The lab results are in: my endocrine levels are normal. Testosterone is on the high level of normal, but still within the expected range. I do not have PCOS.
Half of me is relieved – I don’t have to add a new medication or make further lifestyle adaptations (that I ought to do anyway). The other half is terribly disappointed. For two weeks, I had clung to the slender hope that perhaps something else was wrong, that I’m not really bipolar, that my issues were primarily hormonal. If I wasn’t really bipolar, I could drop out of DBT and quit therapy with a clear conscience. It would have taken some mental readjustment to remove all traces of the bipolar dx from my identity, but I was quite willing to take on that challenge.
But no. I’m still bipolar. Still mentally ill. Still crazy.
For the most part, I’m not surprised. Even if they had diagnosed me with PCOS, I would have expected the bipolar dx to stick as well. There are very few alternate explanations for manic symptoms, particularly if you don’t do coke (I never have.)
So my life will remain forever complicated by bipolar disorder. I will still have 7 or 8 appointments each month for mental health services for some time to come. I will still have to swallow a handful of pills and supplements every day. I will still have to manage my lifestyle carefully to avoid destabilization. It’s a pain but at least I know what I’m up against.