When I started working full time after the birth of my second child, I relied on my Mom, who was living with us to watch my child. Shortly afterwards, I started to notice changes in my Mom's behavior. She forgot where her keys were, didn't remember how to cook and couldn't drive anymore. She didn't know who the man who was living with her was, (my dad) and deteriorated rapidly. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As this was going on, I became more anxious and depressed. I was very emotional and even though I was still working full time, I spent the nights sleepless walking around my home. I finally had a major meltdown and was rushed to the hospital and couldn't be admitted because there weren't any beds in the psychiatric unit. I was sent home with a variety of drugs and told to see a psychiatrist. I started to see one doctor who diagnoaed me with depression and anxiety. We tried several different drugs to no avail and finally several months laterwas put on a drug that helped somewhat. I saw my psychiatrist for many months and thought I was better and was taken off the drugs. Several monthslater I began to become very emotional, stopped eating and spent a lot of time in bed. I couldn't go anywhere and if I did, i was weeping. Back to the psychiatrist and tried different drugs which started to work after what seemed like an eternity. I was once again on them for many months and weaned myslf off. The idea of being on these drugs and suffering from depression seemed like a stigma to me. I once again weaned myself off the drugs. The process went on for many years before I realized that I would spending the rest of my life on them I have been on many different drugs that workked for a while and then made me relapse even though I continued them My doctor switched me from one to another many times. Several years ago, I had another major meltdown. I found a psychiatrist who weaned me off the drugs I had been taking and found a combination of two drugs that have stabilzed me. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar One. I am doing very well at this time and hope to remain this way. My daughter has been diagnosed with Bipolar One as well and has gone through the same on/off situation.I now realize there isn't a stigma about depression and anxiety. There are so many individuals "coming out" about their depression as well. I have gone through many challenges with my illness and no longer "ashamed" to share my story especially if it could help others. I am gratefull for the support of my husband and family. Unfortunatefully, my cousins have the same illness and have chosen to do nothing about it. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, I urge you to see a psychopharmacoloigist who has extensive training with the use of drugs and therapy. Do not give and follow your doctor's instructions. Good luck.
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