I was diagnosed years ago. I want to say in the 90s, but it’s been so long I can’t remember. The last “shrink” I saw regularly was early 2000, I think. It’s funny, she has a 1-star rating on most of the review sites, but as far as I recall she was fine. I just got tired of being doped up on everything. I was on Xanax, because I also get panic attacks, Adderall for my ADHD, which I still can’t spell (Used spell-check), Lithium, something called Lexapro, and a few other things. I’m not good with daily medications. I have one of those 30-day things to the left of me right now filled with other kinds of pills, vitamins, statin, and regular supplements because my diet sucks and I rarely exercise, and even with that I can’t seem to remember to stick with it for more than a few days. Anyway, it’s 4:30 am and I am just FLYING all over the internet, so you can just guess my mood. One of the things I was on was supposed to help with my OCD. And I’m severely arachnophobic, acrophobic with a smidge of vertigo just to make it fun, and mildly agoraphobic. I have some other health issues like Low testosterone, high cholesterol, asthma, ringing in my ears that won’t go away (appointment with ENT tomorrow), and dental issues that are entirely my fault. But I tell people I’m good if they ask. I feel like a nihilist existentialist, but I try to look on the bight side when I have to talk to other people. If I never had to go out, I probably never would except for those times when all I want to do is go out, but even in a manic phase, I still don’t like being around people. I’ve also been diagnosed with being antisocial, but I’m guessing they meant the kind where you just don’t like socializing, not the kind where you manipulate everyone. Although if I’m being perfectly honest, I have done that, too. My life has kind of been a mess, as you can imagine. Issue with the law years ago, drugs, alcohol, and I was never treated for those issues other than when the courts made me go. In this one regard I am not like other people, I did have my rock bottom and quit on my own after that. I still drink very rarely. Never to get drunk. New Year’s I had a glass of champagne. I haven’t used hard drugs in 29 years. My rock bottom scarred me. I’ve been married now for 9 years. No kids, but we live with my wife’s sister-in-law who’s 23, so it’s kind of like having a kid? And of all the jobs I could have picked I do rideshare. Mostly because I can pick my hours or if I even work at all. I tell people they don’t know how hard it is to stuff it all down and pretend for the time people are in the car. Sometimes I feel like throwing up after. Sometimes I feel like crying. Other times I can’t wait to play a first-person shooter on my computer and work it out that way. I have had “real jobs” over the years, briefly. I worked in IT for about a year and change. I also owned a pizza place for two years, but it didn’t work out. I blame myself for that, too. It didn’t help that I found out a few years ago one of my best friend that I had stopped talking to because he was spiraling and there was a straw that finally broke the camel’s back killed himself two years after. e had been like brothers, and sometimes family fights. I thought there was time. And now it haunts me. I can’t get out my my own head. I have good days, but most of the time I’m hiding what’s going on, or lashing out, and in my manic phases, I’m up all night, and spending money I don’t have on stuff I don’t need. But my depression scares me more than anything else. Sometimes it’s really dark. I would never go the route my friend did, probably simply because I feel like life is pain and pain is better than nothing. Sounds dumb, right? So the meds all played havoc with me and no combination ever felt right. I saw someone last year who prescribed something that had a black label warning even after I told him I didn’t want those kinds of meds. I said, “Look, if the possible side-effects are some sort of horrible death down the road, I am not interested.” He literally said, “But wouldn’t you rather feel better now?” Umm, NO, not if that’s the price I pay for it. It’s like telling someone with a broken leg you can make the pain go away if you amputate the leg. There have only been two kinds of time where I felt as close to “normal” as I suppose I can get: years ago I worked 70 hours a week and was going to college full-time, something about that killer schedule kept me so busy I didn’t have as much time for me to get in my own way, and last year when I was riding my mountain bike every day. I’d go out to the trails and ride 15 miles a day every day before work. It helped. Then my bike broke, and I wound up getting a different car that I need to get a tow-hitch and bike rack for since it’s tiny (Kona), and a new bike since my Walmart bike isn’t worth fixing. I plan to get a Trek this time around. But between the bike and car stuff it’s a thousand dollars I don’t have right now and I have other issues. Like the dental stuff. Upper denture at 50, so I have to get extractions done. LOVING that I have to go do that. I’d get implants if I had the money, but that will have to wait I guess. So how many of you are med-free and surviving? And have any of you found safe meds that work well?