Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Diagnose Me

In case you're keeping track, the current score is:

The mommy posse, who always have my back: Bipolar II (i.e., hypomania mixed with depression)
My first psychiatrist: Major depressive disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder
My second psychiatrist: Major despressive disorder (recurring), panic disorder
My current therapist: Not quite sure, yet
My husband: I don't care what the hell you have now that you've stopped snarling at me and your libido is back

More specifically: I saw psychiatrist #2 today, and was quite reassured by our discussion. For one thing, he thinks that gnurontin is crap for treating bipolar disorder, especially at levels as low as mine, so my extremely positive reaction to it doesn't say anything worrisome to him; he's just thrilled it's working. For another thing, he doesn't think my strong feelings about a bipolar diagnosis are unwarranted at all; in fact, he feels quite strongly in the other direction, that diagnosis makes a huge difference in outlook and repercussions, and even in the sense of taking responsibility for your own feelings and actions, something that's harder to do when you have a big, somber label like bipolar attached to them. Finally, he believes that bipolar II is being overdiagnosed now that people are looking for it. With such "soft" symptoms as physical agitation (also quite common in anxiety), being easily distracted (also quite common in anxiety and depression), having an inflated sense of yourself/grandiosity (also quite common in a variety of personality disorders), and more, he says you can pretty much find hypomania in almost anyone suffering from a mental disorder.

I was fair, though. I told him about the things that people other than myself are seeing, and he mostly just shook his head. "I'm pretty comfortable right now with the diagnosis I have for you," he said. "So much of what you experience is perfectly attributable to anxiety and panic. After being so depressed and anxious for so long, feeling speeded up and elated once the depression lifts is perfectly reasonable. When you've walked in mud for five straight miles, you're going to feel like you're flying once you hit solid ground."

Cute AND smart. If he weren't young enough to be my son, I think I'd put a little more effort into this whole transference thing. But for now, I'll just wrap his diagnosis around me like a warm, comforting blanket, and go on as I have been. Because right now, walking across solid ground really DOES feel like flying, and I'm enjoying the heck out it.

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