I am disabled. My disability is invisible. I have a mental illness. I have a disorder of affect, a mood disorder, of the type commonly but simplistically known as manic-depression.
For many years I was diagnosed as chronically depressed. I tried many anti-depressant medications which merely made me emotionally numb and left me with undesirable side-effects. I did not keep taking them. When I was finally diagnosed with a mood disorder by a clinical psychologist and prescribed appropriate medication, my condition drastically improved.
Unfortunately after several years on that medication it stopped working so well. Indeed, I was experiencing side effects which I attributed to an old musculo-skeletal injury – I only realised that it was in fact my medication when I ran out while my GP was on holiday, decided “I can manage without for a few days” and discovered that my various aches and pains radically resolved once I stopped taking my meds. So, I didn’t ask for a new prescription. I’m now having insomnia problems, for which I take a sleeping tablet about every third night to get at least some decent sleep. I’m managing.
As a political blogger, I kept this secret until now, because of the way in which mental illnesses are stigmatised. It’s easy for those who oppose your opinions to dismiss you if you have a mental illness. But having a mood disorder does not make me incapable of rational analysis and commentary. It has affected my life profoundly in many ways, but my intellectual capacity is not one of them.
OK, if I try and write any more I know I won’t hit that publish button. That’s it.