I’m about halfway through my luxury alcohol rehab program when a few days ago, I find myself sitting in the media room, listening to the background noise of Oprah. My ears perked up. News about Catherine Zeta-Jones comes to the forefront and my gaze shifts my laptop screen to the television screen. Her husband, Michael Douglas was setting the story straight about his wife checking into a mental health facility in order to seek treatment for Bipolar II Disorder. Something that Douglas said to Oprah really struck a chord with me: “my health problems were very hard on my wife. My son is in federal prison, my ex-wife is suing me. . .it's kind of hard for the wife to say that she's depressed.”
What a very honest, transparent statement for Douglas to make! How brave he was, not to mention how very unlike the Hollywood façade we are so used to seeing when celebrities are forced to make statements to the press.
Bipolar disorder is one of the trickiest mental health disorders to diagnose. Many times, people are misdiagnosed with clinical depression and therefore do not get the treatment they need. And I would imagine many, many, many more times, people go undiagnosed and self medicate with a variety of deadly cocktails – mainly alcohol.
This was my case.
It was not until I checked in to the luxury alcohol rehab, Seaside Palm Beach, that I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. After I had fully detoxed, they were able to spot, because of their specialized focus on treating co-occurring disorders, my previously undiagnosed Bipolar II disorder. They have provided me with the help I so desperately needed to feel normal for once in my life. I am still working through the program here but they are helping me to distinguish the key characteristic of Bipolar II Disorder and how all of this information can aid me, rather than overwhelm me, in my recovery.
My therapists here have explained to me that the key difference between Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder is the kind of manic episodes. Bipolar II Disorder does not experience the same type of full-blown manic episodes. Instead, people like me experience milder, hypo-manic episodes in addition to episodes of major depression. This all finally makes sense to me. I used to drink because it would make me happy. I never knew there were more complicated, fundamental reasons for my major depression. Being a female apparently does not help either as we are more likely to have Bipolar II than men.
I used to tell myself that I would be better if I just had one drink, then another, then another. It was never just one drink and all my self-medicating got completely out of control. But since I have been a part of this luxury alcohol rehab, I am more motivated than ever to put the bottle down. I know that I have a long journey ahead of me, rife with obstacles, but I have never before felt so able to walk it, thanks to the luxury alcohol rehab program at Seaside Palm Beach.