How do you cope with a new illness? Or a new name to old symptoms. Let's figure it out together.

Dealing With a New Bi-Polar Diagnosis

(This is a true account of my first day with a brand new Bi-Polar diagnosis. That was about 2 weeks ago, but my words are still true and relevant.)

How do you cope with a new illness? Or a new name to old symptoms. Let's figure it out together. This is a true account of my Bi-Polar Diagnosis.

Time to be real

Have you ever been so angry and frustrated that you couldn’t articulate why you were feeling these things in the first place? Have you ever hidden in a safe place (mine is the bathtub) just so that you can cry enough to sort out the overwhelming feelings of dread and  inferiority?

This happens to me nearly every single night. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows here in my world, and even though I try to pretend it’s normal, it’s not.

I have struggled with actually diagnosed moderate depression and generalized anxiety disorder since my second son was a baby. That was about 9 years ago. I have taken myriad anxiety and/or depression medications during that time, none of which worked very well. Except that one that worked great until it made my vision horrible. Drat.

A month or so ago, I realized that my anxiety was manifesting itself as anger with full on rage-y bits that were not very becoming, nor were they at all healthy for anyone in this house. That is not OK when dealing with kids … and it only got harder with summer starting, my husband getting a job, and us only having 1 car.

I talked to my doctor (whom is amazing, btw), and she set me up at the county mental health clinic (which is actually in the same building) the same day. I met the intake lady the, and made an appointment for a week later to do a 2 hour long medical/mental/history process in which I spilled my guts on my past, hopes, fears, and medical stuff.

It was exhausting.

My Bi-Polar Diagnosis

A month later, we arrive at today. I went to the psychiatrist for the first time. She was easy to talk to, but not wishy washy like the therapist I saw before. She kept me on track, asking specific questions to hone in on the issues. She noticed my “forced speech” meaning that I HAVE to fill the silence.

My (nursing) educated guess was either PTSD (it was a really, REALLY hard childhood) or Bi-Polar Disorder. She diagnosed Bi-Polar with PTSD leanings on top of it. The difference: when and what I was hallucinating. Okey dokey.

I don’t mean to put all my stuff out there for anything other than to let others that may be in this situation to talk to your doctor. Hopefully yours will be as awesome and proactive as mine and start working towards a resolution.

It is OK not to be OK. It’s not OK to stay that way. ~ Pastor Mark Saunders, Baylife Church

For me, the reality is that I can no longer be in crowds, I can’t deal with a stressful job (if my heart didn’t kick me out of nursing, this would have!), and I can’t handle overt responsibility. In a fight or flight situation, I always run. I always hide. I go to my safe place and wait for the calm to come and my breathing to normalize. At best, it takes time and concentration and deep breathing techniques. At worst, it takes a pill and sleep.

I am constantly praying that God show me the ways to deal with everything that life is hurtling towards me. If God only gives me what I can handle, apparently He thinks I’m a bad ass.

For now, I want to just take some time to absorb this thing that is not a new part of me, but an old part of me with a new name. I Have A Bi-Polar Diagnosis. It’s a lot to swallow. Be patient with me, folks. Thank you.


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