Lifelong Depression Revealed as Bipolar Disorder.

9 Jul 2016

This may have happened to many of you – as a young adult, a doctor diagnosed me with depression and prescribed a few different anti-depressants until we found the one that made the leaden shoes come off. Eventually, the anti-depressant lost its effectiveness, so we played another round of pin the pill on the donkey – disrupting my work life, but combatting the gloom successfully.

Flash forward 30 years – a new doctor looks at my history and concludes that I am bipolar. You see, one time 30 years ago I had a psychotic episode that landed me in the hospital for six months. The doctor at the time labeled it "schizophreniform disorder." I was very young, and I recovered just fine once they were able to convince me that we weren't on a spaceship but actually at San Francisco General Hospital. I wrote a book about it, called 5150: A Transfer.

Anyway, the new doctor knew this piece of my history, and he also observed me as I started to finally feel better. My Moodscope was no longer in the teens, but rather, soaring into the high 80's. His conclusion: this dude is bipolar.

I tolerate Lithium well, so that's what I have been taking. I miss feeling great. I think "normal" people feel great quite often without the fear that they are plunging into illness. My score is always somewhere between 40 and 70 now – average 59.5. That's what Lithium is supposed to do. I am extremely grateful to The Moodscope Team for making this resource available at no cost.

The bummer about Lithium is that my creativity is considerably dampened. I sing, write and play music, write poetry and novels, and I make films – when I'm not on Lithium. Right now, it's a pretty big struggle to keep moving forward on the second novel. I stopped singing and playing music, and even though I work in Hollywood, I turned away from my filmmaking.

Stopping Lithium is a temptation - but it would come at a very high price. For now, I am content to be 59.5 out of 100 happy.

Duncan in Hollywood

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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