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ooo look, fresh bipolar meat!

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I may have made an introduction many moons ago when I first registered here, but that was 4.5 years ago, so I'll start afresh. I was diagnosed as bipolar a few days ago, though I've known that's my issue for quite a while longer than that. It just took that long to get my ass in front of a psychiatrist. :D So at the age of 39, I'm on my first course of lithium, and some trazodone to help me sleep. I wound up in front of said shrink due to switching birth control pills a couple of weeks ago, and that obviously set off a bad chain reaction in the ol' brainpan. I spent last weekend avoiding contact with other humans as much as possible and taking the Vicodin and Valium my friends so kindly lent to me so I wouldn't have to sit in the ER, which would have just made me worse (most folks I talked to on Monday concurred). It was either that or risk bad things by interacting with the public.

I'm still kind of in crisis management mode. It doesn't take much to set me off in either direction: apparently I get to enjoy the bliss of mixed episodes. Yay. Monday's remedy was merely from my city's emergency psychiatric office: I still have to find my own psychiatrist, a counselor if the shrink doesn't do both, and a doctor where I can get my blood checked every now and then for lithium toxicity. So I'm trying hard not to let all that freak me out. Luckily I'm a practicing Buddhist so I can usually give myself a mindfulness jolt or at least be aware enough to make myself do something else before I start throwing things or insulting my family.

Generally, I already have my bipolar ship pointed in the right direction. I take yoga and karate and go to the gym, I try to eat as naturally as possible and eat very little processed food, I try to keep an active spiritual and creative life, and perhaps most importantly, I make a concerted effort not to engage in the same negative patterns that dogged my family growing up. Mom was alcoholic, drug addicted, and bipolar but never stayed on her meds: she killed herself in October of 2003. Dad was an alcoholic with PTSD from Vietnam: he killed himself in October of 1974. He might have been bipolar too. My brother almost certainly is, not to mention having some severe narcissistic tendencies. Of the four of us, I actually have the most "normal" life! But I've worked hard to make it that way, and as such I unconsciously ignored my own illness for a very long time, ironically. I probably should have started taking meds in my 20s.

At least it's getting taken care of now, though! I quit smoking a couple of months ago (and I have some very definite opinions on how *that* affected my neurochemistry) and am in pretty good health, other than the headmeat. Hopefully it won't be too much trouble to get that into shape. I'm glad CB is here to help! I went looking for it at one point in the past but couldn't find it, much to my dismay. I tried again today just in case, and there it was!


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I'm glad you're here and I hope we can offer you some good information. We have blogs now, and a really great chat room, so take part in them if you want to.

I'm very sorry about your parents---suicide is just a hideous thing to live with.


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