Mental Illness when to you fess up?

Mental Illness when do you fess up?

You’ll all have noticed I’ve been off line for over 6 months which for someone who was a prolific blogger is a little odd.  Did I meet the man of my dreams and settle down to happy domestic bliss?  Aha no that would have been a lot funner but probably just as frustrating as what has been going on.

So what has been happening?  Once I got back from London in October 2015 I ended up having to give up work because I got so ill I literally couldn’t get out of bed.  Unhappy with my medical care I found a new doctor who did something a little radical he took me off all existing medication, ran a million tests, reviewed what meds I had been on and why and if they were interacting badly etc.  Basically he took me back to basics, changed a couple of things like my blood pressure meds and somehow got my migraines under control without Codeine based pain killers.

This should have been the woooohooooo moment were I got my life back after 20 years of being at the mercy of the cycle of migraines and codeine based pain med addiction.  My liver and kidney function improved and my blood pressure stabilised  but my brain broke.  Suddenly without up to 8 codeine based pills which are opiate (narcotic) analgesics suppressing my brain waves my brain went wonky, really really wonky. My anxiety got so bad I vomited just driving passed where I used to work, I couldn’t find my keys one day and ended up sitting on the floor rocking back and forth crying because it stressed me out so bad and so on.

My doctor decided to try anti-anxiety drugs but with heavy monitoring (I had to see him every 3 days).  This to me seemed a little like over kill considering my x-doctor back in 2008 put me on a dose of antidepressants that should technically only have been prescribed by a psychiatrist and after a week without any suicidal reactions never reviewed it again, just kept handing me scripts even after I told them I’d stopped taking the pills.

However new doctor insisted on heavy monitoring and thank the goddess he did because I got worse not better, so we tried a different type of drug and again I got worse.  At this point my doctor went – your reaction to these pills is really wrong and spent a very extended visit asking me a million questions and ticking boxes on forms.  He then very very gently informed me he was 99% sure I had Bipolar but he would need to send me to a Psychiatrist for a full diagnosis and he wasn’t prescribing anything till I’d seen the specialist but till then I was on weekly visits so he could monitor my moods and ensure I was functioning and not becoming catatonically depressed or suicidal.

Functioning I was only just managing but at least someone wasn’t just shoving pills at me and telling me to go away. So I’ve now been seeing my Psychiatrist for a couple of months and I’m not bipolar but I do have mode instability that I now take anti-psychotics to control. What I am is Autistic (High Functioning) with Communication and Social Interaction issues and co-morbid ADHD.  The ADHD is treatable with drugs, being Autistic isn’t really treatable but behavioural therapy will help me learn to deal with lifes ups & downs better, we hope!

From my point of view finding out that yes I am crazy but it’s not hormones, stress levels, imaginary or whatever is in one respect nice because I know what’s wrong and we’re working on treating it.  Well, at least we can treat the ADHD, the Autism isn’t treatable but I can learn better strategies for coping when information overload happens.  I might even eventually learn to read facial expressions and body language (hopefully).

The downside – eventually after I put the jigsaw puzzle peaces of my life back together I have to start back on the dating roundabout.

Why is this a downside?  Here’s a fun little test for you – say the first 5 things that come to mind when you hear the words Autistic, ADHD or Anti-Psychotic Medication……………

On that list you probably have things like –

  1. crazy,
  2. mood swinging nutter,
  3. psycho,
  4. boil the bunny obsessive,
  5. hyperactive,
  6. depressed,
  7. suicidal,
  8. flaky
  9. Makes Wade Wilson look sane
  10. Way to much work,
  11. constantly moving, twitching and unable to sit still
  12. can’t be hugged or touched without a wall punching melt down and so on and so forth

Not very positive or complementary is it.  Would you want to date someone who you know can have extreme mood swings, constantly wondering which version of the person you’re going to wake up next to (depressed, hyper-happy, anxious, irritated, hyper-sexuallised). Don’t get me started on how the media portrays people who are Autistic or have other mental illness because that’s an entire rant on its own.

So at what point in the dating process do I say

“oh by the way I’m technically classified as being disabled and mentally ill because I’m autistic so I’m not neurotypical, but I’m supper smart with an IQ above genius level, however I get a little scatty if I forget to take my dexamphetamine every 3 hours to control my ADHD “

Mmmmm sounds like an amusing profile designed to catch the eye and make you laugh, till you realise this is my reality!

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