How Did It All Start?

Mark's parents are gone, but surprisingly it was a very pleasant visit!  I got to know them so much better than I ever have and have a lot of respect for them.  I now what good, good people they are with such big hearts.  Even more surprisingly, Mark has been a bit bitter towards his parents but he really enjoyed them visiting an as soon as they left, he said he didn't realize how much he had missed them and commented once since then that he really misses his parents.  I can't even describe how huge of an about face this is!  So...even though I said it was awesome we moved far away and no longer have to ever visit them again, we have now decided to spend Thanksgiving with them.  There is still the issue of his sister; however, but maybe distance and perspective makes the heart fonder.  I feel absolutely no ill will towards her now, but really, it was always because of her treatment towards me and little comments she would make.  It was her that started the animosity between us.  We shall see what happens.  It's only one person in the entire family that I have ever had any issues.

I'm doing pretty well emotionally, but Mark is definitely not.  Maybe it's supposed to work that way. 
When one significant other is down, the other is strong so they can give them the support, or at least whatever support they willing to accept.

I was thinking the other day - what was the catalyst that a therapist decided I needed to be on psychiatric medication? I started to remember it.  I couldn't afford my therapist at the time, but for some reason she offered to see me for free.  I was with my abusive boyfriend and knew the best thing for us to do was break up, but I was convinced I was  unable to live without him nor did I want to.  And I was especially afraid that I could never love someone as much as him. I sat in her office and just cried and cried, completely opening up my heart to her, and after years and years of her being my therapist, I suppose she realized it was a true crisis situation and called a psychiatrist she knew who saw me that same day.  I didn't realize that meant psychiatric medication until he explained it to me and gave me two prescriptions:  Effexor and Xanax.  He told me how often to take the Effexor but not the Xanax, so I asked him about it.  I have yet to have a psychiatrist tell me this again, but he said the real danger was not taking ENOUGH of it and I'm sure he had to write a prescription with a dosage, so I guess it was huge.  I wouldn't have known then what a normal dosage of Xanax nor how often to take it would have been.

After a few more visits, he diagnosed me with "chronic depression".  Then came the ups and downs (not like there wasn't already) with my ex-boyfriend.  He ALSO thought he could not live without me.  Very tricky situation to be in.  Obviously I broke free because we are no longer together and wish he could cease to exist, that a genie could blink him away.

Many years later, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and my new therapist has finally given it a name.  Bipolar II, frequent bouts of depression but rare hypomania.  Yes, I would say for me, the true danger is how low I get and how quickly my thoughts turn to suicide.

I am so very curious what happened in anyone else's life that led them to take psychiatric medication and if anyone was diagnosed properly the first time they saw a psychiatrist.

I know I'm asking a lot, but if anyone would share their journey into the medication world, I would love to hear it.  Sometimes I still wonder if Bipolar II is the correct diagnosis.  Perhaps it still should be chronic depression but I can't ignore the fact that my hypomania isn't rational.  As my family doctor once told me about a different illness I have, there is no blood test to prove you have what a doctor says you have.  I wish there was, but I can only blindly believe what someone tells me is wrong.


hiking_girl said...

Hi KS,
I've been reading you for about 6 months. I am Bipolar. I first got diagnosed as depression and started taking Celexa. I would be off and on it for about 9 years until the medication didn't treat my depression and destabilized me into a hypomanic state. After numerous antidepressants, I was finally diagnosed Bipolar 2. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm also in the Chicago area.

susie said...

July 14, 2013 is the post on my blog that describes my "story"... I don't really blog about it beyond that.

KansasSunflower said...

Hi Hiking Girl! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sounds similar to mine as to being first diagnosed at being depressed and eventually being hypomanic. Awesome you're in Chicago! If there is anything you would recommend going or seeing, please share! : )

KansasSunflower said...

Suse - YES! I totally remember that post! I like to hear stories of the things people do when they are manic! I was so sad for you but also it made me laugh as I think I told you! You are very, very brave for "coming out of the closet".

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