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I was diagnosed with bipolar at 16, but we didn't find the right meds until I was 19 and I didn't take compliance seriously until I was 21 and almost completed a suicide attempt in college. I am Type I and manic as hell when I'm off meds. To complicate things, I also have a BS in psychology and do histories, testing, and research for a neuroscience clinic. I feel like the other clinicians somehow sense that I have a diagnosable condition, they just can't figure out what, I just tell myself that's irrational thinking. I've been in the field almost 8 years. I am 29 years old, and I'm married with a beautiful 4-month old daughter that I absolutely adore. Unfortunately, bipolar isn't all that's going on- I also have generalized anxiety, ADD, and insomnia (situational- not chronic) . I am seriously over medicated- I can tell because I feel like there's a decline in my cognitive function. I'm on Lithium, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Adderall XR, Klonopin, and Trazodone- plus thyroid meds thanks to Lithium screwing up my thyroid. No one at work knows about any of this, of course. So sometimes I feel like I'm walking around as an impostor. But when I'm with a patient, I'm totally comfortable. When my new insurance kicks in, I'm going to have my new psychiatrist (after ordering a SPECT scan) gently wean me from the Prozac, then the Trazadone. I know I will be on Lithium for life- I accept that. I just had a baby 4 months ago, I know I will need the Wellbutrin awhile longer to ward of PPD relapse (I had severe post partum depression and panic attacks). As far as the Adderall, I focus much, much better with it and that keeps my stress level down, but I would like to, at some point, slowly wean off the Klonopin-benzodiazepines really aren't good for the brain. It's just too many meds. It's been like that for half my life. I've on nearly 30 psychotropic medications, and when it came down to it, I had to stop self-destructing, take the meds, and take responsibility for my treatment (it took many hospitalizations for me to figure that out). Right now, I feel pretty good, but I know it's the medications. Granted, I get up excited to go to work. I drop my baby off at Grandma's, get to the office and am excited to be there. Should I not fix what isn't broken? I also have an Arnold chiari malformation of the brain stem- and the cognitive, balance, and headache issues might stem from that. I see a neurosurgeon on the 28th. Well, that's enough about me! Thanks for reading.
AgentScully1013 AgentScully1013 26-30, F 3 Responses Feb 6, 2011

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Hey, at least your able to work. I know work is a hard, hard thing for a Bi-Polar Temperament. I rarely have work but I do charitable work on the side. They have me diagnosed as Schizo-Effective now but really I'm Bi-Polar. I'm in a hick town now that doesn't know my history. I had an apprenticeship here with a design and print shop for 4 months. Then nothing forever till now. No such work situation.<br />
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I just say thank God who has a job right now has one even if it sucks because there is not many in this hick town around winter. I'm doing my best to just help my sick mother and now I'm moving out into a treatment facililty. A high functioning facility which I'm a little too high functioning myself to be apart of right now. <br />
Some people with Mental Illness never quite recover but do get more high functioning like myself. The system with Mental Health Care is not very good in Arizona where I am. Please take care in your life. Thank you for sharing your story so I shared some of mine. Peace-Oracle

Thanks a lot, both of you. I miss my manias, too, but they always led to self-destructive, impulse driven behavior, so I knew I had to let them go.

Good post. Hang in there. Looks like you are. They've got me on lamotrogine, welbutrin, aripiprozole, and lorazepam. It's hard sometimes to remember how bad things are when I don't take my meds. I miss my manic episodes. They were at times euphoric.