Gabriela

Something I am Proud Of:

I am grateful for the journey I’ve been through, for being diagnosed quickly, and for finding the right treatment for me. Ever since I was a teenager, I suffered from anxiety and depression, with crying spells, suicidal thoughts, and impulsive behavior. I also recognize that I had periods where I refused to sleep and had boundless energy, and I am grateful for noticing that something was wrong there as well. I received my bipolar disorder type 2 diagnosis at the age of 20.

The recovery journey was far from linear: I had to face relapses and medications that didn’t work properly, and even the professionals tended to stigmatize me constantly, just because I was too young for a psychiatric diagnosis… Paradoxically, I was so depressed that I couldn’t move anymore, but they continued to take the situation lightly. I didn’t give up, I kept seeking help and finding it, and today I can say that I have finally achieved stable mood and a dignified life.

I realized that the episodes I had were due to an irregular routine and extremely high levels of stress. It may sound trivial, but positive self-talk and self-care also contribute to maintaining a stable mood. Every day, I am grateful to be able to fulfill my commitments, have healthy relationships, maintain boundaries, and learn to say no when I feel the need. I have seen my mood, my relationships, my health, and even my university grades improve as my self-dialogue improved. I am truly satisfied with myself.

Message for Newly Diagnosed:

To those newly diagnosed, I would say: don’t give up, even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels like you’ve been suffering for too long and can’t take it anymore. When I received my diagnosis, I thought it was the end. I was scared and afraid of dealing with frightening highs and lows. To cope with it, I even started identifying with my disorder. I was afraid of being happy because I didn’t know how to recognize hypomania.

You’ll see that with the right help, things can get much better. You are extraordinary people just because you are facing hell. And, most importantly, educate yourselves as much as possible; psychoeducation and psychotherapy techniques can make a huge difference even if you feel out of control.

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