Interviews

First Name
Steven
Age Group
51-55
Gender
Male
City
Seattle
State
Washington
Zip Code
98102
Marital Status
Single
How many people share the living space with you?
None
What is your highest level of formal education?
Other
What race/ethnicity do you belong to?
White
What is the frequency of your visits to the health care provider?
Bi-Weekly
Are you presently employed? If yes, what is your occupation?
No
Were you employed previously? If yes, when and where?
Yes, founder and director of a 501 (c) 3 educational organization from 1991 until 1995 when I had a severe mixed state bipolar episode. I haven\'t worked since. In Seattle WA.
What conditions have you been diagnosed with? When? Where?
Bipolar ll, rapidcycling, mixed states - nov. 1995; Bipolar 1, schizoafffective disorder, ADD/ADHD, Anxiety, PAnic Attacks, more... betweeen 1997 and 2002 approx.; also Bipolar NOS approx 2002; chronic pain/fibromyalgia 2003; All in Seattle WA. Also migraines, depression dx\'d 1979, Eugene OR.
Have you ever been hospitalized? If yes, how many times? When was the last time that you were hospitalized?
Yes. 4 or 5 times, I can\'t remember, all in Seatle WA since 2000 for psych disorders. Also in jr. high for \
Please describe everything you know about your condition(s) and how you obtained such information?
I know that I cycle extremely rapidly between hings and lows, from mania to suicidal derpession and live in a mixed state of he two most of the time. I know that I am unable to be consistent with my thoughts and actions and frequently can't find where I left my mind. I know this is considerd to be a life long condition and it certainly has been for me tho I was not diagnosd until I was 45. I have obtained most tof the information I have through my won self-education but also thru the sevral psychiatrists, MD's and counselors I have seen. I know I can control some of my actions but that my emotions generally rule my life. I have nuemrous skills to use to help me thru this illness but that wyen I am "taken" by it the tools don't usually work and I am lost to it. There is much more I know but this si all I can come up with for right now.
Please illustrate your life before, during, and after learning of your condition(s) and engaging in therapies, if any?
Before bwing diagnised I lived a life of primary hypomania and did lots of good works for the world. I was "On" most of th etime but I had periodic bouts with severe depression and ehaustion. During my diagnoisis I lived in an state of unreality, casued in part by the drugs but also by the idea that I had a brain illness. Since learnign of the conditipns I have worked to learn as much as I can abotu the ollnesse and how I can continue to function, but I stil have not been able to go back to work, a fact which pains m,e greatly. I miss workign adn beign a part of the world.
Please describe how you cope with your condition(s), if at all, and the effectiveness of each strategy?
I use a variety of psychologivcla and spiritual tools to try to c 9olpe with my conditionsl I alspo educate myself a lot so I recognize when I;'m kindling and can try to ramp down my energies, or ramp them up if I'm falling itnop a deprrssion; Thsi fequently works well, but just as often the illnes will catch me unawares and I am left bereft - alons and unable to change my state. Often intervention from friends or helth care folks will help me get out of th mes vbut not always. My psychiatrist says she thinks I am stable in my instability.
Does the state of your health impede in any way your everyday activities such as work, housework, studies and so on?
I cannot work a regualr job. I have a hard tiem with house work due to pain. I can sometimes help write and edit books with a friend but not enough to make it a paying job. I do not feel comfortable volunteering anywhere yet becasue I am too inconsistent and the varipous faects of my illnesses interferee to a large extent.
Does the state of your health impede in any way your social activities, such as inviting others to your residence, accepting invitations, going out with friends and so on?
Yes, constantly. I frequently have to turn down invitations to events becasue I am too deprressed or out of it, have a migrain, am in too much pain , etc. It all conmspires together to leave me vey isolated tho I do a certain amount of socializing when I can.
How would you classify your daily interactions with people in general? (Comfortable, neutral, awkward, unpleasant) Please describe in detail.
It depends soley on my mooid. If I am somethwat hypomanic then I will have a good tiem with peoiple and have lots of energy to spread aroudn and I get on well with people. When I am severrly depresed i ussually hide out alone in my apartment and see or talk to no one. Depending on where i am in the spectrum of hypomanic to depressed I will interact acrodingly as described.
How do you envision your future?
I have a hard time envisioning a future and I consider myself a visionary. I often feel that I will never be well again adn will die by my own hand. It's hard to imagine a positive future tho I still try on occassion. I co-own soem land int he mountains where i woudl liek to live wher I woudl be healthier in many weays but it is too much fro me - physically and emotionally both. Mybe I'll find a boyfroiend and we can ove there togeher. It's as close to a good dream as I have....
On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.
Strongly Disagree
At times I think I am no good at all.
Strongly Agree
I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
Strongly Agree
I am able to do things as well as most other people.
Strongly Agree
I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
Strongly Disagree
I certainly feel useless at times.
Strongly Disagree
I feel that I'm a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.
Agree
I wish I could have more respect for myself.
Strongly Agree
All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
Agree
I take a positive attitude toward myself.
Agree
I can always manage to solve difficult problems if I try hard enough.
Agree
If someone opposes me, I can find the ways and means to get what I want.
Agree
I am certain that I can accomplish my goals.
Strongly Agree
I am confident that I could deal efficiently with unexpected events.
Strongly Agree
Thanks to my resourcefulness, I can handle unforeseen situations.
Agree
I can solve most problems if I invest the necessary effort.
Agree
I can remain calm when facing difficulties because I can rely on my coping abilities.
Agree
When I am confronted with a problem, I can find several solutions.
Agree
If I am in trouble, I can think of a good solution.
Agree
I can handle whatever comes my way.
Agree
With my illness experience, I feel I am:
Often tense
More often uncomfortable
Almost always in agony
More often distraught
More often discouraged
More often unsure
More often helpless
More often uncertain
My relationships help me feel I am:
More often valued
More often comforted
More often close
More often connected
More often included
More often supported
More often accepted
Towards those who are emotionally close to me, I feel I am:
More often forgiving
More often welcoming
More often accepting
More often encouraging
More often trusting
More often understanding
More often respectful
Universal beliefs and principles or a divine presence help me feel I am:
Often inspired
Equally comforted and troubled
Equally accepted and judged
More often aimless
More often rejected
More often out-of-step
Almost always adrift
Towards universal beliefs and principles or a divine presence I feel I am:
Often listening
Equally receptive and closed
More often thankful
Often accepting
Equally approaching and receding
Equally willing and resisting
Often connecting