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Re: Anxiety vs Dissociation - Toby

Posted by Craig on April 28, 1999, at 4:32:02

In reply to Re: Anxiety vs Dissociation - Craig, posted by Toby on April 26, 1999, at 13:07:08

My mood is typically depressed and irritable. Since being on Depakote, Gabitril, and now Lamictal, I am less irritable but am still depressed. About once a year, I suddenly shift into a hyper state which lasts around a month. I become euphoric and run around in fast motion, but don't get out of control the way I've observed manic-depressives behave. (I had a girlfriend who was bipolar and she used to wash windows at 2 AM!) I'd been seeing a psychopharmacologist for 5-6 months before he changed my diagnosis to bipolar from Major Depression, Recurrent. When I protested and told him I've never been manic, he gave me this incredulous look and said, "I've SEEN you manic." I'll admit that I become hypomanic, but he didn't say I was Bipolar II. Maybe it's just semantics. As much as I enjoy and look forward to that yearly fun-filled month, it always suddenly ends with a crash and I land in a deep depression.

When I was younger, my mood changes were more in terms of days, although sometimes only hours. Now that I'm in my 40's, I've levelled out. How this mixes in with dissociative episodes is more complicated to explain. I have an audiotape of me with a psychiatrist while I was "exceedingly hyper" in 1987 that I wish I could play for you so maybe you could unscramble it. After half an hour or so of me talking a mile a minute about some Rolex watch I intended to buy, describing all the electronic equipment and clothes I'd bought that week, and saying how great I felt, I switched. The next part of the tape is the 6-year-old crying despondently about ....whatever. The next week I went back to the psychiatrist to ask, "How is that possible that I'm revved up and happy while he is crying his eyes out? It's the same body. And how can he cry in an octave so high that I couldn't reach it if you kicked me?" The only answer I got was that, "He's a little boy and you're a grown man." I was looking for physiological explanations and all I ever got was psychological explanations.

You asked if I think I'm manic-depressive. Not really, but if the meds for that help me somehow, I'm willing to take them. If they don't work, then maybe that will indicate to my psychopharmacologist that I'm not bipolar. Rather than trying to fit neatly into some diagnosis, I'm willing to approach this backwards and try any meds to find something that might help. Maybe the drug that works will help define what I truly have. I'll ask him about naltrexone and see if he'll let me try it. Since my monthly appointments with him don't last more than 15 minutes, I'm able to keep it together enough that he doesn't see me dissociate. It's sort of a "don't ask, don't tell" approach. Judging by his reaction when he read all my psych records with the MPD dx, I can tell that he's in the camp that thinks MPD is hogwash. I've learned to nod politely because people only believe what they want to believe.




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