This morning, I read a fellow bloggers post about her struggle and fight with depression. I was inspired by her courage and strength to share something so personal with us. She inspired me to write about my own fight with depression and bipolar disorder.
Most people who know me would never guess that I struggle with mental illnesses. People always say that I'm so bubbly and always have a smile on my face. Which is true cause that's my personality. But, those who are really close to me get to see me fall to the ground crying hard for no reason. They see me get angry for no reason. They see me in my black hole as I contemplate my worthiness of living. This is my story...
About 4 years ago, I was diagnosed and began treatment for depression. I really wasn't surprised by the diagnosis. You see, I probably have been fighting with depression since I was a young girl. Looking back at the times when I wanted to stay in bed instead of playing with friends, the mood swings from happy to anger, and the feeling of knowing something is wrong but you don't know how to go about asking for help. So needless to say, I was relived that I finally had a name and an action plan to go with what I had been dealing with alone and silently all those years.
The anti-depressant I was on seem to work some days but not others. My loving husband encouraged me to seek more medical attention, which I did. I was accepted into a mental health center where I received counseling, therapy, and a check-up with a psychiatrist. On one of my check-up visits, my psychiatrist drop a bomb on us that we weren't expecting. She diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. What? As if having depression is not enough! She explained that the emotional highs and lows that I have are common signs of someone suffering from bipolar disorder.
It took me awhile to accept this as fact. Then I started to notice the highs and lows and a light bulb went off in my head. It finally clicked! Ok, I have bipolar disorder. So what? I'm still a loving and caring person. I'm still a fun, bubbly person to be around.
I'M STILL ME!
Depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness does not define a person. Some of the strongest people I know have mental illnesses, and they have to be to combat all the negativity to surrounds mental illnesses. I will never understand why some people still feel like this topic is taboo. We sympathize and help ones that suffer with cancer or diabetes. But let some one with a mental illness ask for that and they get "crazy person" stamped to their forehead.
To everyone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness or know's someone who has, let's stay strong. Let's continue our fights one day at a time with our heads held high. I hope all of you have a loving support group to get you through as I do :)