One year on and has anything changed?

Well here I am a year after finally getting the nerve to tell my GP about my lifelong bipolar II. Thirty-four years of history when I handed over the letter; I really didn’t think I could convey all that ‘stuff’ verbally.

Some of this past year I’ve blogged here, though there are many gaps.

I’ve been having CBT for the past 6 months+ and my final session was last week. Why has it ended? No idea; that wasn’t discussed. I assume money and caseload.

After seeing the psychiatrist again a few months ago, and being given at that meeting a handwritten note of four meds (which I was to take away and Google, then pick one to start on – something I still find utterly bizarre), I am at the moment back where I started a year ago.

With the final CBT session completed, it means I have now been discharged from Secondary Care back to Primary-. Though in effect all that means is I am having no input, support, guidance or treatment at all.

I have um’ed and ah’d about starting meds for these past few months as I am managing to (just about, at times) hold down a professional job along with being a single parent 50% of the week. Lithium was my first choice from the list, only because it seems to have the least side effects (well, until my thyroid and kidneys implode). The psych’s first choice – Quetiapine – seems to be, online including social media at least, universally criticised. I really have no desire to become Mr Blobby by Christmas.

Regarding Lithium, I also worry about my driving licence being revoked by DVLA. I need to be able to drive, to do my job and to be a parent at the mercy of the School Run.

If I decide to battle through this once more by myself, perhaps with occasional random input from Primary Care services, then what was the point of the past year? I really cannot go on an awful lot longer feeling like this. I’m not as physically- and mentally strong as I used to be. Plus, I’ve driven away everyone I’ve ever loved, or those who have loved me. Apart from my son. I have no-one for support. No-one to talk to when – like today – I am being torn apart at every level by bipolar anxiety which is cooking up a new batch of mixed mood several times a day.

‘You shouldn’t have such a strong work ethic’, the psychiatrist told me. I’ve learnt of course that ‘the system’ isn’t designed for those BP people who are managing to hold down a job. There are no groups, clubs, meetings in the evenings or weekends; outside normal office hours.

I keep being told by healthcare professionals ‘you wouldn’t believe how many doctors, lawyers, teachers etc… are bipolar and taking [meds].’

I’ve asked for another psychiatrist appointment, which will take a month or so to manifest. At this moment in time I intend to begin Quetiapine. I’ve turned down the recommendation/offer of beta blockers for my anxiety as I’m going to investigate first whether it actually is BP-related. If it is and the Q works, then bingo. Buy one get one free.

As I keep saying…. watch this space.

4 comments on “One year on and has anything changed?

  1. This is a timely read for me as having a lot of the same thoughts. 44 years before going to drs as a desperate last attempt in October last year. Put on ads which led to a full blown hypomanic attack.then given cbt as well totally agree re works for anxiety but not for bp as there is for me no way to think rationally in a storm only can do so after, retrospectively. I just tried my first batch of meds in jan and have just stopped as didn’t/don’t feel “better” just felt different and didn’t like what they were doing to me or how I felt as even though bp is horrible as least its real where on meds felt unreal. Note I am only new to all this so my opinions really can’t be based on knowledge just personal trail and error, part of me wants too try a different med part of me can’t go through that feeling again. I think same as you have had no other help to cope with this and feel in some ways even more alone than before as once I asked for help thought there would be some answers. I really hope the meds work for you (I did notice something happen in the early weeks but then went flat again).
    Please write your blog more often stay in touch over the next few weeks and journal for yourself your moods etc daily. I really wish for you all the best, don’t be a stranger. Your frenger.

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