Bipolar II – recently diagnosed

Hi. I’m new to blogging but I hope that sharing my thoughts and feelings about recently being diagnosed with Bipolar II will help me come to terms with my illness and help other suffers.

I was diagnosed on Friday 5th Dec by my now psychiatrist. It was my first ever visit to see a shrink and I was nervous as hell. I needn’t have worried he made me feel relaxed and once he started asking questions the flood gates opened! I always knew deep down that something wasn’t right with me. For a far as I can remember I have always been a moody sod but my mood swings over the past 5 years have got worse.

My first diagnosis was that of anxiety and after my first ‘breakdown’ my wife forced me to see my GP who like so many others prescribed me citalopram and referred me to talking space, a local mental health charity. This was my first brush with Cognative behaverial therapy (CBT) and whilst I understand the concepts it never really worked for me.

To cut a long story short I was left on 20mg daily of citalopram and because I felt ok (ok a few blips inbetween) I never went back to the doctors. 5 years have passed and I always knew that I wasn’t depressed or anxious. My mood swings were too frequent, periods or euphoria followed by periods of self loathing. My OCD was also a big part of my life, things had to be done a certain way and if not I would beat myself up about it and shout at my wife and kids who couldn’t understand my way of thinking!

My last ‘breakdown’ was around 3 weeks ago and my wife had been researching bipolar disorders and even though initially I thought I was a illness that schizophrenics suffered from, I did a standard online test and I had a eureka moment! Never before had I ticked so many boxes (10 out of the possible 13) so back down to the doctors. I now have a new lady doctor and she is brilliant, see referred my straight away and within a week o had my appointment with a psychiatrist.

After my diagnosis. I was asked to choose my medication myself due to my OCD – lithium or quetiapine. I chose the latter due to the least side effects. I started on 25mg a week ago and as requested I called my psychiatrist and he told me to double the dose to 50mg a day and call him next Thursday.

So that’s it in a nut shell. I can’t feel any decent effects yet from the medication yet, I am the usual up and down today but I am going out for a meal for my daughters 13th birthday tonight which I am looking forward too.

I don’t think I will blog everyday but that could be my bipolar talking right now I don’t know but I hope this will help others to cope with their bipolar or if you think you are then do what I did, do an online test and if you score high make an appointment to see your GP ASAP. Don’t take no for an answer asked to be referred to a psychiatrist for an official diagnosis.

It’s early days for me and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet but onwards and upwards hopefully?

Darren – 13/12/14

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14 thoughts on “Bipolar II – recently diagnosed”

  1. Hi and welcome to the exciting world of BP II. Yes I’m tongue in cheek as I know that is a mixed blessing, but in my case understanding what was going on, and cutting myself some slack from time to time has really helped. I’m now 4 months diagnosed (time flies) and was diagnosed in my first visit to a psychiatrist too.. guess being clear cut diagnosis is a good thing. It is early days for us both but I hope your diagnosis brings to you the right medication and help. CBT sounds really positive. All the best, J

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Darren 🙂 Welcome to the bipolar community, obviously an awesome bunch ;). It’s strange that we are often diagnosed with anxiety first, often antidepressants making it worse, I’m actually interested in why you chose your particular stabilizer? I know lithium is the best, followed by Epilim then Lamictal. Lamictal has very little side effects, I’ve heard quetiapine makes you extremely tired: http://www.crazymeds.us/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Meds/Seroquel
    Good luck with everything, hope writing helps. It sure does for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As i am in the UK i havent heard of epilium or lamicral. My psychiatrist gave me the option of trying lithium or quetiapine. I chose to start on the latter as it has the least potential side effects but yes i am very tired and irritable esoecially in the mornings but its early days! Thanks for replying and any help or tips you have would be gratefully received!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It might take you a few different medications to find the best fit. It’s a really good community on here. I’m pretty new to Bipolar, but like most bipolar people we tend to research way too much, but that’s never a bad thing. Good luck with everything.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, welcome to the wonderland Darren! Or perhaps I should say madhouse! I can say that and get away with it, because I’m an inpatient here too (metaphorically speaking….) You will find so many compadres here, offeringsupport and kind words, you won’t ever want to leave… A word of advice – we can be our own worst enemy; remember to take time for yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself either… And hang on for dear life….Its a roller coaster ride!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Darren, I too was recently diagnosed Bipolar II in May and am presently on short-term Disability (2 years) here in Canada. My present meds Escitalopram (anti-depressant) Lamotrigine (mood stabilizer) & Lurazidone (anti-psychotic used to treat Schizophrenia & Bipolar depression). Phew! A veritable med cocktail. We’re still experimenting hopefully in time I’ll be able to pare down but maybe not. I have a great shrink too and wonderful support from family & friends thank god or I wouldn’t be here. You are not alone and I’m grateful you decided to blog & share & engage when it’s so much easier to retreat & hide. Blogging a month now and it’s made a real positive impact on my mental health ☺ welcome and thank you for finding me! Looking fwd to more chats here. Peace, love & light, jules

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Darren, and congrats on your diagnosis. This is the beginning of your new life. Now that the mystery has gone the self-doubt and self-loathing will lessen. And you can add some structure to your life in so far as learning your triggers and hatching some coping mechanisms. My shrink always advocates that it is only the most brilliant, intelligent and creative types who have presented with bipolar during the course of history (Winston Churchill, Michael Angelo, Sylvia Plath etc). So that’s definitely a plus, we’re all a bunch of smarty-pants. I started blogging in May 2014 and have been embraced by nothing but warm support and encouragement. No one in the bipolar realm will judge you because we’ve all been there. Soooo, welcome to the funhouse 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Blogging sure helps a lot and you “meet” a lot of people like us here. We support one another the best way possible. Through all the ups and downs.
    I was diagnosed 9years ago and I’m still struggling..

    Liked by 1 person

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