How I accepted by bipolar diagnosis

bipolar-acceptance

Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash

I didn’t believe it at first so I threw away my medication that I received whenever I had to take them in the morning.

I discarded quite a bit of pills before finally accepting my diagnosis.

So here’s the story.

I’d been depressed all year in my fourth year of studies at university although I’d not been seeing a psychiatrist but all the symptoms fit.

Then suddenly I was well enough to do loads of stuff and was super hyped up to be out of the pits of darkness.

I did so much, completed my thesis, volunteered, gave bible studies and so much more that my cell group leader at church noticed that something was wrong.

She sat my down one day and gently suggested that I fill up this questionnaire.

I did it as honestly as I could and all the signs pointed to me having bipolar.

So I dutifully trotted over to the psychiatrist my mom sees and told him the backstory.

And so I was diagnosed.

The first cocktail of pills made me really sleepy all the time and I hated them. I also refused to believe I had bipolar.

“I was just having mood swings,” I thought.

“Doesn’t everyone get them?” I fumed.

It wasn’t until I was browsing around a bookstore that the breakthrough finally happened.

I caught a glance at this book which has made all the difference:

bipolar-breakthrough

Every single symptom described fit me to a T.

That’s when I finally accepted the fact that I had bipolar and dealt with it by taking medication.

So that’s my story.

What about you? Would love to hear from you, my lovely readers!

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I’ve got thyrotoxicosis!

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So on the last day of January, I was diagnosed with thyrotoxicosis.

Lovely stuff.

I’ve had blood taken from me thrice in three weeks, had two ECGs done, and a chest X-Ray to boot.


It all began when I went for my regular visit to the psychiatrist and as I told her I’ve got a markedly elevated heart-rate, she looked worried and asked if I was anxious. I said I didn’t feel particularly anxious but she noticed I seemed to be.

She then asked a litany of questions:

“Do you feel hot all the time?”

“Yes. Hmmm, I thought that was because of the weather.”

“Have you lost a lot of weight?”

“Yes… I thought that was because of the Subway sandwiches I’ve been eating.”

“Have you got trembling limbs.”

“Yes, how did you know?!?! I was just about to tell you about that!”


So it seems like heat intolerance, rapid weight loss, and dyskinesia are all symptoms of thyrotoxicosis.

She promptly sent me off for a blood test, a thyroid panel and another, and did an ECG. 2 hours later, her suspicions proved to be true.

Then the waiting game started. I was told I’d be given a call real soon to make an appointment with an endocrinologist.

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Two days later, someone called. It was my doctor. She asked how I was and I said the beta blockers slowed my heart down a little. But it went straight up once it wore off. She then asked if I’d gotten an appointment. “Nope, should I call them?”, I asked. She said I ought to.

So I did, only to be told that they would go about doing it soon.

And again the next week.

Then not long after, I admitted myself to KTPH’s A&E cos one day I had heart palpitations and breathing difficulties.

Had a cannula inserted by a handsome doctor and got some blood out again (Ouch, I hate needles!), took another ECG, then waited for the results to come out.

It turned out that my Thyroxine levels had halved but they upped the dose of what I was taking. Carbimazole 10mg thrice daily, and Propranolol 10mg four times daily if needed.

Cost a pretty penny it did.

Then I got a call from the hospital saying I got an appointment with an endocrinologist pushed forward 2 months to this week.

And I went to see the doctor yesterday. Lovely stuff.

Before I saw him, they took my blood again. Simply delightful.

And the doctor adjusted my dose, and guess what? He ordered yet another blood test to test for something else 5 weeks from now.

I guess I shouldn’t complain so much about needles cos it was a good thing they caught it early else I’d probably have bulging eyes and heart failure.

I think it was great that my psychiatrist was so sharp and caught it so quickly. Hurray to her! Hurray to good doctors! Hurray to subsidized healthcare!g

Dealing with the suicide of a good friend

 

suicide

I just came home from Yixin’s wake after lingering there for a long time looking at a slideshow that featured photos of her.

They opened the service with 2 of her favourite songs, Beautiful Saviour and Through It All.

That made me cry.

Someone shared a few words, three friends came up to share memories of her, and her younger sister read the letter she left for her friends and loved ones.

