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Hi all!

I just discovered this site, and as I am trying to be more proactive about my treatment and self-care, I thought I would give this a try. I hope that by hearing other posters' stories, I can be better about accepting that I have a brain illness rather than a moral failing.

My history goes back to when I was around 9 years old when I very suddenly developed a crippling anxiety disorder, presenting as near-daily panic attacks and severe phobias of storms and tornados. If the sky was even remotely cloudy, I would not leave the house. This went untreated for some time until a relative suggested to my parents that maybe, instead of approaching it as a behavioral issue, this was something a doctor should look into. And lo, my near-20 year relationship with psych meds was born (still going strong)! The anxiety settled into white noise, and gave way to major depression, or possibly BP II (still unclear, which is frustrating)  

More recent history, I have definitely seen that my depression is cyclical, going from a somewhat stable (at times maybe hypomanic?) state to rapidly spiralling down into severe depression where basic functioning is nearly impossible. I have learned to be wary. When I'm up, I envision and indeed experience myself being productive and effective and succeeding at the things I want to do. I am wary because I know that, while I'm making grand plans and committing myself to projects, the depression is below the surface, just waiting to pull me under. And yet, I still get caught off guard sometimes, which makes me angry and even fearful of the next time I start feeling too "up."

That's enough about me! I'll leave most of my questions to the relevant forums, but I am curious if anyone else here struggles with an unclear diagnosis? It is very frustrating to not be able to pinpoint exactly what is "wrong" with me.

Thank you for creating this space!     

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It took me a while to accept that I had an anxiety problem for a while and that I wasn't weak. It was coming to this site and meeting others with similar problems was I able to come to terms with it. I go a little easier on myself now. 

Not having a clear name for the struggle I face has been a frustration of mine for the last year and a half since coming into contact with the mental health services. Unlike other countries that rely on insurance and need to give a diagnosis in order for them to pay out, the UK takes a different approach since our health service is funded through taxes, a diagnosis is not nearly as important to give in a timely fashion. My last psychiatrist and social worker have been kicking around the idea of particular conditions for a while now, mainly Asperger's, psychosis; depression and schizophrenia. Waiting things out and taking their time, which is fine on one hand; I really don't want a diagnosis of schizophrenia and I don't think I have it anyway, and the support I get for the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service is very helpful but on the other hand not having a clear understanding of what I struggle with is, like you say, very frustrating and I really don't know if things are going to get better and if I need to be on medication long term or not. So I definitely share your annoyances.

 

Welcome. 

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I have had a bunch of labels and some are still not so clear (including bipolar II) I've stopped worrying so much about the label and focused more on what will help me; meds, and counselling.

The course I've taken for treating mainly depression and anxiety has been a better plan of action thus so far.

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