In a grand case of unsurprisingness... the psychiatrist that I saw today did NOT give me a definitive diagnosis.
So I lose the dollar or two that I bet you that she would tell me I had atypical Depression with some bipolar tendencies.
Nope. Instead she met with me for a while, I read her the symptoms that I had recorded on my blog previously. (see this post)
In general I did not plan this day well and it involved much driving around in circles.
Drop off kids at friend's house. Drive to work for meeting. Drive back to friend's house for lunch. Drive children to beach with friend. Drive to psych appointment. Drive back to beach to retreive children. Drive home. Drive to work-related party. Drive home.
Bonus? My younger two had a great day and my older learned that a steady diet of video games, sugar free candy and water will make you feel kind of crappy. I have no illusions that this is a lesson that will not be repeated. Many, many times.
Okay, back to the psych visit, which was the part of the day I was most anticipating.
I filled out forms. I answered questions. I confused her a bit because although I had done a lot of research I was not trying to diagnose myself.
What makes you think you might be bipolar?
I don't really. Friends and family wondered and I thought it would be prudent to first talk to my regular doc and she recommended the appointment since the question came up at all AND I had the experience of antidepressants pooping out on me.
Here was the main problem... when she asked me when I first noticed the hypomanic things starting I couldn't give her a date. Because I don't remember not having them. I just didn't call them that.
Also, when she asked what I had tried to stop a hypomanic episode I told her nothing... because I hadn't seen them as the problem. The Depression was very clear-cut for me. It sucked. It was a major problem. Even when I was convinced that it was imaginary and I should just snap out of it.
But the Ups? Until I started noticing that I was physically injuring myself while engaging in recreational hypomania I didn't think of the Ups as a problem. Except that they also started interfering with my social engagement with friends.
Did they interfere with work?
No. But keep in mind that I work nowhere NEAR full time. So even when the Depression was bad I only missed two days of work total. Because I could psych myself into a three-hour teaching stint. Much much easier than figuring out how to handle an 8-hour day.
And then during the Sad, I could just come home and collapse at 4:30 pm and sleep until morning.
In the end she decided that I do fit many of the characteristics of Bipolar... but that it just isn't as clear-cut as either of us would like it to be. She is hesitant to put me on medication for bipolar because she doesn't think the side effects are worth the trouble if the Ups aren't terrible and if I haven't even tried anything to manage them.
My main concern, I told her, was to make sure that whatever antidepressant I was on was not going to worsen the Ups to the point of them being a problem. If I am the one making them a problem, then I need to figure that out.
Here was the bad news: it looks like it is even MORE important for me to eat well, sleep well and get regular exercise than if I were a neurotypical individual.
However, that no longer seems unattainable.
I am due to meet with her again in two weeks when we both will have done more research and she will try to hunt down some more specific questionnaire-type things to help with a differential diagnosis.
I don't really care what it is called. Whatever this thing is. I just want to treat it appropriately.
Grateful Crap: NOT experiencing manic episodes. I'd like to keep it that way.
socializing with colleagues
Quaker, teacher, parent,