This post is inspired by Amy at New Nostalgia who wrote about her anxiety disorder since May is Mental awareness month.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar in the spring of last year. For years I was struggling with depressions and some periods where I felt on top of the world as I would describe it. I managed for years and had long periods where I felt fine too. A few times did I ask for help. Once when I was a teen I was so depressed that I asked for help, but by the time I got to see a therapist I was fine again and the therapist told me I had nothing there to do. Then again when I was living in the US and my therapist there diagnosed me with depression and treated that without medicine and as soon as I felt better she let me go.
Spring of last year I got sick again with a deep depression and I had to ask for help. I got to talk to a psychologist who took me seriously and who didn't just dismiss me when I started to feel better. I was medicated with an antidepressant, but these medicines has a tendency to trigger periods of mani or highs as I call it. My psychologist got to observe this and listening to me tell how I all my life had had ups ending in downs he diagnosed me with bipolar.
I stopped the antidepressants and after swinging a lot unmedicated I finally got to try some medicine for treating bipolar. One medicine made me so sick that this year I felt that I missed out on January and February by being both depressed and sick because of side effects. Right now I am on a medicine that works but I have two psychologists keeping track of my medicine and the effect I am having of them to see if I need more or a different medicine.
We are also treating some other issues I have with anxiety and social phobia. It feels good to finally get things sorted out and to feel a little bit more normal.
This winter and spring I have attended a class for Bipolar where we learn to live with our diagnosis. It is nice to be able to talk to others with the same diagnose and finally feel that we are somewhat normal in all our ups and downs.
Things that we have learned so far is that stress is bad for us (knew that), having a regular schedule is important both to not take on too much in manic periods and not to go into apathy in depressive periods (that is a little hard to do for me at least), and there are more but most important is to ask for help from family and friends (easy since I have been open about this from the beginning).
I am learning to live with my Bipolar self and my family is learning to help me. The world is finally understanding mental illnesses more and more and you can find help.
Life is finally good in it ups and downs.
This is why Mental awareness is important to me.