So, to cut this as short as possible, today I am on Divalproex, Lithium (another mood stabilizer), and Modecate (an anti-psychotic).

My two psychiatrists (the first one retired) have been godsends. They have led me out of hell. My first diagnosis was schizoaffective disorder, but my second psychiatrist changed it to bipolar disorder (I think perhaps because I was so worried about that prefix “schizo”). I get extremely hung-up on labels, but its not a good thing.

I still occasionally think I’m god. I still occasionally think I have some great purpose. Sometimes when I’m given a simple job I think I have to reinvent the industry. I occasionally hear my name (or my dog’s voice), and last year I actually had a whole conversation. Sometimes I see people who aren’t there (just for a few seconds). Sometimes it’s only a disembodied hand. Sometimes it’s a black scarf floating in the air. These all happen when my mood is high and I’m not sleeping well. All of these recent hallucinations happened while I was on Perphenazine. I hope the Modecate will be more effective. I’ve only started taking it, and my doctor does plan to increase the dosage as needed.

I also suffer from paranoia frequently (as in thinking that people, even loved ones, are plotting against me), but I have learned to just ignore it. One day I know I will ignore the signs of real danger, thinking I am being paranoid, but I can’t be afraid all the time.

I still get manic and sleep for three hours and work like crazy. I no longer get so manic that I can’t think. I still get depressed and can barely function and I semi-seriously want to kill myself, but these periods now last for a month rather than six months. And barely functioning is something you can work with. It’s much better than not functioning at all.

My sex life is one of a normal married gay man (whatever that is–the point is I’m faithful to my husband).

I think I managed to leave out about half the details–but I included enough to give you a basic idea of what it’s like to be bipolar (at least for me).

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