Coming to terms with bipolar
By Clare Clark

I was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2016 at the slightly mature age of 57. It was a late diagnosis ,to say the least, as I had always been diagnosed with mid to severe reactive depression. This new diagnosis came during a three and a half week spell in a psychiatric ward . This was the first time I had been an inpatient.

Coming to terms with bipolar

Diagnosed with Bipolar

When it was suggested by the psychiatrist, I was in absolute denial. I read through the literature he gave me and I did, albeit grudgingly, recognise various characteristics in my personality. When I spoke to my psychiatrist the next day, apart from being bewildered, I was also livid. Livid because it had taken so long, but also enraged because my pride was hurt. Vain, I know, but true.

I was prescribed Lithium, but lucky white heather, I was one of the minority of people who was allergic to it. Everything shook, my legs, my arms; my eyes had rapid eye movement. I had turned into Shakin’ Stevens on a bad day!

Getting the right meds

I was weaned off it, and in the interim time before I could be prescribed Depokote I had a manic period. Seemingly I managed to experience labile mood, where you can laugh and cry at the same time. Quite a talent, not.

After coming down and apologising to lots of people, I managed to start to tolerate my new meds. Obviously you feel ashamed and guilty, and feel for your family and friends.

A relief

However, nearly two years, on I am not only coping but surviving.

A diagnosis of Bipolar has actually been a relief.


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