Something I am Proud Of:
I’m proud of my overall journey; I have come a long way since my proper diagnosis at age 28 (four years ago), and even further since struggling with severe depression throughout my late teens and into my early 20s. I spent the majority of my twenties struggling with what was being improperly diagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD). Finally, at age 28, I was able to see a psychiatric professional who diagnosed me with the correct diagnosis: bipolar II disorder. Up until that point, I didn’t even know there were multiple types of bipolar disorders. From that moment forward, I made sure to educate myself and others on bipolar II disorder, and I’ve learned how to manage the ebbs and flows of the disorder. I hope that moving forward, I can continue to spread awareness and help others who may be struggling with mental health.
Advice for Newly Diagnosed:
Take some time to let yourself process it. It’s a lot, especially if you’re in a situation similar to mine (according to my former psychiatric nurse practitioner, BPII is frequently misdiagnosed as MDD!). Know that the label is helpful — it certainly answered a lot of my questions — but that it does not define you. Educate yourself and your loved ones as best as you possibly can. Remember that you can live and even thrive with any type of bipolar disorder; it’s just a matter of giving yourself time and space to figure it out.