Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cray Cray

In the first several months of a each new year when you bump into old friends, the Christmas past is often most inquired about. Such was my case the other day when I ran into Bobby, an old buddy from my clubbing days. When asked what Santa brought me, I answered that I had received the best gift possible, a diagnosis. I got a very puzzled look of course.

For many years, I’ve suffered from severe depression, OCD and chaotic, shifting moods. My shrinks just put me on a strong antidepressant and sent me out the door, not really all that curious about the origins of my mood swings. Only suggesting that I get a hobby or take yoga to get my mind off my problems.



 Recently because I lost my health insurance,I started seeing a shrink at a charity clinic just down the road from my HIV doctor. My new shrink told me that I was indeed bipolar and needed to me put on a med for that, not just the antidepressant I was already taking. Suddenly it all made since to me, the years of struggles and constant mood swings. Somehow it had never occurred to me that “I” of all people might be bipolar. Heaven forbid, Bipolar people were crazy, right ?

So, since Christmas I’ve been trying to get my new meds straightened out. The first med gave me really bad heartburn, the second med affected my sleep (couldn’t sleep for more that 2 hours at a time) and gave me chronic constipation (I sound like a fun person to hang around, right?).

I can totally relate to an episode of the Golden Girls called Sick and Tired, where Dorothy is sick and extremely fatigued and none of the doctors will believe that anything is actually wrong with her, suggesting that it might all be in her mind. I’m here to tell you, that there’s nothing worse than knowing something is not right with your body and no one believes you. Well, Dorothy keeps plugging along and finally comes to a doctor that decided to run some very specific tests for things out of the norm and it comes back that Dorothy has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it wasn’t all in her head like so many of doctors suggested.

So yes, I was thrilled to hear that I was bipolar. I finally had a name for this horrible thing that beats me up from the inside and my new shrink has offered me hope that I can me normal again with the proper meds in 2013, my year of good mental health.


jamiessmiles said...

Good for you. My mother was told she had post-partum depression, no, she has a terminal illness, but knowing that helped. All the best to you.

Immanuel said...

Glad you were properly diagnosed. I hope you achieve balance. Get well and please keep writing.