Monday, 11 July 2016

Let's Talk Mental Health: Update.

You may remember a post on here a little while ago (click here to read that one) where I spoke about how I have been feeling and the struggles I've been going through lately in regards to my mental health and diagnosis.

Well I have an update.

After going through weeks of feeling utterly destroyed and very low, I got an appointment with the ADAPT team. I went in and spoke to the lady very honestly about how I've been feeling and how the dismissal of my diagnosis had really hurt me and left me feeling a bit lost. I also made my point very clear: I think the decision to remove the bipolar diagnosis was wrong. I made sure she understood how much the diagnosis meant to me and how much it had helped me come to terms with my life and begin to move forward.
She asked me lots of questions and probed me about my moods etc and decided to refer me for a second opinion with another psychiatrist.
She also spoke about potential therapies which I could put in my back pocket for when I am ready.

Skip ahead a few weeks to Friday, I had my appointment.We went through all of the possibilities.
We discussed things and case studies at length to see where I fit in, we went through several definitions of Bipolar and Personality Disorders, made comparisons, matched and checked symptoms, read through several books, matched me against several diagnosis chart thingys and he came to a conclusion.

He concluded that I have bipolar disorder and avoidant personality disorder (AvPD).

When those words came out of his mouth I almost cried with relief.
I have spent the last few months thinking I was going to have to go along like nothing was wrong simply because one 'professional' got it wrong and lied about several things.

I felt all of the tension leave my body and I just gave him the biggest smile I could muster.

So where do I go from here?

Well I was offered the medication I was on before the diagnosis was dismissed but I am so hesitant now. I went through so many side effects coming off of them and I am scared. I am so terrified of starting a new medication and having it taken away in a year or two when someone else decides they want to fiddle with my diagnosis because 'I don't fit' into certain categories.
So for that I am going to see a pharmacist that specialises in mental illness medications. She is going to talk to me about the potential drugs and the pros and cons of all of them. Then I will make my decision.
Of course, I will update you when that is sorted and let you know about it.

After that is done I will be sent back for another appointment with him to adjust medication/discuss everything and decide possible therapies and the future.

There's still a long way to go before I am back to feeling comfortable in my skin and feeling settled but this is a start.

My advice to anyone who keeps getting let down by their 'professionals' is to keep going. Know you are worth it and keep striving for what you feel you need.
If you think someone is wrong, challenge them.
If you feel you aren't being listened to, find a way to speak louder.

Never stop fighting for yourself.

I know that it is really hard to open up especially when it comes to sensitive subjects like mental illness and our emotions but I would encourage you to speak up at every opportunity.
It's part of the reason I always try and keep posting about my mental health journey alongside all my other posts. Sometimes I feel so embarrassed when I type these things because they're so personal and raw for me but I want people to not be afraid to talk about mental health.
I want mental illness to be talked about like every other thing I post on this blog. If I didn't post about this stuff then I'd be hiding a huge part of my life.
I don't ever want to hide who I am.

It is vital that we make mental illness a casual topic rather than the giving it that 'taboo' status.
You will be stunned at how many people are willing to share their experiences/opinions once you've taken that first step and opened the door to conversation.

Let's get this out in the open and be proud to be who we are.

Stay strong and smile because you deserve to!

Lots of Love

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