observing life

My Story: Experiments In Living

Katie Dale’s journey into adulthood

By Jennifer Goforth Gregory

As activity director at a senior residential facility, Katie Dale spends her day interacting with people struggling with dementia. When one of the residents was worried that her husband was stuck at home alone, Dale patiently promised to check on his well-being—although she knew the woman was a widow.

It wasn’t training or work experience that gave Dale the empathy to calm the woman and get her engaged in the weekly bingo game. Instead, Dale credits her own journey with bipolar disorder.

“I understood her because I know how altered realities can be believable in a psychotic frame of mind,” says Dale, who is 29. “I also feel like I ‘get’ them because my brain felt scrambled a lot in manic psychosis and on minimum sleep.”

Dale was diagnosed with bipolar I at age 16 after being hospitalized during a manic episode. She spent her 20s learning to manage her brain-based chronic illness at a time when she was still figuring out a lot about who she was and experimenting with how to establish herself as an adult… continue reading at bphope.com.

  • A special thanks to bp Magazine, Joanne Doan and Jennifer Goforth Gregory in making this article happen!

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