On Being Diagnosed

Finally I have an answer to the perturbing story that has unfolded before me this past year. I’ve been diagnosed as bipolar. I had a suspicion–all along–since my first psychosis–that I was not normal and that this was going to be a long and challenging battle. And it is. I’m going to have to continue to take medication for the rest of my life. I’m going to have to go  to therapy regularly. But thankfully, I am not alone. I have the support of my family, friends, and psychiatrist. 

What people don’t know about bipolar disorder is that it isn’t just mood swings, it isn’t that actually. It’s periods of mania followed by periods of depression. But mania can last months, actually. If bipolar isn’t taken care of a manic episode can turn into psychosis. That happened to me twice, in just one year. At first, I was open to taking medication but I angrily refused it months later, before I was diagnosed. This is what led to my second and hopefully last psychosis about two months ago. Now I am medicated and stable and I have to thank God for allowing me the opportunity of belonging to a privileged family that can afford to support my treatment. What I have to say to people diagnosed or those not diagnosed but perhaps struggling with another disorder is that it’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. And yes, it’s hard-but we can do it! We can become examples of mental health by taking care of ourselves and motivating others to do the same.

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