The Bipolar Me: What I suppose isn’t clear

In my last post, I was attempting to ask which of the five directions I should take. In other words, one option that sounded most appealing.

As far as the diagnosis, given what I’ve read and what I do experience, sometimes daily, hourly, I am as good at self-examination as those professionals are.

As Susan Bernard, as close to an expert as any expert is, stated recently:

“In my experience, everyone has such a negative view of bipolar
disorder–doctors and therapists alike–that they’ve lost the ability to
approach it from a problem-solving perspective and to help provide answers and
services rather than a lot of meaningless conversation and ineffective

There is a strong stigma related to all things called “a disorder.”

Over the past 11 years, I went on 4 different occasions to “therapists.”
3 times on my own accord prior to the year 2001. Their diagnoses were all wrong.

1) Alcoholic – wrong. I can and do go weeks/months at a crack without any craving or yen for a drink. I drink to self-medicate certain aspects of BIP, I suppose. (And during those periods, I would binge drink…which I did often in college from 1990-1996, when my symptoms first manifested, but were undefined in my thinking.)

I also do not possess any tell tale signs of drug abuse. AND I do not use other illegal drugs, ever. (You, the reader, likely have smoked pot, I haven’t.)

2) Slightly depressed – again, wrong. They catch me at the near term lows. Not understanding or acknowledging other points in my life. Explanation therapy has barely scratched the surface before they shuffle me off, or I shuffle myself off to another direction.

3) Some other disorder(s) – but fail to treat or define.

“Coming out” about what I know to be apart of my character is not easy. People seem to think I enjoy the self-diagnosis. I don’t. Given the various other dilemmas in my life, prior to this, why would I enjoy it at all? (And it is not like I haven’t explore the terrain. Since 1999, I have looked at various thoughts and analysis on Bipolar that tended me to that conclusion.)

As far as treatment, I don’t (and haven’t) had health insurance since early 2001. So unless I garner that, getting whatever treatment is viable and workable is simply impossible, if those things existed clearly.

The last time I was in “therapy” in late 2003. I was forced to attend 8-10 sessions at $100 per. I rode a mountain bike 7 or 8 miles to the session after 8 hours of work in a restaurant. I still owe over $600 on that medical bill since I was unable to pay for it at all. (And that was at a cut rate to begin with.)

And it did zero for me. In fact, she elected to guilt me into admission of being “a failure.” (Due to thinking a 12-step program was again the solution to my ills. I still have the AA book.) She was a very unhelpful human being. But likely, making more money in a decade than I’ll see in the rest of my life. So, she’s a good capitalist.

Point is, I know what most think about any “disorder”. The fears and stigmas they foist on others for having such a difference. It is no different from a Neo-Con talking about the abominations called “gay people.”

Due to other things done in life, I am stigmatized and ostracized from the milieu of normalcy. The 9-5 job or career, the living in a decent apartment, the ability to enjoy other’s company – like in relationships and families – all because, I am no longer “good enough” for many of you.

If I tell you the truth too soon, you’ll say, “I don’t care. Why would someone hold that against you?”

If I told you the truth too late, you’ll say, “Why didn’t you tell me that? (Or now I wonder what is next?)”

It is pathetic to explain it – I know – but this is a part of me.

There is nothing I can do to drastically change who I am – I can only tweek things here or there.

And I try pretty hard to do it.

But some days, I don’t want much to do with anyone on this Earth.

Failure is what “it is.”

I won’t bother to explain this any further.

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  • Bipolar Wellness Writer  On February 11, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Couldn’t agree more on therapists. I had seen six therapists (for brief periods of time during what I later learned were depressive episodes), one psychiatrist, and one therapist for years and no one diagnosed me as bipolar for 25 years.

    They didn’t even realize that the “bad periods” which occurred twice a year in April and October for exactly six weeks might be considered seasonal affective disorder.

    What a painful and expensive joke. And then I was diagnosed, and it got so much worse!

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