Since my last post, I have spent a significant amount of time in the hospital. I feel the need to share my journey of what I have gone through to get the diagnoses that I have and where I am today. So this will be a long one, so buckle up and prepare yourself.
The first time I realized that I needed help was in 2009 after my 4th child Jovie was born. I didn’t have your typical postpartum depression symptoms. I had no desire to hurt my child, but I had no desire to care for her beyond the cuddling and feeding. Changing and bathing were all left to my husband. When she didn’t require attention I basically sat on my couch hiding from the world. This was the first time I had suicidal ideations. I never had any kind of plan in place, it was just always a thought in the back of my mind. “Everyone would be better off without me, nobody needs a non-functioning Cassie.” But I persevered and tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy. But by keeping it all in, eventually it blew up in my face and I locked myself in a bathroom with a bottle of sleeping pills and cried. I didn’t really want to do it but I thought everyone else would be better off. Luckily, while one side of my brain is imbalanced, the other side is self-aware enough to know that what I am feeling isn’t logical. So I told my husband that I needed help. There’s a whole story behind that but I won’t get into it. Eventually, I drove myself to the hospital and told them that I was thinking of killing myself. I remember having all my clothes taken and only left with a half-dead cell phone, I sat in a hallway because the ER was packed being watched by someone to make sure I wouldn’t off myself. I laughed while someone sat outside the door while I used the restroom. I had gone there to get help. If I wanted to kill myself I wouldn’t have come to the ER and then done it. Luckily they realized that I had no real plan to do it but I really did need help, so I left there with my clothes and the resources to get meds and a therapist. I set up an appointment with Dr. Phillip Marshall for my medication and Amy Fox a psychologist who did my therapy. Dr. Marshall was very kind and I really enjoyed speaking with him. He believed I just had Major Depressive Disorder with a bit of postpartum thrown in the mix and I was put on an anti-depressant. Amy Fox was a kind woman but very soft-spoken and I felt as if she had her own significant mental issues that she may or may not have been dealing with. I can’t honestly say my time with her was successful because I soon stopped seeing her. Dr. Marshall then advised me he would be moving to another state and he would recommends other psychiatrist. I’m not a fan of change so I took this pretty hard but pushed on.
I was introduced to Dr. Garry Seligman. A very quick-talking man who got right to the point. He still took time at our appointments to actually assess me and get behind my issues to figure out if my diagnosis was correct. He, however, decided I was Bipolar II. Depression with hypomanic (shorter and less-severe) episodes. I was then prescribed a mood stabilizer (lamotrigine/Lamictal). This very quickly changed my moods and made me feel stable but still depressed at times…which is when I was prescribed sertraline/Zoloft. The combination of the medications made me feel completely normal. Which for anyone else would be ok, but my normal personality is NOT society’s definition of normal. I am outspoken, confrontational, well-spoken, but sometimes crass…sometimes mean. The anger is ultimately what lead to the end of my relationship with my oldest daughter’s father years prior. At this point, I became extremely passive, easily manipulated and almost numb, unable to cry even when I felt sad. But I took this as society’s norm and continued taking these two medications for several years before any other incidents occurred.
Tired of reading yet? Well too bad because we’re only just starting.