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The results of my “high likelihood of Bipolar II” evaluations are not quite the last word. If I want to try mood stabilizers, I have to get (another) full psych workup. This gives me reason to doubt the diagnosis, but getting two concurring diagnoses is enough to make me take it seriously. And worry. A lot.

I’m in the process of applying for jobs that have a very long selection process and require very detailed application materials. It’s agonizing as it is, but although I feel perfectly competent and confident to submit applications when I’m hypomanic or even “normal” (such as that is), I feel just as incompetent and underqualified to submit those applications when I’m depressed.

And I’m already tipping toward the latter state, which is also typical for me at this time of year. I get regular depressive cycles that correspond to the seasons in a way that could be suggestive of seasonal affective disorder or some kind of stress-related issue. But they could also be suggesting bipolar depression, since they typically last a couple months at a time.

So as I’m trying to fill out job apps lately, I’m feeling worse and worse overall, making it harder and harder to not only do the work of writing applications, but also to feel that I have any right to be doing it. Intellectually, I know I’m a top performer in my field and I should get several job offers. But emotionally, I never feel secure because I’m always swinging precariously from depressive inadequacy to manic overconfidence, and so I never trust my own sense of things.

What a lousy way to live.