome to our crazy community. don't be afraid or shy to post- we're all nuts so we understand one another.

loon

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I'm freaking out because somehow my doc managed to get me an appointment on Monday. Someone in my city said she had to wait 6 months for a family member who had a psychotic break and my doc said I may have to wait months.

I have a million things I need to do. I made up a photo album organized by date that tells a story but I am not finished writing out my story. How will I be able to tell someone else about events that are all jumbled together in my head? I was filled with such relief when I heard this because I really was scared about waiting that long. I think I may be even more scared about actually going there. Gah, I just feel such pressure to fix this before the next depression comes, while I am still mostly lucid.

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Hey again,

I know the feeling of getting things all sorted with ominous clouds of depression in the distance. It's easier said than done but try and relax a bit if you can. By the sounds of it you have enough already to go into your first appointment. Once you get in the room just talking about it will probably jog your memory of something else. And your shrink will ask you lost of questions about your history to help you along. Before you know it the session will be over, and you'll reach the second appointment to start where you finished off. It's natural to feel scared about going in there, but you are doing so well with preparing this I think you need to give yourself a big pat on the back, and maybe take a break from it for awhile to let your head settle down and later you'll probably find things won't seem so jumbled. Then come your appointment you'll be ready to talk about it. So, you are doing really well. Try and give yourself a break from thinking about it for awhile.

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