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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:

  • tired
  • hopeless
  • heavy
  • disinterested in hobbies, work, sex
  • at a loss for words
  • slow, both physically and mentally
  • sad and tearful
  • withdrawn
  • worried
  • sleep more
  • isolated

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
  • hypersexual
  • impulsive
  • spendy
  • super productive
  • talk too much
  • ranty
  • 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.

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