Q: Will I Always Feel Like This
Dear Dr. Phelps,
I'm not sure were to start. I guess I should tell you first that I was (finally)
diagnosed, 2 days ago, by a (California) "Board Certified Psychiatrist" as
having BiPolar II Disorder. The diagnosis was done for the Social Security
Secondly, I have just come from your web site, psycheducation. I am trying to do
as much research on this as I can. I had never heard of BP II before 2 days ago.
I've heard of BiPolar, but that never seemed 'quite right'.
I took the BiPolar II 'test' you have on there. I even had my ex-husband, who
has known me for 20 years, (he let's me live with him and takes care of me. I
haven't, can't, worked in 10 years and am 41 years old.) look over my
answers to see if he thought I was being honest, he knows me better than anyone,
even myself, and he thought I had answered honestly. Then I scored it. On the
1st section, the 13 yes/no questions, I answered ALL 13 yes. Section 2, yes.
Section 3, Serious. As I'm sure you are well aware, I was not a happy camper.
But in a way, relieved.
As I have went thru your site, I noticed that most every disorder associated
with BP II, except Social Phobia, I fit to a T. Life has been absolute hell. On
top of it all, I couldn't have children. Finally found out why last year. My
uterus was covered in tumors and my Doctor said I had to have a hysterectomy, so
The PTSD stems from 1993 when I found out a man I had been sleeping with and
TRUSTED for 6 years had AIDS, was diagnosed in 1984, killed a hell of a lot of
people (teenage boys, girls, men and women) blew his
brains out on Mothers Day, in front of his mother, and left a note that said it
was all my fault and that I pulled the trigger. 3 days prior to this I had
informed him I was going to testify against him in court. A woman, who I had
introduced him to, was suing him in civil court for giving her HIV. She had 2
small boys. I ended up being the "star witness" for certain reasons that's not
important here. I found out the TRUTH from his file at the Huntsville, Alabama
Health Dept. when I was sent there for a HIV test while I was at Charter Retreat
Hospital. I had checked
in there because I couldn't handle what was going on. The head of the AIDS dept.
(illegally) let me see Chris' file SO I WOULD KNOW THE TRUTH. Afterall, we
were talking about life and death. Murder. Anyway, I DIDN'T GET HIV!!!!!!
I'm the only one we know of that didn't contract it from him. I think most all
of them are dead now. 17 last count. That was 1995. Not me. I'm still here.
&*%$#%& He was an up and coming attorney. I trusted him. He reminded me of my
daddy. He died in 1983. At the age of 54. Strokes and heart attacks. I have 2
sisters that are practicing alcoholics. Daddy was supposedly a sociopath, both
sisters are, maybe I am too. I don't know. They, my family, says I am.
That's hard for me to imagine. It absolutley kills me if I think I've hurt
As far as medical history goes, there's quite a bit of it. In and out of
hospitals, all different kinds of meds. Most didn't work. Trilepitol with
Valium. That's the only combination that I have noticed an improvement with.
That was last year. I don't have insurance anymore (I moved in Sept. from
Missouri, my mothers house, back to California, my ex-husbands house,(not a
"physical" relationship) and lost my Mo. state ins. and don't qualify for Ca.
state ins. because I don't have children!) and am not on any psych meds.
anymore. I can't afford it without insurance.
I guess my question is, Is there ANY hope for me? Or am I going to feel like
this the rest of my life? Will I EVER be 'normal'? Is life going to always hurt
this much? I'm not even sure I know what happiness feels like. Or if I ever
Can you help me, please? Please? I can't take this much longer. The SSI hasn't
been "formally" decided by the judge (The diagnosis was just done Thur.) (she,
the SS Judge, was really nice at the SS Hearing in Feb). When the SSI goes into
effect, I'll have Ca. state ins.
I know you're a very busy man, but if there's anyway you could find time to
reply to this letter (I'm sorry it's soooo long, but I wanted you to get a feel
for what's going on with me) I would truly appreciate it. I feel like my
days are numbered if I don't get help soon. I've had many suicide attempts in
the last 20 years. But for some reason it seems
to be getting worse as I get older. I can't take it anymore. Please, if you can,
help me. I used to be pretty strong, but that's completly gone anymore. All I do
is cry anymore. Everyday. on and off all day. I never know what's going to set
me off. I'm EXTREMLY emotional. And I'm scared. More than I've ever been.
Thank you for listening. It's good (I think) to know I'm not alone.
Dear Ms. P' --
In one way it's certainly understandable that you feel so low in hope, after all
you've been through. At the same time, you basically just got diagnosed
with what may have been a substantial part of the problem all along -- not all,
as the PTSD part is superimposed on top of whatever mood disorder piece you've
got; and the life circumstances you've faced separate from the PTSD part also
will have had and will continue to have an impact on mood. So it's still
complicated and will be so for a good while yet. But in one sense the
"treatment" part is just getting started (that trial on Trileptal was
a good indicator that this really is the right direction).
So, when you get your disability status and have the
means to pursue it, get lined up with a
therapist and hope you can get reasonable access to a reasonable
psychiatrist (the latter part is often harder) who will take charge of the
series of trials of medications you read about on my site. You're really
just getting going, remember that. (I'd guess you're in your mid-forties,
as that's when these symptoms seem to peak; if our experience with
"borderline personality disorder" is any guide, and I think it is,
things seem to cool off after 50 for most women with symptoms like these (not
that I think you have that diagnosis, as you may already have
about), so you might have some easing up to look forward to even with no
treatment, if I'm guessing right.) Good luck to you.
Published April, 2002