All products and services featured are selected by our editors. Managing bipolar disorder starts with proper treatment, including medication and therapy. “Managing bipolar day to day takes a lot of work—even with medication—but it’s absolutely possible to have a happy and fulfilling life.”. RELATED: 10 Subtle Signs of Bipolar Disorder. "Our society needs to stop coddling young people and blaming everything on mental health disorders,” one of my college professors once told me. RELATED: How to Help Someone Who's Depressed. I loved having control and holding power, even if only for a few moments and for the worst reasons. Just how far could I take my craziness? Sleepless Nights, Risky Behavior, and Depression: What It's Really Like to Live With Bipolar II Disorder. Thank you for sharing and teaching other people about it. A lot of people only know bipolar disorder as it's shown on TV or in movies. Essentially, they're portrayed as completely out of control. I didn’t take pleasure in any of the day-to-day activities that usually brightened my mood. Living with Bipolar 2 Sunday, April 25, 2010. Like diabetics who take insulin or recovering alcoholics who avoid drinking, if you have bipolar disorder, its important to make healthy choices for yourself. © 2021 Remedy Health Media, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, My Life with Bipolar II Disorder—The Other Side of Me, Tell Me All I Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder, https://s3.amazonaws.com/vh-media-1/audio/Julie-Kraft-Podcast-2018.mp3, Voting with Bipolar: How I Found Brief Relief At The Ballot Box, What I Wish I Knew Before Admitting Myself to a Psychiatric Hospital, Mariah Carey and Bipolar Disorder: Overcoming the Stigma of Her Diagnosis, What A Psychiatric Ward Is Really Like Behind Closed Doors. Clean out expired products and clutter to make way for a healthier you. Since I started taking medication five years ago, I’ve felt a healthy range of emotions: happy, sad, and everything in-between. Wonder if I truly need them, Ponder what changes due to them, Fonder each day passes without them, Absconder each night staring at them. The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of bipolar disorder. As many as 30% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide. I was utterly incapable of looking outside myself, of seeing the forest through the trees. And surely, to the dismay of my parents and husband at times, it offers no return policies, either. Living with bipolar I typically means having at least one manic episode followed by a period of depression. Often, feelings of unworthiness came from my inability to deal with the mundane─package deliveries, paying bills, school pickups, birthday parties, and even trick-or-treaters at my door. Follow Living with Bipolar II on WordPress.com. Except, thank God, my life. Women are more likely to have this type of illness course than men and it can come and go at any time in the course of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder affects about 1% of the population. While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, many people with the diagnosis end up living full and healthy lives. Since I had never experienced full-blown mania—which causes major behavior changes like reckless spending, risky sex, or foolish investing—I didn’t meet the criteria for bipolar I disorder. The symptoms of anxiety can be hard to detect. She had me try all kinds of antidepressants, but low doses of each resulted in extreme reactions, such as euphoria and psychotic breaks. This could indicate that mental health professionals are now more adept now at diagnosing the disorder, but more research is needed. Even without treatment, there may have symptom-free periods characterized by a stable mood. Today, Julie lives in Canada with her husband of 22 years and their daughters ages 10, 17, and 20. Opening up about my diagnosis takes a lot of strength, especially because some people don't believe it's real. But could my relationships and marriage be salvaged, repaired, and restored? Welcome one and all to my new blog about living with Bipolar 2. I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder at the age of 27. What is it like living with bipolar 2 disorder? The change was made to reflect the clinical phenomenon of “mixed” mood states that do not meet full criteria for a mixed episode of bipolar I disorder, reflected by co-occurrence of full mania and MDD. