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intro (late, sorry)

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I should probably introduce myself here, I don't know how I missed this when I joined. I blame everything on ECT :-)

I've struggled w/mental illness since...really my whole life. I had panic disorder when I was a little kid, although we didn't know what to call it. Whenever I heard loud noises (thunder, fireworks, balloon popping, etc) I went into this really weird mode where I put my hands over my ears and wouldn't take them away for...an hour or so after I heard the sound. Even if I had to go to the bathroom. Speaking of, also, I was a bedwetter until age 13. I don't think the two were related, though. Anyway it sucked.

I started having panic attacks, 2-3 every day, when I was 19. Had them regularly for 4-5 years. They were debilitating but started to wane in my 20s, and I went on Celexa and they stopped completely. I can feel myself sometimes slide into a panic attack now, but can pull myself out and back to reality so I consider myself pretty much fully recovered from panic disorder.

Once the panic stopped, I was able to live a normal life. It was very exciting! I had a great boyfriend, a great job, great friends. Living the dream. However, once I hit my mid 30s I had my first psychotic episode and had been sliding into depression for months, just hadn't noticed it. I'm sure the severe depression was triggered as a result of me deciding to wean off of anti-depressants (combined with getting married and moving across the country, two big life changes). So that was four years ago - summer of 2012, had first inpatient hospital stay and I have had three more since. During one of my stays, they diagnosed me with Bipolar disorder but my current doctor (who treated me with ECT in May-June) has changed the diagnosis to Major depressive disorder. I think it's bipolar since I'm pretty sure I have experienced hypomania or maybe even mania (no sleep, no food, excessive spending, high energy, racing thoughts and speech, thinking I am special, etc.) but I'll leave it to the doctors to decide.

I still experience delusions and also have OCD, so I obsess. I haven't experienced psychosis since December 2015 and I credit my anti-psychotic medication (Zyprexa). I attempted suicide in April but I wasn't psychotic. I was just SO.TIRED.

Anyyway - I have found comfort here and really enjoy reading everyone's stories, and appreciate this community very much.


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