this is an email that i sent to my family letting them know of my new diagnosis.
title: Good New!
I bet your reaction was similar to a good friend of mine. His wife has struggled with depression much of her adult life only to be diagnosed bipolar. He initially replied to my diagnosis , “I’m sorry.”
You see, even he, who deals with this disorder every day, still fits into societal stereotypes. Society has preconceived, misconceived, and ill–conceived notions of Bipolar disorder, bpd as I’ll refer to it.
Bpd, or its equally other maligned name, manic depressive disorder, for to long has had stigma of wild and nearly uncontrollable moods swings from depression to manic. Along with that, comes with someone unable to deal with society and best be locked away. If that’s the case, better get ready to throw away the key, because I’d be headed to the loony bin.
¿Fortunately?, my manic swings are nearly non–existent. That lead me and me docs to believe that I only had struggles with episodic depression. Because of that, my real problem had gone undiagnosed for years.
An additional “side effect” of the treatment of my depression with SSRI’s potentially shortened the times between my episodes of depression. Oh what joy!
With a proper diagnosis, there are some “mood stabilizers” that will help restore some balance to my life. With that, comes a good prognosis.
With my new found discovery, I would like to pass along some advice. If you or someone you know has been struggling with on and off depression, it might make sense to schedule a trip to a psychiatrist to review if there might be a misdiagnosis, similar to what happened to me.
It would also behove you to add this to your medical history; there is a genetic component with this disorder. Studies with identical twins show that if one twin has bpd, there is a one in three chance that the other twin of suffering with the disorder at some level, also.
My psychiatrist has given me a pretty extensive package of information on bpd and its treatments. If you would like to see them, just let me know and I can forward them on to you.
It has been a long a rocky road. There is a new found hope that perhaps, with a little bit of roadwork, I’ll finally have a smoother ride. Let’s hope so. I’ve already worn out one too many sets of shocks!