I believe that what we call our personality, this aggregation of subtle and predominant attitudes, philosophies, fears, tastes and impulses, this assembling of conflicting thoughts, ideas and other inner battles, is the result of all the experiences that we had to face during our respective lives. Thinking that it's a fixed attribute can't be further from the truth. It's evolving as we adapt to our reality. Of course genetics play a part ; there's things that we can't avoid nor choose, but, all things considered, I'll forever maintain that personality is more nurtural than natural.
Finding the right words to say to somebody who's depressed can seem near impossible. Unfortunately, we're more likely to say the wrong thing when we're trying to help than we are to say something helpful.
My diagnosis came in august 2019 and I was so relieved. Yes, relieved and I'll tell you for why. At this point, I had spent over 2 years dealing with severe depressive and (fun) hypomanic episodes that I couldn't ignore, fighting for my doctor to take my concerns seriously. This was difficult given that talking about it brought me a whole mix of negative emotions and I no longer had the will to live. Trying to advocate for myself, with this in mind, was exhausting.
I have had bipolar disorder and depression since I am 18 years old. I am now a 65 year old male living at the NJ shore. I missed my whole senior year of high school. I went to a private boy's high school for college prep and was number six in my class of 250 boys before mania and depression set in.
"I like giving it to people."
1997 I met the man that I would marry. I have continued to go undiagnosed. Although I continued drinking, I was no longer doing drugs. I started to substitute cutting for the drugs. We dated for two years before getting married. It was not an easy relationship. Everyone has issues but I don't think he realized how deep mine ran. He loved me, though, even through the drinking. After we were married things were great for a few years. I got pregnant early on so my drinking stopped. We had a baby about every two years from 2000 - 2005. After my last baby I went into a depression. My doctors figured it was postpartum depression so the medication they prescribed was short term. So I felt better for a little while. I started focusing all my attention on raising the kids. What I couldn't realize at the time was that I was in a manic period. Mania can be just as destructive as depression. I felt like I could do anything and was having black outs. I would go shopping and when I got home, have no idea what I had bought. This seems strange but I was having dissociative episodes and had no control over what was happening. Then a major change to our lives pushed me back into depression. My husband started attending a school three hours away that he had to stay at all week. He would only be able to come home on the weekends. So we made the decision to move so his commute would be a little bit shorter. I started drinking again. I was bouncing between mania and depression. I had what was called rapid cycling. I put further strain on our marriage with drinking during depression and spending in mania and the constant self-harm. Around this time I was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I went on several medications. I started experiencing side effects, including extreme fatigue. It was not an easy time with four young children, side effects and not having my husband at home. After a year of ups and downs, he graduated. Part of his new career required that we move to a new area. We had no choice but to leave family and friends behind. This increased my depression and the strain on our marriage. My husband had no idea how far I had fallen. One night he was out on night shift and I decided that I couldn't continue. I had nothing left and only saw one way out. I got drunk and tried, once again, to take my life. It was my youngest child that saved me. She got up to use the bathroom and needed my help. There was no way I was going to let her see me like that. Since I was quite intoxicated, I couldn't remember my husband's cell phone number. So I dialed 911 and explained the situation. Everyone came....police, fire, ambulance. It was complete chaos. No one could find my husband so they were preparing the kids to go with someone. Then as they were loading me in the ambulance he came home. He was extremely confused and kept trying to get in the ambulance with me. I screamed at him to leave me alone and go help the kids. After I sobered up at the hospital I was admitted to my first psychiatric hospital. It took them about two months to get my medicine where it needed to be. Once I was discharged, I did not immediately go home as our marriage had not improved during this time. We spent about a month apart. During this time I did a lot of self reflection. I began to realize how much was happening in my mind. I also knew that running from my marriage was not the answer. So I went home. I felt like I was getting somewhere with my health. The process to accepting my diagnoses had started. We were ready to work on our marriage and my health. The problem was that I was very timid and not very knowledgeable about bipolar disorder. Whatever the psychiatrist suggested, I did. That was a big mistake. He started over medicating me. I slept all the time. My routine was get up, move to the couch and sleep some more. My husband had to work, take care of four young kids, run the house and take care of me. On my good days I knew something had to change. I realized I was over medicated. So instead of talking to the doctor........I just quit taking my medications. I don't EVER recommend this. I fell into a very dark hole. During this fall I tried to take my life once more and ended up back in a hospital. When I was able to be released, I once again felt like I was getting somewhere. My medications were working and we were working on our marriage. It was at this point that I returned to church and my relationship with God. My husband and I were baptized in a local lake. We felt renewal in our marriage and I felt renewal in myself. We made the decision to move back to the area around our friends and family. This was one of the best decisions we ever made.....
Today I’m lying in bed and just thinking. About what? ... EVERYTHING. Every little thing. Good things, bad things, life, dreams, goals, hope, fears, memories, future, everything. I don’t like overthinking things but I do it anyway. I don’t like sitting in bed doing nothing but I do it anyway. I don’t like feeling down so often and not socialising with people I love, but I do it anyway. I’m not sure why, and where this feeling comes from..- I think I’m bipolar.
Never would I of thought that my borderline personality disorder, or emotionally unstable personality disorder as the doctors officially diagnosed me with would of ever worked within a romantic relationship. Growing up it was something in which I had always struggled with, relationships!