So Lost, So Confused, Experience and Opinions Please!!!!
Beware, long and incoherent!
First post here...To be honest, I haven't read anything really yet, so sorry if I'm repeating things that should be addressed somewhere else. To those who are indulging, here's my deal:
The symptoms started showing about 3+ years ago, all this stuff that goes under "clinical depression"--which I've been "diagnosed" with--only it wasn't nearly as severe. Long story short, it all finally boiled over and I had a moment of panic in October (while at school), ran home, barely making it through the rest of the semester. I dropped out of school in December and started living at home to clear my head and reevaluate. I was okay for a few weeks...Just wanted to make art and work, keep things simple. As per usual for me, there was constant procrastination. This led to constant "episodes"--which seem to go under "mixed states"--thus I went to a psychiatrist. Anyways, he pushed SSRIs on me, I said no. I wanted to try going the talk therapy only route.
The main problem I expressed was my lack of productivity. A huge part of what was/is making me feel this way is not being able to complete all these things in my head, although I have INCREDIBLE resources to do so! This only perpetuates my negative head....What's even more frustrating is the tiny bit of stuff I've made has gotten incredible feedback from many people, and completing those two--yes, two--pieces alone nearly did me in.
I expressed all this to my doc, and apparently also fit the criteria for ADD, which attributes to my years lacking productivty. He put me on Concerta; it helped me be productive for a week or so, then just made me more tense and heightened the "episodes". We've messed with the dosage since then, have started and stopped, and even after increasing dosages, I can't concentrate and feel absolutely awful.
I was recently going to start Lymictol, but since I'll be leaving to travel in a few weeks, I opted to hold out until I get back. I feel so terrible. It's like one constant "mixed state", only on different levels different days, but always bad. Much of this is due to circumstance, so hopefully the travelling will help me clear my head a bit.
I have a long family history of manic-depression, and I only seem to have majorly gotten the latter (no "fun" manic states for me!). No BP diagnosis, though. Jesus am I confused about all this. I feel terrible, can't get any work done, and just want to be able to concentrate, be with people, and feel good about myself. Trying not to self-pity (I feel worse when I realize I'm pitying myself). This cycle seems impossible to break. Self-imposed death, while not a realistic prospect at the front of my mind for a long time, seems inevitable at some point. Can't even muster the energy to get up and see people have the time. Constant procrastination...Just listen to this repitition!
Phew, the internet does wonders for anonymity...Would love feedback, it seems that no one, including my psychiatrist, understands. Maybe someone here will?
Re: So Lost, So Confused, Experience and Opinions Please!!!!
What are your "manic" symptoms? The inability to concentrate could be ADD, or it could be mania, or depression. If you do have Bipolar Disorder, I would strongly suggest taking the medication route. Bipolar Disorder can only be treated successfully with medication. Most mental illnesses are biologically bases. Therefore, you need to "fix" what is wrong biologically. Unfortunately, you can't do that with therapy alone. Therapy is a wonderful tool to use in addition to medication. I suggest you go to your psychiatrist(or get a new one), and tell him/her all of your symptoms to get a proper diagnosis. I believe you have to have several depressive symptoms and several manic symptoms for a certain period of time to be diagnosed as bipolar. If you are diagnosed with Bipolar, it might also take a while to get your symptoms under control. Don't let that get you down. It's normal. You might want to visit the Bipolar forum on this website. There are a lot of knowledgeable people and you can probably see if your symptoms are similar to theirs. I wish you luck.