Living with bipolar.

Friday January 24, 2014

I'm a fifty-five year old male who lives in a small city of 50,000 in Ontario, Canada. Just over a year ago, I was desperate for answers. I had experienced mood issues in the past that affected my ability to stay employed, manage my finances and maintain healthy relationships. It had cost me the opportunity to get married and have a family. For someone with a university degree and above average intellect, you can understand how frustrating this was. At one point some years ago, I was so depressed, I considered suicide.

Sound familiar? Well, with the help of my doctor, I was able to get a consultation by video conference with a psychiatrist. (Economic conditions here in Canada had made local availability difficult.) That was in February of last year. We talked for about 90 minutes and he diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Now, I have read how people react to this diagnosis. For me, it was a revelation; an "a-ha" moment. If I were a cartoon character there would be a light bulb shining over my head. I now could metaphorically put a face to my enemy. The next month my medical doctor prescribed lithium carbonate and I have been taking it ever since.

My head is now clear. My sleep patterns have stabilized, my appetite is intact and my initiative is still there.

I assess my mood every day using Moodscope. It gives me a good indication of where I am. I believe that my medication is helping me. I believe that my doctors have my best interests at heart. I believe my friends want to see me stay healthy and succeed. But most of all, I am proud of my ability to keep fighting. I am not scared or nervous or, most of all, ashamed.

After all, you can't win the battle until you know your enemy.

A Moodscope user.

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