Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"I Don't Know, I Don't Remember", I Can't Recall"

Last Wednesday I had a psychological test that had been scheduled by Social Security. I have taken quite a few over the years and, when they told me it would take 2 hours, I assumed it was the ol' MMPI. I pictured sitting in front of a computer terminal, typing away through the 600+ questions. I couldn't have been more wrong.

For the entire 2 hours, my responses were, "I don't know", "I don't remember" or "I don't recall".Throughout the entire process, the psychologist sat across his desk from me, reading instructions on the back of every page that he flipped over in front of me. He would give instructions on each set of tests, I would have 10 seconds to memorize what the test required and then spit out what I memorized in whatever form was required.

The tests varied, each beginning with one or two items to memorize, and went as high as eight. We began with me repeating (within 10 seconds) a series of numbers. After we reached a series of eight, then I would repeat them backwards and, of course, the ever-popular "count backwards from 100 by 7's".

Then he would say a list of 20 pairs of words; some went together and some didn't. He would say one, and I would have to say the word that it was paired with. He referred to this list throughout the testing.

Then we moved on to memorizing different shapes in a grid of 4 X 5, placing the corresponding tiles into a four X five divided container. This was repeated multiple times, with many different shapes and designs.

The testing went quickly, and I didn't mind it all that much. It was glaringly obvious throughout the process that I do have a problem with short-term memory. A few months ago, my pDoc started me on Aricept, after I was diagnosed with early-onset Dementia. (And the hits just keep on coming)

Do you ever wonder if you're actually MI, or it's just something you imagine;maybe " it's all in your mind". There are two possible scenarios here; you ARE mentally ill, or you think you are mentally ill, the act of which DOES make you mentally ill. I bring this up because, after a day of testing, like that which took place on Wednesday, it is proven that I have the problems I think I have. Better yet, it verifies those things that people claim I do/say, but I say I do not, actually take place.I may mess up a lot of things, but one thing is certain; I know who I am!

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