Recently-diagnosed bipolar II here. After years of being diagnosed with this, that, and the next thing - and not being properly treated, and wondering WTF was wrong with me - my new shrink hit the nail on the head.
Going on a mood stabilizer has done wonders for controlling my hypomanic states. I’m not afraid of losing my creativity, though, because at least now I can concentrate on one or two musical ideas and flesh them out, instead of hearing forty new songs in my head at once.
Oh boy, that is so true. Right now I’m on short-term disability from work, and I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon, so I have to apply for long-term disability. While my shrink and I have got the meds right for the elevated end of my bipolar spectrum (1000 mg divalproex AM, 500 mg PM), that took about two months figure out - with weekly sessions at that.
Unfortunately, I’ve been in a depressive phase for the past month or so, and my antidepressant combo just isn’t cutting it. I’m already over the maximum dose of Wellbutrin that my doctor’s comfortable with, only because I assured him that I was pretty sure I’d tolerate that extra 100 mg daily without seizures or anything. He did rapidly bring me down on the Celexa, though, because he doesn’t want too much Wellbutrin with too much of an SSRI. (I accelerated my tapering-off plan, and even though I’ve been on 20 mg Celexa for about three or four weeks now, I’m still having minor “brain zaps.”) However, we did increase the trazodone I take before bed, as that wasn’t a concern for him.
I’m seeing my shrink tomorrow, for another full session, and since this depression doesn’t seem to be lifting, I’m going to bring up one of the few remaining augmentation regimens, but one that tends to work for most treatment-resistant depression. (Not ECT, if you’re thinking that.)
About my SO. He’s fed up with me. He just doesn’t know what to do anymore, and I wish I could convey to him that I really don’t know what to do either, but it’s hard. He thinks I remain depressed because I want to be that way. To an extent, he is right: every time I tell myself I’m depressed or think about it or am overcome with sadness, I’m letting myself fall back into the pit, even if I had managed to start climbing out.
Everyone says that no one asks to be depressed, and that you want to get out of it so badly, but just don’t know where to start. I can repeat this to my SO until I’m blue in the face, but I know I won’t get anywhere. So instead of talking about my feelings, I just keep them to myself, which is incredibly counter-productive. I could email him links to websites, scatter pamphlets around the house, but it would be futile, which is quite sad.
Rather than being scolded for, say, being clumsy sometimes (the mood stabilizer can do that to you), I wish so much that he’d just sit down with me and instead of giving me ultimatums, just ask what he can do to help. I wish he could see the sadness in my eyes and really know I mean it, but now he just calls them crocodile tears. For him to understand that even though he’s frustrated with me to the breaking point, it’s probably 100 times worse for me.
But nothing I can do can really break down the Level 10 force field between us, unless suddenly one day I wake up a new person. Now, it seems results have to be immediate, even though everyone knows it takes time.
Yes, I want to be the man I was when we met, and be the man he fell in love with, and made a commitment to. And I hope that if I can get there, then he’ll be the man he was when we met, the man I fell in love with, and made a commitment to.
But it’s just so difficult to do it. I can’t fake it, either, because he knows me inside-out and would see right through it. This is why I think my shrink and I have to pull out the big guns and try a new approach that will at least get me off my ass, off that goddamned couch, and get me doing the things I promised to do when he put that ring on my finger.