Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well, What Sort of Chance Does That Give Me?

I spoke to my psychiatrist the other day about whether or not my diagnosis was correct. After all, I've not had an episode in three and a half years, and since I stopped taking mood stabilizers and antidepressants nearly three years ago, I've felt more stable than I have ever felt before. And the last two episodes I had I'm pretty sure were caused by my first psych doc giving me antidepressants. Maybe everything I'm doing for myself (My Bipolar Survival Toolbox) is working. Maybe, I suggested hopefully, I was better. Maybe, I dared venture, I was never bipolar at all.

He pulled out the history of episodes I had given him during my first visit. And the thick sheaf of notes he'd gotten from my last psychiatrist. One of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder, he informed me, is that when one is not actually in the grip of an episode, one mistakenly thinks that one is well. And one often thinks one doesn't need medications, he added with a meaningful look.

I felt a bit like Brian in that lovely Monty Python movie The Life of Brian, when he is trying to convince all of the followers that he has inadvertently acquired that he is not the messiah:

"I'm not the messiah, I'm not!" he insists.

And the woman at the front of the crowd declares, "Only the true messiah would deny his divinity!"

Poor Brian throws his hands up in the air and says, "Well, what sort of chance does that give me?"

I wonder how many years I'll have to go med-free and episode-free before he will consider "un-diagnosing" me. Can you even be un-diagnosed?

On second thought, making it official might not be a good idea...the insurance company would probably want all their money back...


Gianna said...

on diagnosis and undiagnosis:

Jazz said...

Thanks for the link, Gianna. Interesting article. I guess I didn't figure there'd be any sort of "official" way to become undiagnosed. It's probably more important that I believe that I can leave it behind me than that my psychiatrist believes I can.