Have I Ever Been The Real Me?

I wonder if, once my bipolar medication is effective, I’ll be this whole other person. Does a person ‘develop’ bipolar disorder, or are they born with it? I’ve certainly had mental health issues since my teenage years. So perhaps I’ve lived my entire adult life so far under this cloud of disease? Maybe the ‘monster’ has always ruled my thoughts, my actions, and once it’s under control, I’ll finally be ‘me’.

I wonder which bits of me will be left. Will I still have a short temper? A penchant for alternative style? Will I crave coffee and nicotine and need to plan everything in advance? Maybe I’ll be less emotional, or perhaps more so?

I like to think I’ll be able to achieve the things that I’d like to right now. Driving again, answering the phone, the social phobia gone. Less Dermatillomania would be great. A career might be nice. Or travel. But I’d settle for just being content with what I have now, and being a better parent to Moo.

My entire thought processes might be different. Just the way I function day to day altered. What if I don’t like the new me? What if the bits about myself that I do like (surprisingly, I can think of a couple) are also gone? A tick sheet to fill out would be great. If only I could opt out of some of my personality and keep the rest.

Once I’m this new person, will I have deep regrets? Will things that were once blamed on ill mental health suddenly become more rational? Maybe I am just an asshole. Maybe I do just hate being a mother. I won’t have depression and anxiety to hide behind. Maybe I’ll just be a lazy, demanding, high maintenance, ungrateful, snappy, moaning old bitch?

Meh, we’ll see.

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Posted on July 4, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi there! You ask a lot of great questions, and your concerns are the very ones that I’ve thought about as well in terms of how meds affect our personalities.

    For me, one question you brought up stood out: “does a persona ‘develop’ bipolar disorder or are they born with it?”

    I believe that bipolar is genetic. My father had it. I’m sure other relatives on both my Dad and Mom’s side of the families further back had it. My bipolar disorder was latent until childbirth, which triggered postpartum mania due to a mix of sudden sleep deprivation, pregnancy hormones, and genetic predisposition to bp. Then mania turned into depression…

    Now that I finally found a medication regimen that works well for me, I’m not that different than before meds. One pleasant surprise was that I actually became more creative than I ever have been. That amazes me since I’m taking lithium, Parante (and MAOI/monoamine oxidase inhibitor) and drum roll please….the sedating Seroquel! The heavy-duty trifecta! Go figure.

    I am groggy in the mornings from the Seroquel, and I got my doctor’s blessing to reduce it, but it’s worth being groggy for now since I sleep through the night. Even one night’s lost sleep makes me acutely manic. I’m too scared to rock the med boat.

    From reading your posts, you sound really cool and insightful. I highly doubt that you’ll become a ” lazy, demanding, high maintenance, ungrateful, snappy, moaning old bitch!”
    I’m a new follower of yours, so I look forward to reading your future posts in which I hope you will be monster-free.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Dyane

    p.s. I may have mentioned this before in your blog, but one of my close friends has dermatillomania. I’m blanking out on what truly helped her, and I’ll double-check. One thing that might have helped her is medical cannabis. My psychiatrist actually gave me the go-ahead to try medical cannabis for insomnia & anxiety and while it helped in a subtle way, but I’ve stopped it for now.

    • I believe it runs in my family too, although as far as I know I’m the first to be diagnosed. I think you’re right, it lies dormant until something triggers it. Our cases sound similar, child birth leading to post natal depression, mania, depression etc.

      I can totally relate to meds making you sleepy. I’ve been on lithium for a week now and I feel exhausted in the mornings. But worth it if it’ll do its thing.

      Thank you for sharing your story with me.

  2. Hang in there with the lithium…I was exhausted at first, but it will get better!!! I’m rooting for you! 🙂

  3. These are excellent questions. Really difficult, and sometimes impossible to answer, but you’re not alone in thinking through them. For me I have struggled to figure out which me is the real me – Me With Depression or Me Without Depression. I’ve learned that there’s no real clear division between the two, which frustrates me – I like things to be black and white! 🙂 But I’m also getting a better understanding of the intrinsic Me in there. Depression is not the same as Me, and I’m getting better at telling the two apart. I hope that your meds will stabilize you soon and you can start to feel better about this part of it.

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