I've been living with Bipolar Illness 2 (yeah, the official title is Bipolar Disorder, but I the word "disorder" rankles me) for most of my adult life, but had never been correctly diagnosed until about four years ago when I began to be unable to cope with my boss, my job, and my life to a degree that everything was unmanageable. Now, don't get me wrong, this certainly wasn't the first time I hadn't been able to handle a boss or a job . . . or life. Indeed, I had been in therapy for most of my adult life, but had been categorized as suffering from General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, and of course, Depression. And, I had been on and off of a variety (woohoo!) of meds throughout my adult life but none of them ever seemed to help, and I could never handle any of them (shout out to all you bipolars out there: sound familiar?).
Fortunately, I found a good
psychologist through the Employee Assistance Program at my place of
work. And fortunately he figured out that I was bipolar. This was the
first time I had been in session with a psychologist rather than
clinical social workers and mental health counselors who had been
focusing on immediate behavioral coping mechanisms rather than
identifying the problem and working outward.
diagnosis led me to another psychologist who also diagnosed me as
bipolar and referred me to a psychiatrist specializing in bipolar
illness. I feel lucky that I found these professionals because they
have truly helped me understand myself, the disorder, and have helped me
on the road to stabilization. I know I'll always need help with the
illness, and will always live with a need to self-monitor and self-talk,
but at least I know what the underlying cause is. That's a comfort
I'm embarking on this blog
project for a variety of reasons. Primarily, I hope to reach out to
others who are bipolar, live with a bipolar, are related to a bipolar,
or know a bipolar. I want to add support to the bipolar community by
way of humor and insight. I also know it will help me deal with my
roller coaster life.
And, I'm predicting, few of my blogs will deal with the depression aspect of bipolar illness -- I really doubt I'm going to be able to get up and write something when I'm in the "shadow side." So come on in and "join the party, the water's just fine!"
Sadly true, being bipolar is too often considered a stigma in society.
Subsequently, I'm choosing to remain anonymous. I'll also apply this
privacy to any emails I might receive and any specific situations and
locations I'll discuss.