HEY! I’m Adam, a 33 yr old living with Bipolar.
My life with Bipolar
Diagnosed with ADHD when I was a child, there’s always been something different about me. I was an active kid, getting up to all sorts of nonsense, from minor vandalism and theft to smashing cars up just for the fun of it. This is all before I was 10. While I was always active and the center of attention type I also am introverted, always questioning myself afterwards and wondering why I had done the things I’d done. I would spend as much time in my room with the door locked, inside my head, questioning myself and life, wondering why I, out of all that is in this world, was born, as I would be being out with friends as the center of the party.
After a suicide attempt when I around 15 I was diagnosed with early onset depression and forced to take medication. I’ve always been a musician and thought that my musical and lyrical inspiration would be blocked by these anti depressants so I’d more often that not, not take them. This would cause a major fluctuation in my mood. My parents eventually figured out I hadn’t been taking the pills and would make sure I took them every morning before school.
This went on all through my teens but nothing in my mood really changed. I’d be up with the clouds one day, full of energy, inspiration and excitement then down with suicidal ideation and major low mood the next. It wasn’t until I was about 22 that I was forced into a rehab clinic for another suicide attempt. I’d gotten into cutting myself as a way to explain to myself the pain I was feeling. I’d feel like shit and hate myself and get caught in this loop and I couldn’t explain why I felt the way I did, so then cutting myself and seeing the blood and feeling the pain would give me something to fixate the pain on. I don’t recommend it, but it works.
Anyway, it was after an episode of this where I nicked a vein and ended up with 12 stitches in my wrist. I was held at the hospital and wasn’t allowed to leave. They don’t exactly lock you up and throw away the key like in the movies, but if you do leave, the hospital just calls the police and they come and get you again. I know. I’ve tried. While I was seeing a psychiatrist in the rehab I was re-evaluated and told I had schizophrenia. Man, I didn’t know what to think, I’ve always kind of heard voices in my head, but it was always my own voice telling myself to hurt myself or that I wasn’t worth anything at all, I didn’t think I had schizophrenia. They put me on these meds that completely zoned me out anyway, I literally can’t remember most of my time there.
Cut to me leaving the rehab, I am calm, sedated as fuck and not hurting myself or anyone else so I was a free man again. I started seeing a new psychiatrist. This one I liked. At this point I’d probably been through 10 different psychiatrists and I wouldn’t even hazard a guess at how many psychologists. So finding one that I felt comfortable enough to actually open up to was a new and scary thing at first. I don’t know if I trusted him more because he listened, as opposed to just feeding me pills, or if it was the fact that one of the first things he did was take me off those damn meds the rehab clinic had put me on and told me I didn’t have schizophrenia
After a few sessions he diagnosed me with Bipolar Effective Disorder Type 1, a sickness that fluctuates your mood from major highs to major lows. Everything he said about it made such sense that it was like looking in the mirror with words. He got me on the right type of mood stabilizers to try to level me out a bit, and though I still have my ups and downs like always, I never go quite as high or quite as low as before.
What goes up, must come down
Bipolar disorder is a condition where people experience extreme moods. It was previously known as ‘manic depression’.
People with bipolar disorder experience periods or ‘episodes’ of:
- extreme lows, or depression – where they feel very low and lethargic
- extreme highs, or mania – where they feel very high and overactive (less severe mania is known as ‘hypomania’)
The feeling of being diagnosed is not a fun one but at the same time I felt a sense of relief. Knowing what I had made it easier to deal with as I could now look for solutions to counteract the sickness.
Now I know I’m not the only person with bipolar, it doesn’t make it any less easy to deal with. I know I’m not the only one with a mental health condition, it doesn’t make it any less easy to deal with. But I do know that one of the best things for me to deal with it is to help other people deal with it. I’ve found that personal development is one of the greatest ways to tackle bipolar. Trying different approaches to better yourself gives you an influx of endorphins and serotonin which boost your mood and help you to deal with those bad days. The good days are fine, just the fear that you’re going to fall is there in the back of your mind, even though like I said, it’s nowhere near as bad as it was.
My goal with this site is to help other people like me, you could have bipolar, you could have a mental health condition, you could be healthy and just want to better yourself. I want this to be a resource for anyone who wants to make a change in their life. To become who they always wanted to be, to strive for the greatness that is hiding in each and every one of us and to tackle all the shit that life throws at us together. Because together we can make a difference. To each other, and to ourselves.
If you ever need help or have any questions, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.