I had someone ask me this weekend how I managed to work while dealing with my mood disorder. I calmly explained to them that I basically started working in the mental health field before I graduated from college and was taught to drop yourself and your issues at the door when beginning your work day when I first started out in the field. It was not an easy lesson to learn but now has become so ingrained in my life that I allow it to spill over into my personal life sometimes by not letting my guard down with safe people. I have to work harder at letting my clients know me then worrying about keeping myself put together. I am assumed to be more serious than I am because I struggle to smile due to having been diagnosed with tardive dyskinesia and grimacing when stressed. I have been assumed to be a witch with a capital B at times because of this. It makes me feel pretty bad because it is so far from the truth. I go above and beyond for most all of my clients. So it hurts when I had the TD happen and assumptions made. I would give anything to not have a mood disorder but they run in my family and I was the lucky one to get Bipolar I Disorder. It took forever to get a proper diagnosis with nearly ten years of misdiagnosis occurring before I got my diagnosis and was put on the right meds. During this time I shared very little with my co-workers and family and it took me almost dying from a drug overdose before people knew I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I do not make it public knowledge but I don’t hide it under a rock either. I suppose one day I will have to retire from the mental health field and do something different for my sanity. I know I have good clinical skills though. When I struggle my paperwork suffers more than anything. I contemplate working in another area of mental health or a different field some days when I am really struggling. I don’t know if it is possible. I would need more schooling to do certain jobs. Some seem overwhelming to even think about. So one day you might hear me say, I am going to do something totally different with my life. You never know…

Balancing act

Tonight I feel a bit hypomanic. It was what my psychiatrist was shooting for. I forgot that it is such a fine line between hypomanic and manic though with increasing the Prozac that it makes me feel a little bit nervous about the increase. I am grateful that I am no longer having suicidal ideation though and finally feel like my mood is lifting from the abyss that it was in after getting off steroids for upper respiratory infections. I am just a bit concerned about how fast my mood improved once we doubled the Prozac though. I’m also grateful to be over the worst of the nausea that the Prozac was causing. I haven’t gotten sick for a few days now and feel back to my normal self in regards to eating. I am just motivated to stay out of the hospital and that means keeping my mood balanced and in check. My partner, also, has a mood disorder and it makes it difficult to balance for the other when one of us is either too high or too low and I feel like that’s most often me and I am the one who is making it difficult for my partner to balance their mood and regulate their sleep because of my sleep and work habits. So much so that I feel guilty and end up in tears about it because I struggle with feeling toxic to others (something I have struggled with since I was abused as a child.)

The next few days will definitely be a good indicator of what’s going to happen with my mood. I pray that my mood stabilizes and I can feel productive again.


I am finally beginning to feel like I can see some lifhr at the end of the tunnel after increasing my Prozac this past Friday and taking a day off work to recuperate and deal with my mental health. The sise wddexta are the down side to taking PeoAc though. Diear came the horrible nausea and vomiting and headaches. Now for the sexual effects. We rarely talk about these aide effects but they definitely impact one’s sex life. I’m lucky enough to have female providers to talk to these issues about but it is never easy to through it out there in conversation and be willing to say that this drug is impacting my sex life and how. My clients are too embarrassed to even bring it up to me when we talk about side effects even when encouraged to do so. I think so often that mental health professionals determine that a stable life is more important than a sex life and that isn’t necessarily the priorities in that order for some folks.

But for now I will remain content that I am coming out of this depression a little bit more each day and the suicidal thoughts are diminishing as time passes. Hopefully nothing will happen to rock the boat so to speak for a while.


Tonight’s quote

“You are worth more than your darkness.”

I am using the above quote to remind myself that I have more to offer life than my level of depression. So often when we get depressed we feel paralyzed by it and stop moving which in turn leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. I need to push past these feelings as best as I can to try to shake off the depressive funk I am in or to see if I am having a paradoxical reaction to the Prozac which the psychiatrist gave me to life my mood and help with OCD symptoms. Before I started the Prozac I was obsessively ruminating on certain thoughts and issues continuously and never relaxing. Since starting the Prozac I have been able to let some to most of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors go. This in turn has allowed me to relax enough to, according to my therapist to feel the level of depression that I have had all along but was masked by the severity of the OCD symptoms. Feeling as depressed as I have this week has been scary for me to admit to anyone especially when you were just given a med to help relieve it. I have three more days on this new dose for it to improve or the doctor said she will discontinue it if it is worse or not better.

It is so hard when we fall into the abyss of depression to remember that you have more to offer than the darkness around you because that is all you feel. I have to work hard to remember the qualities and talents and skills that I have to offer when I get down this low. It is hard for me to even recognize them at times when struggling. But the truth is I am a good clinician, caring and compassionate, loving, kind and loyal. I usually work hard to get my work done and make sure it’s done right the first time. I’m smart with a sense of humor that most of close friends get to see. I am determined to work despite several set backs both physically and emotionally. I have survived 100 o/o of my worst days and there have been some pretty crappy ones along the way. So despite my feelings, I am doing better than I thought.


Appointment with therapist…

I am supposed to see my therapist this afternoon and I feel totally unmotivated to get there. I know I should want to go and deal with things but I don’t. Last week when I went I ended up in tears and feeling worse after the appointment than at the beginning. It made me feel like I am failing and falling apart on so many levels that I can’t begin to count. I have survived most of my life and not lived or thrived after growing up in an abusive household. I don’t know how to enjoy life most of the time. I live for work and when I fail at work or feel like I am failing I get pretty intense about it because I have lived to take care of others my whole life and I get the meaning and sense of accomplishment from doing so. Changing my thinking is so impossible feeling that I can’t explain it to others. I have been in and out of therapy trying to for years but I learned to put other’s needs in front of my own as a kid and don’t know how to stop.

I have to drag myself into the shower if I am going to make my appointment.


Time out

Took today off work to recover. My mental health has been hanging on by a thread at times since starting the Prozac. It hasn’t helped that the Prozac made me so nauseous the first week and I actually felt like my level of depression worsened after starting it. My therapist thought that it was because I was no longer fixated on suicide and everything else was able to enter into my thinking. I have not done much of anything except work or sleep since the last few weeks because of my level of depression. My psychiatrist thinks that I need the sleep to catch up on the sleep I missed when I was on steroids. Yesterday we finally compromised and increased the Prozac to see if it will lift my mood without making me mania. Hopefully, the increase will not result in another round of nausea though. SSRI’s are not my friends. Also, with the malabsorption issue I have it sometimes takes a higher dose of medicine to be effective. I am willing to try anything at this point to be able to function better. I feel like a failure on so many levels right now. Even the smallest of tasks feel overwhelming. I don’t want to end up in the hospital. I feel like that is just a waste of time and puts my job at risk. I knew I needed a break today though and called in sick for a mental health day.


One week later…

I started my new medication one week ago today. I have been fighting nausea every morning after I take it for a couple of hours. It is helping with the OCD and compulsive/intrusive thoughts regarding death but I actually have felt more depressed the last few days. I am not sure if it is because my thinking has cleared enough to allow me to think about other things that I have been avoiding. All I know is that it is scary and I am not sure if I am comfortable with the idea of continuing to feel this level of depression. My meds are being doled out a few days at a time and I don’t have access to them between times for safety reasons. Giving up control is never easy but sometimes necessary. I have been really quiet which makes people around me uneasy I think but talking is hard and makes me feel worse most of the time. The psychiatrist said I might not notice a change in my mood for up to four weeks. That feels like an eternity right now.