A Case of Bipolar Disorder

On the roller coaster of my life, there are more downs than ups

Ang Jin is a 23-year-old, single mother of a young child age 2, presented with a history of recurrent and disabling depression and headaches. For several weeks she became severely depressed and had difficulty moving, diminished appetite, had crying spells much of the day and felt suicidal. At the time she was prescribed medication and described herself as getting “manicky”. By this, she meant that she was “rushing around, laughing a lot and having more anxiety.” Her depression was worsening despite her treatment.

Ang Jin did not have an easy upbringing. Her family history revealed severe mood swings in both her father and paternal grandmother. Her grandmother at times would take to bed for long spells and she was hospitalized for “unknown reasons” that the family refused to talk about, and Ang Jin recalled that the secrecy was because of something “shameful” about her grandmother’s condition and behavior.

She went to see a doctor who specialized Manic Depressive / Bipolar Disorder and was prescribed a new medication. Within one week’s time, she began to improve markedly, including clearer thinking, more productive work being done, less depression and more energy. Within five weeks she was feeling “terrific.”

Ang Jin is being seen in supportive psychotherapy and provided advice on parenting her 2-year-old daughter, which helped to settle down the child’s behavior and gave her more confidence and a feeling of control over her life.


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