Compulsive shopping. That was the last straw. That was the last symptom that put me over the edge and convinced everyone that was trying to help and those who have studied psychology and psychiatry diagnose me with Bipolar II disorder. Over shopping? How can that be a problem? I know that is what you are thinking. But it is not the shopping itself that is the problem. It is the compulsion to shop when you have no reason to shop.
Shopping when you know that you are on a budget and need to save every penny is a sign that something isn’t right. Combine that extreme compulsion with extreme unwarranted moments of anger and irritability, severe depression, lack of sleep, panic attacks, anxiety and random moments of hypomania where I suddenly have an immense amount of energy until I just crash from exhaustion.
For my entire life I lived with these symptoms and did not know what was going on with me. That just led me to be more depressed. I was ashamed of what I was feeling and so I tried very hard to be what everyone wanted me to be. I was smart and put together so no one would notice that I was falling apart inside. I fooled my family. Well, I hope that I fooled my family because if I didn’t then that means they saw the signs and they didn’t care. I like to think that I fooled them and they had no idea. I can see them not noticing the anger and the anxiety.
I didn’t know what this all meant until I searched for and received help. My family assumed I was just mean and overly dramatic. I discovered that those “overly dramatic” moments were me having panic attacks. I have been married for almost 8 years and my husband was the only one that I was not able to fool. He knew something was off with me and ultimately he just came to the conclusion that I was eccentric or weird and that he would just figure out a way to handle me. I knew that I drove him crazy. I could not help it.
I wanted to do better and be better but I could not do it alone. Even though I have been diagnosed and have been given the medication that will help me cope and the therapist that works with me to get me through it, I still drive my husband crazy.
It’s my compulsive shopping. If I don’t stop I will put us into so much debt. Right now we are okay, but at the rate I’m going, that won’t last for long.
Yet, I know I can do it. I can overcome this compulsion.
I don’t have a choice.