Aside Posted on Updated on
Well I have had this blog for a while now and touched on a a few aspects as I said I would in the first post, but I’ve yet to really mention my mental health. I wasn’t sure how to go about it without making it depressing. I’m struggling at the moment now so I figure it is as good a time as any.
I had been diagnosed a few years back (wow just thought about it and it’s more than a few years back, about 6 years ago). I was told then that I had Type 2 Rapid Cycling Bipolar. Later I was told that it was more like ultra, ultra rapid cycling. I can never do anything straight forward. My moods are rarely straight forward, at bad times it can be that I can only tell what my mood is based on if I am crying or laughing.
I get deep aching depressions, have battled with self-harm, can be plagued with suicidal thoughts, anxiety is common, I can be too scared to leave my bed, far less be around other people. I can be angry, irritable and irrational, the violence has thankfully been low, I don’t think I have ever hurt anyone other than myself, but have been known to throw things. I can be irresponsible, take risks I shouldn’t, spend money I don’t have. I can also be so happy, so in tune with the world around me, productive, caring, giving. I can feel so full of life that I can’t stop moving or talking. I make plans, so many plans and they all need starting on right this minute, this second. My husband is very practical and early on in our relationship he would always counter my ‘I’m gonna give it 200%’ with the statement that it would be impossible as 100% is the maximum, it’s not possible to give more. After a few years of knowing me he accepts that I do in fact give more than 100%, but maintains that it is not possible and uses that as an explanation for my crashes. I am just so full of energy that I just do and do and do.
I go though all those emotions, which many people probably do, but I can go through most of these emotions in one day, on a bad day I’ll go through them several times. At my most recent appointment with a psychiatrist he suggested I may have something called emotionally unstable disorder. I laughed, I hadn’t heard of it before but it sounded apt. He listed off the traits and my husband and I could only nod (my husband now accompanies me to my psychiatry appointments, I never tend to give a balanced view of things, always focusing from the standpoint of my current emotions). Got home and googled, it’s actually Borderline Personality Disorder. That I had heard of. It had been suggested to me many years ago, it had also been the outcome of an assessment I had back in 2010. I had dismissed it then, much as I did the Bipolar diagnosis when I first got it.
I mean depression is one thing but Bipolar and BPD? Those are like seriously crazy people right? Unhinged? I think I was *that* bad, and come on, I mean what you call me up is just me being happy and productive. So what if I talk so fast I scare you, so what if you think I’m a little out of control. I am having fun, is that not allowed, must it suddenly mean I’m even more crazy if I’m not depressed and suicidal all the time?
That was pretty much my thought process on the bipolar diagnosis. In time, and with reading I came to accept it. Took a little comfort in there being a name for it, it summed me up pretty well apart from the lack of psychosis and the ultra, ultra rapid swings in mood. Some psychiatrists don’t accept that ultra rapid cycling bipolar is a thing. My psychiatrist said maybe the short duration of my highs is what protected me from developing psychosis, my highs don’t get enough time to build to that level. The BPD does fit me better. Maybe that is the issue maybe ultra rapid cycling bipolar crosses over into the BPD in terms of symptoms.
I think I will come to terms with the BPD diagnosis. Over the last year I have been made to see how much my mental health, illness, issues, whatever you want to call it affects me and even more so those around me. That’s been one of the hardest things for me to deal with, my effect on others.
I’ve started CBT, should also be seeing a CPN soon. I’m medicated with antidepressants but tbh at times like these I’m not sure they do much. I do also have SAD and some kind of hormonal linked depression, actually had an artificial menopause for a year that gave me bit of freedom from all this, but that had to stop as I couldn’t tolerate the add-back hormones, made me suicidal again. I’m working on mindfulness. Trying to work with the mood swings, do stuff when I can and when my brain can’t process I do something physical like gardening or cleaning, I can find them quite therapeutic. On the really bad days I can’t get out of bed and I’m working to try and lessen them.
So there you go, my ‘brief’ journey so far of my mental health. Kudos to you if you managed to get all the way through that! Hopefully there won’t be too many dark depressing posts, but part of this blog is to chronicle how I live with this, how I weave the rest of my life around it, so I guess you kind of needed to know about it. I apologise for any typos, spelling errors or general rambling in this post. If I go back and read over I’ll feel embarrassed and change things so this is going out raw.