Turns out I am very good friends with someone who has bipolar disorder. She is one of the people who suggested exploring the possibility of bipolar many months ago. Prior to speaking with her this morning I was working myself into a bit of an anxiety spiral over the idea of a possible new diagnosis.
But here's the thing. She told me that being on the right meds does not make her any less quick of thought or any of the other good things about the Ups. She is not boring and grey. She is awesome.
The right meds just make everything more manageable. More reasonable. Less likely to cause sleeplessness, overuse injury, or whatever else might come as a negative consequence of hypomania.
Tangent: went shopping for "foundational garments" the other day and was not at all bothered by what size the lady told me I needed. I just wanted something that fit. It's not like people (besides me) are going to know my band size. But some people are so bothered by a particular size that they will insist on remaining in an ill fitting garment rather than go up (or down) a size.
Why do I care what the label is so long as I am able to get the correct treatment? And maybe I'm not getting the right treatment. I don't know. If I have been incorrectly labeled... antidepressants are known to cause rapid-cycling and increase the manic side of bipolar. Which doesn't sound good.
Today I saw my regular family practice doctor so that I could get her opinion on whether I should investigate the unipolar/bipolar question. I didn't even have to take out my list of possible symptoms.
She said since I had not seen a psychiatrist since my original Depression diagnosis in 1989... it was probably a good idea. Also, the fact that I had an antidepressant quit on me (the recent downfall of the mighty sertraline) tilted things in the direction of a new evaluation.
Very few teenagers are diagnosed as bipolar even if they are cycling because... teenagers are crazy just naturally from all the hormones whizzing around. And if I had been responsible with my mental health and sought continued treatment instead of largely just going off and on medication on a whim, I might have been reevaluated at some earlier time.
So now I am anxiously awaiting a visit with a psychiatrist (the last one I saw at age 18 thought I was a privileged diva snob who wasn't Depressed at all but just wanted attention.)
So here I am in limbo.
Even though it doesn't matter. Because I am taking the appropriate steps and my mental health (except for occasional anxiety spirals) seems to be sort of kind of okay. The Sad is clearing. The energy is returning. I enjoy doing things.
Grateful Crap: my awesome friend whose very existence and awesomeness decrease my anxiety about bipolar possibility
Time in the garden
Talked with friend
Quaker, teacher, parent,