Alone

I am so depressed today.  I have been all consumed in work, watching Transparent in the background, and feeling sad inside.  Nothing has happened.  It has been a pretty stress-free, routine day.  I am wondering if it is such a sad-mood day because it is my first full-day alone in my thoughts.

My Diagnosis

As noted in my previous post, I had both my second appointment with my psychologist and my first appointment with her recommended psychiatrist.  I was not as anxious at my second appointment; my speech was not as rushed; my thoughts, although still rapid, came out a little clearer.  However, I still had the tendency to move from topic to topic, time frame to time frame, issue to issue.  The therapist showed me the note she faxed to the psychiatrist and gave me a copy as well (if lost in faxing).  There were a couple of items I walked away from therapy realizing:  1.  I internalize everything/am VERY sensitive.  So, if I know a person would not purposely hurt me, I am most likely misinterpreting their words/motives.  2.  In 42 years (with about 25 years in and out of therapies), I never really knew what I wanted out of therapy; what my goals are; what I am doing.

A visit to the psychiatrist is a stark contrast to seeing a therapist.  I had been to psychiatrists in my eating disorder days.   They seemed cold and I never was able to tell if medicine affected me positively, negatively or acted as a placebo.  Therefore, I stopped going and stopped taking medicine.  After I gave birth to Roger, I sought out a psychologist and she stated I had postpartum (believe me, I did not need a therapist to tell me that).  My primary care doctor gave me a prescription to Prozac and I never since consulted with a psychiatrist.

My therapist told me to expect to take some tests to assess my diagnosis, as well as conversation.  On any day, I’d rather take tests than talk.  However, first came the talking.  It was an anxiety-riddled collection of thoughts.  I was all over the place.  It probably came off as drug-induced conversation.  I never know what to say.  I say too much.  Trip over my words.  Feel embarrassed and idiotic.  Act like I’m a prepubescent teen who has no knowledge of herself and life.  Then came the easy part:  the tests.  The answer to most of the questions was Frequently.  And I thought to myself, “Don’t most people feel like this most of the time?!”.

My diagnosis, according to the psychiatrist (and first pointed out by the psychologist), is undeniably Bipolar Disorder.  My previous therapist gave me a diagnosis of Aspergers and OCD.  It seems that bipolar is sometimes misdiagnosed as OCD and that the drugs prescribed (anti-depressants like Prozac — that was increased to 40 mg due to the OCD) actually make Bipolar worse.  Bipolar Disorder requires mood stabilizers instead and a lot of OCD tendencies may be a result of having bipolar, instead of a separate diagnosis.

Although depressed over having a mood disorder, there is much to learn about the diagnosis and myself.  I wrote many different verses to end this post but none can sum up how I feel.  Please do not feel bad for me; do not pity me; do not state this is a false diagnosis; do not state I am strong and can do this.  I love your support but am putting this out there “as is” and not for input.   I have so many thoughts and feelings to sort out that I do not wish to misconstrue your words…

My therapy

Today will be an interesting day.

Last week, I started therapy with a new psychologist.  I dearly love my previous therapist (who is also Roger’s therapist).  She diagnosed me with OCD and Asperger’s.  She, too, struggles with OCD, so we had a connection.  Unfortunately, she is in such high demand that having a consistent appointment would not be possible.  She recommended the therapist I met with last Friday.

I think I overloaded my new therapist with years of information in such a short period of time.  However, two issues that I have had recent problems with and are intertwined are: 1. lack of sleep (yes, still 3-5 hours per night) and 2. my reaction to trazadone.  My doctor and previous therapist decided to switch my Prozac to a medication that would also be a sleep aide.  The amazing part of trazadone was that I was sleeping a whopping 6 hours per night.  The downside was I was not myself.  I was on the medication for 2 weeks and feel like it remained in my system last week as well.  My husband thought I was out of it.  I was in a haze, but then had bursts of energy where I’d clean, shop excessively on-line, make a million plans, be obsessed with my phone even with my son around.  I decided to stop taking it when my husband kept noting how I was not present.  Once off the medication, I started remembering all the purchases I made, my consumption with the stupid phone rather than life, how I should not have been driving, how messed up on a prescription drug I had become.

Describing the above to my new therapist, she suggested that I see a psychiatrist because my lack of sleep and my reaction to trazadone is prevalent in Bipolar Disorder.  I have to say my husband and I have used that term in passing due to my moody behavior.  She thinks I may have approached medication the incorrect way thus far.  I have not been to a psychiatrist since my eating disorder days of yore (decades ago!).  I am quite nervous.  After that trazadone fiasco, I am scared of any and all medication (except for my prozac and allergy medication).  I have a back specialist appointment next week and am even fearful of medication he may recommend.

There are many things I look forward to changing through therapy but do realize that medication may help me reduce my anxiety, stress, obsessive thinking, crazy mood swings, depression, etc.  I approach today taking baby steps towards larger strides in the future.

My solo staycation

After being completely overwhelmed the past few weeks (months, years), I finally decided to take a week off of work and just relax.  It has been over five years since I have had 5 consecutive days off of work.  At the beginning, I had plans to try to: 1. exercise 2. read 3. blog daily 4. reconnect with me….and the list goes on.

After feeling overwhelmed by the to-do list for my staycation, I decided to not have any expectations or plans for my staycation.  That has worked out best, for I have not done much.  It is Thursday and this is the first blog post I have written.  Exercise, Schmexercise.  I did disconnect from social networks for the most part this week (or drastically reduced usage from a typical week).  That has made me enjoy the silence a bit more.

Tomorrow marks the last solo day of my staycation.  I have multiple doctor appointments, so not too much fun or relaxation ahead.  I thought I would be bored by the end of this week and longing for work.  However, I would love to take another week off!

September has been a really rough month for me.  I have not felt myself the majority of the month and realized I missed my boring, old self!  Here’s hoping October weighs a little less heavily on my mind and body…