Perhaps thiis should be my new tattoo. On the back of my hand or something. So I see it all the time. I started trying to learn things about Bipolar today and I kind of freaked out.
Okay, I actually spent much of the day just feeling generally wigged out about the whole bipolar diagnosis.
Kind of a delayed reaction.
The first psychiatrist that I talked to was so nebulous with her statements and I was in limbo for some time.
The second psychiatrist was very confident in a diagnosis of Bipolar II. Which at first I took quite well, I think.
But now, today, I started to worry.
I really wish that my meating with my psychologist came much closer to my initial diagnosis... I need to wait until September 19.
I found myself consciously slowing my breathing and moving slower than I normally would. Trying to stay calm. I felt fragile and weird. Trying not to disturb my neutral mood.
I felt like my kids when they have a "slow race" to see who can be the last one to reach some destination. Moving through molasses. But I was afraid to speed up. Afraid to get sucked under in to some projecty thing that might or might not lead to hypomania.
I made use of silence as an avoidance tactic. Then I realized that it was a crappy thing to do, so I made some accomodations for communicating and used my limited ASL to tell my children to STOP NOW! ALL DONE!
Having spent decades educating myself on Depression I feel woefully misinformed about bipolar disorder. I don't know how it differs chemically from unipolar Depression. What is the same? What is different? How different?
I tried to read stuff, which was either too simplistic or aimed at post-docs in psychiatry. Which is not me. I took Intro to Educaitonal Psychology in 1994. And a one-day class on identifying children's mental illness in 2008.
Naturally I gravitated to the scholarly articles, which were way over my head. Except for a few parts. Like the part where most patients have a huge problem dealing with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.
Because it is a serious disease.
Because it necessarily means a lifetime of behavioral changes and treatment to stay healthy.
Because they don't really know much about it.
Then I started looking at brain scans of people with Bipolar Disorder. They were lit up like christmas trees. Similar in many ways to brains of people with OCD and ADHD.
The final nail in my panicky coffin was when I read that untreated Bipolar disease results in a reduction of grey matter.
I LIKE MY BRAIN. I WOULD LIKE TO KEEP IT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Specifically a reduction in
This is balanced out by an increase in
Happily (?) it looks like Depression also causes brain damage and it might be ameliorated by the use of antidepressants. And some of the damage might be reversible.
So, why am I panicking?
Because that is part of my nature. Panic is just kind of built in. And something that i am now trying to control. Slowing down. Reducing the yelliness. Beginning yoga again.
I don't think I will get a tattoo, though.
Because I would probably look at the "Don't Panic" and start freaking out about the fact that I couldn't remember if there was something specific that I was supposed to not panic about or if it was just a general reminder...
Grateful Crap: a frank discussion with my college students about the role of mood disorders on learning and memory.
ate what was probably the right amount of food
morning meds: 150mg venlafaxine, 450mg bupropion
evening meds: 25mg lamotrigine, omega-3, multivitamin
Quaker, teacher, parent,