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Charlie Kaplan

Staying Afloat During Depression

I have tried to write this blog countless times over the course of the past few weeks, but the words would not come. 

Come to think of it, I’ve tried to do a lot of things over the past few weeks, until eventually I just gave up, sinking into my own private despair. Putting forth the effort to clean the house, to do my coursework for graduate school on time, to shower regularly, to write – it was too much. 

Accepting My Bipolar Diagnosis

A year and a half ago, I submitted myself to a series of psychological assessments. It wasn’t my first experience with the mental health field. I’d been to treatment facilities and therapy in the past because of anorexia. But I knew something was going on, something other than my eating disorder, and I was tired of not knowing what it was. I was tired of living my life under the oppression of some unseen force dwelling in my mind. I felt so out of control and helpless. I felt like a person that always made mistakes and whose failures mounted up sky high.

Coping With Bipolar Spending

Impulsivity is a common symptom of mania, and it can present itself in different ways depending on the person. I tend to talk excessively or start new, often costly projects. I make a lot of poor decisions because I am not thinking clearly. My thoughts race, leaping from subject to subject. Excessive spending, however, is by far the most prominent symptom of impulsivity in my life. 

Carrying the Weight

Prior to my diagnosis and starting my treatment, I spent countless hours each day stuck in a cycle of worry and panic. I would ruminate, the worst moments of my life and every single mistake I've ever made surfacing in my mind and stuck in an infinite replay. This led to mental anguish and daily panic attacks, which went on for some time. It got to the point where I couldn’t leave my house, I couldn’t talk on the phone, I couldn’t do much of anything. Everything was a trigger. I did not know I was stuck in bipolar depression, along with generalized anxiety disorder.

Charlie Kaplan

My name is Charlie. I am a writer and graduate student pursuing a degree in English and creative writing. 

After living with symptoms unchecked for many years, I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 31 in 2015. I am also diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, ADHD, and generalized anxiety disorder. I live in Florida with my husband and dog.