No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Saturday, 16 April 2011


So I never updated you all on what happened with my psychoticness.

Eventually, I got a new appointment with the psych doctor through, and spent a stupid amount of time talking to her (whilst my leg was frantically jerking around erratically as it tends to when i'm suppressing panic attacks).  Anyway, long story short she reckons I have Cyclothymia.  Most people tend to characterize this as the milder version of Bipolar II.  Which is somewhat accurate, though I kinda resent that as much as I imagine people with Bipolar II resent the impression that they have the milder version of Bipolar I.

For those not well versed in the DSM, the differences are as follows.  BP I requires you to have had a fully manic episode, complete with psychosis, hallucinations, the works.  BP II you've gone pretty manic, but not actually broken down into psychosis, so this tends to be what most bipolar people are.  Cyclothymia, again, only  hypomania, not full psychosis, and also only mild depression rather than a fully depressive episode.  Of course, these are clinical distinctions, try telling someone with these they're not quite in enough emotional turmoil and pain even though they can't physically control themselves and you'll find the physical lack of control will be oddly controlled enough to concentrate on your face.  But the Cyclothymia does seem to make sense for me.  I switch between the genuine extremes a lot less than a BP II person; I rather tend to switch up and down between what I guess you could call severe depression and mania, rather than crippling depression and mania :P  And I do it a lot, very frequently in fact, and cyclothymia effectively accounts for the rapid cycling qualifier of a bipolar diagnosis too, so it explains why my mood shifts so dramatically within the space of a week or even a day.

I'm supposed to be deciding what kind of therapy I want to go for.  Drugs are a bad choice for me.  I likely wont take them; I've never known them to be a viable long term answer for anyone, and as much as I hate the mood swings, I hate feeling 'middley' even more so, paradoxically, I cope a lot better with depression or mania than i do with just feeling okay.  And as the drugs are designed to narrow your emotional range and suppress the extremes, that's clearly not going to end well in my case.  So I have either the Freudian lying on a couch option whilst talking about my daddy issues, or cognitive behavioural therapy where I get to make mood diaries and other such annoying shit.  Obviously I not going to react well to either option, so its a case between the lesser of two evils at this point, though they were supposed to send me information on this about a month ago and they still haven't, so I guess I should ring them and chase this up, especially as there's a 3 month waiting list for a therapist.

By the end of the year, I might finally be seeing someone who can help for the suicidal feelings I was having back in December. -.-  God bless the NHS*

*I mock and deride the NHS and medical professionals constantly, and that's because, by and large, it's shit, and unbelievably broken, but in fairness, I am immensely grateful for its existence.  If I was born in a country without free social health care, I would have died many times over before I was even 1 year old.  I was never supposed to survive by natural selection.  And it's only by modern medical treatment I have stayed in the world so long, on so many counts.  If I lived somewhere where I had to pay medical bills, I just couldn't do it.  I would have died, or bankrupted my parents, and then died another 5 times anyway.  So the NHS for all its shitness, for all my frustrations at medical staff, and my hatred of them, is genuinely the only reason I am alive, and in spite of whatever suicidal thoughts I may go through, I will always be grateful for it's existence in British Society.


  1. For what it's worth, I *do* know someone for whom drugs were a viable long-term solution. She's bipolar and maybe ten years ago was put on a cocktail of antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics that had hellish side effects but that her brother (one of my best friends, and someone who's had a lengthy, very unpleasant relationship with antidepressants and mood stabilizers himself) reckons saved her life. I don't know how heavily-medicated she is now (probably a lot less), but just something to think about.

    I'm sure you know this, but there's all kinds of research that says that drugs on their own don't work that great, and therapy on its own doesn't work that great, but that in combination they do way, way better. If nothing else the drugs might calm you down enough that the retarded things they make you do in psychotherapy won't be quite so grating. Just a thought.

  2. Yeah I've equally heard that, but as I say, part of the other problem with drugs is that given their intended effect, that would sorta make things even worse for me. Even the docs are saying there is no way we think you should go on drugs. I guess it depends how therapy goes and then it can always be rediscussed.