Finding out about bipolar

The next challenge in my journey was that my psychiatrist diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder about 12 years ago (he told me the diagnosis in 2010 only when I asked him about it). It was quite confronting at first, as I was unsure what it meant. When I later found out it was a mood disorder, I understood more about it and it explained my sudden mood swings on occasion. I was prescribed lithium, which is a mood stabilizing medication which helped me to regulate sharp variations in my mood so that I could get through each day. Specifically, mania is the high mood where I felt on top of the world and depression is low mood but I never experienced severe bouts of depression.

I disclosed my bipolar to only my closest friends. Thankfully they were understanding and sympathetic as they learned what I was going through. I struggled to accept my diagnosis, however I felt encouraged after I read a book about Bipolar Disorder. It explained the symptoms, the best ways to manage my condition and how I could live a normal and productive life by setting goals and achieving them. Having healthy relationships and a good  support network is highly important to me.

I now know that anyone who has a mental illness is not defined by that illness. To say that “I’m bipolar” is inaccurate, I just happen to have Bipolar Disorder and I am managing it the best way I know how. I am in a happy place now mainly due to my faith which has given me peace and kept my feet on the ground. I feel God has truly blessed me in so many ways and I have a lot to be grateful for.  This is the light at the end of the tunnel I wrote about in my last post. My hope and prayer is that this encourages others out there who may be suffering from a mental illness.

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