When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was not told directly of my diagnosis. I actually overheard the doctors talking and I asked them “Is this what is wrong with me?”. They mentioned to me that I was not supposed to hear this, but “Yes, you have Bipolar Disorder Type 1.” Their excuse for not telling we was they wanted me on medication and stabilized so I could handle the news.
I was furious about the fact that I could potentially be forced to take medication I knew nothing about. They weren’t even aware of my other health problem and were going to stick me on a mood stabilizer that would have it made it worse. I was 22-year-old productive member society, college graduate yet in that office. Yet I felt reduce to a 3-year-old child with not choice or say in my health. I demand that I be told everything about the medication and will try them as long they are safe for my other health problem. They were happy with that so I evaded forced medication.
A month before my 22nd Birthday in June 2012, I had a psychotic break. It was before a three-week trip aboard. I went on the trip and it was hard but glad I went with my loved ones. However, on the return of trip the medication given was not strong enough and I was still experiencing psychosis. I wasn’t able to tell reality from hallucinations. It was scary, I was so confused and fearful I had schizophrenia at the same time.
Eventually I went on powerful anti-psychotic and it stop and luckily never returned. In September 2012, I was finally starting to feel normal. M maybe it just brief psychotic disorder nothing long-term, was wrong. I was in shock, me bipolar? But I don’t fit the bill?
The Shock and Anger Was Powerful
Later on I learned actually just recently that PTSD is my main issue with minor form of bipolar disorder, however that is another post. I was devastated everything I read on bipolar was that people with it was crazy? But I wasn’t ? I was just trying to pick up the pieces from an abusive relationship, getting ready to move to Europe and working.
This mental illness manifested without warning and later we learned it stemmed from the day my ex threaten to harm me and show up at my house after a break up. I eventually learned that bipolar did not equal crazy in fact quite the opposite. However the shock and anger I felt was powerful.
Why was this happening ?
I was angry. Confused. No one mentioned what bipolar actually was just told me you need to take this horrible medication for life and should abandon your plans for Europe. You won’t be able to thrive there because of your illness.
I was devastated, confused and angry.
Anger was the strongest emotion I felt. Angry at my ex for being so callous with me, at my body for being born this way, the healthcare system for treating me like an idiot. I felt anger at the friends and family who were angry with me or thinking I was doing this for attention.
Life Will Still Be Okay
The fact it happened before I moved and I left all my jobs and the fact now at 22 I had a new set of problems that many 22-year-old don’t have to deal with. How was I going to get back to life? I did, get back to life so it possible (that is another blog post).
The emotions were real, the shame and the hurt, will always be there in at level and is fuel for my desire to help others facing similar challenges. Now, I am here learning professionally about mental illness to help others. This blog is here to say I understand. Its okay to feel your emotions about being diagnosed with a mental illness and you will be just fine. Life will still be okay and you find your own inner strength to thrive.
I will tell you how, stay tuned for a continuation of this blog post!
Thanks for reading,