10.22.2012

Let's Take A Look At Your Brain

Some lovely tidbits from my psychotherapy session this morning:

"Do you have a fear of abandonment or being left behind?"
Not being left behind, but I'm afraid of being alone.
"Is there a record of child abuse in your family?"
Not at all.
"Do you ever experience periods of time where you are full of energy and the lack of a need to sleep coupled with periods of extremely low energy and an inability to concentrate?"
(Pause)
I think...I may have attributed the highs to an irregular sleeping schedule because of being a college student, but I've never thought about it in terms of extremes--
"There are actually several levels of Bipolar Disorder. There's Bipolar I and Bipolar II, in addition to other diagnoses. It's not always in terms of extremes."
 (Another pause)
Well, that changes things...

And just like that, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II this morning. Throw that on top of my OCD and Major Depressive Disorder and you can imagine how strange and crooked the skeleton that will reside in my body's exhibit years in the future will appear. Of course, many people have far more serious disorders and health concerns as well as the same ones in more terrifying volumes so it's not that crazy. It was my third "psychotherapy" session in all my life, all coming in the past year. Even the word is scary sounding, hoping to alleviate the frightening weight of the first two syllables with the soft and calming latter three. You can't fool me.

The people who run these sessions are apparently hard to book. You have to do it weeks in advance. My session only lasted 20 minutes and would have cost a bloody fortune if it hadn't been for insurance. And although it may not have been very evident in the short excerpt I provided above, these people are all about business. Those who know me may say I'm a talker (in the proper circumstances) but all the doctor did was interrupt me time after time before I delved too deep into something irrelevant in my responses. I wouldn't have to dig too deep because well, lots of things I say are irrelevant.

I have no problem with how the session went; in fact I'd be much the same way in the doctor's position, brief and efficient. I just find it strange that it took twenty minutes and a bunch of questions and all of a sudden I'm out the door with a brand new disease and a brand new medication to help me cope with it. See you in four weeks, doctor.

I wonder if there is a certain point in a doctor's examination where they make up their mind and convince themselves in their heads that they have come to a conclusion about whatever the patient's problem is and the rest of the session is spent working towards that tunnel vision by asking pointed questions to further solidify the said conclusion. I mean, I wonder if eleven minutes in, after the 13th question they think, "Ok, it appears he has Bipolar Disorder. I'll just ask a bunch of questions to draw it out of him."

Of course that's not how it really goes because there would be misdiagnosed people everywhere. It was just a thought I had while sitting in the doctor's office, squirming under the uncomfortable weight of the questions asked because I wanted to answer them as honestly as I could and I couldn't. I wonder how many people end up not telling the truth in that position so they can just be given an answer as to what's wrong with them.

Well, a doctor can't answer that question. Not entirely, at least.

Anyways, I'm not complaining about the way behavioral health experts run their businesses nor am I confessing that I lied to the said expert and was consequently misdiagnosed because of it. I'm mainly saying I walked out of the Group Health Center on 2350 Maple St. in Everett, WA with new drugs, a new disorder, and tons of cognitive dissonance. Dissonance that was slowly giving way to clarity.

Today has been a fantastic day. I've done nothing but make boring phone calls to medical centers, hospitals, insurance companies, etc. I'm not being sarcastic; today has got me legitimately excited. I continually recognize that each day I have is another day of being chosen to play on the team.

So far, I don't know what it's like to not be chosen.

I'll end by saying this. This morning in my devotional book, the passage discussed how God doesn't often reveal his will in moments of solitude or silence as opposed to revealing himself in the cycle of everyday life. As in, of course he shows up when you're hanging out on a mountaintop or meditating over the Word in the morning, but he also shows up in the rut that is everyday, ordinary life. The passage talked about how God came down and blew Moses' mind by showing up in a burning bush while Moses was minding his own business, tending to his flocks of sheep. In other words, he was clocked in and ready for the day and then BOOM God shows up with a revelation, ready to give Moses an identity and a mission.

God is easy to talk to on the mountaintop, but he also shows up when we're working in the valley.

Good thing I do a lot of hanging out in the valley.

JDS

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UNRELATED NOTES & OTHER JUNK
This morning, for some inexplicable reason, I was reading the Edmonds obituaries. There was a man who had passed away this month at the age of 79. He had spent time in the Navy during WWII. But the most intriguing part about the article was how he met his wife. Apparently, he met her because he fell asleep on her shoulder in a lecture during college. That's probably the coolest way to ever meet your spouse. "Sorry about the drool on your shoulder. Want to get coffee or something? By the way, what's our homework?" Classic.

I just started reading Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken. She's the same author who wrote Seabiscuit. It's a true WWII survival story about an American bombardier whose B-24 was shot down in the Pacific. It's also a New York Times Bestseller. I adore anything about WWII, so I've been eating it up. I also just finished David Mitchell's Black Swan Green, and it was ace. "Ace" is apparently a British slang term for "cool" that they said in the 80's..or still do. Whatever. I've been saying it a lot.
I'm still listening to As I Lay Dying's newest album, Awakened, with a steady dose of Coheed & Cambria. The Freelance Whales show last night was fantastic. They played 17 songs. They've only written 21 songs. Amazing.  Further Seems Forever's new album comes out tomorrow and I'm for sure picking that ish up.
I'm excited about the film adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving), which comes out this week. It is either going to be the most ambitious and brilliant film ever, or a completely pretentious flop. Either way, WATCH THIS TRAILER because the trailer alone is more emotionally moving than many movies I've seen:



Cheers, everyone.

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