Saturday, December 8, 2012

Here is the story of another one of my readers...

The following is a story of one of my readers.  I have posted two previously from other readers in the recent weeks.  I am hoping to continue to post more stories of readers soon. I have a couple waiting to be posted but would like to post as many as possible.  If you would like to share your story with me, so that I can in turn share it with my readers please e-mail me at! Your story will be posted completely anonymously and I copy and paste stories exactly as they are sent to me.  I look forward to hearing from you! ~Sara~

I am a 39 year old twice divorced single mother.  I had my first inpatient stay for depression and anorexia when I was 17.  I spent 2 months in the hospital that time.  I think I was 22 when I had my first "bad" manic episode, although in retrospect, I had been having hypo-manic episodes all along, they just hadnt been recognized as such until then.  I also started having panic attacks around that time, so diagnosis was changed from depression to bipolar, and panic disorder was added.  Between the ages of 23 and 30 things evolved and changed back and forth between bipolar and schizoaffective disorder, as I have a psychotic feature that is inconsistent, but not just when I am manic.  Also, as the panic attacks got worse and worse, my world got smaller and smaller, and I became agoraphobic.  For two years I barely left my house, I didnt even check my own mail.  Then through therapy, I gradually started venturing out again.  First it was just to the front door, then the mailbox, then to the sidewalk, then the end of the lawn, then the I go most places, as long as I can get there without driving in heavy traffic or on the highway.  Driving on roads that I am unfamiliar with is still very difficult for me. Somewhere over the past 6 years, doctors have looked at accumulated medical records and decided that it wasnt enough to waffle between bipolar and schizoaffaffective, they thought it would be fun to throw borderline personality disorder into the pot.  I was resistant to this one for a while.  This one felt like more of a label, and felt like it came with more of a stigma.  The books I bought to learn about it talked about "to tell or not to tell"  and "when to share that I have this".   Made it feel like even the writers of the books knew it was some awful secret that I shouldnt share with my loved ones.  I hadnt encountered that as much when reading books about depression, bipolar, or panic disorder.  And the recommended treatment?  DBT, or dialectic behavioral therapy.  This wasnt just sitting in a therapist's office talking about my problems, this was what everyone warned me right off was going to be HARD WORK.  And I wanted nothing to do with it.    So for 4 years I declined DBT.  Then I decided to do it.  In 3 weeks I finish a 9 month intensive program, and while it certainly hasnt "fixed" me, it has given me an incredible number of skills to deal with whats broken in the first place.  Its a start.

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