Monday, November 30, 2015

This or That

I remember the day vividly. I was sitting in the recliner in our living room in Florida when I told my husband I couldn't relax. Even when I wasn't holding our then week old son, I couldn't get the tension out of my shoulders and let them down. They were always shrugged up to my ears. The anxiety was fierce.

I often wonder if I would never have gotten sick if I didn't get pregnant ten years after having my second child. Maybe postpartum depression wouldn't have been a part of my life so there's no way I would be bipolar today. Absolutely not.

Right?

Was I always sick? Even if I never had PPD would I eventually have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Has the invisible illness always been trapped inside of my bones and ultimately have been nudged free...no matter what?

Probably.

I know I had mood swings as a young person but wasn't that normal for a girl trying to find where she fits in? Were there signs back then that I would, one day, be so paralyzed with depression and go to the extreme to try to pull free of it?

I've read that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed. Do life events that trigger depression worsen over time and doctors become so baffled and label people with bipolar disorder because they just don't know what else it could be? I mean, we're nothing without a label. Am I right?

One of the most common things I've discovered through my personal doctor is that the thyroid contributes to many aspects of the human body. Thyroid hormones are a major factor when it comes to depression. I personally take medication to balance my hypothyroidism. My blood is tested every six months to make sure the medication is doing its job unless I feel something is off, then I am tested sooner.

Many people don't even realize they have a thyroid issue and go on to be treated as having a mental illness. A good psychiatrist is going to get to the root of that issue, hopefully at your initial consultation.

The thing is, BD runs in my family so I was probably doomed from the beginning. Genetics can be a bitch.

I leave you with a simple message. If you're in doubt when being diagnosed with any sort of mental illness, it's important to do your research. Don't self diagnose yourself on the internet, but use it as a tool to locate your information from reputable sources. Ask questions until you're absolutely comfortable with the knowledge you've inherited.

The right doctor will plan with you, not against you.

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