Hello blog world, I am Louise. I am 36 years old, single, just quit my job (that I had started last week) this morning for several reasons one being that I cannot handle the physical stress that this job had on my body. Another reason and the reason that I have decided to finally start this blog is my mental health; it has been all over the place this week and yesterday I was on the verge of tears all through my shift. That is telling of the difficulty I am having because I have become much more withdrawn emotionally at least crying wise. I can’t seem to cry.
I was first diagnosed in 2004. Before that I had been seeing my small town doctor and he was treating me for Depression. It was finally when he sent me home with a new medication and I looked it up online and found that it was classified as an antipsychotic that I called the doctor and he said that yes I did need to see someone because this was way beyond his knowledge. So for 11 years, 3 psychiatrists, 6 therapists, and God only knows how many drug changes I have been doing fairly well. My diagnosis gets changed, added to, changed again decided by who I am seeing at the time.
My current diagnosis is: Bipolar II, Panic Disorder, Severe Depression, and Slight Agoraphobia. The therapist that I seen the longest and stopped because he passed away always got onto me about saying, “I am Bipolar.” Even though that is the easiest way to talk when you are in NAMI meetings. He always said that is making bipolar or any other diagnosis the only thing you are instead of being Louise. He always told me that he was treating my symptoms and that the diagnosis didn’t matter because each person has different experiences with the problems they are having and so therapists can’t look at a cookie cutter diagnosis and say well they have this problem so they need to do this and everything will be better. It is finding the different triggers and emotional pitfalls that help them to understand why you might have this symptom more that another.
To wrap this up I will say that the reason that I started this blog is in part to document my journey with my mental health and how that affects every aspect of my life. I have written journals in the past and they are taking up space in some drawer somewhere in my room. The main reason I am writing this in public, is so that people who are just starting on their journey maybe feels better. I have had loads of people tell me their situations or a loved ones, ask how they can help them, and other questions along that line because I have been a member of NAMI for so long and it had helped me so much with talking about mental illness and myself especially. I have found that talking about it helps break down more walls of stigmatization than anyone even realizes. People have to put a face to mental illness; it is the only thing that will stop the stigma.