We do for others because we don't know how to do for ourselves. We do for others because we feel it is the only way to make up for the damage we feel our craziness is doing to society. We do for others because it makes us feel good when nothing else in the whole world does, not even pills. We stay quiet and sit in the corner because others seem so much more needy. We require so little, you and I. A fact which does not sit well with others who would label us as too much to handle. When in truth, all those such as us really need is a bit of understanding, a bit of reciprocation, maybe a touch on the cheek once in a while and a sly wink. The rest of the world is needy. I'd rather be crazy. ~~Aimee

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Unconventional Diagnosis & Treatment

I haven't really ever given much detail as to how I was diagnosed and my current treatment for bipolar. Since people have asked a few times in the comments, I thought it would be easier to make a post and then if any future people ask I would have a post to direct them towards instead of having to constantly repeat myself. This post will be a bit long but that can't really be helped.

I was raised in a very abusive home. My father was an alcoholic who raped me and beat my mother. He psychologically tortured the both of us. I have very few memories of my childhood, but one memory that is very clear to me is from when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I don't remember what led to this event and I don't remember how it ended, but I very clearly remember standing in the door of my family home. My father stood behind me drinking a beer. His hand squeezing my shoulder. Even though he said not one single word, I knew exactly what my part was. My mother was standing in the yard beside the car. She wanted to leave but I refused. I remember thinking how deseparately I wanted nothing more than for her to come and pick me up from my spot and carry me away, but she didn't. She just stood there screaming at me to get in the car, but my feet wouldn't move. All I could do was stand there and cry and say "No, Mama, please don't go". She didn't go.

When I was 8, she had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. I ended up running away from home and going to live with my grandparents. My family's way of dealing with what happened to me was to pretend it didn't. They ignored it. Didn't talk about it so I repressed ALOT. I guess I should also tell you that my father attempted to murder me on numerous occasions after the divorce. He blamed me for the divorce and felt if I wasn't "in the picture" then he and my mother could live happily ever after. He tried shooting me, strangling me, running our car off the road on several occasions, beating me. It didn't help that at times my mother also told me that I was the reason her life was messed up. Needless to say I bottled everything up inside until it imploded.

Then when I was 13, I attempted suicide for the first time. I was hospitalized and my therapist thought my mental state was too fragile to pursue legal action. Instead she thought it best that I have once a week therapy sessions with my father so the two of us could "work things out". I was in the hospital for six weeks and once a week we had "family therapy" to "work things out". I don't remember the sessions. I have no idea what was or wasn't said. All I remember is staring at the carpet on the floor. I am not certain I ever spoke during these sessions. This was when I was officially diagnosed as "manic depressive". This is what bipolar use to be called until it was renamed to remove some of the stigma associated with the label.

Afterwards, I saw a therapist in my hometown. She was NOT licensed to work with children. She decided it best that I undergo hypnosis. That somehow reliving my past trauma under hypnosis would be less traumatic than actual therapy sessions. I don't remember much from these sessions either.

In the hospital I was given amitriptyline and trazadone. When I left I was put on prozac and trazadone. I took these for about a month and then I felt "better" and stopped. I didn't really have much adult supervision. Therefore no one to actually make me take my meds. My insurance only paid for 6 therapy sessions which is why I believe no one ever noticed how deeply troubled I was.

When I was 16, I attempted suicide again. I was again hospitalized. This time however the abuse was reported. My previous doctors all lost their licenses to practice medicine in my homestate due to their failure to report child abuse and their inappropriate treatment of my case. I was put on lithium and two more drugs although I don't remember exactly what they were. When I left the hospital, I took a variety of things. I should say I was prescribed a variety of things. I saw two different doctors and each prescribed meds. Zoloft, paxil, lithium, trazadone, ambien. Again I had no adult supervision so I didn't really take the meds.

My father bought his freedom. I remember very little of the trial. I testified. My social worker said I looked like I was stoned out of my mind sitting on the witness stand. That I stared off into space. I slurred my words and spoke very slowly in almost a whisper. That I never blinked. My pupils were dilated so much that you couldn't see the iris in my eye. I have no idea what the lawyer asked me. The only thing I remember of that day is standing on the courthouse steps and watching my father shake the prosecuting attorney's hand and laughing. I remember hearing him tell the DA that his "campaing fund check" was in the mail. This is how justice is bought in my hometown.

Then I got married at 17 and moved away. I believed this would solve my problems. I had absolutely no real understanding of my mental issues. Needless to say that marriage ended. Badly. During my marriage I attempted to see a therapist on two different occasions but due to insurance or the lack of, I only saw them a couple times and it was really just a waste of time.

Then when in 2003 my grandmother died. She had been my rock through my whole life. When she died, I slowly began to unravel. For about a year I actually hid it pretty well. I was functioning at work, but at home I was a mess. I would cut myself, not sleep for days. Then in 2004, I had a nervous breakdown. The ER psyche doc wanted to hospitalize me but I somehow managed to convince him not to. I wasn't "crazy". I didn't need to be locked up. We agreed I would see a therapist twice a week. Which I did. That was when I heard the word "bipolar" and found out a little bit about my mental issues. I was put on seroquel and another med that I can't remember the name. I really thought that this time I was going to get better and then life threw me a curve ball and I did what I always do. I ran away.

