My Story – Living With A Bipolar Disorder – Part 1
With this blog post, I want to put a focus on mental health, and what it is like to live with a psychiatric disorder, in my case Bipolar disorder type II. Having a bipolar disorder (or any disorder)is never fun however it is manageable, and I want to contribute to the eduction on mental health by telling my story and how I am living with a bipolar disorder.
I thought long and hard about whether or not I should write this blog post.
The truth is – just like any other person in the world – I just want to be normal.
But I am not.
My mother had me tested, and it turns out…
I am Bipolar or I have a Bipolar disorder type II.
Well, that’s not exactly right.
I have been dealing with anxiety and depression since my early teens. I passed out one day in school (my very first anxiety attack) when I was just 13 years old.
I was admitted to the hospital where they checked EVERYTHING.
My heart, lungs, stomach, everything, and the tests came back negative.
So maybe it was just a coincidence.. an accident? Maybe I was dehydrated or hadn’t had enough to eat that day?
So I went back to school thinking it was a one-time thing.
But things were different! A lot different!
I had trouble breathing when I had to go out the door and leave the house, I cried myself to sleep and even questioned WHY I WAS HERE. All this happened over the course of three months. I didn’t recognize myself. I felt different. I felt wrong, and I felt everyone else could see how different and wrong I was.
I cried ALL THE TIME.
So my mother decided to take me out of school, and things were better for a little while.
I saw a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with severe anxiety and depression and I was put on medication.
The medication didn’t help, it only made it worse, and I fell into a sort of vacuum where I couldn’t feel a thing. No emotions, nothing. Just a grey world with absolutely nothing.
My family was concerned about me not getting an education – so I was shipped off to boarding school. I managed to get my exams and came home afterward.
Maybe now I was “normal” again?
Coming home felt good – I had succeeded in getting the final exam so I could go to the next step education-wise, I started to feel good again, I was around 15 at this point.
I stopped with the medication, met a boy, everything was great for a while.
Until I started at a new school. The first day came, and I threw up on my way out the door. But I thought that if I could just meet some nice friends at this school then maybe I would feel good, and I did meet some really nice friends, but it didn’t help – my anxiety was back, and it wasn’t letting go, so I stopped at the new school after about 14 days and spend the rest of the school year in my room, crying, sleeping, thinking about what a failure I was.
I saw a shrink, she helped me deal with the anxiety and slowly I began being able to be around other people again.
Now I was 17.
I started college, it was a risk, I knew that I might not be able to complete it.
But I had to try.
It was difficult. I think I had a 60% absence in the first year. But the second year went by and I graduated – now 19 and pregnant (it was an accident, however, I have never regretted it).
I gave birth – and spend a year at home with my beautiful daughter thinking about what the next step in my life should be.
This is it for part one – I know it was kind of short, but this a very hard and personal topic for me, so I hope I can be forgiven.
The next part will be about the hardest years of my life.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post – feel free to leave a comment.
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or a disorder – remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and people WILL help you if you reach out.