Friday, November 24, 2006

Hey Baby...What's Your Diagnosis?

Even though this blog is free, you are paying for it with your time so I guess I'll let you know a bit about me, your host(ess?--I hate gendered words). And at the beginning of relationships, it is proper form to introduce yourself...or did I read that somewhere, maybe in an Anthropology textbook on "Primitive Human Customs?"

So about my mental diagnoses/history. Well, it's a little lengthy and I tend to run off at the mouth so I'll try to be concise.

In my late 20s, I started to have trouble with lack of concentration, insomnia, loss of appetite etc... and after reviewing these with a friend who had suffered with depression for many years he pegged me. I went to see a psychiatrist and he immediately diagnosed me with unipolar depression. We never really touched upon bipolar symptoms but I wouldn't have clued in. You see, I had been living in a continual hypomanic existence for about 7 years. Hypomania was "normal" for me so if he had ever asked me about symptoms, I would have clearly said, "nope."

Antidepressants threw me into a tailspin and finally, the medical/psychiatric establishment have tapped in to the idea that they can actually exacerbate bipolar symptoms in some patients with the disorder. Of course, no one seemed to figure this out with me. Fast forward a few years and I actually figured it out.

I went to my then GP and told him that I actually thought I had bipolar disorder and we switched to anticonvulsant therapy. Wow. The (hypo)mania was halted. But the depression still lingered. At least we were on the right track, however.

While researching anticonvulsants and their more traditional use in epilepsy treatment, I suddenly realized that I had been experiencing simple partial seizures all my life. It was like, "Oh, so that's what those were!" I'd had them since I was a kid! Not to mention the fact that two of the antidepressants known to drop seizure thresholds (Effexor and Wellbutrin) that I had taken in the past did exactly that!

So, off to a neurologist for a diagnosis of "seizure disorder" but not epilepsy proper.

Betwixt and between all of that, focusing issues and concentration were always a problem. I brought up ADD to my ex-GP and he confirmed that I have that too.

Oh yes, I'm also a migraineur.


Sarebear said...

I don't have migraines (very often, used to be never, then was one every couple years, now it's 2-3 a year. Which is nothing compared to others' experiences, anyway).

The rest sounds quite similar in many respects to me.

Well, I need to ask my GP about the muscle twitching, but anyway.

So I can sympathize, anyway. Wish I didn't know from experience.

Glad to have you 'round.

I'm far TOO 'round, myself . . .

Sarebear said...

Okay, this isn't nice.

You sent me a migraine through the computer! New kind of computer virus; migraine via blog.

You don't know me yet, but I'm just joshing. I hope it's ok to joke about. I practically never get one, and now I get one! Power of suggestion, baby! Nah, just a wierd sleep schedule.

sisiphusledge said...

Hi there, welcome to blogland! I have just read your blog following my trip to Doctor Anonymous' blog. I have a migraine right's called being on call on a Saturday! No, seriously, I do occasionally get a migraine and I suffer from bipolar II
Thankfully I find pitzotifen helps.
All the best for your site, Rachel (blogsite sisyphus ledge)

jel said...

Hi PA,
Welcome the Blogland , came from Dr. A's blog,

I get Migraines, alot , and they no fun :(

wish you luck with your blog !

Angela Ferreira said...

Hey there can you describe your seizures in more detail, ie describe more details of the symptoms please...

Portnoy said...

if you are anywhere near new jersey this is a friend of mine.

Moof said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, PA! Glad to meet you! I'm another "patient blogger."

... oh ... and Dr. A sent me ... ;o)

Patient Anonymous said...

Yeah, migraines are a bitch. Mine aren't so bad anymore as I'm assuming that my anticonvulsants might be doing a bit of prophylaxis--or at least one of them might be. Yeah, it's like Topamax on triple duty but it's a great drug for me.

sarebear, jokes are always welcome. Are you kidding me?! I may write about some serious stuff on this blog but really, I'm funny.

Maybe I'll have to strike a balance? Maybe it'll just come out naturally? Who knows...this is still in it's infancy and I'm just going to let it go where it goes.

angela, I would be more than happy to discuss my seizure history. In fact, I'll make it my next post so I can go into some detail about it. How does that sound? I'll try to get to it Monday as all of my "medical files" are at work. You'd think I'd be able to recite it all from memory but I'm tellin' ain't what it used to be and I'm more equipped to do it justice while at work.

portnoy, thanks for the reference but I'm in Canada hehe. I'll check out the link anyway though. Hey, you never know!

Thanks for all your other posts, guys.

jbwritergirl said...

Hey there,

I also came from Dr. A. Sounds like you're a lable whore, LOL. I have ADD and I'm not afraid to use it.

Sarebear said...

Yeah, I really did get a migraine that night, that lingered for two days. That's never happened before, either.

Then again, I'm under more stress than I've been in my life. And I've taken major and frequent blows to my world, or what I thought my world was, and to who I thought I was, think I am, or aspects thereof.