Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Impact of a Diagnosis (Part 2)

When the psychiatrist diagnosed me as atypical bipolar II, and told me this was a "mental illness," I was stunned. Despite my semi-annual six week depressive episodes, I was one of the most "normal" people I knew.

In that first meeting, the doctor not only didn't provide very much information on bipolar disorder, but she prescribed Zoloft (for which she had no written material) rather than trying a mood stabilizer. Since all of this was pre-Internet, I had to hunt all over to find material on manic-depression and on Zoloft.

The details of my story are included in my upcoming book, Bipolar Depression Unplugged: A Survivor Speaks Out, and because it's copyrighted material, I can't repeat here what I've written. Suffice it to say, it was a terrible experience.

After a decade of illness, and extraordinarily bad experiences with four psychiatrists who prescribed 25 different medications in different combinations and dosages, I often wish I'd never been diagnosed.

I sincerely believe that even the psychiatrists who consider themselves bipolar experts know very little about this illness. In my experience, they "throw" medication at patients rather than helping them understand the triggering events and resolving them, developing new behavioral patterns to deal with stressful situations, recommending a wide range of adjunctive services, and providing hope, which I believe is the critical component for wellness.

(more to come)


legalbeagle05 said...


Did you sell the rights to your book or is the publisher just agreeing to publish it. You may still be able to reproduce what you wrote here in your blog. If you didn't sell your rights, you should still have the copyright on it.

(Of course, it all depends on your contract and this is not meant as legal advice, blah blah blah)


Bipolar Legal Beagle :)

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Bipolar Legal Beagle,
Thanks for your comments on the "Work" post (I'll mention is in tomorrow's post. It's quite inspirational)and for this one as well. Welcome!

Yes, I did sell the rights. And to be more accurate, I probably should have explained that I spent 14 years working on this memoir and would prefer not to duplicate it on my blog. But I appreciate your comment.


JayPeeFreely said...

I don't think I could ever go through that many people or pills in an attempt to improve how I feel.

I'd given up way before that...

I'll be looking for the book at Barnes and Noble. Let me know if (and when) it has come out.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear JayPeeFreely,
I never thought of quitting. I am happily married and the mother of a son whom I adore. I've got this great life...except for this illness. So, I kept on persisting despite all the bad advice, false healers etc.

In retrospect, I wish it hadn't been so painful. But now that I've come out of it, I'm extraordinarily strong because of it.

But I didn't see that I had any other options but to try and move forward.