by Angela in Alaska
My depression started while I was young. I was a child born from an alcoholic, so I had missing endorphins (I found this out after doing research on depression. When I was 13 years old, I was medicated for severe depression after my father, who had abandoned my family when I was four, died.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder later on in life. I was seriously manic -- running around the high school track at 2:00 a.m., then severely depressed, cutting myself with glass, insanely wanting to die. My "death point" was attempted suicide; I was revived after swallowing a bottle of aspirin and having to sign a contract with a therapist to not hurt myself again. I was under constant supervision for the first three weeks after being released from the hospital. I felt bizarre and twisted in my mind. My thoughts were intense, aggravated by serious and disturbing PTSD triggers all around me. I felt like a vulnerable victim and mental psycho case.
Then there were days when I felt like I could fly and wanted to just wander about the city for days, no shower, no food -- just meet people and socialize and not care about anything. Then I crashed and started to have these feelings of inadequacy and fear of what people thought of me to the point of hiding in my room. I started therapy after my mother died (I was 21 when she died) of a very hard life of drinking and drugging, I had become an addict and needed treatment. I binged and purged and went days without eating after I stopped using drugs. I had to take medication for my bipolar disorder.
Things are going well now that I have had an opportunity to take care of myself emotionally and mentally with therapy and physically with medication. Sometimes the meds have to change due to my chemistry not feeling compatible after some time on the meds. But I am willing to do whatever it takes to not have to go back to the insanity of the extreme highs and lows that my mind can take me. The sedatives for my PTSD so I don't want to kill anyone help a lot.
My perception has changed about how people view me. At first I thought a million things at once every second of the day; not feeling worthy of friends one week to thinking I had all the friends in the world, and the challenge of balancing my perception took some serious effort on my part to be honest with myself and truly accept that I had a emotional, mental, physical imbalance and that my spirit soared and plummeted when I least expected it.
I am working on these things with a psychologist and checking in every two to three months to make sure my behavior and thinking patterns are on the right track. I am not sleeping with one night stands or finding myself in strange places with strangers after coming to reality (after a manic high). I think the stereotype that people have expressed about my mental dispositions has hurt my feelings; I have to understand that not all people have educated themselves as I have (researching bipolar and PTSD and writing essays and psychological reports in college classes on these disorders has helped me to have a better understanding).
I am always quick to tell them that the first man on the moon was bipolar; and also that a small mind can only open itself up when coaxed out of its hole of fear.
I was married, but relationships are very challenging for me when it comes to my bipolar disorder and my PTSD. I still have issues to work on and inner self-discovery to achieve. I want to do many things and finding a mate for the rest of my life is not one of them. I love to travel, write, spend time with friends, read, hike, ski, watch movies, and be outside and doing things actively - unless I am on a low and then I chill out and meditate w/ some yoga to keep from getting depressed or visit friends and play games.
I love myself unconditionally today...it has been a long road of 20 years to find some balance in my perspective, but with the help of friends and therapy and medication and some serious learning experiences. I feel good today.