Confession

Hi, I’m Kelsey *Imaginary group repeats back “Hi Kelsey”* and I was labeled bipolar. Interesting that I just used the word label instead of diagnosed. OK so before I get into bipolar I might have just derailed my entire thought process by using the word “labeled” why did I use that?

It’s funny, when my doctor said I was switching to mood stabilizers, the first thing that crossed my mind was…….this is going to be a lot harder to say out loud to people than depression and anxiety was. I am an advocate of speaking out and speaking proud about mental health (or so I thought). I was tired and beaten down from hearing….

  • What are you so anxious about?
  • Just don’t think about it.
  • Chill out.
  • Relax.
  • Stop worrying so much.
  • Just take a deep breath.
  • You’re overreacting.
  • Are you doing this for attention?
  • There is nothing you can do about it now so stop thinking about it.
  • You have a good life, what do you have to be depressed about?
  • You’re so much prettier when you smile <—-holding on to that for another post y’all
  • Maybe if you got out of the house more and put on make up you would feel less sad.

So a few years back I realized mental health was a real disease. It was still taboo to speak of, but it was real. I went to a therapist to figure out my ADHD. I thought maybe that was the reason that I would go into waves of nothingness and lack motivation and focus. The therapist said she would rather focus on depression. She makes me fill out charts and goals. She teaches me “mind tricks” to overcome my depression. I was not impressed and I stopped going after a few sessions.

A few years after that I find a new therapist. He thinks I’m ADHD…. like I know this…but anyway I start to take meds. I improve drastically, my insomnia goes away, I am able to separate work from home life vs. actual home life.

Capture

Oh piece of candy, oh piece of candy, oh piece of candy….that was me. After a year of being on meds I start realizing that my anxiety is more than just an anxious feeling.

I’m having full blown anxiety attacks. They start increasing from every few months, to every few weeks, to every few days, to every day. I seek out a therapist. I seek out 50 therapists because no one can get me in for another few months. I tell them I need someone today. I cannot go another day feeling this way. I am about to check myself into the emergency room to see if they can give me any relief. I find a telehealth provider by chance that day. I’m on the phone with her two minutes after requesting an appointment. She tells me my anxiety is real and I’m right to think I need meds. She finds me a telehealth psychiatrist the same day and he writes me a prescription.

After ten months on meds and (somewhat) stabilized anxiety, I go to my new psychiatrist. My telehealth therapist, who I continued to loyally see every other week, recommended it. I’m feeling depressed. She reminds me that depression is also real. It’s not a feeling. My psychiatrist starts me on medication.  A month into the meds I start to feel worse. I can’t get out of bed, I can’t feel, I can’t sleep, my body is overcome with nothingness.

My S.O. makes me go back to my psychiatrist. As soon as I walk in I BEG him for something that will help me sleep. Nothing is working. I’m so tired. I tell him some of my theories…

  • I am depressed and therefore I cannot sleep.
  • I cannot sleep and therefore I am depressed.
  • The new depression meds are cancelling out my adderall. I need to up the dose so I am able to sleep through the night. Then I will not be depressed.

He asks me what I think about when I lay awake all night. I don’t think about anything. Maybe it’s not about upping the Adderall, crossing off that theory. I’m not distracted when I wake up. I don’t have thoughts. He says that he is concerned. That he has never seen me this way before. I tell him this is not new for me. I go through waves of depression every few years but I am able to pull myself out after a few weeks. When did it start? I was in high school, they had to pull me out of school for awhile because I couldn’t, literally could not, function. He gets quiet, he is concentrating on how to fix me.

Mood stabilizers. Um, what? Aren’t those for bipolar disorder? Yes. When people are on depression medication and things get worse, it can be that you should be on bipolar medication. Well, fuck. I just want to feel better but I don’t want to tell people I’m bipolar. Maybe I’m not the speak loud and proud mental health advocate that I thought I was.

We are two weeks in, it takes about a month (per usual), to start working. I’m sleeping, I’m out of bed, I’m feeling better. Does this mean I am bipolar and it’s working? I’m torn between bipolar denial and excitement that we might have found my cure.

Hi, I’m Kelsey *Imaginary group echos, “Hi Kelsey”* and I think I’m officially bipolar.

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