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Living with bipolar disorder

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My name is Cheyenne. I’m 17, and when I was 15 I was diagnosed with mild bipolar disorder. Things that come with the territory of being bipolar are depression, anxiety of all kinds, manic behavior and, sometimes, hallucinations.  Sadly, I have all of these.

I first started hallucinating after my grandfather died when I was 9. We were very close. As an internal “coping” skill, my brain formed gnomes; little people who hid in obvious places and let me know I was not alone. About two years ago, the gnomes’ faces changed from a blank stare to an angry menacing face. They didn’t speak; they just sat there staring at me.  When I was put on anti-depressants, they stopped looking so angry and went back to the way they had been.

Manic behavior is another big one. A lot of people think that one second you’re happy and the next you’re sad. It doesn’t work like that. For two or three days you could be happy.  Then you wake up, and you’re sad or angry. It really sucks when everyone else’s feelings are based on what’s happening that day while yours are based on how much hormone your brain is secreting.

Anxiety is a definite thing that comes with bipolar disorder. Social anxiety meaning you’re scared to meet people or speak out loud, forever in a shell. Sometimes you’re even afraid to leave your house. Even I get this way. And, of course, depression comes with it.  Depression is actually what “triggers” bipolar disorder.  I am now on medication. If you get put on it, then you need to take it at the same time every day. It’s not something you miss.  It’s extremely important that you take it regularly.

Sometimes, like with any mental illness, you have break downs. I have had three major ones.  During a breakdown, you cry for no reason, and you can’t breathe. Also, when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand, it can become worse.

But you’re not alone. You’re never alone. There are places and people and friends who know how you feel and you might not even know it. Don’t give up. This is just practice for the real world, and not everyone goes through it. So, it makes you that much stronger than everyone else.

If you’re reading this, you’re loved. And you’re not alone.

Where to Next?

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

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    unbrokenlovatic

    Hi I have had the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder since I was 16 and 17 years old I’m now 18 years old and freshman in college and I’m having manic episodes every day every week and every month and I’ve had enough. I made the brave decision today despite my fear of stigma to get an appointment to see the on campus psychiatrist to get closer to a diagnosis. I have to wait to see the psychiatrist until January though and I’m afraid I’ll have more manic episodes and an emotional breakdown before that. :(

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi unbrokenlovatic. Congratulations on taking that big step towards getting help. It takes a lot of strength and courage to take that first step. We wish you all the best on your journey. As for your concern, do you have someone you could talk to sooner? Someone you can call if you feel yourself slipping? If you feel you can’t talk to your parents, friend, or other trusted adult, you could call the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. It’s free, confidential, available 24/7, and not just for boys.

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    amaka

    a little scary being the frist to comment i wish i would have
    read this yesterday befor i blew a head case on the friends
    i do have huh well amazing not just saying it

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Thanks for your comment amaka. Sometimes, our emotions are easier to control than others. Try talking to your friends what you’re going through, this fact sheet has some good tips on getting the message across to your friends
      You may want to check out this fact sheet for tips on managing anger
      Remember, you are not alone!
      Reach Out Crew

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