Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Bipolar disorder and cyclothymia

with 8 comments

It’s my birthday today. I’m thirty one. What a lovely subject for me to write about on my birthday. Though, relevant, in the sense that everyone appears to have decided thirty one is the age at which they can stop sending cards, presents, money, and emails… I was pretty depressed this morning.

I suppose if I start labelling myself with various official medical conditions, my friends who read this blog are going to start labelling me as “weird” (or, rather, “even weirder” – a label that one or two people will stick with forever, unless I set up a Freaky Friday experience for them to prove I am not making stuff up).

It’s taken me a while to figure this out. I have always been prone to depression. I was a very depressed teenager. Something is always wrong for me. There have been a few periods during my life when things have been quite good. I used to think of these periods as being my “not depressed” state. But they’re not. Looking back on them, I was totally high.

I can pinpoint a few of those times. When I went on holiday to the states for six weeks, I was off-the-wall high for the whole time. It actually made me do quite a few irrational things. When I was in the states, my cousin was killed in a road traffic accident. I knew that as soon as I returned to the UK I would be hit with the worst depression in the world. So my behaviour was avoidance, I put off returning, missed the funeral, even stayed a couple of weeks longer than I had arranged to. When I got back to the UK, I was hit full force by one of the worst depressions of my life.

The next time I was really high was when I first got together with my partner. Then we had to move to Sheffield because of work, and it totally took the wind out of my sails. When my boss at the time decided he’d make me redundant to save money on his failing business, I dropped through the floor (to save face I have to point out here that he was taking out a Β£70,000 wage, but he thought saving my Β£17.500 grand wage would turn things around).

The next time was when I started Atkins. I lost loads of weight, became really confident, felt sexy, bought lots of fashionable clothes. I was high for six months. Then we moved to France and I went even higher. I became a completely different person. Most of my life I’ve had a problem being able to talk to people. When I moved to France, I couldn’t stop gabbling. It’s like my symptoms switched over from the quiet, dreamy symptom set, to the loud, hyperactive symptom set. At the time I thought I was well. I thought I was healthy and normal at last. Then I got really sick, and a few weeks later we came back to the UK. I deflated over the course of about a month. That was the point when my eczema came back. It’s taken me until now to realise that I was not healthy and normal, I was High As A Kite. I was manic.

It used to be that people called bipolar disorder “manic depression” and only really, really ill people had it, and they were put on drugs and locked up in mental hospitals. Now bipolar disorder is recognised as being fairly common, and not nearly as extreme. There is another word for it too – cyclothymia. It basically means mini-bipolar disorder. The extremes aren’t as extreme, but there are still swings in both directions.

I was high before Christmas. We went for a short break to London. During the time we were there, I ate a lot of amines in the form of sashimi. I was in a state of what I can only articulate as “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” the whole time.

Two people very closely related to me describe themselves as being “a bit bipolar” or “a bit manic.” They have both been on antidepressants, something I would never do, having seen what terrible things SSRIs can do to some people. I guess it runs in the family. It’s really strange, but the problem with having this stuff running in the family, is that everyone regards it as normal and never labels it as a condition. I’ve always thought it was normal to have asthma, eczema, depression, ear ache, fibromyalgia… There was a point where I stopped labelling myself as having fibromyalgia because my symptoms were so normal to me that I just started to put it down to getting old. I was in my twenties.

Fortunately something else that runs in the family is my mother’s overpowering Sensible Streak. She has always been sensible. She’s always taught my sister and I to be sensible. I am the most sensible person on the planet. I don’t get irrational about things most of the time. If people try to jolly me along, I hate it, because I feel patronised. I know already! Duh! I always talk myself back from the brink without any help. I don’t think crazy things, I don’t do crazy things.


Written by alienrobotgirl

10 January, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Personal Diary

8 Responses

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  1. Happy Birthday!! Sorry it’s late. People stopped sending me cards when I turned 18, but they’ve started to again the the past year or two. So in a few more years you should be in good shape again. πŸ˜‰ I’ve thought my health was normal at times too, then I see other people running around and realize that me complete lack of energy is so NOT normal! Funny how we just get used to our illnesses. I hope you have a great “Day After Your Birthday.” πŸ™‚ Steph


    11 January, 2007 at 4:56 am

  2. Happy 31st birthday! :)I hope you don’t mind but I tag! you πŸ™‚


    11 January, 2007 at 10:19 am

  3. Oh my Gosh – I just saw this now! Happy happy belated birthday! Ok, I’ve only read the first paragraph of the post, so back to reading. LOL

    Mother Nuture

    13 January, 2007 at 7:04 pm

  4. Thanks Steph, Sherrie & Annabelle!

    Alien Robot Girl

    13 January, 2007 at 7:25 pm

  5. Hi AnnabelleYes. It is definitely related to food chemicals. I seem to fare worst with glutamates, but amines make me miserable too. Even glycine supplements seem to have negative effects. I think perhaps it’s to do with an MAO gene variation that makes me more vulnerable to my own neurotransmitters as well as those in foods. Some people find it easier to neutralise emotions than others. Mine tend to last.

    Alien Robot Girl

    13 January, 2007 at 7:36 pm

  6. OK, now to comment on your post – you would think that the Failsafe diet would have brought some improvement in this condition, no? Can you attribute your highs and lows to any particular chemical intake or detox, yet?

    Mother Nuture

    13 January, 2007 at 7:09 pm

  7. I forgot to mention… I actually think getting large amounts of B12 and folate have something to do with my manic highs, though I can’t prove it yet.

    Alien Robot Girl

    13 January, 2007 at 8:16 pm

  8. I’m sure you’ll blog about it when you figure it out and I’ll be here to read it. :)I have problems with highs and lows, too, but they are almost always associated with my weight and diet. I find a ‘new diet’ that makes me ‘feel great’ and lose a bit of weight and then it craps out on me and I feel horrible again, emotionally. Carnivory in combination with Failsafe is the only thing that has brought any sort of lasting results, although I’m still not all the way there yet with depression and mood issues. I think my biggest problem is with controlling amines, since I eat so much meat and it’s almost impossible to eliminate amines in a situation like mine.

    Mother Nuture

    13 January, 2007 at 9:56 pm

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