I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in September 2005. It was not a great year. The diagnosis was a good thing, though. It actually explained quite a few things.
I had been diagnosed with depression a couple of times previously and had taken anti-depressants on those occasions, but only for a few weeks each time. I'd believe everything was fine and stop taking the medication on my own without ever seeing a doctor or psychologist about it again. Issues like this apparently run in my family, but I was one of those who believed that all one had to do was think her way into happiness and out of depression and everything would be fine.
When I finally made an appointment to see my doctor about my dawning belief that I had bipolar disorder, things had gotten pretty bad. At the appointment, the doctor came in and asked why I was there. I told him, mumbling and not at all confident or proud of myself, "I'm afraid I have bipolar disorder." His answer? "I actually diagnosed you with bipolar disorder about 6 months ago. I knew that if you didn't bring it up first, you wouldn't listen to me." Sucked for me, huh? Although, I knew then, and I still believe now, that he was right.
I was on medication for bipolar disorder for almost 4 years. I stopped taking it in May 2009, this time, with the help and support of a psychiatrist. My sleep has suffered as a result, because the medication I was taking made me very sleepy, but I am getting used to being a very light sleeper again. I'm willing to go back on the medication if I need it, but so far, I think I've been doing well. Not to say that I'm cured--I definitely have my off days.
I'm not certain where I am going with this post tonight. I just feel as though I needed to review it all. There is more to say; but I think I need to sleep on this for now.