Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ask Me Anything About My Mood Disorder

I just read a blog saying that my mental-illness hero Stephen Fry (a British actor) attempted suicide last year. He has bipolar disorder. I thought I had bipolar disorder for a long time, but people who know more than I do think that what I thought were manic episodes were really just elation about not being depressed. So I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Here's the blog that inspired this blog: Stephen Fry, suicide, and the cycle

I know this blog has an itsy-bitsy readership, yet I know some things I've said have had an impact on the gentle reader. So here you go: Anyone, ask me questions about my mental illness. On any subject. Go. Here's some ideas to get you thinking:

I have a recently-discovered thyroid problem, and taking nascent iodine has caused my depression and anxiety to plummet. I'm sure this contributed to my terrible summer. I frequently have what I call "suicide summers" where I have a very difficult time for months. Here's hoping I'm spared this summer.  
Chris and I talk about having a kid, but remembering the cyclical nature of mood disorders makes me wary. It can be incapacitating, and I don't want to neglect a child because of it. I don't want to risk post-partum depression. I don't want to risk passing a mental illness on to a child. 

Have a field day--ask me anything. I'm not afraid.


Jonelle said...

Is a mood disorder triggered by trauma (i.e - infertility, death in the family...)?

Also, did you ever have an inkling that you were dealing with something such as a mood disorder?

Did your diagnosis come as a surprise? Or was it a relief?

Chandler said...

Both the depression and anxiety appear to be purely chemical--no trauma, just who I am.

I had an inkling in high school, but the realization was still a shock. When I was 25, I caught myself wondering how insane I'd have to be to commit suicide and not go to hell. Then I woke up and realized there was something dreadfully wrong with me.

Semi-surprise. I really expected to be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia (sometimes bipolar III). Truth be told, my depression can be terrible, but I still wouldn't be surprised if in some years time I'm diagnosed with bipolar II. I still maintain that hearing voices during an "up" time isn't normal.