31 days of bipolar: 3

Grab the meme here.

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3. How old were you at the onset? How old were you at diagnosis? How were you given the diagnosis and are you satisfied with the way it was handled?

My psychiatrist reckons bipolar arrived during very early childhood; I was diagnosed last year, aged 44.

After doing some intense and incessant nagging, I got the diagnosis by email. I’d have found it a terrible way to find out, if I hadn’t chased it so hard myself. It was during a 3 month wait for the next psychiatry appointment. Not ideal, but for me, ultimately positive, because I could get on and research and stop panicking in case psychosis meant irrevocably mad. I didn’t have anyone nearby, so I found some online. Also – dogs. Very important.

I asked that last question on a mental illness forum once and although people didn’t bitch much at all, the majority were given diagnoses fairly casually. I suspect that news of chronic, progressive and incurable physical diseases is handled differently. Gravitas, information, reassurance and perhaps even a nice cup of coffee would do fine. With a cookie if possible (choc chip for preference).

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