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  1. Hello! I am a 32 y/0 female from San Diego. I'm currently working part time in accounts receivable and getting my Masters in Education and teaching credential. My descent into the psychiatric system began when I was 15 y/o, after my parents found out I had been self-injuring. I was immediately diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder and placed on a mood stabilizer, an antidepressant, an antipsychotic and Naltrexone ( to help curtail my impulse to self injure). A few months later I began to hallucinate, which prompted my doctors to increase my meds dramatically. I was in and out of hospitals until I received ECT at the age of 22. ECT did nothing to improve my mood, however it did affect my ability to concentrate, form complete sentences and stay present. Since I could not remember large chunks of time I was awarded the diagnosis of "Dissociative Identity Disorder", even though I was just spaced out from the treatment. To make a long and sad story short, I decided to end my life when I turned 30. I had suffered 2 major seizures, gained 96lbs, and was a shell of a human being. However, my plans were postponed after I witnessed a beautiful interaction between a mother and daughter. I decided I would give life one last shot, and began pursuing IVF (with the hopes of finding happiness in being a mom). The first step was to get off all of the meds. Over a period of 6 months I deprescribed off of extremely high dosages of Seroquel, lithium, Effexor, desipramine, propranolol, and clonazepam. As I came off each med, I lost a "symptom" that had constituted the litany of diagnoses I had collected since i was 15. The prcoess, while terrifying and painful, was empowering. My emotions returned, I lost all of the weight, and I finally felt alive. I still experience a great deal of physical pain, that I have come to understand is related to the withdrawal syndrome - but I am here. Alive. I am really looking for people to connect with who have been through this process. Even though I am full of gratitude for the sense of self I have gained, I find the whole ordeal to be incredibly lonely. How do you put back the pieces of a past that was torn apart? How do you talk about what happened without sounding "crazy"? How do you cope with all of these new feelings? I'm not afraid to walk down this new path, but I would really like to find others so I don't have to walk it all by myself. Thanks for reading this! I can't wait to have some time to check out the other posts. i hope everyone is doing well tonight. Stay safe.
  2. jancarol-undiagnosed-off-all-bipolar-drugs G'day folks! I've only just arrived, I've read a few threads here, but not had much to say. I've been lucky, really. Because I'm not heavily medicated and never have been - I've fought that every step of the way. Likewise, I've never been hospitalized or jailed - I've fought against that every step of the way. It started in my 20's when Doc's decided that my depression would clear up better with a bit of Prozac. Just to help me "over the bump" until I had frank hallucinations, watching Bigfoot amble about in traffic and around town. Time to get off the Prozac. So I go off, and persist in an empty marriage with unfulfilling work. So the Doc's (I can't even remember which Doctors did this, it's strange because I was in a new town in Indiana, and you'd think I"d remember going to the clinic or Doc's office, but oh well) prescribe Zooloft. I get jittery and palpitations, so I go off again. Over the next 10 years, from about 25-35, I'm prescribed various antidepressants, and most of them fail. The only one to stick was Wellbutrin, but I get ahead of myself. So after these 3 month each infusions of brain chemical bursts, for 10 years, is it any wonder that when the marriage fell apart in 1995 I went full blown, psychotic mad manic? At the time I described it as if a weight that I had held on my shoulders for years and years was suddenly pulled away and I came unstuck. I was talking to bees (and making contracts with them), stalking potential lovers, stripping my clothes off in the woods so as to be "invisible," paranoid that the lights in my windows were UFO's. This was not treated by medical doctors as mania. Nor was it treated as psychosis at any time: because here is the key - even though I was mad and manic, I was LUCID. I could tell you, "This just isn't right, I need to get help." Ergo, I escaped hospitalization, and the overdrugging that happens there. This was treated with yet another antidepressant (Wellbutrin?) and antianxiety meds (likely Xanax). I met a yoga guru at about that time, and he "cleaned me up" and stabilized me but that was another abusive relationship - because now I "owed him" my life. I was on Wellbutrin for 3 years after this, but the depression just kept sinking deeper and deeper as I had sold my soul to this yogi. When I told the yogi, finally, to go away, that I would be happier without him telling me "who to be," and "how to be it," I got marginally better. At the same time I met my birthfamily, Birth Mom, birth aunt, a sister and 2 brothers. When I got the family history and heard about great-grandma hanging in the shower, and grandma finding her, and the resultant paranoia about menopause this caused....when I heard about the uncles who were chameleons and bigamists....I thought, well. Maybe I am "manic depressive" or "bipolar." So again: with lucidity and clarity I presented myself to the hospital charity system for treatment. to be continued.......
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