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 after a suicide attempt in 2018. My hope is that this will be both informative as well as a place to share your experiences in living with this rather relatively lesser known form of the Bipolar spectrum. I wanted to put an end to everything. Emma Jones January 11, 2021 Jonathan started his apparel company after he was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. The exact cause of bipolar disorders is unknown, though experts think it could have to do with genetics and biological differences in the brain. Or, had I set myself off? In fact, I assumed I suffered from Major Depressive Disorder my whole adult life, until the manic episodes started to manifest with more classic symptoms. Search for: From Humble Beginnings. …, Purchase a copy and get more information about The Other Side of Me: Memoir of a Bipolar Mind at Julie’s website or amazon.com, How to Overcome Depression: 5 Things You Can Do NOW to Make a Meaningful Impact, Dating with Anxiety: How Learning to Cope Helped Me Find Love Again, Mother’s Day: How to Survive When You Have a Narcissistic Mom, Dating With Depression: Expert Tips to Help You Succeed, How to Accept Reality When You Don’t Want to. It was all my fault. In 2016 I was also diagnosed… I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder I wasn't diagnosed until later in my thirties. Living with Bipolar 2 My Journey. Living well with bipolar disorder requires certain adjustments. RELATED: 10 Helpful Books About Bipolar Disorder. Selfish, sinister, sick, and twisted? Yet the truth is, my diagnosis was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Julie told PsyCom that the diagnosis was one of the best days of her life, “because I finally had an answer and a reason to explain my disturbing behavior.”. At times I went days without sleeping, traveling on overnight buses and talking with new friends. “I love my life and am not ashamed of my condition,” she says. In the seconds after my emotional explosions, my gut reaction was to run and hide ─ lock myself away in a bathroom, car, or closet. I am more than my mental illness. You can get the right treatment. More than anything or anyone else, I was angry at myself, disgusted by what I had done. I prayed they would be patient and wait for me to reappear. In DSM-5, the new specifier “with mixed features” can be applied to bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, bipolar disorder NED (previously called “NOS”) and MDD. Living with bipolar 2 doesn't have to be impossible. In a recent NAMI meeting I attended, the parents of children with bipolar disorder shared their experiences with the sudden changes in behavior that make each day, week and month a challenge. She now understood the reaction to be symptoms of her bipolar disorder. Between high school and college, I took a gap year to backpack around Asia and Europe. Living with or caring for someone with bipolar disorder. Living with bipolar 2 is a constant challenge. My highs and lows continued. I'd had at least one major depressive episode (loss of interest in all activities; feelings of guilt, sadness, and hopelessness; and/or thoughts of self-harm). At the age of 36, after decades of struggle with erratic mood swings—periods of mania followed by debilitating depression—and ample doses of anxiety and frustration, Julie Kraft, a mother of three, was finally diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2010. To be diagnosed with bipolar II, I also had to experience a hypomanic episode, which is a period of increased energy, exaggerated confidence, racing thoughts, poor decision making, and/or decreased need for sleep. It was a very dark place to be. Think tasks through. I have been doing some research on bipolar disorder lately, just because I like to stay informed on my conditions, and I found out something interesting and disturbing. Here are ways to manage the condition and live a happy healthy fulfulling life. During episodes of illness, the personalities of people with bipolar disorder may change, and they may become abusive or even violent. My friends know that I’m the expert on my own mental health, and they don’t question what I (or my doctors) say. After asking me a series of questions, she confirmed her theory: I had bipolar II disorder. People living with or caring for someone with bipolar disorder can have a tough time. …. So much more. “I was fiery and ferocious, capable of lighting up a room or just as easily burning it down.” It took a while, my family has come around too. Making these healthy choices will help you keep your symptoms under control, minimize mood episodes, and take control of your life. What Dating with Bipolar Really Feels Like, Difference Between Bipolar Disorder 1 & 2, Tell Me All I Need to Know About Postpartum Depression, 5 Things You Need to Stop Telling Yourself if You Want to Improve Your Mental Health, The Mindfulness Guide for People Too Busy to Meditate, How to Improve Sleep: 5 Ways to Find a Sleep Strategy That Works, Work Anxiety: 10 Tips to Manage Anxiety at Work, What You Need To Know About Cocaine and Crack. However, living with bipolar or a bipolar person can be extremely challenging due to treatment issues and the issues around bipolar disorder itself. (more…) ... 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