Much support and prayers to everyone struggling through with me.
I have bipolar type 2 rapid-cycling. I was diagnosed in Feb. 2010. It's been life changing for me to be diagnosed and get the meds and help I need. I've been struggling with depression for 11 years now and it's just become harder and harder to cope. Being diagnosed was both hard and also hopeful because I realized there really was something going on and something to be treated... which said to me that I might someday feel ok. I've went back and forth on grief to anger to feeling alienated and alone to feeling like a weak christian/person, and back through it all again. I'm learning to not feel sorry for myself, but also give myself some grace to just be and not feel bad about it.
Most days I am trying to accept myself and struggle through and become ok in my own skin.
The medicine I take is not a fix all but it does play a huge part in my healing and my health. It's been a tool that Jesus is using to help me become more healthy. I hate having so many pills to take because sometimes it reminds me that I have an illness. I also don't like the idea of having to take at least some form of medicine for the rest of my life unless God chooses to completely heal me here on earth. I'll get that healing though one way or another, here or in heaven. Praise God. I find it hard to look at this as an actual illness, a mental illness but it has helped to know what is going on and to come to grips with needing help. I grieve the past, the years I wasn't and couldn't be what I wanted to be for my husband, my kids and all the things I missed in ministering to others too. I know my kids needed more and they do have struggles they face and will face because of that. Marc too. I know God's grace and love is healing balm though, I know that He takes care of my kids in a way that I can't and He fills in for my inadequacies, and He restores the years the locust have eaten. I am grateful to Him forever. I'm also grateful for the love and faithfulness and perseverance Marc has shown me. He has loved me as Christ loved the Church. He takes that charge very seriously. I couldn't have better.
For those wondering, the medicines I take:
lamictal 200mg (mood stabilizer for lows/depression)
prozac 20mg (anti-depressant especially for anxiety)
wellbutrin 450mg (anti-depressant and this also helps my ADHD)
Cytomel (T3) (to enhance the anti-depressants effectiveness)
vit. B-Complex high potency (to help with the monthly hormonal issues)
trileptal 1.5 tablets 900mg (mood stabilizer for highs (helps with my racing thoughts and to help me rest/relax)
ambien 10mg (helps me sleep which is super important)
nadol 40mg (for migraines)
half trileptal for anxiety when needed
Yeah I know it's a heck of a lot of meds and I hate that part. I also get tired of taking them. But I feel like it's a good combo for me. Finally finding the proper medications was like a light coming on. I could see and feel things so differently. In the past for years trying different anti-depressants alone hasn't been effective because I needed the mood-stabilizers too for treating the bipolar. Finding the right dosages and my Dr. upping and adding meds took months. It was frustrating. I'm thankful to Jesus for my meds though, they help me feel like I can look at and deal with things and allow Jesus to work in me and through me. I now feel like I can deal with some things that need dealt with and am able to process and allow change and growth more than I could.
For those of you out there that are googling bipolar and trying to find some common ground somewhere, and feeling alone. You are not. There are some of us struggling along in the same journey, feeling the same fears and pains, all in very different ways and lives, but we are in this together.
I want to encourage you that it WILL take time and med changes to get to the right combo and doses you need. It's very different for everyone. I felt really bad the first month and I wanted to go off all my meds several times but DH wouldn't let me. I had severe headaches, nightmares, insomnia, vertigo and dizzy issues, nausea. After about a month I started to feel better and at 4 months later I really felt good. I do struggle with nausea every morning for a few hours but I try to overlook that.
I still rapid-cycle some around my period. (Go high before and low after) but it's manageable and ok because I know it's only going to last a few days. Dh helps encourage me too. I also still feel down and depressed and overwhelmed at times but the difference is that those low times that only happen occasionally are better than my best times in the past. It's sad to think back. It was so much worse than I or Marc realized.
I really feel like it's important to find a specialized doctor and not just a primary care physician. I was treated between my midwife and PCP for years and I love them both and my PCP was on the right track.. but it all came together when I went to a psychiatrist. I had friends tell me I had to go... and they helped to find me a TRUSTED and well reputable Dr. which I believe really helped me to accept my diagnosis as real.
The one thing that has been steady through all, and the only thing is my sweet precious Jesus. He knows me inside and out, the best and the worst and He never wavers. His love is never ending. I love Him so much.