I met with a new therapist yesterday and he thinks I may be bipolar.  This is not the first time I have heard this diagnosis.  But just as I did with MS, I’ve been in denial about this aspect of my mental health.  The clinical depression came right along with the Multiple Sclerosis.  Doctors don’t know if the lesions screw up the neurotransmitters in your brain or if it’s just the idea of having a degenerative illness that causes the onset of depression; but the majority of MS patients are on antidepressants.  Now the doctors are throwing me for another loop.  I sit here and look back on the past 2 years searching for symptoms of mania.  Do I have manic episodes where I feel a sense of euphoria?  Do I ever feel uncontrollable anger for an extended period?  Do I make quick decisions with little regard for the repercussions?  Does insomnia control my sleep pattern for weeks on end only to all of a sudden change to feelings of fatigue?  The answer to all those questions is yes.  The past 2 years have been rough, but all my symptoms have been put under the very large umbrella of MS.  Now I have a doctor willing to step out from under that umbrella and wants to treat me for bipolar disorder.  And it’s the treatment that scares me more than the diagnosis.  I overcame my initial reaction to jump on the internet and research worst case scenarios and instead was able to relax and listen to an audio book.  Now I have to cope with whatever treatment plan the good doctor wants to put me on.  I won’t start any medication until the beginning of March so I have a good 2 weeks to over analyze all the typical medications used to treat this disorder.  I have heard all these scary stories about the medications and I need to come up with a coping plan so as not to worsen my anxiety.  It’s best for me to remember that in reality nothing has changed.  Having heard this diagnosis does nothing to impact my day-to-day life.  And the medications can’t be that bad, can they?

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