I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder bipolar type in 2006 after having a severe manic episode. As a result, I was involuntarily hospitalized for a little over a month. Some of the symptoms I experienced included intense anger/agitation, auditory hallucinations, extreme confusion and paranoia.
The hospital pdoc and psychologist both felt that my symptoms were attributed to several factors: not eating or sleeping for over a week (I lost 20 pounds), sensory deprivation (I'm totally blind and have bilateral cochlear implants) and stress caused by a surgical procedure I had the week prior to entering the psychiatric hospital.
I remember bits and pieces of what happened to me in the hospital, but most of it is a blur.
The one thing I do remember clearly is the day I sat across from the pdoc and he said I had "manic-depression." (His words.) I didn't think much about my diagnosis until I was told by my current pdoc that I'll need to be on meds for the rest of my life. (I'm currently taking 500 mg Depakote three times/day, 4 mg of Risperdal at bedtime and 100 mg Trazadone at bedtime.)
For the first few months following my diagnosis, I had a difficult time accepting the fact that I have bipolar. I kept asking, "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?"
I eventually sought bi-weekly therapy to help me understand what bipolar is and how to keep track of my manic and depressive episodes. I'm working with a wonderful tdoc who has taught me so much about how I can best control my manic symptoms (I primarily have difficulty with mania compared to depression). Every 2 weeks, we review my mood journal to evaluate how I'm doing.
I'm currently working with an excellent pdoc. I've been seeing him for a little over a year now and during that time, he has always been attentive to my questions, concerns, etc. I thank my lucky stars for him because before I saw him, the psychiatric hospital recommended a different pdoc who 1) didn't read my hospital discharge paperwork and 2) told me that it was my choice whether or not I wanted to be on medication.
I'm happy to report that I've been doing quite well over the past 2 years.
Thanks to the combination of meds and therapy, my manic episodes have been mild to moderate and not anything like what I experienced back in 2006. Of course, my tdoc has given me good suggestions as to what I can do when I become manic, so that has helped me prevent some of my symptoms from getting out of hand.
I'm *so* glad I found this community.
I don't know anyone else who has bipolar which means I don't have others I can talk to about what I'm experiencing. I've thought about contacting a local BP support group, but so far, I haven't taken any steps to do that.
Since I've written a dissertation
, I think I'll close for now.
I look forward to getting to know all of you and participating in the discussions when I can!
dreams in neon