That Time I Felt Bad For Not Being Bipolar.

NOTE from 2021: When I noticed my blog was getting hacked in February of 2020 I did some quick fixes and somehow all of my draft posts from the previous 16 years ended up assigned to that month. This is one of those posts. I used the context to “guess” when I actually wrote it so if anything about this publication date seems off to future me…I wanted this note here to explain possible errors.

So my GP gave up on me.

NO! Of course she didn’t. She’s lovely and I owe a lot of my mental health improvements to her.

But she did tell me that she really wanted me to meet with a psychiatrist since mental health is not her specialty and her run of SNRIs and SSRIs did absolutely nothing for me.

And I ignored her because I HAVE MEDICAL ANXIETY AND I HATE MEETING/FINDING NEW DOCTORS and I was already in the process of finding a new therapist and I had no desire to add any more stress on to that challenge.

But, then I finally got settled in with a new therapist and she said, “Please see a psychiatrist.”

So, I was a big girl and found one on her referral list and made an appointment, which was yesterday.

My first impression was GREAT as he was VERY lovely and calming which is important for me as I am always so anxious at doctor’s offices. After the first round of questioning and history-reviewing and hearing how little the SNRIs and SSRIs did for me, he started wondering if maybe I was bipolar. I didn’t really encourage this as I explained that I do not have the manic highs most bipolar people exhibit, but he really wanted to focus on that a little bit because evidently that is a VERY common pattern: People who are bipolar are treated with SSRIs and SNRIs from their GP who might not recognize the signs of bipolar disorder and nothing works but THEN, when they start taking bipolar meds…BAM! Success!

So he gave me all of these tests to take having me answer a ton of yes/no questions and then two tons of “One a scale from 1-10…” type questions. When we sat down in his office to go over them he seemed SAD! “Welp, you are right, you definitely don’t experience ANY of the highs we see in bipolar patients. You are just all lows all the time. That means we might have a few more trial/error attempts to manage your mental health. I’m sorry. I always want an easy diagnosis for my patients.”

I AM SO SORRY I AM NOT BIPOLAR!

We talked about my writing and how I should continue that, he introduced me to someone on YouTube who teaches a lot of different breathing exercises – great for right before bedtime, and he gave me some meds. I was very happy with his multi-faceted approach. And he wants me back in two weeks.

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