As I’ve written before, I go through periods of doubt about my diagnosis. I’m less than a year into my treatment, so I’m still adjusting. But I’ve had a breakthrough that I feel is worth sharing.
I took my wife out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. We were having a lovely time together, and then I brought up something my therapist said. She said I should try light box therapy to help with my anxiety. I expressed my concern about this therapy because of something I’d read in the DSM IV concerning light therapy and Bipolar Disorder.
Note: Hypomanic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder.
This statement brings up two issues for me. One, I was on anti-depressants when I had my manic episode. So, have I been misdiagnosed? Two, should I be doing light therapy? Will it make me manic? I asked the therapist and she said no.
As I talked about this with my wife, she stopped me asked, “Seriously? Do you still doubt your diagnosis?”
I told her that I did sometimes. Then we got into. Why don’t I trust my doctors. Why don’t you trust me. Wouldn’t it just be easier if I let this go. She was really pushing me on this.
Then she asked a really good question. “What is it that you are afraid of?”
Then something crystallized in my brain. I was afraid of something. I was afraid that my family just sees this as yet another way for me to be special. Another way for me to get attention. That I’m just making a big deal out of nothing.
But the truth is, my family accepts my diagnosis because they’ve seen what this illness has done to my life. They watched me turn into someone else entirely. They watched as I tried to destroy everything good in my life.
No one who knows me doubts my diagnosis. It’s a real thing. It’s not going away.
What a silly thing for me to be afraid of. Will they think I’m just not crazy enough to have Bipolar? No. Will they think I’m just seeking attention? No. In fact, they’re probably glad that I’m finally getting the attention that I need to treat the problem.
For more information about light therapy as a treatment for bipolar, read Bright Light Therapy for Bipolar