... first assistant. I have been doing hearts for the last 22 years. I have never missed a call, day or night in all of those years. I had a series of major life events the last 2 years of my practice. My mother died, a few months later the Doctor I started this heart group with suddenly died at 45. I had a 6 day malpractice trial (we won) but it took a great part of me away. We hired 2 new heart surgeons just before the previous doctor died. They helped each other, and I had helped the doctor that died.. After he died I had to help the other 2 doctors. We operated all over town, at all the major hospitals. My work load was tremendous. I would close a patient at one hospital then rush across town and start another. I had started using Hydrocodne daily 5 years before all of this happened. Not much at first, Of course I started doing more and more. It made me feel great and I could work all those long hours. It had a reverse effect on me, I was more focused and re leaved much of my stress. I used the internet to obtain my pills. One night after a case I just threw a big fit, told them all to kiss my ass, and abruptly quit the group. That was the beginning of my journey of the psychiatric world. I started using cocaine, Valium, alcohol, along with the Hydrocodone. I made a very good attempt at suicide. In a coma for 5 days on a ventilator, transferred to a mental hospital,31 days, and came out with a diagnosis of Bi-Polar 2. and a whole collection of medication. I lost my State License, haven't worked in over 3 years. I have been taking all of these medications with out question. You would think me being in the medical field for 30+ years I would know better. I am just a former shell of the person I used to be. Due to all these SSRI's and a number of other drugs I have lost interest in every thing, sex, live music I have lost all contact with all of my friends and almost never leave the house. Finally my question. I don't know how I could be a true Bi-Polar person and First assist heart surgery for the last 22 years. on call 24-7. I was on staff at all the major hospitals in good standing. My Mother suffered from depression in the 50's, well most of her life. I have always been a type "A" personality, very active, artistic, and out going. What the Hell happened to me. I truly do not know if I am Bi-Polar or not. At present I am trying to ween off all of these horrible drugs, and start on Wellbutrin, I hope this will being ME back. They have me on some(off Label) drugs as well. Little did I know getting off of these drugs may have some life threatening and severe side effects some may be long lasting and even permanent. If I had not found this great group of caring people I don't know where I would be. I have only been here a few days and I have all ready received so much hope and strength. Thank you all. I am going to get better.