So You’ve Been Diagnosed Bipolar…

| 09/01/2016 | 2 Comments More
What is Bipolar?

What is Bipolar?

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar is the term for a mental illness in which the sufferer alternates between states of manic euphoria and deep depression. This cycle tends to repeat itself and can do so over the course of years, or within a few weeks or days.

How I Felt When I Was Diagnosed.

I felt… Crushed. Like someone had just driven a truck over me. I had been mis-diagnosed as depressed a few months before, and I had been okay with that diagnosis. At least I had felt like it gave me some answers. But when I found out what I had was actually Bipolar 2 I had a whole new set of questions to be answered. Was I going crazy? Was I safe around people? Would I go “off the deep end”? Would we be able to find a treatment that worked for me? Would I ever be better? Questions like that rattled around inside my head.

What My Diagnosis Means To Me Now.

Now that I’ve gotten some answers and learned some coping techniques, I’m okay with my diagnosis. I’ve been able to accept its going to be part of who I am perhaps for the rest of my life. I also have found treatment that seems to be working for me. I feel stable. I’ve gotten to the point I want to tell others about what I’ve learned.

Why I Want To Talk About My Diagnosis.

There is so much people in general don’t know about mental illnesses. And they need to know, because chances are they regularly associate with someone who has a mental illness. These types of illnesses are becoming increasingly common. But for some reason there is still lots of stigma attached to mental illness. People think Bipolar is synonymous with crazy. But that’s not necessarily the case.

How To Tell Your Friends/Loved Ones You Are Bipolar/Depressed/Etc.

This is a tricky one. I am blessed with family and friends who care deeply about my well being. I found most of them were not as hard to tell as I had imagined. I usually waited until they asked me how I had been doing and I’d say something like, “I’m doing better. Did I tell you I was diagnosed Bipolar?” And they would look all concerned and say “No! When did this happen?” Or something like that. But that would give me an opportunity to tell them a little bit about what bipolar means for me. Wait until a time when you are both relaxed and it’s easier to talk.

How Telling Others About Your Diagnosis Can Help You.

Having a support system is so important, even if your illness is well-managed. You don’t have to tell everyone you meet, but your close family and friends should know. You should also educate them on your illness and how you act if/when you feel very depressed, manic, or suicidal. Leave the lines of communication open and listen to them if they say you need to get professional help. Sometimes, especially if you are severely depressed or manic, you may not be an accurate judge. So decide in advance who you can trust to make that call.

What Are The Unpleasant Side Effects Of Telling Others?

Some people may think you’re crazy at first. Because of the stigma and misinformation that abounds, they may view your diagnosis negatively. Be patient with them and try to educate them at every opportunity.

The Importance Of Educating People.

This cannot be over-emphasized. Especially the people closest to you, your partner, parents, or best friends, should know your diagnosis and warning signs to look for.

How Can You Educate Them?

I used a Pinterest board and invited my close friends and family to join it. Then I looked up different pins about Bipolar and pinned them to that board.(A word of caution, make sure you actually follow the pins through to their final destination and read the material to make sure it is accurate and relevant.) Alternately, you could find a good book about your mental illness and ask them to read it, or just have a nice talk with them and explain more about your illness.

I hope this helps at least some of you! Feel free to ask any questions and check back for more posts!

by Megan Foster – Mental Health Blogger.


Twitter: @Miss_Meggie_E

Tags: , ,

Category: Mental Health

Comments (2)

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  1. Sharon Wells says:

    Meg, this was well written. I must say this, many of us need to be educated more about mental illnesses, of all sorts. I should be first in line. I know my picture of a person who is bipolar is far distant from the beautiful young woman I know. I will check out your Pinterest board, to educate myself more fully. In truth, my thoughts on a person with this diagnosis would be in direct opposition of who I know you to be. Not only are you beautiful on the outside, you are even more so in reality. Truly, what little I know of this diagnosis, my friend, I’d fit the profile long before you.
    Although my heart hurts to hear of you dealing with this medical issue, I applaud you for being brave enough to stand up and say you have a condition you certainly didn’t ask for, yet, here it is, and you are facing it head on. I’m here, should you ever need me, or just want to chat you know my number…Don’t let this condition define who you are, no more than if it had been a brain tumor.

    • Megan E says:

      Thank you Sharon! Most people I tell that I have Bipolar say I am one of the last people they would have guessed. That’s why I want to educate people- it’s so easy to miss and not understand.

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