I summoned up the courage to see the nurse practitioner at the gynecologist.
I described my symptoms: hormonal rages, mood swings, etc.
Her next words were, "So I see you're bipolar."
Sigh. You know, I've never really bought into this bi-polar diagnosis.
The first person to tag me with it was my neurologist, based on my risky roller-coaster behavior. Then I heard it from the psychiatrist, and he should know, right? But then he backed off.
And then when I saw it again on the general physician's chart, I noticed it said bi-polar N.O.S., or "Not Otherwise Specified," which evidently means, "Probably bi-polar but she doesn't fit the diagnostic requirements ... yet." That was twenty years ago. Granted, if the requirements are depression and hypomania, I did have that one time I felt like I could jog home from the mall. Damnit. One particularly happy night and I'm bi-polar for life.
It can also mean "It looks like you have bipolar disorder but your doctor thinks your symptoms might be caused by drugs, alcohol or a general medical condition (see Ruling Out Other Physical Conditions)", where MS is one of the conditions.
"N.O.S.?" I said hopefully to the nurse practitioner.
"Oh, I know all about the different types," she said sympathetically. Then she recommended counseling, which I am going to take full advantage of, as soon as I can pick up the phone to call someone without crying.
I was encouraged when she ran her diagnosis past the gynecologist, who recommended I get a blood test to be sure I'm post-menopausal, or if my hormones could still be fluctuating.
And the test came back and my follicle-stimulating hormones are at 80 in a range of 16 - 113, solidly menopausal. So, I need to schedule a visit to see the psychiatrist again, go back on the Celexa (or perhaps its less fattening cousin, Lexapro), and as an added bonus I am going to indulge in counseling. I'm thinking of it as a luxury. I need to be counseled in how to deal with injustice. Because seriously, my husband can't find the snow peas and he explodes, but no one tags him as bi-polar. So not fair.