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New Website Focus and My Bipolar Story

I have decided that will now focus on a topic I know much more intimately than photo slideshows: bipolar disorder! I hope that the information, suggestions, and empathy I can share will be helpful for others who either have bipolar themselves or know someone who does.

It has been 11 years since I was diagnosed bipolar and began treatment with Depakote, an anti-convulsant mood stabilizer. The way I found out was a bit unusual, so here’s my story!

I knew that I had a problem with depression. That became really evident when I was in junior high school and my parents divorced. I quickly gained 30 pounds, and my grades dropped from all A’s to C’s & D’s. Plus, I had started self-injury. That was my first experience with psychiatry and anti-depressants.

Fast forward MANY years (I’m not saying how many). I realized there was no stability in my life — I kept changing what I thought I wanted, and my energy level varied from highly productive to sleeping all day. I didn’t understand the lack of consistency in my moods, behavior, beliefs, attitudes, and so forth. But at first I didn’t even think I could be bipolar. I just felt I didn’t “know” myself well enough. I was in graduate school at the time, and free counseling was available, so I presented myself at the counseling center with the statement “I need you to tell me who I am.”

Fortunately the psychiatrist was a laid-back guy; he didn’t immediately slap me in the loony bin. Instead he scheduled regular counseling sessions and, at my request, psychological and personality testing. One of the tests screened for various disorders, including bipolar. When he gave me the results I was astonished to receive a referral to an outside psychiatrist for assessment and treatment.


June 13, 2008 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

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