Yesterday's rant made me and a few others feel good, although I realize this isn't the kind of post that most of you probably like. Still, as I wrote in my response to various comments, since I seem to be one of the few people in this blogging circle who feels that my treatment made me worse rather than better--I believe it's important to share my point of view (Yes, I know I tend to dwell on it, but it's part of my healing process. Maybe when I'm 90, I'll feel like I've written it out of my system).
Today, I was planning on writing more about friends--the "real world" kind--and say that one of the true difficulties of my bipolarity is that I like different kinds of people--dependent upon my moods. But, then I received four comments--one on each post in this series from Paula Joy, who's a bipolar newbie. And she asked a question, which I can't adequately answer, so I'm going to ask for your help in responding to her.
She said she likes blogging because she can honestly talk about her illness (she was only diagnosed four months ago, and started blogging about it a month ago), and she's not able to talk about it with "real-world" friends and and wondered why. (However, I just read her blog and she did talk about it with someone today and felt much better.)
I'm not really sure that I have a good answer for her. I believe there may be many reasons it's difficult for friends to discuss bipolar disorder, but here are a few: 1. They may feel like it would be an invasion of your privacy to ask about it. 2. Because it's a so-called mental illness, they may feel uncomfortable talking about it. 3. They may be waiting for you to broach the subject. 4. They may worry about what you're going to say, and be concerned that they won't know how to respond.
Does anyone else have more insight on this than I do? Or can you make suggestions on how Paula Joy might encourage them to talk about it?
Paula...I've actually got a more pressing issue to advise you on, and perhaps it will affect others as well. In your blog, you said that you have a thyroid problem. And I recently read that there is a "clear connection between the process of thyroid hormone regulation and bipolar disorder."
A really good article on this is on the website PsychEducation.org. Jim Phelps who runs this site is an M.D. If I were you, I would download this article and show it to your doctor. It's possible that you're not bipolar, but that your thyroid is causing "bipolar symptoms." Before I would be willing to be labeled "bipolar" and continue with your current treatment of Topomax (which isn't working), I'd find the best specialist I could find who is really knowledgeable about the studies that Dr. Phelps mentions.
If I were in your shoes, my next step would be to go through a battery of physical tests to ensure that I was getting the right diagnosis. I would be very cautious about taking a drug like Topomax without conclusively knowing that what you've been experiencing isn't caused by your low-hormone regulation.
And since I know you're religious, I would pray to God that your problem is hormone related and that you're not really bipolar.
P.S. You can still read our blogs (smiling face), but this would be great news.