All my life I knew I was different from everyone. I was quiet, I kept to myself. I didn’t have many friends. I didn’t think I fit in with this world. Here is my story on my Bipolar trials and triumphs.
At the age of 16 I went in to see a doctor, who did a psych eval on me and said I was possibly Bipolar. At the time I didn’t want to believe it. I thought there was nothing wrong with me and that I was just an emotional teenager who was going through a rough patch in life. As I aged, I picked up on things that didn’t seem to be normal, I started spending a lot of money, in-fact I would use up my entire paycheck on things I didn’t need. Shopping sprees gave me life and I felt unstoppable. I would work and then lose interest in my job and just…quit. I felt like everyone was against me or hated me. I became paranoid and felt like I had to please everyone to make them happy.
My symptoms progressed and in the worst way imaginable. I had low self-esteem, I felt like I didn’t belong on this earth. I would become depressed for days, weeks and felt out of touch with reality. I would see many doctors and they would always diagnose me with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), after being on 6+ antidepressants, I realized a very interesting pattern. The antidepressants would work for 6 months and then….stop. I kept quiet about my manic states. Why? Because I thought mania was NORMAL. I was so depressed that when I was out of the depressed state, I thought I was myself. Wrong. In mania I would feel agitated, reckless, like I wanted to rule the world. I would spend a lot of money, act incredibly happy and excitable. I wanted to travel and escape all of my problems. I would make reckless decisions. Being bipolar is like wearing one depressed shoe on one foot and one happy shoe on the other. You don’t know when those shoes will take force and control your steps. I would never take in consideration of how my actions would affect others, since making any decision felt fun and I would never think before I acted. Deep down, I knew something was wrong with me but I kept it to myself. Why? I didn’t want to bring others down with me. I didn’t want to trouble those around me and make them worry. I went through a weird phase where I thought I was “this” type of person and “that” type of person. My personalities would change often. I had no idea who I really was.
In February this year, I saw my PCP who examined me and placed me on Abilify 2mg which is an anti-psychotic. Anti-psychotics help with the out of touch with reality symptoms and the psychosis, which I had often. But there was an issue…2mg is not the therapeutic dose. Did it help? No. Well maybe a little?
A few weeks into February, I started breaking out in chronic uticaria. Why? Stress. My body was stressed but not my mind. I would break out so bad, that after a couple of ER visits, I was prescribed an EPI-PEN and dosed with Epinephrine which was one scary ride. My disorder made me incredibly STRESSED and ANXIOUS.
After a slew of crazy events that unfolded within the last couple of weeks, I finally saw a psychiatrist who specializes in the disorder I have. After 600 dollars and 2 hours, my diagnosis was finally set in stone and she prescribed me the correct medications that any bipolar person with psychotic systems should be on.
Rexulti 1mg (Antipsychotic) – helps with Mania and Depression
Trileptal 150mg (Anticonvulsant) – Helps stabilize my mood
Klonopin .5 (Anxiety) – Helps with anxiety
Fish Oil (Omega-3)
Let me tell you what, my new psychiatrist saved my life. These medications have changed my life and now I can think clearer and feel…finally….. NORMAL. Oh and the hives? they are gone. I have not had a break out since I’ve been on these medications.
So let me educate you on these types of medications.
Antipsychotic medications are used as a treatment for bipolar disorder to control psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, or mania symptoms. … In people with bipolar disorder, antipsychotics are also used “off label” as sedatives, for insomnia, for anxiety, and/or for agitation.
Anticonvulsants, they are often prescribed alone, with lithium, or with an antipsychotic drug to control mania. Anticonvulsants work by calming hyperactivity in the brain in various ways. For this reason, some of these drugs are used to treat epilepsy, prevent migraines, and treat other brain and mental disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder. Anticonvulsants are also MOOD STABILIZERS.
Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine. Clonazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced. Clonazepam is also a seizure medicine, also called an anti-epileptic drug.
Doctors believe omega–3 fatty acids are a potential treatment for bipolar disorder because the fish-oil fatty acids, EPA and DHA, can alter brain signal pathways in ways similar to mood stabilizers like lithium and valproate.
Yes, its scary and frightening knowing I have this disorder for the rest of my life. Yes its scary knowing that I have to take medication for the rest of my life. But you know what? I’ll do whatever it takes to keep me happy and normal. Reducing stress, eating healthy and having a strong support system will change my life.
I hope my story has educated you on how severe Bipolar disorder CAN be. Those who have this disorder do need help and support, without that, they can get out of control like me.
I leave you with one thing. I am NOT my disorder, yes it is a part of me, but its NOT who I am. ❤