One of the stupid little tricks my mind plays on me once in awhile is trying to fool me into believing that my psychiatric issues are caused by other processes. Today I was reading something about the cognitive changes that sometimes strike people in late midlife, and one phrase stood out like a sore thumb: “Some patients may experience not only a decline in memory, but problems with word-finding and mood regulation”.
First reaction: a-HA! Second reaction: oh, no, not that old argument again.
Oh, yeah. The maybe-I’m-not-bipolar argument, which should have been put to rest long ago but keeps resurfacing every now and again. Now, why does my mind tease me like this? Every fact points to the BP diagnosis, and I’m reminded twice daily of it when I take my meds. There’s even an official label on my medical chart that’s going to be there forever and ever. What further proof do I need?
Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time I’ve entertained the idea of asking Dr. Awesomesauce for cognitive function testing. I already know I’d have difficulty passing some parts of the exam, because my short-term memory is poor and my attention span isn’t so hot either. Those questions where the tester gives you three to five words and you’re supposed to recall them five or ten minutes later? Ain’t gonna happen. The one that requires counting backwards by sevens…..are you freaking KIDDING me??! (I couldn’t subtract in my head even when my brain was in better shape.)
Obviously, none of this is reassuring. I don’t want to be demented any more than I want to be bipolar, even though it might help me with my Social Security disability case. The truth is, I have problems with my memory AND I’m bipolar. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have to scroll back to the top of my blog posts to see what I’ve written in previous paragraphs so I can make the piece “jell” and not repeat myself. This is also why I don’t read books anymore; by the time I get to the end of a chapter I’ve forgotten what the first part was about.
What were we talking about again? Oh, yeah—grasping at straws. Which is ridiculous given the preponderance of evidence proving the validity of my diagnosis. I’ve already fooled myself more than once. Time to knock that shit off.