I received my diagnosis of bipolar II three years ago when I was 43. I don’t remember completely how my psychiatrist came to her conclusion as to what ailed me. I do, however, recall that she gave me a battery of tests that I dutifully filled out. Moments later was the “voila moment” .
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My journey hasn’t been pretty; in fact it’s been like a war – a war without guns.
I've been managing my own bipolar disorder for many years now and have long been frustrated by what I call the Misery and Romance response to bipolar disorder. It's either described as the worst burden a person could ever carry or the source of his or her creative genius.
I am ridiculously open with my students about my mental health when I need to be. If there is a student who is struggling emotionally and is diagnosed or is wondering if they should seek intervention, I will tell them that I have biploar disorder, that it’s really hard sometimes, but that there is also hope that it won’t “ruin” my life. I think it’s good for them to know that you can have a mental health issue and still be a functioning member of society.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are struggling with--I say this with the deepest, most vulnerable sincerity at the bottom of my soul--I love you. I love you. And you are not alone.