But of course, it is me so it isn’t as simple as that. Mine is bilateral, which is not all that uncommon. But what I hear on one ear is not the same as what I hear on the other. The tones are different and so are the volumes. Which effectively makes it two tinnitusses (tinniti?). Continue reading
Anyone who has ever looked up a “serious mental illness” like bipolar disorder has been smacked in the face with dire warnings and frightening statistics about misdiagnosis. If you google my lifelong companion ADD, you’ll see lots and lots of dire warnings and hand-wringing about overdiagnosis. But you won’t run into are dire warnings, frightening statistics, and hand-wringing about repeated, compounded misdiagnoses.
That I have a mood disorder goes unquestioned; the true nature and biological aspects of cause are up in the air. Besides the usual childhood traumas and genetic influences, it looks like hormones are in part to blame. Don’t start any hating about stigmatizing women’s normal, natural cycle, because I’m not talking about a normal experience.
I’m talking about a set of oversensitive physiological responses to and/or chronic imbalances of basic hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The kind of sensitivity to adrenaline, for example, that means I can’t have medications containing epinephrine (aka adrenaline, often found in injectable local anesthetics, to reduce bleeding) because it immediately sends me into shock. Continue reading
As you likely know if you read my posts here regularly, I am no longer taking any real mood-stabilizers for my bipolar disorder. It isn’t an anti-medication stance, it’s actually just a place I ultimately came to through very little choice of my own (you can read a bit more about it here).
Now, being Bipolar I with psychotic features, unmedicated is a pretty daunting place to be, and I’m learning all the angles I need to cover. Some I already knew and had accounted for: exercise, sleep, stress, and situations I knew were very high on the potential trigger list. Others I knew, but didn’t really think about planning for, because they just didn’t come to mind when thinking of the day-to-day and what I needed to be vigilant about. Continue reading
It finally happened. Officially, I mean. I’ve reached the end of the line. After six-and-a-half years of extremely intensive psychiatric treatment, the first fiveish with an incredibly bright, creative, thinking-outside-of-the-box younger doc; the last year-plus with a man long experienced in the mood disorder game (not to mention numerous consults along the way), it has been made manifest.
Everyone tells me I hold out too long. I don’t ask for help often enough or soon enough. I tell them that I don’t know when to ask; they don’t seem to understand.
I’m learning to recognize when things are going awry and when what I’m feeling should be considered “unacceptable” because it’s suffering, not pain. I’ve accepted, at least at an intellectual level, that everyone needs help sometimes, including me. That’s been no easy task. Continue reading