Bipolar Disorder by David

It all started for me from being in situations which would put me under a lot of pressure. I would become elated, confused and paranoid. Things which I could do before became harder to achieve. I would set my personal goals and standards up so high that before I reached them I would have a break down.

During College I went to America for a summer and while I was there I worked long hours in a labour intensive job. I worked 12 hour shifts. This eventually caught up to me and one night when I was trying to sleep I thought I heard noises outside and thought someone was trying to break in. As the night drew on I had become so confused. I thought I was being possessed by evil spirits. I didn’t sleep that night and started the morning as if nothing had happened. I was losing my mental health but I was the last person to know it.

Because I couldn’t see the signs of myself slipping I was unable to prevent my breakdown. People around me were unaware because I hid as much as I could. Eventually a lot more people started to see as it became more obvious. I began laughing out of place and making strange gestures and facial expressions. My family were hurt by this very much as they tried to get me to go to hospital. I refused and the doctors could not commit me unless I was a harm to myself or to others. This was a horrible scenario especially for my family. Eventually I did decide to go to hospital.

At first I denied the fact that anything was wrong with me. No one wants to admit they have faults. Eventually after not taking my medication and being hospitalised again, I grew to accept my illness. I matured as a person with Bi-Polar. Everything seemed a lot clearer after that. I became a healthier person physically and mentally with the help of a good lifestyle and compliance with medication.

After hospital I started attending my local GROW Mental Health support group. I found it useful to talk about the problems I was dealing with other people. I have even gone back into hospital to tell my story at an information session for patients.

Now I am not as scared as I was before. I am more open about myself and my feelings. I don’t hide from the truth and I discuss my problems with the right people. I discuss my difficulties openly with medical staff. I take my medication regularly. I listen to people’s views on my health but have learnt over time that althoughall are caring comments only few are right. I listen to myself first and seek guidance and support when needed. I am able to identify early symptoms now and act accordingly.

David's Tips

#1
Sometimes you can't trust all your thoughts and emotions no matter how real they seem - go by what you know, if in doubt ask for advice
#2
Talk openly with the right people
#3
Take your medication if your doctor prescribes it. Without medication you might slip into your own world
#4
Try and keep a positive attitude – things will improve slowly but surely with help and support
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