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Hey Baby…What’s Your Diagnosis?

Posted Nov 24 2006 12:00am

Even though this blog is free, you are paying for it with your time so I guess I’ll let you know a bit about me, your host(ess?–I hate gendered words). And at the beginning of relationships, it is proper form to introduce yourself…or did I read that somewhere, maybe in an Anthropology textbook on “Primitive Human Customs?”

So about my mental diagnoses/history. Well, it’s a little lengthy and I tend to run off at the mouth so I’ll try to be concise.

In my late 20s, I started to have trouble with lack of concentration, insomnia, loss of appetite etc… and after reviewing these with a friend who had suffered with depression for many years he pegged me. I went to see a psychiatrist and he immediately diagnosed me with unipolar depression. We never really touched upon bipolar symptoms but I wouldn’t have clued in. You see, I had been living in a continual hypomanic existence for about 7 years. Hypomania was “normal” for me so if he had ever asked me about symptoms, I would have clearly said, “nope.”

Antidepressants threw me into a tailspin and finally, the medical/psychiatric establishment have tapped in to the idea that they can actually exacerbate bipolar symptoms in some patients with the disorder. Of course, no one seemed to figure this out with me. Fast forward a few years and I actually figured it out.

I went to my then GP and told him that I actually thought I had bipolar disorder and we switched to anticonvulsant therapy. Wow. The (hypo)mania was halted. But the depression still lingered. At least we were on the right track, however.

While researching anticonvulsants and their more traditional use in epilepsy treatment, I suddenly realized that I had been experiencing simple partial seizures all my life. It was like, “Oh, so that’s what those were!” I’d had them since I was a kid! Not to mention the fact that two of the antidepressants known to drop seizure thresholds (Effexor and Wellbutrin) that I had taken in the past did exactly that!

So, off to a neurologist for a diagnosis of “seizure disorder” but not epilepsy proper.

Betwixt and between all of that, focusing issues and concentration were always a problem. I brought up ADD to my ex-GP and he confirmed that I have that too.

Oh yes, I’m also a migraineur.

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