My name is Rae-Ann. I am 48 years old. I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar 1 when I was 27 years old, after over 10 years of struggle. For the last 32 years, I have endured many episodes, both depressive and manic.
I now refer to myself as a "responsible" person who is living with Bipolar. I take my medications regularly, see my psychiatrist on a regular basis, see a therapist monthly, as well as use life skills that I have been taught by my medical professionals.
Although I put my best effort into doing everything I am supposed to do, it is not a cure all. I was recently approved for Social Security Disability. The "Fully Favorable Decision" quoted me as testifying that, "Managing this disorder is a full-time job."
It took a very long time to get where I am today (e.g., getting over the denial, learning from hard lessons, friendships strained, family disappointment, lost relationships, etc.), but I am proud to be me!