Something I am Proud of:

Growing up, I was ambitious and had big dreams for myself. When I was diagnosed with bipolar at 19, I thought my life was over. Over time, I learned that stringing together moments of stability and joy was one way of building a meaningful life with bipolar disorder. My life has been turbulent since my diagnosis. But I am proud that I have still reached many of my goals despite setbacks. I have seized every moment of stability and made the most of it. Thanks to my experience managing bipolar, I’m a better advocate and writer, and I’m currently pursuing my master’s in public mental health.

Advice for Newly Diagnosed:

Find a psychiatrist and a therapist you trust, and listen to them. Make it a priority to manage any comorbidities that could be exacerbating your bipolar disorder. Be kind to yourself if your ability to function is limited during mood episodes. Seek support from your loved ones. Prioritize sleep. Look up support groups — finding community among people who understand can be helpful. Remember that bipolar can be a part of your life, but it doesn’t have to define you. And finally, cherish the small victories and the periods when you are well! The turbulence doesn’t last forever.

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