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Misfit Love

Starting over again (Bipolar, Social Anxiety, Paranoia...ahhh!)

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Over the last month or so, I've been turning to you guys at Crazyboards to seek some common ground, as I sure don't feel it where I'm at. I'm 32, live in a major city w/ my boyfriend, and my sincerest hope is to be able to save up enough money to move out of state for graduate school. By trade I'm a fairly disappointing legal secretary, where I'm daily treated like dirt by my coworkers no matter how hard I try to do my best. This is what happens when you have nothing but work-study office work experience to put on a resume as an undergrad.  Nevermind how mindnumbingly bored I was after day one, I should be "lucky" I have a job in this economic climate...hey it's just a paycheck and benefits I tell myself.  It takes all the willpower I've got just to get out of bed every morning because I know I'm headed for a day of nonstop ridicule. Moving on...

 

Anyway, since age 20 or so I experienced mood swings. At first, I thought I had a borderline personality. I fit pretty much all the criteria, especially fear of abandonment, moods that changed at the drop of a hat (never positive, mind you), and my relationships - friend or significant other- were all so very messed up.  It wasn't until a particularly bad breakup at age 26 that everything came to a head.  I attempted suicide with booze and pills in a bathtub (my favorite place to be) and not only did I lose my shot at rekindling the relationship with that guy, but I lost pretty much all my friends. Two years ago, I lost another "best friend" after I started dating a mutual friend. The first time around was understandable - I was chewing this girl's ear off about my ex and she couldn't take it. Or, more likely, her new boyfriend was scared of me.  One day, I came home shaking from every negative feeling known to man. I took a nearby wineglass and smashed it against the counter. She moved out not long after without a word.  

 

This latest time, however, I know I didn't deserve to be dropped. She claimed I was a "bad friend," which translated roughly to "You have a boyfriend and I don't, and I can't be happy for you, so I"m giving you the kiss-off."  Nevermind I dropped everything to be with her while her mother was dying in the hospital, was with her the moment she died, and took days off from work to be at her wake and funeral. Nope, my boyfriend and I were just bad people apparently. I'm quite sure the only thing I did wrong was back out on meeting her at a cheap restaurant because I was feeling sick. With an autoimmune disease flare-up.  Again, moving on...

 

The title of my post is exactly that. I am doing my best to get some help again.  It turns out that I did not have BPD as originally thought.  Up until a couple months after my suicide attempt, I had only ever been prescribed antidepressants. Effexor had been the one to do me in. It's truly the devil. After 4 months of being on it, I started having intense nightmares - semi trucks falling from the sky like rain...killer tornadoes...pestilence.  In my ignorance, I thought it was a mere side effect of the drug. I developed a terribly short fuse, hurling both insults and items such as my jewelry box at the wall in my dorm room.  My friends at the time were in my roommate's room (our rooms were connected by a bathroom), and they were terrified. Of me -  the person most likely to be terrified of other people.  I never knew at the time that these rage outbursts were my first instances of true mania. I assumed it was BPD, a) because the mood switches were within hours and b) there was (to my knowledge) no bipolar disorder running in my family.  No diagnosed bipolar disorder, that is.  Now I know otherwise.  

 

In 2011, the same year I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome, I went for psychological testing to see if I had attention deficit disorder.  I had a lot of memory problems that was making work much more difficult that it really was (aside from my inability to socialize), and I also wanted to see if I had dyscalcula since I was so horrendous at math. After over 10 hours of testing, a neuropsychologist diagnosed me with Bipolar I and Paranoid Personality Disorder, the latter of which I denied - if anything, I had an avoidant personality.  I can't look anyone in the eye, I refuse to answer the door or leave my bedroom wherever I live, you know the drill.  Fear of rejection after years of being rejected/bullied as a child. Had a secret to carry since I was 3 years old, also making me not trust anyone. So I guess I was pretty much always a weirdo in everyone else's eyes.  My 300 question personality indicator survey pointed the doctor in the direction of BP I as opposed to II since my answers had been "extreme," although the last time I received treatment they told me I had BP II because I seemed to have more hypomanias and depression.  

 

My main "problem areas" include overspending, taking on too many projects, not wanting to go to sleep EVER, and executive dysfunction.  In terms of that, it surprised me to learn I had a slow reading disorder (I'm an English major and now a part time writer and editor, so Ii LOVE to read) but was average in math. I qualified for extra time on my GRE exam, but I for some reason decided I didn't need to take it. Apparently the test results are only good for a year. It was 10 hours of testing and I paid approximately $500 for the whole thing. So now I do need to take the GRE's and will have to either study my ass off to do well or be tested all over again. 

 

I've had various things happen, usually involving $$$, that made me put getting treatment on the backburner.  Having crappy teeth is par for the course when you have Sjogren's, so most of it went to that. I also have chronic back pain, knee pain, and arthritis due to my autoimmune disorder.  I originally was on Wellbutrin and Lamictal.  Then I switched to a world renowed bipolar specialist who only ever prescribed lithium.  Lithium, while I felt it had worked to reduce my hypomanias, did very little for my depressions and made all the physical symptoms from my Sjogren's like dryness and joint pain, worse. Not to mention, it increased my acne. No, thanks. I briefly tried Abilify and it made me nauseous and made my eyes extremely sensitive to light.

 

II'm hoping to find a new pdoc soon because my relationships (what's left of them) are all starting to deteriorate.  If I lose my boyfriend, who is also my best friend (and I his), my world will basically collapse.  I'm so grateful for his understanding...and his appreciation of my weirdness.  But he knows my moods are swinging more and more out of control as the days go by. A few days ago, I went to hopped in the shower and started singing, dancing, doing push-ups while in the shower...came back to my room and wanted to have a dance party. My boyfriend yawned and said, "Oh no, here she goes again..." It's not all fun, though. I'm very snappish.  We rented a room with a Nepalese family just to save money before our big move a couple months ago, and needless to say, it's been one big nightmare.  They move my stuff around a lot, which I really can't stand because my last roommate stole from me constantly. Instead of politely explain how my olive oil that I swore I bought went missing, I ended up making the guy think I was accusing him or his family of stealing (entirely possible, since someone took a slice of our pizza without asking. No we label everything).  That was over a month ago, and now no one except the roommate who isn't related to them, will talk to me. I feel like I have done this a lot in my life. My extreme social anxiety, fueled by paranoia and irritable hypomania, ruins my conversational skills. And they were never great to begin with. I really don't want to be like this forever, so I'm willing to make the necessary changes.  

 

I would give anything just to give the appearance of being normal, even if I never could be.  

Thanks for reading.  

 

 

Misfit Love

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Welcome! This is a great place full of a lot of very supportive people. I hope you don't have too much trouble finding a new Pdoc, I know it can sometimes be difficult when you relocate. Take care. : )

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Thanks so much, Owl. I'm still in the same city. I had a great Pdoc who was very empathetic, seemed to understand me well, and poof!- he got fired. His replacement was an NP who, weirdly, downgraded me from Bipolar to Major Depressive Disorder. If anything, I generally start out euphoric and turn into what seem like mixed episodes that veer into depression, but it's certainly not purely depression. I need someone experienced enough to tell the two illnesses apart.

 

Having to establish a rapport all over again when your aim is to get stable is no way to get treated - I pretty much stopped going after I saw the NP.  But since so many MD's aren't taking any new patients under my insurance plan, I'm lucky if I find anyone to treat me at all. 

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