I have been diagnosed with Bipolar 1, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am not these things. I am not my diagnosis. And neither are you.
Due to these, I have symptoms that must be managed. Things like panic attacks, mood swings, depression, mania, etc. I’m learning to cope within these. I was diagnosed originally with unipolar depression back in 1998. After my first manic episode, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in 2003/4. There are MANY articles about the difference between 1 and 2. I suggest you do some research if you’re curious about 1 vs. 2. In reality, the differences don’t make that big of an issue with this post.
Despite being labeled “crazy” by every man I’ve ever lived with, I’m not crazy. I have an illness. Along with 2% of the population of America. The deal is once you know your own weaknesses-NO ONE CAN USE THEM AGAINST YOU.
The conversation around mental illness is changing. People are speaking up more about having a diagnosis. People are speaking up about getting help. People are no longer afraid of a little label destroying their life.
For me, when I received that little label, I knew it was going to be a long, lonely battle, but one that I was finally prepared for because-frankly-I was sick of being sick. Fact is: I still get sick. It happens. BUT NOW-I speak up about it. I have a voice and you do too. Find yours. It just might save your life.