Monday, May 12, 2014

Bringing you the truth! No matter how BAD it hurts... but now, some music!

I was going to post this to my Facebook before going to bed, but somehow I've grown weary of self-indulgent, emo posts on Facebook.  The kind that say, "OMG I'M HURTING BUT I CAN'T TELL YOU WHY SO PLEEEEEEEASE ASK ME!!!!"

So, I thought I'd be self-indulgent here -- mainly, because it's my blog, and secondly, because not many people read it anymore.

But also because my self-indulgence reminded me that I need to get back to writing, and that I've got a direction for what I want to write.

Sometimes I wonder if I am completely, irreversibly screwed up.

THERE.  I SAID IT.  But at least I'll tell you why.

This is sort of a reminder to me (and to you, dear reader) that I need to actually get to writing on this subject.

I read a book recently called An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Redfield Jamison.  She has Bipolar I, and also happens to be one of the most accomplished psychiatrists on the subject.

The book was at once heartbreaking and cathartic for me.  It was a harrowing journey, indeed.  A lot of it resonated with me.

A little over a year ago, after years of treating me for depression and anxiety, I had a little *snap*, as it were, and my MD diagnosed me.

Gotta love it.  Didn't quite know where to put me, so he stuck me in the mood disorder not otherwise specified box.

I like it here DO NOT

Anyhow, he suspected that I was Bipolar II -- sorta like its big brother Bipolar I but a little less intense.  Kinda like that cousin you see once in a blue moon, the one you're mostly comfortable around until he breaks out the BB gun, then you get nervous.

After months of meds that only sorta helped, he gave up and referred me to a psychiatrist.

Not to be confused with a psychologist.  They deal mostly in talk therapy, from which I could greatly benefit.  That reminds me, I should get in touch with Tom, my therapist from the days my marriage was falling apart.  He's a good guy, could really be helpful about now.

As always, I digress.

Psychiatrists deal more in diagnoses and treatment plans, as well as medication management.

After a detailed history of bearing my most disjointed, tired, and beaten yet hopeful heart, he came to the conclusion that I'm not bipolar.

Wanna know what he said?  I sure did.

"I think what we're dealing with, Jason," he said in a reassuring, familar voice -- in spite of the fact I had just met the man two hours prior, he came across like your favorite uncle, genius -- "is a few things."

"I don't think you're bipolar."

My eyes brightened.  Finally a diagnosis -- a roadmap for getting better, for improving my mental health and wellbeing.

  • Chronic episodic major depressive disorder (read, had it for a long time, pops up sporadically or in "episodes", and otherwise is soul crushing, black, despairing depression.  Ding ding, thanks doc, already knew that.)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (Never quite thought about that, and it sounds really simple.  But when you read about it, it's quite debilitating, as it has been for me -- I was at another zenith of a breakdown, living somewhere between severe and severe at the time of my visit.)

The last one really threw me.

Post-divorce traumatic stress syndrome.

Say what?

I can't be surprised, but at the same time it made my head tilt.  Could the echoes and faded tendrils of divorce still be haunting me, affecting me?  Seems to be the case.

More next time, and I'll get into the book I read and how it's helped me.

Stay tuned.

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