The Diagnosis That Saved My Mental Health

Kelly Tompkins
6 min readFeb 28, 2022

Everything started to finally make sense.

Photo by Matthias Oberholzer on Unsplash

The year 2021 could also be known as “That time I went to a Psychiatrist for ADHD but left with a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis” but that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue does it?

After a year of relating a little too hard to ADHD memes on the internet and wondering, is this not how everyone thinks? I finally decided to reach out to a Psychiatrist to get tested or at the very least, start a conversation on me having ADHD. When I found one, we started talking, and soon, he started going deeper into a line of questioning that I realized wasn’t about ADHD at all.

It came as a surprise when the psychiatrist suggested the possibility of Bipolar Disorder but honestly, it wasn’t the first time a doctor had brought it up so it shouldn’t have been.

But it took 9 years to get to this point. I’m laying out this timeline only because if you’re like me, and this might be a possibility, it took my mental health from being something I struggled to manage at times, to being manageable and gave me hope.

Note: There is talk of suicidal ideation, so consider this your warning.

The Depression Medication Roller coaster

I’ve always known I’ve had depression, I just never had the funds nor the time to seek help for it.

In 2012, I didn’t have the funds for an actual Psychiatrist, so I started going to a clinic. The clinic’s methods weren’t bad but they weren’t great. You filled out a questionnaire and they’d ask you a few questions directly afterwards. I was diagnosed with a severe case of depression and was given Zoloft.

Zoloft worked, until I realized it wasn’t.

And that’s when I started what I’ve lovingly called the depression medication roller coaster. Zoloft may have been the first medication I tried, but it wasn’t the last.

My first medication induced mania

At the time I didn’t realize this was mania but now that I look back, it was. And it was intense.

Zoloft took about 3–4 weeks to officially start working and when it did, I loved it. I stopped needing midday naps and it felt…

Kelly Tompkins

Austin,Texas sober girl. Lover of horror movies, cats, and fitness. Occasional bad poet.