It’ll be my fifth attempt in the last year to get a diagnosis (or dx). Tomorrow’s the day. I expect that they’ll actually give me a diagnosis tomorrow. I expect that it’ll be bipolar disorder – though where they’ll place me on that spectrum, I don’t really know.
And I expect new meds. Enough that I went online and checked my insurance coverage and copay costs for the most common bipolar drugs out there. With the exceptions of a couple generics and lithium, that stuff is damn expensive. Some of them are too expensive for me to afford, since my coverage has a 45% copay on brand name prescriptions.
I already know what questions they’ll ask me tomorrow. I know which symptoms they’ll ask about, and then which symptoms they’ll double-check against, to make sure it’s not borderline personality disorder or depression plus ADHD (my current dx’s). I know that they’re enough of a “pill mill” that they probably won’t look too closely. But it’ll be the fifth professional opinion, at which point, I should probably get on with accepting this as the demon I get to wrestle.
They’ll ask me how I am when I’m depressed:
- disinterested in hobbies, work, sex
- at a loss for words
- slow, both physically and mentally
- sad and tearful
- sleep more
Then they’ll ask how I am when I’m manic:
- hardly sleep, feel great!
- drink a lot
- more social
- brilliant ideas
- start many projects, make lots of plans, make lots of stuff
- compulsive cleaning
- super productive
- talk too much
- and eventually, irritable
Yeah, that’s pretty much classic manic depression.
As my therapist asked me this week, how did this go unnoticed for so long? I don’t really know. I play the part of a good patient/daughter/wife/student/employee pretty well, I guess, even though people do comment on my mercurial moods.
I’ve managed to appear functional enough that health care providers just write the prescriptions. I never went for therapy on my own because all of my experiences with it sucked, and I can’t afford to waste the time or the money. Sure, they occasionally asked me, while writing those prescriptions, whether I had considered therapy and I always said, chipper-like, that as long as I take my pills I’m fine. And I guess I had genuinely believed that as well. But now, I don’t know what to believe. We’ll see what they tell me tomorrow afternoon.