My Mental Health Story

My Mental Health Story

Hi lovelies!

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a little while and figured it was a good way to get to know me better. I know I have a biography posted but it doesn’t really go into detail about my mental health journey. So, in order to be totally transparent with you guys, I figured I would write a blog post about it.

For 10 very long years, I suffered in silence. Part of me figured it was standard teenager stuff – sleeping a lot, being depressed, questioning my existence and wondering why I bothered being alive. I didn’t realize that there may be more to the story until I started seeing a councilor after my dad left my mom and I. I was 14, almost 15. The first session I had, they made me feel out a mood disorder questionnaire. Upon review, the councilor said she was concerned about my results and that she believed I may have bipolar disorder. The only problem? A confirmed diagnosis cannot be given until you are older and the teenage hormones have left your system, otherwise the results can be inaccurate. As well, most medications for bipolar patients can have an undesired effect to anyone under the age of 24. So, I suffered. I tried to deal with it as best as I could on my own. Sadly for me, my way of dealing with it was binge eating during depressive episodes and alcohol abuse.

I was hesitant to go to therapy, as I had tried different councilors and found that it was not very helpful for me. They never wanted to talk about mental illness, only outside factors that could be causing depression. Finally, when I was 24, I found the most amazing family doctor I could ever ask for. For once, someone was taking my claim of bipolar disorder seriously. It was such a relief. After starting medication, he recommended that I see a psychologist as opposed to a standard councilor. He explained it’s usually better in cases like myself because they deal with mental illness more specifically, as well as the general outside factors. I was still hesitant, but I knew I had to try. In comes the best person to enter my life in a long while – Meghan. I cannot say enough good things about my psychologist you guys, for real. She’s changed my life and my outlook in so many amazing ways. I used to be so embarrassed of my mental illness. And furthermore, I was angry. I didn’t realize just how angry until one of our first sessions together. I started crying and said “It’s just not fair. Why me? What did I do to deserve having to live an abnormal life?” I still am angry sometimes, but I’m working on it. There’s just so many questions that run through your mind. Why can’t I be normal? It’s not fair that I have to be on medication for the rest of my life. Everyone else gets to live their life without worrying about depressive or manic episodes. They don’t have to mood track every day. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I act like I’m really tough and that I have no issues with my mental illness. And for the most part, I have come to terms with it. But some days are still really hard. Even with medication, I go through some highs and lows. They may not be as intense as they once were, but they’re there.

And just when I thought I had come to terms, the day of my psychiatric evaluation had come. I was finally going to get a confirmed diagnosis for whatever was going on with me. Me, my doctor, and my psychologist knew what the outcome would be, but once he uttered the words “I’m diagnosing bipolar type II disorder”, I think I blacked out for a minute. I felt numb and confused. This is what I had been waiting for, it’s not like it was a surprise. But for some reason, my body just shut down. I remember calling my husband and not really knowing what to say to him. I was ashamed. It felt like it was finally confirmed that I was a freak.

After a short adjustment period, I learned to live with it. It will never be easy – nothing in my life will be. That’s just the hand I’ve been dealt I guess. But I knew there was at least something I could do. I could be a voice for those too scared to speak up. I could use my website as a platform for discussing the uncomfortable parts of mental illness. I always say to my friends to never be ashamed of who they are and what life has thrown at them. So why can’t I be the same? Why can’t I be proud of who I am and how far I’ve come? I was the only one holding myself back. And I’m done with that. I won’t let my mental illness define me or shame me. And neither should you lovelies..

One Reply to “My Mental Health Story”

  1. Wow, girl. I said today that you’re a kick-ass person and I hadn’t even read this yet. I stand by my declaration.

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