My name is not Donna, but that’s how I refer to myself on this blog.  I use pseudonyms for the other people in my life as well.  I am a woman in my mid-30s.  I live in the same small Midwestern town that I grew up in, reasonably close to a major city.

I began experiencing depression as a teenager, and a severe episode of it led me to flunk out of my second attempt at college.  The first attempt ended in me dropping out, due to what I now believe was a manic episode.  In 2014, after many years of suspecting I was bipolar, I had a police-prompted emergency room visit which led to beginning therapy and getting officially diagnosed.  I have Bipolar I Disorder, with anxious distress, and was also later diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

At this point, my treatment consists of individual therapy every other week, a weekly Dialectical Behavior Therapy group, and medication adjustments from my psych APRN every 1-2 months.  I have not historically been successful with the 2-month timeframe, having the first two of those interrupted by visits to the inpatient unit, but I’ve been able to wait 2 months the last couple of times we tried.

My medications right now are Lamictal 50 mg morning/25 mg evening, Wellbutrin XL 300 mg, Latuda 40 mg, and BuSpar 15 mg three times a day.

At the time of my diagnosis I was employed in a full-time job, but struggled more and more with it as my medications were adjusted over time.  I ended up quitting after a year in the job, primarily due to the anxiety I experienced while at work.  After a few months of working with an employment specialist, I started a new job at the local hospital, where I’ve now been working on an occasional basis for a year.


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