Sunday, February 5, 2012

MANIC MONDAYS (pun shamefully intended)

One of the issues I want to explore on this blog is mental illness. One week ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. So, as I partake in a trial and error journey with medicines, dosages, and changes in behavior I want to share it. I want to share it because 1) the stigma associated with mental illness, specifically within the Christian community, 2) if this is my struggle I'd certainly like to help someone else either going through it or avoiding going through it because they're afraid, and 3) give information and thoughts to aid friends of people with a mental illness.

When I was diagnosed three feelings were prevalent - I was disappointed because the diagnosis wasn't simpler, I was embarrassed because I felt crazy, but I was relieved because it explained EVERYTHING, and there has always been a part of me that thought something more than depression was involved. The psychiatrist carefully explained to me I was bipolar, probably manifesting itself in my early teen years. He also explained through the years it was accompanied at various times with post traumatic stress syndrome and after the birth of my twins, postpartum depression.

The psychiatrist said it was chronic and I would need medicine my entire life. He warned me if I stop taking the medicine relapses are worse each time. Since last Tuesday I've been taking a mood stabilizer and an anti-depressant. I have felt very tired most of the time, though I have not been reacting frantically and on the edge as much. Perhaps my tiredness is more from the depression I've had because of the diagnosis than the medicine itself, only time will tell. My ultimate goal is to function because my family doesn't function if I don't. And the peace in God that is already inside can come out and be celebrated.

So, each Monday I'll explore something different about mental illness. I hope you can use the information. For the meantime here is a link to inform you: Mayo Clinic Description

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

God Bless You,

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