Welcome! You may be wondering what led me to start blogging on my history and experience with bipolar disorder. When did I know I had bipolar? A brief history:
At fifteen, I decided to switch to private school. My junior year began with a lot of hopeful expectations to learn a Biblical worldview, but I transitioned roughly. Depression set in and soon I was seeing a psychiatrist. Shortly thereafter, I was prescribed antidepressants and my mood began to swing up. And up. I gained significant weight in the first two weeks and requested a medication change. Unfortunately, that sudden change of medications sent me into mania and psychosis. I was admitted to the nearest hospital juvenile psych unit for the longest 21 days of my life.
Those three weeks were an experience forever burned into my memory. After discharge I set out to return to school and finish my junior year in half days and out patient therapy. Fast forward eight years later and far out of the woods.
I was “healed” and felt “good enough”. Good enough to convince my therapist I never had bipolar in the first place, believing I may have just had a fluke encounter with a bad dose of medicine that may never have been necessary. My records were cleared of the diagnosis in spring of 2012 and by summer that year, my life took a turn for the worse. It was four months in and out of the hospital, a handful of combinations of medicine and many sleepless nights of sheer terror. Psychosis now choked my mind’s health and beat my sanity to a pulp.
It was something I never could have imagined, something I never wanted, and something I never would wish for anyone. Since returning to the right medicine, continuing therapy and doctor’s appointments, I have promised myself I would never forsake my medicine again. I realized there is much more value in taking two little pills down the hatch once a day, than depriving my body and mind of the right chemicals to live a whole, healthy life. Being off the right medicine is not worth it. I had to learn the hard way.
It is my hope you will learn about the signs and effects of bipolar disorder here, and gain insight into a world that exists despite the ignorance and unseen damage it does to so many. We’re alive. We are braving life with manic depression. I choose not to ignore it, I choose to embrace the healing, and I choose to expel the stigma.
Katie R. Dale