I’m not perfect. I have issues. These issues are a constant impediment to my life.
- quantity and quantity of sleep
- constant drowsiness during the day and wakefulness at night
- debilitating procrastination
- inflated ego
- amazingly spontaneous productivity surrounded by hours of boredom and apathy
I decided to see a psychiatrist and I had an appointment today. We made our introductions, seated ourselves, and the doctor started.
“I want you to know at the outset that I require my patients see me 2-3 times before I will render a diagnosis. I want to ensure that I now my patients and their needs well before I recommend a course of action. What brings you here?”
“Well,” I said. “I have a handful of issues that have been roadblock to my enjoyment of life and I’d like to learn some ways to improve it.”
He asked me a series of questions. One question led to another. He asked me about my history of suicide. I told him. He asked how often I was depressed and thought of suicide. I told him…probably every six weeks or so. However, I’ve learned through years of effort that those thoughts are not rational and I can work through those dark spells and move on.
After about 10 minutes of conversation he stated, “I know that I told you I do not do this, but you are bipolar. There is no question in my mind.”
Well, okay. I mean, this was no secret. It’s in my medical records, but I let him continue.
“We are not equipped to handle your needs. I need to recommend that you contact one of these treatment facilities.” He handed me a list. “These places have appropriate inpatient treatment for when you have your next episode. They can take you in without having to call the police and while you are at home they can make the necessary wellness checks to ensure that you haven’t injured yourself.”
“I’m sorry…I don’t plan on hurting myself,” I stated.
“Yes, but with your history, it is only a matter of time. All it will take is the right trigger,” he replied. “What are you thinking right now?”
“To be honest, I’m thinking that I came in here to improve my quality of life and after just a few minutes you are telling me the best I can hope for is to not be dead and that I’m too fucked up for you treat me,” I replied.
“No. No. That’s not what I’m saying.”
…and then he proceeded to say just that using different words.
Just like always, people zero in on that bipolar. I don’t know if I still believe that I’m bipolar. However, I wish that I could get a clean slate with a mental health professional. I want them to hear what I am struggling with not spend their time trying to determine which box to put me in.
For those that want to stroll back in time. Here’s my little missive on bipolar in the past: http://manicsquirrel.com/2011/03/28/living-with-bipolar/