Saturday, January 16, 2010

About Me

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after a psychotic episode in the summer of 2005. I think I had a mixed episode with psychosis and anxiety. It was really frightening and I believed I was dying but no one would tell me. I did not sleep for over a week but I did not feel tired and would pace and walk around rather than sitting still! My mind was racing and my beliefs got more and more terrifying.

I was first diagnosed with depression in 2000 when I was 23 and I had three severe episodes of depression before I was diagnosed with bipolar. The summer of 2005 was the first time I was psychotic and I would rather die than go through that again. I thought I was dying and no one would tell me. I also thought my mother was dying at one time. I played out some of my most deepest fantasies. All my life, up to my diagnosis, my view of the world had been darkened by depression, this had made fantasies a large part of my life and they had also become very dark.

I remember feeling very anxious since I was extremely young, my first memories of school when I was 4 years old were about anxiety, of course I did not understand what it was at the time. I would not speak to the teachers, I was frightened and I was getting told off for being rude because I would not answer the teachers. I was always in trouble but I never said a word. I now believe I had selective mutism which is an anxiety disorder which was only recognised as an illness a few years before I suffered. I was just seen as rude and naughty.

At the moment I am well, I take 50mg Sertraline (also known as Lustral or Zoloft) for my anxiety and I take 2.5mg od Aripiprzole (also known as Abilify) as a mood stabiliser. These provide few side effects but I am trying to reduce these as much as possible to try for a family.

Since my diagnosis in 2005 I have been relatively well, I have had a few episodes of depression, some deeper than others.  I have also had a couple of periods where I have needed to work reduced hours.  Mostly because of an extremely stressful job.  I have also had a couple of periods where I have got a bit carried away with things and felt far more confident than usual, I usually look back at these times with shame and regret.

In the summer of this year (2013) I married my man (Mr. R).  I am very happy and along with all the love, he also supports me, lets me talk, lets me hide under the duvet and provides stability.

Life was very dark before I was diagnosed, I always knew I was different and did not fit in but did not know why. Getting the correct diagnosis has been the best thing that has happened in my life however, I had to get extremely sick before I managed to get the help I needed.

I first wanted to kill myself when I was about 12; to everyone else I was just a moody teenager who spent all my time in my room (nobody ever came to see what I was doing) I thought nobody cared. I was an easy target for bullies and I would hang around with all the other kids who were bullied. Some of whom are still good friends. But I was not happy, I planned my suicide, I put the suicide note under my mattress and planned to take an overdose about a mile from my house down a farm track called green lane. I just never went through with it; I clinged to the hope that life would get better.

Please read on, come back and visit again or leave a comment and introduce yourself. I like to know who is reading my blog.


mgou said...

"Life was very dark before I was diagnosed, I always knew I was different and did not fit in but did not know why."

I have felt this way my entire life. It sucks.

Phil said...

I cold relate to this post, I've had social anxiety for years. One really resource that has helped me a lot are telephone support groups for social anxiety, I go to free groups for that: they use a modified 12 Step approach which has helped me a great deal. Best, Phil

Raine said...

wow annie you are posting again YAY

Anxious M said...

I'm a SA/OCD sufferer/survivor. But I know that bipolar disorder is very tough to deal with. I was once good friends with someone who was bipolar and he had a really awful time getting his life together.

Best of luck to you.

Bruce said...

Hi Annie. Bipolar disorder and depression runs thru my family, and like sin, somehow encroaches on my freedom. Mainly depression for me, but my daughter disagrees. Meds are working right now, and I face death in the face pretty often. I think it pointed me to Jesus. I found your blog collection through Pyromaniacs page. Good to meet you.

Stephanie Price said...

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Anonymous said...

I really can relate to your story. I was diagnosed BP typeI at age 21. 4 years after being diagnosed as unipolar depression. It was an aweful time for me filled with cutting and drinking. I am finally much better. I really appreciate your blog and its honesty.

Meredith said...

I can relate to the teenage era. My mother and step father are psychologists. I ran track like a maniac and swam a mile on my way home from practice. In the evenings I would cry at the top of my lungs while music blared not knowing why I was doing it. I was also caught drinking and smoking pot. My mom and stepdad must have figured it was just teenage angst. They still don't know I'm bipolar. Thanks for your blog.

Just Another Person said...

I recently was told by my psychologist that I may have bipolar disorder. We went through some questionnaire and the result showed that I am bipolar. I am still kind of not sure what to think about that. because my symptoms seem like they aren't as severe.
Anyway, I will probably be visiting your blog again to read some of your posts. thanks

Jason Herrington said...

I'm a former anxiety sufferer. I suffered from anxiety for most of my childhood and young adult life, but in 2005 I finally discovered what anxiety was and in 2011 I finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together, and am happy to say that I am now living a life free of worry, fear, and doubt...

I encourage those who are looking for tips and advice for managing their anxiety to check out my blog, I'd love to hear from you and hear your story.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I know that I should probably be asking a professional this (I do have an appointment with my psychiatrist on 25 May), but how can I tell if I am bipolar?

I have had SAD for most of my life, but since a traumatic period in 2009/2010, I have needed medication to function. My shrink says that I am extremely resistant to the anxiety meds, and my anti-depressants seem to help most of the time, but I still go through periods where I want to lash out at others and myself. During these times I feel really low and think about how I cannot ever have a normal life, and it really gets me down. Also, in 14 months I've been on 3 different anti-depressants because I seem to get my dose increased until the maximum isn't enough. Nothing seems to completely calm me.

During other periods, I will get extremely enthused about my projects and social life and will talk non-stop with my family and friends. I will also take sleeping pills during this time, but still sit up on the computer for hours when the pills are usually quite hard to resist, even if I just want to go to the bathroom before I fall asleep...I still experience the anxiety during these times- just not to the same degree as when I am sad.

Do you think that I could be bipolar? I wonder, because I've always heard that bipolar swings/cycles are longish periods, and I can experience the range from "capability", and the will to carry on, to depression, within a two week period. And it seems to cycle like that...

What do you think?

Annie said...

You may have bipolar but as you said you need to ask a professional. There are a few online tests you can do but they should only be used as a tool to discuss the results with a psychiatrist. Here's one;

One thing I would say is getting my diagnosis was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Although I was petrified at the time it was good to know what was wrong with me and finally getsome proper help to live with it.

Good luck with your appointment and let me know how it goes.

PS. One piece of advise, don't spend too long searching for it on the internat it will drive you even more crazy ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi again, this " anonymous" from above. Thank you for your response. I managed to shift my appointment to this afternoon. My psych says it's difficult to diagnose me while on medication, but that my mood swings and sleep pattern suggest a mood disorder. I'm going back in 2 weeks with a nmood diary and after starting a mood stabiliser and we'll see then. Rather relieved and hopeful that the mood stabiliser will make a difference :)

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Life Of Susan, A Dog Shelter Worker and Animal Lover. said...

Hello Annie, my name is Susan, and I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2, O.C.D., Social Anxiety, and have psychotic episodes. My Bipolar was diagnosed 9 years ago, when I was 30, but my psych believes I was showing signs since I was 13. I am a volunteer at my local animal shelter and work 2 days a week, that's all I can do. I've learnt many self help skills from my psychiatrist, who I have been fortunate enough to be seeing for roughly 8 years. I take Seroquel, Lamictal, Epilim, Zeldox, and Largactil. I live with my Mother, as my social anxiety is so much I find leaving the house except for a couple of places difficult. I'm so happy to find your blog, and I'm looking forward to reading your posts. Feel free to follow my blog too!