Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder three semesters before you are supposed to graduate with a bachelor in psychology and neuroscience was not written in my life plan. In fact having a mental illness and anything that would stop me from pursuing my dream of becoming a doctor or a therapist was not in my life plan.
I thought everything was going great with my life because no one told me anything was wrong. I didn’t party almost any, no drugs, one could ask my friends and they most likely would say I was in the library too much. I was married to my schoolwork. I always thought people who partied all the time were the ones with psychological problems, or at least the ones that had a higher probability of having something like bipolar disorder. I thought since I was a quiet and shy individual that mental illness would never touch me, despite the fact that my birth mother had bipolar disorder.
Half way through the summer before my sophomore year of college I started to realize I was doing certain things that were unusual and not me. I started to see a reality that was more than spectacular, but a reality that I knew did not exist, and could never exist, but at the same time I refused to believe it. The pull of wanting to become someone that made my grandiose thoughts come alive became stronger than the pull of paying attention to what was in my true reality which was everything from my friends and family to taking care of myself. I knew what I was expected to do but as my health got worse I lost sight of what the purpose of my life was, making me an even easier target for bipolar to continue coming into my life.
No one expects something bad to happen to them when they are successfully doing what they think everyone else is doing that is their age. The true reality is that there are more young adults with mental illness than we realize, and that these young adults have dropped out of school, have undergone treatment, and have been able to get better.