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