Bipolar Disorder: My Story and My Passions

Hey guys! If you haven’t noticed, this is excitingly my first blog post for IBPF. I just thought that maybe before jumping into all the big issues, you might want to know a little about me and my relations with bipolar disorder. And I totally understand! Whenever I read a new blog, I kind of want to know a little bit about the person who’s writing so much about life.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1 in late 2014, if I am remembering correctly. It was a hard time for my family and I, as it was a bit of a shock, especially to my mother. I had been diagnosed with clinical major depression, which in my little community was pretty “acceptable.” But bipolar disorder? This was something completely different. I had no idea what that was. When my psychiatrist told my mother, she cried. Slowly though, it started to make sense. The hallucinations and delusions, the mood swings, all of it made sense. It was just hard to accept.

I changed medications, changed psychologists, because, in all honesty, the old one was just not on my wavelength. They wanted to do deep breathing exercises for sessions straight and cut my hair. And a year later, here I am.

Crazy what a year can change. I later learnt that I am a regular rapid cycler, meaning that I’m almost constantly experiencing a “high” or a “low.” I also experience psychosis, which I think was the hardest thing for my family to accept and understand. I mean, they still don’t understand, but they try to, and that’s all they really can do.

But it’s okay, because I have a lot of friends, my family whom I love and who I know love me very much, and myself. I feel like having bipolar disorder has made me realise that I am important to my own wellbeing, because no one else in the world knows how I am feeling or can understand that feeling like I can.

I have had problems with an eating disorder and self-harm, which I hope to write about in my blogs very soon, but with help and strength, I am in a place where these things do not overtake my life. I also suffer from a lot of anxiety and regular nightmares from things that have happened to me in my past, which I will also write about. Not nice things, but I hope to help others and give positive tips that will help anyone who reads my blog.

I have many coping strategies to get me through life. I take medications and go to regular appointments with my psychiatrist, psychologist, GP and school counselor. I try to do mindful meditation when I remember to, but mostly I use writing and mood charting/monitoring as controls for my mood. It’s hard to tell when I might be experiencing a certain state or a mixed mood, but looking at it on a piece of paper helps me put my feelings into perspective; and writing is great. I write a lot of poetry and prose, but also just diary entries and lists. I keep a daily diary to remember everything that I seem to forget if I don’t write them down.

I look forward to getting to know you all eventually over time, as well as getting to indulge in one of my passions — writing.

Thank you, and enjoy!

Read more of Pippa’s posts here.

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