Posted by BarbaraCat on March 18, 2003, at 21:19:15
In reply to New bipolar poster seeking support answers..., posted by Davina on March 17, 2003, at 14:21:14
Oh yes, I can relate to what you're saying. I'd been dx'd with major depression for 30 years and have been on most of the SSRI's and analogs. They work for a while and then poop out and any increase aggravates a very agitated depressive state. Just in the last year I explored the possibility with my pdoc that I am BPII and in carefully considering my past history the symptoms are loud and clear. Lithium has saved my life, although I resisted it for a long time. I take other ADs, but only lithium (not depakote, lamictal, topamax or any other I've tried) has made such a difference.
In the meantime my life has become a shambles - 30 years of chaotic frenzied energy in a hypomanic state and crushing black despair in a depressed state. No, the world doesn't stop but gets more difficult layer by layer with each episode and it's hard to dig out. The financial mess and not being able to manage working become overwhelming and only add to the overall despondency.
I am currently undergoing my last round of appeals for disablity insurance. It's been about 1-1/2 years since first applying. I've gotten a lawyer (they all work on contingency with a maximum of $5300 only if your case wins). I also have a dual diagnosis of fibromyalgia which will help give clout at my hearing. If your condition is such that you cannot function on a consistent full-time basis then by all means, explore disability. I've talked to many people who were awarded disability benefits because of mood disorders, and bipolar is a good one. It will of course depend upon your docs support and being able to substantiate your symptoms and history with good medical records. It's a long drawn-out process and the monthly claim amount varies depending on how long you've worked and how much you've made during your work history. Definitely work with a reputable lawyer. One of the few times hiring a lawyer is worth every penny.