I was diagnosed in October 2013. I'd spent the Autumn in a particularly savage depression. my doctors response was to increase my anti-depressants. I stopped sleeping almost entirely and found that my brain was racing constantly. It was a curious reaction to the medications so I was referred to a psychiatrist, who promptly diagnosed me bipolar.
At first it was so obvious I accepted it immediately. My life had been a whirlwind of ups and downs. The ups characterised by delusions of grandeur, boundless energy and poor impulse control. The downs characterised by catatonic depression. I'd had two suicide attempts by the time I was 17, and had been on a multicoloured rainbow of uppers and downers (on and off, of course) since I was 13. For the most part I had attributed my erratic behaviour to a terrible, abusive childhood.
I had always felt familiar around bipolar people, and related a great deal to literature and art I had stumbled upon relating to it. Who'd have thought...
I tried Seroquel, which completely knocked me out for 20 hours a day. When I was awake I fed and stared into space, I became some kind of hungering, drowsy zombie. I stopped them rather promptly. Previously I had spent two weeks coming off the sertraline. I had dreadful muscle spasms (brain shivers, as I read later) and could not bare to look at light. I gave up on treatment and decided to go at it my own way.
I got a new job, a high flying recruitment affair that fed into my mania, and made for sure to not tell anyone bar my closest and dearest that I was (dun-dun-dun) Bipolar. Painfully, I later became aware that my erratic behaviour was pretty obvious. But I still persisted and for awhile things were spectacular. It was a wild summer and I'd earned more money than I'd ever had, was meeting tons of new people and learning about the video games industry (something I'd often angled for).
Things spiraled very quickly. I stopped sleeping and barely ate. I still trudged into work, late and dishevelled. I drank and smoked myself into oblivion at the weekends. . At work I was losing focus, and increased pressure on my dwindling performance led to anxiety attacks in the middle of the day. I was losing grip. Again.
I packed in the job and went crawling back to the doctor. For the last 3 months I have been co-operating fully with my gp and psychiatrist taking my meds and implementing positive lifestyle changes. Moreover I have been blessed and lucky to have a beautiful support network of friends and family, without whom I would not have gotten this far at all. Thankyou so much, all you fine people!
So now I've told you my story, tell me yours :)