Living with Bipolar Disorder | NAMI

Living with Bipolar Disorder

By Katy Anonymous

I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 14. I was in my freshman year in high school and wound up feeling very depressed. I had no idea what was going on. My doctor was no help and asked all the wrong questions. I was not pregnant or taking drugs. Every day was a struggle to get out of bed and go to school. I didn’t feel like doing anything anymore and lost interest in everything I loved to do. I eventually found a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with bipolar disorder.

The meds worked for a while. I came around and got back to doing well at school but when it came around to my senior year I had a different feeling. I was manic and felt very high and free. I had fast speech and thought I could do anything. I ran away from home one night and thankfully did something so the police found me and brought me home. I had boundless energy and could stay awake many days and nights. I had to be put on different meds. I graduated from high school barely and made it into community college where I thrived and made the honor roll then I transferred to a state university where I also made the honor roll and had a job at a day care.

After five years of college I was almost set to get my bachelors in education and an art degree. I had been dating someone from another country and was not really feeling like myself again. I was having another manic episode. A few weeks later my finals were over I found out I was pregnant. I called my psychiatrist and was put on medication which I call the zombie drug. It made me tired all the time.

My family was scared and I was scared for myself and my baby. I was in and out of psych wards when I was pregnant. Thank goodness, I had a healthy baby. I got married and went through an awful divorce with my baby’s father. I went through another bad stay at a psych hospital and was very manic. With the support of my mom and going into therapy and back to my psychiatrist I was able to get stable again in time to appear at my court hearing.

There were several other manic episodes throughout my life. I am 38 now and every day is a struggle. I get psychotic manic episodes it seems about every six years now. Every year it happens, it slows down my life and is hard to pull myself back up.

I am thankful for my 16-year-old son, my family, my friends, my therapist and my same psychiatrist I have had since I was 14. I am thankful that they have stayed with me and provided me with the guidance, love and support that I needed to get back on my feet many times. I am not scared of fighting back against my mental health condition. It made me the strong person that I am today. Living with bipolar disorder doesn’t make me a bad person. It makes me a more educated and knowledgeable person. I have more empathy also to those with a mental illness. It’s a rough life and the struggle is real. I will just live everyday grateful for the support I have and grateful that I am still alive.


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