Dear Dr. Archer,
I am 29 years old and have lifelong issues. I finally saw a therapist when I was 24. I was honest and talked about steroid use. I was diagnosed with the scary label of bipolar disorder and took every kind of medication available.
Not sure it helped because I went into a treatment program and after detoxing was told I was not bipolar but was an addict. I was given new medication to help with anxiety and depression and sleep.
I was in a safe place going to NA meetings and learning a lot. I wasn't happy but I was very energetic. I felt everything was on track to get my life back so I moved to California. It made everything worse. I feel completely lost, with confusion, depression and anxiety.
I can't work and I just don't know what to do or what is wrong with me. Help me understand.
Sounds like you've been through a lot, Lenny, and still don't know for sure what's wrong. This confusion and frustration can be overwhelming and I'm glad you are still searching for answers. This shows determination and the desire to get better. Good for you.
You mentioned feeling safe when you were going to NA meetings and learning about your diagnosis. The medications you mentioned seemed to have been helping with your symptoms back then. Are you still taking the meds? If not, then why not?
When I read your letter I see some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder even though there’s no way I could diagnose this on the internet. I suggest first that you see a psychiatrist to be re-evaluated.
Sounds like your symptoms are returning and you know the meds have worked in the past. Along with medication I encourage you to go back to NA, that seemed to be a comfort for you.
Sometimes moving to a new city can be much more stressful then we realize and of course stress can re-ignite psychiatric issues. Address this as soon as possible and Lenny, I wish you all the best.