day two

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

as crazy as this is going to sound. i'm kind of proud of myself for making it to day two. i really hope to find support and stuff so that i have the motivation to stick with it and commit to doing this.

yesterday was an interesting day. my doctor had asked me a while back if i'd be interested in participating in a study she knew of. i agreed but hadn't heard back about anything. last week i got a call from the university of michigan and the lady gave me more information about the study. it was a study that was in conjunction with stanford university and was following the patterns related to mood and memory - specifically major depression and memory. i had to go to a screening and interview. the whole process took about two hours and the questions and scenarios got rather personal.

at the end of the interview the lady turned off the tape recorder and closed her book and said 'im sorry but it doesn't look like you are going to qualify for this particular study'. ugh. i know this is going to sound crazy, but i thought that maybe if i qualified for this study i could get help that way. i dont know whats wrong with me, so i was hoping that what i was feeling and experiencing internally would be impacted by whatever activities this study required. i was hoping that this was my chance for a change - not in relation to my ed, but rather in my personality.

lately things have gone really down hill. ive been missing a lot of work, sleeping 10 hours or more. i dont do anything. i even cancelled my gym membership. i used to love going to the gym. now i go home from work and just feel exhausted, physically and mentally. for example, on monday i didn't make it to work until after 10:30. i'm supposed to be there at 6:30. i didnt even care. i just didnt have the motivation to do anything. i heard the alarm go off, but just rolled over and turned it off and went back to sleep. it isn't like me. around six when i got home, i laid on the couch, didn't move and fell asleep again until my husband got home around 10:00.

these feelings are starting to take a toll on my work, on my family, on me... i was just really hoping that this study would offer me help. i don't know how to go to my family doctor and say ... 'im feeling sad lately'... or ... 'im missing a lot of work lately and dont know why'... she'll say... 'why are you being so lazy?!'...

anyway, the lady at the study said the reason i didn't qualify for the study was because my evaluation deemed that while i may definitely exhibit signs of major depression, i would fall more under the category of manic depressive. what?! i dont know. i dont want anyone to get mad for me saying this, but i dont want people to think im crazy. when you think manic depressive or bipolar most people think 'crazy person'. i'm not crazy. i dont know. should i even consider what she said to be true based on only two hours of 'evaluation'? i know she is conducting a study, but do you think she is qualified to give a hypothetical diagnosis like that?

im using spark people today to look up different things about it. im going to see if i can find any information on the symptoms or signs and see where i think i fall on that spectrum. anyone with information, please share. and i'm sorry if i offended anyone by saying that i would associate 'bipolar' with 'crazy person'... i dont mean it literally... i guess i am just afraid of the judgement that would come from a diagnosis - a social stigma, if you will.

thanks everyone. i appreciate the help.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Don't know if this will help at all but please don't worry about having a label put around yor neck. The way you feel, the way you respond to things , the way you act, are you, pure and simply you, it may be that you need a little help with medication or talking therapy, and somewhere along the way someone may stick a label on you, but it honestly won't make any difference to you - you won't change - people won't see the label, they'll still see the same person they did before.
    Please don't put off getting help - I suffered from mental illness for years and years before finally going pop and ending up in a physchtratric unit with a whopper of a label. I freaked out by an amazing friend sat me down and said those words to me that I've said to you, people see you exactly as you are with or without a label.
    Hope I haven't bored you!!!
    P.S - I'm also only on day three here! and I'm really proud of myself xx
    3860 days ago
    Inclusion and exclusion criteria for scientific studies is very, very rigorous. Researchers look for very specific symptom sets for a number of reasons. The fact that you were not chosen for that particular study could have been for exclusionary (e.g., the researcher heard you describe what she believes may have been a single manic episode, thereby rendering you technically ineligible for a study on "pure" major depressive disorder) or could have been inclusion-based (e.g., you did not meet criterion X for inclusion in the study - such as length of time you have suffered from MDD, age, gender).

    The bottom line, is that you're not going to be part of the study. That, in and of itself, is relatively meaningless. It simply says that you did not happen to meet the criteria for that specific study. It doesn't mean you do or do not have depression, do or do not have an eating disorder or do or do not have bipolar disorder.

    As for the bipolar bit - well - both major depression, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder all involve dysregulation of neurotransmitters. They frequently have more (physiological) similarities than differences. They just manifest a bit differently at times.

    Spinning your wheels trying to determine yourself whether or not you meet the criteria for bipolar disorder isn't going to get you very far, unfortunately. If it were the case that bipolar disorder is a factor for you, you'll require meds to control it (bipolar disorder itself is not treatable with psychotherapy nor curable with meds - it is TREATABLE with meds, however).

    Your best bet really is to bite the bullet and yet yourself into therapy. EDs tend to be cyclical and take a lengthy relapsing/remitting course. Therapy is the best way to make sure you don't end up spiralling back into the hellish existence of an eating disorder.

    Best of luck with your decision,

    3860 days ago
    thanks crowald. i guess i just dont know what i'm supposed to do or say. like if they (the experimenters) were to come to ME, then that would be easier... but what am i supposed to say at the doctors? do i just walk in and say 'i think something might be wrong with me'... i dont know where to start...
    3861 days ago
    You don't want to be judged, yet you are already making a judgment - that people who are bipolar or manic depressive are "crazy people"...which is simply not true, and you know that. Are you more concerned about getting help or more concerned about what people will think about whatever illness you have?

    And here's the thing - based on what you said in this blog entry, you clearly have something wrong with you, whether it is bipolar disorder or some other form of mental illness. I'm not a mental health professional of any kind, but what you are describing is just not normal. Who knows if this interviewer is qualified to make these sorts of evaluations - and who cares? You know something is wrong with you, so go find out what it is.

    You mentioned that you wanted to get into this study because you thought it might give you the help you need. Don't depend on some experiment to do that. Go see a psychologist or psychiatrist, and find out what is wrong. I know with the apathy you are feeling right now, you probably don't feel like making the effort. But it's important, and you need to do it. The fact that you are here writing about makes that very evident.
    3861 days ago
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