Hey, so it’s been brought to my attention that it’s World Bipolar Day, and I think I’m going to do this questionnaire that I found on a follower’s site. So, without further ado, here we go.
1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?
Bipolar disorder means that you are a creative individual that has ups and downs that are more extreme than others. That’s all it means to me, to be honest.
2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder?
It was one big blur of emotions. I was boy-crazy, extremely high with the mania and extremely low with the depression. There was a time where I was seriously contemplating suicide, but I obviously never did it. I had no support system, so I was basically on my own at that point. I was a poor judge of character and situations. I thought I could do anything or nothing; there was no in between. That’s all I remember.
3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?
I was 18 when I was diagnosed, but didn’t find out until near my 19th birthday. (Stupid nurse with his stupid brain.)
4. How do you manage your symptoms?
I try keeping a schedule now that I’ve learned that it’s a treatment to help bipolar disorder. It seems to be working, and I like keeping a schedule. I also take abilify. It’s proven to not only help my psychotic symptoms, but it helps manage my ups and downs.
5. What is life like for you now?
Life is grand! I have the most amazing boyfriend that supports me and isn’t afraid of my illness (probably have stated this before, but he is also bipolar) and everything has settled down. I can function without being boy-crazy. I can think. I can feel emotions and then let them go. There’s so many things that are a positive to my life.
6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?
Yes, it has, but it’s done that for the better. I told my friends about it, and they’ve pulled me aside and said “I have that too.” We’ve bonded over having bipolar disorder, and we’ve confirmed that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s like going to the doctor for having a broken arm: there’s some wounds that need healing and you need some attention brought to that injury and you need to fix it. It’s also affected my schoolwork, and that makes me work well under pressure. When it was midterm week, I was manic. I aced everything given at me, and it was a wonderful feeling. It’s like I can “throw myself” into manic episodes and it can be handy.
7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?
To put it in a blunt way, society treats those with mental disorders like crap. (I censored myself there, but you get the point.) They expect us to lose our tempers rather quickly and they think we’ll throw things at people and can’t control our emotions. It stinks. I don’t like it, and I really don’t think other people like it.
8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?
Yes, I believe I do. My mother refuses to believe that I have bipolar disorder because I don’t “act bipolar.” I need a mood stabilizer (she’ll agree to that) but I “am not bipolar.” I am kind of looked down upon and had to lie to various doctors because I can’t say the B-Word in front of my mom.
It’s a bummer, but I can manage.
9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?
I know this sounds cliche, but stay strong. It’s hard. God knows I’ve been there, and I’ve self-harmed, I’ve hated myself, I’ve bashed myself… But I stayed strong.
Look at where I am today. Everything is right with my world, and you know what? You could be the same way in 5 years. You don’t know. I have the scars to prove that I’ve struggled, but who doesn’t in this lifetime…?
Sweetie, things will be alright, so Stay Strong.