Honest Talk about Life with Bipolar Disorder – someone has to tell the truth! Straight Talk on Managing Bipolar Disorder

by Julie A. Fast https://www.bipolarhappens.com/bhblog/honest-talk-about-life-with-bipolar-disorder-someone-has-to-tell-the-truth/

I had one year when I was 21 that I remember being rather stable. After that time, I do recall a few months or maybe half a year where I simply got on with life without being in a mood swing. Overall, I was in contact flux. I called it GOING THROUGH CHANGES as I had zero concept of #bipolar disorder until my then partner Ivan was diagnosed with bipolar one in 1994.

I was diagnosed at age 31 and put on a variety of anti depressants that greatly increased my already serious rapid cycling bipolar disorder. I wrote my Health Cards in 1997 in order to save my life. Meds were never a full option for me due to side effects. I take some meds now and wish I had more relief from meds. I would take more if I could.

Since 2002, I have had one long stability. It was 35 days. Stability means that I am not manic or depressed.

This means that in 16 years, I have had just one month of feeling like a regular person. It is as bound as it sounds. It is hell.

We need to talk more openly about the serious nature of bipolar disorder.

My first psychotic symptoms were at 16. Hypomania at 17 and 18 and then a full on psychotic, suicidal depression at 19. I have a genetic illness that affects every waking moment. I can stay positive and I can always look on the bright side of life and see that many things in my life are good and always have been, but overall, this is hell.

Talking about bipolar openly will save lives. I believe we need to let people know that bipolar is serious and dangerous.

It’s no different than insulin dependent diabetes. It can kill use if we are not careful. If we are careful, we can have wonderful lives.

I don’t feel we take our illness seriously enough. We focus so much on stigma and making sure that people talk nicely about the mentally ill that we have lost our way. I have a serious mental illness. It prevents me from doing what others can do with ease. It prevents me from working full time. It prevents me from traveling the world like I want and it prevents me from writing books in the way I want to write book.

Let’s talk more openly about what life is really like with bipolar and at the same time talk about what we are doing to create the best lives possible despite having this diagnosis. That is always my goal. I have a GREAT life in many ways, but this doesn’t take away the incredibly difficult life I live almost daily due to this illness.

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