They then closed with a prayer and then sang Give Thanks, another favourite of hers.

She was only 34.

I distinctly remember the first time I talked with her, we had an extended conversation at MacDonald’s late into the night as I discovered we both shared a similar childhood – one that involved a schizophrenic parent. That probably led to the mental health problems later in her life.

I never realised her struggle with depression with so severe. She was so lively, so bubbly, always enthusiastically regaling me with tales of her travel adventures every time I saw her.

I guess the happiest people can also be the saddest ones too.

Angeline once told me that her frequent travels were just her way of escaping from her troubles. I suppose then that we never realised how very true that statement was.

I recall the very last time I saw her, she was hosting her British friend, Donald, and we all had a good chat together. How was I to know that mere months later, that she would take her life?

The wake was well-attended, with visitors spilling out of Grace Hall, the largest room available at Mount Vernon. She had an abundance of friends and was, and still is, well loved.

Yet no matter how many relationships she enjoyed, she could never find the love and belonging she was seeking for.

 

Out of the 4 suicides I’ve experienced, between my cousin that I wasn’t close to, my ex-boss, Chester Bennington, this most recent one has affected me the most. We’d shared our lives together, especially in the years 2012-2013 and then some.

I feel so sad for her.

Am tearing as I type this.

I miss her.

Good bye Yixin.


Here’s a video of her baptism song that was sung in remembrance of her:

Losing a friend to suicide

I was notified of her death first thing this morning when I checked my phone. Not unlike how I received news of Chester Bennington’s death earlier this year.

I couldn’t quite process it at first, shortly after, I felt helpless and lay in bed as I whispered a prayer for her departed soul.

News of how she died continued streaming in my Whatsapp inbox throughout the day in a group chat I shared with some mutual friends.

She was the most bubbly girl I knew who loved to travel around the world, always regaling me with the adventures every time we met up.

I still can’t believe she’s gone.

It seemed like yesterday that I was just talking with her over dinner.

Turns out depression was the culprit. Years of therapy failed her.

My girlfriend played several sad pieces on her piano and I guess this blog is my outlet to help deal with this loss.

She was only 34.

Review of “Turtles all the way down”

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I got this book for Christmas and promptly finished it before the night was over. It was awesome. I’m a bit tight financially right now, so I requested it for my Christmas present. No regrets at all.

This book revolves around the life of a girl, Aza, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), although this isn’t mentioned explicitly in the book.

She leads a normal life in high school with her best friend Daisy until one day they discovered that there was a $100,000 reward for information that led to the police finding a billionaire, who was believed to have fled due to illegal business practices.

Along the way, she falls in love with the billionaire’s son that she’d knew when she was 11 when they both attended a camp for kids who’d a parent who’d died.

Complicated?

It does seem that way, but the story unfolds quite naturally as one turns page after page, eager to find out what’ll happen next.

I’d been wanting to read this book for a long time after John Green mentioned he was inspired by “The Man Who Couldn’t Stop” in one of his YouTube posts. He also revealed that he’d struggled with OCD for some time now. This made the book even more meaningful to me in a way.

It’s one of the best YA novels I’ve read and I’d recommend everyone to grab a copy too!

Nightmares in the night-time

So in my most recent visit to the doctor, I told her about my extremely vivid and scary dreams I had in the past month. It felt so real that I had trouble going back to sleep and had to meditate for a while, and also stayed up till morning before I slept again (I’m blessed to be doing a non 9-to-5 job).

She decided to switch the taking of Deanxit, instead of taking it before I sleep at night, I’d now take it first thing in the morning.

I still dream though, but perhaps the frequency has been reduced? I can’t say for sure.

What I do know is that I woke up this morning from a particularly frightful nightmare. Okay, I think I’ll go do some meditation with my Headspace app now.

When a YouTube celebrity declares he has depression

Recently Daniel Howell, a YouTube star, made a video detailing his experience with depression.

While he is not the first to do so, he most certainly went into great detail talking about his experience and how seeing a doctor and taking medication has helped him. This is in direct contrast to his usual funny videos that he is well known for.

I think having someone use his platform to do something like this is really great. It will certainly open the eyes of the countless youths who follow him on YouTube, and I would also like to take this opportunity to share the video with my readers. Here’s the video: