According to my new Psychiatrist I am bipolar. I was bipolar back in 2002 through 2004, then I became Majorly Depressed and have been ever since. Until today.
He says he knows I am bipolar, not just because he does this shit for a living, but because he is bipolar himself.
Apparently, beyond the mood swings, there are four (perhaps five) traits common to many bipolar disorder sufferers: greater sensitivity to negative emotional input (bullying, criticism, stress) causing anxiety, obsessiveness (often OCD-like in its nature), eating disorders (usually, bulimia and over-eating), and learning disabilities. The fifth trait is impulsiveness, but it's also related to mania, so may not be a trait of its own.
He says that for most of my life I have been treated for my symptoms, usually the depression because that's what's brought me to the doctor's, but not for the bipolarness, and that the drugs used to treat the depression can make the bipolarness worse, propelling you into a mixed state.
There are two types of maniac episodes, euphoric mania (the happy kind) and dysphoric mania, i. e. mixed state. The second is when you get crazy sad or sadly crazy: you yell at people, you're frustrated, suspicious, impulsive and hating the world.
On a scale of bipolar severity I am on the milder side, never having experienced a psychotic manic episode, but my erratic spending -- I actually forgot to tell him I bought a house for someone, maybe I'll tell him on Tuesday -- and other short term, bizarrely optimistic behaviors speak of plenty of hypomaniac episodes.
He says it's good news. I can get better if medicated properly. He wants to me try Depakote (again). I hate hope. It makes me want to cry.
Oh, and you know what Sergey said? "You know you're not bipolar, right?" And then when detecting my stiffened posture, "I don't really know what it means to be bipolar." And this after spending lunch explaining to me that he is not an asshole like he son says because he knows what an asshole really is. Even now my pulse gets rapid when I write this. I have no idea why I told him, it's not like he hasn't delivered these verdicts before. My therapist used the word masochistic, as in, not quite, when she tried to describe my relationships with Sergey, Frank, Mike and Ted. Ugh.