This post was inspired by a post I read on another blog. The Blog in question is A Beautiful Mind, so thank you for the inspiration. I hope others do the same and answer some of these questions. Once done please leave a link in the comments so I, and others can have a read.
Family: 2 Children (1 Boy, 1 Girl) + 1 Girlfriend
Home Country: United Kingdom (Liverpool, England)
Current Country: New Zealand (Tauranga)
Hobbies: Tinkering with computers, watching Football, Blogging.
Employment: None At The Moment Due To Bipolar
Profession: Teacher & Ambulance Officer
Mental Illnesses: Bipolar 1, ADD, PTSD, GAD
How long have you been diagnosed? What was your experience like getting diagnosed and leading up to it?
I have only been diagnosed for four months with bipolar disorder type 1. However, my journey goes back many moons. It all started in my early twenties, I remember the destructive bouts of mania I had followed by the crushing depressive states. I got in a lot of trouble during my bouts of mania. Each time doctors diagnosed me was depressed and promptly put me on antidepressants, which as we all know make the mania worse. Now I am 36 and ready to start my life again.
What has been the biggest challenge(s) or in your relationships that you attribute to your illness?
When I was younger (16-23) I couldn’t commit to a relationship, I would drift between partners quite regularly. The thought of a relationship scared me. I found during those early years that I had a love/hate relationship with my partners. I was happy one hour then depressed the next. Hard work for everyone. At 24 I met my ex-wife, we were married for 11 years. During this marriage my mania was getting out of control, I was emotionally aggressive and this got worse and worse. Still I was diagnosed depressed, even though I told the doctor I wasn’t. When this relationship ended I went bankrupt due to a mega mania spell. Therefore the biggest challenge for me is managing and trying to control my mania. I attribute the ending of my previously relationships to my bipolar.
What would you like your loved ones to know about your mental disorder that they don’t know or that is hard to talk about?
That I am sorry! It wasn’t me who did/said all those terrible things. I am in a constant battle with my own mind and it will take me time to understand and heal from it. It’s hard for me to talk about my feelings, it makes me feel weak and vulnerable and this will take time for me to get over this.
What advice would you give to someone struggling with BD as you about managing your illness and their relationships
Be open and be honest. Tell people what you have got, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. If you’re a male, step up, take ownership and be true to yourself. Showing your emotional side is not a weakness it’s a strength. That goes for the ladies too.