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Another Diagnosis

A month ago it was just another Tuesday morning: wake up, shower and dress, drink some coffee, then leave my husband and puppy at home to drive 45min to my doctor’s appointment. It felt like the same as before: go in for 45 min, talk, get refill prescriptions if I need to, and then go home, but – not this time. I walked into my doctor’s feeling okay. I knew I needed to talk about the arguments between my husband and myself, but I knew it was all my fault. See, I was ready to admit all my faults, but I knew something was wrong and was scared of what would happen. Before long, the doctor came out to get me snapping me out of my reverie. 

My doctor asked how I was doing and I said everything seems to be under control: My General Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, all seems okay, but something still felt “off.” I told her how my husband had the audacity to claim I had “OCD” in addition to Bipolar Disorder. It’s true, I like things a certain way, but I never rinsed my hands for a lengthy period of time…I had no idea what he was talking about. The doctor said “Well we’ll find out.” She handed me a questionnaire that I filled out honestly and carefully. When completed, I handed it back over.  

She tapped her pen on her pad of paper looking and reviewing my answers. She nodded her head in a “yes” fashion and said, “I think you do have OCD in addition to Bipolar Disorder, but it’s mild, not severe.  I think due to being a newlywed and having the troubles you’re having, the OCD will have a tendency to ‘come out’ more.” I knew deep down she was probably right, but I despised having, yet again, another diagnosis on paper. 

Upon that visit I called my mom and told her what transpired. She met me for lunch a couple of hours later in Durham, NC and we discussed the OCD and Bipolar Disorder situation. All in all she calmed me down stating we both knew I had OCD too. I had to explain it felt different with it being on record now.  It felt like, yet again, something else was “wrong” with me. It was hard to determine what was “bipolar” disorder versus what was the “OCD."

It was just a month ago that this all occurred. Through discussions with family I have to come to terms with it.  It is another diagnosis on paper, yes, but it is not something that is untreatable. It is just another hard step into becoming a stronger person. Battling another illness is just another fish passing in the sea, it’ll pass by. With the “bad’ news I am learning to look at the “good” that comes with it. My apartment is always clean, you can probably eat off my floors, and my husband doesn’t have to worry about any messes. Yes, I have to learn where to draw the line, but it’s a work in progress. Ultimately, at the end of the day, it hasn’t beat me, rather, I am beating the illness and that is all that matters.

Read the rest of Lauren's posts here

Comments

Over the twenty five years since first dx,and especially over the last decade, I had a lot of different group therapies by the new defunct "Hollywood Pavilion" (Hollywood florida) So I had a lot of exposure to other people with mental illness. OCD was really prominent. I have several diagnoses besides bipolar disorder. How else are we supposed to deal with uncomfortable feelings that our life is out of control? I would think that part of treating a person with bipolar disorder would be screening for co-occurrings since they can cause damage, irreparable in my case, as well.

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