I moved to another state and had no insurance there so no meds no therapy. Then I started having delusions. That is when my psychotic break began. End of 2004 beginning of 2005. I would spend the next 3 years doing some extremely self destructive behavior. Believing I was a divine chosen being that had supernatural powers. Then somehow I started coming out of the psychosis. Attempted to straighten my life out but my perception was so skewed that I ended up being a "kept" woman for a married man. He lived in one city and worked in another. 3 days a week he lived in the city he worked and kept an apartment there. I lived in the apartment.

I prayed daily for death. I would have given anything to have been able to kill myself, but suicide is not an option in my beliefs and that is really the only reason I never attempted suicide. If it were not for my faith, then I would be dead now. There is no doubt in my mind.

In 2007, I met Jigger. We married in January 2008. For the first time in my life I was safe. I had a home. Even though for the first year I fought him like hell because I was so afraid to trust in his love and in this life. I was terrified of losing it that I was too afraid to grab it. After a year of trying to make Jigger divorce me, something in me clicked and I began researching bipolar online. I started noticing my triggers. Finding discussion forums, support groups, trying to understand why I do what I do.

Where I live it is not possible for me to get meds and/or treatment by a therapist. I realize the absurdity of that statement and how unbelievable it sounds, but know that it is the absolute truth. That is why I do my best to manage my illness as much as possible. Being in the environment I am definitely helps.

Even though at the moment I am "stable" I do not believe you can successfully treat bipolar without meds and therapy. I do not recommend anyone to attempt to treat themselves. If I had a choice, I would choose meds, but at the moment, I have to work with what I have available to me which isn't a whole lot.

In 2004 my diagnosis was bipolar type 1 rapid cycling, PTSD, and depersonalization disorder. So hopefully that answers the questions of my diagnosis and treatment. Although I am always open to questions and will do my best to answer them. However I do blog anonymously and there are some things I will not disclose in order to maintain that anonymity.

I blog in order to have a journal that documents my moods and triggers. Writing is a form of therapy for me. It always has been. It helps me to get the demons out of my head.


Miss Rosie said...

Oh my honey... your story makes me want to just hug you and rock you. Thank you for being strong and telling us about your disorder. That took an amazing amount of strength.

I am curious about your triggers.

Maasiyat said...

Fukcin' blogger. First they eat my posts. Now they keep eating my comments. Let's try this again.

Miss Rosie, I don't think it takes much strength. it is my life. It's what happened. As for triggers, well mostly feeling abandoned or loss of control are two of my main triggers, but what causes this feeling to occur can change daily. It can also be the most mundane absolutely irrational things as well.

kitkat said...

Blogger is being a little bitch so i hope this comment shows. I am so sorry about your past and it's such a sad story. I wish i could do something to make it alright :/
I cant begin to tell you how strong you are to be able to write all this and to continue struggling and never giving up. Just keep fighting cos you are a fighter. I wish u all the best, and for what it's worth..u'll always find a listening ear in the blogger community :)

Lance said...

Creativity is therapy. After my first therapy session (march 2006), my pro told me to start writing. I haven't stopped. I did stop seeing her in May 2008.

What so special about you and your situation =, Maas, is you have so much self awareness and determination. I never see you defeated. Very inspiring.

Sapphire Dragonflies said...

You're a much braver soul than you think. Thank you for sharing... *hugs*

Miz PRN said...

I feel for you...I can understand some of what you've been through having experienced child abuse on all levels myself: sexual, emotional, physical, and psychological. The long term effects of such child abuse impacts on all areas of your life as an adult until one day you open your eyes and see just how much it has found its way into your very core. And thats when you start fighting back. Ever read Courage to Heal??? Wicked book. We've got a few in common. Hence I've been reading from a distance with much trepidation, though wanting to leave a comment. Mostly to connect to...a likeminded soul. So that's a follow from me.

Oh yea fucking blogger. Swallowed my last post too. LOL.

Maasiyat said...

Lance, I definitely agree. I have written all of my life, but this is the first time in this manner. I must admit blogging has been extremely therapeutic for me. I have learned so much about my bipolar and about things I didn't realize were things.

SD, you're biased your opinion does not count

Miz PRN, so glad you finally said something. I will definitely add that book to my list. I am currently reading one recommended by another fellow blogger so will definitely check that one out when I am done.

Sapphire Dragonflies said...

of course I'm biased. I'm also always right. :)

Miz PRN said...

Yea, its 'Courage to Heal: a guide for women survivor's of sexual abuse' by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis. There's a workbook that goes with it that I recommend. The book itself is awesome.

hed said...

I love this post. Not because of all the shit you had to go through-but the explanation of how you came to be the Maasiyat we know.

Thank you so much for sharing and going into detail.



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