Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Email 4 - 30 March 2007 Evening : My review with the doctor and diagnosis of proneness to Bipolar

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers. Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness.

My review by the doctor went on very well today. After I explained my conditions, sleep problems and family history to her, she said I am prone to bi-polar and therefore anti-depressant is not suitable for me as it will make my mood high when my mood is normal or happy. This explains why after my mother went to church, I have been experiencing very elevated mood, difficulties sleeping, have floods of thoughts and could type those long emails! The doctor has asked me to stop the antidepressant (Prozac 20mg) and she has prescribed 2 different medications for me now ie. Seroquel 25mg and 1/4 of Lamictal 100mg . One of the medications is to calm me down and help me to sleep (but not a sleeping pill) and the other one is to prevent the relapse of depression.

I will need to read up more about bipolar as well as the medications. A quick search on the internet reveals the following information: “Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But there is good news: bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives… It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life….. Manic-depression distorts moods and thoughts, incites dreadful behaviors, destroys the basis of rational thought, and too often erodes the desire and will to live. It is an illness that is biological in its origins, yet one that feels psychological in the experience of it; an illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure, yet one that brings in its wake almost unendurable suffering and, not infrequently, suicide.”

Now I began to understand why in the past even before I seek medical help, I will experience periods of very happy and joyful mood in which I often have a lot of energy and prone to over-strain myself. Then a period of very low and depressed mood will overcome me to the point that I will be suicidal. These usually lasts for months before my mood returns to normal. Thank God for preserving me through those difficult years and leading me now to seek the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Thank God for providing me with a very kind and understanding Doctor. She has kindly written me a memo so that I can show it to the next doctor that will be following me up at a government hospital from 20 April 2007onwards. I first sought help from this private doctor at a private hospital last December when I suffered a relapse of depression and was suicidal. As my condition was critical and life threatening and yet I couldn’t seek help in the hospital as I do not want my mother to know of my condition, my employer kindly fixed an appointment with an old friend of hers at the private hospital. Thereafter, I have managed to get an appointment at governmnet hospital but the waitlist is until 20 April. Thank God that my Doctor is able to review me now and switch me to different medication. Please continue to pray with me for the Lord’s restoration and for grace and wisdom for me to use the appropriate means in my restoration. I will be reading up more about my condition, the various medications, supplements, diet, exercise, etc that will help in my recovery. I will also be continuing with the counselling at Counselling and Care Centre. May the Lord enable me to manage this illness better and to live for His glory.

Thanks again for your prayers. I really look forward to a better sleep tonight with the switch to these new medications. And trust that by the grace of God, He will enable me to be able to join the worship this Lord’s day. All praise be to God for His mercies and faithfulness.

In the Lord’s mercies,

Some replies from my friends and brethren-in-Christ whom I shall keep anonymous unless they give me permission to put their names on this webpage:

Dear sister,

Thank God that your doctor is good. Hope that the medicine can treat you well. Get well soon.

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